Romantics draws from 18th century European textile history, often lavish and novel in technique. At the time, Italy and France produced the finest brocades in the epicentre of luxury textile. Today, using brocade as its vehicle, Romantics relays pastels of the Rococo period through woven ornamentation, markedly distinct from the proceeding Mughal era. Grapes, vessels, birds and chintz-like foliage and florals are realistic, often depicting complex societal scenes and documenting new knowledge of botanicals.
Always a sign of the times, garments are visualised as an escape from present day finery. Silhouettes are softer yet still restrained and share the spirit of the 18th century, an era embracing comfort, ease, privacy and affection Ruffles, pearl beading, and beribboned garments contrast with black piping against dresses and blouses in light piyazi, mint and aasamani. Quilting on satin silk pairs with fine organza over lace and hand-embroidery on a range of saris, lenghas and shararas.
What was true then is true now: the Romantics resist everything, except temptation.
Photography: Ashish Shah