Comfort wrapped in glamour

Anjali Jhangiani
Friday, 8 September 2017

Designers Arpita Mehta and Sailesh Singhania, who recently showcased their collections at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017, talk about touching upon the darker side of the palette and infusing comfort into it

Family get-togethers, weddings, pujas, visiting friends — the upcoming festive season calls for all this and more. With celebration in the air, there’s quite a lot of pressure to look your best, but that does not mean you have to compromise on comfort. But what if your comfort zone lies in the darker side of the colour palette? Indian designers Arpita Mehta, and Sailesh Singhania, who recently showcased their latest collections at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017, have a range of bold and dark outfits that will give you a comfortable yet royal touch this festive season.

Shades of celebration
“Keeping the winter/festive season in mind, I decided on doing a deeper palette, using thicker darker shades like midnight blue, olive green and magenta,” says Arpita Mehta, who prefers to balance ethnic and contemporary elements in her designs. “I believe every woman has a sensuous and bold side to her, so this collection, The Midnight Muse, is inspired by that side of her personality,” she explains.

Sailesh Singhania shares that he selected darker shades of ruby red, fuchsia pink, emerald green, auspicious mustard and teal blues to bring out the mood of celebration in his latest collection The Winter Rose. “The collection is deeply inspired by the Westernised interpretation of the saree usually worn by the Princesses (Princess Gaytari Devi, Princess Sita Kumari of Kapurthala and Princess Durrusehvar Sultan of Hyderabad) during their visits to the cold cities of London and Paris, while fully retaining their opulence and glamour. I have paid homage to the Princesses in my opulent handwoven silk sarees and lehngas that lovingly hold in their warp and weft all that was dear to these ‘Beauties with a Purpose’. I have used festive colours, but have kept the autumn-winter time in mind too,” says Singhania.

Rich fabrics
Singhania runs a sustainable luxury brand, and hence has always used handloom fabrics. “In our present collection, we have used pure mulberry silk Banarasi weave fabrics. We selected the Banarasi weave as it gives a very rich and elegant appeal,” he says, adding, “Our entire collection is hand woven. We have used the Banarasi technique of weaving though the entire collection has intricately woven roses, tea pots, teacups, kettles and chandeliers over the fabrics.”

This season he has also incorporated a lot of thread embroidery along with 3D mirrors and appliqué birds. “I feel passionately about women enjoying the handwoven sarees, lehengas etc and making it their own. Each woman is an individual with her own thoughts, beliefs and personality and the reason why handloom has survived for hundreds of years is because it affords the wearer a huge scope of interpretation. If there is any garment that works well with fusion, it’s our saree,” says Singhania.

Mehta figures her colour palette out according to the mood of the season. “Since the mood is sensuous, we did a lot of free flowing and feminine chiffons and silk, while textured raw silk made up for the structured jackets and heavy lehengas,” says she.

Comfort zone
Since it’s time for festivals and the wedding season, you have to make sure you can dance, walk, hang around and be comfortable in your attire, all the while looking oh-so-stunning. Talking about the importance of comfort while you glam up, Mehta says, “This collection, especially out of all I’ve showcased so far, is one of the most wearable ones. In spite of being heavy and grand, the layers make it easy to wear and style as per the occasion demands.”

Singhania too believes that though outfits must look grand, much thought needs to be put into it being comfortable enough for the wearer to enjoy themselves and not always be bothered by their outfit. His collection has sarees, lehenegas, brocade jackets and trench coats, which are apt for the upcoming wedding and festive season.

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