Timeless Sonata

On the first day of the Digital India Couture Week by the FDCI, dulcet sweet sorbet hues, modern silhouettes married with traditional motifs that showcase the majesty of India’s crafts, and a hint of alluring drama – make for a vivid spectacle of refined couture that only a maestro like Suneet Varma can pull off.

Sequinned zigzags, off-shoulder peplum top by Suneet Varma at ICW 2020 – FDCI

Couture maestro Suneet Varma’s love of sparkle and flamboyance is well known. But he’s also a master of finesse, subtlety, and extraordinary detailing. On day one of the first Digital India Couture Week presented by the Fashion Design Council of India, he showed a graceful stream of shimmering lehengas and saris, with the added drama and seduction of a peplum blouse here and a slightly off-the-shoulder top there, some with whimsical asymmetrical pleats, others with floral belts – reminiscent of some of the classic gowns made by French couture houses over the years.

Dramatic flounce ruffled tops and sequined lehengas make a cheerful pairing in canary yellow by Suneet Varma at ICW 2020 – FDCI

And there is a feel of timelessness – the theme of this collection – and sensuality to the pieces. From a ruffled-top canary yellow lehenga to delicate, wispy sarees enveloped in flowers, there’s no doubt a sense of allure and temptation. “The collection is a modern and theatrical representation of the modern Indian woman who lives in the ‘today’ – yet embraces the romance of traditional Indian couture, which is like a sixth sense of seduction,” says Suneet Varma. “It has its own vocabulary and language, like an elaborate braid entwined with history, myth and tradition. It may be modern or demure – but always magnificent and carefully crafted. The mix of traditional motifs with abstract artworks enhanced by the age-old crafts of India make for a perfectly feminine, romantic and modern woman.”

Model Sony Kaur sports a stunning V-neck jacket lehenga by Suneet Varma at ICW 2020 – FDCI

Since it is a digital showcase, everything has to be just right for this perfectionist. “The imagery that’s created, will last forever,” he says. “It’s up to you to portray your brand, the way you want.” And with Suneet, who’s known for his juxtapositions of embroidery, with crystals and sequins to create vivid, wearable tableaux, the eye registers the complexity of his creations as part of a grand, extravagant whole. His first section, entitled Bloom, is all about beautiful flowers and butterflies, corsages with dramatic shapes, and peplum tops. Then come a parade of spectacular lehengas with lots of zardozi, threadwork, and mirrorwork that literally glisten like a delicate waterfall, in shades of peach, coral, and shaded pink. In fact, the last lehenga, a shaded pink confection worn by model Sony Kaur even sports a dramatic train visible as one of the last frames of the show.

Butterflies and flowers on a shaded pink lehenga by Suneet Varma at ICW 2020 – FDCI

For the modern woman, sensuality is not something she shies away from. “Fashion is a politest way of speaking about sex,” says Suneet. “But I like the subtle, unspoken word, left to the imagination of the wearer. The glamour and sensuality in this collection comes through the use of sheer and lucid fabrics, the delicate placement of embellishments, the drapes and the unexpected details – and what they reveal or conceal.” It’s a fashionable fairytale with a soupçon of smouldering sweetness.

A gorgeous piece in gold with plenty of threadwork and hair accessory - a favourite of Suneet Varma at ICW 2020 – FDCI Delicate sarees and lehengas by Suneet Varma at ICW 2020 – FDCI Powder blue pleated bralette top with an embellished lehenga by Suneet Varma at ICW 2020 – FDCI Chevron motifs and traditional embroidery fuse with modern tops and streamlined silhouettes at Suneet Varma ICW 2020 – FDCI


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

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.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

Contact Us

Mail us @ lifestyleinsiderindia@gmail.com