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Anju Modi takes 'the road less travelled'

The ace designer, through her collection at the FDCI's India Couture Week 2022, expressed the core design ideas of her learnings in the last 30 years. Actress Aditi Rao Hydari walked the ramp as a showstopper.

Courtesy: FDCI Instagram

Anju Modi celebrated her learnings in the fashion industry during the last three decades at the India Couture Week (ICW) 2022. The collection titled, ‘The road less travelled’, comprised of a showcase of fabrics from around 25 villages of India. The designer also played picturesque views of different landscapes belonging to these villages via videos.

Explaining the title of the show, she said, “The entire collection belongs to the villages that I have seen via roads. In the last 30 years, I have travelled across India on roads instead of taking trains and flights. I have developed different fabrics and some of them belong to Kerala, while others are from Bhuj and Banaras, among others. Hence, I gave the show this title.”

The designer created the outfits in Mukaish embroidery (from Lucknow) and zardosis (from Uttar Pradesh).

“The weaving is from South. There are some outfits in blend silk (silk mixed with cotton) as well so that the fabric does not shine too much. The entire fabric is in handloom,” she explained.

The ace designer has always supported and promoted handlooms. This year’s showcase is no different. In fact, she has paid an ode to Indian handlooms through her collection.

“My endeavour is to use handlooms and give them new designs so that they can be used for the next thousand years. I have learnt a lot from our craftsmen and I owe this collection to them,” she shared.

Three-part series

Anju’s collection was divided into three parts. The first part was dedicated to hilly areas of the Kashmir valley, Leh and Ladakh. The models dazzled the floor in white ensembles. The designer carried videos of picturesque Kashmir valley.

“This part features the craft of these regions. I have used pashmina to drape the sarees,” she said.

The second part featured forests of India. The collection carried bright hues and videos of pine trees.

Explaining the concept of this part, she said, “When we go to the hills, we see pine trees. That’s why videos of pine trees are a part of the collection. The idea was to celebrate joy and happiness and that’s why the entire collection is full of colours. These outfits are perfect for vacations and intimate occasions in the hills.”

The final part of the show was dedicated to valleys. It featured scenic videos of the Dal Lake and other valleys in India. The collection carried a blend of Indo-western dresses and traditional wear.

“I have connected the flow of rivers with the collection. I thought of the Indus valley and the Ganges. In our country, people celebrate on weddings. That’s why I featured embroidery and Benares,” she explained.

The collection has also been designed keeping the young generation’s choices in mind. There are aplenty Indo-modern dresses to choose from.

Showstopper outfit

Actress Aditi Rao Hydari turned muse for the designer in a beautiful antique turmeric-coloured silk lehenga. It featured embroideries from the vintage era. The actress paired the look with antique jewellery.

The actress, while speaking to the media, said that her fondness towards old-world designs on the lehenga resonated with her style statement.

“I love Anju ma’am’s aesthetic. I love that she has so much knowledge of indigenous textile, craft and workmanship, and that she draws inspiration from weavers and craftsman from India. Her collection comprises of all these elements. Though this looks heavy, it’s very comfortable and light-weighed. I like that the designs are old-world but the drawings are from the timeless era. There is femininity in the outfit, be it is colour or its textile,” she said.

ICW 2022 is taking place from July 22 to 31 at the Taj Palace in New Delhi as well as at a number of offsite locations. This year, the event is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

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