There was a time back in the early 2000s, when India Fashion Week was the only mainstream fashion event in India. The entire country waited with bated breath to see what some of India’s best designers had to offer during the extravagant fashion spectacle.
However, as with all things, change is inevitable and soon, a more popular event called the Lakme Fashion Week emerged. While the India Fashion Week brought in all the business for the designers, the Lakme Fashion Week put them in the spotlight and gave them popularity. Together, the two bi-annual events have been instrumental in setting Indian runway fashion trends and defining the country’s fashion sensibilities.
Over the years, the two Indian fashion weeks have launched many top designers and the ramp has witnessed a bevy of Bollywood beauties walk down in exclusive designer outfits. Some of these outfits have been so extraordinary that they are etched in our memories owing to their exquisiteness.
Today, we take you through five such memorable outfits showcased during the Indian fashion weeks that redefined extravagance on Indian runway fashion.
Watching a model walk the ramp in a Sabyasachi Mukherjee outfit is like reading poetry. The magic he weaves in his clothing is something that needs to be seen to be believed. A staple during the Indian fashion weeks, Sabyasachi’s collections are most anticipated by the brides-to-be, thanks to his fondness for extravagant fashion. The maverick who treats fashion as art has until now only bettered himself with each of his outings during the Indian fashion weeks.
Most impressive among his shows was his ‘Absolute Royal’ collection which closed the Lakme Fashion Week 2013 on a high note. The line was inspired by the period of early 1900s grandeur - an era of excesses. The lavish sarees, lehengas and jacket-style suits in regal colours was perhaps the best that we got to see of the designer on Indian runway fashion. The piece that has stayed in our minds is the heavy golden lehenga with a full sleeve embellished choli and a dupatta finished with equal opulence. Who knew that full sleeves would look so good on the ramp?
You know him for his delicate bridal sarees, lehengas and anarkalis that have a certain dreaminess about them that we cannot put into words. With his extravagant fashion sensibilities that is just what the brides need, Manish Malhotra has carved a niche for himself in the Indian bridal fashion market. This ace designer’s shows during Indian fashion weeks are always star-studded, and why not when his clientele includes the who’s who of Bollywood.
Though feminine outfits in colours like pink, red and gold are his forte, our pick for his most extravagant outfit is what his showstopper, Kareena Kapoor wore at the 2014 edition of Lakme Fashion Week - an unconventional metallic outfit, full of bling! The lehenga, jacket style choli and cape in brilliant hues that did full justice to the collection that was called the ‘Ultimate Gloss Collection’. The dual tone metallic purple lehenga was paired with a silver jacket with mirror work and finished with a grey embroidered cape-style dupatta that made the entire outfit stunning. By giving Kareena a sultry and sensuous look, the outfit managed to capture all our attention and remains one of our favourite Manish Malhotra creations to date.
Proof that Tarun Tahiliani is one of Shilpa Shetty’s favourite designers lies in the fact that the actor chooses the designer for all her important public appearances. Being a staunch loyalist of the designer naturally makes the svelte actor a popular choice when choosing the showstopper for his major ramp shows. One such appearance that was memorable was during the India Fashion Week of 2014 where the leggy lass stole the show in a lavish multicolour Tarun Tahiliani creation. The draped blouse was cleverly cropped to display Shilpa’s washboard abs while the asymmetric lehenga flattered her figure and height beautifully. Made from silk fabrics in brilliant hues, the lehenga choli in itself was a work of extreme meticulousness.
Jacqueline Fernandes turned bride on the ramp for Anju Modi during the Lakme Fashion Week 2014 and turned out to be a picture perfect one at that. Designer Anju Modi is credited for giving shape to the Indian bridal fashion market and as one of the founding members of FDCI, the designer has played an important role in shaping the Indian fashion weeks as well.
With her festive collection ‘Manikarnika’, during the Lakme Fashion Week 2014, the designer recreated the extravagant fashion of the yore. The most impactful outfit of the collection was the bridal lehenga worn by the showstopper Jacqueline Fernandes - a floor sweeping embroidered maroon lehenga paired with a full sleeve embroidered golden blouse and a matching dupatta. The lavish ensemble which was the culmination of age-old crafts and techniques paired with luscious fabric was the cynosure of all eyes during the show.
If you ever search for lehengas by designer Rohit Bal online, then one result that will pop up without fail is that of a red velvet bridal lehenga from his ‘Gulbagh’ collection. Rohit Bal, who is known for his extravagant fashion sensibilities outdid his own best from the previous Indian fashion weeks with the collection that was inspired by the flora of Kashmir.
The design on the lehenga was so elaborate and the craftsmanship so exquisite that it would be hard for anyone to take their eyes off the beauty of the outfit. To say that it was the highlight of the Wills India Fashion Week of 2014 would be apt, given the kind of adulation it received on the ramp. The structured lehenga in a rich red hue was finished with all over golden embroidery that redefined grandeur in a way only Rohit Bal could. What we loved more was the beautifully crafted choli that complemented the lehenga beautifully. Being a perfect choice for a bride who wants the wedding of her dreams, this dress according to us was one of the most extravagant outfits ever shown at the Indian fashion weeks.
Image credit: wedmegood, fashioncentral, thebigfatindianwedding, vidm, ibnlive, ndtv