March 19, 2013 Asmita Aggarwal

Manish’s La Vie Boheme

Magnificent open to dome set, the longest ramp at WIFW, with glossy reflective surface, Sonam Kapoor looking smashing in a sari along with Neha Dhupia, it was a starry night to remember as Manish Arora took the catwalk by storm. Larry Harvey began the Burning Man project in 1986 as a way of self-expression in San Francisco in many ways it was radical, as a wooden effigy is burnt to symbolize a fight against society to allow freethinking in art. Inspired by this radical philosophy, Manish sent down hot pink bags and belts that cinched waists, peplum dresses and little golden hearts on blouses, as well as printed clouds which took you on a trip to the Arora wonderland.

If Manish’s art was to be la vie Boheme, Pratima Pandey’s line Mood Swings was inspired by the master himself Pablo Picasso, where crinkled floral printed skirts were teamed up with Chanderi angarakhas with colourful embroidery and layered further with fine net jackets with churi sleeves. “The line is my take on Picasso’s Cubistic style, and I deliberately wanted to offer women basic silhouettes likekurtas and palazzos which look classic in Giza cotton. The dori work, zardosi used to create birds, flowers and leaves, along with roses was my way of romanticizing the line,” she smiles.

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Virtues by Ahmedabad-based Vikrant and Ashish played with monochromes, taking a cue from a 17th century courtesan and how she lived a life of extravagance. Block printing, chikankari and chess board prints associated with Shatranj played gallantly at the time found representation on empire line dresses with velvet borders. “We wanted to show the Nawabs of that time and their luxurious lifestyles so we revived the kedia style which are constructed in such a way that there is a flare near the waist,” says Vikrant.

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If it was the world of Urdu poetry that mesmerized Ashish and Vikrant, Charu Parasher was fascinated by Egypt’s cultural wealth. Necropolis is known for its architectural splendor, Charu used the motifs and symbolism to construct evening gowns in emerald greens. “I’ve added nalki and resham work for glamour in drapes that enhance a woman’s curves using the fall of georgette and chiffons in my favour,” she adds.

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If Necropolis is the land of the sphinx, Assam produces the finest muga silks that are used for the Mekhla, and Mumbai-based Vaishali Shadangule born in the land known for Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, used cutwork and chanderi to pay homage to the local dress—the Mekhla. Flared dresses, saris, wool work and cutwork on silk revealed Vaishali’s love for indigenous textiles.

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Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, is a Buddhist chant that has been a game changer for many who have experienced life altering situations, and maybe that’s why Meghna and Kiran, practicing Buddhists, thought it was the best title for their label. “I think to make a show a success you have to be able to edit out a lot and show only few pieces which will finally make an impact. We had a huge colour palette, while styling it, we found the look very busy, so we decided to do some spring cleaning,” says Meghna. Somewhere along the way, they realized that menswear wool blends for palazzos were ideal; they constructed it like a divided skirt to offer greater comfort in winter. “We wanted to show the ankles, so we kept the length a bit short. We also focused on layering which was a big for us, inner, kurta, jacket ensuring that you can remain stylish in winter,” concludes Meghna.

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