Mercedes-Benz Fashion week is one of the major event the city of Sydney looks forward to. Apart from the usual fervor of streetstyle which is definitely a separate post on it’s own – keep watching this space for it, the week showcased collections by designers many of who opting for a much more commercial route and played it safe- which makes sense for the business – but come on it’s a runway presentation so there were quite a few who definitely stepped up balancing that line of creative and commercial.
It was a mixed bag of fashion week with many veterans and experienced designer stumbling onto finding a contemporary footing with some traditions that are ingrained within their audience. The final and Day 3 was no different either with designers putting on a show. With Zaheer coming out on trumps with his succinct collection and Nilofer Shahid showcasing her technical finesse, balancing the interpretation and tribute facets within her collection, the concluding day rounded off with an interesting note of sorts; with a lesson for designers for the need to step up their game seriously instead of mediocre offerings.
Reflection -Akira Isogawa
Stop!! take a breath, a moment and do yourself a favor..just go through this collection and let it sink in.
Now where does one start when reviewing a show that showcases 20 yrs of a designer’s work. Akira Isogawa in his and MBFW’s 20th year took a step back showcasing and reflecting on what has transpired within all these years. For a designer that sings to his own tune, is loyal to his aesthetics and Akira is one of those designers who’s passion shows within his clothes. Read the rest of this entry »
Amir Adnan’s royal collection was just that… Royal. Traditional yet modern though the collection did indeed bordered more on the groomswear category, there were many eastern menswear options that came to the forefront within a modern royal twist. Sherwanis, Bandhgalas, vests, waistcoats, kurtas all were present with brocaded fabric fit for a prince. My favorite had to be the bandhgala jackets that definitely are sure to fly off the racks, Read the rest of this entry »
Ever since her Ram leela stint, Anju Modi has been one designer to look out for. While many other ones disappointed, Anju modi sprung up an interesting surprise during the couture week with her presentation and was just enough better than quite a few many of the designers. In a pale color palatte, Anju Modi’s presentation was devoid of any drama or theatrics. The woman definitely has worked on her finishes (which were lacking in Ram Leela) and presented with quite a few interesting options and silhouettes. While the embroidered net saris were a bit of 90s deja vu, the craftsmanship was worth it. Also the unusual printed blouses were enough to keep one interested in the collection. She did stray into Anamika Khanna territory with those dhoti pants and with some success, and one funny looking male ensemble which was an amalgamation of lucknowi kurta tunic and arab long tunic…not a present sight. However having said that she presented some interesting menswear options especially those dhotis, but the suit with that embroidery highlighting the crotch area and that sherwani were not wise moves. The last ensemble worn by Kangana was also one of the better ones in presentation
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The bollywood designer as he is often proclaimed to be Manish Malhotra’s presentation at the couture week revolved around in his safe zone with his signature silhouettes. The collection primarily in shades of golds, concluded in the bring Punjaabi red with gold work on it. While the embroideries were worth the second look, the ones on reds failed to strike that chic cord and came across as much more of an attempt to go traditional but not quite reaching there. A fun feature in womenswear was the use of jackets and sherwanis with the extra over flared ghararas and skirt. However we have seen the designer pair the two previously too with a tailored top and a flared bottom therefore was hardly a surprise. His menswear, barring the finale one, was much more rich in tones and treatement and the dhaka and aligarhi pajamas cut to perfection (that is no mean feat). One of the ensembles, a tweed like texture with blue sleeves definitely caught my eye for all the right reasons but overall, the presentation lacked the require punch and was too predictable even for the designer
At the other end of the spectrum, the namesake Manish (Arora) presented a collection that like his aesthetic was full of character and personality. His woman is fierce and with that personality is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Manish is known to give Indian elements unsual twist and this time too with his off site offering did exactly that. With psychedelic prints, bright colors, he showcased why is he the internationally acclaimed designer that he is. Multicolour stripes, gold rexine embroideries, and 3D highlighted on bases of bright colour were some of the highlight of this psychedelic collection. Applique, zari, peacock textures and traditional embroideries were given flour scent treatments over constant colored bases. He paid his ode to Japanese aristocracy with the craft of Temari which is reserved only for it. Highlighting the techniques, each garment was distinguished by a special colour ranging from emerald green and fuchsia, to red and electric blue, with accents of pearls and gold embroidery. In a variety of silhouettes, I did get an Ali Xeeshan deja vu feeling, but again Japanese elements are bound to ring a bell if the source of inspiration is same. One might feel with such busy-ness of his designs, the presentation felt a bit gimmicky, but then again, if you see the whole thing in context of separates, you’d see the limitless options and that is where the designer scores points.
*Images belong to their respective owners
I know I know it is coming too late in the day but moving to a new city and settling in does take time and blogging along with studying is definitely not a piece of cake.. but am gonna try to juggle the two. While ever so often I do miss the Sabyasachi of the lore, we have now come to expect what Sabyasachi has to offer when he is going to do a show. Sheer couture worked upon crafted works. The guy just belts out collections with similar vibe but different themes, all laboriously worked upon so much so one can’t well remain without being in awe of his clothes. This time around, Sabyasachi looked towards the muslim cultures, embroideries and particularly Ferozabad. Working upon specifically zardozi embroidery and thread, one got to see quite the mirage of traditional silhouettes in pastel and subdued tones that were sort of an extension from his last showing embroidered with striking contrasts at occasions.
However trust him to keep things interesting while working within that particular silhouettes. From conservative to bold plunging statement necklines to belted dopattas (one of the features that he has come up with that I loved in his last showing too). He never ceases to surprise his audience keeping them hungry for more. While many do feel the guy is stuck with the traditional statement looks and exquisite craftsmanship, one does tend to see episodes of contemporary take on that integrated through the collection. Ssaris, kurtas, ghararas, lehengas, coats, peplum jackets and sleeved blouses all his signature layering made appearances on the ramp. If you see the video closely, a sari with an off white sari with a thin red border and worked up embroidered striking palloo was minimal chic at its best.
Also this time around his menswear captured much more attention than his womenswear. Now he has been doing this sort of menswear for a while now, but this time around, Sabyasachi went all out to make bold statement suits and ensembles. Benarasi bandhgalas, hand-block printed breeches, hand-block printed khadi shirts, patchwork blazers, sleeveless Nehru jackets embellished with 18 carat gold buttons made appearances on the ramp. Floral suits as well as separates permeated through the collection were eye catching and definitely went on my lust list for sure…. And yea I would rock the hell outta that floral suit. And I absolutely loved those 18th century floral pants. Yes Mr Sayasachi, I am definitely keeping an eye on what he comes up with next in that department.
One of the key features of a Sabyasachi Show is also his presentation and this time around the whole set was designed as an interior of a luxury train with vintage elements yet modern royal giving the whole collection a perfect backdrop. The whole presentation seemed like a theatre in motion.. (watch video below). I wish I had better images, but being away from the place, I have to resort to what is available on the internet. Get on this train baby!!
*Images belong to their respective owners