The show opens to a plush garden of a Rajasthan palace, recreated on the runway. Gaurav Raina’s melodious blend of Indian classical and folk with electronic music ‘Indian Electronica’ sets the mood for the evening. The distinct signature scent of all Anita Dongre stores, with notes of jasmine and rose, announces the unveiling of the Epic Love – the bridal couture collection that marks her debut at the India Couture Week. The sheer grandeur of the architectured set with the playfull jhulla, pink bougainvillea, water fountain, the famed hand done thikri craft transport the audience into a luxurious Rajasthan palace garden.
The glamorous front row with friends of the designer – Shabana Azmi, Pernia Qureshi and Bhumi Pednekar is all set for Epic Love at the first sight.
Ethereal beauties make the much-awaited appearance on the runway – each step choreographed to the rustic beat. A vintage folklore sets into motion as the models sashay in. Hair fastened in tightly plaited braids and heavily hypnotic eyes highlighted in pink and burnt orange lend a young gypsy look.
Adorned in heirloom-like pieces from Anita Dongre’s jadau jewellery label Pinkcity and antique silver pieces from the Anita Dongre label add to the folkish charm of the show. Stunning maang-tikas, large nose rings, intricate haath phools, chunky chokers and necklaces ornate the outfits.
Epic Love opens on a free-spirited, lighter note with chintz-inspired printed lehengas that are teamed with Bohemian blouses. The designer’s signature gotapatti work breathes life onto the prints. The classic Indian styles blend seamlessly with contemporary long, column tabards which give the wearer a beautiful illusion of height. The lean, sleek silhouettes bring modern relevance into bridal couture. The beauty of this collection lies in its versatility – the Bohemian gypsy tops can be paired with a printed lehenga just as beautifully as it would go with a pair of silk pants. Fringe-finished sarees with tie-up tops that wrap around the drape add a contemporary twist to the classic saree.
Moving gradually on to a regal palette, jewel-toned solids in rich wine, orange and the classic reds, creams and golds take center stage. Gotapatti work is seen across the collection – first on the prints and then teamed with thread work. The monotonal ensembles of the collection gives Epic Love a beautiful end with a promise to brides for beautiful new beginnings…