In this picture taken on July 29, 2023, models present creations by designer Tarun Tahiliani during the FDCI India Couture Week in New Delhi. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP) (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Organised by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the 19th edition of India Couture Week (ICW) 2023 commenced in New Delhi on July 25, with Falguni Shane Peacock presenting the opening show and setting the tone for the glamorous event.
Renowned designers like Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Tarun Tahiliani, Varun Bahl, Gaurav Gupta, and Kunal Rawal have showcased their stunning collections at the fashion extravaganza so far.
ICW is currently underway at Delhi’s Taj Palace, where ace designers are displaying the best of Indian fashion on the illustrious runway.
Each year, different celebrities are styled in the designers’ stunning creations. This year too, numerous celebrities including Aditi Rao Hydari, Ranbir Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Jahnvi Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar, Ananya Panday, Athiya Shetty, Sobhita Dhulipala, and Ishaan Khatter, graced the ramp with their presence, adding to the glitz and glamour of the show.
On the opening night of ICW 2023, Kiara Advani graced the runway as she walked for Falguni Shane Peacock.
The brand showcased its exquisite collection ‘Renaissance Reverie,’ blending elements of Renaissance art, fashion, and architecture with traditional Indian colours and embroidery textures. Kiara stole the spotlight in her Barbiecore outfit, radiating elegance with her deconstructed, pink lehenga.
In addition to the Hindi movie A-list stars who graced the runway, a captivating moment stole the spotlight during the ICW. Rabanne Victor, a trailblazing gay model, made a groundbreaking appearance, defying societal norms of beauty, sexuality, and gender identity.
Victor, hailing from Mumbai, confidently strutted down the ramp in a golden fishtail lehenga, accentuated with a sheer veil covering his head.
The 34-year-old model embodied the essence of inclusivity and diversity that the fashion world has increasingly embraced.
His outfit too was a part of Falguni Shane Peacock’s collection ‘Renaissance Reverie’ and featured a golden slip blouse adorned with intricate sequin details, complemented by a flowing skirt embellished with bodycon patterns and frills.
The golden sheer veil, embellished with sequin borders, completed the look.
Couturier Ritu Kumar made a splendid comeback to India Couture Week after a decade with her collection titled ‘The OG.’
The ensembles showcased a harmonious fusion of traditional crafts like kasab and kashidakari into contemporary outfits, beautifully crafted through classic couture tailoring.
The collection celebrated an alternative femininity that paid homage to rich and heritage textiles.
In the show, actress Aditi Rao Hydari took centre stage, in an ivory Gazal jacket adorned with gold zardozi work and traditional Kashmiri designs, perfectly paired with an embroidered lehenga. Her appearance was a stunning addition to the captivating showcase of Indian couture.
On Day 3 of the Hyundai ICW 2023, renowned couturier Varun Bahl fascinated the audience with his collection titled ‘Inner Bloom.’
This collection was a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship dedicated to the modern Indian bride. ‘Inner Bloom’ featured a harmonious blend of artisanal embroideries and 3D flowers, creating a romantic ambiance.
The bridal couture pieces within the collection exhibited a perfect fusion of bohemian, experimental, dreamy, and edgy designs while maintaining their impeccable tailoring and haute-couture essence.
Actress Bhumi Pednekar graced the ramp as the showstopper, donning an embroidered fishtail lehenga adorned with 3D flowers, capturing the essence of the ‘Inner Bloom’ collection. Her flawless makeup, comprising smoky eyes, contoured cheeks, and subtle blush, added to her refined and whimsical appearance.
On Day 4 of India Couture Week 2023, couturier Kunal Rawal showcased his exquisite collection titled ‘Dhup Chao.’
Drawing inspiration from the rich heritage of Indian history, the ‘Dhup Chao’ collection seamlessly blended elements from the past with a futuristic vision for Indian fashion.
The pieces celebrated the diversity of fashion aesthetics found within different Indian sub-cultures, offering a display of vibrant heirlooms.
Stepping onto the runway as the embodiment of the ‘Dhup Chao’ collection was actor Ranbir Kapoor. He wore a stylish, buttoned-up kurta paired with lungi-esque pants, creating a perfect fusion of contemporary and traditional elements.
Breaking his runway hiatus, he confidently showcased the undercut hairstyle, further enhancing his appearance. Ranbir adorned a deep blue-coloured bandhgala embellished jacket, complementing the indo-western inspired black pant with a half lungi attachment.
Gaurav Gupta, renowned for his experimentation with surrealism and fantastical elements, unveiled his latest collection titled ‘Hiranyagarbha.’
Rooted in the concept of ‘the golden womb,’ representing the universal origin of creation, Gupta’s collection embodied a journey of birth, rebirth, transformation, and metamorphosis.
Merging this inspiration with the brand’s iconic architectural designs, the collection exuded a sense of ethereal beauty. Traditional Indian embroidery techniques were masterfully incorporated, creating a truly stunning haute couture look.
