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“Indian Rhapsody” – Fusion of Colors, Styles and Traditions

April 2007
“Indian Rhapsody” – Fusion of Colors, Styles and Traditions

Compared to cities like Los Angeles and New York, Atlanta pales when it comes to the world of Indian fashion wear. Atlanta based designer Sushma Patel is exception considering she is one of the few up and coming fashion designers who is starting to make her presence felt in the area of desi fashion with an emphasis on Bollywood style. Having presented at the glamorous Bollywood Fashion Awards in New York as well as at the recent AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association) convention in North Carolina, Sushma is fast making a mark.

Bringing the action to hometown Atlanta, Sushma recently presented her new line at a high energy fashion show titled, "Indian Rhapsody". Hosted by 5th Season and Bhindi Jewelers, the audience was taken through a colorful journey of fabrics and details by emcee Parijat Chandra.

The show itself was divided into six segments each with a special theme. Interspersed was lively entertainment from known groups. The evening started with a dance by the group, "Champa and Chameli", a dance team from the University of Georgia. Their dance fused the traditional art of bharathanatyam with modern sounds of American culture.

Chandra expanded on the essence of Indian Rhapsody by saying, "Rhapsody is ecstasy, bliss or great joy. Indian Rhapsody then is all about the joy and beauty that you find in the colors, styles and traditions of India."

The first segment was titled Aqua. The collection featured calm and cool colors and hypnotized the onlookers giving them the sense of gentle blue waves and cool ocean breezes. Keeping with creative bent, the next performance was by Atlanta's ever-famous Asha who once again captivated the audience with her thrilling belly dancing infused with Bollywood and folk dances.

The second segment was an ode to the Indian summer. This line featured the softer hues of the summer colors. Kruti Academy provided the next round of entertainment with dazzling costumes and phenomenal dancers.

The third segment took the audience back to tradition with exquisite Lucknowi art of chikankari. Chikankari designs are Mughal-based and the nawabs played an important role in preserving the chikan tradition. This traditional form was given a contemporary touch by Sushma and she worked floral and paisley inspired embroidery into very simple but yet stylish creations.

The fourth segment featured clothes that were on Indo-western origin. Navy blue and black were the chosen colors. Gowns, capris and even a kid's line were presented. Plain and printed fabrics played with the navy blue and black combination.

The fifth segment was a Bollywood line. Glam and glitter came together with Swarovski crystals, rhinestones and diamonds in a typical Bollywood fashion trend. Deep cuts, multicolored fabrics from saris to cocktail dresses were presented.

An exotic and sensual tango dance from Argentina was next. Bringing the audience back to "Earth", the title of the next segment, was achieved by the element of surprise in the clothing presented. This range took a step away from the expected and indulged in the unexpected combination of embroidered velvet fused with delicate work on net pallus of saris.

At an after show party, the designer commented on her first ever show in her hometown by saying, "I decided that it was time to show my professional line of clothing to my clients through a unique fashion show instead of just in my store."

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