Celebrating demi-couture

The sheer excitement, mystique and enigma which the very mention of the word “couture” generates is unparalleled. It’s not just about pretty clothes, front row glam slam or mounds of sequins being stitched to reams and reams of tulle. It is about the seamstresses spending days working on an exquisite piece of art and designers erecting a monumentally grand theatrical setting to create the right mood and ambience. Who can forget the impossibly tall iconic Chanel jacket which Karl Lagerfeld had erected at Grand Palais in Paris a few seasons ago or the famous Manish Arora butterfly dress at his Paris outing? Cynics argue – who wears such grand ostentatious clothes? What about the wearability factor? Who can afford such criminally expensive concoctions apart from of course the secretive Haute Couture Club ladies or in other words The Ritz Addicts!

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The iconic Chanel jacket at Grand Palais

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The famous Manish Arora Butterfly dress

Couture may be a distant dream in this country especially with the Rupee dwindling like never before but fashion enthusiasts still have a ray of hope. Most designers are doing demi-couture or in other words affordable luxury. This time I followed all the collections from Delhi Couture Week quite closely and what caught my attention the most was the talented Gaurav Gupta, known for his interplay of textured embellishments and contrasting sheer fabrics.

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The collection decoded the evolving aesthetic of the sari, gowns and lehengas. Moon grey, ecru, dust gold, Egyptian, teal and pop neon gloried with materials like saadi, pitta, zari, nakshee and multi-dimensional surface ornamentations. He is known to embellish his chiffon saris with metallic mesh embroidery for a while now. (I personally love his structured trousers for men).

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In this line, a bright tangerine jacket tunic was the most powerful outfit which was accessorised with an over-sized ear piece. Of course the gold sequinned showstopper outfit with an organza trail was fascinating enough. Some of the silhouettes that dominated this collection were Sand Timer, Fluid Pyramid, Twisted Ripple, Expanding Root and Liquid Creeper. More power to his creativity!    

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