Day 1: Amit Aggarwal
Day 1 opens with couturier Amit Aggarwal, who will be designing Indian bridal couture for the first time this season. Titled ‘Lumen’, the collection was inspired by a virtual reality experience the designer had at London’s Saatchi Gallery, which focused on how the architecture of both plant and human anatomies is connected by breath. According to Aggarwal, this showcase celebrates the unique light that illuminates us and makes us who we are.
“Layering has been a huge part of this collection, and it is one of the key techniques that we haven’t experimented with before. We’ve tried to create an illusion of colours through shadow play and layers,” says the designer. Coming to the colour palette, expect traditional bridal outfits in jewel tones and neutral shades, with an eclectic mix of neon colours. “We’ve experimented with sculpted bustles to give an edge to our quintessential bridal lehenga, while our new-age sarees are reinvented with dramatically structured trails, drapes and layers,” adds Aggarwal. The designer has collaborated with Dyuti Bansal for the footwear.
Day 2: Suneet Varma
Inspired by inner beauty and how it reflects in a person’s sartorial choices, Suneet Varma has crafted ‘Amara’, a romantic collection featuring traditional Indian silhouettes as well as contemporary wear. “This time, we’ve innovated on surface embellishments, experimented with 3D work and tried different dyeing processes and drape styles,” says Varma. From lehengas styled with off-shoulder blouses and short jackets, to ruffled organza shirts with high-waisted palazzo pants, the couture collection is sure to serve ample inspiration for the upcoming festive season.
Day 3: Pankaj & Nidhi
© Tarun Vishwa
Pankaj & Nidhi’s new collection borrows inspiration from mosaic, an art form made by assembling pieces of glass or ceramic, often used as a decorative technique in architecture. “All the techniques, silhouettes and craftsmanship have been looked through a prism of modern luxury, complete with our signature touches of appliqué, crystal embellishment, lattice work and quilting,” says co-founder Pankaj Ahuja. Meanwhile, the silhouettes see form-fitted long evening dresses and skirts in fabrics like rich silk satin and organza, all in an iridescent colour palette.
Day 3: Rahul Mishra
This time round, Rahul Mishra is going big with his collection—and we’re talking international red carpet standards. The designer, who showcased his autumn/winter 2019 couture collection at Paris Fashion Week two weeks ago, will now present a line in continuation to it, but with Indian influences. “This line also borrows inspiration from architecture, and will feature three pieces that I showed in Paris, which were originally meant for India Couture Week,” reveals Mishra. From short dresses featuring 3D appliqué work to bridal lehengas in red and gold, the collection is meant for a morning wedding that transitions into an evening celebration.
Day 4: Shyamal & Bhumika
Shyamal & Bhumika’s latest collection is inspired by the iconic period of Renaissance, where art, architecture, music, couture and theatre were reborn from the medieval ages and brought to modernity. “The collection will feature intricate embellishments and surface ornamentations with elaborate beading, silk thread embroidery and floral motifs in gold zardozi thread,” said designer Shyamal Shodhan. Expect a colour palette that champions jewel tones and pastels, along with Indian reds, blush pinks, powder blues, muted olives, and vintage creams, to create an interesting variety of cut and colour across the collection.
Day 4: Soltee by Sulakshana Monga
Soltee by Sulakshana Monga’s latest couture collection is inspired by designer’s latest rip to Varanasi. Titled Indian Culture, the lineup draws inspiration from India’s beautiful culture found in the Ghats of Varanasi and traditions of India. “The collection depicts the cultural heritage of India in a global and contemporary perspective. You will see a lot of play in the patterns, we have used frills, rafia and feather interestingly. “ The colour pallet includes various shades of green, fuschia, red, orange, yellow, lavender and baby pink.
Day 5: Falguni Shane Peacock
Falguni Shane Peacock are known for their ‘more is more’ aesthetic. Their latest couture collection is inspired by the ornate architecture of Rajasthan’s Fort Amer, comprising resplendent domes, imperial carvings, nondescript doors, intricate frescos, imposing gateways and paintings that depict the beauty of the palatial city. Given their penchant for larger-than-life ensembles, you can expect to see feathers, beads, sequins and bold prints in this collection as well. “The ensembles showcase elevated grandeur, elegance and opulence with a hint of edginess that identifies with our signature style. The silhouettes are modern yet traditional, with an element of surprise in each of them—whether it’s in terms of construction or surface ornamentation. We’ve attempted to weave a web of modern eccentricity and yesteryear elegance, evoking a rich repertoire between the two,” says Falguni Peacock.
Day 6: Gaurav Gupta
Gaurav Gupta’s grand finale presentation, where the designer will be paying homage to his atelier’s 15-year anniversary by delving into the infinite aspects of creativity and couture, may just be the biggest show of the season. The latest collection will not only have out-of-the-box options for the modern-Indian bride, but will also push the sartorial envelope in menswear. The showcase will witness many firsts from the brand, from embroideries, techniques, vibrant hues to even jewellery. “This couture show is special as it marks the 15th year of the brand, and we are launching GG fine jewellery in association with Occasions. You can expect surrealistic, abstract yet rhythmic sense of beauty in our couture vision this time around,” says Gupta.
Day 7: Tarun Tahiliani
Closing India Couture Week 2019 is Tarun Tahiliani’s ‘Bloom’, a collection that houses a staggering range of 72 pieces spanning bridal couture, occasion wear and festive wear, all generously encrusted with Crystals from Swarovski. “It captures the metamorphosis of the Indian bride with a synthesis of different cultures, which is a reflection of today’s generation,” Tahiliani explains. Lightweight lehengas, shararas, peplum blouses, concept saris, structured drapes, anarkalis and fusion-style jumpsuits set the stage for the bride, in a colour palette ranging across soft pastels, deep tones and earthy hues. Meanwhile, the menswear collection sees fitted tone-on-tone sherwanis, Mughal-inspired kurtas, pre-constructed kamarbandhs and period-inspired stoles.