Of mirror work and block prints

Of mirror work and block prints

Recently, the who’s who of Bangalore gathered at City Bar to witness Prasad Bidapa presenting designers David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore.

The designers set the tone for the evening with a taste of their latest line, the ‘Autumn Winter, 2012’ collection. The seemingly austere collection was set off with straight-backed models in sober blacks, whites and greys. With high-collared shirts and flared pants and dresses that hung below the knees, the modest collection was much applauded by the spectators.

An Indian hint was added to the collection as the tones shifted to sophisticated hues of auburn, rust, maroon and plum.

From A-lined kaftans to full-length skirts — illustrated with intricate embroidery — the collection marvelously blended Indian art with non-traditional outfits.

Some of the favourites

were a sari-inspired skirt and blouse, and painstakingly mirror-studded garments.
At the after-party, Rakesh described the essence of the line. “David and I both studied at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad,” he explained, adding, “The inspiration for our collection was Gujarat, especially the Kutch region.” Referring to the ethnic dash in the collection, Rakesh said, “We used a lot of embroidery work, block prints and mirror work, which is specific to that region.”

He added that the materials were specially selected cottons, silks and wools, keeping in mind that the dresses were to be worn in autumn and winter. “We are always looking to modernise tradition and make traditional costumes relevant to today’s fashion scene in India — as well as internationally,” said David, who disclosed that the line would be out in the designers’ store in September.

He also explained the significance of the grave, one-tone make up and neatly coiled hair of the models.

“We wanted to bring out the starkness and strength of the eyes,” he said, adding, “the eyes are the most communicative feature of the whole face.”

Prasad Bidapa was thrilled with the collection.
“The collection was fabulously based on Indian textiles.
It really brought out the dying arts of Gujarat and the techniques indigenous to the region,” he said.

“What I loved was the extensive mirror work, which would otherwise have looked very ‘bling’. But it was made so beautifully subtle by draping a chiffon wrap over it,” he explained.

“That’s our signature style,” Rakesh agreed, adding, “we keep it simple to ensure that the audience gets the gist and the tone of the whole collection.”

All praises for the designers and their collection, Prasad concluded that the most distinctive feature of the outfits was the toned-down Indian tinge.

“It was one big celebration of all things Gujarat,” he said, adding, “It really managed to bring out India’s heritage.”

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