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Niki Mahajan , Neha Dhupia as the Showstopper - Couture Show

Designer Niki Mahajan magic of the Nawabs new Couture collection

Famous designer Niki Mahajan showcased her new couture collection inspired from different phase of the life of Begum Hazrat Mahal at hotel Le Meridien New Delhi, as she marked her return to the Couture ramp.
She showcased the five segments of this collection which the show was divided into, namely- Ecru-Birth, Jewel-Adolescence, Vermilion-Wedding, Vintage-Exile, Noir-Death, each took inspiration from a different phase of the life of Begum Hazrat Mahal and intricately brought out the finer aspects of her life and journey. Ace designer takes her inspiration from a Woman who stood her ground when all else fled.
Bollywood Diva Neha Dhupia walked the ramp in a maroon velvet long coat with exquisite Badla work is the very stylish yet elegant actress, Neha Dhupia, looked stunning and royal in her outfit.
NIKI’s collection emphasised the fine art of Badla and Mukaish and was also inspired by the Begum’s personality. In the starting of the show she used white, ivory and pastel blues to depict Hazrat’s childhood and innocence. The latter half had a more sombre mood that depicted the phase of her life when she rebelled and then was exiled. In the end she uses a lot black which also highlights the fine Badla work, the essence of her collection. Through this collection she has reinvented the art of Badla and is hoping the show will help in reviving and promoting this age old craft from Lucknow.
The set beautifully done up in a vintage manner with a balcony, old jharokhas, windows & furniture further recreated the look of Lucknow, reminiscent of the olden times.
Collection five phase tell a story of of Begum Hazrat Mahal’s life .Each collection is distinctive with its own unique colour palette, fabric, style of embroidery and styling.
Ecru-Birth: This collection was inspired by the birth and adoption of Hazrat, a stage where she travelled long distances. Fabrics such as cottons, tulle and delicate chanderi are used in white and ivory palettes. Badla wire is used extensively to create thousands of tiny dots that shimmer and glimmer. The same wire is also incorporated into delicate floral patterns, patterns influenced by the British raj. The overall look is essentially ethereal and delicate, a look achieved by using only silver embellishments and embroideries interlace with white resham. Long chogha like dresses with pleatsand gathers have been added to dramatize the outfits.
Jewel – Adolescence: A time in the life of Hazrat where she steps into adolescence and prepares to marry the king. The collection consists of bold patterns in floral motifs, embroidered painstakingly with badla and meta wires. The new avatar of badla invented by Niki is used to make this collection special. Pearl, gold and diamond like shimmer are juxtaposed with delicate woven brocades and net. The colours used in this segment are bold and strong as they are inspired by the colours of an exotic peacock. Long anarkalis, farshi pyjamas, straight line coats and pleated saris adorn this collection.
Vermilion-wedding: The feisty young girl prepares to get married to the king. This collection extensively uses old wire work in antique gold and silver, a technique popularly known as zardozi. To make this collection extra special we have interspersed zardozi with yet another technique of badla embroidery. To add to the grandeur of this collection, Niki has reinvented a technique that allows her to give the embroidery a three dimensional look. The colours used in this collection are primarily vermilion, ruby red, and fuchsia. Multi panel lehenga and anarkalis are created using specially woven fabrics with gold jaals and bootis. Odhni’s for this collection are made using Chanderi and tulle.
Vintage-Exile: In this phase Begum Hazrat Mahal has been exiled by the British, leaving her no choice but to abandon her kingdom. This collection has been inspired by the paintings available at the Imam Bara. Colours like old rose, teal and olive have been used with hints of black to make this beautifully thread embroidered collection special. Chicken Kari, a delicate form of hand embroidery is used to create feathery stitches in geometrical patterns. Wired sequins and beads have further been treated to give an antique finish and look. Moti work is also predominant in the form of shisha and tilla. In this collection the styling moves towards tighter silhouettes with lesser volume and straighter fits.
Noir-Death: The death of the queen. The boldest collection uses delicate lace tulle and net in midnight black. There is a play of opaque andtransparent with almost dress like silhouettes. Silhouettes interestingly fused with elements of Indian styling. Silver and matte gold embellishments are juxtaposed with ruby red and pearl work. Almost gothic in nature this collection is magnificent and bold in its own form.
To mark this evening more glamorous people from designer fraternity spotted including desiner Poonam Bhagat, Sunit Verma, Rajdip Ranawat with his wife, Joy Mitra,Mandira Wirk, Bollywood actress Gul Panag,Payal Jain, Jatin Kocchar and many more.

By : S.Sarvesh

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