Posts tagged ‘couture’

August 18, 2015

The Empress Story by Manish Malhotra

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Manish Malhotra, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

With this collection, Manish Malhotra celebrated 10 years of his couture house and 25 years as a costume designer for the Indian film industry. His Bollywood fan club was out in full support on the night, generations of stars and super stars sitting in front row, the paparazzi going wild.

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Manish Malhotra, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

As if these two fantastic milestones weren’t enough to celebrate, demonstrating that good things come in three’s, Manish Malhotra announced that two new flagship boutiques would open in 2016, one in London and the other in Dubai. Both world class shopping

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August 18, 2015

Rohit Bal’s Birds of Paradise

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Rohit Bal, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

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August 16, 2015

Through The Cinematic Lens with Debarun

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Debarun, AICW 2015. Photography: Mashungsang Sangkhro

Debarun Mukherjee’s couture collection embarked on a journey through Indian cinematic costume through the decades from the black and white days of the 1930s to the present time. Of course, little has changed in hundreds of years of traditional Indian fashion let alone a few decades. Colours and trims come in and out of fashion

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August 16, 2015

The Beloved by Manav Gangwani

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Manav Gangwani, AICW 2015. Photography: Mashungsang Sangkhro

Indian couturier, Manav Gangwani’s show was entitled ‘Le’amoureuse’ or the beloved in English. He really should have stuck with English as the French is grammatically incorrect and has, incidentally, been widely re-printed with the same error across other media. I know this is a fashion review not a French lesson but if you’re going to have pretensions, at least Google your French.

Back to the collection… The show was set in a floral garden with a long winding catwalk. An hour late, the audience had to wait longer

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August 6, 2015

Maharadja & Co

Rimple and Harpreet Narula 6Rimple and Harpreet Narula, AICW 2015, Photography: FDCI

‘Maharadja & Co’ was the title of the Preciosa (Czec crystals) sponsored glamorous couture show by Rimple and Harpreet Narula. Celebrating the days and glory of the Raj is the essence of Rimple and Harpreet Narula’s brand (although every Indian designer invariably cites the same inspiration).

Rimple and Harpreet have endeavored to capture the very beginnings of the concepts of bespoke and portraiture in India with

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August 6, 2015

Princesses of Persia

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Anju Modi, AICW 21015. Photography: FDCI

Anju Modi’s show notes included a poem by my favourite Sufi poet, Rumi so I was won over from the start:

I asked, “Where is your home, beautiful moon?”

She said, “In the wreck of your heart so stone.

I am the sun shining into your ruin.

Long may you call this wild wasteland your home”.

Inspired by Persia, the show was entitled Kashish: an Urdu word, reflects an attraction, a deep desire and yearning for something; something which maybe never was. Well English words don’t mean so much do they?

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August 6, 2015

Gaurav Gupta’s Nymphs & Goddesses

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Gaurav Gupta, AICW 2015. Photography: Mashungsang Sangkhro

Amazon India Couture Week 2015 might be the show in which Gaurav Gupta got his mojo back after a pretty bad pret collection. The show was called ‘Silt and Cipher’ with models glamorously made up to resemble woodland nymphs and goddesses. The golden hair was amazing!

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August 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Indian Brides

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Manish Malhotra IICW 2014

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Manish Arora IICW 2014

A tale of two Indian brides and two very different Manish’s!

Indian designers, Manish Malhotra and Manish Arora have a cult global following for their distinctive designs, demonstrating the diversity of bridal fashion in India, a segment often overly saturated by lazy embellished designs.

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August 1, 2014

Highborns Inspire High Couture

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Monisha Jaising IICW 2014

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Monisha Jaising IICW 2014

Mumbai based designer, Monisha Jaising unveiled her  most recent couture collection with some gorgeous designs that stood out from the week’s shows.  The inspiration behind the collection was a little too broad and the result was a confusing to watch but nevertheless there were some real gems.

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July 19, 2014

A Ticket To Ride with Sabyasachi

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Sabyasachi Mukherjee at India Couture Week 2014

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Sabyasachi Mukherjee at India Couture Week 2014

Top Indian couturier and tastemaker, Sabyasachi Mukherjee had the honour of opening India Couture Week 2014 (sponsored by Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers).  If there was ever an award for Most Creative Set, it would almost certainly always go to Sabyasachi.  The meticulous attention to detail entirely immerses one into the inspirational journey that the designer references each season and this year was no exception.  All aboard the turn-of-the-century Sabyasachi Express!

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June 21, 2014

All-new India Couture Week 2014

Manish Malhotra

Manish Malhotra 2014

If you’re interested in international fashion, you will be pleased to hear that the dates for India Couture Week have been announced.  The revamped six day event will have new partnerships: Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers as title sponsors, and Logix Group as its associate sponsors. The event in New Delhi will showcase India’s finest design talent in exclusive shows by top Indian Couturiers from 15-20 July 2014.

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January 29, 2014

From Paris With Va Va Voom!

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A look from Chanel with the now famous €3,000 trainers (all the looks were paired with trainers all costing the same, see more below.

The Spring/Summer 2014  Couture collections showcased earlier this month in the city synonymous with couture and fashion: Paris.

Celebrating the fantasy and dream that is flamboyant fashion without worrying about price tags, I’ve selected some of my favourite looks from most of the designers that showed.  A milestone for couture and for women in fashion this season was the first official granting of couture status to a woman in over thirty years to designer, Bouchra Jarrar.  Capturing the nonchalant essence of Coco Chanel, the new grande couturière excels in everyday couture and why not! Although one guess is that women who wear everyday couture don’t have to take the Northern Line…

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August 10, 2013

Manish Malhotra’s Couture Finale

Manish Malhotra PCJ Delhi Fashion Week Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika

Couturier Manish Malhotra needs no introduction.  Whilst Manish was inspired by the princely states and regalia of the 1930s, contemporary royalty in the form of Shah Rukh Khan and Bollywood princess Deepika Padukone walked the ramp for the designer. The beautifully coiffured hair underlined the inspiration with silhouettes and embroidery echoing the splendour of Indian – European architecture.  French shoe designer Christian Louboutin

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August 6, 2013

Punjabi Rock n Roll & Kitsch Kedgeree

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Who can say regardez-moi, the loudest?  On one monsoon evening in Delhi two of Indian fashion’s most entertaining designers presented their couture collections.  Both have strong associations with Paris but the words chalk and cheese were never more relevant.  The first was Ritu Beri, India’s 80s Paris-trained girl wonder whose show included a live band and a couple of designers she worked in collaboration with.

Exotic Punjab was the theme

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August 1, 2013

Two’s Company, Three’s a Party!

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Calcutta-based designer, Sabyasachi, can best be described as the Marni of Indian fashion: quirky, off kilter, contemporary and highly relevant fashion for women that don’t do fashion.  He has a loyal following and is much like fellow designer Manish Malhotra in his influence over general Indian fashion.  What we see on the catwalk one evening will be copied the length and breadth of India the following lunch time (hardly anyone hits the haberdashers before then!).

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August 1, 2013

Heroine Chic

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Phew! As Aamby Valley India Bridal Week ended in Delhi PCJ Couture Week 2013 began across the city in a different plush five star hotel… high heels and big smile back on!

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Anju Modi kicked off proceedings with her collection inspired by one of the great heroines and goddesses of Indian history.  Ms Modi is one of the founding members of the Fashion Design Council of India and I had the pleasure of

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August 1, 2013

Putting the Pomp in Pompeii and a Couture Finale

India Bridal Fashion Week Delhi 2013 - Model seen in  Suneet Varma's Collection_2

Before mean old Mount Vesuvius erupted and engulfed Pompeii it was an exquisite, sophisticated city and home to some of the Roman period’s best arts and crafts. Pompeii provided the romantic backdrop to veteran Indian designer Suneet Varma’s bridal couture collection entitled ‘The Golden Bracelet’. There weren’t too many gold bracelets on display, however, there was a stunning gold bust that I absolutely must get my hands on.. it looks about my size…

India Bridal Fashion Week Delhi 2013 - Model seen in  Suneet Varma's Collection 

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July 31, 2013

The Princess Bride

Remember when Big and Carrie got married in Sex And The City? The second attempt, that is…the understated but elegant vintage outfit and small registry…That is the opposite of what was on offer for the gal that nothing short of fairytale and fantasy would do.  Both Ashima Leena and Rohit Bal showed bridal collections for princess brides albeit from slightly different inspirational eras.

India Bridal Fashion Week Delhi 2013 - Sonam Kapoor as the showstopper for Rohit Bal's Collection_2

One of the few Indian designers that can include mega international celebrities on his client list, Rohit Bal’s bridal collection was entitled The Mulmul Masquerade. 

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July 28, 2013

The Gatsby Effect at Raghvendra Rathore

India Bridal Fashion Week Delhi 2013 - Model sporting Raghavendra Rathore's collection

If every Englishman’s home is his castle then every Indian’s wardrobe is his or her majestic palace such is the dominance of royal inspiration in Indian design.  Couturier Raghvendra Rathore belongs to the royal family of Jodhpur (also known as the blue city) and thus has a vast archive of influences to draw from.

The press notes cite the 1920s as inspiration and this was clear in the pretty and attention-grabbing accessories.

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July 26, 2013

Shantanu & Nikhil: To Die For

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Charming and dapper young design duo, Shantanu & Nikhil presented their couture collection titled ‘To Die For’ aiming to capture the decadent renaissance in its most contemporary form with an emphasis on the different shades of gold.  The sheer strength and buying power in the Indian bridal market renders it irresistible

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July 26, 2013

JJ Valaya, The Maharaja of Madrid

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The Maharaja of Indian couture, JJ Valaya’s opening show for AAmby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week was as spectacular as to be expected from a designer who spares no expense in executing his vision.

JJ’s previous couture collection was inspired by his visits to Turkey resulting in an exquisite fusion of silk route couture.  The Arab empire ruled in Spain for over 700 years before

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July 21, 2013

City of Dreams: Couture Fashion Comes to Delhi

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Potentially visible from space, in a few days time Delhi will overflow with glamour, sparkles and celebrities as two couture weeks begin back to back.  Indian couture is synonymous with bridal wear except this season India Bridal Fashion Week will showcase before PCJ Delhi Couture Week (PCJ is a jewellery company and the main sponsor).

One of the reigning kings of Indian couture, JJ Valaya,

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July 5, 2013

Armani Privé: Sheer Flamboyance

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Nude was the predominant colour on display at Armani Privé.  Brushing aside the fashion industry’s heated discussion, I think last year, about the colour description of nude after Michelle Obama wore it, it is a colour that Giorgio Armani excels in.  Mr Armani can’t have failed to notice that Planet Hollywood

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July 2, 2013

V is for Versace

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Atelier Versace opened Paris Couture Week and it oozed a naughty sexiness seldom seen in couture.  Gianni Versace gave us That Dress (and Elizabeth Hurley fame) and now his sister gives us the next stage and only those with perfect bodies need step forward.

Pandering to our inner rock star and confident flirt, the collection teased

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January 7, 2013

The V Word

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I know I already covered the Valentino exhibition, however, I went to see it last week and had to report back!  Did I have 2-3 hours spare in my last day in London before flying to Delhi? Of course not, but I still went to the Valentino exhibition regardless and it was just excellent.

Upon entry I was a little worried

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November 28, 2012

Very Valentino

A retrospective of master couturier, Valentino opens at Somerset House, London tomorrow and features over 140 of his exquisite gowns. 

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November 12, 2012

The Soul in the Space

One of India’s most respected and coveted couturiers, JJ Valaya is also set to dominate Indian fine art photography.  The Soul in the Space (A Journey of Architectural Influences) is now open to the public at gallery Nature Morte in Delhi.  JJ Valaya captures abstract architectural images from

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October 22, 2012

Grand Finale: Ritu Kumar

Once upon a time, if you were a Miss India contestant, Ritu Kumar is the designer you would probably turn up in for your final bimbo blurb.  No one would pay attention to what you were saying as you would look simply dazzling and most probably take the crown.

Ritu Kumar is an established Indian designer who championed the Indian

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August 17, 2012

New Moon

PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 came to a close with the unveiling of Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s refined and elegant collection.  Hailing from Kolkata, Sabyasachi’s collections offer a very different love song to luxury Indian hand craft.

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August 17, 2012

Delhi Couture Week: Day 4

Day 4 of PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 presented two shows of opposite extremes.  Both designers referenced bridalwear but whereas Shantanu & Nikhil’s fantasy bride was gothic and dark, Manish Malhotra’s was a fluttery sugar-dipped princess.

Shantanu & Nikhil’s show notes were far too deep in reference points especially since they threw in the towel and conformed to produce a bridalwear collection.  Why not simply state that you want to do a different type of couture collection?

Referencing strong women

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August 13, 2012

Delhi Couture Week Day 3: Arora’s Back in Town!

A much anticipated show during PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 was the return of Indian fashion’s showman extraordinaire, Manish Arora.

Manish very recently spent two seasons at the helm of Paco Rabanne in Paris and prefers to show in Paris in any case.  It’s not difficult to see why, his is the only collection with a distinctly Western feel and not a bridal gown in sight.  I’ve been to a few Manish Arora shows over the years and his creativity is truly inspiring.  The energy and zeal in his collections are inimitable, however, my compliments end there on this occasion.

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August 9, 2012

JJ Valaya, The Blue Blood Prince

JJ Valaya’s couture collection was called The Azrak Collection, The Realm of The Sultan.  Azrak translates as rare and uncommon from Turkish and we were treated to a colour palette and silhouettes invoking the glorious Ottoman Empire whilst showcasing the skills and dedication of the Indian master craft workers at his disposal.  The essence of true couture

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August 9, 2012

India, Nouveau

PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 couldn’t have opened with a fresher and younger look than the collection presented by Varun Bahl.  Called India, Nouveau the collection was as elegant as it was sexy with its sheer fabrics and peek-a-boo highlights whilst keeping the wearer ingeniously covered and demure!

How does one achieve all of that?  Indulge further and see for yourself:

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July 30, 2012

Couture Club: Delhi’s Turn

Put your sunnies on for the imminent PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 is sure to blind us with its dazzling line-up of Indian fashion’s elite.

Sponsored by elegant jewellery powerhouse, PC Jewellers

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May 5, 2011

Vintage: Stylish or Stinky?

The world’s biggest vintage fair (probably unsubstantiated, just like the world’s favourite airline claim) is currently taking place in Manhattan.

I do love vintage pieces but some of the shops do stink of vintage sweat, especially on a rainy day.  Going to vintage shops is like being on a treasure hunt, most days you won’t find anything you like and then you will find perfection. 

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