RITU KUMAR - Designer In Retrospect - Day 1, Kolkatta Fashion Week II Time: 3:00pm at MSA / (Pala)
Showstopper Giselle Monterio
Designer RITU KUMAR
Designer In Retrospect, when the I opened the door or as the case was, the first rolling shutter of India's first ever boutique in Delhi 1967, followed by a small store in Kolkata, little did we realize that the country’s first boutique would go on to become the nations first brand, The Ritu Kumar label in the past 40 years has grown today to have a pan India presence and a deep routed popularity which crosses age groups and fashion swings. With a deep routed conviction of the indigenous nature of fashion in India and equally importantly a feel for the modern contemporary and young life styles, we have reinvented our work and taken inspiration from the vast land that is India to also create a state- of the art, hip and happening collection called RITU KUMAR LABEL which is high on the popularity charts with the younger generation and growing as fast as the country’s younger aspirational professional.
MOVING AHEAD IN THE 21ST CENTURY
The House of Ritu Kumar now has a professional management. The ongoing effort of modernizing and expanding the traditional collection to the Ritu Kumar Label line, and developing perfumes, home furnishings and accessories has being the brain child of Ritu Kumar's son Amrish Kumar, who is redefining the look and feel of the Design House.
Ritu Kumar today has both a national and international presence, with stores in Karachi and Sri Lanka
The Ritu Kumar Show at the Kolkata Fashion Week opens with a collection of black and gold. These intricately worked garments give the feel of what could be described as India's version of minimal dressing. The line is worked with dhapka, mukaish and a range of metallic embellishments. The silhouettes are equally varied and portray the hugely skilled craftsmanship and the designer’s repertoire in evening gowns, chogas, long tunics, kutchi gathered coats worn over divided loose pants to give a kaleidoscope of images.
\The line is followed by a white and silver collection. The high point of the line is the peshwas cut from a very fine khadi in off white, woven in a long forgotten village in Bengal. This is embellished with gota and silver trims to make up a study in aesthetics. The line is accessorized with flowers to give the exotic feel of the India, of nights with the smell of jasmine, raat ki rani, and motia giving the feel of the Indian summer. The marble like collection, show cases gowns replete with diamond and Zardozi work, the gossamer white on white chikan, the look of the dreamy jaamdaani from the Daccai region. The line is both elegant and romantic in its classism.
The surprise element of the show interprets the Indian aesthetic but this time in coats, trench and bomber jackets, all trimmed with leather and worn with tights and boots. The coats are worn over painted t-shirts in vegetable colours which are reminiscent of old masters. The designer Ritu Kumar has put a few of her paintings on the silk that constructs these coats. The images range from Rajasthan to the painted kalamkaris of the Coromandel coast.
A young trendy collection which is very modern couture. A fresh and innovative departure from what is expected from the House of Ritu Kumar-- but yet manages to bring to the fore, her deftness in interpreting the complex textile tradition of the country into a modern idiom which transcends international boundaries. What really surprises is the amalgamation of some of these coats with satin saris with their pallus draped as long scarves. A very interesting interpretation of the six yard wonder.
The last half of the collection begins with a soft pastel line -- the peshwaz and lehengas are pure classics in a genre which is vintage Ritu Kumar with its use of subtle colours, intricate embellishments, dull gold and metallic threads, interspersed with a line of antique looking textiles which drape, which enhance and produce the most romantic imagery of a yesteryear of royalty with their underplayed and sophisticated ornamentation. The colours are something that India’s ramp has rarely seen which add to the gossamer effect and creates a feel of what was arguably the most important textile country of the world. India. The designer's revival work is to the fore with its intricacy and sensitivity -- a collection which would not date over generations and still brings a sense of pride to India’s couture design and fashion. This splash of exahuberence concludes the show which is bold in its inception, innovative in its usage of traditional idioms and moves the indigenous Indian fashion into realms that have not been seen on the ramp before.
This vintage line then crescendo with a slow interpretation of the folk and colourful. The stream consists of peshwaz painstakingly printed in the hand block areas of sanganer, gararas and khara dupattas from Aadh and Hyderabad, the home of Nizams. Lehengas from Rajasthan with colourful gota and masher accessories.