Gaurang Shah showcased the best of handloom designs in his collection Neel, with a range of weaves and techniques on display.
A dancer twirls onto the stage to the beats of the tabla. She spins to the front of the ramp as the audience applauds and strains of Piya Toh Se Naina Lage Re begin to play in the backdrop. As always, Gaurang Shah’s fashion show begins with a bang.
As the kathak maestro swirls back to a corner at the back of the ramp, the models start floating in, distinctive in the shades of indigo they wear. As the live music flows from one old Hindi number to the next interspersed by the jingle of the dancer’s anklets, the models follow each other onto the ramp.
Gaurang’s collection this year, Neel, is a continuation of his autumn and winter collection. This time though the shades of rust, orange and olive have been replaced by the various hues of indigo with the occasional dash of pink and red.
From floaty ghagras with artfully draped scarves and dupattas to intricately embroidered sarees, the collection stays true to Gaurang’s traditional flair. The show closed with the dancer and the models twirling together, showing off the floaty silhouettes of their dresses. And Gaurang himself, is welcomed onto the stage amid tumultuous applause.
“From printing and bandhani to intricate embroidery, you will find it all in these designs,” says an elated Gaurang as he basks in the success of his show. “In fact this time round, I even have a lot of dhakai jamdani which are typical to Bangladesh. This technique is a personal favourite.”
It took the designer 18 whole months to complete the collection. “The process for making these clothes starts from dying the yarn which is woven. I used indigo dyes from various parts of India and the shades of the clothes vary because the water from different parts of the country reacts differently with the dye,” he explains.
Presentation is as important for the designer as the designs themselves. Hence a lot of thought went into the nitty gritty of the show itself. “I knew I wanted old Hindi songs to play in the background. I was listening to Lag Ja Gale one day in my car and I knew that I wanted to incorporate similar songs into my show,” says Gaurang. “Of course, a Gaurang Shah show needs to have an extra dhamaka! So I thought a kathak dancer, tabla player and live singer added that extra element to make the show perfect.”