March 18, 2021 Asmita Aggarwal

The Order of Time

Paras and Shalini welcome a new tomorrow where shimmer hasn’t lost its luminosity it has only lit the flower decked tunnel; Pankaj and Nidhi lure glamour while Shantanu and Nikhil court monochromes

By Asmita Aggarwal

If you look closely at what the modern world needs today, it is mostly based on what will give them happiness after a long and dark spell of misfortune. Maybe that’s why hope with a tint of nostalgia has become such an anthem for most designers. You see travel, the beach, introspection, hope and despair, a common thread that runs through thematically at the FDCI X LFW showcasing.

Silhouettes are fast moving away from the body and processes are slowing down just as the human race was forced to after a hectic spell leading to disastrous consequences and a worldwide mental health crisis. Most are looking at R and R what they can reuse and recycle with something old, ensuring nothing ends up in the wasteland of human clothing. Within this space the fashion world has seen huge collaborations and biggest fashion houses have understood the need to procure investments from corporates to run the show both effectively and efficiently.

On the other hand, Paras and Shalini both quiet but wise in their presence, with the latter leaving medicine to join the design world have viewed this industry minus rose tinted glasses. Their romantic take with faux feathers, ruffles and tiered gowns compete with flowery headbands and minimal shimmer kept the mood restrained at their FDCI X LFW showcase.

The tone-on-tone collared jackets and tie back jumpsuits with just a hint of sensual looks at occasion wear targeting smaller weddings minus the theatrics. They brought in the bloom with the fresh aroma of spring in the air with their delicate flowers on lehengas, careless waves in the tresses and translucent cover ups. Fresh roses met champagne flutes and fine gold rimmed porcelain daintily placed over a leather bound book transported you to a bygone era, as fashion beckons simpler times with raw stitching details gently exposing the ensemble’s anatomy.

Halter necks, bustiers and roomy pants made way for a new tomorrow; the feel of “Sweet Reminiscences” the title of their line showed us pearls could be as effective as sequins in the post-pandemic world, as the shine hasn’t left our lives it has only dimmed!

Pinked it:

Hot Pink reminded you of the times of Elsa Schiaparelli and her love for the “shocking” hue, over time it became a symbol of activism in the 20th century crossing over from the female to the male and then acquiring a unisex status.  Laden with metaphorical meanings, Pankaj and Nidhi’s line “Kaleido” used it exuberantly on belted dresses complete with silvery clutches.

The sleeve is now where the play has shifted, sometimes they balloon making you remember that embroidery is no longer in this race, it has been replaced with austere touches like these.  The long jacket, knotted bralet and pellucid pussy bow blouses along with school girl pleated skirts made way as geometry in some ways met gossamer fabrics through the medium of prints.


The Other:

The two brothers Shantanu and Nikhil Mehra have always looked at commerce, which many brands still struggle with, thus their meteoric rise has been phenomenal, almost a lesson to learn for young guns. Shantanu has been the maverick behind each collection as he understands what the market desires and often and knows that the need of the hour is to transition and adapt to the new normal.  “So we took this as an opportunity to reflect and reshape our business model to be more future fit. While everything was on a sudden standstill, the deep-seated emotion of being ‘anti-trend’ within our brand drove us against this tide yet again and we did not stop,” he explains.

They launched their bridge-to-luxury celebration-wear brand S&N by Shantanu and Nikhil and accepted ‘digital is the future’. “We observed a shift in the way consumers feel about fashion now, they are far more emotional in their choices and responsible in consumption,” he explains. They transitioned from the age-old perceptions of luxury to a more accessible and inclusive outlook of ‘neo-luxury’.

Their FDCI X LFW line is about a “sense of aspirational escape” to a place more tranquil yet spirited. Earthy tones beckon tribal inspired details, as laser cuts and bold drapes meet safari-chic styles. Asymmetric kurtas have been their beloved but they also introduced cropped jacket shirts for women to open cut sherwanis and structured shirts with Nehruvian details for men. Draped trousers, bomber jackets, crop shirts were omnipresent but the leather accessories were the cool part with wrist and hand bands interlinked with chains to leather belts, as monochromes made a reticent splash.

What stole the show wasn’t Lakshmi Rana’s pleated cape in charcoal black and her delicious curls, but our very own Devanagari script and “Bharat” boldly displayed in the background in their film. The focus will be “Made in India”, the virus has taught us that “atmanirbhar’ is the best way to survive!

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