Nazis in white. Mutilated appendages. Tattered attire. Not a pretty sight. But if Puja Nayyar had set out to make as strong a statement about the horrors of war as Sabyasachi Mukherjee did last year, she succeeded without doubt.
Puja's collection talked about the ravages of war - its absolute futility, and the physical and emotional destruction it causes. It was a complex collection, with each ensemble composed of multiple pieces layered, tied, buttonholed, bandaged and harnessed together. Fabrics like faux fur, fleece, cottons, web-like mohair knits, rexine etc were given disturbingly distressed treatments like ruching, quilting, pleating, patching etc and even though the collection was made almost entirely in white and ivory with only tints of steel blue, salmon and gray, it appeared aggressive and aggrieved at the same time.
The collections is defintely not for the faint-hearted and Puja admits as much. According to her: "I realise that the line is extremely creative and maybe not for the Indian consumer just as is, but I'm open to the idea of people picking up one detail and working around it. For example the different fabrics used, the deconstructed look, the colours."
Although to her credit Puja tried to redefine all established parameters - there was a total absence of any symmetry and identifiable shapes and the garment's exploded, imploded, rearranged their shapes and reassembled themselves into compound forms; skirts, shirts, vests, jackets and pants were only vaguely identifiable - one does feel that white has been a bit overdone this season. Everyone, from Miu Miu, Prada, Tom Ford to Burberry, have done shows in egg-shell white, ivory, cream or whipped butter in pure, or near pure, combinations.
It's an observation with which Puja readily agrees. "Yes, white is being on ramps all across Europe but I chose the colour because it represents an earnest desire for peace. My message is simple - afterall why do we need to go to war?" she says.
Models trooped down the ramp wearing 'ganjis' over skin hugging tops with trou trou sleeves, dilapidated poodle skirts, silver sneakers and bandaged head gear. The overall look reminded me of a store in London called Expensive! that has nothing but all white. Of course, Expensive! after a bomb has fallen through its roof!!