Titled ‘Husn-e-Taa’iraat’, the latest collection was every bit Rohit Bal as you would expect – speaking of Indian royalty and grandeur, elaborate, celebratory of the Indian tradition and beauty. If there’s any couture collection that’s more of all these traits, this is it – something an elegant lady would wear. Not necessarily modern, but resting its inspiration in the tradition of opulence.
The most striking part of the Rohit Bal collection was the abundant use of traditional Kashmiri embroidery, featuring floral and bird motifs – caught in flight, next to vines and branches, reminiscent of gardens. The silhouettes included men’s sherwanis, and women’s anarkali gowns (seems like those are not going out of fashion any time soon) paired with floor-touching jackets, both flared and straight-cut.
The looks were accessorized with heavy headdresses – layered chain headpieces, and some had dozens of fabric-roses all clumped together on one side of the hair, sometimes around the wrists and neck too – as if it were the rose version of Elizabethian neck and wrist ruff. The best part was the glorious color palette – crisp and simple. It consisted of whites, creams, champagne, black and cherry red – with multi-colored embroideries – mostly in red, fuchsia, green and gold.
If there is any concern that I have, it is regarding the wearability of these clothes that use heavy fabrics like brocade and velvet in the hot Indian climates, especially the wedding season that usually does not occur in the middle of winters. Perhaps these are designed to cater to Rohit Bal’s NRI clientele. Or perhaps we can, for once, wear uncomfortable couture that makes us sweat as long as it is breathtaking and stunning. For It-Girl Blair Waldorf famously said in Gossip Girl, “Fashion knows not of comfort!”
Rohit Bal: Autumn Winter 2015 Couture 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]