Taking the spotlight for the ‘Hiranyagarbha’ collection was actress Jahnvi Kapoor. She graced the ramp in an electrifying midnight blue lehenga, with intricate embroidery, and star-like glitter.
Her ensemble featured a bralette-style blue blouse with thin stripes and a plunging neckline, complementing the free-flowing long blue skirt and cape.
The cape’s trail gave her an almost ethereal appearance as she glided down the runway.
On day 4 of the fashion week, designer JJ Valaya wowed the audience with his new collection ‘Baroda’.
The collection showcased a harmonious blend of Gujarat’s exquisite craftsmanship with global style statements.
Comprising three chapters, the collection delved into various artistic influences.
The first chapter, Art Deco, presented a fusion of lippan craft with art deco lines and Mughal inlay motifs. The second chapter, Nomade, showcased modern interpretations of Kutch motifs and mirror work. In the final chapter, Royale, the collection featured the age-old Mashru fabric of Gujarat combined with patterns inspired by Portuguese Azulejos tiles.
Valaya expressed his perspective on the collection, describing it as a celebration of Gujarat’s complex history, where influences from the Mughal empire, the Maratha empire, and Portuguese culture converged to create a new sub-language.
He emphasised that it was ultimately a tribute to the grand Indian wedding.
Creating the complete collection required significant effort and dedication, taking Valaya eight months from research to execution.
The designer highlighted the challenges of putting together a 25-minute presentation for the vibrant season that follows, all based on the diverse fashions of Gujarat.
On day 5 of the fashion event, designers Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna captivated the audience with their collection, Equinox.
Inspired by the balance between day and night, the designers embarked on a celestial journey to weave the essence of this magic into their upcoming AW23 collection.
Each garment in the collection was crafted to resemble the constellations that grace the night sky during the Equinox.
Turning heads as showstoppers were the actors Sobhita Dhulipala and Ishaan Khatter, representing the men’s and women’s couture collection, respectively.
Sobhita walked the runway in a modern silver lehenga adorned with elaborate embellishments. Her strappy bralette blouse featured a plunging neckline, sequins, and a cropped midriff-baring hem, complementing the exquisitely designed lehenga.
She completed the look with a sheer dupatta, strappy heels, bracelets, and multiple rings. Her sleek side-parted hairdo and glossy makeup added a touch of sophistication to her appearance.
On the other hand, Ishaan Khatter looked suave and charismatic in an all-black ensemble from the designers’ latest collection.
Opting for a shirtless look, he donned a tailored black blazer and matching black satin pants. The blazer featured intricate shimmering embroidery, notch lapel collars, padded shoulders, and a front button closure.
He accessorised with a quirky embellished black necktie and black loafers, adding a hint of playfulness to the ensemble.
A side-parted wavy hairdo, well-groomed beard, and rings perfectly complemented his appearance.
Later that evening, designer Tarun Tahiliani showcased his collection ‘For Eternity,’ an ode to the timeless beauty of craft, couture, and art.
The collection embraced the quest for creating eternal pieces that stand the test of time, capturing the essence of everlasting beauty and elegance.
Tahiliani’s latest collection aims to portray a renewed vision, capturing the true essence of the “Indian Modern Women” and “The New Man”.
Notably, the designer chose not to have any celebrity showstoppers for the show, emphasising that it’s time to redirect the spotlight back to the true stars of the ramp, which are the clothes themselves.
On day 6 of India Couture Week 2023, the spotlight was on actresses Athiya Shetty and Ananya Panday, who graced the ramp as showstoppers for renowned designers Anamika Khanna and Rimzim Dadu respectively.
Couturier Rimzim Dadu unveiled her collection ‘Hydrochromic’, which paid homage to the various forms and versatility of water.
Her edgy take on traditional garments, such as lehengas, sarees, corsets, and gowns, showcased the spirit, flow, and ripples of water bodies.
The collection used traditional fabrics and weaves to create contemporary pieces that experimented with the fluidity of identity through the metaphor of water.
Ananya Panday donned a metallic bralette and skirt set for her ‘Golden Bird’ look. The halter-neck blouse featured sculpted leafy patterns, paired with a svelte skirt displaying a risque side slit.
The golden ensemble was enhanced with the designer’s futuristic elements, including metallic accents, cord detailing, and a molten appeal.
Anamika Khanna’s collection merged modernity with tradition, celebrating Indian craftsmanship and ethnic accents.
It embraced silver and gold metallic aesthetics, antiquated allure, emeralds, pearls, and elegant hues of ivory and black.
The collection showcased the beauty of “Khinkhab brocade,” zardozi, hand embroideries, and graceful draping, reflecting a harmonious blend of past and present.
Athiya Shetty’s look for Anamika Khanna’s collection exuded elegance. She adorned an intricately embroidered ivory gown with long sleeves, complemented by stunning jewellery and towering heels.
Her gown was heavily-embellished with a jacket-inspired silhouette and signature patchwork and floral motifs. Athiya completed her look with a chic bun and sophisticated makeup.
The ICW will culminate with a showcase by Rahul Mishra on August 2.