Tarun Tahiliani showcased his collection at The India Couture Week 2016 where he payed tribute to the Indian courtesans who were the highest upholders of culture, poetry, dance and finesse who led the fashion scene of their times.
Sufi Kathak dancer Manjari Chaturvedi was adorned in a peach-pink lehenga choli embellished in Swaroski crystals as she splendidly brought alive the inspiration behind this collection with her “Darbari Kathak” representing ‘The Dance of the Courtesan’ at the commencement and end of the showcasing.
Furthermore, for me, the beautifully designed and well thought out set consisting of a huge crystal chandelier, worn our mirrored pillars on either side of the ramp and mogra flowers looming from the ceiling helped in transporting us to the era of the courtesans and their court.
In his collection, “The Last Dance of the Courtesans”, models walked down the ramp in suits, sarees, lehengas, lehenga-sarees, sherwanis, all in pastel hues of cream, ombre, red, ivory, blush pink and black. The use of the color black in an Indian bridal collection is especially noteworthy as in the Indian context, a bride wearing black on her wedding day is usually considered inauspicious.
What is interesting is that the collection shows the possibility of keeping traditional bridal outfits contemporary and light weighted but with inspirations drawn from the finery of the courtesans. Tahiliani has created his designs by taking references from the past bust for the present contemporary women. He used fabrics like tulle, silk and brocade mixed with fine thread work which worked exceptionally well with the contemporary cuts. The use of different shapes and sizes of the Swarovski crystals embellished on the outfits made even the pastel colored outfits glimmer.
What stood out the most to me was a heavy bridal lehenga in pale gold with red embroidery showing a complete scene of a Mughal darbaar hand embroidered intricately onto the bottom of the skirt.
Tahiliani teamed his outfits with side-buns with a flower on the side, makeup and nose rings, bringing out the grace and subtly showcased by the courtesans.