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India Couture Week 2021 Round-Up

Kriti Sanon for Manish Malhotra

Kriti Sanon for Manish Malhotra at ICW 2021

The transformation of India Couture Week from ramp to reel has brought with it a wave of changes, the foremost being the accessibility of freshly-minted haute couture for everyone. In the same vein, the recently-concluded 2021 edition brought with it inclusivity: think nuanced fashion revues featuring same-sex couples, plus-size muses, real people, and diverse casting; all donning the season’s finest best bridal wear.

While there was a great resurgence of traditional bridal red, designers also sought to fulfil the needs of the younger, Gen-Z bride and wedding attendee. The seamless amalgamation of the new-age with classics, and the desire to be more holistic were poignant themes in this year’s digital couture gala. Aashni + Co rounds up some of the key highlights from our favourite collections.

Manish Malhotra

As ICW’s opening act, Malhotra’s opulent fare was a tribute to traditional scarlet. ‘Nooraniyat”s Bridal Edit catered to every bride, irrespective of age or faith, with heavy-weight red lehengas gilded with zardozi and badla. The collection skipped trends to celebrate the sartorial legacy of heirlooms that can be passed down for generations. The collection was lauded for the emotions it evoked in the viewers. 238299601_4603412756389805_3345276692974880592_n

“My bridal edit is an amalgamation of moods and emotions of the brides and over the years of creating their dream outfits and interacting with them, I inadvertently got drawn into those intriguing memories and decided to capture it all — from their enthusiasm and joy to the heartfelt and compassionate, there’s a myriad of emotions and sentiments that are so heart-warming yet unsettling moments before she turns the page onto her new chapter. There’s some surreal magic adoring every bit of their feelings, transmitting you into a world only known to a bride.” As our wounded world picks itself up little by little, the collection served a ray of hope for those who are preparing themselves to walk down the aisle.

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Tarun Tahiliani

The designer’s ‘Artisanal Couture’ was made of six capsule collections that highlighted his signature ‘India Modern’ design aesthetic. 240928038_4621158954615185_3281455371407287111_n

Each capsule collection told a story through a technique or design. It’s the kind of mastery of craft that one can expect for this stalwart designer. The celebration of brocade was a standout series, with the use of organza brocade, moonga silk brocade, and tulle brocade into au courant saris, shararas, and capes, adorned with traditional embellishments.240828324_4616822388382175_2553442972484311999_n 240822912_4616822481715499_6072911158379300863_n

Anamika Khanna

Anamika Khanna‘s India Couture Week collection was about emotions, a way of rejoicing beauty. It served as an acceptance of what is and a celebration of what we are given. The designer paid homage to the most intricate crafts of India to create bridal heirlooms whose exquisiteness will transcend time.
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 This joyous collection was a melange of reds, pinks, and whites, encrusted with luminous pearls and crimson flowers. Every look was juxtaposed with a statement element — be it pearl veils or extravagant jewellery. The looks, even when OTT, weren’t about styles that would weigh the bride down; rather those that deftly fuse comfort with fashion like only Khanna can.
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Gaurav Gupta

Gupta paid ode to the cosmos with celestial teal, mauve, and pink lehenga gowns and geometric suits, while breaking the boundaries of sexualities, identity and gender. Called ‘Universal Love’,  the designer created wearable art through his designs. The fashion film expanded on the movement that ‘Name is Love’, his previous couture show, started.239648815_4606080746123006_1300253368001193374_n

The clothing found its inspiration in the universe and borrowed from the expansive beauty of the cosmos. The ultimate aim was to defy boundaries to own one’s individuality. “The pandemic has made me believe in my own originality. The fact that I don’t have to follow trends means that I can follow my love for art more,” he observed.239643755_4606080662789681_5648706399107183224_n240952885_4621028881294859_2647066413659201896_n

Shantanu & Nikhil

The duo updated their signature draped kurtas and larger-than-life aesthetic with glamorous metallics and cityscape-inspired prints. A mix of bohemia and military-inspired silhouettes made this ‘Oasis’ collection unique. It stood out for its grandeur and glamour, and its decided focus on menswear this tome. The brothers married edge with elegance in an India modern collection that is all about contemporary ease.240877548_4621029064628174_8254856686549814462_n

The collection was created in response to the need of the hour — beauty for those deprived of it, glamour for those missing it and power for those feeling helpless.240631651_4612614778802936_1698856865846551824_n 239639446_4612614682136279_1196284117827241917_n

Kunal Rawal

Fashion icon Sonam Kapoor played muse for Kunal Rawal, who created fashion-forward contemporary styles with his collection ‘Vision Quest’. As always, the designer has experimented with silhouettes, forms, cuts and colours.  240992255_4621151801282567_5995813720039737040_n

Rawal’s signature tone-on-tone outfits were complemented by summer brights, quirky prints, and fresh thread work. Subtle metallics, and a cast of diverse muses made the collection — that is equal parts multifunctional and non-conformist — shine.240284037_4621003311297416_149867755212918881_n240162124_4621003337964080_7499691622762548527_n

Siddhartha Tytler

Siddartha Tytler made his debut at ICW with his collection ‘Ambrosia’. A palette of gold and ivory dominated the line which was a lesson in edge and elegance in equal measure. The designer best known for his dramatic elements stayed true to his signature flamboyance, married with a hint of quiet sophistication.
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Breezy organic fabrics, fashioned into billowy angarakhas, and lehengas made up the ivory and gold line replete with maximal ruffles with splashes of crystals and beads.
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Varun Bahl

A vibrant and modern collection,  Varun Bahl’s ‘Memory/Mosaic’ was an ode to timeless yet ever-evolving couture and bridal classics. The collection dipped into the brand’s archives to reinvents and upcycle it’s own signatures for the new-age bride. 240142457_4621029017961512_292596548548473358_n

Bahl’s bricolage of print and colour was perfect for the Gen-Z bride. Bohemian silhouettes and the use of unconventional fabric like denim made it truly stand out.239662498_4615441198520294_4085803988560613044_n 240691928_4615441081853639_7945602480249311335_n

Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna

Rohit Gandhi Rahul Khanna showcased their first ever couture collection ‘Alchemize’ at FDCI’s India Couture Week. The collection was a marriage of opulence with rich fabrics and floral embroidery in the designers’ signature embrace of high-shine sequins.
240805487_4621028951294852_6666919485253421047_n High-wattage glimmer and rich wines, emeralds, and sapphire blues dominated the line of scintillating lehengas, gowns, sherwanis and suits made for fabulous evening soirees.
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Reynu Taandon

Taandon’s fanciful collection ‘Zuri – beauty lies within’ drew inspiration from nature: think pastel confections in sea foam, baby blue, and blush tones. Strewn with florals and mirror work, classic lehengas and new-age shararas were her dominant go-to silhouettes. at FDCI’s India Couture Week. 240824210_4621028877961526_8764383042145074846_nThe collection was meant to serve as a mosaic for all things feminine. It brought together pastels with intricate embroidery to create a fresh vibe that appeals to all generations.239692728_4615430575188023_8078542548452302162_n 240773042_4615430341854713_6729163718226628199_n

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