The Splendid Closet Fashion Tour 2013 sponsored by Etihad Airlines is by far the most legitimate South Asian fashion show I have ever had the pleasure of attending. Admittedly, when I first got this Facebook invite I expected a fashion show that I had seen many times before: low budget, poorly executed, with volunteer “models,” and entirely uninspiring clothes that looked more discount rack than couture. Boy was I in for a surprise when I showed up to the Angel Orensanz Foundation on Sunday night. Judging by the number of Facebook “likes” so far on the picture I posted last week, I think most of you would agree when I say the venue was nothing short of gorgeous.
Washed in up lighting, this architectural treasure served as a stunning backdrop to what would be an even more stunning show. With a capacity that couldn’t have been much more than 250, this was an intimate show designated for those that really seemed to appreciate fashion (at ticket prices of 50-100$ you would sure hope that be the case). Alcohol and food were flowing so for those of you that enjoy your activities with generous amounts of “spirits” you would not have been disappointed. The crowd was surprisingly younger and more hip than I was expecting for a South Asian fashion show with little to no “aunties” and “uncles” in attendance.
Joy Mitra’s designs opened the show with a collection entitled “Chokher Bali “. This line was by far my favorite of the night with elegant long outfits that had a regal simplicity about them. This collection transported me into a another time with off-white outfits accented with elaborate gold “kaam” and flashes of red. The cuts were spot-on and did everything to accentuate the models wearing them. I can’t forget to mention that Soha Ali Khan made an appearance as the show stopper. Sadly, the menswear in this collection was pretty much the complete opposite. These outfits were entirely forgettable. Menswear for me is almost all about form. The cuts on these outfits seemed lazy. There was no attention to how clothing can capture the strength and emotion of man. Instead it looked like bed sheets with detailed work wrapped around boys and tied off with a “creative” shawl. I guess this just goes to show how challenging menswear really is.
Satya Paul was up next with a collection of saris designed by Lisa Ray to embody hope. Unfortunately, this line was entirely hopeless. The clothing was lackluster and poorly formulated, with a vomit of colors, and cleverly placed “HOPE” written on one of the saris. However, this show did have a spectacularly choreographed dance threaded throughout the show in which a man and woman faced off in an exciting battle between good and evil. Without a doubt this was the most interesting part of the Satya Paul show.
Take home message: if you get a chance to see anything from Splendid Closet Fashion Tour, India Unlimited, fashion show choreographer Ayesha Hakki, or Evolve (the production team behind this event) Go. I promise you will not be disappointed!