It's nice when a designer you have never heard about is undersold, but over-delivers in her debut fashion
Most of us have never heard of the name Ritu Kumar before, but the veteran Indian designer was introduced to
Singapore yesterday evening.
With 40 years behind her and known in India for her flamboyant use of Indian embroidery and hand-beading,
the showcase of her Autumn/ Winter 2008 collection got off to a very good start.
Looking at her white collection of ready-to-wear wouldn't tell you very much about her background and
expertise in hand-made accessories. Consisting of clean lines in cotton that looked contemporary and modern,
you would have thought she was like any other Asian designer trying to make her mark with pared-down
But the embroidery, mirror-work and silver details gave the game away.
Her clothes truly came alive as the bolder pieces were sent down the runway.
Indigo blue dresses, contrasted sharply with a chilli red belt, or a tasseled messenger bag made for eye
candy on the runway.
The sari was also reinterpreted as a handsome evening gown.
But what was most impressive was the moment when the models strutted the stage, looking like birds of
paradise decorated with craftwork of daring blooms on full skirts and sarong-kebaya like dresses, reminding
one very much of flamenco dancers who were on the verge of kicking up their heels and starting into a full-
blown performance of that very sensual dance.
The designer herself said not to expect anything Indian, but there was no escaping it really. You can see it
all in the sprinkling of and the silk trimmings on beige skirts.
And when paired with the sheerest of stockings that were chiffon made churidargh pajama trousers - the
effect made you wish you were on the invite list to a Bollywood party - just so you can show off those cute
ruffles at the ankles.
It's a pity the crowd was thinner yesterday - she was well worth the watch.