It is widely believed that the West cannot get enough of all things Indian when it comes to fashion and this statement was once again proven true at the recently concluded New York Fashion Week.
While Wang included elements such as Nehru jacket-inspired shirts, choli jackets and churidar pants, Marchesa went the whole nine yards with an entire line-up of Indian ensembles, tweaked for the Western palette - from accessories such as jewelry, bags and high heels to sari gowns, lehengas and anarkali-inspired creations, the Associated Press reported. The line-up also included lehenga-inspired ensembles that featured voluminous skirts with traditional embroidery teamed with short silk cholis in shades of black, white and silver.
"The collection is out of India, but India is just the starting point," the AP reported Wang as saying in a backstage interview. "There is no belly dancing, there are no sarongs, there are no saris. It is about the sort of discipline about Indian men's clothes like Nehru, against the mystery and sensuality of Indian women — but not literally."
Other India-inspired collections came from the South Asian designers who have been staples at the coveted fashion week. Nepali-American designers Prabal Gurung’s Sept. 8 collection focused on abstract prints with blue, white, red and pink prints. Citing the Indian born artist Anish Kapoor and the Dutch collage artist Amie Dick as major influences, Gurung’s collection focused on the looser, less-constructed silhouette, AP reported. Kapoor is known for geometric sculptures made of pigment and plaster and Dicke is known for her collages of abstract images from fashion magazines.
"I think this is what the woman who's drawn to my clothes wants to wear next," Gurung told The Hollywood Reporter backstage. "This is where she's going. Sure, she's a tough woman - but now, the toughness is on the inside, and the softness on the outside. With the women I create for, it's always changing, always evolving. They don't need to prove anything to anyone. They dress for themselves.”
Keeping the spring weather in mind, designers typically began with white, then pastels and gradually moved on to darker hues. This transition was typical of Naeem Khan’s Sept. 11 display, which went from black-and-white or sepia prints to a brilliant marigold, coral, bright blue and orange and ended his show with a series of beaded chiffon caftans, in marigold, coral, blue and blush.
The Indian-born Khan, who famously designed Michelle Obama’s first state-dinner dress, a shimmery gold-and-silver creation, remained true to his glamorous roots, presenting a number of red-carpet-ready gowns. But he also broadened his collection by adding separates and daywear, as in cotton sateen pants paired with a bustier, or a cashmere off-the-shoulder sweater, or a quilted trench in bright blue, according to The Washington Post. Often, Khan would present a motif, like a black-and-white rose print, and move from casual to fancy, as in a plain shift dress or a trench coat to a cocktail dress to a trumpet gown.
Like Khan, Bibhu Mohapatra also turned to his native Orissa for inspiration. But along with the tradition of silver filigree work, Mohapatra was also inspired by the Luna moth. In his spring 2013 collection he embellished both daywear and evening gowns alike with intricate cutouts, filigree-inspired prints, appliqués and embroidery.
Influenced by the moth, his collections featured a sleeveless white top with “drapes,” an almost wing-like effect which was paired with a steel-colored pencil skirt.
An onyx leather dress was enhanced by intricate laser cutouts, a sea green and sand-colored suede dress with silk inserts was one of the most wearable daytime looks. Talking about the moth as an inspiration, Mohapatra told The Washington Post that it was the metamorphosis it goes through in its short life. “It’s like the woman — she is constantly evolving,” he said.
But unlike Khan and Mohapatra, Indian designer duo of Falguni and Shane Peacock went futuristic, opening their show with a light-up dress , remixed audio of rocket engines warming up and control tower chatter, and three models clad in clear, plastic armadillo-style space helmets, according to MTV Style. From there, the show kicked off with a parade of interesting and thought-out looks - fishtail dresses with ombre beading crawling up the hem, printed bodysuits fit for an international pop star, and layered Plexiglas that stood up from clavicles and hips.
Although relatively new to the fashion week ramp, the Peacocks are notorious for attention-demanding ensembles and experimenting from season to season with different textures, prints, and embellishments, the fashion week website said.