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.
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.
Doing 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
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.
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.
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.
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: Highheelconfidential.com (for Rabani and Rakha)
Dress by Aneeth Arora —- Whether be it in wool or in its warm and fuzzy cousins, Aneeth’s dresses are to die for. Though limited to a colour palette of red, blue and grey, her silhouettes held endless possibilities of winter layering.
Flatforms by Rimzim Dadu —-They may not suit the taste palettes of every fashion enthusiast but there is no denying the quirky appeal of the very versatile flatform. While it was mostly flat footwear that ruled the runway this season, flatforms added a dose of glam to the trend.
Leather jacket by Arjun Saluja — The leather jacket, over the years, has seen as many transformations as any other fashion garment. Arjun lent the humble jacket his own touch with interesting zip detailing and out-of-the-box silhouettes. A must-have for every rock chick out there.
Ikat pieces by Anita Dongre — Channeling timeless elegance and superb craftsmanship, Anita’s Ikat woven garments were clear winners. If you are a connoisseur of arts and crafts and have a finger on the fashion pulse, this is one investment you must make this season.
Draped piece by Tarun Tahiliani —- The seasoned designer creates drapes like no one else does. Tarun did an outstanding job of designing for the opening show of WIFW with every of his draped garment on our must-lust list. With classic Indian silhouettes peppered with a dash of contemporary, his draped creations will be a safe investment for your wardrobe.
Tap print saree by Masaba for Satya Paul —- Last year’s motley assembly of her signature prints (including the fan print) gave way to the ubiquitous tap this season. Those in love with quirky prints, look no further.
Vintage gown by Shantanu and Nikhil —- According to the designer duo, the several years spent living away from the Indian shores has helped them develop their signature style. No wonder that their exquisitely crafted patio-length gowns had plenty of Victorian elements woven into them along with a very vintage feel.
Tussar silk trench coat by Abraham and Thakore — Understated sophistication was the buzzword for the designer duo’s collection that saw the unique marriage of environment-friendly tussar silk with contemporary cuts and silhouettes. Perfect for the modern Indian woman on the go.
Blood splash print dress by Kallol Dutta —- And if opting for the edgy look is your style, Kallol’s designs served as an antithesis of everything that is beautiful when played by the book of rules.
Shift dress by Pankaj and Nidhi —– Known for perhaps doing the best shift dresses in the industry, Pankaj and Nidhi’s eye for detailing is unparalleled. Their garments exude a structured and a clean look with superb craftsmanship that deserves a round of applause.
ashion 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.
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.
SAYING BLACK IS classic would be the understatement of the century, especially now since it’s one of the hottest shades this spring/summer 2014. If you thought black was only for the evenings or winter months, think again; there are limitless ways to work this colour when the sun is out. The best thing about this trend, it can be seamlessly carried over to winter as well.
Whether you are stepping out to meet your girlfriends for some iced tea or are headed for a fancy do, you can wear black. Shruti Hassan looked super sophisticated in her solid black halter gown while Charlize Theron’s black shorts and tee was classy yet casual. Margot Robbie sizzled in a black maxi that turned heads. Kate Beckinsale looks uber-stylish in a black jacket and trousers while Selena Gomez worked the soft-Goth look perfectly.
Runways of designer’s from Diesel to Ellie Saab saw black used in their own signature styles. From Saab’s super feminine lace, shimmer and strategically transparent collection to Diesels massive reflective sequins and studs on all black ensembles there is no escaping this trend. Men’s collections saw a lot of black too; Alexander Wang’s black tees and shorts are summer-casual yet trendy. Ralph Lauren’s clean cut dresses in black are great for those who like to dress more on the conventional side.
Feel like getting in on this trend but are not sure how? Black can make you look quite hot, literally. So be sure to wear cuts that are loose and let your skin breathe. Airy maxis, strappy dresses, loose shirts and shorts are all great picks. Strappy sandals in black are great to pair with most of these options.
So bare your shoulders or sport a slinky back dress, sheer panels, linen, cotton and jersey are all great choices for black fabrics. There are very few wrongs in life, so take your chances with black this season, just make sure you keep it breezy with the cuts and fabrics.