Mumbai, Aug 20 (IANS) Ace designer Narendra Kumar’s show has always been something quite out of the ordinary and this time around at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2017, he turned an emotional movie of love and family into a visual fashion showcase on the ramp, to feature a wardrobe for members of the bridal entourage. What made the show special was the angst of the heroine, emotionally torn between her true love (a girl) and family’s choice of partner.
Inspired by his imaginary muse, Shayla Patel, a writer, a strong-headed Piscean, who jets between New York, London, Zurich and Mumbai with extensive social media network, the designer dreamt up a winter wedding trousseau for her but what the story unique was the tussle in her mind to choose between her love and her family’s choice.
Elaborating about how he got the idea for the story, the designer told IANS: “I know friends who have inclined differently and have same situation. The idea was basic. We wanted to show how India is changing, how women are changing, how men see that change.
“Having said that its also a story about how in spite of being so educated, independent and confident, she has to live up to other’s expectations.
“Every show that I have done always talks about something. I want intelligent people to see the show and I want people to discuss gender issues. This was an issue about what a women’s choices in today’s world. Each one of us has that questions to answer.”
Nikita Sahay, who was a captain in the Indian Army when she decided to quit to pursue her childhood dream of modelling, played the protagonist in the film.
About the experience and the role, Nikita told IANS: “My best part in the film was when I was with my little sister on the beach and I am trying to tell her about my choices. This collection talks a lot about human behaviour.”
“I could relate to the film because so many times in our life we want to make a choice and we loose our sleep over it. It doesn’t only have to do between two girl lovers or two boy lovers or a boy or a girl love… I am extremely open about things . I have no issue talking about it.”
Narendra Kumar sent a grand wedding invitation when he unveiled his collection ‘The Marriage of Shayla Patel’
With the film as the backdrop and the soulful voice-over of Kubra Sait who narrated the heroine’s emotional tussle, the bridal trousseau unveiled in four chapters, each signified by a colour.
Chapter One – the beige line was devoted to the look of Shayla and her groom-to-be. A glamorous ivory gown with gold embellishments and an ivory double-lapel/vent jacket for the male set the mood for the rest of the show.
When it came to Chapter Two – green, men’s wear started with long jackets with placement embroidery, printed two-button coats and Sherwanis. For women’s wear, there was an assortment of pleated kurtas, ornate fish tail gowns, jumpsuit with floral prints, off-shoulder choli/lehenga/ dupatta, draped collar pleated gown and peplum jackets. Slim sheaths and drop waist maxis were a great addition.
Chapter Three was devoted to blue, for double-breasted jacket with long skirt, scalloped embroidered gown, plunge ‘V’ neck maxi and an ink blue sheath. Narendra Kumar felt a printed angarkha was just the right style for men’s wear.
The final red line featured, jackets, diagonal striped blouses, flared pants, velvet gowns, anarkalis, will-power embroidered corset an artist’s smock, embroidered jacket/pant and a grand embellished choli/lehenga.
Men’s wear matched the feminine look with collarless 2-button jackets – some embroidered heavily.
Selecting with care, the designer zeroed in on the lushest fabrics like taffetas, silks, velvets and the timeless rich Indian textiles. He then put his creativity to the ultimate test as he dreamt up exotic and enchanting, western silhouettes for the cocktail creations that were inspired by Art Deco with a hint of ethnic appeal.
Embellishments were in the forefront, as rich embroidery in shades of forest green, blue and red glittered on the runway. The sharply-cut tailored jackets, stylishly constructed jumpsuits and memorable grand Red Carpet worthy gowns completed the scintillating trousseaux.
The look for this collection created by Lakme Makeup Expert, Sandhya Shekar was very character driven and had a personality of its own. The look was kept very bold and strong, and was inspired by the Oscars and the Red Carpet to look fabulous and glamorous.
‘The Marriage of Shayla Patel’ offered the audience a dual bonus – a great film (co-written and directed by Narendra Kumar with nephew Anirudh Raman) as well as a glamorous collection aimed at strong-willed women who at times go through emotional battles between true love and loyalty to family.
(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of LFW organisers. Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])
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