Tarun Tahiliani ICW 2016
Tarun Tahiliani • India Couture Week • 2016
Tarun Tahiliani is the master of the arts first. He presented 'The Last Dance Of The Courtesans' at India Couture Week, the collection inspired by the nautch girls or tawaifs from the times of royalty in India.
"These women were the bastions of culture and most often have been misconstrued in popular culture."
- Tarun Tahiliani
Drawing from their traditional costumes of anarkali kurta and trousers, the collection started off with lightweight chiffons embroidered in resham and embellished in Swarovski crystals just enough to catch the light. As the show progressed, Tarun Tahiliani presented us with much heavier couture pieces. Movement was kept in mind and with every step the model took in her Christian Louboutin heels, the effort showed.
Sufi kathak dancer Manjari Chaturvedi performed at the show, transforming the ramp into a durbar, already propped with a crystal chandelier, mirror-covered pillars and jasmine gajras hanging from the light. Before the show started, Tarun Tahiliani read the press note in his deep voice. Reimagining a courtesan's sense of aesthetics for a bride is a mark of the shift in our thought process today. Only a veteran like Tarun Tahiliani can put that message across subtly, but firmly.
"I wanted to go back to the roots. Today, the bridal wear has become too heavy and costume. So, I felt it's time to go back to not just costume but to be modern. My collection was super glamorous yet modern and contemporary. The inspiration is lightness. When the pandit finishes the wedding ritual, the DJ is already waiting, so the bride wants to put on her dancing shoes without changing her traditional wear. The lehenga should be such you can quickly team up with a white shirt or something else modern!
Wedding dresses are special. They should be used over and over again rather than being a one-time wear. So, these were the ideas in my mind while designing the collection."
- Tarun Tahiliani
We think it was a spectacular the way Tarun brought together the concept in such a modern format. The courtesans, themselves, were style icons and fashionistas. The collection explores the possibility of a wearable lightness of being for the contemporary diva, with inspirations drawn from the finery of the courtesans. They led the fashion scene in their era. Tarun's collection showed that the courtesans were great artists. And it's great to be a witness of that.