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Shilpa Shetty walks the ramp at Wills India Fashion Week

Indian designer Tarun Tahiliani on Wednesday opened the autumn-winter edition of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) 2014 in New Delhi with Shilpa Shetty draped in a kanjeevaram (a silk variety) outfit.

Right from ivory cascade jacket with zardozi shoulders and black silk linen salwar pants to gold applique asymmetrical one sleeved dress in red to tweed embellished blouse with teal heritage sari and corset blouse, there were many stunning pieces on display.

Shetty, 38, who gave birth to her son in 2012, has been the showstopper for Tahiliani several times in the past, but this time she was a tad worried. “I was bothered whether I would fit into Tarun’s creation. I worked out in two months,” Shetty told reporters after the opening show of the five-day event.

Though the outfit looked heavy, the actress said it was, in fact, just the opposite. “It’s very light. The use of kanjeevaram saris sounds heavy, but it’s not. It’s so beautiful and even if I wear it inside out, it will look fabulous. The finish is also great,” said Shetty, who wore a kanjeevaram sari designed by Tahiliani at her wedding with businessman Raj Kundra in 2009.

She was accompanied by actors Harman Baweja and Ayesha Khanna, stars of her first production venture Dishkiyaoon, on the ramp. Khanna wore a sari-inspired draped dress and Baweja looked chic in layered bandhgala (an Indo-Western suit) with pants.

Meanwhile, Rahul Mishra, the first Indian to win the coveted International Woolmark Prize (IWP) in Milan, was honoured for his achievement.

Sunil Sethi, president, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), presented Mishra with a black cashmere scarf. “It’s a beautiful textile and can be draped in many ways. I am going to keep this in a special place,” Mishra said.

Praising Mishra, designer Rina Dhaka said: “The collection was beautiful. You [Mishra] have given hope to people here.”

His merino wool collection, which won the award, attempted to portray the journey of the human race and the process of metamorphosis that the Earth has undergone in the last century.

Speaking about the collection, he said: “I created wool in such a way that it’s trans-seasonal. I thought about lotus. I was inspired by Buddha’s philosophy that the lotus is found in the womb of the world.”

He said the garments are not just about consumption. “The idea is to work with more people in the process,” said Mishra, who teamed up with weavers from Kerala, Odisha and other parts of India.

He will present his autumn-winter collection at the ongoing WIFW on Thursday.