The very first visual presentation from Limerick by fashion duo Abirr and Nanki Papneja introduced Chrysalis, which embodies optimism and joy after the storm has passed. With prints and patterns the forte of the design duo, this refreshing, modern, and easy-breezy collection tells a story in sorbet, pastel pop colours against a white canvas – almost like watercolours on canson paper. Inspired by the architectural and floral beauty of a Mughal garden, crêpe and organza float about the models as they twist in maxi-length dresses and pose in layered short skirts with billowing chiffon sleeves. A piece that stays in the mind is the printed pantsuit in white, pink or purple, replete with a profusion of pink flowers, with the print carried over to candyfloss pink saris.Collection by Nirmooha @ LMIFW SS 21
The adjoining showcase by Nirmooha, was reminiscent of a 1970s pool party, with all the glamour associated with that decade, and a hint of extravagance. Draped dresses, maxi-length dresses paired with halter tops, sheer kaftans with embellishment in Fall colours like burgundy, teal, and mauve, combined with floppy straw hats, oversized frames, and hoop earrings, to add a boho touch. Prreeti Jaiin Nainutia, in her press note, says she was influenced by English aristocrat’s winter wardrobe, and opted to use wool blended with handspun muga silk, and silk organza. A standout look was the patchwork of geometric prints used to create dresses and a jacket/shorts combo that’s turning out to be SS’21 staple.Guapa @ LMIFW SS 21
Both Hyderabad-based designer Archana Rao and resortwear label Guapa were set in nature – the first in a field of green referencing the magical world of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the daintiness of the Wildflower (the theme of their collection), and the second in a magical ‘Enchanted Forest’, referencing the mystical creatures that inhabit it, such as the Mystical Doe, the Magical Bunny, the Cherry Bird, the Tree of Life and the Indian Marigold Flower.Collection by Archana Rao @ LMIFW SS 21
Archana Rao shows pale colours and streamlined silhouettes, clothes that are delicate almost virginal, and as the film progresses, you see a pleated skirt here, or khaki trench there, and boiler suits with pressed flowers (from scraps of coloured fabrics) in bloom. Refined touches like pearl collars and hand-embroidered leather cut-outs, tea-length dresses with corsets, and a ‘broken china’ mosaic print add to the storybook tale – what’s not lost on us is that here is brand that “aspires to be zero wastage, promotes slow fashion, and uses principles of re-cycling and up-cycling”.Collection by Guapa @ LMIFW SS 21
Guapa, founded by a marketing professional-turned-designer, is all about easy-breezy clothing that can be dressed up or down – that is their mantra. Besides their aforementioned motifs, they have experimented with various techniques like the blanket stitch, cutwork embroidery and smocked pleating, and have introduced newer categories like Swimwear and Accessories – scarves, hats, bags, and earrings. They are also all about eco-conscious clothes and accessories, and work with biodegradable materials where possible. It’s a brand to watch out for.Ranna Gill @ LMIFW SS 21
Ranna Gill took the botanical route and immersed her models in a tree-filled, bright space, wearing floral and geometrical prints in a collection aptly named ‘Floral Opulence’. Belted dresses, tunics, dhoti pants, maxi-length and beautifully pleated dresses (in shimmering black, and belted, this was a statement piece), asymmetric dresses with multi-beaded necklaces, jackets and combinations of print, embroidery, tassels and embroidery – a real tactile feast for the senses.Siddhartha Tytler @ LMIFW SS 21
Siddartha Tytler always flirts between unconventionality and glamour. His past unabashed take on 1980s over-the-top bold looks – from the black mini-skirt to power shoulders to sequins, to neons – has come full circle with his presentation entitled ‘Cult’, for LMIFW SS’21. Not once abandoning his penchant for bling and lots of black, this was a collection that was upbeat, with touches of sparkle and pop colour, and his trademark flamboyance. As soon as the first model walked in – a man wearing a long, embellished skirt with a lamé jacket, the stage was set for the metrosexual man in his show. From skirts, to dhoti pants, to harem pants, and then finally beautiful appliqué jackets or sherwanis with intricate threadwork – men had something to cheer about. Women, too, strutted with confidence in embroidered saris that looked more like evening gowns (Sid Tytler is known to do that!), oversized, puffy, layered, and ruffled jackets worn with sequined and embroidered lehengas, often with giant butterflies in appliqué, and long jackets over kurtas and palazzo pants – told a magical Indo-Western story. Filmed in what looked like a crumbling warehouse complete with graffiti and stark concrete walls, the digital show featured an incredible lineup of 59 models, and was styled by former Vogue stylist Aaditya Walia.Collection by Gauri and Nainika @ LMIFW SS 21
Sisters Gauri & Nainika evoked a summer romance in the Victorian era – with clear 40s silhouettes in a verdant setting, with models in pin curls, in flowy crêpe dresses with plenty of ruffles and prints ranging from pretty florals to chinoiserie, to a lovely chinoiserie or Dutch-inspired delft print in green. We spot puff sleeves, bows around the neck and belts, pleated skirts, and cut-out shoulder tops, but what really stood out were the layered tulle skirts in pink, red, and black, and the flaring pleated dresses in red and black with black roses. The duo believe in strong colour play – and the berry polka dot dresses that came out with a striped pink dress set the tone for incredibly wearable, glamorous day dresses. But it’s not a Gauri & Nainika show until the exaggerated sleeves and flared Grecian gowns are out – and that is a one hundred percent maximalist look.Collection by Ravi Bajaj @ LMIFW SS 21
Veteran designer Ravi Bajaj sprung a surprise on us when he introduced a video celebrating movie-star glamour, with his vocals lent on a track to 60s and 70s Hindi film classics. “We have drawn inspiration from stars such as Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Helen, Sharmila Tagore, Vyjayanthimala and many more…” reads the press note. In keeping with his penchant for impeccable tailoring and luxurious fabrics, there were delicately sequinned ombre saris, and bandhgalas in ivory and red, achkans, and a Dev Anand-inspired sleeveless suede camel jacket with matching foulard for the guys – all reflecting a festive, joyous mood, like a party that never ends.Suneet Varma @ LMIFW SS 21
The larger-than-life Suneet Varma opted to take a leaf out of Milan Kundera’s book, ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’, with a digital film focusing on the dulcet sweetness of a mint green, peach, lemon, and cream, for the last showcase of Day Two. Chiffon, crushed georgette and organza create elegant sari skirts, dhoti pants, saris, and palazzo pants, making way for a very mod version of his lehenga, in ivory and ink blue. You see touches of extravagance, like tassels and sheer capes, along with crystals and beadwork, but it’s always restrained, never over the top and eminently wearable.Limerick @ LMIFW SS 21 Nirmooha @ LMIFW SS 21 Collection by Ranna Gill @ LMIFW SS 21 Collection by Siddhartha Tytler @ LMIFW SS 21 Gauri and Nainika @ LMIFW SS 21 Ravi Bajaj @ LMIFW SS 21 Collection by Suneet Varma @ LMIFA SS 21
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A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.
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