Saturday, February 2, 2002

As pretty as you can be
Saloni Kaul

THE Indian fashion industry is literally going through a ‘golden’ period with over-the-top glamour continuing to assume precedence over the self-indulgent, minimalist chic of the nineties. But with all this emphasis on shimmer, shine and sparkle, choosing an outfit for an evening out, can be a problem.

Here’s a checklist on what India’s hottest designers have on offer. Depending upon what the occasion is, who you are going out with, propriety, your mood and comfort level, this is one way to sift through all the options available and turn out in your prettiest best.

Adarsh Gill: This is for those looking for opulence, romance and femininity with lovely lace tunics, fully embroidered and teamed with pants. Adarsh has used a variety of French lace for what should otherwise appear to be rather simple silhouettes.

There’s also a beautiful red collection — heavily embroidered tunics with crystal and kundan work, and a lush red beadwork saree. Sparkle also shows up with kurtis in silk brocade, jackets studded with mirrors and crystals, heavily embroidered sarees and cholis in lace georgette, velvet, satin and silk...


Anand Gupta:
Fresh from an evening-wear show in Milan, Anand has come up with a range of printed, side-open dresses to be worn over box-pleated skirts. Other fabrics used are silk mesh for long skirts and shirts, as well as organza silk for embroidered pants and tops. The cuts, however, are very European.

Anand has also used Benares silk in gold for formal low-back tops teamed with matching capris. The styling and detailing is subtle and the silhouettes, very feminine. Besides, there’s a collection of dresses, pant suits and long skirts with cropped or long tops. Take your pick!

Wendell Rodricks: Meant for the young and adventurous, here’s a variety of form-fitting shapes, some deconstructed and reconstructed silhouettes and layered textures. The dresses have narrow shoulders and circular sleeves, while lungis are wrap-arounds.

Wendell has also experimented with sarees — saree gowns, bondage sarees, sarong sarees... all in double silk crepe, satin silk, chiffon, net, lycra and cotton, and in colours ranging from ice blue and midnight black to hot pink, cranberry, cardamom and beige.

Aditi Somani: For blouses, trousers and skirts in non-conventional material such as lycra, lurex, suede and raw silk, here’s a designer who puts comfort at a premium with deep ethnic undertones. The shapes are simple and uncluttered with pinks, maroons, browns and blacks dominating.

There are also embellishments like zardozi, beads, sequins and thread-work embroidery for a formal and sophisticated look. The clothes are largely figure-hugging and come with accessories to match — jewellery, stone pendants, belts and handbags.

Savio Jon: Inspired by traditional ethnic couture, Savio’s collection includes a lot of string-tied tops that go with voluminous peasant skirts and lehngas. Clearly, effort has been to combine contrasting shapes — a tight top with a flowing skirt... and vice-versa.

Gold is the dominant colour on Savio’s palette while his choice of fabric ranges from sheer georgettes to techni-coloured laces and animal print satins. Flounces and flares, in a way, offset the deliberate peekaboo effect... but then, these are clothes for women with an attitude.

Anita Dongre: For those with a fetish for denim, here is one designer who has given the fabric a formal look. All she does is to add a bit of fur here, a dash of embroidery there... or else, styling it into short evening cover-ups, to be teamed with lacy inner-wear.

On offer are long lean coats, from-fitted trousers, bootleg pants and tops as well as shirts teamed with hand-painted scarves. There are also matching denim bags for day-wear and evening-wear. Evening bags are black with tiny embroidered motifs while day bags are in black PVC.

Shobha Somani: Small tunics are teamed with narrow trousers with just a hint of embroidery. Her kurtis are layered and come in shades of onion pink, turquoise, acid green, red, yellow, black and white. There is also a good deal of badla embroidery and sequins for added drama.

Shobha also has a range of long skirts that look like ghagras, but are meant to be teamed with shirts and boots. Short scarves in georgette and chiffon make up for dupattas in her collection, in what should appear to be a glorious celebration of east-west fusion wear. (MF)