The latest Rohit Bal couture collection was showcased as a part of India Couture Week 2016 last week. Titled ‘Kehkashaan – The Return of Opulence’, this fashion show was all about the idea of extreme luxury.
Inspired by the grandeur of the Czarist Regime of Russia, the designer Rohit Bal interpreted the richness of the royals and translated it into, as he noted in the fashion show description, “a contemporary collection of a bygone period of excess toned down only by my understated philosophy of style and timeless chic.”
The silhouettes included floor-touching gowns worn under long, embroidered jackets, and long skirts and lehengas worn with boleros or collared jackets. Menswear included sherwanis and bundhgalas worn with chooridars, and Indo-western jackets paired with slim pants. The color palette, like the silhouettes, remained the same as his previous Summer/Resort 2016 collection – blacks, off-whites and deep reds with gold embellishments.
There were some fresh elements, too, which we haven’t seen in Bal’s recent collections – including crowns (both for men and women), gold belts, a solid-colored long flared skirt and a long jacket with waist-high slits on either side. An empire-waist gown and a flared waistless dress were new styles too.
Translating royalty into Indian couture is Bal’s signature thing, and opulence is hardly a new word in his dictionary. And yet, time and again, the fashion designer unveils designs that use the same philosophy but are praise-worthy nonetheless, all the while staying in his comfort zone. Which is not always a bad thing from business point of view – as Bal caters to the wealthy consumer. So yes, as far as silhouettes, fabrics, color palette and embroideries go, this collection is right up Bal’s alley, and yet I am wowed altogether! Mission accomplished or an opportunity lost at the hands of a talented designer? You be the judge!