Of impossible chic and old-world glamour. That was Shahab Durazi’s ‘A Retrospective’ that he showcased at Lakme Fashion Week in partnership with FDCI, an FDCI Showcase, on Wednesday night. The couturier was back on the ramp after a dozen years. And dazzled with his “timeless” sensibility. Doused in old-world glamour, it was a charming statement of all things vintage, classic and pure romance. Just like the everlasting romance of black-and-white movies. The monochrome magic played out in black, cream, bone, slate, pewter, dove, charcoal, old rose, taupe, silk crepe, silk georgette, silk chiffon, silk organza, wool crepe, cashmere…. Shahab’s eye for detailing was the hero. The hair and make-up and accessories matched the elegant mood to a T. We chatted with Shahab post show.
How much convincing did it take to get you on board?
Actually not a lot because Sunil (Sethi, FDCI chairman) was very generous. There is nothing that I asked for that they did not give. They just made it so easy. Literally it was a luxury. It was a privilege. I got everything I wanted to in terms of the inputs, the platform. Both Jaspreet Chandok from RISE and Sunil Sethi from FDCI gave me everything. The reason I stayed away for 12 years was because I felt I needed certain things.
How much has a ramp show changed since the last time you showed?
I think quite a bit. They are simpler, shorter and more fast-paced. Mine was still slower because it was a couture show. The pace was slower and the whole vibe was more elegant.
Did you miss it?
No…. I felt like I never left. There was absolutely no disconnect whatsoever.
The show was one of impossible glamour…
My brief was I want to present a chic and elegant line. Give me the platform for that.
Your muses were the impeccable gentleman and the lady. Do they exist today?
(Laughs) Diana Penty. She has done my campaigns in the past. She is wonderful. Arjun Rampal....
Before we started the show, I had a little chat with all the models.... As a designer I believe that fashion ramp should have fashion models and the fashion designer. A fashion model is a torchbearer for a brand and they are the ones who should present my brand. We are moving away from what we should be doing. In fact, I feel it’s regressive. The whole focus is shifting from what fashion should stand for, to Bollywood…. not a single person I invited asked me who my showstopper was. They come because they want to see the clothes. That’s how it should be.
You love black and white…
I love black and white. I won’t shy away from the fact. For me, everything has to be timeless. Even if I don’t do black and white, I am doing neutrals. I do colour but I do much less of colour. I don’t think it works with my sensibility as much as neutrals do.
The accessories completed the look…
I design everything, right from the bow to scarves, the shoes, the belts and the bags.
What are your top tips to timeless dressing?
I think your choice of silhouettes, the way you wear your clothes... a certain sense of wit, humour, which I think is important when you put clothes together. You don’t want it to start looking boring. You can use classic clothing but tweak it a little bit so that it looks interesting.
Pictures: Sandip Das
The idea was to bring in a maximalist approach which we have kind of curbed in the years gone by. We have still stuck to a cocktail bride. This time we thought we’ll get to the bride and in our style. It was a bit of romance.
There was obviously fierceness, structure, the nostalgic times with the bygone baroque era and how we blend it with today’s times — Shantnu Mehra
Kriti Sanon walked the ramp for Shantnu & Nikhil
Shantnu & Nikhil’s ‘Capella’ drew from the baroque period and sent out a festive and bridal collection, dipped in gold, glitter and shimmer. The mellow light of the chandeliers interweaving patterns on the glistening ramp added to the drama. Opulent contemporary and chic was the mood board. The men made their sweatshirts luxury and wore them with traditional staples. The women were casually glam and mysterious in their veils, elaborate designs and minimal statement jewellery. Kriti Sanon was the muse in her mint lehnga with chandelier-inspired embroidery. We chatted with Shantnu Mehra post-show about the inspirations for this season and more.
How was it playing with gold?
Gold has always played an important role in one way or the other in our colour palette and ornamentation. This time it was more is more. So, gold was more. We stayed away from reds, but we did a proxy with more gold. Gold also resonates with ceremonies here.
So, how to do gold this season?
The idea was to show tradition but in its most contemporary form. That’s what we are known for. The music was relevant and current. How do you blend a traditional wedding lehnga with music that is so pop, R&B? That’s where India is moving, right? You see brides dancing away to glory on their wedding nights, enjoying with their friends. And, that’s the kind of music that is playing. This is new India. So, the idea was to bring in a maximalist approach, which we have kind of curbed in the years gone by. We have still stuck to a cocktail bride. This time we thought we’ll get to the bride and in our style. It was a bit of romance. There was obviously fierceness, structure, the nostalgic times with the bygone baroque era and how we blend it with today’s times.
Tell us about your men...
Sweatshirts with kurtas, sweatshirts with sherwani, asymmetry, drapes, a lot of layering, cowl trousers, different shapes... menswear is I feel such an experimental market and men in today’s day and age, whether you are an attendee, a cocktail groom, you are looking at reinventing yourself. It’s not a crowded space. It gives us an opportunity to continue to reinvent our drapes, and layer it and you can go crazy with it. It was one of those couture moments where we brought in a bit of high street and teamed it with a traditional sherwani.
Pictures: Sandip Das
As a designer I believe that fashion ramp should have fashion models and the fashion designer. A fashion model is a torchbearer for the brand and they are the ones who should present my brand. We are moving away from what we should be doing. In fact, I feel it’s regressive. The whole focus is shifting from what fashion should stand for, to Bollywood
— Shahab Durazi