Ritu Beri plumbed Punjabi roots for couture collection

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Her collection was all about bright, vibrant colours and bold designs. And why not? Designer Ritu Beri, who brought a strong Punjabi flavour at the fourth edition of PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2013 when she displayed her "over the top" collection, was inspired by Punjab. And she believes that's what couture is all about.

Her show Saturday was high on entertainment too. While the models scorched the hot pink ramp, Punjabi singer Jassi and classical singer Sunanda Sharma set the mood by churning out peppy as well as soulful Punjabi and classical numbers.

Excessively expressive and dramatic collection named Punjabi Rock & Roll was a blend of ghagras, Patiala salwars, choga like jackets, and sari inspired gowns. High collars, ruffles and Swarovski work in metallic, black, white and more were highlights of her couture line, showcased on the fourth day of the fashion week, organised by Fashion Design Council of India.

"It was over the top, but that's what couture is all about. You have to go crazy. But the whole idea was you could wear the jacket with a pair of jeans, a skirt with body suit or plain white shirt so there was experimentation, but it was quite wearable," Beri told reporters at a press conference post her grand show here.

"I just love the drama of big collars

…

they are removable. I always wear high collars myself, so on the stage I went all the way and for couture show I can do what I want," she added.

Silk, velvet, rich brocades, satins and nets looked even more beautiful due to embroidery work done on the pieces.

"I've used lot of ruffles, lace, collars and embroidery. There was lot of gota, zardosi and different stones. I collaborated with brand Gaurav and Gautam, who helped me put all this together and we did a lot of embroideries together," she said.

If her roots inspired Beri's collection, the music gelled well with the clothes.

"I am a Punjabi, so I draw inspiration from my roots. And I think anywhere in the world you go, whether it is America or London, everyone is crazy about Punjabi music. I think it's high time we acknowledge it and enjoy our own tradition," she said.

For Punjabi singer Jassi, it was a dream come true.

"It was my dream to perform at a fashion show because there are a lot of things about Punjabi music that go beyond 'balle balle'. It can be soothing and soulful too," said Jassi.

Sharma, who belongs to Himachal Pradesh, was equally delighted to be part of the show.

"Ritu's work is very creative and I thought if I connect with her and work, it will be fun. It was also nice to bond with my roots," she said.

Amidst all the bling, brightness and glossy front row fashionistas, the simplicity of political leaders stood out.

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj turned up in a purple sari with her hair nicely tied in a bun as always.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor, dressed in simple yet elegant kurta-pyjama, was accompanied by wife Sunanda Pushkar, who looked attractive in a brown sleeveless top teamed with pink flowy long skirt and dupatta. Tharoor even posted his photograph with wife and a child model on Twitter.

He captioned it "With Girisha, youngest model at Ritu Beri's show of avant garde Punjabi design. Impressed to see Sushma Swaraj there".

The evening was full of music, fashion and politics.

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