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The distinction of closing fashion week with a ‘grand finale’ collection is usually given to a designer whose work is exemplary and sets the standard for the industry. This season, rather than select a singular designer from a roster of industry veterans, nine designers, known for their distinctive style, were chosen to close Amazon India Fashion Week’s Autumn/Winter ’16 edition. The theme of the night was “India Modern” and showcased the work of designers Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rahul Mishra, Aneeth Arora, Abraham & Thakore, Anju Modi, Pankaj & Nidhi, Samant Chauhan, Rohit & Rahul, and Amit Aggarwal. Each designer presented five ensembles that was reflective of their unique aesthetic while featuring Indian textiles and crafts in a way that’s fresh and current.
The idea of India Modern is in many ways about charting a new path for Indian fashion: honoring its rich history and heritage while reimagining those traditions in a global context. Designers like Rahul Mishra, who’s shown at fashion weeks outside of India, have been vocal about putting Indian fashion on the map given its incredible design talent and it seems the industry is finally ready to make that happen.
To that end, the finale featured a mix of both Indian and Western silhouettes made using predominantly hand woven fabrics like banarasi, chanderi, khadi, and silk ikats embellished with beautiful embroidery, zardozi, mirror work and block printing. On display, for example, were Amit Aggarwal’s reinterpretation of the Kanjeevaram sari into ornately draped gowns while Abraham and Thakore took inspiration from the kedia jackets of Rajasthan and Gujarat and redesigned them as contemporary jackets with hoodies. As Rahul Mishra told Vogue India, “India has all the ingredients to be a top production capital of the world, in terms of high end fashion. It’s just a matter of the outside world realizing that.” Pankaj Ahuja echoed that sentiment saying, “I think the India Modern sprit echoes the fact that India’s time has come and not only has it come, it’s here to stay.” Check out some of the looks from the show below:
Rajesh Pratap Singh:
Abraham & Thakore
Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna:
Photos courtesy of Sanyam Bajaj for Couture Rani. You can see more of his work on Instagram: @sanyambajajphotog and @theweddingbonanza