If Day 1 of Kolkata Fashion Week was action-packed, Day 2 had more glam in store. After the jewellery and The Story of Weaves show in the morning, in the evening, it was time for designers Zubair Kirmani, Manoviraj Khosla and Narendra Kumar to strut their stuff. And as expected,
they did not disappoint.
The choreography of Weaves complemented the beautiful creations. Danseuse Prema made a graceful beginning with traditional dance moves, after which models clad in the stylish drapes walked in. Saris were teamed with broad belts, leggings and shirts. Showstopper Riya walked the ramp in a maroon handloom sari. Despite repeated requests, the lovely lass didn’t oblige the media by giving her take on the show. But mom Moon Moon Sen said, “Both my daughters wear the sari on special occasions and I help them drape it.” Nandita Pal Chaudhuri, who collected and co-ordinated all the saris says, “Bengal has a rich tradition of textile and weaves and Day 2 of KFW showcased how tangail, garad, dhonekhali and block prints have been made contemporary over the years. Weaves of Bengal are known for their fineness of texture, beauty of design, intricacy of weave, lightness of weight and durability.”
The only thing that gave competition to the glitter on the ramp, was the sheen of jewellery, for which, Bollywood star Minissha Lamba was the showstopper. UK Chandra, joint MD of PC Chandra Jewellers, said, “I chose Minissha because I thought it was appropriate for her. I have shown diamond and gold. In fact, Minissha guided me how to walk the ramp.” Minissha added, “I am a minimalist in terms of jewellery, though I love diamonds.” Wearing a Dev r Nil lehenga with the baubles, the actor said, “I wish I didn’t have to give them back.”
As people milled around the venue, someone from the crowd was heard complaining that not many Delhi designers had come down for KFW. The lady in question must have missed the designer line-up for the later shows. Zubair Kirmani’s cigarette pants for men and the sporty, sexy lines for women made their mark. His showstopper, Jab We Met director Imtiaz Ali, was an absolute stunner. “I’m used to walking in Kolkata, on its streets and gulleys, but not wearing such nice clothes. Walking the ramp is something I’m most scared about, so I thought I’d do it once in my life,” said Imtiaz.
Bangalore-based designer Manoviraj Khosla’s show was all about attitude, aimed at the club-going youth. So the Spring/Summer ’09 collection saw embroidered jackets and mandarin collars for men. The luxurious line for women had knits and satin silks in it. The designer’s surface ornamentation was evident from the texturing he did with the same fabric and pleats. Manoviraj, too, had a showstopper in Dev. D star Mahie Gill. It came as a surprise to see Mahie on the ramp for Manoviraj, as she was supposed to walk for Kolkata designer Abhishek Dutta, a day later. Said Mahie, “I was very nervous initially. But later, it was all fun. It is a difficult job, I must say.”
After the show, restaurateur AD Singh was spotted looking for Manoviraj. Dressed in a Lecoanet Hemant jacket and JJ Valaya pants, he made a statement at the biggest fashion event in the city. “I missed Manoviraj’s show. It’s a pity as I was looking forward to it.” But he made up for his lost opportunity by being one of the front benchers for the next show by Narendra Kumar.
The crowd swelled by the minute. By the time the gates were thrown open, there was a huge rush to occupy the front rows. And at last count, the organisers said, footfall touched 1,000. It was a pity that even Manoviraj was seen on the backstands with Ratul Sood, jostling for space with viewers. The Mumbai designer, whose collection had a social message of hope and despair after the 26/11 attacks, had black and white as the predominant colours. The leather jackets, fishtail gowns and balloon dresses had the audience asking for more.
The loudest catcalls were reserved for Nari’s showstoppers, Rannvijay Singh and Ferena Wazeir, dressed in a brocade
jacket and fishtail gown respectively. Both were later heard joking about Rannvijay stepping on Ferena’s dress twice over.