Tarun Tahiliani

A Design Icon Dazzles with Swarovski Crystals at India Couture Week 2018 If you were fortunate enough to witness a Tarun Tahiliani show in person, then you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a shimmering mirage. This effect is no accident. The secret is in the very fine Indian techniques he uses, and the hundreds of hours it takes, to achieve a quality of sparkling weightlessness. “That’s the key,” declares the maestro.

For his exquisite In Elysium collection, his techniques include classic Zardozi embroidery, which is associated with the costumes of royal India, combined with crystals, delicate crystallized petals, and ombré fabrics with crystals shaded to match. The result is very Indian, yet because he uses Swarovski crystals, it picks up light in a different way from the more conventional stones and embellishments.

“There’s a synergy between us and Swarovski: we use a lot of crystal that is hand-soldered onto the garment, “ says Tahiliani, explaining the phenomenon. “They are fused with the textile and become one with it, which is very beautiful.”

Naturally, there were the beautifully draped pieces in the more traditional opulent reds and blushing pinks. These used crinolines and farthingales to hold their shape, but they were joined by more flowing modern silhouettes in perfect pastels—including sparkling champagne, pale rose and blue—in one of India Couture Week’s clear triumphs.