Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ritu Kumar (Fashion Show) - Incredible India@60! at New York

Ritu Kumar Participates in the Celebrations of 60 years of the Indian Independence in New York

Ritu Kumar Participates in the Celebrations of 60 years of the Indian Independence in New York
Ritu Kumar one of India’s foremost designers created waves at New York where she participated in Incredible India@60! Held from 24th to 27th September the show celebrated India’s arrival at the 60th milestone and the spirit of India, replete with fascinating cultural fare, fashion shows, celebrity evenings, intellectual stimulation, CEO sessions, business conferences, introspective debates and discussions, and– certainly - food for thought!

Ritu Kumar is a designer, who over the years has established a unique handwriting of her own. Her work is contemporary to India and comes from a deep involvement in an indigenous experience. And this is why Ritu Kumar is one of the three designers (Raghuvendra Rathore & Wendell Rodricks) who were invited to participate in this incredible kaleidoscope of an event.

Ritu Kumar showcased a collection from the prêt and diffusion Ritu Kumar line, Label on the 22nd and 24th September at Bryant Park, the prestigious venue which hosts the New York fashion week. The show opened with a khadi collection, showcased by 10 Indian and 6 international models to the tunes of Ma Tujhe Salaam by A.R. Rehman. This collection was followed by a contemporary line in camouflage, with kangra miniature t-shirts, dhoti trousers and an Asian western synthesis. A hand crafted crochet and handloom collection followed to bring in a soft mood, followed by bright printed airy collections which will give way to coats, rich skirts and more macho looks taking their influence from the north western frontier province.

The textile motifs of Rajasthan, the flashy bandhinis and tie-and-dyes, sublime hand-worked chikan outfits and a block-printed range will present ethnic India. A touch of the contemporary will be a black evening line with “skirts, blouses and cocktail glamour.” It will sign off with the eternal sari.

A black cocktail line followed with minimal embroideries done in the stitches of Kutch with its shiny mirrors reflecting the Indian aesthetic in ornamentation. The finale show set the mood with bridal finery in the true tradition of India. A young fun collection with music sources from vocal and instrumental Indian and western sensibilities with old Hindi songs were strung together to create a reminiscent mood.

While in New York, Ritu Kumar also had an exclusive showing for her couture collection at the Cipriani Palace at an exclusive dinner hosted by Dr Henry Kissinger, Dr Madeline Albright, Secretary William Cohen, Nandan Nilekani, Sunil Bharti Mittal and Tarun Das on September 23, 2007. This event was part of the celebrations of Incredible India @ 60 to rejoice with friends and well wishers who have partnered India on the journey to growth and development.
The shows were about how we lead our lives in India. The couture collection was watched by the likes of Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and William Cohen.

The show opened with a panoramic look at the textile motifs and influences of the desert regions of Rajasthan with its myriad coloured bandhnis and vibrant tie and dyes. This burst of colour was followed by the quintessential beauty of the hand worked chikan outfits which have been painstakingly created in the homes of the Lucknow craftspeople.

An exclusive collection based on hand block printing and the curling vine, our ambi or paisley followed in this textile journey which turned into a black evening line of skirts blouses and cocktail glamour. The finale consisted of work researched from the hand-woven brocades of Benaras, contemporized to add the touch of dash to the eternal sari.
The finale was a kaleidoscope of colour technique as Ritu showcased India in its exotic best, with lehngas and jamas, in intricately embroidered, painstakingly executed ensembles, modeled to the strains of Amir Khusrus -- To saay naina miliay ke --. A befitting tribute to India and its vibrant indigenous fashion handwriting.

The event, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries. New York got to see all of it.

“Fashion is looking at a much younger person now. One has to be open to the requirements of the younger generation,” she says, adding her “Label” line focuses on contemporary clothing. In an industry where “finding thy market” is the key, when most designers are caught between the lure of the international market and the reality of the domestic one, Kumar rationalises,

“This country confuses everybody. If the rest of the world has more or less one fashion, India presents a layered market. It gives you too much choice. For example, the sari is never out of fashion.

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