In a pivot away from conventional fashion shows, designer Anju Modi choose an innovative yet beautiful way to showcase her couture collection, The Road less travelled at the FDCI India Couture Week 2022. She chose a ramp which was strewn with rocks in one setting and in another, patrons got to witness huge pine trees laced around the ramp with a ubiquitous screen in all settings.
The show opened with videos of beautiful Kashmir valley and gigantic mountains on a screen, the models maneuvered their way through the rocks in white ensembles, celebrating India’s cultural history and paying a tribute to modern feminism. The second collection was marked with physical pine trees and a screen showcasing a dense forest in the upper regions of the Indian subcontinent. It celebrated joy and happiness in vibrant and bright hues, forming a colourful collection for the holidays. The last collection emphasized on the importance of a flowing river in our lives, a source of nourishment and sustenance.
The designer through this outing, has tried to incorporate her learnings and experiences acquired on her various escapades around the world. Travels that made her introspect and absorb the beauty of the beautiful valleys, mighty mountains and encouraged her to have a conversation with her soul. The collection speaks of how taking the longest routes and crossing glimmering rivers, can lead to a wave of change in our very being.
Actor Aditi Rao Hydari walked the ramp for the designer in an antique turmeric colour vegetable dyed silk lehenga with vintage era embroidered patterns. “The whole collection was about the road less travelled because I wanted to express my own design ideas and learnings of the past 30 years. It is an ode to the Kashmir valley, Leh and Ladakh where I developed my craft by working with the craftsmen. I made it a point to travel by road and the romance of a road trip has been captured in my collection,” says designer Anju Modi.
With fabrics from Kerala, Bhuj, Rajasthan and Benares, she’s covered 25 villages to create this collection. Long forgotten age- old techniques have been revived, where the designer has created an extensive library of research and development techniques for weaving, vegetable dyeing, block printing and traditional embroidery. From Lucknow’s Mukaish to Agra’s zardozi, most of the traditional embroidery techniques have been incorporated in the collection. “I have tried to blend silks with cotton so that it is subtle and not too shiny. Even the embroidery is done in such a way that the ensembles are not heavy to carry around, they are lightweight and wearable,” adds Modi.
Hydari says, “I love Anju Modi’s collection. She draws inspiration from weavers from all over India, not just from one particular place. Her collection comprises of these different elements from all over the country which really stands out for me. I always believe in the fact that you should wear an outfit, the outfit shouldn’t wear you, so my outfit for today looks heavy, but it is actually very comfortable and light and I feel very happy in it.”
Commenting on what she liked about the couturier’s collection, “I like the fact that her designs are timeless, very youthful, feminine, pretty and very happy. From the colour to the textile, she uses to how it feels and looks, it all makes one happy,” she added.