Wearable art

DO YOU THINK fashion is art? If not, think again because runways world over are being inspired by art in all it’s hypnotising forms. Pop art has been popularly seen on clothes but say hello to garments imprinted with art forms inspired by muralists, graffiti, abstract art and of course pop art.
From Lady Gaga to Ciara celebrities are not shying away from this trend. Danielle Lineker looked super chic is her piano printed dress. Whether they wear art as fashion to red carpet events or just casually there is no stopping these A-listers.
Prada‘s 2014 collection was loud and worthy of being in an art museum, while Chanel turned their clothes into palettes. Celine showed us how clothes can be an abstract piece of art while Christopher Kane’s modern art on fabric made the entire line come alive. Prabal Gurung and Jil Sanders have also let pop art inspire their collections. Dolce & Gabbana and MSGM‘s strong use of art will surely make heads turn while Aquiliano Rimondi used sultry pictures of Gauguins Tahitian women on the garments.

Whether you are an art junkie or not, this is one trend that gets my vote with ease. Test the waters by wearing art-inspired leggings or dive right in with dresses that are gallery-worthy. Go casual with a pop art tee and jeans paired with colourful footwear, heels for the glam doll and ballet flats for the dainty yet casual girl. You could always let kitsch loafers to complete your look. Party the night away in a heavily printed dress accentuated with some pop accessories. We definitely think fashion is art, so let your imagination colour your clothes.


Top trends for Autumn-Winter fabrics

A GREAT WEEK for business and fashion, the recently concluded Wills India Fashion Week saw some brilliant work by emerging and veteran designers alike. Apart from some exciting new silhouettes, colour combinations and hair and make up looks, we also saw a great variety of interesting surface textures and effects created by the designers. Some excelling in their time tested signature styles, while some pushing the envelope with new innovations; they gave us clear trend directions for Autumn Winter 2014. Here’s a look at the top five that caught our eye.


creative1_metallicDoing the rounds at international runways, the metallic trend came to India last week, with designers Sanchita, Gaurav Jai Gupta and Anand Bhushan giving their interpretations to the trend with embellishment, metallic yarns and fabric treatments. We are excited about metallic to shine up the dull winter days.

Big and bold graphic prints

creative2_graphic When graphics get bigger and bolder, it creates avant-garde fashion for those with an experimental streak. Masaba, known for her quirky prints, went the illustrative route for Satya Paul, with taps, scissors and safety pins strategically printed on the clothes. Kallol Datta channeled his dark side with blood splatter prints while Pankaj and Nidhi also went big with their blown up playing card graphics.


creative2_checks Whether summer or winter, checks are the most wearable ‘print’ because of their regular, geometric pattern and designers used them in their own unique ways in their collections. Pia Pauro contrasted tartans with her characteristic tribal look, while Aneeth Arora and Paromita Banerjee used handlooms to create checkered textiles. You can never go wrong with checks, so invest in them and wear them season after season.

Intricate threadwork

creative2_thread-wrk Since winter also brings in the party season, a good dose of embellishment was not unexpected, and this time we saw some intricate threadwork on beautiful dresses and gowns. Designer duos Pankaj and Nidhi and Rabani and Rakha gave us Baroque-inspired heavy embroidery for evening wear, while Rahul Mishra’s fine threadwork in wool stood apart for its technique. This winter, go for embroidered pieces in westernwear instead of kurtas and sarees for a fresh update on your party wear.

Winter florals

creative2_winter We can never have enough of florals, and designers proved this by continuing last fall’s dark floral trend this season too. Whether Payal Pratap’s Japanese-inspired, Sanchita’s graphical or Pia Pauro’s folksy ones, florals will still bloom in the dull months of winter. Pair them with solid blacks to enhance their dreamy look.

IMAGE CREDITS: (for Rabani and Rakha)

Top silhouettes you will be wearing this coming season

fashion Week is all about pushing the boundaries when it comes to style stereotypes. And the slew of designers at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week did just that and more. Their signature styles not just extended to the kinds of prints, fabrics and techniques they employed but also the types of silhouettes they played with, a perfect backdrop to their artistic vision.

Kimono jackets: An ode to the Orient, Payal Pratap’s collection showed plenty of kimono cuts, lending themselves to jackets, trenches and dresses. Paired with bun pins and geta (Geisha footwear), every garment was like a slice out of old world Japan.

Peplum blouses: This perhaps was one of the most popular silhouettes oft spotted on the runway. A trend that found its place of pride a few seasons ago seems to be a favourite with our designers. While Rimzim Dadu paired her peplums with fit-defying pants, Rahul Mishra incorporated the silhouette into his waist-length saree blouses.

Matador jackets: A bold as well as sophisticated signature style statement from the designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi where they combined structured jackets with flowy silhouettes as a single garment. A reference to Spanish bullfighters!

Capes: A tough trend to pull off, the runway saw plenty of those. Designers like Masaba for Satya Paul, Aneeth Arora, Rina Dhaka and Mandira Wirk showed exactly how to pair a cape for the wintry evenings.


Victorian gowns: Shantanu and Nikhil brought back eternal lady-like gowns that channeled timeless elegance and sophisticated allure.

