March 21, 2021 Asmita Aggarwal

Ordinary Magic

Pearl students add a “silver” lining to dark clouds; Pawan Sachdeva had men sizzle in fluorescents; while former engineer Sanjuckta doesn’t let the gloom set in on looms

By Asmita Aggarwal

As the adage goes the show must go on, even though we miss the sense of touch and buying gets thinner. More than anything else fashion now is more of a dialogue where ideas and mood is expressed looking up to an inspiring future. With social distancing a norm and masks a necessity, graphics and fluorescent find ways to energise us.

They say every cloud has a silver lining! Silver is really emerging as the colour of the catwalk, for Pearl students —- maybe it is denoting the metaphorical meaning that there is learning to what the human race has collectively endured over the past one year. And from this will emerge not just respect for our resources, but also the need for a wardrobe that is not defined by genders. It is season and trendless, anti-fit hoping to bend the strict gender rules that the world has lived by, in their collection titled “Gender me Good”.

The line reminded of Harry Styles or David Bowie and their powerful, yet defining choices making him one of the most robust voices helping to blur this man-made gender divide. Keeping this in mind, Pearl Academy’s showcasing confirmed this targeted move towards a more unified space for style to exist. Bow ties replaced emerald-encrusted chokers and pockets big, small and large were placed nonchalantly on sports pants and dresses.  Patchwork coats complete with exaggerated flowers and leather jackets with hardware, replacing only the belt with a flickering with embroidery made way for experimentation.

Men in translucent skirts with asymmetrical jackets and of course the ubiquitous dress with foamy swirls ushered in waves of change.  The rarity in student design is their ability to take risks and swim in uncharted territory without the fear of drowning. And this is what made the “First Cut” special, it let resolute imagination take over.

When times were good and air kissing di rigueur, the menswear show was the most awaited and Pawan Sachdeva always took the lead in the pack. This time his solo foray started with the much-needed virtual applause, as he declared “forget the buttons because it is a tie” look. Tangerine hues lit up quilted jackets and sportswear inspired joggers along with man buns and Burt Reynolds inspired moustached men let muted stripes make an impact.

Men’s accessories moved to handy binoculars, flashlights and golf gloves kept the flavour veering towards lighter offerings. Baring the pomello hued trench coat, Pawan Sachdeva wanted to give men the same comfort in clothing women seek as our lives have been confined to our homes.

Young and innovative go hand-in-hand so if anyone was missing stargazing Gazal Mishra’s easy-to-wear fusion edit in rust with embroidered yokes and subtle pleating techniques saw Aahana Kumra rev up the mood in the 6Degree show. South dazzler Pooja Hedge ensured Varun Chakkilam’s  embroidered and printed lehengas in midnight blues and sea greens kept the mood of summer intact and if anyone was wondering where Hina Khan had disappeared post her fleeting TV appearance, well, she glimmered in a Tatwamm by Abhishek and Vinita creation as the drive in fashion show ensured everyone got a front row viewing. When she is not managing her reticent husband Bhushan Kumar’s music business, Divya Kumar Khosla let Shaveta and Anuj tone-on-tone thread work lehengas in cooling white make a splash.

But it was really Assam’s pride Sanjuckta Dutta welcoming summer with fiery yellows and an homage to the loom with sunflowers blooming on capes. Traditional textiles were given a modern rendition along with saris worn with pants and corsets. The lovely Lara Dutta, a former Ms Universe known for her quick wit and tennis ace husband, came out of her self-imposed retirement to charm us all!

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