Red haute couture
It was on the unusual catwalk of a waterborne battlecraft that some of the finest collections of two of Italy's celebrated fashion designers were showcased in Mumbai recently.
PASTELS: From the Trussardi collection.
THE distant boom of a battleship's horn late one evening announced that I was well within restricted territory of the Naval Dockyard at Tiger Gate in the Mumbai harbor. As the megapolis shimmered in the languid dock waters, the dazzle and glaze of floodlights and surround sound preps welcomed me along the deck ramps of the aircraft carrier "IMS Vikrant". For here it was to be, a visual extravaganza of couture creations by Italian high fashion moghuls Gianfranco Ferre and Trussardi, brought exclusively under the aegis of "Festa Italiana 2005", organised by the ever-active Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IICCI), Mumbai.
The hoi polloi of Mumbai's most exhibited personalities and first-name celebrities trooped aboard,-stiletto-and-stud boots onto the football-ground deck, as grounded solitary fighter jets and a lone naval helicopter lent an air of awe and admiration from civilian eyeballs. As the three open-air bar counters swiftly whisked up spirits and energisers by the drum full, excitement edged up an ascending anticipation, the 3,000-strong invitees hushed and settled down for some seductive sashaying on the ramps.
This was Mumbai's most extraordinary, unusual and dynamic fashion show, under a canopy of stars and winter skies. Fashion choreographer Marc Robinson and team, conferring with Dr Andrea Bonardi, Secretary General of IICCI, and Narinder Nayar, President (IICCI), added last minute touches to the arrangements, as the crescendo mounted, the speakers pounded fusion trance beats and the drapes bowed aside.
Tribute to the continents
Italian originality, flair for the rare and couture class came alive in Gianfranco Ferre's tribute to the world's continents as live innovations and designs, famous models strutting their stats sensuously, the latest creations for Europe, Africa, Oceana, Asia and the Americas presenting a dazzling canvas of superb clothes celebrated in sprinkle chiffon, chintz and sheer fabric, cleverly juxtaposed accessories adding to the originality of its inimitable creator. Weaves blended with sequins, sheer falls curled under graceful tucks, hour-glass figures asserting apparel allure, stunning embroidery heightened plain tones and crisp forms bowed to casual flair in Gianfranco Ferre's pyschedelia of magnificent designs.
The ramp was lilting ahead with Beatrice Trussardi's delightful prêt-a-porter repertoire, feather-soft garment leather, wearable, comfortable and chic. The simplistically rendered deft strokes of figure hugging wear was complemented by the wonders of crinkles and curls presented as ensembles of shorts and dashing tops, flowy gowns with wavy pearl rows and snappy hats that smiled down on alluring bods. Pastels took centre stage with the Trussardi watermark, the excellence of their rendition in easy-flowing evening and party wear inspiring sighs and expectant "ohhs" from fashionistas in the premier rows. It was visibly a grand spectacle of splendid choreography, professional sync and seamless co-ordination, highlighted by the Italian designers' impeccable portfolio of their world-renowned designs.
For the Indian Navy and the Indian Museum Ship "(IMS) Vikrant" this memorable event meant sincere funding for its existence and welfare; for the thousands who came in to watch "Festa Italiana" 2005's Italian fashion phenomenon, it was a sensual experience not to be forgotten easily.
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