The Fashion Design Council of India organized the PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2013 from the 31st of July until the 4th of August. A five day luxury fashion spectacle held at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi. A selection of India’s leading couturiers presented their haute couture designs to the world. Haute couture, loosely translated as ‘high fashion’ are designs made from expensive, high quality fabrics. Intricate/complex techniques are used to put these ensembles together, to celebrate the craftsmanship of the designers. The cream of the crop when it comes to fashion design!
We sat ‘front row’ to review the designer shows for you.
Anju Modi kicked off Delhi Couture Week 2013 with her collection ‘Draupadi’. An ethnic collection with a powerful color palette; crimson reds, caramel, tamarind and also deep blues and gold detailing. Bollywood actress Tabu walked the ramp for Modi in a stunning traditional lehenga, in crimson red with gold detailing and heavy fabrics creatively draped across her body. The collection of the evening was by the legendary Sabyasachi. The designer dressed actress Vidya Balan for the Cannes film festival this year, where Vidya was present as a member of the jury. Sabyasachi knows couture like no other and presented some stunning bridal looks for bride and groom. His collection ‘Opium’ was a crowd pleaser, regal designs fit for a modern day raja (king) and rani (queen). Beautiful gowns in natural shades and heavy golds with floral embroideries and Sherwani suits with blue, brown and rose flower prints, topped off with turbans.
Day 2 featured the collections of Monisha Jaising and Anamika Khanna. The Monisha Jaising show had no particular theme, several different collections were combined into one show. Nevertheless, it is one of my favorite shows of Delhi Couture Week. It featured contemporary designs, Indo-western pieces and traditional Indian gowns. I really loved her bridal collection, perfect for a contemporary bride. The show stealer pieces were presented by a model escorted by a shirtless man in shorts, holding an umbrella! The Anamika Khanna fashion show was very couture. There was one style that did not go down well for me: the bell bottom, 60s style hippie/disco pants. Yes, they are a modern version, but I preferred the looks she created with dramatic palazzo pants. Overall it was a very high end collection with a beautiful color palette featuring deep purples and soft grey/silver tones and heavy floral prints.
The Satya Paul collection was very young and experimental. Monochromes, creative cuts, floral prints and flowy fabrics, with here and there some bright colors. It is quite an artistic collection in my eyes and very contemporary. Actor Anil Kapoor also walked the ramp for Satya Paul. Varun Bahl was one of my favorites. It girl Freida Pinta was also present. Beautiful traditional gowns in black, white and greys with splashes of color on the dupattas (scarves). Soft yellows, pinks and baby blues contrasted with black, grey and silver and heavily embroidered borders. Both Satya Paul and Varun Bahl presented contemporary pieces, slightly artistic, dark but with a creative use of color where needed.
The Ritu Beri collection was highly extravagant. Grand ball gowns combined with gold face masks, it was a sugar sweet fairytale to see. The Manish Arora show was one of the highlights of PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2013. Models walked a brightly decorated ramp. A kitch and colorful décor of big swans floating on lotus flowers. The designs? A highly creative explosion of color, Manish Arora’s Indian collection is fun, colorful and highly artistic. I have seen settings at the Centre Pompidou (modern art gallery in Paris) that feature all the colors of the rainbow just like Arora’s color extravagance. The face masks and some of the designs are glow in the dark (reflector) and lit up the room once the lights went off! I have deep respect for Manish Arora, he has a signature style, a creative mind and is more than a fashion designer; a true modern artist!
The two final shows were those of respected designer Gaurav Gupta and my favorite designer Manish Malhotra. Actress Kalki Koechlin walked the ramp in a sexy long length, gold gown for Gaurav Gupta. I loved the color palette for the show, the heavy brocade and the stitched sari gowns. He showed that the traditional sari is evolving with time. The sari-gown is a modern day version of a sari. It is growing in popularity at fashion shows these days. I love the black number by Gaurav Gupta with the heavy gold detailing!
I have to admit, I am slightly bias when it comes to Manish Malhotra. At 12 years old I knew that if I were to marry one day, I would be wearing a Manish Malhotra design. I have been a huge fan ever since. A beautiful 1930s town hall setting was the backdrop of the show. A regal collection. Luxurious and modest long length gowns in deep red with gold detailing stole the show. It moved on to a number of gowns with deep v-necks and a few contemporary gowns also suitable for fashion shows in the west. Suddenly the lehenga choli ensembles appeared onto the ramp. Deepika Padukone was a breath taking vision in her blue/lavender lehenga, with poofy, velvet bat sleeves and a heavily embroidered skirt, topped off with a statement necklace. Pure and utter luxury! The show came to a close with an appearance of the king Khan, Shah Rukh Khan. PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2013 gave us a taste of couture and challenged the top designers from India to create high end luxury wear. Some succeeded perfectly, others kept it more simple, overall it was a beautiful diversity of high end Indian couture.
Which designer show was your favorite? Tell us!