Text by Sadaf Shaikh
Sanjay Garg has mastered the art of creating ensembles that do more than just make you look pretty. His collections dredge up memories from a time long gone and this time around, he seeks to recall the shared culture of pre-partition Punjab through Heer’s bridal festivities. Set against Patiala’s Baradari Palace, Garg’s heroine partakes in her wedding without the fuss of today’s finery and acknowledges tradition while making some her own. Knee length Kurtas, floor-grazing Sharara’s and draped silk satin odhani’s fashioned out of vintage textiles are some of the pieces we love from the collection for their ability to evoke sounds of playful laughter upon merely brushing our fingers across the fabric.
If you’re in the mood for some cross-culture fashion, Tarun Tahiliani’s Ready-To-Wear collection is inspired by the ancient heritage of Shanghai and features draped kurtas, kaftans, concept saris and dresses. An effortless blend of traditional gara embroidery with floral motifs inspired by the Orient, the collection is reminiscent of fabled Shanghai warriors with their dynasty swords who fought fiercely while looking like they were locked in a graceful dance with their opponent.
Payal Khandwala’s festive collection is a continuation of her pret line inspired by the semi-nomadic matrilineal tribe, the Tuaregs. Borrowing from the palette of their clothing against the tribe’s natural habitat, the collection features shades of cobalt, ultramarine, indigo, charcoal and amber and garments that are hand woven in silk and organza with gold metal thread. The silhouettes are uncomplicated with an emphasis on colour and the collection exudes an air of understated opulence, as is the case with most of Khandwala’s designs.
You know how you sometimes really want to wear a sari but the sheer garishness of it deters you from doing so? Anavila festive line offers the perfect solution to your I-am-too-cool-for-this woes with a collection of linen saris that comes with t-shirt blouses and pallus that end at the shoulder instead of dangling on the floor. The designer has restricted the colour palette to soft, muted hues that are a nice break from the usual flashy colours associated with the celebratory spirit in India.
Shivan & Narresh
From the designer duo that practically invented the bikini sari comes a collection for the woman who might be travelling for Diwali but still wants to indulge in the festivities of the season. Shivan and Narresh’s latest collection is inspired by the sandy beaches of Praslin in Seychelles and explores a juxtaposition of busy tropical prints against coco hues. An ideal option for someone who doesn’t like to be encumbered by tedious layers, this collection is functional and sexy all at once.
Adding a melange of colours to your festive wardrobe in a rustic style, Ritu Kumar’s collection is inspired by the traditional attire of the Rajasthanis and features flared skirts that will have you twirling on every possible occasion. Titled ‘Remembering the Silk Road’ after the nine-jewels of Navaratna, each one thought to have its own healing properties, the story has an unforgettable colour palette that employs rich zardozi embroidery to form intricate calico flowers. With traditional Persian embroidery on Rajasthani silhouettes, these artful garments bring meaning and beauty together, full circle.
Papa Don’t Preach
We’re suckers for good storytelling and Papa Don’t Preach’s latest collection called One-Way Ticket takes us on a journey with Alice who has her eyes set on earth after waltzing through Wonderland. Consisting of blush pink bustiers, embellished boleros, floral lehengas and pop-coloured bodycon kurtas, the new campaign stars Amrita Puri as Alice and narrates a tale of being lost and found, facing an existential crisis, being caught in a conundrum and finally listening to the sound of your own heart. If you’re someone that likes to be the life of the party, these kaleidoscopic outfits will definitely help you look the part.
With a pledge to practising sustainability even for a festive collection, Good Earth has launched not one, but four lines for the conscientious woman who likes to keep things simple. Christened Gandhara, Kainath, Kairavi and Takshila, the capsules feature fine textural embroideries in sheer silk, chanderi, velvet and tissue, highlighted with delicate lace detailing. If you’re looking for the ostentation of a festive collection, you won’t find it here. Instead, what you will find are elegant shades and free-flowing silhouettes that don’t tie you down.
Nicobar’s new collection Negombo — named after the Sri Lankan city — makes a smooth transition from daytime festivities to nighttime revelry. The collection includes over a hundred styles across womenswear, menswear and home, all with just the right amount of twinkle. Keeping in mind the cooler weather that is setting in, Nicobar’s palette pays homage to the winter sky and you’ll find fabrics like buttery chanderi that are designed for layering during balmy evenings.