I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – no one does it like Anamika Khanna. She was, is and always will be my most favorite Indian designer. She leaves one completely in awe of her creations and hers is certainly the show I look forward to the most each season. Those drapes, the unusual embellishment techniques, the old-world charm well balanced with contemporary cuts and colors, and of course the presentations – always top-notch! Her thought process stuns me every season and this time was no different. “Happily Ever After”, her installation presentation at the The Kila in Seven Style Mile, New Delhi marked the beginning of India Couture Week 2017 in full splendor – giving her guests an up close view of the garments. And that I feel is so important for couture presentations since they’re all about the meticulous details and exquisite embroideries that aren’t very easy to see and absorb as the models are marching down the ramp. There are so many elements that come together harmoniously in an Anamika Khanna creation like layers of embroidery, exquisite materials, construction details, prints, colors etc., that it’s almost magical to see them all so gracefully entwined in a garment that, despite so much going on, never looks over the top. It’s the subtle opulence of her creations that seems so unbeatable.
As the name suggests, “Happily Ever After” presented looks designed around various Indian wedding rituals and occasions – from the welcome lunch to the mehendi, cocktail and wedding, in collaboration with the fine craft of “Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers”. Each piece exuding a unique character, the collection offers tremendous options for a bride and her family.
Take a look at my captures from the show below.
“THE WELCOME LUNCH”
The customary welcome of the guests in a wedding is usually the first function and is almost a “warming up” to the celebrations. The collection is ethereal and romantic, yet eclectic and experiments with border shapes. The colours remain pastel, ranging from Ivory to Washed blues, Jades and beautiful Pinks. The embellishment ranges from thread work to various techniques of zardozi.
The “mehndi” in any India wedding is where we bring out colour, craft and tradition in full glory. Enough room to experiment, the silhouettes range from the traditional “Lehenga”, the “Sharara”, right upto the quintessential “Draped Sari”. The colours, the use of bolder, emergence of Mustard, deep Indian Purples, Corals and Reds. The embellishments used are essentially the “gota”, “old kinaris”, “dori work” and burnished gold and silver work. There may be colour, cut and embellishment in plenty, but there is an elegance that respects heritage and craft at all times.
Traditionally the sangeet and now a full blown cocktail party, we bring out the madness in total form. Fringing fuchsia and emerald organzas; burning out the zardozi to black, beating silver metal, experimenting with tassels and beadwork. Essentially a courageous space, where the bride and her friends look at the west for inspiration.
Serious Zardozis, the finest hand works, the traditional Benarsis, the classic Indian “Lehenga”. Pinks, Ivorys, Purples, Reds, and a hint of Orange. The beautiful “veil” and the traditional “choli” to the “bandhgala” blouse, this story respects where we belong, the culture we embody, and ensembles, that are meant to be preserved for life.