Grandiose — is how one would define master couturier JJ Valaya’s offsite show on Day 1. From the silhouettes to the fabrics to the jewellery used, everything spelt opulence. The ensembles were inspired by the Ottoman empire, with a modern touch. The collection was heavily bridal, with saris, lehengas, achkans, sherwanis, kurtas paired with flared skirts.
Heavily embroidered jackets were the high points. Collared cholis made more than one appearance. Valaya paid a lot of attention to sleeves and hemlines. The show began with monochromes with splashes of colour. Saris were paired with jewelled cropped jackets, belts, jackets were paired with semi-transparent skirts and churidars, sherwanis had interesting slits.
The second sequence was dominated by blues. There were layered lehengas with net dupattas, one-piece lehengas with plunging necklines, layered jackets, collared achkans with power shoulders for men, saris with bustiers and sleeves worn separately, tasselled pallus, long jackets which were embellished using miniatures, paisley motifs, ceramics and more.
The third sequence was marked by the use of rich colours — from reds and oranges to dual tones, browns and more. The neck was once again the focus with scooped necks, collars and strappy gowns. Heavy embroidery and rich gold work were the high points. A lot of semi-precious stones were intricately weaved on the ensembles.
There were flower embroideries and paisley motifs, gold leaf motifs, jali work. In fact, quite a few of the pieces received applause from the audience for the intricate detailing.
Valaya’s collection was based on art forms on ceramic, fabric, paper, leather and wood. He weaved in forms like Mother of pearl inlay, Turkish miniatures, Tznik ceramics, weaves from robes of sultans and even exotic birds on his creations. The designer used rich fabrics like silks, Dupion, Jacquards, georgette and lush velvets. The ensembles were jazzed up using metal work, zardozi, badla, resham and semi-precious stone inlay.
The mood at the opening show by Varun Bahl was black with the colour popping up every now and then. These were interspersed by rich reds, olives and plush plums with gold detailing as highlights. Mughal India met modern India in his collection.
Sheer was the high point of his ensembles which were also marked by layering and handcrafted textures. The embroidery and detailing were mostly kept minimal and he used hand-embroidery techniques.
There were lehengas, saris, anarkalis, achkans, shararas, Mughal farshis in hues of [other than black of course] cobalt, navy blue, olive, coral and red. Bahl used silk nets, chiffons, silk velvets. The bold usage of the colour black is what made his collection of Indianwear interesting.
There was shimmer, flounce, fit-and-flare, volume and handcrafted textures along with embellishments to make bridalwear more modern and contemporary. Net anarkali kurtas were paired with churidars, long jackets teamed with parallel pants, flowy capes worn with layered separates. A strikingly beautiful red sari with heavy sequinned work stood out.
Models strutted in sequinned saris worn with striking red bras — some of which were stitched to the blouse, strappy cholis with heavily embellished wrists. The collection was sexy and feminine.