Pencil skirts: An eternal favourite with fashionistas, Nachiket Barve’s pencil skirts were complemented by boxy tops while Sanchita’s striped creation was paired with a floral blouse.

Handkerchief hem: The blue-eyed boy of the Indian fashion fraternity Rahul Mishra added some structure to his intricately embroidered ensemble with fitted sleeves and pants while Pia Pauro belted hers and ut them together with opaque tights to balance the look.


Shift dress: Shifts were plenty on the ramp but mastered best perhaps by Pankaj and Nidhi. With clean structure and intricate detailing, the designers’ clothes were versatile enough to wear for a cocktail event or a formal family get-together. Mandira Wirk combined hers with feathered fascinators and faux fur stoles. Samant Chauhan jazzed up his shifts with nate embroidery and osurface embellishments.

Sarees: Fashion veterans like Abraham and Thakore and Tarun Tahiliani treated sarees with their signature style. While the designer duo kept their ahimsa silk woven drapes clean with only temple borders and miniature prints punctuated to break the monotone, Tarun Tahiliani added colour and shine to his sarees, made perfect for festive occasions.


Cowl: Pushing the envelope on traditional silhouettes, designers for menswear experimented with the hemlines, often resorting to the cowl at the bottom half of the garment instead of at the regular neckline. Shantanu and Nikhil used the classic combination of black and white for his cowl hems while Malini Ramani incorporated cowl hems into women’s garments as well.  An interesting tweak to the regular affair.


Funk it up with Namrata Joshipura


‘Xtravagant, experimental and electron-ic’ These are the terms that Namrata Joshipura uses to describe her Autumn/Winter 2014 collection. It was refreshing to see textures replacing sequence embellishments. The designer used quilting and twisting to create the circuit-like patterns on the ensembles paying judicious attention to detail. The use of future-inspired materials like leather and neoprene on signature silhouettes like column dresses, playsuits, shorts and jackets were mind-boggling.

Showstopper: Who else but Kangana Ranaut walked the LED lit ramp in an off-shoulder dress. She looked glamorous to the core.


Colours: A wider colour palette was seen at Namrata’s show. From extensively used black, pastel shades like powder blue, warm red to metallic shades like antique gold and bronze, the designers had a colour for every mood and personality.

Accessories: There were barely any accessories except huge warrior-like hats and headbands with pointy motifs. The bling on the outfits was enough to make them statement-making.


Music: Namrata’s notion of futuristic and powerful eveningwear matched equal parts with live electronic tunes as with high-octane blinking lights.We even spotted a few people head-banging with the beats.

Hero piece: A sheer slip dress with circuit-like texture was highly glamorous. It catered to the slip-dress trend in Namrata Joshipura’s style.


Hair and makeup: Strong side part with hair tied in a sleek ponytail went well with the high-shine look of the collection. Eyes and lips too were kept simple.

Final words: Texture has always played a significant role in Namrata’s work but this time the never-seen-before electronic influence was urbane as well as futuristic. As the models paraded on the LED lit floor, the music, ambience and design amalgamated into an evening truly avant-garde. This is how a grand finale should be.

The stage is set

o(1)n the rich canvas of a designer’s imagination, his garments fashioned out of his deft brushstrokes, lies a domain often left unexplored on Indian ramps. The runway throws up endless possibilities for the artist in the designer to let his creativity loose, moulding the often white platform for it to become the prelude to his perfect story telling.

Perhaps one of the most distinct features that separate the international runway scene from its Indian cousin is the manner in which the stage evolves itself to tell a bigger story. While Karl Lagerfeld made the ramp his playground, turning the runway into a massive supermarket stocked with the best of Chanel pieces for his latest collection for Autumn Winter, Hunter Original made a stunning debut with models walking a very wet runway, splashing water at those who leaned in to get a closer look.

Though such drama on a massive scale is yet to catch up in the Indian circuits, some of the seasoned designers have begun to look at runways being something more than just a white strip.


Tarun Tahiliani

Veteran designer Tarun Tahiliani kicked off the latest season of the WIFW with a larger than life set to complement his collection, an ode to Delhi. As models dressed in some of his most exquisite designs took to the stage, the backdrop served well to denote the passage of time and the ever-changing geographical and social landscape of Delhi from the artist’s eye.


Aneeth Arora

It was a winter wonderland come alive at Aneeth Arora’s show as models walked down the ramp ploughed clear of the snow (fake, obviously!). The vibe was wintry, the mood and the setting straight out of a Parisian street corner.


Shantanu Nikhil

Taking a leaf out of old-world Kolkata, the designer duo turned back time with their set as wood panelled windows and doorways gave a glimpse of what life used to be in the capital city of British India.


Pankaj and Nidhi

The designers worked with the classic combination of black and white, borrowing from the colour palette of a deck of cards. Naturally the duo let their imagination run amok, dressing up the set fit to be the abode of the Queen of Hearts!


Namrata Joshipura

The look as well as the feel of finale designer Namrata Joshipura’s set was akin to a technicolour dream. It was a mélange of sparkly LED lights that added a surreal effect to the designer’s vision.