Among the impressive line-up of fashion designers for the 11th edition of India Couture Week, a much anticipated show was undoubtedly that of Rohit Bal. For the finale, the ace designer mesmerised all in full glitz and glamour as he showcased his autumn-winter collection that was a beautiful ode to the magnificent flowers of Kashmir. Aptly named Guldastah - a bouquet of flowers, the ornate couture line was his interpretation of absolute beauty in its purest form, and included bespoke womenswear and menswear with his trademark vintage feel.
The elaborate yet highly wearable ensembles reflected Rohit Bal's inherent fascination with the beauty of Kashmir. His collection was a celebration of Indian heritage and crafts as he tried to recreate the beauty of flowers in a realistic and artistic manner, through the use of different techniques - from thread embroidery to gold wire and zardozi.
The flowers were inspired by botanical paintings and works of some of the greatest masters of the renaissance period. Bal brought together different art forms and created a canvas of vibrant colours and artistic shapes on organic, cotton silk blends, chanderis, silk organzas, silks and velvets.
In an earlier interview to IANS, Bal had said that the beauty and passion of Kashmir have always been the driving force behind his work and artistry, and "no matter what I do, it will have a bit of Kashmir in it".
The floral prints were given a vintage feel and done on both traditional and contemporary silhouettes, which ranged from being flowy and flared, as well as form-fitted and structured. With ivory and black as base colours, and bursts of vibrant shades lending in style and drama in the form of oversized flowers, the extensive use of quilting and texturing techniques gave the collection depth.
Bal's collection was both, minimalist and ornate, with an underlying sense of luxury interwoven in its many layers. Sunflowers, poppies, tulips and peonies - the floral beauty of Kashmir was indeed beautifully encapsulated in Guldastah.