If there is a part one there has got to be a part two…
GAURI AND NAINIKA
Known usually for their red carpet outings in India, it might come as a surprise as to why I picked Gauri and Nainika to review. The collection left me a bit on the fence since it had two diametrically different elements, print and 3D appliques, coming together within one collection making it seem like two collections in one. Most of the Dior-esque shapes reminded me of Raf Simon’s work for Dior, however the 3D applique effect was rather very interesting and would have loved to see it explored much more rather than having ‘another’ collection of prints making statement on global warming. I loved the blue and the red giant rose appliques which were far more impactful and chic than some of the print outings. Definitely gonna see it at next year’s award season. The collection comprised mostly of gowns (no surprises there) and body con dresses that were hits and misses in parts. But some great potential out there.
PANKAJ AND NIDHI
The veterans this time around tapped vinstage inspiration. While toned down from the constrasts that we are usually subjected by the duo, the collection went down the pastel route with simple clean offering but without any compromise for the designers’ penchant and fondness for details that they are known for. While the designers offered their usual surface treatments, one was also served up a multitude of vintage art-deco-ish prints… something that harked me back to the last collection by Dev R Nil, the similarities end just there since both the duos are marginally different in their approach. The inspiration came in ample amounts through imagined vintage pendants, old brooches and pearl strings of this “Vintage closet”. The flirty dressy silhouettes, high waisted skirts paired with cropped tops all made appearances on the ramp. With threadwork on lace and jewel inspired embroidery, the collection exuded grace in just the right amounts for contemporary setting without making it a period piece.
HEMANT AND NANDITA
The moment I went through this collection, I instantly loved everything about it and what was there not to. Hemant and Nandita’s latest offering served us with ikat prints and I for one am a sucker for the ones done right and they did not miss a beat throughout the collection. Be it the fringes, the maxi dresses, the seperates, the dresses, the swimwear, the jackets, there was not a single piece that I did not like from this collection ( a rarity that was very surprising for myself). Translating the ikat prints beautifully within the silhouettes the designer duo scored major brownie points for weaving the fringe along in the collection with a brilliantly exercised control that just impressed me to bits, since it is very and I repeat VERY easy to go overboard and be overwhelmed with the kind of prints that these guys used. The collection was fun but not cheeky, youthfully mature but not kiddishly humorous, realized with such perfection that it is hard to fault. Just a major plight…. why is there no menswear for the same prints and weaves.. Why oh Why!!!
DEV R NIL
Another faultless presentation, the duo Dev R Nil are the major players when it comes to my books of designers who do not overdo stuff just for the sake of making a desperate attempt to make a statement. They are subtle when needed and bold when required but even the risks they take are so natural for them that it goes pretty much unnoticed just because it is them (a rare feat to achieve). The collection that played upon androgynous elements, thank God for some menswear and brillant play of prints that the duo is associated with, the Kolkata designers make organic look chic and luxury everytime during their presentations. From printed saris to seperates, to layered ensembles, the duo just continues to belt out collections that continue to impress. Ten years into the business and this duo continues to go from strength to strength at a pace that is natural for them and is according to their own rules. Their process of bending rules of fashion is still something alien to everyone else but something that gives them that certain edge over everyone else. Giving veterans a run for their money, their signature prints were brilliant like everytime, thought out and merged along with surface embellishments in some cases. My favorite series from this has to be the indigo blues and white prints. They just keep me look forward to what will they do next, everytime with their presentations…wish I could just get my hands on some of the pieces by the designer.
A confident and potential debut is always a breath of fresh air and a welcome break from the usual showcase that one is subjected to. Josh Goraya was another name that popped up apart from Rina Singh of Eka that made a splash to be kept a look out for. With his capsule collection, Josh Goraya scored high due to visual texture of the fabric, fun prints and on point styling that was quirky in just the rigth proportion without being cheeky (loved those yellow boots). Presenting a mix of menswear and womenswear look, Goraya did not shy away from his use of prints and textured fabric but what was impressive was the control he had over them and how he presented the whole ensemble that made the whole difference to the whole look. From round glasses to color of the shoes, nothing looked out of place to give him the card ‘yea it is a debut he would mature with time’. A masterful control lead him for the one to watch out for, unless a designer brand snags him up to be included in their design team.
Buddha Buddha Buddha, Rohit Bal’s collection that was definitely a finale worthy outing set on the grounds of Qutub Minar (I can imagine it because I have been to the place) would have been more than just perfect setting for what he showcased. From peony to the chrysanthemum, wild roses and the lotus, printed and embroidered flowers blossomed on silks, matka silk, Varanasi brocade velvets and cotton. Starting with subdued palette he progressed onto more heavier pieces showcasing from printed jackets and sherwanis(those were my favorites) to achkans, peplum tops to lehengas and full skirts to colorful sherwanis for baraatis, he had it all and more. Worked upon cleverly and diligently with quilting and tilla work, the exquisite quality was evident. The rose buns (reminding me of HSY) were a perfect accessory and complimented the whole look perfectly, be it in ivory or the deeper rich tones. Rohit bal shows one how to do opulence in an understated manner shows why is he a veteran in the business. Stop reading and just look at it
*Images belong to their respective owners