Couture establishing unique identity in India

Delhi is gearing up for two fashion weeks this month. India Bridal Fashion Week starts from today and the fourth edition of Delhi Couture Week starts on July 31. In India couture and bridal wear have been considered similar unlike in the West, where couture is treated separately. But gradually, a few Indian designers are trying to break that mindset and invent haute couture in the country. In Paris, the term ‘Haute Couture’ includes presenting a collection that has at least 35 looks and is a mix of both day and evening wear. So far, Lecoanet-Hemant are the only Asian designers to have been part of this prestigious chamber. They have showed their collections at Paris Haute Couture from 1984-2000. India wakes up to the term haute couture Now, India seems to be waking up to the term haute couture with fashion weeks like the PCJ Delhi Couture Week, Amby Valley Indian Bridal Week, and Tarun Tahiliani’s Couture Exposition taking place in quick succession between June and July. Indeed these mega fashion events showcase more of bridal wear. There has always been a confusion in the industry as to what is the difference between bridal and couture. Couture in India is all about catering to the weddingwear market since that is where designers try to get their highest returns on investment, where the garments have to be heavily embellished and priced. However, gradually, the difference between couture and bridal is becoming more evident with designers trying to portray their designs separately. However, one cannot expect a French concept to work in the Indian context. While in Europe, couture is primarily worn at balls, red carpet events and other special occasions, in India, such designs and garments are preferred for weddings. Only difference being seen now is that designers who focus on couture are working towards staying true to the essence of couture. There are nine designers showing at this year's Couture Week - of them Gaurav Gupta, Varun Bahl, Anamika Khanna and Anju Modi all showed collections last year that were faithful to the spirit of couture. So though very different from the western understanding of the word, couture in India is developing its own identity without heavily depending on opulence and embroidery. Indeed couture design in India may have a bridal feel as today’s modern brides no longer just want the wear heavy traditional bridal attire. Indian designers are surely giving a distinct ethnic flavour to haute couture while adapting western sensibiltities into their creations. Source: Fashion United

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