February saw India’s favourite beach destination, Goa, being transformed into the Mecca of fashion and style, thanks to the Gionee India Beach Fashion Week 2015 being held at the Grand Mercure Goa Shrem Resort in Candolim. The event was inaugurated by the Deputy Chief Minister of Goa Francis D’Souza and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo who gave the organisers a big thumbs up for promoting Goa as the ultimate beach fashion destination of India.
Gionee IBFW 2015 saw the ramp being set ablaze with established and emerging eclectic designers as super hot models adorned their exquisite resort, beach, cruise, and destination bridal couture in the presence of the who’s who of the fashion fraternity. The setting was surreal with more than 30 pop-up shops, groovy world music and after-parties being held at the venue. The 3-day event saw a remarkable participation of various big designer names that presented their unique collections at IBFW.
Anupama Dayal kicked off the fashion week with her collection Masti. The collection was based on happy clothes, representing a simple uncomplicated purposeful life. Her collection included large flower prints, light pinks, deep blues, languid silhouettes, kaftans, lean long maxis, stylish scarves and jewellery, soft gilets, draped petal hemline tunics, two toned printed salwars, tiny cholis and ‘sarini’ – a mix of the bikini and sari with tiny Kutch-y style waistcoats. Really striking were the stringy fabric gladiator footwear that matched the mood of the show.
Day 1 also saw exquisite designs from Talent House which presented the works of three brands, Nityaa Designs, Chirag Nainani and Paper Doll Company. The brands were selected from 370 entries that took part in the all India contest “Fashion Recruits” conducted by Gionee India Beach Fashion Week and Talenthouse India. Nityaa designs’ collection Persian Romance saw resort wear in shades of blue, grey and white with fun prints that ranged from florals to geometrics, while Chirag’s Indigo Nation saw the striking indigo in daba print technique, ideal for holiday wear. Akshay Kalmadi and Neha Bhogal of Paper Doll used muted colours and fluid silhouettes for their debut collection.
The rising stars of fashion, Omana by Harsh Agarwal, Vidhi Wadhwani and Nilesh Parashar for Nautanky also presented a stunning line of resort wear. Harsh presented a sexy and glamorously seductive slinky cruise and swimwear line called Tropical Dreamscape from Omana which saw bikinis, monokinis, maillots, cover-ups, jackets and maxis floating down the ramp in billowy chiffons, silks and new-age fabrics of scuba and neoprene. To the tunes of a bare chested guitar-strumming handsome hunk, Vidhi Wadhwani’s Glint of Dawn, was a collection of stylish cocktail and party wear. The collection featured fluid shapes, asymmetric cuts, soft luxurious fabrics like silk jersey, crepe, lycra, and sensuous cotton blends with striking 3D textures and glittering metallic embellishments. Making a stunning show stopping entry was Bollywood beauty Lisa Haydon in a long swirling shaded net skirt over a striped body suit ideal for a night of heavy party hopping.
Fabrics like chanderi, khadi, silk, georgette, and chiffon were used for the ‘Nautanky’ collection by Ahmedabad-based designer Nilesh Parashar. Mixing traditional crafts and rich textiles, the resort wear collection Spray Love Not Acid was dedicated to women who are victims of violence.
Designer Nachiket Barve showcased a fascinating collection inspired by the Kalahari and Namib deserts of Africa. “My collection is original, innovative, and bold! It is an ode to Africa and its amazing culture,” says the designer. Closing Day 1 on a high note was veteran designer James Ferreira with his signature drapes and beautiful cocktail dresses. The designer said that this time he experimented with a lot of asymmetric shapes.
Ten students from Rachana Sansad opened Day 2, with a collection that showcased cruise and elegant formal wear. The collections were a striking mélange of prints, silhouettes, embellishments and clever construction.
Designer Karan Malhotra’s debut resort wear collection saw a strong nautical mix with retro influences. “For this resort line I used nautical prints. I wanted to keep it simple so I just used green, white, and champagne for my whole collection, says Karan.
Well known international jewellery designer Mona Shroff left a deep impression with her exquisite collection which was made in the Philippines. Mona believes that resort wear jewellery can make a statement and complete one’s evening attire. “You can mix and match, as well as blend it with other themes or parties,” says the designer.
Goa-born twin sisters Riddhi and Siddhi Mapxencar presented a lavish collection which was inspired by the Japanese gardens. The stunning Gauahar Khan was the showstopper in a deconstructed sari-inspired red and black gown.
Shriti Pratap’s resort wear collection offered swimwear, cute cropped tops, swirling skirts, elegant maxis, fluid kaftans and relaxed tunics. “My collection is resort wear; it is very luggage-friendly and does not get crushed as a lot of blends have been used,” says Shriti.
With a name like Cosmic Revival, the collection by Babita Malkani for her label ‘Babita M’ had to be an ethereal and serene fashion presentation at Gionee India Beach Fashion Week 2015. The fluid gentle garments that glided down the catwalk were splashed with digital prints that highlighted the theme in the form of celestial speculation and graceful images in neutral hues as well as soft blue aqua, moss green, and ethnic yellow.
