Whiff of desi: South Asian inspirations at the NY Fashion Week
Motifs from India and parts of South Asia featured prominently in the works of Bibhu Mohapatra, Sheena Trivedi, Prabal Gurung and Naeem Khan among others.
Bibhu Mohapatra's fall/winter 2014 collection was created for the global woman inspired by the beauty and colors of Tibet.
'It's a land that is so close to my homeland, and it's the spirituality, bonding that kind of got me in there,' the India-born designer, who crafted 41 looks, told AFP.
He made ample use of the traditional Tibetan pangden pattern of offset stripes, which he transformed into a digital print.
Prints of a hazy mountain scene made multiple appearances -- on a gown, on a skirt, on a dress.
And Mohapatra's other subtle nod to Tibet was in the scarves, noted Style.com: 'He slung them elegantly around models' necks and tied them at the back. They gave the collection cohesion, but also a certain polish.'
Image: Models walk the runway Bibhu Mohapatra's creations.
Photographs: Arun Nevader/Getty Images
In a complete 180 degrees turn from his spring collection of pastels that paid homage to '50s Americana, Prabal Gurung's fall collection paid tribute to his other home, Nepal.
'The PRABAL GURUNG collections have often referenced Nepalese culture,' the designer who grew up in Kathmandu says on his website, 'but this season is directly inspired by Nepal, and the richly mythical and legendary culture it celebrates.'
The inspiration came from Mustang, an ancient Tibetan kingdom that is now part of Nepal.
Gurung's homage to his Himalayan upbringing and this mystic landscape was visible first in the red palette and with each passing creation -- don a runway lined with gongs to keep with its Himalayan theme -- in the folds of the fabric and the sarong-inspired angles.
The vibe was briefly disrupted by a streaker, later identified as Vitalli Sedium, a Ukranian-born wannabe-actor, but it didn't overshadow the collection that is being called one of Gurung's best.
Gurung also presented his ICB line, focusing on the 'forward thinking and fearlessly aspirational' woman.
Image: Models walk the runway Prabal Gurung's creations.
Photographs: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
For her fourth show at the New York Fashion Week, Sheena Trivedi presented a collection titled 'Kids of Bengal.'
Her designs spoke of the multiculturalism of her Indian-American upbringing.
Models wore tribal-inspired makeup, and jewellery, including from India.
Image: Snapshot from Sheena Trivedi's trunk show
Photographs: Sheena Trivedi on Facebook
India-born designer Naeem Khan, a red carpet and FLOTUS favorite, found inspiration away from South Asia.
He channelled the Prohibition Era glamour with designs inspired by the world of cabaret.
The trademark Khan beading dazzled.
'The layers of sequins, feathers and embroidery that adorn these dresses (and evening rompers!) show a painstaking, nearly couture level of effort,' Jezbel noted.
'There was a clear '20s influence in the Deco flourishes and flapper-style dresses, and, of all the collections we've seen so far, this is definitely one of the most red-carpet ready.'
The 44 pieces he showcased included cocktail dresses, skirts, trumpet gowns, pants and evening coats that were embellished with gold filigree embroidery, jewel trims, ostrich feather hems, floral applique work and miuki beads.
Image: A model walks the runway in a Naeem Khan creation.
Photographs: Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Thea Andrews walked the runway at Lincoln Center wearing a Rachel Roy at Go Red For Women -- The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2014 Show February 6.
She showed her own collection -- designed to make looking feminine and cool very simple -- digitally.
Image: Thea Andrews walks the runway in a Rachel Roy creation.
Photographs: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Adam Selman, who has designed for the likes of Rihanna, was another designer who sought an Indian inspiration. His sophomore women's collection began when he heard the story of a hiker in the French Alps who found a box of jewellery in the snow from a Mumbai to New York plane that had crashed in the 1950s. He described the collection as 'hiking clothes meets India.'
The prints, he told the Los Angeles Times, were based on the Indian sari and the splashes of the colors of Holi, 'but in a really stark, New York Stephen Sprouse way.'
Models walked to an Indian-flavored soundtrack and an occasional cloud of incense, making the stark Industrial Color office space ambient.
Image: A model shows off Adam Selman's creation.
Photographs: Craig Barrit/Getty Images