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?
Ritu Kumar: Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2015: Gallery
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]