Elan by Khadija Shah closed Day two with a striking collection titled ART STRUCK ELAN. Taking inspiration from the illustrator Rene Gruau’s work, Elan’s collection drew major applause from the crowd. This woman knows how to balance the line between sophisticated and fun with panache and she does it rather well.
Heavy inclined towards prints, obviously, the collection referenced a variety of work of the artist. I looked up the artist and could see many of his works translated into clothes. Be it the opening red piece with doves, the black splatter dress, the ruffle ball woman on a short tunic…all in one way or the other referenced the artist. The silhouettes started with streamlined jumpsuit, quirky seperates, structured jackets and column gowns and moved on towards Dior-esque shapes with cinched waists and voluminous skirts in layered organza adding in a certain dimension to the prints that were printed on to them. While in some cases the layering added volume, in others the printed layers were used as an effect to overlap and superimpose each other so as to create interesting effects. It was in many cases almost as good as Dior, if not better.
The prints, which heavily made use of the artist’s style and imagery ranged from text, to fun pop art references, to mural like illustrations that were used heavily on hems of the skirts, tunics and jackets. Combining luxury prêt to pop art, in many cases, Miss Shah translated the painting itself in clothes using the whole outfit as the canvas. These prints, were then enhanced at occasions by the use of beadwork so as to bring out certain details and shapes that she needed to be highlighted but in small doses never overpowering the print (in voluminous skirts). However in some the whole print was embellished like one of the ducky prints was all over worked upon meticulously with sequins and beads. Loved Loved loved all the prints.
And just when you thought it was such a good collection and this time around she actually used the artwork and mentioned it too, since she has been in the crossfire for those very reasons, one of the cat print jacket that was quite the favourite walked down the runway and was used over in pants too was NOT by the Italian illustrator, rather the pattern was by a Swedish textile designer Victor Lindstrand, made in 1930s… *sigh*…again… credits people.. credits.
The asymmetrical shapeless gown could have been so much better in terms of fit and length (or was it the big print that expanded the model’s frame from usual), considering it had such a fun dramatic back. The major extra ruffled dress aka nomi ansari déjà vu from FPW2014 (here), was a confused piece and did not seemed to have reached just there *does a hand gesture*and seemed stuck in the middle, the jacket piece was kooky to say the least. In a collection with a feminine vibe, this was stood out like a sore thumb with its masculine lines. While I loved the bang bang clutch, I wasn’t too sure about the ELAN clutch especially in that orange.
All aside, there were quite a few things to love …The freaking collection in its later stages made me sit up getting excited for the next piece that was to come down the runway and drew major applause from me. One of the major things that despite being the finale for the day, she kept the presentation simple, single filed. The upfront ruffle doll on the short tunic was an instant favorite, the splash print on the jacket was fun, the zoomed in text shift dress would definitely find its takers, Most of the floor length organza layered skirts footprint, the text skirt, finale piece. Also from the accessories loved the bang bang and text clutch.
*Images courtesy Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly…and me