When it comes to bringing the drama, Rohit Bal is the master of class. Making up for the absence of Bollywood faces on Day Three of the HDIL Couture Week, the designer showed the first truly awe-inspiring presentation of couture garments that this event has seen.Using fabrics like mulmul to create a patterned floor-length coat with colourful embroidery, decorating the armour-like upper-half, Bal proved that garments don’t need to drip with diamonds to take your breath away. His menswear presentation created an interlude, after which the designer pushed the envelope further with voluminous velvet skirts in dark colours, crushed silk ghagras all patterned with vivid hand embroidery in Bal’s favourite leitmotif — the lotus flower.
The choice of music, soulful tracks including a goosebump-inducing rendition of Tears in heaven added to the atmosphere. For the final act, four models in cream anarkali kurtas entered a pool of water and rose petals in the center of the ramp, their garments floating out to resemble lotus flowers.
Bal, who makes it a point to watch his shows instead of staying backstage like other designers, danced onto the ramp as the audience rose to give him the Couture Week’s first standing ovation. After his near fatal heart-attack earlier this year, this moment must have been extra sweet for fashion’s former bad boy.
Dubai-based Ayesha Depala’s show would have been perfectly classy if the audience wasn’t distracted by the tottering models who were struggling to walk in those floor-length gowns. Struggling to keep straight faces, most were forced to hike up their hemlines to keep from kissing the floor. Pretty no doubt, the gowns weren’t innovative, even bordering on repetitive. Not sure if that qualifies as couture.