March 17, 2018 Asmita Aggarwal

Hook, line and Sinker

The eyes, they say are the windows to the soul; maybe that’s why eyewear is now more than just an accessory, it can make a powerful statement as Indie Eye indulges us with a ride to the kingdom of cool!

By Asmita Aggarwal

Men in swimming trunks, women in trikinis not the usual bikinis, maillots, bandeau blouses and some really gravity defying eyewear shapes— swirling cat eye, square, rectangular, gilt-edged, oversized like Jackie O style, rhinestone studded, swinger just like John Lennon, by Indie Eye; there was a bit of everything and more on the third day at AIFW autumn winter 2018.

The Anse Source D’Argent beach in Seychelles was recreated on the catwalk, complete with a picnic basket, some bubbly glasses and duffels, as Kukreja and Bhatiya (Shivan and Narresh) hoped to seduce us all with printed tees, Grace Kelly-esque head scarves, some washboard abs in pyjama sets and perky posteriors a whole lotta fringes and wrap dresses. They did succeed with a few!


There is always this tug of war between what designers think and what critics perceive; sometimes this duplicity leads to a rather interesting cacophony. Like the sari drapes of both the label Ilk, by Shikha and Vinita and Artivijay had similar philosophy, just zip it up and wear it, it looks complicated, but it isn’t.  But in Nida Mahmood’s case there is never such an elevated confusion, as where the petite designer is, Bollywood can’t really be far behind. So pleated skirts and floral dresses on 70s music (Hari Om Hari by the inimitable Usha Uthup) complete with cheesy dialogues and faces covered with hand-made animal face masks with horns took over. Though the background verbal gymnastics were so larger-than-life that you tend to often miss the outfits. But the fuchsia multicoloured wedge sneakers and potlis did stand out.


The third day at the AIFW saw the minister of textiles Smriti Irani speaking animatedly about the need to resuscitate dying crafts and how design intervention is imperative. Maybe that’s why many style gurus are focusing on tribal arts and their longevity by adopting and adapting their language into global silhouettes rather than confining them to a shalwar-kurta. Artivijay Gupta’s attempt to rejuvenate Gond Art, where tribals use dots, much like Aborginal art to create paintings was a sincere effort in this direction. Her visit to Jabalpur incited her interest and lead to her modernising it. It was like going on a road trip into the wild, as aqua blues and mellow yellows, kept winter bright.

The star of the day was undoubtedly Abhi Singh, who inspired by Surrealism, maybe Salvador Dali, in his ingenious use of geometry rather than the oft ‘mis’-used florals, created anti-fit dresses, with deftly quilted sleeves and pants as well as asymmetry. He didn’t move away from aubergines and he believes that cottons, canvas and silk absorb colours in such a seamless way that his vision could be fructified using just them. “Geometry is the first thing we learn at design school and that kind of stayed with me, and I explored its different nuances to create everything we did on the sewing machine,” says Abhi.


Winter has become a season that does not restrict itself to blacks, teals and grey as Anju Modi will tell you, it is now all about rusty reds, olive greens and mustards. Though mismatched and honeycomb prints, tie up jackets and pleated palazzos made their way as Gaurav Jai Gupta didn’t deter from displaying his love for metallics yet again, in his trousers.


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