July 25, 2016 Asmita Aggarwal

Soul Calling

Manav Gangwani combined all the elements of glamour, a Bollywood beauty, classical music and exuberance to create his ICW 2016 line, which was a tribute to a friend, Zainab, who worked for UNAIDS and died young.

By Asmita Aggarwal

She epitomises the feisty new-age woman who is unafraid of expressing her sexuality nor cowers if a raging controversy ensues and that’s what makes Bollywood’s queen Kangana Ranaut stand apart from the rest of the actresses. Her strong survival instinct, her willingness to learn, adapt and move forward despite a million knocks that life imparts to the best of us is also why she made the perfect muse for Manav Gangwani’s ICW 2016 show at the Lodhi Hotel.

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Taking the catwalk by storm in her characteristic style complete with careless curls and a waif-thin waist Kangana, worked the ramp effortlessly.

The music was by the two debonair sarod playing brothers Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash who have also been Manav’s friends for more than ten years. The designer’s rise to success has been meteoric as he understands that bling is what some women can’t do without and he presents it with all the bells and whistles.

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Whether it is in the rich colours of wine reds and emerald greens or the vivacious fabrics, velvets to silks, Manav takes the road frequently travelled, but adds something new in the old mix.

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White is undoubtedly the flavour of the season and has almost surprisingly become a leitmotif of expression in a country which is soaked in colour. Tone-on-tone embroidery has also emerged as a clear favourite along with sheer which is now being elevated with tiny pearls to create restrained glamour.

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Naath, pasas, haath phools and elaborate necklaces gave the three-tiered lehengas which came armed with gotta borders a distinct individuality, while the constructed jackets replaced the boring cholis with dipping backs, as Manav gives those few, edgy brides the option of dramatic shoulders encrusted with zardosi.

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Mirror work seemed to be his love this season as he placed it on the hems of shararas, without forgetting innovation that he introduced with his slimmer, royal blue shalwars. The hand woven textile borders on lehengas, velvet dhotis combined with capes and waistcoats with gold jaali work, accessorised with metallic clutches saw couture being given a wider spectrum than just dressing the bride.

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The flowers bloomed on lehengas but the animal kingdom also saw a representation with embroidered peacocks. It was, undoubtedly, the perfect homage to politician Ahmed Patel’s daughter-in-law Zainab Nedou, who died at the age of 36.

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