IRFW 2012 opened with James Ferreira's "Dawn to Dusk" collection presented by Bracialeto.
The sensuous Isha Sharvani moved gracefully in a one shouldered red swimsuit paired with a sheer long black skirt to the drum beats of her bother Tao under the balmy breezy skies.
The collection reflected the lazy laid back airy feel of perfect cruise wear. Colours and prints came from ANU M created by Anuradha Mafatlal Singh, one of the pioneering designers in the late 80s when the fashion business took baby steps in India.
Using fluid fabrics like georgette and staple viscose, James created languid dresses that could act as ideal swimwear covers. Cotton crepe was the choice for shift dresses, shorts and jumpsuits, while James brought in his signature dresses in draped satin that were moulded to the models’ figures. The designer stayed true to a colour story where dark jewel tones of lapis, ruby, jade, peridot and red were ideal as they glittered under the sandy skies during the show.
Bringing the show to an end was Isha Sharvani in a black satin slinky gown with a red cape that was not the most impressive piece of the lot.
While some pieces stood out, the collection was not out of the ordinary. We expected more from James.
Next up was young designer Nidhi Munim. Her collection titled "Bay Dreams" started out with bright neons and classic white, and moved into ikat prints in yellow.
The fabrics chosen by Nidhi were ideal resort wear as Lycra along with soft sheer materials and waterproof fabrics were great for swimwear and covers. The sexy one shoulder silhouettes moved to the spaghetti straps option; while halter necklines gave the sexy sheer maxis that seductive touch. For some dare to bare dressing, there were plunging necklines for the jumpsuits which could be a perfect choice for midnight glamour.
Opening with saffron monokinis with sheer covers in ombre shades and lots of colour blocking for the swimwear; the designer took the audience on a whirlwind tour of underwater glamour rarely seen on the ramp. The draped batwing ombre capes, the shocking pink water wear with cleverly used piping, the amazing slashed one-piece suit in orange with white edging and the sun yellow with the black Bands were definite stunners. Some of Nidhi's colour blocked swimsuits were reminiscent of the designs of Shivan and Narresh. Nonetheless, a great debut on the ramp. We're looking forward to see more of this designer's work.
The third collection for the day was by Gogee. Presenting her label “Swan”, Gogee's collection focused on classic black and white with splashes of colour and print. Swimwear was colourful while the fluid pants, trendy dresses and elegant gowns offered a cross section of options to the fashionistas by the seas. Georgettes and crepes gave the immaculately styled beach wear a classic look, while the matching accessories added to the look and feel of the garments.
The show opened with black and white polka dotted bikinis and shorts that set the pace of the show. Soon there were skirt shorts and elasticated tops with power sleeves, black petal bikini and sheer cover, ponchos with beaded yokes and black and white striped colour blocked asymmetric tops. Kimono covers, bubble skirts with pin dot print and brocade edged flouncy skirts, crushed chiffon slit pants and asymmetric gowns and jumpsuits in black and white were great resort wear options.
Men’s wear started with simple black and white shirts and pants in comfortable shapes, but ended with colour for the sheer hoodies and shirts in smudge prints of yellow, blue, red and green.
Stopping the show was Purab Kohli in a batik shirt and black wrap tonsures accompanying the lovely Hazel Keech and Nicole Huber, Miss Paraguay 2011.
While jewellery doesn't really gel well with a resort themed fashion week, Varuna D Jani's "Colours of Life" had some interesting statement jewellery.
Launching two collections – “V Rock” and “VOW”, Varuna took the spectators on a journey of gold, rubies, emeralds with precious stones and twinkling diamonds.
The show opened with Victoria, dancer-cum-acrobat in a lacy sparkling white leotard wearing the most gorgeous diamond hoops.
Then it was the superb eight entries that gave earrings and bangles a new dimension.
Models in gold miniskirts and white shirts twirling hoola hoops and flags modelled an array of earrings that ranged from ruby edged thick loops to triple circular ones, some with oval shapes, or were plaited with rubies and diamonds glittering on them. The ingenious bangles were interchanged and re-joined to form different designs.
Anushka Ranjan, the brand ambassador of the jewellery brand, made a grand entry modelling a square emerald ring and showing double diamond beauties where one could turn into two.
Day 1 came to a close with designer Anupamaa Dayal.
Titled “Apsara”, it was a seductive line of draped dresses, dhoti pants, sari trousers, swirling skirts and edgy resort dresses that drew their inspiration from the beautifully sensuous Menaka who distracted the sage Vishwamitra from his Tapasya according to mythology.
Shades of vibrant narangi, gulabi, Sindoor, baingani and banana leaf green were on the colour card for the totally distracting and beautiful ensembles. Moving away from her bouquet of florals which have been Aunpamaa’s signature prints; the designer opted for graphics to give a new dimension to her story.
Using Indian rustic ethnic wear as her basis for the resort holiday wardrobe, Anupamaa had the most colourful line of printed pants and bikini tops, cowl dhotis teamed with the tiniest of cholis and tunics with bandhni edged hemline. Kaftans were pleated with printed front panels, while mini kurtis with embroidery and prints swirled on the ramp. Flared pants with ethnic motifs and the asymmetric beach dress, panelled pants with piping and the crushed printed maxi skirt followed the theme and style of the show.
Glitter came in the form of heavily embroidered silver and gold collars, while bikinis were demurely covered with printed pareos. Sheer printed kurtas with front tie-ups were matched with sharara pants, while the batik lungi with shimmering gold stripes and the tiny pink or indigo denim shorts looked great with the kanjari style blouses. The cholis that appeared with lungis, pants, skirts or saris had that traditional touch but at times went modern in knit with a printed racer back style.
As always, Anupamaa impressed us with her distinct understanding of resort wear. Her collection was certainly one of the best of the day.