Regal Opulence : Quintessential Glamour Transcending Time
Regal Opulence : Quintessential Glamour Transcending Time
A theme – or trend as you may call it, which is hard to be defined by one particular event or occurring in history that triggered it off, an epoch or a specific geographical location – a disposition of majestic poise and grandeur – Regal Opulence is an underlying theme that refuses to go out of fashion and can arguably be labeled as a kind of ‘classic’ in itself.
This royal theme cannot be confined to one single period in history, majorly because it draws its influence from a broad spectrum of cultures, styles and eras spanning time immemorial. A theme which has etched a name for itself as, ‘simultaneously belonging to history and one that transcends it.’
All things Royal
Medieval cathedral and church architecture and design, classic 15th century artworks, the ornamented dramatification arising out of the Baroque and Rococo periods, dresses belonging to the Elizabethan Era, decorative murals and frescos and the likes, mirror the lavishness of this monarchical theme – a swirl of influences and common elements that collectively come together into one spectacular whole – an unparalleled aesthetic, inspiring a look fit for The Patriciate.
Think of grandeur and resplendence, winding ornate staircases, sparkling chandeliers, and the unmistakable tunes of a harpsichord playing in the background – revolting against the notion of the financially conscious society to prove that obvious in-your-face displays of luxury are still in fashion – it always has been, it forever will be.
Economic recessions and downturns in society are known to stir rebellion which eventually finds its way into the world of fashion but rather than diminishing, the seasons surrounding the slump during Fall Winter 2012 proved of an unyielding fascination with regal opulence which was revived through heavily ornate and luxurious details, all avant-garde in nature.
Showing up on runways, season after season, year after year – this theme never ceases to outdo itself – such is the case with regality. It continues to seamlessly transition itself with the current trends of the times dictating the fashion scene.
Tapestry prints and needlepoint embroideries fashioned by Valentino over dresses and capes, beaded velvet in royal tones of emerald green, burgundy and royal blue laced with grand motifs in gold, luxe brocade, silk brocade and leather fabrics, references of artworks, sculptures or grandiose interiors, mosaic prints fashioned courtesy Dolce &Gabbana accompanied by ornately decorative headpieces and jewelleryà la Marchesa, have all manifested the majestic factor through princely fabrics and embroideries in the past, perfectly befitting the theme.
Modern Day Grandeur
Among the top grossing trends for this season, silently shining through the more laid-back, relaxed and casual trends were the in-ignorable flashes of majestic glamour brought to life through the underlying Regal Opulence theme.
Balmain’s Fall Winter 2016 collection screamed grandeur through pearl-encrusted and tasseled poitrine details, rococo inspired beaded embroideries over velvet and sheer mesh, hyper-fitted tailoring in tapestry silks while in keeping with the seasons chicest trend – ruffles, which found their way in lacy detailing focused on the legs.
Regal and Powerful like a queen, Marchesa’s Fall Winter 2016 collection cited the royal gardens at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire as a touchstone, keeping a dominant reference of horticultural intact in their floor-trailing princess gowns dripping with florid embellishments, 3D organza and velvet floral details over sheers and ornate tiaras to complete the look.
Dolce & Gabbana oozed their signature lavishness through fairytale glamour by OD-ing in on the details and accessories this time—in the glittery beaded patches on dresses and novelty sweaters showing the Seven Dwarves, toadstools, chandeliers, cats, and tailor mice, and in box bags made in the shape of castles and pumpkins.
Maison Margiela paid attention to the cinching and tying of the waist with wide belts, fastened with Western or Rococo inspired buckles that effectively brought out the element of regality.
Leave it to Valentino to skillfully weave together the paradox of age-old hand-wrought elaborateness with youthful simplicity in their collection which could have been safely taken out of a page from a history book.
Delphos dress silhouettes, hints of expressionist dancing and a special mention for their innovative treatment of luxe velvet – pleated, painted and patinated in royal colors interspersed with high doses of 20th century romanticism embodied their Haute Couture 2016 collection, lending them an air of timelessness. The piece that stood out boasted details of velvet brocade cut out and re-appliquéd over a sheer bodice underlining pure genius.
A fine-tuning between opulence and elementary lines, formalism and laid-back ease formed the crux of Elie Saab’s Haute Couture 2o16 collection.
Edwardian silhouettes gracefully blended with Indian sensibilities in embellished capelets, jeweled pants and ornate dresses highlighting regality and monarchy.
The trend sits beautifully with Indian designers as well, owing to decades of rich culture and tradition, owing to multiple rulers and dynasties who have seamlessly translated themselves into design.
Nitin Kartikeya plays with ornate embroidered beading and appliqués over luxe fabrics like velvets and chiffons to bring out opulence for his Fall Winter 2016 collection.
Regal glamour and opulence go hand-in-hand with any Rohit Bal’s creation and this season was no different. Hand crafted cut works, intricately beaded embroidered motifs in gold and lattices interwoven with age-old Indian techniques and heritage over mulmuls, chanderis and silk velvets in Indian silhouettes brought about an ostentatious collection synonymous with the designer.