India on the catwalk

Art August 22, 2013 00:00

By KUPLUTHAI PUNGKANON
THE NATIO

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Sumptuous traditional designs with modern flavours are brought to Bangkok by designers Joy Mitra and Vikram Phandnis



JOY MITRA and Vikram Phadnis, designers to the stars – Bollywood superstars, that is –were in Bangkok last week, showcasing their colourful outfits at part of the “Incredible India” event hosted by Siam Paragon and the Indian Embassy, Bangkok in celebration of India’s Independence Day.

Mitra’s design philosophy is simple, yet chic and beautiful and his label is today synonymous with style, elegance and colour. Much sought after as a costume designer for Bollywood films, his latest collection reflects the charm of India’s best-known film industry.

“Every generation is inspired by the sheer magic of Bollywood. The art of story telling mastered by our directors and technicians made Indian cinema what it is today. From the humble Harishchandra we have come a long way. This year marks the centenary and we are celebrating it here in Thailand with you,” he told spectators at the catwalk event.

Mitra is best known and loved for his earthy shades and use of the block-printed cotton textile known as kalamkari and block-printed shawls (arjaks). He also takes the block-print technique further, using it with silk, georgette, chiffon and pure banarasi brocades. His silhouettes are modern contemporary and not limited to beautiful interpretations of classic sarees and anarkalis but also evident in feminine tunic dresses worn over layered long skirt in pleated chiffon. Many dresses are open backed, adding a sensuous feel to the collection.

The runway show displayed 35 multi-coloured lehenga beautifully embellished with zardozi embroidery. The colour palette was a very interesting mix of black, green, maroon, dark red and mustard.

Grace and a sense of aristocracy were reflected in all the designs shown by Phadnis, who is recognised for his use of bright colours and vivid ornamentation. He has designed clothes for numerous celebrities and eminent personalities and his bridal wear line is famous and in demand the world over for its cut and refined embellishments.

Phadnis’ collection showcased at Siam Paragon featured gentle fluid drapes in vivid colours. The palette wheel spun from the brightest oranges, yellows, fresh greens, and mints to muted gold, ivory and cream with a hint of embellishments.

“Incredible India” week also introduced Thais to the historical Indian classical dance “Bharatanatyam” and showcased imperial Indian legacies created by designers of royal descent in the exhibition “Royal Fables”. Visitors were able to enjoy the best of Indian teas, coffees and food and admire highest quality handicrafts and demonstration by master artisans.