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A finale awash with talent

On the last day of LFW, when designer duo Nidhi & Divya Gambhir presented their label Walnut, I realised that just this one show was good enough to keep me going till the last showing, writes Vinod Nair.

fashion and trends Updated: Apr 01, 2009 16:08 IST
Vinod Nair

It’s not often that one gets to see a show that can take you all through the day. On the last day of LFW, when designer duo Nidhi & Divya Gambhir presented their label Walnut, I realised that just this one show was good enough to keep me going till the last showing.

Impeccably tailored, well edited and perfectly put together, Walnut had garments that can be sold in any city in the world. With use of wool coupled with body-flattering silhouettes in blacks, greys, greens, yellows and pinks (a dark pink overcoat was outstanding) and stylish accessories like gold spiral bangles and neck pieces, Walnut showed that “Yes, we can!” Shows by Rimi Nayak and Armaan by Sunaina Puri followed. Both can do better.

The reticent Soumitra Mandal proved his brilliance with the use of khadi and showed that it is not just the fabric of freedom; if used creatively, it can spell elegance, too. His fabulous collection had extensive cotton thread embroidery and well executed sequin detailing.

For me, ‘Nari Nari’ by Narendra Kumar was a bit of a letdown. His collection lacked the energy that he’s capable of. The highlights were the taffeta off-shoulder tops, blue felt jackets with golden lace and pleated sleeves, printed slim-fit denims and printed taffeta slim fit pants. Kallol Datta, who otherwise excites with his creative execution, was a bit weak as well. Dresses in wool and cotton, padded dresses and silk chiffon blouses were interesting. The innovation with an apron worn over dresses was commendable.

While Sailex had a few exceptional pieces in its collection, I feel that Swapnil Shinde needs to evolve. I’ve seen his collections for a while now but he still seems to stand where he started.

Kaushi Adiseshan’s collection was interesting, especially the dresses made using south Indian fabrics used for saris. Rishta by Arjun Saluja always presents creations with an avant-garde feel woven around them. This time, when he unveiled his collection ‘Structure Breaches Drape’, the result was a line-up of creations that screamed style. The designer, while keeping the upper part very structured, left the lower portion somewhat fluid, making the garments stylish and comfortable. Rahul Mishra came out with a never-before collection when he presented an entire set of garments that can be reversed and worn again with a totally different look.

Aptly named ‘Reversing the Recession’, the collection came at a time when everyone is beginning to tighten their purse strings. So why not buy a Rahul Mishra for ‘Apple Tree’ reversible garment and get the effect of two at the cost of one? Rahul used Banarsi silk and a bit of satin and his expertise in pattern-making enabled him to make garments using just 60 per cent of the fabrics used otherwise, thus lowering the cost and passing on the benefit to his clients. With an extremely well executed theme, his creations were a class apart.

At Gayatri Khanna’s showing, a dancer (acrobatic?) appeared on the runway, wasting a few precious minutes. Instead, the designer should have concentrated on adding a few more garments to her collection. As for her collection, I think Gayatri’s gowns sans embellishments were far more appealing than the ones with them.

In contrast, Mandira Wirk’s presentation was as stylish as it can get. The designer also made sure that the entire collection adhered to the autumn/winter theme in terms or fabrics, silhouettes and lengths. Extremely chic and wearable, it was a hit.

At the grand finale show, Anamika Khanna presented a scintillating collection in off-white and gold. Dhoti-like lowers, kurtas, dull gold embroidery, red-and-gold hems and sleeves, wrinkled surfaces, saris worn high with black and red churidars worn underneath, deep V-back blouses, saris with golden stripes, skirts with gold prints... Anamika’s collection was presented with elan and marked the perfect end to the Lakme Fashion Week.