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Lakme Fashion Week: A fitting finale!

9 pm > Gaurav Gupta
The grand set created at Bandra's Mehboob Studios for Gaurav Gupta's collection, Sculpt, was the perfect way to spell out that the finale show at the fashion week should be all about grandeur.

Models in structured silhouettes pose against the giant sculpture of a woman during Gaurav Gupta’s finale show
Models in structured silhouettes pose against the giant sculpture of a woman during Gaurav Gupta's finale show

The venue, which was also used for designer Manish Malhotra's offsite show, played a large role in upping the scale. The giant sculpture of the face of a woman rose from the centre of a circular stage. A flight of stairs amongst the white stage décor added significantly to the drama.

Having the audience seated all around the stage, which offered a close look at every outfit, was a good idea. What we loved about the designer's new line was that though the colour tones used were white, grey, black and red, the outfits looked vibrant. The neatly crafted silhouettes of the evening gowns were his plus point.

We loved the use of sheer in some of the outfits. However, many of the designs weren't different from the designer's usual forte and we'd have loved to see more experimentation.

A model showcasing a checkered onion print from Aartivijay Gupta’s collection titled, Mandi
A model showcasing a checkered onion print from Aartivijay Gupta's collection titled, Mandi

Brouhaha over the bride
A model showcasing an outfit from Neeta Lulla's latest collection for the modern bride that encompassed five different themes including vintage, traditional chaniya-cholis inspired by Indian temples and arts, Jaipur's ornate palaces and floral prints

Same difference
12 pm > Anushree Reddy, Arpita Mehta, Ridhi Mehra
Day Five of Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015 began on an average note, with three designers — Anushree Reddy, Arpita Mehta and Ridhi Mehra — packing in conventional, festive wear. Starting first, Reddy's line-up was dominated by light pastel colour palette and moved on to greys, beige and even bright yellow.

Amy Jackson (left) and Rana Daggubati (right) turned showstoppers for Anushree Reddy’s (centre) collection. Pics/Shadab Khan
Amy Jackson (left) and Rana Daggubati (right) turned showstoppers for Anushree Reddy's (centre) collection. Pics/Shadab Khan

The models strutted in fluid chiffon drapes, net lehengas and sarees with zardosi work, cutwork dupattas and floral printed blouses. A far cry from the collection was when hunky showstopper Rana Daggubati strode the runway, dressed in a black raw silk kurta. We wish Reddy had showcased more from her menswear line.

A model in a gold embellished green lehenga from Arpita Mehta’s line
A model in a gold embellished green lehenga from Arpita Mehta's line

High on golden embellishments, appliqué and mirror work on silks and chiffons, Mehta impressed us with a few, functional outfits from her collection, The Golden Hour. For instance, the use of dull gold work on an emerald green raw silk lehenga paired with an off-shoulder choli was our pick.

The showstopper, Malaika Arora Khan glided down the runway to whistles (no kidding!) in a heavy, gold off-shoulder choli with a paneled net trail and a long embroidered gold skirt with a thigh-high slit, something only she could have carried off.

With solid hues like crimson red, white, ochre, black and regular silhouettes like caped blouses, formal pants, structured jackets and gowns dominating the runway, Mehra's collection, Prism, failed to leave a mark.

Fashionably vegetarian
1.30 pm > Aartivijay Gupta, Mayank Anand-Shraddha Nigam, Sonaakshi Raj
Impressed by Aartivijay Gupta's previous collection featuring prints inspired by mosaic, we were excited about her latest showcase, Mandi, based on a vegetable market.

And surely, she didn't disappoint. Imaginative and fun, the collection packed in big pleated skirts, trench coats, work-wear shirts, jumpsuits, dresses and even a coatblouse-saree featuring big and bright prints of veggies and fruits — from apples to gourds, tomatoes, onions, et al — cut into half.

Fused on checkered silhouettes in tones of dark biscuit browns, leafy green and beige, the prints created a stir. Polished mini-wicker caskets that doubled as hand accessories added a lovely touch. Next, the runway turned into a military parade as the designer duo, Mayank Anand and Shraddha Nigam, presented their line, The Textile Brigade.

Models took to the runway in military caps, flow-ey drapes, structured tunics, slit kurtas and army pants — all in earthy tones — embellished with gold- plated buttons and tassels. Apart from a few neatly crafted patchwork designs, we weren't too gung-ho about this line.

Sonaakshi Raj created some edgy silhouettes as part of her new collection, The Run-Away Bride. While she showcased long skirts with capes, tightly-fitted mermaid dresses and a fairy-tale tulle gown (donned by showstopper, Kriti Sanon), our pick was a pair of dark amethyst-coloured, front-slit dhoti pants paired with a gold embroidered crop top featuring a dragon motif.

Amy Jackson (left) and Rana Daggubati (right) turned showstoppers for Anushree Reddy's (centre) collection. Pics/Shadab Khan

Black is the new black
5 pm > Tarun Tahiliani
After bringing Rajasthan to the ramp with a fun, boho chic collection last season, designer Tarun Tahiliani went slightly subtle with his latest prêt offering, Easy Glamour. An antique-looking mirror and a rack of outfits formed the backdrop on the stage.

Alesia Raut in a pencil skirt inspired by Russian gypsy elements
Alesia Raut in a pencil skirt inspired by Russian gypsy elements

With black seen as a dominating hue in the line, the models took to the runway in kaftans, tunic, jumpsuit sarees, asymmetric kurtas, leggings, corset dresses, dhoti sarees and jackets with open sleeves.

We preferred some of the designs that were inspired by Russian elements. For instance, a knee-length pencil skirt with gypsy-like stripes in shades of rust paired with a matching sleeveless jacket looked stunning on the ramp.

The stylised messy hairdos and shiny, golden disc-earrings completed the looks. The designer took a bow with the sultry Chitrangada Singh who made a statement in a black draped gown with a velvet gold-embellished cape.

Report card: Winter Festive 2015

What we liked
>> The younger lot of designers 
>> The revival of lesser-known weaves such as Advitya by Swati and Sunaina, and designer Rinku Sobti’s take on Varanasi textiles.
>> Artisans getting their due with 20 craftswomen from Gujarat on the ramp.
>> Seven Kitchens’ buffet!
>> The terrace area with its fairylights and alcohol proved to be a great place to socialise and network.

What we didn’t like
>> Frankly, we are tired of the term ‘new-age bride’ that was used and abused by many designers who left us unimpressed with their thought behind such taglines that were neither new-age nor edgy.
>> Apart from the opening Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla show that began post a 10-minute delay, none of the shows, including the finale, started on time. Hmph!
>> The use of the term ‘scorched the ramp’ and ‘sashayed down the ramp’ in press releases. Bring out the thesaurus.
>> Media professionals not being professional. What’s with locking public computers with passwords at the media centre? And fighting for front-row seats?
>> Almost all the big-ticket designers didn’t wow us. Fatigue factor?
>> The hairstyling was hair-raising.
>> Front-row attendees leaving their seats while the designer is still on the ramp and even before the lights go off post the show. Have you been summoned by the President? Respect the designers.

— Suprita Mitter

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