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More than add-ons

Published : Mar 16, 2016, 10:55 pm IST
Updated : Mar 16, 2016, 10:55 pm IST

Keys, wallet, phone Check, check, check! A necklace to go with your outfit Check. Gigantic wooden bangles Check. Rings to match your purse Check. Shoulder bag and shoes, coordinated Check.

A creation by Nitya Arora of Valliyan in her “Modern Mughals” collection.
 A creation by Nitya Arora of Valliyan in her “Modern Mughals” collection.

Keys, wallet, phone Check, check, check! A necklace to go with your outfit Check. Gigantic wooden bangles Check. Rings to match your purse Check. Shoulder bag and shoes, coordinated Check. Now, we are good to go! For us ladies, accessories are important. Bangles, rings, bags and brooches are the little touches of joy we dabble with to brighten up our practical clothes. Taking a cue from this very fact, in its first ever attempt, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) at the ongoing Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2016 is set to showcase an “Accessory Show”. The show will include three talented accessory designers — Ambar Pariddi Sahai, Nitya Arora and Vasundhara Mantri — participating in a full-fledged fashion show that will focus solely on their respective accessory lines.

“This marriage between the runway and accessories will turn into a style expression all its own,” avers FDCI President Sunil Sethi. He explains, “Accessories that include anything from bags and shoes to shawls and jewels have become an integral part of Indian fashion. Since the time of our (FDCI’s) inception, we have always been encouraging accessory designers to take part in the B2B activities during the fashion week.”

He goes on, “So, each year we have been giving them dedicated and allotted spaces to grow their businesses. But this time around, we noticed that there was a pressing requirement from their side to have a full-fledged show exclusively for and by them, and to be given the same/equal opportunity. Hence, we will be witnessing a first of its kind accessories show with three immensely talented designers who were selected by a jury.”

He adds that this model is still in its beta stage and he will have to see first-hand the kind of response it gets from one and all. “We are open to experimentation and the accessory show is a perfect example of that. But its future will depend on the success of this (first) show. This will also open the doors for debutante designers who will add a new dimension to the fashion week. Let’s all hope for the best.”

All three designers have come up with interesting themes to add sparkle to the runway on the third day of AIFW AW’16. Mine of Design by Ambar Pariddi Sahai will showcase her collection “Memoir” that captures the compelling magic of the sea from the iridescent pearls, corals and shells to the vintage coins displayed in magnificent colours that get reflected on the surreal waves hitting the shores; Valliyan by Nitya will talk about a time when the past meets the present in “Modern Mughals” and pay homage to the luxurious aura of the Mughal dynasty through recreating intricate motifs in contemporary styles and finally Vasundhara Mantri’s collection titled “Werifesteria” will take you on a ride into the wilderness by integrating natural rocks, filigree leaves, twigs, branches, insects and bugs in elaborate forms and patterns.

Making a statement with fashion is, of course, nothing new. But this time around, making a statement through accessories will be the new in thing. And for accessories designer Vasundhara Mantri, happiness via a runway show is an understatement. “I am beyond ecstatic. When you create pieces that help someone feel more like themselves — whether it’s something that makes them feel more attractive or more authentically real — that’s what I strive to do. But all this used to take a back seat when I had to do shows in collaboration with other designers. My message and ideology somehow got lost in translation over the years. However, through this show, I am planning to send it back — loud and clear. Earlier, what I personally noticed and felt was that most of the buyers would come in when they were almost done with their shopping or if they had any money left to visit our stalls. For them accessories have always been just add-ons. But because we are getting this incredible opportunity this time, I am hoping that things would change for good. I aim for a time shift when buyers would stop by the accessories department first and then go on to buy dresses according to the accessories they have bought. I know that I might be sounding over ambitious. But I am just being optimistic,” she shares and adds that this sort of initiative will boost the market for accessories and make them a focal point among buyers and consumers at large.

For Nitya Arora from Valliyan, this sort of a show will act as a trend checker among fashionistas. She says, “In order to get a stylish look, you should also choose accessories that match your outfit and for this, you need to follow the latest trends in accessories. And a stand-alone accessories show will be a catalyst in keeping a tab on trends.” Designer Ambar Pariddi Sahai of Mine of Design agrees and adds, “Like fashion, the shapes, silhouettes and colours of accessories change with the times. One of the things I’ve noticed about fashionable women is that it’s not just their clothes that look great. Their outfits are always punctuated with great accessories. Often great style is in the details. Accessories are integral and extremely powerful because they complete a look. We feel incomplete without them. So having a show dedicated to them is essential.”

Talking about her collection in detail, Nitya says, “I will be showcasing a collection inspired by the luxurious era of the Mughal dynasty. The ensemble is called the ‘Modern Mughals’ and I have tried to replace traditional stones like diamonds and kundans with Swarovski crystals to give a modern twist. I have designed the whole collection keeping in mind the style, taste and preferences of today’s youngsters.”. Sahai, on her part, adds, “I am diving underwater and presenting a collection based on organic shapes found in the sea. I have used all peppy colours and I have something for men too, like brooches and pins.”