October 17, 2016 Asmita Aggarwal

Cross Pollination

Alpana and Neeraj along with the maverick JJ Valaya create a night full of glimmering stars as architectural shapes find a soulmate in velvet lehengas at the AIFW SS ’17 grand finale.

By Asmita Aggarwal

What happens when traditional embroideries find a space in the vocabulary of modern, tech-driven silhouettes? Magic! The combination of JJ Valaya and Alpana and Neeraj payed homage to how odds can actually become even.

The sparkling catwalk, with chandeliers lighting up the firmament, twinkling lights in the background forming a curtain and folk singers from Rajasthan created the mood for the velvet, zardosi laden lehengas in burgundy worn with high-collared cape-styles. The guru-shishya ethos came through in the way the husband-wife duo Alpana-Neeraj intermingled hectic shine, anoraks, body huggers with their moulded, curvilinear lines that snaked their way around the lovely Sonalika Sahay, with JJ Valaya’s jadau legengas.


The accessories were the best any finale has seen, with raw gold aam-bands, heart-shaped clutches, warrior style earcuffs, caged cuffs, and black belts studded with glittery badges. The bird-shaped haath phools were crafted to perfection and so were the Bandhini red safas and gold-tipped shoes the men wore with their sherwanis.

The juxtaposition of the jewel-coloured lehengas with black bodycon gowns with trails made opposites attract. On one side were net gowns worn alongwith shimmering tunics, on the other were sand-gold mirror-worked lehengas, which kind of made the two worlds meet, rather gloriously.


The ubiquitous sharara with sequin bursts was accompanied by the short kurta and the fishtail gowns with architectural twists and turns like a Zaha Hadid structure came alive with the tattooed faces, chain matha-pattis and septum rings. It was a shimmering end to a five-day long fashion marathon that revealed that the two divides that exist in the realm of fashion—techno versus conventional can be easily bridged with just the right dose of construction, innovation and of course, sparkle.


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