Shantanu & Nikhil’s Expression of a Stronger India


On July 14, Shantanu and Nikhil Mehra launched their Autumn/Winter ’17 Collection; “The Regiment” at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi.

After launching collections like ‘The Cabinet Mission’ and ‘The Mutiny’—that invoked the themes of strength and discipline, the designers described ‘The Regiment’ as a salute to those who protect our country.

On the occasion of the launch, designer Shantanu Mehra said, “In the last two years we have been inspired by India. We have gone back to the pages of history, taken certain nuances of Indian history that ignite positivity, and this collection is the reiteration of this. This collection is our expression of a stronger India. We presented our models like they are a ‘regiment’ of the new India; a regiment which has taken upon itself the task to spread the message of unity.”

Adding to the comment, Nikhil continued, “It took us months to complete this collection. Be it colours, military details or medallions, we wanted to say through our collection that the ‘fauj’ has been the most inspiring element of our country.”

The collection was inspired by the three virtues of the Indian armed forces – discipline, togetherness and pride. The male and female models walked the ramp in similar garments, sending across the message of gender equality. The designs for the female models were structured and defined while the men had drapes, which are often reserved for womens wear.

With structured trenchcoat inspired bandhgalas, gowns and velvet jackets with zardozi embroidery, aestheticised band jackets, camouflage sarees, and long shervanis with drapes, the collection was a perfect representation of contemporary couture. Inspired by the uniforms of the Indian Air Force, Navy and Army, the clothes were heavily accessorized with epaulets, handcrafted vintage coins and rustic medallions with brooches in crystals from Swarovski.

The attention given to the detailing was clearly visible on the intricate metallic embroidery with patch pockets and tassels.

The collection created an anti-trend in the area of bridal wear. The clothes were minimalistic and redefined bridal couture.

“Modesty is very Shantanu and Nikhil because less is always more for us, we believe in minimalism, which is very difficult to carry forward in couture, so it’s almost as though we need to disrupt ourselves.” the designers commented after the show.

“It’s a very functional take on occasion wear. It’s not necessarily catering to the bride, but it is for the friends of the bride and the attendees.” added Shantanu Mehra.

The designers received a standing ovation at the end of the show. Present to show their support from the fashion fraternity were Charu Sachdev, Kalyani Saha Chawla, Ameeta and Ambika Seth, Ashish and Misha Soni, Suneet Verma, Rahul Arora, Varun Bahl, Rina Dhaka, Gauri and Nainika and many more. Also present were restaurateur A.D. Singh industrialist Sanjit Bakshi, politician and ex BCCI chief Anurag Thakur and former cricketer Murali Kartik.

Adding to the night was cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu who was the showstopper for the show. He walked down the ramp, redefining dapperness in a navy blue bandhgala with brooches and medallions.

Set against the colonial backdrop of the Imperial Hotel, everything from the music to the ramp was designed keeping in mind the armed forces.