Starting next week, back-to back fashion shows will take over the city. The India Bridal Fashion Week (July 23 to July 28) and PCJ Delhi Couture Week (July 31-August 4) will see industry biggies flexing their style sensibilities. From the bylanes of Chandni Chowk to gardens at Como, the designs will seek inspiration from travel. The muses will range from Draupadi to a red carpet bride. We bring you five trends that will transcend fashion weeks.
When it comes to couture, our designers often revisit the city's charm-filled history to seek style inspiration. This time, Bollywood's favourite Manish Malhotra will showcase pre-independence Nawabi elegance at his final show at the couture week. "I will divulge into experimenting with new kind of embroidery, old-world charm and inspiration will be a part of my collection," says Malhotra. On the other hand, designer duo Ashima-Leena will bring old Delhi to the ramp at the bridal week. "We are inspired by the Mughal era. You'll see Chandni Chowk infused elegance," says Ashima.
High necked collars, exaggerated skirts, layering and full sleeved opulence - the Victorian era will make its way to the runways, mixed and amalgamated with Indian culture and mythical sub-cultures. "My collection will play with malmal and masquerade. The designs that I will showcase will have a distinct Victorian touch to it, blended with design influences from Kashmir," says designer Rohit Bal, speaking about his bridal showcase. On the couture side, designer Anju Modi also highlighted Victorian influences for her collection. "The corsets, bottom flounces and high collars add victorian touch to my collection, which is inspired by the strength of Draupadi," says Modi.
The bride today is experimental not only when it comes to silhouettes and cuts, but also the colour palette. Tarun Tahiliani, who will close the bridal week this time, is all about neutrals and champagnes that are adorned with aari work, zardozi and swarovski play. Designer Varun Bahl re-invents haute couture with his signature use of black and a blend of winter pastels. So, red-carpet couture and the brides have a lot to indulge in. "From aqua, lilac to beige and jade - the bride goes for contemporary hues. The heavy and ornate is out, it's all about cool and the feeling of fabric lightness," says Tahiliani.
The cocktail bride
While heavily adorned and ornately embellished drapes and a range of ethnic silhouettes make for staple couture in the country, designers are now going for gowning glory that is red-carpet ready and made for a bride ready to rule the runways. Designer Ritu Beri, at her first outing at the Couture Week, will present her 'Grand Punjabi Wedding' collection. The preview sketches tell us a story of festive, full-skirted fun. Designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil will re-visit their signature gown town by tapping in to inspiration tapped from travel. "The whites and golds of our cocktail gowns reflect our travel and incorporate our experiences from Paris and Rome," says designer Nikhil Mehra.
Fantasy drama, fantastical clothes, new shapes and magical touches, My couture is opulent in its thought and technique," says designer Gaurav Gupta, whose collection at the couture week will be low on embroidery and high on avant garde interpretation of myth. On the Bridal Week runway, designer duo Falguni and Shane Peacock will showcase Miltonic fantasy. Called the Garden of Eve, the headgear showcased at the preview gave us a glimpse into their experimental designs. Pistachio, pinks, ivory will come together with floral motifs and vintage lace for their collection.