Cover: Ambika Lal's SS’23 Don’t Stop The Party decoded by actor Sauraseni Maitra

The glam edit is an impressive curation of Lal’s signature styles and silhouettes which have been developed and created based on the year’s fashion forecast and trends.
Sauraseni in an Ambika Lal creation
Sauraseni in an Ambika Lal creation

If there’s any city-based designer who has made a distinct mark in the national fashion scene with her absolutely luxe and a global collection of evening wear for women, it has to be Ambika Lal. A choice of label for a wide range of Bollywood fashionistas right from Kriti Sanon to Mithila Palkar, Esha Gupta and Shobita Dhulipala, Lal keeps on surprising with her sense of merging Western silhouettes with traditional elements and indigenous handcrafted textured fabrics.

“Our brand is dedicated to creating luxury formal evening wear for women who want to look and feel spectacular with their style. We aim at making women feel empowered, confident and vivacious in our luxury prét wear collection and bespoke couture attires,” says Ambika, a law professional, who sought to pursue her passion for all things sartorial. 

The luxe pret wear designer loves experimenting with silhouettes, drapes, traditional embroideries with a modern take and textured fabrics which are customised and handcrafted by artisans in-house. “Each of our collections is designed for extravagant occasions from cocktails, and dreamy proposals to exotic vacations and everything exquisite in between. We want to create moods and looks which excite women to leave home and go out to experience whatever good the world has to offer,” she further explains.

Silver sequins short dress with feather details
Silver sequins short dress with feather details

As always, this year too her Summer Spring Collection’23, Don’t Stop The Party, embodies all the elements and ethos her label stands for. “This is an amalgamation of our summer colours infused with autumn winter hues. You can find your perfect summer silhouettes whether you are in the mood to party, go for a beach vacay or attend a grand cocktail evening – we have your wardrobe sorted for all your sartorial needs,” she enthuses.

The glam edit is an impressive curation of Lal’s signature styles and silhouettes which have been developed and created based on the year’s fashion forecast and trends. And we found their trending knot skirt sets or ruffle short dresses to be perfect choices for summer party seasons. Besides, their classic metallics are here to stay for upcoming seasons and festivities too. We couldn’t agree more with Ambika that textured fabrics and drape silhouettes are the show stoppers for this summer and we found the new juicy reds and warm undertones too irresistible for this party season.

In this exclusive fashion shoot, we have tried four such fabulous pieces on the ravishing actress Sauraseni Maitra who has impressed the audience with her stunning act as Noor Jahan in Taj's second season that's currently streaming on Zee5. We also ask Ambika a few quick questions on what you should be wearing this season to look your best.

Excerpts:

What are the party wardrobe essentials?

This party season essentials must include metallic or sequin co-ord sets to mix and match for your dinner dates to fancy dinners. Ruffles and dramatic formal drapes stand out too.

Understated metallic looks are trending this season which include hand-embroidered cord setting fabrics, foil finish metallic fabrics and hand-embroidered sequins fabrics.

Royal blue metallic drape gown
Royal blue metallic drape gown

How has the brand evolved over all these years?

The journey so far has been about putting our true selves and thoughts out in the open through our collections. Each collection expresses and stands up for our vision to grow and spread confidence in women through our creations. We evolve with each collection as we are inspired by modern aesthetics and traditional craftsmanship combined with intricate handmade attires using progressive textile techniques, springing from innovation.

What’s your design philosophy?

I’m a creative person driven by my passion for design and have an artistic approach toward everything I create. We are motivated by the desire for mastery, immorality, the desire to create beauty, to discover and learn from everything aesthetic around us. Observation and passion are key to creating anything and our philosophy defines our passion for beauty and appeal and to choose, select, feel, sense, compose, arrange, construct and manipulate with various fabrics and embroideries.

Your future plans for the label?

Our next plan now is to expand our team and the range of garments we offer. We are curious to explore new textile techniques that showcase modern fashion aesthetics. We will be adding more to our couture and eccentric collections which will be more evolved and something we haven’t experimented or curated before.                                     

Ambika Lal
Ambika Lal

Your favourite celebrity when it comes to being fashionable?

It’s hard to choose one but our most loved fashion girls have to be Masoom Minawala Mehta and Kriti Sanon.

Should one blindly settle for trends?

If one is comfortable and understands his or her individual style that is the trend for us. It’s like declaring your independence and self-worth. People tend to follow trends blindly to socially fit in or just fear missing out on something that everyone around is doing. If you like the trend then hop on to it but if you don’t then you aren’t missing out on anything.

We follow minimal and classy aesthetics when it comes to styling. Let your outfit do the talking. Follow a golden rule of styling elegantly, that is wear statement earrings and leave the neck empty or style the neck and leave the ears empty. Minimal rings are a fashion statement at the moment. Keep your hairstyle simple and well-groomed. Choose minimal jewellery for your hand.

How do you approach sustainability as a designer?

As a designer and a brand, we try to follow a zero carbon footprint. We create one piece at a time and hence don’t generate any dead stock. We sell directly to the consumer hence eliminating the need to waste our resources. We reuse our fabric from previous collections by experimenting and manipulating them with different fabrics, techniques of textiles and embroidery. We provide medical health, food and shelter for our craftsmen in Calcutta. Each garment is packed in our beautiful handmade bags made from leftover fabrics.

Signature sequins knot skirt set in lavender hue
Signature sequins knot skirt set in lavender hue

Slaying it in style

Actor Sauraseni Maitra who is seen in recently released second season of Taj as Noor Jahan talks about her work and  fashion rules.

Tell us about your role in the second season of Taj?

Taj has been an amazing experience. To debut with such a big show is an absolute pleasure. I play Mehrunissa who goes on to become Noor Jahan. The trailer has been getting a lot of positive reviews and season 1 was a huge hit. So, I am hoping the audience will love season 2 as well. Moreover, sharing screen space with actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Zareena Wahab among others has been an experience of a lifetime.

Your summer fashion choices? 

I love linens, pastels and florals for summer as they are so soothing and comfortable to wear. Cotton and linens are my go-to fabrics for summer and I like wearing shorts, oversized shirts, floral or solid co-ords, skirts, and summer dresses.

How do you accessorise your looks?

Less is more when it comes to accessories. I go for that one statement piece, either statement earrings or stacks of wristlets, or layered neckpieces. Sometimes it can also be a statement choker.

CREDITS:

PICTURES: Somnath Roy HAIR n MAKEUP: Abhijit Paul STYLING: Aisha Desmukh JEWELLERY: Prism Jewellery LOCATION COURTESY: Olterra

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