When team élanstreet suggested I cover India Beach Fashion Week 2016, I was more than interested. Being a designer and stylist, I am always curious to see what’s new in fashion. Besides, this was an event in Goa, quite literally at my doorstep.
By the time I reached Museum of Goa on Friday evening (May 20) for Neeta Lulla’s opening, an enthusiastic and strong crowd had gathered, hoping for good seats. Though MOG was overwhelmingly hot, Lulla’s show offered a sense of cool sophistication. Whilst it was more high Indian wedding than beach, the show offered a few relaxed easy pieces, such as silk wrap jumpsuits that can transition effortlessly from beach to cocktails. This understated glamorous show promised to be a taster of what was to follow.
While a touch of fever kept me away on Saturday, nothing would stop me on the final day. Despite the heat I made my way to the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, Panjim to find a heartening number of people waiting for the shows to start. Being an European designer, I am a follower of the less-is-more school of though. While some shows offers creations too embellished for what I consider beach or resort wear, a few caught my eye. Designers Sukriti and Aakriti showcased beautifully layered Indian silhouettes with subtle detailing, which can easily mix with your everyday separates. Deme by Gabriella highlighted pieces tailor-made for beaches, like an off-shoulder burnt coral orange outfit flowing off and around the body reminiscent of vintage Halston (Heritage). Think Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City, a beautiful bias striped dress defined simplicity cut to perfection.
My two favourite shows were at completely opposite ends of their game. First was Sustainable by Asmita Marwa. I had the pleasure of meeting Asmita and sitting front row to see a well-executed show that was seamless in both its construction of garments as well as model presentation. Her sustainable sensibility was not the only thing that made this collection unique. It was also her clever use of simple shapes, colours and textures—simple yet stunning.
My other favourite was the finale show by Varun Bahl. One word: fantastic. His execution of shapes, cuts, fabrics was heavenly and the pieces offers numerous possibilities—dress up, dress down, wear with jeans, and make it your own. The menswear showcased clean lines and impeccable tailoring, and a shimmering men’s blazer is already on my wishlist. It may not be beach wear, but it was definitely sports luxe, the emphasis being on LUXE. Even the footwear, a minimal cross between cut out brogue and a slipper made for an easy alternative to seeing stacks and heels.
What truly made this weekend fashion event truly inspiring wasn’t just the designs on display, but the well-organised setting and young audience, especially Goans, showcasing their individual style. India definitely has a great new generation of designers to look forward to! Little wonder I’m already looking forward to doing it all again next year.
Images: Courtesy India Beach Fashion Week; Michelle’s Image: Devashish Soumyan