The fantastic designer duo of David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore accepted that they present a fashion show only when they have something to say. And when they do have something to say, everyone sits up and takes notice. Their contemporary but elegant and simple styling is always extraordinary.
The latest, an untitled Autumn Winter 2012 collection, showcased at the WIFW is an ode to the villages of Kutch. While the Gujarati district has played muse to several creative minds before, rarely has the tribe been presented in such a slick aesthetic. A largely black and charcoal line, the rural kediya blouse (the flare choli, if you please) gets an urban twist when teamed with a sari or a pencil skirt.
My favourite was the bandhini kediya with a slim skirt, where the bandhini spots appeared to be French polka dots. The bundis — long tops without buttons — were married with sleek trousers, giving the tunic a city edge. The saris had light and gentle embroidery motifs — cycles and birds. The mirrorwork — the famous abla — was modernised as giant sequins.
They also showed up on the wedges of heels; when was the last time you saw India-inspired footwear that wasn’t kitsch? Floor-length dresses had tie-up choli backs: is this the real Indian red-carpet wear? Abraham and Thakore are quiet, discreet and subtle, just as the clothes they make. And sometimes a whisper is clearer than a shout.