A valley of flowers: Varun Bahl launches his new Spring/Summer Couture Collection

From deep-red roses to delicate pastel daisies, a forest of florals forms the inspiration for Varun Bahl’s Spring/Summer ’23 Couture Collection, The Secret Garden
‘The Secret Garden’
‘The Secret Garden’

It is no secret that Varun Bahl loves flowers. They have been his muse from the time he got into the fashion business and continue to be a leitmotif even now, nearly 25 years on. Little wonder then that he’s been dubbed the ‘Couturier of Flowers,’ a title he’s been only too happy to live up to all these years. It is also something that his blossoming clientele, which includes Bollywood’s who’s who—Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Deepika Padukone, Kiara Advani, Ranbir Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan—happily seek him out for.

This time too, he pushes the petal further with his new Spring/Summer Couture Collection. Deep red roses to hot pink hibiscus and delicate pastel daisies, it’s full bloom in a burst of colour. Add to that the vibrancy of nature—leafy fronds and glittering ponds with rays of sunshine bouncing off the water. 

“I’ve called this collection ‘The Secret Garden’, a haven where you can retreat to bask in the newness of the season,” says Bahl, adding, “It’s all about the essence of a thriving garden under the summer sun, with playful dramatic elements that showcase our signature styles and innovative silhouettes. 

The bold floral motifs, therefore, are a refreshing reminder of a season where everything flourishes.”
If flowers are a constant inspiration, how differently can one interpret them every time? “‘The Secret Garden’ gives a whole new dimension to my statement embroideries this time,” he says, adding, “I have converted exotic printed floral artworks into interesting patterns using upcycled patchwork, appliqué work as well as three-dimensional elements.” The use of sustainable patchwork is a distinctive feature that takes a casual design element and elevates it into a couture marvel, he adds.

Complementing the mood of the season, the ensembles—which range from bridal lehengas,  sheer dupattas, bold bodices, flowing capes, light jacket coveralls and voluminous skirts—are all in fun breezy styles and asymmetric cuts that make for flattering silhouettes. These are adorned with delightful summer blossom-inspired corsages, as well as elements such as seashells and feathers, each of which is meticulously detailed and painstakingly handcrafted.

Daytime styles include ivory embroidery on shades of peach, where natural elements like seashells come into play. The pieces are also embellished with plenty of sparkle, and the use of tassels adds drama. Besides, there are unique two tones in patchwork in ‘summer brights’ such as shades of yellow. Then there are the bridal tones in reds and hot pinks with traditional zardozi embroidery, but combined with unique patchwork patterns. Indeed, from intricate florets to vivid blossoms, the juxtaposition of pastels and striking tones make this collection a true tribute to a blooming garden.

Known for marrying traditional Indian embroideries with experimental silhouettes, the NIFT alumnus launched his eponymous couture label in 2004, and hasn’t looked back since. In 2010, he launched his menswear label in collaboration with filmmaker Karan Johar, called Karan Johar+Varun Bahl. He has also collaborated with brands such as Audi, Diageo and Mercedes in recent years. Not just that, he also runs luxury wedding design company, Aurum by Varun Bahl, which curates bespoke festive wear with precision and creativity.

The designer’s retail network includes his flagship store in Delhi, as well as multi-brand stores like  Pernia’s Pop Up Shop, Aza, Ensemble, Ogaan, Evoluzione and Elahe, along with a significant online presence.

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