Day 2 of PCJ Delhi Couture Week was a mixed affair. While veteran designers Ashima and Leena Singh of Ashima-Leena focussed on bridalwear, the offsite show by Anamika Khanna and Gaurav Gupta was different in more than one way.
Ashima-Leena’s show [with veteran actor Sharmila Tagore as their muse and later showstopper] was accompanied by Sufi renditions by Zila Khan. Their collection, though mostly aimed at brides, had some pieces which can be worn even at other festive occasions.
The show started with whites and creams, moving on to rich hues like reds, pinks, jade greens, ruby, emerald, amethyst and cerulean blues to give a lush effect. Titled Raag Rattan, the collection comprised saris, lehengas, long jackets, floor-length skirts, shararas and anarkalis.
Ornate pearl layered neckpieces were stitched to anarkalis, sleeves and collars had elaborate threadwork complete with semi-precious stones and net sleeves and patchwork were the order of the day.
The designers used a lot silks, chiffons and satins and brought back a reincarnated version of the Mughal-era chakdar jama. Drapes and body jewellery were some of the interesting features. Halter blouses were put together using strings that had beads on them. The effect was completed using specially created wedges that were encrusted with diamante.
The offsite show by designers Anamika Khanna and Gaurav Gupta was a world away from ramp shows. Halls of a multi-designer store was transformed into a ramp as a select audience appreciated haute couture munching on hors d’ouevres and sipping wine and champagne. The show began with contemporary dance as agile and graceful dancers entertained the audience.
Khanna used a lot of specially crafted woven fabrics along with silks, chiffons, tuiles and silk organzas for her collection, which was an ode to the modern Indian woman. She crafted a lot of sari gowns, floor-length coats, bandhgalas, capes and dhoti trousers. High necks, collars and power shoulders dominated her collection.
Models sashayed around in straight-fit pants with ruches, long jackets, dhoti pants, tunics worn with net drapings, Jodhpurs, capes paired with floor-skimming skirts and trapeze pants. The colour palette ranged from blues to blacks, creams and muted golds. The ensembles were jazzed up using geometric designs, floral embroidery, shimmers and more. Though bold, it was a typically Anamika Khanna collection.
Gaurav Gupta, too, chose to stick to his signature saris. The silhouette was layered and flowy, playful yet romantic. There were draped gowns and lehenga gowns and saris with pre-stitched blouses. Mermaid cuts were spotted more than once. Model Noyonika Chatterjee stood out in a powder pink sari gown.
Gupta used tassels as drapes, chains, thigh-high slits in a collection that was reminiscent of Mughal, Rococo and Art Nouveau. Colours ranged from bisque ecru to rufescent reds and blushed nudes. Gupta used a lot of embroidery, beadwork, one-shoulder saris, nets to bring in the now popular transparent effect for a distinctly feminine collection.