Starting off the FDCI India Couture Week 2022 with veteran designer, Tarun Tahiliani’s annual Bridal Couture Collection, The Painterly Dream.
Even the Delhi rains don’t have the ability to damper the excitement that is reserved for the opening night of FDCI India Couture Week 2022. Especially when the reward for braving the Delhi traffic is a night of conversation over cocktails with the city’s swish set followed by the splendour that is Tarun Tahiliani’s show. The return to a physical runway was crowded, chaotic yet invigorating.
In conversation with Tarun Tahiliani on his Bridal Couture collection:
Embracing the slow life and finding hobbies that correspond to it was a common outcome of the pandemic and Tahiliani found himself doing the same. “The stillness of the pandemic gave me and the studio time to revisit what we do,” he shares. It was during this time that he took to painting which in turn served as inspiration for his collection, ‘The Painterly Dream’. “We’ve always taken artworks for blocks when it comes to chikankari from Lucknow. Now what we did is, we started painting the artwork and printing it with the jaal they used to follow. Underneath the chikan when you’re doing shadows, different tones you can’t get with embroidery, that’s why it’s called painterly,” explains the designer. The colour palette for the collection primarily consists of muted ivories alongside his signature red, orange, and yellow hues in the more embellished bridal wear pieces.
As India Modern remains a major theme for all his work, drapes continue to take precedence in the collection. “Draped garments get more complicated with embroidery because the fabric loses its natural flow. So we have done partial draping, we do a lot of structural draping so we do it in like a pattern and then we follow that pattern. Since this is a bridal-oriented show, there’s a fair amount of embroidery hence even though drapes remain our signature, there’s more to explore.”
Multi-coloured lehengas, long jackets paired with lehengas, skin-tight draped saris and a whole gamut of tailored menswear (sherwani, dhotis, kurtas) were all a part of the massive line-up. Embroidery techniques such as the chikankari, pichwai, kashida form the strong craft pillars for this collection. Embroidered corsets with fully beaded panels, sculptured saris, and saris that look like a sharara set are just some of the styles that stole our attention. For Tahiliani, it simply isn’t about creating pieces that look good on the runway. “The clothes that people buy from us are normally worn for hours. The worst thing one can do with a couture piece is to go and change it in an hour because they’ve made a grand entrance and are now uncomfortable. Couture pieces should be designed for long-wear and comfort. True luxury is sustainable so that you can wear it again and again and again.” After all, Tahiliani and we can all agree that a 2022 bride is looking for garments that let her express her individuality and are comfortable. “The younger brides are projecting the less-is-more ideology. They want to leave their hair open, opt for natural makeup, wear a single piece of jewellery and pick outfits where they look like themselves”. A feat that Tahiliani managed flawlessly at his presentation for FDCI India Couture Week 2022.
All Images: Courtesy Tarun Tahiliani.