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Fashionable Tale of 2 Cities

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Mumbai and Delhi, the two cities made radically opposite statements as they hosted two top-rated fashion weeks of India. While Mumbai went realtime, Delhi was futuristic. Fashion expert and ex-Miss India, Meher Castelino, analyses the two events and brings to the fore the main directions.

Two fashion weeks back to back in one month and their fashion directions were as diverse as chalk from cheese. Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2010 had cool summer clothing for those days of lazing on the beach or partying away the night. The trends that emerged were colourful fun and feminine. From Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter 2010 the directions were warm and heavy with wool, felt, and leather being part of the style statements

Designers gave the kaftan the pride of place with nearly every collection featuring them in varying lengths. The easy silhouettes of sack, shift and sheath were favoured by designers like Krishna Mehta, Malini Ramani, Babita Malkani, Asmita Marwa, Kallol Data and many more. Intricate detailing played a major part in the collections of Nachiket Barve and Rimzim Dadu. The obvious summer wear – the bikini, swimsuit, sarong and pareo appeared sporadically for most designers though Shrivan and Narresh sent out great body suits, tankinis and bikinis in a predominantly swimwear line. Designer sportswear came into the foreground with Shantanu and Nikhil launching their S&N sportswear label for Adidas. Smart long Tees, knit dresses, track pants and sweat shirts in the black and yellow colour story made an impact on the ramp

The summer beach wedding angle was now given a lot of importance by designers Rocky S, Manish Malhotra and Vikram Phadnis. The look was fragile with net as the important fabric for not only the lehengas, cholis, dupattas and kurtas but even churidars, and salwars and they were all opulent with crystals and sequins glitter making a strong impact on the catwalk. Jaipur played an inspiring part for designers, Pria Kataaria Puri and Anita Dongre. The former worked with large Rajasthan motifs on shimmering satin while the latter presented an all white collection of pretty western and ethnic wear. Detachable jewellery made a big fashion story for Payal Singhal while Turkey’s beauty of the Topkapi palace was translated into embroidery by Lina Tipnis.

With a change of season from Mumbai’s Lakme Fashion Week, the 15th edition of the capital’s Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week put a strong emphasis on woollens for the season. Tarun Tahiliani followed it perfectly with his jackets and boleros with lavish embroidery for women and woollen jackets and sherwanis for men. Pankaj and Nidhi too brought in wool for the most intricate fabric weaving in black and white for their line of jackets, sheaths and trousers. Cue by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna had perfectly crafted wool and jersey dresses draped and styled for the cold climbs. Sonam Dubal’s ikats and traditional weaves were beautifully turned into various kinds of jackets and capes for the working women. Abraham and Thakore showed on the ramp for the first time their woollen jackets, quilted cholis and fusion kurtas which had the right silhouettes and embellishments in black and white. Nandita Basu played very cleverly with leather and fabrics sometimes using them singly or blended for jackets, coats and dresses. Prashant Verma’s all black woollen line with rock imbedded quilting, black pearl embroidery and burnt amber touches were ideal for the winter months, but his orange and brown digital printing on jersey for cowl pants were a colourful addition.

Varun Sardana had an-all wool and felt story of capes, coats, jackets, dresses and maxis with amazing fabric strip detailing. Ritu Beri’s military jackets were great for the coming season with all the drama and grandeur that the designer is known for. Rahul Mishra’s single layered reversible jackets were amazing in black and white and his formal gowns with the engineered butterfly effect were a perfect formal offering for the Autumn/Winter 2010 season. Lecoanet Hemant’s very international line of men’s suits and women’s wear was aimed at the cold days with natural fabrics for an environmentally friendly line.

While white was the favoured colour for Summer/Resort 2010 with bright shades in rainbow hues adding to the palette, it was black and grey that ruled at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2010 with touches of white appearing for some designers like Reynuu Taandon. Traditional weaves and crafts appeared for some designer collections where layering and colour blocking appliqués and block prints were an interesting addition.

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