October 14, 2017 Asmita Aggarwal

Shadow Play

Dresses are everywhere and so are happy flowers, as the sari has found eager takers in its re-jigged avatar

By Asmita Aggarwal

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The sari has kind of metamophorsised to keep the interest in it alive, and in that wandering it has been worm with kurtas, pants, peasant tops, churidaars, and Hyderabad-based Archana Rao gave it a goldenpallu and ruffled body. She also wanted a bit of drama, so the cutwork flowers bloomed on the borders of the powder blue six-yard drape.

Does it make it relevant is a question that could be and has been debated, but what was interesting is how designers have interpreted trends in their own distinct ways. If Lovebirds elongated the white shirt and made it into a dress, Rao kept it simple, and untouched, only adding scallops on some, which she teamed with Katherine Hepburn style high-waisted trousers, pearl encrusted stockings and lace-less brogues.

While Teresa Laisom and Utsav Pradhan of Munkee See Munkee Doo played with eyelet embroidery and brought in the omnipresent wicker baskets along with belted capes and polka dots. Fashion is moving towards functionality and has embraced anti-fit like never before, creating a ripple effect that can be witnessed in the alacrity with which young designers are embracing it, wholeheartedly. Pratt-educated and the designer who worked with DKNY, Medha Khosla of Anomaly, kept the momentum going with cropped palazzos and easy shorts. Reby Kumar of Guapa, stuck to her resort line complete with tiered dresses and skyline blues as well as prints that she developed in pleasing pinks.

Life has a way of teaching us things, and even in adversity it kind of motivates us, which is what Pratimaa Pandey will admit. And poetry is the final refuge of those who are looking for a deeper meaning. So if Archana Rao found succour in George MacDonalds The Girl who lost things...for Pratimaa it was German poet Hermann Hesse…If one listens to the trees rustling. So when her mom fell ill and dog died, she felt acceptance was the key to dealing with personal agonies. It is this forbearance that her collection reverberated with, in just hints of gold, and happy flowers her constant companions, as sheer and opaque battled on one ensemble—a crinkled skirt and side slit Chanderi tunic. The embroidery placement too was cool, just above the arms or at the back, but what remains Pratimaa’s biggest valour is unadulterated elegance where everything is tasteful and nothing over-the-top.

If her husband Rajesh Pratap likes heavy metal and rock and roll, Payal sticks to Beatles (the song Here Comes The Sun…), this time it was a walk in the garden that inspired her rather well constructed check jackets with delicate flowers placed carefully in each box, as well as watermelon-y wide legged pants. The dress is now a permanent resident on the catwalk—- Payal took the gypsy road and made it roomy, relaxed, floor sweeping as well as checkered. But the cross-stitch, crochet and beads along with handcrafted leather shoes made perfect accompaniments to the maxis. “My prints are botanical and the line has an organic sensibility, but we tried the mix and match route, so everything works as a separate, whether it is the hand-made embroidery on A-line coats or the machine made flowers on tunics,” she concludes.

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