Bling reigns supreme

February 08, 2017

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Suede, napa, nubrick… the 25th edition of the International Leather Fashion Show 2017 celebrated the material and its many textures

As Parvathy Omanakuttan breezed onto the stage in a flouncy multi-coloured gown, it was hard to tell if the models were wearing leather. In dramatic silhouettes with trendy necklines — scoop, sweetheart, dip, plunging — and innovative finishes, these can well lead one to believe otherwise.

The 25th edition of the International Leather Fashion Show 2017 at Taj Coromandel threw up a few surprises for the attendees. Organised by the Indian Finished Leather Manufacturers and Exporters Association (IFLMEA), the event showcased the latest trends and technologies from the industry.

The most apparent being the mix of different types of leather finishes, such as suede, napa, nubrick, and non-leather materials including drytex, lycra and similar materials.

“Leather export is a six billion dollar industry, add another six billion for the domestic industry, and you have a 12 billion dollar industry. We are keeping up with trends and come up with innovations,” says N. Shafeeq Ahmed, chairman, IFLMEA.

“The idea is to provide a platform for Indian leather export houses to showcase their new collections for international buyers. Over the last four years, some of these brands have started retailing their products in India too,” says Ahmed. Around 10 brands presented their SS18 collections in over 12 rounds. “Every year, we shortlist 12 to 14 from 30 brands, and they represent four segments, such as garments, gloves, footwear and bags. The colour palette followed is what Modeurop forecasts every season,” he adds.

Capes with floral motifs, jackets with embroidery work and rivets, ponchos and skirts with fringed details, were the highlights of the Tata International Garments collection. Some of the clothes were avantgarde, with models draped in what looked like colourful gift boxes, another had paper cup-like objects sprouting out of the outfit, and yet another that resembled a cashew plant. Bling reigned supreme in Unipel Corporation’s chic cocktail outfits. The jackets in rust, maroon, peach and olive did look swell, though, pairing a mustard skirt with the similar-coloured biker jacket was pushing it.

Orange is the new black, and that was apparent, with most brands including this shade in their creations.

On the accessory front, there were satchels, hobos, totes, sling bags and even vibrant handwoven backpacks by Calonge. While there were a few stilettos, wedges and Mary Janes, the show was dominated by flats.

Ballerinas, gladiators, sandals, loafers, all with prints, loud embellishments, classy solids, with zipper details, buckles and tie-ups… the options by Kethini, Swan, Aerosoles were mind-boggling.

Bachi showcased their line for kids. Given how cute their junior models were, it was hard to focus on their footwear. Choreographed by Jude Felix, the other showstoppers of the event were Priyadarshini Chatterjee, Jitesh Thakur and Sushruthi Krishna.

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