As fashion lost the man who created limitless elegance Hubert Givenchy, with his post-war dazzlers, Gauri and Nainka kept the flame of red carpet dressing burning, but the duo who always create magic minus the high voltage drama are Abraham and Thakore…as the gamcha and jhola tower over evening gloves!
By Asmita Aggarwal
Fashion weeks are dichotomous, so much so that the two ends of a spectrum can co-exist, as they proverbially say that conflicting ideas sometimes lead to the most nourished results.
So when Abraham and Thakore, we must say David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore, decided to salute the humble gamcha and jhola, Gauri and Nainika along with Ashish N Soni courted star dust like no one else complete with some on the ramp and lots of confetti slowly drizzling from the firmament, James Bond soundtrack where you imagine a beefy Daniel Craig jumping terraces to catch the villain and rescuing a damsel, and well…a revolving spotlight.
A & T have long been upholders of the cause of minimalism and given their education at NID, one imagines them to be connected to the grassroots. However, for their Autumn Winter 2018 collection, they added an emphatic dose of colour and quite surprisingly, even used gold! “It’s everyday life. We didn’t want to look at princes and princesses or the royal past, but what’s happening around us right now. Atta market is very lively; it’s near our workshop in Noida! Half of our time is spent in traffic jams. So, what do we do? We look outside the window. You see the streets of NCR and people are wearing colour, gold and glitter. We just wanted to tell everyone that you don’t have to look anywhere else to be inspired,” says David.
Would you call their collection, the oft repeated phrases earthy, organic, even cool? The veterans may not like “cool”, as it may seem frivolous, but the cottons were cool and so was the ubiquitous teeny-weeny, printed, tie up choli that made summer a bit warmer! With mogras in the hair, anklets in one foot, and boys with braids, Delhi was used as a metaphor to display both their dismay and awe at how the city never ceases to come up with a narrative that is peppered with its undeniable love for glimmer. “Where else will you see a woman riding pillion wearing a fully sequinned sari at twelve noon, other than Delhi?” exclaimed David.
Is fashion moving away from constricted silhouettes? As the first day looked at comfort and functionality over body skimming shapes and that’s why ivory was refreshing as A & T are looking at trans-seasonal offerings, and except the trench coats everything else was light and frothy. And they did introduce the zouave pants, worn by the French army, known for its roomy top and tapered ankles. “We’ve used cotton and a lot of silk as well as old Calico prints, which are chintzes from 18th and 19thcentury. We’ve used those as a base, just to create patterns we saw on the street, and, we feel this is how women should dress.”
Even though the designers believe in promoting slow fashion, they’re not shy to admit how social media has taken over our daily lives feeding our desire to remains constantly connected. “Everything happens on Instagram. It is digital now. People are selfie-obsessed. Many people have used the hashtag because we have to work with it, even at fashion week,” he laughs explaining why the show ended with bloggers talking pictures with models.
Interestingly, designers look at style through a personal prism too, and that’s why the tonalities so beautifully emerge in their thought processes. On one hand, you have the absolutely stunning Vani Kapoor, with those perfectly arched eyebrows and hill top cheek bones, swathed in exaggerated flowers and on the other you have just the dhoti playing to the gallery, such are the incongruities of the modern Indian design world.
But Ashish didn’t deter from his hyper glamourised menswear compete with brooches and dapper pocket squares. The sports detailing on pants were edgy which he sometimes replaced with some glitter, bows on velvet shoes, the blacks and whites were impactful, and showed his mastery over tailoring.
But the sisters Gauri and Nainika, known for their wasp thin waist as much as their diaphanous gowns, remained true to their love for everything that exudes unadulterated glitz.