Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla take a trip down memory lane for their opening show at Lakmé Fashion Week

Bollywood’s Sonali Bendre, Dimple Kapadia, and Jaya Bachchan watched from the front row, all dressed in outfits featuring shades of gold, in keeping with the colour scheme of the collection.

Abu Jani, left, and Sandeep Khosla took inspiration from the 1970s and 80s for their opening show. Courtesy Lakmé Fashion Week
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Disco and Bollywood glamour joined forces for the opening show at Lakmé Fashion Week, which kicked off in Mumbai on Tuesday evening with gold sequins, elegant kaftans and modern saris dominating the catwalk.

The show, by the Indian designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep ­Khosla, was presented as an ode to the “21st-century diva” and “retro chic”. The theme went back to the 1970s and 80s for its inspiration. It marked the beginning of Lakmé Fashion Week winter/festive, which is celebrating its 15th year.

Bollywood actresses Sonali Bendre, Dimple Kapadia and Jaya Bachchan watched from the front row, all dressed in outfits in shades of gold, in keeping with the colour scheme of the collection.

They frequently applauded the designs as the models sauntered and danced their way down the catwalk to retro hits, including I Will Survive and Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You, and Bollywood beats.

Gowns and capes were among the silhouettes, with glitzy silver and gold embroidery, sequins and ruffles also on display. The base colours underneath all the sparkle were off-whites, creams and beiges. The collection was called Jawani Jaaneman. The male models were very much a background feature of the show, wearing see-through shirts and sparkling jackets.

The designers’ outfits are ­popular among Bollywood stars including Amitabh Bachchan, as well as Hollywood A-listers.

Other celebrities who attended the opening event included Sussanne Khan, who used to be married to the actor Hrithik Roshan, and Nita Ambani, the wife of India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

Abu Jani, speaking after the show, said that after working together for almost three decades, the idea for the collection came when Sandeep Khosla suggested going back to their “disco years and disco dance”.

“This is what came up – contemporary disco,” he said. “It’s contemporary India, moving on with the arts and craft and a new take on it. You constantly have to reinvent yourself.”

Sandeep Khosla said it had been a “great experience” and that they had “wanted to do something young, something funky”.

The duo are well known for their regal bridal wear and this marked something of a departure from their previous collections.

“It was very different from what they usually do,” said Sasha Sharma, the editor-in-chief of Hoture, an Indian online fashion ­magazine.

“This is more blingy, probably because of the festive season, which is why they’ve used a lot sequins, and a lot of metallic fabrics. I feel it’s also because of the disco theme.”

She said she preferred their bridal wear, which they recently showcased, to the clothing on display for the opening show, but nevertheless enjoyed the event.

“The choice of songs, the way the models were dancing on the ramp – it was more like a dance sequence and it was entertaining. I really liked a few outfits from this collection. The ones with ruffles were my favourite.”

Rukhsana Eisa, a grooming and etiquette expert who was in the audience, was impressed by the event.

“I just thought it was a fantastic show,” she said. “The music, the clothes, the choreography – everything was perfect.”

Highlights of Lakmé Fashion Week this season include Manish Malhotra’s first-ever menswear show, The Gentleman’s Club, with Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor as the showstopper.

The Delhi-based designer ­Gaurav Gupta will present his collection for the grand finale on Sunday, with Kareena Kapoor Khan set to walk the runway as the showstopper.

More than 100 designers will be showcasing their work at the Lakmé Fashion Week, which is held at the Palladium Hotel, Mumbai. Some of the prominent names include Ritu Kumar, Tarun Tahiliani, Namrata Joshipura, Anita Dongre, Narendra Kumar, Neeta Lulla and Kallol Dutta.

artslife@thenational.ae

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