There's life 'After Death' for Shantanu & Nikhil

PTI | BySunanda Kumar, New Delhi
May 03, 2004 09:03 PM IST

Shantanu & Nikihil's latest collection is divine in its inspiration but sinfully tempting in its appeal, writes Sunanda Kumar.

Visualise the Last Supper, now add to it a dash of glamour, a bit of sensuality and plenty of style. What you get is 'After Death' - Shantanu & Nikihil's latest collection that is divine in its inspiration but sinfully tempting in its appeal.

HT Image
HT Image

Like Sabyasachi's collection a few days back, the designer duo too has translated personal misfortune into a soul-stirring presentation on the ramp. "My wife recently met with a near-fatal accident on her way to church. She had a miraculous escape despite breaking five bones in her back. This is my way of thanking God for giving her a second chance," admits Nikihil. 

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Religious motifs kept surfacing throughout the entire show. Models with permed hair and headbands walked out with their arms outstretched in an obvious throwback to the Cross. Hauntingly beautiful music from period films like 'Braveheart' mixed with opera and eerie lighting served to heighten the spiritual tone.

Wool and rayon skirts of varying lengths in shades of taupe and tan were paired with flowing mushroom-coloured chiffon blouses. "The different fabrics symbolise the different moods of that era - aggression and torture giving way to freedom and enlightenment," says Nikhil.

Antique rayon, Victorian silk, wool with dyed effects and plenty of chiffon came together to signify the realism and the hardship prevalent in the age of Christ.

The look was very feminine and romantic representing the myriad moods of women in times bygone. Tapered waists flowing out into sensuous volumes, structured jackets and shoes with copper embellishments and earthy shades gave a rugged yet womanly feel to the garments.

The second segment saw an uber glam change of tone. Besides the sequins, skin and skirts that ruled the ramp, one also saw the return of the loose parallels--which were amiss at all the other shows. Here they were in gorgeous shades of egg shell and taupe with lots of shimmer and shine. Pants paired with tie back blouses, made it very glamorous and perfect for anything from club-wear to a formal dinner.

Shantanu, the second-half of the talented twosome, predicts lots of flares and chiffon this season; return of the Coco Chanel skirt. Loads of beige and dull gold add to the romance. With nude lips and shimmery skin expected to be a rage, it doesn't auger well for event sponsor Lakme that is all set to peddle its 'fruit-shock' range of psychedelic makeup shades at the Grand Finale later this evening.

The two designers also struck a blow for national pride. "Everything in the show is Indian and handmade--even the wooden heels used in the structured footwear was handcrafted", exults Shantanu while espousing the cause of local weavers and fabrics.

The collection is priced a little steep between Rs 2,500-20,000. But then who said fashion 'nirvana' comes cheap?

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