Come December and everyone is looking back to the year for notable events and exceptions. Fashion is no different - there have been many things that make the industry look back on the year, some with a lot of pride while others with a fair amount of introspection. Indian fashion and the Indian fashion designers have evolved and made their mark internationally. There has not been a single talking point for the year unlike the UK Royal Wedding and of course the Alexander McQueen gown. The other Kate in her John Galliano wedding dress ranking a distant second. There haven't been drunken anti-Semitic rants by any member of the fashion fraternity either. No court battles here over red soles, and no luxury conglomerates fighting for stakes in a family-owned luxury label either. So focusing on the clothes, here is a snapshot of the year
The Autumn Winter 2011 shows at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion week, held at Pragati Maidan ushered some trends which have stayed the rest of the year. The obvious ones to ignore included shifts, bold shoulders and jumpsuits.
2011 can be called the year that the classic white short came back with a vengeance - Abraham & Thakore took classics like the white shirt and pinstripe waistcoat and used them to smarten up the sari. Aneeth Arora, showcasing her label Péro, emerged as the highlight of the event with her use of the ajrakh, a kind of block printing limited to tiny pockets of Rajasthan and Gujarat, in contemporary clothing.
Couture at the Couture Week continued to be synonymous with wedding wear. Manav Gangwani continued to send out clothes that sprinkled Swarovski crystals on unsuspecting front-row victims, JJ Valaya's Alika jackets came fully embellished this time (he had introduced the basic silhouette in the previous edition of the Week), while a row between designers Anju Modi and Ashima-Leena over the backdrop colour in a joint show (one said white, the other said golden) gave the event some background chatter. A jasmine-scented finale from Rohit Bal, thankfully, ensured people left in good cheer.
It was a time of joie de vivre at the Van Heusen India Men's Week (VHIMW). While there was the occasional equestrian influence, shorts suits, line, trousers with turned-up hems and colour dominated. Japanese shibori tie-and-dye and origami seemed to have influenced some of the designers, notably, Sanchita Ajjampur, Zubair Kirmani (in the form of shibori on silk shirts and jackets). The Week also marked the VHIMW debut of two established labels — Tarun Tahiliani and Abraham & Thakore.
Lady Gaga chose to wear a stunning Tarun Tahiliani saree inspired dress for her performance at the F1 event in Delhi. Fashion fatigue had probably set in by the time the Spring Summer round of the WIFW came round. The 4 hour break before the grand finale, even for Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna was probably not the best idea.