New Delhi: Laden with the weight of history yet effervescent as it sits lightly on one’s skin, the Tarun Tahiliani Bridal Collection for 2013 – 14 at Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week 2013, at The Grand, New Delhi takes you back to the age of excess where the hallmark of genuine Indian trousseau is the painstaking made-by-hand details, the ornate embroidery and the intricate threadwork that form this couture collection.
Ivory silk threads sing in romantic paneled kurtas lifted with opals, pearls and other Swarovski crystals even as saris gleam with antique gold and silver peek-a-boo. Generous smatterings of zardozi, brocade and kalidar kurtas aside; the saris are opulent, from jamewar inspirations to gota, chikankari and bandhini indulgences.
The Gold Collection
Limpid pools of liquid gold gleaming in its decadent viscosity… “The Gold Collection” has as many facets as the woman who wears it. Italian lamé falls as if it’s been poured over your skin and the illusory jersey hugs every curve with the proficiency of a bias cut. Elegant in a dulled white gold or sylph like in sparkling black, the convenience of wearing it like contemporary clothing comes with the effortless drapery of a Grecian goddess. The silhouette of the sari is maintained throughout, the pallu being created by a wire overhead as Greek and Indian sensibilities fuse, a moment worthy of Max Müller’s epiphany. Intricate details of hand embroidered 3D flower artwork embellished with Swarovski Elements, peep at you from the intimacy of a bustier even as the chain-mail dupatta adds power and structure. Swathed in luxury and bathed in gold, it does not scream splendour – refined understatement, rather.
The Enchanted Forest
Like the whimsy of a forest fairy, the colour palette is a pastoral romance of pinks, ivory, restrained beiges and bridal red. The gilded lily of the collection is the bodice that would put an exhibitionist peacock to shame. The royal shades of the national bird come together in this corset that represents the entire collection – Indian in origin and yet global in sensibility.Risqué necklines that would be at home with cocktail dresses accompany saris with shadow reverse embroidery. A glamorously wicked reinvention of the classic sari, it comes with obi belts, a cape and bustier – full of glamour, humour and worldliness.
The concept sari is a smattering of Spain in the Indian vanguard of glamour. Like the frills of the train of a flamenco dancer it waves in and out of view like a lucid dream. Carrying the flag for understated bling, there is enough sparkle to light up the room and it does not leave one blindsided.
The Man of the Hour
Turning all convention on its head, from making draped dhotis out of a kanjeevaram saris and intricate sherwanis that sit lightly and with ease, every one of them is a pièce de résistance. Playing with multiple levels the sherwani, kurta and structured dhoti form a stairway to heaven.
The Bandhgala with a jersey stole sewn into the neckline belongs as much in a wedding as on the runway, providing both fashion and function. The structured cummerbunds where Don Juan meets Mughal aristocrats add drama in every ensemble. From jade green to pleated royal blue and a bejeweled one. Little details like pleated collars that do away with lapels keep things classic yet interesting. Upholding tradition with luxe velvet sherwanis and jewel embroidered necklines and cuffs, it carries elements of the Maharajas in all their Mughal glory, Persian motifs included. But facings in colours that pop and asymmetrical Bundis with crinkled cotton kurtas underneath provide enough space for quirks because boys eventually will be boys.
“Creating couture which keeps distinctive Indian crafts alive, while exploring visions in sparkling crystal and carat, reflects emotions that give shape to sensuous, elegant and bespoke luxury for any occasion wear and weddings. This exhibition is living, breathing heritage, married with the fresh vibrancy and essence of modern India,” emphasised the master couturier Tarun Tahiliani.
To add to the extravagant array of timeless elegance and glamour, choreographer and artistic director Jayachandran Palazhy from Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, India’s premiere organization working in the field of contemporary dance has created a unique sensual and captivating movement work for the show with music composed by Gaurav Raina of Midival Punditz. This piece is a blend of rituals and ceremonies that constitute Indian marriage tradition while portraying the sentiment and emotion that is an intrinsic part of the wedding.