“To see her is to fall in love, and to drink a cup of wine from the flask of her lustrous eyes is to be transported to the cosiest corner of Heaven. To be with her even for a moment is to taste immortality.”
Tarun Tahiliani’s latest couture collection ‘The Last Dance of the Courtesan’ is a tribute and acknowledgement to the highest bastions of culture, poetry, dance and finesse. The atelier weaves a story where sensuality meets sensibility, and mystery unravels itself in surreptitious layers with seductive glory. Thanks to Rekha and Aishwarya Rai Bacchan who played Umrao Jaan with all the beauty, grace and poetry that women of the past did.
Tahiliani chose sheer fabrics in a palette of pastels – blush pinks (our favourite!), beige, peach, jade and ivory. Whether it was tulle, brocade or sheer silk, the fabrics worked as a canvas for the intricate thread work and crystals courtesy of his association with Swarovski. And thanks to those very crystals, the subdued, subtle colours were suddenly uplifted to a cosmic level.
While addressing the media Tarun Tahiliani said-
“As usual it’s been my privilege to be associated with Swarovski, world leaders in crystal technology. As fashion, even couture becomes more high-tech, they add the sparkle of dreams and the aurora borealis to the seduction of contemporary couture. Since couture must adhere to the highest standards of craft and perfection it is only befitting that the crystals are Swarovski.”
Bridal Wear Collection
Tahilian’s collection delectably incorporated Swarovski crystals with the finest craftsmanship and detailing, with a special emphasis being laid out on the golden tones, beautiful opals, and pastels. The opulence of silks and brocades paired with soft tulle and georgettes embellished with crystals and aari, chikankari, and zardozi embroidery brings back the charm of an age gone by. The vibrant colour palette of reds, maroons, midnight blue, ivory and gold added festive cheer and a sense of glamour. A whiff of romance floats through this collection, finely embroidered with floral motifs lightly sprinkled with crystals from Swarovski, and fine lace in graceful silhouettes that are a perfect blend of the modern with the traditional.
The new couture collection encapsulates the allure of the fabled Indian Courtesan, sadly misrepresented in most of Bollywood as “fallen women” – in fact they were the custodians of beauty, fashion, poetry, dance and music. Their ascendant star shone even brighter when in favour with royal patronage bringing the highest light through poetry, dance, song and more – so also we choose to use the sheerest fabrics in tulle, sheer silks and light brocades mixed with fine thread work and crystals with contemporary notions of cut – the sleeveless anarkali as a jump suit, the corsetted kurta drape, the shararas with tulle and gota, Swarovski crystals encrusted opal sarees, Mother of Pearl carved blocks with chikankari sprees, and draped brocade lehengas to be paired with shirts and tops. A modern ease. Bowing to our splendid history, we reference the past but, we live in this moment.
Invoking sophisticated seduction and lending elegant luxury is the colour palette, which is dominated by shades of romantic pastels in beige, blush pink, peaches, jade and ivory. Precisely paneled jackets, dreamy voluminous skirts, concept-screes, and statement-making lehengas are uplifted by opals, pearls and other crystals from Swarovski interspersed with french knots and floral embroidery. A blush pink jacket embellished with mother-of-pearl with a sprinkling of floral motifs, bodysuit and skirt embellished with Swarovski crystals adds the right amount of flirty flair and modernity.
A sunset orange and red lehenga looked divine with a graphical representation of a great Indian wedding procession. Trellised blouses intricately encrusted with crystals are combined with paneled veils in soft tulle, edged with delicate Chantilly lace, subtly throwing into accent the opulence of fine Indian workmanship in powerful embroideries in celebration of the grandeur of India’s traditional artisanal crafts. This is in perfect harmony in a contemporary setting with traditional zardozi, tilla and sitara work done in the finest manner.
The perfect setting. The perfect concept. Ethereal, yet real.
Men’s Wear Collection
The menswear garments in the collection epitomize refined style, craftsmanship and quality. A wide spectrum of silhouettes and styles subtly complement the designer’s trademark drapes. The menswear range is an amalgamation of intricate embroidery, techniques and embellishments in a myriad of fabrics such as brocades, velvet, silks and georgettes in a sophisticated colour palette of creams, beige, royal blue and taupe. Sherwanis and kurtas embellished with chikankari and gota embroidery and accented by french knots with pearl highlights worn with embroidered cummerbunds and draped dhotis lending a sense of elegance and a distinctive aura to the collection.
Leela – The Makers of Fine Jewellery beautifully complemented the collection with their exquisite designs in diamond jewellery and meticulous attention to detail along with remarkable combinations of colour, precious metals and quality gemstones. Their art deco settings in flawless diamonds are paired with couture.
Stunning gold pieces set with uncut diamonds from Shri Hari Diagems, who are also collaborating with Tarun Tahiliani to design and manufacture exquisite pieces in jade jewellery; they contribute to the old world painterly styling on the models – chokers layered with necklaces mixed with rows of multi-coloured beads.
French designer Christian Louboutin’s iconic red soles fix the stamp of contemporary luxury and aplomb to the show. While the chandelier backdrop from Mathieu Lustrerie adds further luminosity to the sparkling couture collection.
Alongside the frenzied detail of couture, the ready-to-wear collection for brides and their families seeking an easier flair, features a range of exquisite and chic styles in lehengas, sarees, anarkalis and kalidar jackets for the upcoming season.
To heighten the mood of this mesmerising event, Tahiliani collaborates with dance stalwart Manjari Chaturvedi– a leading exponent of classical dance in India who has revolutionized kathak. Manjari brings alive the inspiration behind this collection with her ‘Darbari Kathak’ representing ‘The Dance of the Courtesan’, a tribute to the woman and her art, the music and the dance she performed, a rich legacy, a precious heritage.
This creative collaboration pays tribute to their common muse, “The Courtesan”- a symbol of oriental luxury, enchanting audiences with sheer energy and power, subtlety and finesse.
*Images are from Tarun Tahiliani
In all Tarun Tahiliani’s Courtesan dance as we expected nothing but the best, but this was phenomenal!