Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Delhi Couture Week

23rd July

My friend Arti, with whom I was staying, is currently researching a book on Indian Fashion, so she was able to obtain an extra pass to Pearls Delhi Couture Week. The pass that she had wrangled for me was for Anamika Khanna, a very popular, very high end couture designer in India. The shows are all held in the 5*Hotel, The Grand in Vasant Kunj, Delhi where the fancy doormen open the car for you to attempt to get out in a graceful manner. Inside, there was a mix of Delhi socialites and the odd American buyer. There were miniskirts and ball gowns; I even saw a diamond tiara! A slightly different experience to my journey so far.

For me, the idea of couture in India immediately brings to mind heavily embellished, jewel encrusted saris and lengha in rich colours sparing neither money nor retina. But Anamika Khanna’s show was brilliant, it didn’t disappoint with the Swarovski crystals and gold thread, but it was all done with restraint and with a lot of Western influence. The garments were of course opulent and way over the top, but they were interesting and modern too.

At the end of the show, who walks down the runway but Anil Kapoor the Bollywood actor, probably best known in the West from his role in Slumdog Millionaire. Using celebrity to promote your brand, fair enough. Using a male celebrity for women’s wear? Novel concept.

The next show was for JJ Valaya, the top bridal couture designer in Delhi. However, I did not have a pass for this show and with a running nose and spluttering cough I did not like the idea of facing the surly security guards. Arti assures me that I did not miss much, just an example of my original impressions of Indian Couture.

If I had enough guts (and maybe if Arti was not there to embarrass) I would have questioned the bejeweled socialites of their shopping practices and if the welfare of those that make their clothes enter into their thoughts. I can only imagine that the answer would be no…

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