Shantnu & Nikhil Ceremonial Couture, 2021
Like an unlikely, shimmering waterbody defying the withering heat of the Thar, Shantnu & Nikhil’s Ceremonial Couture collection stands out for its splendour and unapologetic glamour. Oasis is, in essence, the designers’ response to the need of our times—beauty to those deprived of it, glamour to those missing it, power to those feeling helpless. Here are clothes that change the way the wearer walks, their posture, and in doing so, changes their perception of the world around them.
Creating this fantasy is a coming-together of Shantnu and Nikhil’s design signatures, especially for men. Proportioned 70:30, the lineup consists of menswear primarily, with key womenswear silhouettes that add a new dimension to the overall look. On offer, the famed draped kurtas for men, now achieved in kaleidoscopic prints on the finest of silks. These are paired with armour-like bundis and military-inspired short bandhgalas in black. The new Shantnu & Nikhil cowl trousers update the dhoti silhouette, and go perfectly with both the shorter jackets and longer sherwanis, all topped with jewelled brooches and regalia-inspired accessories. A new line of couture safas and stoles complements the looks.
For women, the designers blur the boundaries between ball gowns and lehengas, creating hybrid styles that will wear well anywhere from New York to New Delhi. Voluminous drapes meet expertly constructed bodices to form one-of-a-kind pieces that wouldn’t be out of place in a dark, stormy fairytale. Embellished with exquisite hand-embroideries, they shimmer with crystals, while leather appliqués lend a powerful statement to each look. Here, the signature Shantnu & Nikhil crimson lehengas take centerstage, standing out of the crowd with their softer appeal and painstakingly executed embellishments all done by the hands of master artisans.
The colour palette travels from gold to navy, reds to blacks, punctuated with multicolour couture prints developed in-house and transferred onto the most luxurious fabrics. In both men’s and womenswear, look out for contrast linings that add a hint of fun, as well as the new cityscape-inspired motifs that become emblematic of the global lives we embody now. The campaign storytelling embodies the same spirit of modernity which blends beautifully with the courageous voice of the collection. The backdrop of the campaign is set in a space which reflects a similar energy, The Suryagarh, Jaisalmer. Rich in history and heritage, the Suryagarh offers a thoughtfully curated some travel experiences which further helped us explore the un-explored.
An ode to the fierce glamour that has always been championed by the House, Oasis aims to bring the dream that is fashion back into the process of design, and offers a lineup that revels in joy and confidence.
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