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An Indian spring at London Fashion Week

Last updated on: September 19, 2013 13:38 IST

An Indian spring at London Fashion Week

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Veteran Ashish Gupta brought on a bling blitz with style and humour.

Debutante Hema Kaul stood out with her classic lines.

Mumbai-based designer Little Shilpa showcased her flamboyant collection.

A dekko at the Indian designers at the London Fashion Week.

Sequins, glamour, sportswear and more sequins,” are what Ashish Gupta calls his design signatures. And his new collection — as we saw at the London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014, which closed last night — remained true to style. 

It was a glittering (sequins and more sequins) mash-up of grungy sportswear, pop prints, the urban and the ethnic, and the Delhi-born designer delivered them with a healthy dose of humor (more on that later).

At the other end of the spectrum was Hema Kaul, whose collection was shown as part of House of Evolution.

The Dubai-based designer, who debuted at the fashion week September 15, stood out because of the simplicity of her lines, effectively blending traditional lace with contemporary style.

Click next for a front row view of Ashish Gupta’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection


Image: Ashish Gupta, left, kept the sport but dropped the bling from his personal wardrobe at the London Fashion Week, September 14. Hema Kaul's love for classic touches showed on her, September 15.
Photographs: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images and Hema Kaul/Facebook

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Ripped shimmery jeans, the iconic Coca Cola logo, a metal crown and a sequined plastic bag — Ashish Gupta crafted his show’s opening to encapsulate a glimpse of all that was to follow. 

There were torn jeans, hoodies, vests, denim jackets, shorts, tunics and dresses. There were animal prints and multi-hued stripes. All sequined.

He peppered the show with the Coca-Cola emblazoned vests, sometimes mixing it up with animal prints, Arabic and tribal accents.


Image: The recurrence of the Coca-Cola logo was the standout element of the show. Not that there weren't some Ashish-esque surprises along the way.
Photographs: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

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The look, Ashish Gupta said, was inspired by the morning after a particularly hard night of partying: When you roll out of bed, throw on a sweatshirt and head out to the corner shop for a caffeine kick (enter Coca-Cola).

“You know when you just put your slippers on and have the jewellery from last night on still,” he explained to reporters.

The narrative, he also said, was about the internationality of the shop owners — Indian, Arabic, African.

“My local corner shop is owned by Arabs, and I love seeing everyday products like beans stacked next to exotic products like figs, where the packaging has this wonderful lettering that looks like calligraphy… It was all a celebration of everything international and what a great multicultural city we live in,” he told Style.com.


Image: Heels have no place in hangover mornings. Jewelled loafers and mismatched colorful socks are more like it for morning-after chic.
Photographs: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

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The styles certainly grabbed eyeballs, but it was the humble plastic grocery bags, with an Ashish Gupta spin, that was the really star.

Models carried sequined versions with a pineapple here and bananas there, and a particular crowd favorite was a tongue-in-cheek green ‘S&M’ bag.

Just the quirky accessory to please his ideal client (Madonna and Katy Perry feature on the client list): “Fun-loving and sexy with a sense of humour. She likes to make an entrance.”

Click next for Hema Kaul’s London Fashion Week debut 


Image: The final look of the show (don't miss the pink and blue him and her bags)
Photographs: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

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Hema Kaul’s collection was shown at the London Fashion Week — along with fellow emerging designers and Josh & Nicol’s — as part of House of Evolution. 

Her collection, Deja Vu, was the first on the runway.


Image: Déjà vu featured a blend of lace and silk in daytime and evening wear.
Photographs: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

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Kaul’s palette ranged from pastels to vibrant colors, reflective of the season.

Her designs though were a bit hit and miss. While a textured PVC skirt teamed with a black, jeweled sleeveless number impressed, the floor length gowns were pretty but uninspired. Ditto for the day dresses.

Her use of classic lines meant her clothes were immensely wearable, but attuned to those who prefer to play it safe.

Click next for Little Shilpa’s impressive London Fashion Week turn


Image: Amid a string of safe deigns (left) the PVC skirt (right) stood out. Ultra feminine and classic in cut and fall, Hema Kaul's designs worked off the female form.
Photographs: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

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For the lovers of flamboyant head gear Little Shilpa is the go-to label.

Shilpa Chavan, a native Mumbaikar, presented her Grey Matter collection, which Mumbai saw before London.

The collection that premiered at the Lakmé Fashion Week in August is inspired by the city’s bazaars and the sari, to Mumbai.


Image: A model appears at the Little Shilpa presentation at London Fashion Week SS14 at Freemasons Hall on September 16, 2013 in London, England.
Photographs: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

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In the Grey Matter, Shilpa gave the traditional sari a contemporary spin, draping them as skirts paired with men’s shirts, ties and collars, redefining gender-specific clothing and playing with Eastern and Western traditions.


Image: Models showcase a Little Shilpa creation at London Fashion Week SS14.
Photographs: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

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Apart from big Indian designers like Manish Arora, Tarun Tahiliani, Sabyasachi Mujherjee, Hemant Trevedi, and Wendel Rodricks, Shilpa Chavan has also worked with British labels like Boudicca, Unconditional and Javier Salvador.

And if her SS14 collection — each piece handcrafted to perfection — is any indication big names will continue to come calling.


Image: A model appears at the Little Shilpa presentation at London Fashion Week SS14.
Photographs: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

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