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The crimson chinar cloaking the pastoral landscape, blooming saffron dancing in a sprawling field and vanishing into the haze as it nears the horizon, misty clouds draping the city, and the harsh imposing mountains guarding the valley, the autumn in Kashmir symbolises liberation even in the times of chaotic political and militant movements, which today characterises the paradisiacal and paradoxical valley. Autumn in this alluring valley has enchanted many and inspired poets and designers alike.
So while Kashmir is adorned with autumn at the moment, the capital of the country got a subtle taste of it at the Lotus Make-Up FDCI India Fashion Week 2018. Sponsored by Elle and given a platform by FDCI, the Kashmiri label, Raffughar by Wajahat Rather presented their latest collection, 'Qurbat'. Accompanied by the haunting musical notes and soul-stirring voice of the singer, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, the show beckoned the audience to romanticise about the heavenly land.
Crimson might not have been the ruling shade of the collection, but the muted-hues of autumn like brown, grey, and green were. We perceived it as a step towards merging the Kashmiri sensibilities with the rest of the world. The ensembles were western, which we thought was a beautiful move towards inclusivity. The collection of the designer represented the modern mindsets of Kashmir- the youth, which is open-minded, aware, but carefree too. The laidback aesthetics, free-flowing silhouettes, and asymmetry made it seem like a collection that a designer sitting in Paris or Milan, or New York could also be designing. However, what we admire more is that even with a global touch, the collection was detailed with Kashmiri handicrafts.
Consequently, Qurbat, meaning intimacy, was a relevant collection; it made sense. There was a sense of intimacy that got conveyed, as the designer incorporated the quintessential architectural splendour of Kashmir- Khatamband and Pinjrakari. Khatamband- the art of making ceiling by joining small pieces of wood and Pinjrakari- the jaali-styled window that allows the light to enter the dark room- were the art forms that inspired the collection.
Speaking about the inspiration, Wajahat elaborated, " Qurbat celebrates the fragrance of uniting and becoming whole by an invisible bond in Khatambandh." He further added, "When we talk about the presence of characteristics of light, shadow play, gradation and transparency in our fabric and silhouettes, we refer to the poetic essence in the way when light passes through something, it holds the ability to create beautiful images and underline the role of spaces that allow light to pass through them as the presence of molds and intricate jaali patterns."
Yes, the collection was poetic in every aspect and the designer celebrated Kashimiri craftsmanship by incorporating the motifs including pohar, rista, muraba, sash etc. The fabrics used backed the sustainability and promoted the livelihood of artisans. Wajahat used hand woven, hand spun cotton of fine counts. Thus, Raffughar's latest collection took the global autumn hues and gave it a Kashmiri touch.
It symbolised a woman, who has gained myriad perspectives but hasn't still lost a connection with the roots. Even with structure-defying outfits, the ensembles from this collection was meant for a woman, who is sorted.
We found the collection absolutely delightful. How about you?