Noble Faith’s Dolly Sidhwani showed a collection that was edgy in the true sense with remarkable trends for both men and women. It mainly comprised of jungle printed clothing, denim jumpsuits, dresses, shorts and crops with lace influences. Dolly’s husband Ritesh Sidhwani and a hoi polloi of celebs supported her including Amrita Arora and Ali Fazal who opened the show for her to a star-studded front row with Zoya Akhtar, Adhuna Akhtar, Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor, Chunky and Bhavana Pandey, Reshma Bombaywalla and Sarah Jane Dias.
Launching his ready-to-wear and denim lines inspired by the Ozora Music Festival held in Goa and the nostalgia of the 1970’s, Raakesh Agarwal showcased garments that could fit into the resort wear segment from dusk to dawn.
After Rakesh’s fashion showcase was designer Pria Kataaria Puri’s turn. And she sure did make her collection the ‘Haute hippie’ a fabulous one, setting the benchmark as Day 2 drew to a close. The collection included high waist pants, cropped tops, skimming maxis, sexy minis, flowing dresses and chic jackets. Stopping the show was the lovely Bollywood actress Urvashi Rautela who looked sensational in a printed red silk kaftan as she sashayed down the catwalk.
Day 3 saw a fantastic line up of designers which included Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor, Zanaaya by Shouger Merchant Doshi, Sounia Gohil, Harpreet and Rimple Narula, Jattinn Kochhar for Gionee Active as well as Falguni and Shane Peacock, who brought down the curtains on the three day event.
Designer duo Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor were the opening designers for the final day of Gionee IBFW, showcasing Destination Wedding Couture at its best. The duo presented an assortment of looks with their Persian Fantasy collection for the various wedding functions. To achieve the resort look the Indian outfits were complemented with corset-styled body suits as well as corset belts. The menswear complimented the women’s wear with classy sherwanis, waist coats and constructed jackets. “Our main target was the destination bride, what she should wear at her engagement, reception, sangeet, wedding day and other functions. Goa is an ideal destination for weddings, practically every second bride is getting married in Goa nowadays!” says Anjalee.
A blend of traditional and modern aesthetics came alive on the ramp with ‘The Serial Wedding Dancer’ collection by Shouger Merchant Doshi of Zanaaya Couture. From casual day wear to night time glamour, Shouger offered a great mix of Indo-western ensembles for the modern dresser. Making a glamorous show stopping entry was Bollywood star and former Miss India 2007 Sarah Jane Dias in a fuchsia tulle lehenga, tiny embellished choli and a narrow scarf with gold work.
For the contemporary bride who likes a touch of nostalgia for her beach destination wedding, Sounia Gohil’s dreamy vintage bridal wear collection called A Whimsical Tale had all the perfect requirements. Her dreamy collection is about how a girl grows up living a fairytale life of looking like a princess on her wedding day. “Goa is a perfect destination to showcase a wedding collection. You couldn’t have wished for a more mystical place. I used different trends, and experimented with different colours for the bridal collection,” says Sounia.
Inspired by the beauty of Barcelona and avant garde Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, Rimple and Harpreet Narula’s collection Love in Catalonia was an experiment in dramatic couture. Working around the concept of ‘art meeting form, meeting function’, the collection recreated Gaudi’s forms in iron, stone and ceramic onto the garments.
Giving the Gionee Active Tee presented by Jattinn Kochhar, the designer touch, Gionee, the title sponsor of the Gionee India Beach Fashion Week 2015 launched a stylish Tee line at the event. 32 amazing options were presented by Jattinn Kochchar. “The whole idea was to create something that Gionee stands for which is youth, lots of energy, simple fuss free and also I’m a very practical person so even the clothes that I do have to be wearable which is very very very important. You can wear the fanciest outfit, but at the end of the evening all I want is to go back home and wear my old t-shit. So everything boils down to a t-shirt. So that was the idea to create something that’s wearable,” says Jattinn.
Ending the debut edition of Gionee India Beach Fashion Week 2015, Falguni and Shane Peacock presented the Runaway Bride collection. The grand finale was held on the picturesque lawns of La Brise in Candolim under the moonlit sky by the beach. Keeping the new age Indian woman’s wedding trousseau requirements in mind, the designing pair created sensuous, sleek gowns, ornate cropped tops with swirling printed skirts, fine gossamer lehengas, luxuriously embroidered jackets and stunning gowns.
Happy with outcome of the first Gionee India Beach Fashion Week, the founder and chief creative officer of UVAR Global, Pallav Ojha, owed the success of the event to the sponsors, partners and fashion fraternity. “We at UVAR Global have already decided to execute the 2nd edition in October this year. I am delighted to share that we are already in the process of launching an IBFW Online store to support sales of the participating designers along with identifying a large format chic and classy physical store in Goa for the same. It can only get bigger and better from here!” he says.
Indeed, with the successful debut edition of Gionee India Beach Fashion Week 2015 in Goa, the fashion fraternity can look forward to the bright future of resort, beach, cruise and destination bridal couture!