It’s no surprise that the highlights of every Fashion Week are often found amongst the most dramatic runway shows. Many times, a truly successful fashion show is accomplished by not only presenting a fabulous collection, but by also having a well executed runway production. This season, Indian designer Rajesh Pratap Singh, through the dramatic presentation of his Fall 2015 collection, aimed to be the one that everyone remembered from Amazon India Fashion Week.
Entitled Because Medicine is the Best Laughter the designer (who hails from a medical family), dedicated his new line to his family and all those associated with health industry. He displayed his vision on a recreated hospital set complete with beds, IV bags and overhead surgical lights. “I was born into a medical family and everyone in my family stuck to this industry. I also spent a lot of time in hospital, so I know a lot, and I think it needs to be celebrated in a beautiful way,” he said. “The collection is a tribute to the health workers and everything they work through… People in healthcare have to be super professional in spite of everything else which goes on in their head…so we were just trying to represent that.” I love this sentimentality in his theme.
To me though… it was a little macabre- but certainly was an innovative presentation with models tricked out in geeky spectacles and surgical masks, stomping to the blaring accompaniment of a live rock band.
With all that was going on in the runway presentation, the collection itself had to be standout impressive- and it was. Prim 1950s silhouettes were rendered in graphic black and white prints and paired with quirky details like leather gloves, folded nurse’s caps, patent oxford heels and gum-coated fabrics. There was a good selection of the designer’s signature Ikat prints on show, along with a riot of punchy colour blocks, polka dots, pop-art florals and chequered motifs.
While most Indian fashion designers play with a gamut of colours, Mr. Singh prefers to focus his creative energy into black and white creations. Although his collections are usually punctuated by pops of colour, this season the designer stuck exclusively to the monochromatic theme, only allowing the tiniest hint of red to be seen running down the backs some looks where a strip of scarlet selvedge was used to evoke images of veins.
The dark details didn’t end there- some ripped leather looks were held together by “suture” stitched seams and clustered polka dots were made to look like drops of blood.
However the collection wasn’t all doom and gloom. Fabulous handwoven merino sheath dresses, pleated skirts, skirt suits, slim sweaters, wrap dresses and starched button- down blouses were all on show, along with a range of fierce outerwear toppers like deconstructed blazers, leather trenches and knee-length wool coats.
Crisp shirt collars, boat necks and swingy full skirts referenced the outfits of prim 1950s- era nurses, but this offering was anything but clinical. The unexpected inclusion of a modern jumpsuit, a pair of slouchy trousers and an outsized graphic-print hoodie tied the collection to a fiercely contemporary mindset. Was it ever fabulous!
All in all, it was a show that told its story impeccably from start to finish. Rajesh Pratap Singh’s Fall 2015 collection was great and just so effortlessly chic! I love it, and I really can’t say anything else- it was just too fierce!