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!
Rohit Bal Couture Collection 2016: 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]