India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Fashion
January 19, 2014

No Frills, Please

Text by Shirin Salwan and Photographs by Gulshan Sachdeva

Simplicity seems to be the motto of this year’s Spring/ Summer Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. A Fair number of designers took to the sportswear movement that has been rampant on the international runways.

  • shivan-narresh
    Shivan & Narresh
  • pankaj-nidhi
    Pankaj & Nidhi
  • rahul-mishra
    Rahul Mishra
  • dev-r-nil
    Dev R Nil
  • sanchita
    Sanchita
  • yogesh-chaudhary
    Yogesh Chaudhary
  • namrata-joshipur
    Namrata Joshipura
  • payal-pratap
    Payal Pratap
  • ROHIT GANDHI + RAHUL KHANNA
    Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna

SHIVAN NARRESH
What a leap this collection was from their previous ones! The boys went from just plain resort-wear to something much more versatile and functional. Be it the neoprene lehnga or the colour-blocked linen saris, there were so many varied offerings this time to choose from than just a dress or bikini. The use of slashing inspired by artist Lucio Fontana was executed beautifully and the swimwear was fresh with delectable detailing. The closing garment was a befitting example of the way their garment construction compliments the female form.

HIGH POINTS: THE SOFT SUMMERY HUES OF LEMON, PEACH AND TANGERINE.
SCOPE: SHOWCASING SOME MORE SEPARATES PERHAPS.

PANKAJ AND NIDHI
Somehow one always knows what to expect at a Pankaj and Nidhi show–brilliant craftsmanship, painstakingly handcrafted appliqués, innovative prints and loads of jackets in varying silhouettes. Just when you’re thinking, ‘how can they top this?’ these mavericks conjure a collection that is even more detailed and gorgeously crafted than their previous one. A three-dimensional applique technique that resembled sculpted marble from the renaissance period was created manually without any laser-cutting and found itself on structured jackets, pencil skirts and wrap dresses.

HIGH POINTS: DELIGHTFUL JACKET-DRESSES OF VARYING LENGTHS.
SCOPE: PERHAPS MORE SUCH NEUTRAL SEPARATES TEAMED WITH THE HEAVIER PIECES WOULD BE AN INTERESTING MIX.

RAHUL MISHRA
Comfortable and no-fuss, Rahul’s collection was delightfully simple with understated detailing that lent a sporty vibe to the garments. The colour palette was neutral with an array of whites, blacks and blues punctuated with orange and red in the middle. We loved the white flapper with sheer insets; the dress meets jacket and an extended zipper blouse over a sombre white sari. A plain maxi dress was detailed with a shoulder flap, zipper and mesh were intelligently inserted and cuts were semi-athletic to retain the sporty essence.

HIGH POINTS: UNPARALLELED CRAFTSMANSHIP AND FINISHING.
SCOPE: SOME PIECES LOOKED TOO SIMILAR TO ONES SHOWCASED DURING PREVIOUS SEASONS.

DEV R NIL
The boys are back and they’re all grown up this season. We love the design evolution over the years and the reincarnation of their signature bold prints as softer abstract ones. Staying true to their aesthetic, they seamlessly combined handloom fabrics with contemporary silhouettes to offer covetable separates. The underlying tone was romantic and the collection was fluid with an air of ease with subtle embroidery thrown in at times. The menswear this time around was much stronger and hit all the right notes sartorially.

HIGH POINTS: THE SARIS.
SCOPE: A CRISPER STYLING AND PARING OF SEPARATES. ALSO THE SILHOUETTES GOT A BIT TOO BILLOWY AT TIMES.

SANCHITA
Joining the sportswear bandwagon was yet another designer this season. Sanchita, whose inherent design aesthetic is rock-chic, dabbled with patent leather for her show. A tricky material to handle, she went all out with solid leather dresses and weaned it off as we went further towards the finale. A few softer pieces were seen along with jersey tops and androgynous long tops. There was everything from print to sequins to denim and more leather.

HIGH POINTS: FUN SEPARATES AND LUST-WORTHY ACCESSORIES; VERY RAIL- FRIENDLY.
SCOPE: A BIT TOO ALL OVER THE PLACE VIZ A VIZ THE MATERIALS AND COLOUR STORY; SOME PIECES LOOKED LIKE THEY DID NOT BELONG TO THIS COLLECTION.

YOGESH CHAUDHRY
Yogesh played with a basic t-shirt and built on it by keeping the ribbed detailing intact on the neckline and hemlines. The collection saw swimsuits with a t-shirt like feel to them, dresses cut in pique and thin fleece with hest panelling, heather fabric for evening dresses and even Indian outfits with scuba detailing on them. Details like exposed zippers, sheer panelling, reflective elements and acrylic accessories further added to the drama.

HIGH POINTS: A PLETHORA OF SILHOUETTES; THE SHEER PLASTIC INSETS; A SPORTY CKD.
SCOPE: MORE EXPLORATION WITH INDIAN WEAR KEEPING THE SPORTY THEME INTACT.

NAMRATA JOSHIPURA
Namrata built on the sporty-luxe trend that is dominating the fashion scene internationally this season and made it her own by adding a rather glamorous twist to it. And while there were sweatshirts and boy shorts in digital prints; cropped tops with ribbed edges, training pants and anti-fit blazers, Namrata feminised them with a play of shine and sheer. She threw in her signature laser-cut scalloping, lapel manipulations and pencil skirts in tones of grey, white and blue. The second half of the collection drifted to defined evening-wear with cocktail dresses and jumpsuits dominating the ramp.

HIGH POINTS: A WELL-EXECUTED BLEND OF ANDROGYNY AND FEMININITY.
SCOPE: WHILE THE TECHNIQUES AND COLOURS WERE NEW, WE YEARNED FOR FRESHER SILHOUETTES.

PAYAL PRATAP
Her knack for juxtaposing different colours, textures and print is what makes her stand out of the crowd. Although she’s been around for just a couple of seasons, she exercises prowess like a pro with exemplary styling and intricate detailing with utmost restraint. It’s Indian but you can’t really put a finger on it and call it that; the richness and urban appeal is finely balanced in Payal’s designs. Be it her take of the kedia with net frills or dhoti pants in myriad prints, colours and fabrics; the contrast linings and print on print layering or the belted jackets and kurtas, everything flowed seamlessly.

HIGH POINTS: A BREATHTAKINGLY FRESH TAKE ON CHINTZ; PATCHWORK AND COLOUR BLOCKING EXECUTED WITH FINESSE.
SCOPE: SOME SNUG SEPARATES TO BREAK THE FLUID LOOSE PIECES.

ROHIT GANDHI + RAHUL KHANNA
Sometimes, less is more. The beauty in minimalism was reinstated by Rohit and Rahul who played with a predominantly nude colour palette and bold cuts to create a sharp yet sleek collection this time around. With the exception of some sequinned pieces, the collection strongly relied on the interplay of sheer, structured lines and graphic silhouettes for impact. A mix and match of fabrics like organza, tulle, mesh and fine georgette with a play of light and shadow made for a delightful display on the ramp.

HIGH POINTS: THE SUBTLETY OF THE WHOLE COLLECTION; THE BURST OF BLUE IN THE MIDDLE AND THE DRAMATIC TRAILING SHEER IN ENSEMBLES.
SCOPE: WE LONGED TO SEE SOME MORE PERMUTATIONS OF THE SEQUINNED FABRICS WITH THE PLAIN ONES.

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