A bit of Kanjivaram, dollops of vintage clothes at WIFW (Curtain Raiser)

April 5th, 2011 - 11:48 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) From the revival of Kanjivaram to vintage-inspired clothes to stylish modern garments - the autumn/winter edition of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) beginning Wednesday will see a lot of innovation in styling and better business opportunities for designers.

The five-day extravaganza will feature 141 participants — 77 of them splashing myriad designs on the runway during 41 shows and the rest displaying their creativity in various stalls at Hall No. 18 of the Pragati Maidan exhibition grounds here.

Arguably Asia’s biggest business-of-fashion event, the bi-annual prĂȘt fashion week, now into its 12th year, has firmly established itself as the convergence point for the best and most promising talent in Indian fashion. From designers, models, choreographers and makeup artists to buyers and retailers, the event acts as a catalyst and a networking point for the industry.

Delhi-based designer Ritu Kumar will present her clothes under Label, a deep and vibrant collection inspired by Silk Route explorers in the early 19th century.

“The entire collection revolves around the adventure and mystery immortalised by characters who travelled the land looking for fortune. There are several jacquard weavings in both traditional and fresh designs. The collection will feature one-of-their-kind pieces that are the beginning of the Kanjivaram revival project, apart from handwoven textile and silks from West Bengal,” said Kumar.

Among the other designers who will be showcasing are Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Arora, Tarun Tahiliani, Varun Bahl, Shantanu and Nikhil, Kallol Datta, Abraham and Thakore, Preeti Chandra, Kavita Bhartia, Rohit Gandhi-Rahul Khanna, Niki Mahajan and Anamika Khanna.

Designer duo Ankur-Priyanka Modi, who have long been associated with the fashion event, are set to present an exotic vintage-inspired line with a contemporary twist. And for once, the models showcasing their collection won’t be cold and stiff.

“London’s Portobello Road is one street that many throng to for all things vintage, so it is my inspiration. London is the most experimental fashion capital in the world and we have slightly pushed the envelope with our collection,” Priyanka said.

“So far, models have been slightly cold and expressionless on the ramp, but this time we’re going for a little more character and a little more seduction,” she added.

For their collections, designers have indulged in plush velvets, silk, chiffon, satin, lace and taffeta in myriad hues like lime, coral, ivory and lilac, as well as dark shades like wine, khaki, moss green and black.

Delhi-based designer Anupama Dayal has taken inspiration from Kashmir’s Shalimar Gardens for her label, appropriately named Shalimaar.

“I have used amethyst, phirozi, sand and red sandstone as background colours with pop art in acid pink, orange, canary yellow, Shrek green and black. The fabrics vary from pashminas, sheep wool blends, twill silk, tafetta and stretch cottons,” Dayal explained.

Fun, stylish, comfortable and yet dressy is how the designer duo Hemant and Nandita describe their collection.

“Holidays are what inspire us all the time because we designers and business people hardly get time to take a break. It is always work which comes along with our vacation, so it’s fun to take inspiration while travelling. The feel is very relaxed and the look is very breezy, transparent, comfortable,” said Nandita.

From kaftaans to kimonos, tunics to hooded long shirts, shorts to cropped pants and jumpsuits - the collection has traces of Ibitza to New York. Burnt orange and tropical green are used to add zing to the fabrics like crepe, satins and silk velvets.

Shantanu-Nikhil, known for their edgy and sexy designs, will showcase their new bridge brand S&N; Drape.

“The brand draws inspiration from Indian vintage colours and culture. The clothes are not rigid or unyielding, but instead cheerful and sexy, bringing real fashion through mainstream silhouettes and drapes,” said Nikhil.

Jatin Verma will present a collection that has already received a wonderful response in Paris and Dubai.

Lable “Dozakh” by Nitin Kartikeya and Isha Dhingra is set to recreate the intrigue that surrounded the Elizabethan Theatre during Shakespeare’s times.

“Our ‘To be or not to be’ colour palette includes arrogant reds, dominant greys, melancholic blacks and seraphic navy blue illustrated prints in silk and worsted wool - it revives the distinctive thespian atmosphere,” said Nitin.

Asked about his target buyers, designer Ankur Modi said: “Since we have a strong presence domestically, with a very loyal customer base, we look to foray deeper into the international markets this season. We got a great response last season from buyers in the US, Europe and the Middle East and hope to increase our retail points in these places apart from gaining new ground.”

(Nivedita Sharma can be contacted at nivedita.s@ians.in)

–Indo-Asian-News-Service
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