3D, inner recesses of the subconscious Carl Jung mind, invisible relationships and Banarasi weaves were all interwoven with the warp and weft of engineered modernity in Amit Aggarwal’s iridescent flavours at ICW 2019
By Asmita Aggarwal
As Chandrayan 2 was successfully launched into the earth’s orbit there was a small take off in the capital of a different kind. It didn’t share the same velocity as the new mission to the moon by ISRO scientists, but the one by Amit Aggarwal made sure brides rotate on the axis of hand embroideries done dexterously with a pinch succinct-ness. And the boy from Bombay, announced that red is most definitively the colour of the season, toppling his love for pastels at the India Couture Week 2019.
And in case you didn’t notice, there were two showstoppers— the obvious one, pocket-size Venus Kiara Advani, star of the controversial blockbuster Kabir Singh dressed in a cleavage-popping number, and the real one was Amit’s white sneakers with seemingly hand-done doodles, which resembled the Reebok X Vetements (Instapump fury), offering irreverence on your soles, with a commanding price tag of $750 (only!).
In the hallowed halls of One Style Mile, we made our way under low rising arches, and sat under a vintage-y roof complete with an installation by Ankon Mitra, Design Director of Hexagramm Design, an architect, London-educated known for his love for origami, and observed his silently moving folds above our blow-dried tresses. The white brick columns and sparse setting seemed to lay the foundation of a memorable opening that inter-mingled woven textiles with geometry and anatomy. Tanira Sethi’s Made in Banaras handlooms, were rendered in asymmetrical gowns, and voluminous evening wear, as the polka dots and totta-maina motifs resembled her love for humble symbols. The NIFT-educated designer Sethi, wore a quintessential pant-suit, everyone’s favourite from Hillary Clinton to Lady Gaga, crafted from the same weave with a bit of shine, proving you can be modern without adopting neoprene.
Interestingly, the Amit Aggarwal bride is now happy to have a trail, trail her, light and frothy, with layering and ruffled textures placed at the back of the gowns and skirts to give it balance. The back and inner leg were new erogenous zones and slinky bralets replaced traditional cholis with aplomb. There was something for everybody baby pink lehengas, to luminescent gold draped skirts, as he mixed solid textures with lighter gossamer fabrics to create a conundrum in the ensemble.
Frankly, in modelling there is no one like Sapna Kumar, a junior school principal’s daughter, who even after 20 years looks as fresh as a tulip, walking with a traditional weave draped casually over her nimble shoulders like a cape, worn with an ultra-modern gown.
The beauty of this line was material exploration how Amit combined elliptical three-dimensional embroideries with gravity defining flower-esque cutouts teamed with hipster lehengas. AA was inspired by We live in an Ocean of Air, a multi-sensory installation, at London’s Saatchi Gallery that uses virtual reality, and documents the unseen breathing rhythm.
As you stroll through an ancient, digital forest with a Sequoia tree (biggest of its kind in the world) visitors witness their breaths creating red carbon dioxide dots and the tree then translates them into blue oxygen dots establishing a bond between humans and nature. Amit was mesmerised by this evocative experience by visual artist Natan Sinigaglia and composer and sound artist Mileece I’Anson when he visited England. It became his edifice. Interpreting what he saw in his own way “Lumen” his line for ICW 2019, mirrors the light that we all have as individuals which define our identity, and just like the human body functions tirelessly connecting different parts with silent energy, his collection explored lightness with translucency.
His menswear too steered clear of adventure, if you looked at the first few offerings with charcoal black being dominant, but then it moved on to aubergines with hints of glitter, as well as enlarged bows. And some intrepid boys flaunted big, bold, colourful flowers on a buttery canvas. Where is couture moving? Maybe to a place where the undefined is becoming appealing and what was expounded is now ambiguous. AA, as if quietly trumpeted how inner engineering is as imperative, as the outer one.