Bringingthe universe of pride to life,the celebrated Blenders Pride Fashion Tour goes beyond conventional runway shows in its milestone 15th edition to unveil a breathtakingly new face of fashion.The tour commenced in Kolkata with acclaimeddesigner Anamika Khanna curating a breathtaking experiencethat highlighted extraordinary craft through magnificent designs. Adding to the grandeur of the evening were showstoppersArjun Kapoor and Janhvi Kapoor, looking spectacular in masterpieces by Anamika. Charting a unique course, the iconic 15th year of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour comes with a path-breaking format with designer Ashish Soni as curator-in-chief, and an exclusive collaboration with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the industry thought leader.By focussing laser-sharp on fashion, the tour will present festivals of fashion and create a universe of pride through its three themes – Craft, Blend and Identity. The fashion extravaganza will culminate in a larger-than-life finale, ‘The Pride of India’, in collaboration with FDCI, in Mumbai, with 15 eminent designers.
While ‘Pride’ as a meaningful expression of success and individuality continues to take center-stage at this edition, it is actually India with its indigenous ‘craft’, ‘blend’ of diverse influences, and a distinctive ‘identity’ that will become the canvas of expression this year.
Stepping into the fashion spotlight as always,the tour also launcheda new element – The Showcase– to provide a breakthrough opportunity foraspiring fashion designers and models to be mentored and display their talent at this year’s Blenders Pride Fashion Tour.
The festivals of fashion at Blenders Pride Fashion Tour in Kolkata included segments such as the Collection Gallery, The
Showcase, and Style Forum, each of which celebrated a whole new facet of fashion. An artistic display of 58 iconic pieces, The Collection Gallery was spread over three zones – Craft, Blend, Identity–includingover 40 famed designerssuch asKallol Dutta, Dev R Nil, Ayushman Mitra, Paromita Banerjee, and DivyaSheth. The Showcase presented the work of winning designer StanzinPalmo who hails from Ladakh. Her label ZILZOM is a contemporary conglomeration of traditional influences and modern aesthetics that represents the beauty of Ladakh.Her collection included Ladakhi silhouettes in local fabric, like Ladakh Pashmina, with signature prints that had a storytelling element. At the Style Forum, industry stalwarts such as designer Anju Modi, photographer Anushka Menon,
sports commentator Gautam Bhimani, designerParomita Banerjee, ShamluDudeja of SHE Foundation, Sunil Sethi of FDCI and Che Kurrien, Editor-in-Chief, GQ India, came together for an intellectual exchange of ideas in the fashion arena, focusing on the topic ‘How can traditional craftsmanship survive in the modern world’. Speaking on the occasion,Kartik Mohindra, Chief Marketing Officer, Pernod Ricard India, said, “In its 15th year of spearheading fashion in India, Blenders Pride Fashion Tourmoves beyond conventionalshows to become a celebration ofall things fashion with a new vision. With its path-breaking format, the milestone edition of the touraims to enhance the appeal for the youth andset the tone for innovation in years to come. The journey of ‘Pride’ that the brand undertook last year, continues to take center-stage this year as well, to bring alive distinctive expressions of ‘Pride’. We are also thrilled to collaborate with the industry leader, FDCI, in this landmark year, to take the property to new heights, together with illustrious designers and artists from across the country.” Expounding the concept ‘My Craft, My Pride’, Anamika Khanna showcased the diverse and rich culture of India through her collection that was young, energetic and almost flamboyant, representing two diametrically opposite sentiments that complement each other at the same time. Intricately crafted, richly embroidered pieces in easy contemporary shapes,in which lustrous satins and rich silks were combined with khadi cottons,gave the assemblage their own identity, while lace organza and tulleadded an ethereal element to the collection.The evening was indeed a reflection of spectacular craft, etched by the individual and exhibited with‘pride’. Speaking about her curation ‘My Craft, My Pride’, designer Anamika Khanna said, “I believe that craft exposes human experience beyond the visual and cerebral and helps them explore it through their hands. In a predominantly mechanised world, it slows everything down, keeps traditional techniques alive, and enables us to create and express freely. Through my association with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2019-20, I take immense pride in showcasing the importance of craft by representing the diverse and impeccably rich culture of India.” Talking about the association, Sunil Sethi, President, FDCI, said, “We are proud to associate with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour in its iconic 15th year, and further add to the magnanimity of the property. With both FDCI and Blenders Pride Fashion Tour being definitive names in the fashion space, we feel that we are perfectly positioned to showcase our combined strengths with our shared synergies.”
As curator-in-chief of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2019, designer Ashish Soni said, “The 15th edition of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour takes the next step in the fashion arena with a new format to include festivals of fashion, in addition to the runway shows. With this tour, we are thrilled to expand the horizons and understanding of fashion in the country by going a notch above. Moving ahead from Kolkata, Blenders Pride Fashion Tour will travel across cities such as Hyderabad,Delhi and Mumbai.
Pix By – Rajib Mukherjee.