Fashionably late took on a new meaning when Manish Malhotra’s opening show at the HDIL India Couture Week started more than an hour and a half after the scheduled time. But no one expected it to be punctual, considering Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was the showstopper.
With a crowded front row featuring Abhishek and Jaya Bachchan, Urmila Matondkar, Sonam Kapoor, Sangeeta Bijlani, Karan Johar and Mumbai’s preening socialites, everybody was prepared for a late night.
In an army of 56 models, women wore ornate lehengas and anarkali kurtas that could have easily matched their body weight. The men bared their torsos for maximum effect. Designer six-packs anyone?Monisha Jaisingh’s show was severely delayed, but the low-key designer didn’t show any signs of angst as she acknowledged the audience’s applause. The show, choreographed by Mehr Jesia, delivered Jaisingh’s traditional fare, flowing gowns and figure-hugging minis with enough subtlety to balance out Manish’s blingy fare.
Manish Malhotra’s voluminous garments featured transparent odhnis with intricate embroidery, balanced by heavy velvet skirts creating that mix of sensuality and subtlety that Indian brides are supposed to portray.
Don’t be afraid to whirl and twirl, if you can lift these heavy ensembles. Even the models were measuring their steps as they made their way down the ramp.
Short in the front, floor-skimming in the back, these gowns are for those who are not afraid to make a dramatic entry. Jaisingh also complied with the one-shoulder dress trend.
Upping the sex factor were ultra-tiny cholis in traditional prints, leaving the whole mid-riff bare. A bare back was the other point of focus in this collection, with tie-up backs or cutouts playing peekaboo with the audience.
Jaisingh decorated her skirts with feathers and sequins. Skirts were ultra short, balanced with business-like jackets with the kind of exaggerated shoulders we’re used to seeing on Balmain collections.