The Last Dance of the Courtesan by Tarun Tahiliani | ICW 2016

by Namrata Nautiyal
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Tarun Tahiliani

I didn’t finish this post for a long time. Really long time. The title of the post was there, I had the pictures, I loved them all…but somewhere I just couldn’t write this post half heartedly. Saved the best for the last, and what a show. In ever show so far in ICW 2016, I had seen some nice pieces in designers collection, some so so…and some breathtakingly fabulous ones. But Tarun Tahiliani’s show was something else altogether. His collection was beautiful, wearable, simple yet elegant, classy and had some gorgeous color palettes used.

Very rarely do you see something that you instantly fall in love with, and truly feel like congratulating and appreciating the designer from the inside of your heart. True wonderful feeling you know….I loved everything about Tarun Tahiliani’s Last Dance of the Courtesan collection, and I’m sure you’re going to fall in love too. Take a look.



Tarun Tahiliani

Tarun Tahiliani

The designers collection showcased the complete package from anarkalis, lehengas to sarees. The color palette included hues of ombre, sunset ombre, yellows, creams to peaches to blues, oranges to reds, reds to pinks on fabrics like sushi voile, georgette, cotton jacquard, cotton silks, crepes and cutwork jamdanis to create light and breezy styles in draped forms.

In the end, the show also had a kathak performance by Sufi Kathak dancer Manjari Chaturvedi, who donned a peach-pink lehenga choli and dupatta embellished in swarovski.



Tarun Tahiliani

More than options for women, I am forever looking at groomswear. Somehow, no matter how much you deny, the opposite sex does get sidelined when it comes to weddings. Its like an effort to get the grooms look to match up to the opulence of lehengas and sarees. So, its always great when you see good options which have huge potentials to be wedding wear for men.



Tarun Tahiliani

Tarun Tahiliani

“The inspiration is lightness. Today, when the pandit finishes the wedding rituals, the DJ is already waiting, so, the bride wants to put on her dancing shoes without changing her traditional wear. So, the lehenga should be such you can quickly team up with a white shirt or something else modern!”


There was one statement from the designer that really touched me. I strongly believe in it, and I know lots of other women and families who also swear by it.

“Wedding dresses are special. They should be used over and over again rather than being a one-time wear. So, these were the ideas in my mind while designing the collection.”

Amen to that. So many times when I was looking for my wedding lehenga, I kept thinking…can I use it again anywhere…should I be buying such a huge heavy lehenga…would it be worth after that one occasion….and the answer throughout was no no no !

Tarun Tahiliani

What I loved about the lehengas was it was not just one fabric, or one color shade across. There was something for everyones taste. From tulle to velvet, georgette and sheer silk, with plenty of embellishments and embroideries such as zardozi, gota, aari and sitara the designer just aced his portrayal of the courtesan. Special mention to the messy bun look with the flowers on the hair, so simple yet such a beautiful accessory to add on.

“I wanted to go back to the roots. Today, the bridal wear has become too heavy and costumy. So, I felt it’s time to go back to not just costume but to be modern. My collection was super glamorous yet modern and contemporary.” 

His collection seemed pretty light weight, and had a certain old world charm to them. Afterall, courtesans were the original fashionistas of their time…so why not.



Tarun Tahiliani

But looking at his collection, you would see…that it really is stunning yet reusable. Because of the color palette…easily one can dress it down and make the outfit a reusable outfit for any family weddings, or even for sister of the bride look.

“I love pastels and I have used a lot of pale because I feel if you do your hair and make-up nicely, pale adds a subtlety to the look. I think subtlety is what being contemporary is about.”

Tarun Tahiliani

“We have used beautiful tulle, chanderi then we have made use of Swarovski crystals. So, it’s an amalgamation of technology and art. I had to re-do one of the outfits six times because I wasn’t entirely satisfied.”



Tarun Tahiliani


All images: Vogue

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