New Delhi: History to heritage, mythology to Victorian, Opium to Punjab - designers deftly explored the best of Indian handicrafts from different eras to create high-end customised garments for bold and beautiful brides and impressed all and sundry at the just-concluded Delhi Couture Week (DCW) 2013.
Ineterestingly, most of the designers moved away from traditional Indian bridal shades like orange, green, pink and red. The dominant colours were white, black, liquid gold, ivory, off-white, beige and navy blue.
In terms of fabrics too, the designers experimented and presented bridal outfits made with organic cotton and khadi.
The fashion extravaganza began with Anju Modi, who narrated a fascinating anecdote from the "Mahabharata" through her collection themed Draupadi, one of the main protagonists in the epic.
Modi`s creations, for both men and women, were a perfect blend of Indian and western silhouettes. She used subtle shades like ivory, off-white, rust, ash grey, indigo blue and brutal maroon to create Victorian fashion. Rather than sticking to luxury fabrics, Modi mostly worked with organic cotton and khadi.
Next in the line was Sabyasachi Mukherjee, who showcased a glamorous and sensual collection titled Opium, which took viewers back to the 1920s.
Even Mukherjee used fabrics like khadi and organic cotton and set the trend for the forthcoming wedding season. The silhouettes were embellished with traditional embroideries like ari tari and tara in subtle shades like ivory, gold and off-white.
The second day`s collections were about the perfect blend of Indian and western sensibilities.
Monisha Jaising showcased bridal wear for beach weddings and unveiled apparel like kurtas as well as blingy leggings and gowns. She used colours like ink blue, lime green, mint green and navy blue.
This was followed by Anamika Khanna, who also infused Indian elements in her creations. Maharashtrian-style sari drape and Lucknowi chikankari work were the highlights of her bridal collection.
Masaba Gupta and Varun Bahl`s out-of-the-league collections on the third day were a pleasant surprise for the viewers, who appreciated the new thought process that rocked the ramp.
The outfits were for bold and daring brides who won`t hesitate from donning whites and blacks on their D-days. The collection included saris, lehengas and cocktail draped gowns in shades like black, white, blood red, brown, silver, ivory and liquid gold.
Day four`s shows were interesting. Manish Arora impressed with Indian street art as well as a Goddess Durga-inspired collection where gold was the dominant colour.
Ritu Beri stuck to traditional colours and designs and took pride in presenting her over-the-top Punjab-inspired clothes.
Traditional Indian embroideries were the high points of Gaurav Gupta`s ensemble.
Bollywood`s favourite designer Manish Malhotra capped the five-day fashion delight in a grand way by showing his collection inspired from architecture of the 1930s.
Accesories were innovative at the event and some of them even enhanced the overall look of the garments. For instance, Modi and Sabyasachi were wise to use light-weight and sophiticated jewellery comprising mostly neckpieces and danglers, whereas Masaba went for Maharani Haars (royal necklace) and bangles, which didn`t really go well with the western outfits.
Modified maang tikas were seen at Khanna`s and Arora`s shows.
The other common accessory used by designers was the mask.
Beri wanted to create the mystery of an Indian woman so instead of a veil or jewellery, she chose a mask. Arora also used one.
Bollywood celebrities added glitz and glamour to the event. Actors like Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin and Frieda Pinto were spotted at the event.
Overall, the fashion week was nicely organised with shows starting on time and designers presenting the best of wearable couture to set the trends for the wedding season.