Photography by Rebekah Reiko

Last season Anu Raina’s runway lights were dim, the atmosphere was moody, and her colours consisted of dark, murky greys, purples and blues. This spring, Raina seemed to have found a much brighter source of inspiration. Murano-coloured glass chandeliers informed her paintbrush this season, and it was refreshing to see a lighter more playful side of the artistic designer. However, I wish she’d shown more focus and consistency to amplify the creatively-rich references of the collection.

Rania showed a variety of her signature hand painted designs — maybe too much variety. There were bright playful paint splatters, vibrant swirls, tropical florals and a ’70s-inspired tie-dye piece. On the other end of the spectrum were softer watered-coloured painterly lines and chaos, as well as a solo print of a hand painted chandelier. Aside from the fact they all involved color, it was unclear as to how one was expected to connect the dots, with exception of course to the actual chandelier. 

Silky dresses and skirts were the preferred canvas with a floral blazer and a few silky button ups added to the mix. There were Peter Pan collared shifts, flowing maxi skirts, sexy clingy tank and tee-shirt dresses and strapless knee lengths with harem hems. Some cuts felt ’60s, others ’90s; again, it was tough to grab hold of a cohesive theme.

Overall there were pieces that will certainly strike a chord with consumers. The sexy, tank dresses and the bright paint splatters were a crowd pleaser. There was a nice relaxed femininity throughout the collection, and her handcrafted prints bring a definite originality to her pieces. For such a creatively vivid reference however, I was hoping for more.