Beauty & Fashion >> Lakme India Fashion Week 2004

Lakme India Fashion Week – Day 1 (27th April, 2004)

Rina Dhaka
Rina Dhaka started off with a very bold and fearless fashion statement presenting the James Bond girls with a collection that was a delight to watch. She showcased ivory capris, bra tops, skirts which were worn with tights and cat-suits. The focus was on slinky body fits achieved through stretch knit skirts that skimmed the waist and then erupted into gorgeous volumes. Her dresses and skirts were made up of antique looking fabrics patched together and embellished with laces, sequins, and plenty of glitter. The colours of this range were classic - ivory, sage, lavender and old rose. There was beautiful sequining in silver and gold done into fish scale perfection, use of gold shimmer which is very strong for Spring-Summer 2005, delicately compact mushroom-underside like pleating and joyously colourful patchwork enhanced with wool baubles and seaming.

Payal Jain / Niki Mahajan
Payal Jain’s collection was a mix of masculine and feminine influences focusing basically on classic red, white and black colour combination in eclectic fabrics like Scottish tartans, mesh, tweeds, faux fur, faux leather and even corduroy, creating edgy club-wear with these fabrics by embellishing them with metal trims and accessories. Her collection was a mix of very wearable separates like pleated miniskirts, pants, bomber jackets, boiler suits, and bustiers, all of which were very young, fit and sexy. An unexpected but truly delightful turn to this line was the eskimo inspired collection in chic whites and ivories.

Niki Mahajan’s collection was a very wearable one laden with flowers, embroideries and bearing coiled tendrils. The silhouettes were lean, feminine, and frequently fitted to the body, be it the slim pants, ankle length skirts, one-piece dresses, and sexy pencil skirts. Floaty long skirts, asymmetric dresses and wrap and tie fluid blouses also made an appearance. In addition, she created blouses and jackets out of spontaneous sweater-knits, which were teamed with sexy body-fit t-shirts. Over-seaming was a detailing she used. The colour palette was a study in muted and vibrant shades- chrome, sulphur, mauve, baby's breath and a myriad of greens - sage, camouflage, mint, and spring-leaf. The finale range spoke of serious glamour- black dresses, slim skirts, and sexy pants that bore the floral motif in appliqué and was accessorized with corset style belts.

Abhishek Gupta / Nandita Basu

Abhishek Gupta’s collection comprised of cheeky T shirts, suits that weren't quite serious, sporty jackets, and exquisite modern sherwanis. The colour palette had a sense of nonchalance, with browns getting teamed with oranges and azure blues, and maroons pairing up with lime greens and cornflower. Various kinds of jackets and coats were also part of his repertoire, made of wool, felts, cottons, denims etc and bearing detailing like rib panels, zippers, raw seam finishes, and defiant appliqués of marijuana leaves. Of special note were the sherwanis - lean, quilted, and in hitherto unimaginable colours like cobalt, and red, these Indian jackets were contemporary and trendy.

Nandita Basu’s collection comprises of fantastic jackets, sexy pants and skirts, and thought provoking T-shirts. Basu creates lean land ong jackets, bomber jackets, sleeveless vest-jackets, and dress coats with exquisite seam detailing in tone on tone colours. She cleverly manipulates leather into paper cutwork patterns- like strips of a Chinese lantern, eyelets and floral patterns, besides using unhampered suede shapes as blouses. The pants were mostly track bottoms with tie-ups and knit cuffs at the hem, and sporty strips along the side seam length. Her skirts were in sexy slim shapes, trimmed with leather and quilted panels, and in vibrant colours like mango green, orange and tomato red, as were her fitted one-piece dresses in ivory.

Rajesh Pratap Singh

Pratap takes us through an array of vibrant colours. Red and pink short silks are crafted into coats that fit closely on the bust and then flare into wide hems. The skirts that are teamed with them have asymmetric hems in the shape of flames. Straight long dresses with prints of ghostly images are interspersed with these ensembles. His collection has an elegant touch that of distressed embroideries, antique finished brocades and nubby tweeds. In this collection, Pratap crafts graceful slim pants, ruched and crinkled skirts, reworked sarees and dhotis, and exquisite jackets. The jackets in old wood and coal black, which are created using a medley of materials like leather, space dyed-knits, and wovens, have the stamp of a master. Each piece is given a unique detailing, be it the backbone impression, pleating or disturbed decolouring. His leather range is the show stealer.

Ashish & Smita Soni

Ashish Soni’s collection was a study in quiet elegance. He worked with what appeared to be raw fabric- the ecru and ivory tinted cottons and linens, to create exquisitely textured fabrics and ensembles. He effectively used surface ornamentation techniques like weaving of unfinished fabric strips, feathering, smocking, pin-tucks, 3 dimensional appliqués and embroideries, crinkling, and ruching to name a few, at all points maintaining a delicate restraint. There were asymmetric layered skirts, Turkish pants, peplum jackets, coats with elaborate collars revealing flashes of colours inside. The men’s wear comprised of pants, t-shirts, jackets and shirts based on the same theme. The colour palette was strictly neutral, with colours like navy, brown and gold dust providing relief to the ivories and blacks, as also flashes of orange and fluorescent green.

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