Exotic, sensual and a feast for the senses; an apt description of both Australian label Anu’s Autumn/Winter 2013 ‘Sounds of Palms’ collection and designer Anita Ben’s recent excursion to Jaipur, India. Rich in warmth and saturation, the collection is a celebration of colour and the female form.
Luxe (but utterly wearable) embellishment and drapery are key to the Anu aesthetic, which has taken on something of a modern edge this season. Ben has stayed true to her philosophy of utilising traditional handmade techniques whilst injecting fashion-forward modernity into her newest collection. Muted shades of winter meet fresh and explosive colours, evoking a feeling, or longing, of being elsewhere for autumn and winter.
There is an attention to detail here that is truly in a league of its own. Sequins and hand sewn thread needleworks are sourced from India, traditional ‘Bandhini’ hand knotting and dye techniques have been given a modern twist, and a unique triptyche sponge effect has been developed to create a collection that is strong, sensual and contemporary. The aforementioned Bandhini print utilises an Indian twist-and-tie technique where the craftsmen pinch tiny pieces of fabric, tie them off with string and hand dye the minute area, letting them dry in the warmth of the sun.
The collection features sharp cropped jackets, timeless tailored pants and flattering, sophisticated shift dresses. Arresting prints in the finest silk georgettes bring an exotic flavour to Ben’s soft tailoring. Beaded flora applique shimmers, echoing the balmy breezes of summer and reminding us that the holiday serenity is just over the horizon; a mirage in the distance yet to materialise.
Anu AW13 is a fusion of both ancient tradition and futuristic innovation. ‘Sounds of Palms’ is a fashion celebration.