Sometimes the simplest looking things are actually most complicated, but if you look closely the treasure box of secrets are revealed. So when Rina Dhaka’s bandage dresses teamed up with Pashmina emerged along with graphics and dupion, as well as ikats, it was the play of delicate paisleys that made a strong impact.
The influence of the 90s, the transparency made a comeback which Rina had worked with when she was a rookie; with lycras made in Ludhiana, imported tweeds, and a combination of plisse and raw silk, she managed to accomplish square shoulders, and a mélange of endearing checks. “It was time consuming, even though we tried to keep it minimal in appearance, the techniques used are quite complex. The bandage knits are made again in Ludhiana, so there was too much to and fro making completion the biggest challenge,” she adds.
Peplums, floral threadwork, dropped waists and extensive use of stretch, gave women the ease of hurried dressing and hoping to dress the thinking woman, in a colour palette that ranged from reds, ochres to ash greys, Dhaka made sure it will not be a dull winter.
In a country where modesty is the buzzword, it is sometimes tough to do a swimwear line, but the always nattily dressed duo with elaborate hairdos Shivan and Narresh manage this daunting task with much ease and not just that, they give it an artistic twist too. This time, it was in many ways inspired by Naïve Art movement, the proponents of which have been Henri Rousseau, known to have influenced even Picasso in later years. The use of bright colours, a bit childlike, was brought out through hot pinks and flaming oranges in his swimsuits, draped sari and abstract prints keeping in mind, that other than the capital, many cities don’t experience harsh climates. “We kept cuts in our line modest, so that you can carry it to your resort destination without feeling uneasy,” says Shivan.
Central Asia seems to be the flavor of the season, with Pia Pauro taking us on a trip to Uzbekistan and creating a splash with colourful thread embroidery and eye popping mirror work. Gotta accentuated hems and necklines, flouncy dresses in candy floss pinks grabbed your attention, and the ancient kilim designs from Kazakhstan found an expression on boots and bags with fringe details.
While the mother of two Pia took a flight out of the country for her design wings, Sonam Dubal worked with what he knows best, crafts. So the silk kimono was handpainted, silk was sometimes ingeniously printed to create kaftans, tribal embroidered jackets revived lost art in the hope to recreate the mood of the 70s. “The embroideries were vintage-inspired but I kept it minimal, sometimes to accentuate the sleeves or necklines, but I gave women pleated palazzos, which guarantee height and comfort,” says Sonam.
It was endearing to see the bakhu skirt, a traditional dress worn by the people of Sikkim, made of silk and as they say there is a bit of every designer in his line, this way Sonam’s quiet way of revisiting his roots.