The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Surreal surprise

On Day Two of Lakme Fashion Week, gimmicks almost stole the show. Bollywood (and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s) designer Neeta Lulla presented a gold, garish and gaudy collection of women’s wear and got Taare Zameen Par kiddo Darsheel Safary to close for her in a chocolate brown suit. Though Darsheel was every bit a star on the catwalk, why he was there remains a question. The designer could surely have done with a more relevant showstopper for the collection that was a “tribute to immortal love” and asking one of her front-rowers Sameera Reddy, Madhoo or Bhagyashree would have at least made sense.

Coming back to design from drama, let’s just say Neeta’s line was over the top. Chunky knits came together with feminine chiffons and lace in many garments. Shiny gold tissue and net were also seen. There was more bling in the form of zardosi. It was everywhere — from yokes to gloves! The headgear topped it all — a heady mix of feathers, flowers and fur and encrusted with jewels. The less said the better.

Digvijay Singh
Sudhir and Tapash
Kallol Dutta
Kiran Uttam Ghosh (AFP)

Kiran Uttam Ghosh showed An Eye for I earlier in the evening. Her collection comprised various styles of jackets (trench coats in delicate fabrics or jacquard linen, space cadet jackets, angarakhas…) and lots of dresses. Shibori, Parsi embroidery, shiny mirrored geometric detailing and her signature seaweed embroidery were highlights of the collection along with a series of deconstructed dresses in jersey and silk jersey. Menswear influences were spotted often — in her choice of fabrics, pinstripes, waistcoats and even shoes. Kiran’s colour story revolved around teal, lavender, aubergine and also saw a surprise indigo and emerald.

The morning clearly belonged to Calcutta’s Kallol Dutta. Going by the vibes in the show area, it can be said that Kallol, or Kelly as he is known among friends, is on his way to become the next big thing. His collection, The Body Farm, had quite a surreal feel, thanks to his inspirations — Salvador Dali, forensics and even decomposing corpses! What came out of these thoughts was not at all morbid but very interesting. As usual, Kallol concentrated on silhouettes and simple prints (checks, window panes and tie-and-dye) rather than adorning his designs with detailing. With a controlled colour palette of charcoal, grey, blue and the occasional coral-peach and striking footwear by Samsonite, the rest of the show was hogged by his silhouettes alone. There was a shell dress, a cape dress and a couple of crab dresses. Another highlight of the show was dislocated shoulders where the armholes dropped somewhere near the elbows.

Kallol shared the show with menswear designer Digvijay Singh and another Calcutta label Stae. Digvijay showed a line of simple clothes — Nehru waistcoats, churi-pants-meet-jodhpurs and long silk shirts were key garments. Their look was a nice mix of looks for every man — geeky or dandy.

Sudhir and Tapash of Stae were inspired by the relationship between an artist and his muse. So we saw lots of paint dots, strokes and splashes in autumnal colours on an ivory base. Pintucks and pleating were the only other detailing apart from the colour play. Stae’s show started off with dresses and then went on to saris. Their collection was well thought of but something went missing at the putting-together stage. It came across as over-accessorised.

The afternoon also saw Sonal Dubal present a collection titled Trailing the River Goddess, a “tribute to the river of peace… for Tibet”. Oriental silhouettes like bakhu dresses (like angarakhas), kimonos, wrap pyjamas accentuated by obi belts were seen on the ramp. Some African embroidery and beadwork was also seen on some garments.

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