Maria B has always been commercial with a certain girlyness to the ensembles that sometimes did use to go overboard. However for her collection, the lady took a 180 degree turn to present a collection that was understated and possibly her best showing ever. This Kashmir ki Kali is definitely blossomed.
With an earthen and rustic colour palette, Inspired by Ladakh, Maria B took a an inspiring trip to Kashmir on the ramp through her presentation. The earthen palette featuring burnt oranges, dark teals, ochres, brown .. all in many patterns and embroideries made up for a relaxed and toned down showing. The pherans (its a kashmiri 3 panalled drop shoulder kurta) for men, the relaxed tunics, the layered printed upper jackets, printed pants (from cropped to extra flared), all of these made up her collection. The varying lengths of loose tunics and different treatment to each one kept it from being boring and were balanced with tights and pants. One could definitely see the Kashmiri influence (the drop shoulder, big sleeves) mixed with contemporary shapes to formulate these ensembles.
The culturally referenced patterns and embroidered motifs had many embroidery techniques that native to the place. Paisleys, florals, geometrics, chevrons as well as jewellery and text, all making an appearance on the ensembles, were also used to develop signature prints for the line. These were at points combined with solids and at other in a print on print look playing off each other in color and shape contrasts but yet aesthetically looking balanced. LOVED the printed tights. At one occasion she used sheer fabrics embroidered on top with print inners to play off the juxtapositions…wish she had explored a bit more of that too. Also what elicited whistles from me were the handwoven (or what looked like it) Pheran kurtas for men. The collection was restrained and looked like controlled wherever it had the potential to go overboard. A very prêt, very wearable collection, this will fly off the racks as soon as it hit the stores.. and with her retail presence, am sure it will.
A minor gripe was this look.. the geeky styling stood out from the rest of the mob. Also those pants really enhanced the hip and with a plain in the middle, were really not flattering to the shape. Also at occasions it did remind me of Khaadi (not khaadi khaas) but its the similar source material they usually work with.
What I liked.. the kurtas for men, the off shoulder printed tunic, the shape of this turquoise top was fun and the printed tights. Also loved the maroon kimono top and its pairing with cropped pants and the printed jumpsuit.
*Images Courtesy Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly