Sunday, 16 June 2013

Ritu Kumar enthralls, Jodhpur Princess walks the RFW ramp

Ritu Kumar enthralls, Jodhpur Princess walks the RFW ramp
Ritu Kumar enthralls, Jodhpur Princess walks the RFW ramp

Fashion met royalty at the second edition of the Rajasthan Fashion Week 2013, and literally so! It is one thing to appreciate collections showcased by designers in metropolitan cities that derive inspiration from the grandeur ofMughal courts and quite another to experience the same while admiring the actual vistas of royalty. 

With the majestic Aravalli Hills in the backdrop, exquisite beauty of the Mughal-influenced architecture and the ringing melody of santoor floating in the air, the Pink City of Jaipur turned out to be the ideal setting for fashion to celebrate the cultural and traditional ethos of Rajasthan.

A promising line-up of 25 designers including popular names like Vikram Phadnis, Padma Shri Ritu KumarNeeta Lulla and Mandira Wirk to name a few credited the emerging Rajasthan Fashion Week with a brand value of its own.

We list a few highlights of Day 2 at RFW that though started slow but managed a gracious finish by the veteran designer Ritu Kumar. WhileMiss India World 2013 Navneet Kaur Dhillon was the showstopper for designer Shivangee Sharma, actor and model Evelyn Sharma looked ravishing in a silver dhoti-style saree as she sashayed down the ramp for designer Sonaakshi Raaj. There were designers who themed their collections on women as victims of sexual abuse, others celebrated femininity in shades of classic-yet-chic.

Day 1: A quick recap

The opening show by Vikram Phadnis was a salutation to women power as models walked down the runway to the beats of the 'Gayatri Mantra'echoes in the background. A dance performance hailing Goddess Kali served to be a fitting precursor. Anarkalis, sarees, kurtas with palazzos, floor length anarkalis doubled up as 'jalabiyas' and lehengas embellished with gold dominated Vikram's rural India driven ensemble range. However, many were disappointed to see Phadnis repeat his Lakme Fashion Week (Summer-Resort 2013) collection as the opening show at RFW 2013. Payal Jain's models sported myriad styled nose rings that added an ethnic touch to her otherwise 'modern woman' inspired collection. Poonam Bhagat impressed all by experimenting with embroideries ofUzbekistan in her clothing line that ranged from crinkle skirts, robes paired with shararas and jumpsuits. Many guests could not turn up for the last show of the day by designer Lina Tipnis, thanks to the delay by almost four hours.

Evelyn Sharma, the Eve in the Garden of Eden
Fairly young and new designer on the block Sonaakshi Raaj presented a collection that was sheer, soft and sexy. "My spring-summer collection is a celebration of femininity in all its playfulness and sensuality at the same time. It is romantic in feel and fervour. There's a lot of lace, floral motifs, tussles, sequin on a colour palette that includes moss green, apricot, lavender and oyster," said Sonaakshi. Evelyn Sharma was the surprise showstopper for Sonaakshi, a designer whose creations have been donned by B-town's youth actors in the likes of Aalia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoorand Shazahn Padamsee among others.

Denouncing rape, encouraging royalty
The fashion fraternity has been sensitive to the atrocities on women Delhi witnessed in the recent past. Designers have taken it upon themselves to contribute their bit toward gender sensitisation and Sharad Raghav's collection aimed to convey that spirit. An all-white and beige-based clothing line, Sharad brought to the ramp anarkali suits paired with Nehru caps, chequered coats worn over loose salwars and ghagaras. Gold work on dupattas, dhotis, pearl-studded belts, velvets jackets and long skirts with tassels completed the overall look. In a complete contrast to Sharad's, designers Shivangee Sharma and Charu Parashar went all bold, bling, bright and bridal with their respective collections. Fish-net gowns, puffed dresses, heavy embroidered corsets, sleeveless shimmery one pieces were Shivangee's prominent designs that she tried to present in an Indo-western way. With Rajasthan as the venue, Charu Parashar did not leave a stone unturned in eulogising the sartorial brilliance of the state. "Royalty is synonymous to the palaces of Rajasthan and my collection draws inspiration from the grandeur that this colourful city stands for. Brocades, georgettes, resham and zardosi are the fabrics and techniques that I've worked with," says Charu. Ask her about the jewellery that she accessorised her heavy garments with and she says, "I have deliberately stayed away from diamond and focussed on gold. With Polki patterns and a lot of kundan the neckpieces, 'maang tikaas' and earrings the jewellery plays an important part in completing the regal attire," explains the designer. Princess of Jodhpur Jaya Nandini was visibly nervous on the ramp but she carried the outfit well in style and panache. "I do not wear lehengas much and I was nervous about falling off the stage, which probably showed on my face too," reveals a smiling Jaya Nandini dressed in red post show.

Resort wear on the ramp
Kolkata-based designer Debarun Mukherjee went against the grain as he showcased resort wear designs in his collection titled 'Be You' (also presented at the Lakme Fashion Week in Bombay recently). Halter blouses, bikini tops with sarees done in rainbow prints, tunics and jackets done up in nautical designs, sarees tied high above the ankle, churidars teamed with pleated dhoti style skirts rendered a unique quality to Debarun's range. Bandhgalas, mufflers occasionally wrapped, translucent shirts, harems and crinkled stoles added the summer-spring hue well received by the audience.

Even bridal is ready-to-wear: Ritu Kumar
She is definitely the reigning queen of fashion; Ritu Kumar's collection at the Rajasthan Fashion Week 2013 was received with a standing ovation amid thunderous applause. We simply couldn't help but marvel at every creation that Ritu brought on the ramp. The collection was a riot of colours and its strength was the judicious use of Indian textiles and crafts. Jaalis, layers, metallic effects with gold, silver and copper on the ensembles created a dramatic aura on the ramp. "A collection evolves and bridal wear has evolved over the years. Whether it's experimenting with the gota or zardosi, the term 'bridal' is no longer community specific, it has become Indian-specific with of course the local shades intact. Today's generation is goes by the 'ready-to-wear' mantra, even if it's bridal. Designing is a discipline and I feel it deserves more due," says Ritu Kumar.

Kavita Bhartia on the other hand went neon and teamed her garments with multi-coloured stockings stitched with engraved textured designs on the body. In accessories, Kavita presented a variety of bags from sling, potli, jholas, purses and handbags. Tunics with zippers, bandhgala blouses, and digital printed cowls with a hint of resort wear ensured a modern element to the traditional flavour of the collection. "I surely had Rajasthan in mind while creating the clothes but also attentive about the western clientele I wishes to cater to as well. Therefore, this collection is an eclectic mix of indigenous textures and International feel," said Kavita Bhartia after the concluding show of the evening at the Rajasthan Fashion Week 2013