Aparna-Norden, Babita give fashion a theatrical touch

Mumbai, Mar 15 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): With a theme like the “New Tower of Babel” there had to be fashion drama on the catwalk by Aparna and Norden Wangdi at the Lakme Fashion Week.

Rendering the inspiration in a clever manner, the pair used the alphabetical symbols of different languages for embroidery, digital prints and patchwork detailing.

From Japanese to Chinese, English and Sanskrit, the symbols were sprinkled on the asymmetrical and draped silhouettes either in resham, prints or sequins. White, navy, grey, black, red, pink and cobalt blue gave the ensembles the right hues.

Dresses were draped or flared seductively, while wrap styles were cool and comfortable. Colour contrasts played with intricate texturing on the very minimal shapes with clever stitching work.

Opening the show with a black/red silk layered will- power mini there was smocking pleating and motifs on the hem for the draped togas and tunics, cobalt blousons, minis, and bias cut maxis.

There was a marked influence of the western peasant dress as the layers of asymmetric skirts were in delicate soft textures.

The second part of the show with ecru and brown as the colour base had heavily textured fabrics for sheaths, cross over midis and crimped asymmetric tunics.

The alphabet story appeared as appliquéd motifs on white rouched creations and ended the section with a layered silk and net voluminous gown.

For something a little unconventional on the fashion scene, Aparna and Norden Wangdi’s creations inspired by the alphabets of different languages could turn into good conversation pieces anywhere in the world.

On the other hand fashion designer Babita Malkani’s inspiration was a unique fashion experience for Summer/Resort 2011 at the Lakme Fashion Week.

Bringing together Indian art with Boho glam, Babita Malkani’s Summer/Resort 2011 collection called “Iktar” at Lakmé Fashion Week was inspired by the Baul singers of Bengal.

Using exclusive cottons, silks, Habutai silks and specially texturized materials, the collection had that distinct draped minstrel look that was relaxed, fluid and feminine.

Adding on prints of Baul singers and Bengali scriptures, abstract designs of instruments like the Iktara on the fabrics, the 21 piece collection had three different looks.

They moved effortlessly from serene and sophisticated to glamorous and chic with lavish hints of Indian styling which was fused with traditional and modern cuts.

The colour palette story spanned from beige to crimson red through the three parts. The first section was a muted segment, while the second had Bohemian style drapes in shades of taupe, olive green, charcoal, grey and maize yellow. The last was a mix of the first two in bright orange and red with a hint of black.

Block printing, spray and hand printing, dyeing techniques and lots of surface ornamentation and delicate embroidery were the highlight of the garments.

The show opened to Bengali folk tunes, chants of Om and chimes of church bells as the models glided down in layered togas in shaded red with Baul singers’ prints on the hem.

Overlapping jackets, dhoti skirts, flowing sheer layered maxi skirts, pleated cocoon sleeve creations, draped sari togas, drawstring shaded blousons and crimped pleated halters held the audience’s interest.

For the finale, Babita moved away from the conventional glamorous showstopper and brought in four melodious Baul singers who danced down the ramp to thunderous applause.

With unconventional fabrics, silhouettes and theme, Babita Malkani scored high on the fashion graph with her “Iktar” collection.

(Reporting by Namit.Agarwal)

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