Qutub Minar comes alive with style

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The last day of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 could easily be said to have gone by in anticipation of the grand finale by couturier Rohit Bal. Sunday’s off-site show, held at Quli Khan’s Tomb in the Qutub Archaeological Park, was nothing short of a royal spectacle with the moon throwing a spotlight on the runway and the Qutub Minar in the background.

Models emerged from the domed monument and walked down the 50-feet grand ramp. The collection comprised 90 garments inspired by ‘Gulbagh’ and featured exquisite embroidered and printed peonies, chrysanthemums, wild roses, Bal’s ubiquitous lotus and chintz prints. Traditional designs included floorlength angrakhas, peplum blouses, lehengas, saris, capes and smart shrug jackets in white, gold, black, maroon and multi-coloured stripes. The men were treated to well-fitted achkans in the same colour palette. Bal’s show was a treat to the senses and adding to the ambience was classical singer Shubha Mudgal soulful raags.

Bal’s old friend and actor Arjun Rampal walked as the showstopper in a smart back velvet bandhgala jacket, with subtle black roses embroidered on it, teamed with black jodhpurs and leather shoes. While the finale was what kept many excited, a few shows during the day managed to satiate the sartorial needs of fashionistas. Annaikka by Kanika Saluja questioned the taboos surrounding women’s sexual liberation through her strong collection titled ‘Euphoria’.

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With her trademark style of fluted pleats and peplums with metallic studs, rivets and embroidery, Saluja looked at silhouettes including long capes, jumpsuits, dresses and tops with fitted skirts in shades of grey, orange, pink, and gold. For the strong-headed bride with an equally strong sense of personal style, the designer presented a leather lehenga teamed with a copper embellished blouse that was worn by musician Monica Dogra.

Nida Mahmood returned with another quirky line inspired by Mad Hatter’s chai party. Models walked the ramp with flowers sticking out of their hair, tea cup hats, nerdy glasses and socks with psychedelic print teapot brooches. The range comprised dresses, chiffon tops, and saris over jeans with prints of hot air balloons and teapots.

A show by Melbourne-based Roopa Pemmaraju, presented by the Australian government, was another colourful expression of indigenous prints for daywear. Her painterly prints on skirts, dresses, coats and shirts and coats in neon pop colours added a refreshing touch. Australian Commissioner Patrick Suckling’s wife Natalie Daalder walked the ramp as the showstopper. Others who impressed were Rahul Singh and Rehane.

Mili Thakur