Ritu Kumar’s Winter 2015 collection ‘Varanasi Weaves’ came yesterday at Lakme Fashion Week. For a designer that is famous for her sarees, a collection so rooted in ethnicity felt appropriate. Ritu Kumar’s ‘Varanasi Weaves’, as the name suggests celebrates the traditional Indian woven handloom of Banarasi weavers. The collection may not feel futuristic, but makes a strong case for revisiting the local crafts in India for future collections in fashion.
The designer explored vastness of everything Banarasi – colors, fabrics and styles. The color palette ranged from earthy pastels to glossy colors. The first set of pieces by Ritu Kumar were ethereal whites, beige, nudes with gold borders in transluscent gossamer silk with embroidery and appliqué. They were an assortment sarees, tiered gowns and belted jackets some of which had an oriental touch in style. The novelty came in some interesting silhouettes that were asymmetric tunics paired with crushed silk palazzo pants, some paired with jackets.
To make these crushed palazzos more exotic with a modern twist for a young girl, I would lose the hoop earrings, bangles, caps and jackets in favour of sleeveless crop tops. And I would pile on more exotic jewelry with broader belts!
The more traditional pieces by Ritu Kumar had some degree of interest, too – belted silk sarees paired with chooridars (leggings) and tiered lehengas paired with bundhgala jackets, corsets and halter blouses with intricate threadwork. The silk came in the brightest of reds, fuchsia, midnight blue, gold turquoise and amethyst with floral and botanical motifs.
Showstopper and actress Aditi Rao Hydari wore a fuchsia silk saree with gold metallic belt and leggings.
“The collection may not feel futuristic, but makes a strong case for revisiting the local crafts in India for future collections in fashion.”
Unlikely pairings were the order of the evening, and as such, experimental combos like the one below may be an unconventional take on something so traditional. Would you pair the jacket with formal trousers and the saree with a red halter blouse instead? Perhaps?