Ritu Kumar took her seat on the front row only to leave it when the last model walked down the ramp. It was time for her to be escorted backstage to take her bow. She should really take a bow. All those who thought it’s going to be a zardozi-laden lehnga-loaded finale were silenced on Day 5 of WIFW at Pragati Maidan in Delhi.
This two-part finale was exactly how a finale should be. (Strictly saying, no one knows how a finale ‘should’ be since the concept of finales don’t exist abroad, but going by the last decade of fashion weeks in India there are some boxes to tick).
No. 1: Healthy delay. That is anything between 60 and 90 minutes. This one was about 85 minutes. Check.
No. 2: Open bar outside the show area where the fash frat can enjoy a rosť before the entry opens. Check.
No. 3: Drama inside the show area. This could be necessary drama on the ramp and unnecessary drama off it. The former is desirable and that’s the kind Wednesday night saw. An AV off the catwalk. A little dance to Shammi Kapoor’s Tali Ho on the catwalk. Check.
No. 4: Great energy (can be read as great relief) because five days of fashion can lead to fatigue. Or can be read as the anticipation of a super after-party — in this case at Lap, Arjun Rampal’s recently relaunched posh club. With the spirits high, the energy was electric. There were many smiling faces in the crowd, leading them all was the ever-smiling FDCI president Sunil Sethi. Check.
No. 5: Great clothes (sad, but that is normally a No. 5 type situation). The show opened with a glamorous evening collection inspired by Art Deco by Label, Ritu Kumar’s pret label run by son Ambrish. A flash of thigh, a tease of cleavage, lots of print and the dramatic silhouettes of Label gave way to Ritu Kumar Couture. This is where the magic was made. Chintz, paisley and a dash of zardozi came together with beautiful brocade to create a luxurious line, exuding old-world charm. The gorgeous blacks, golds and baroque influences will linger on in the mind for a while. Check.
No. 6: Showstopper. There was Esha Gupta. But the real showstopper was the stunning Simar Duggal who returned to the ramp just for Ritu Kumar. Double check.
No. 7: Memorable moments. Oh, these are the real ones that make it a night to remember. Rohit Bal clapping and hooting as Simar sashayed down. Bhavna Sharma, the otherwise straight-faced model (at least on way to the head ramp, after the turn she’s all winks and fun), breaking into a smile after the photographer’s pit cheered loudly for her. The smiles on everyone’s face when feel-good retro tracks like Ajeeb daastan and Babujee dheere chalna were played. The little ‘seated jigs’ that came along with it. And finally, the burst of confetti on a smiling Ritu Kumar. The legendary lady behind the fabulous ‘finale’ of a week that was. Check. Check. Check.