It’s that time of year again as ARCHANA ACHAL heads over to Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2012 to pick the best of upcoming trends. Cue the lights and funky music! Welcome to the fashion event of the season!

The lights dimmed before every show and a sultry voice welcomed us to Lakmé Fashion Week in a crisp English accent. The levels of excitement were the same for every show, no matter which designer was showcasing his/her collection. Black cloth covers were quickly whipped off to reveal a white, black or multi-hued ramp and the crowd hushed, waiting for the first model to sashay down the walkway. LFW as it is known calls in the best designers twice a year to showcase their collections for the season. Apart from the stalwarts of fashion, there are many up and coming designers grouped under the Talent Box, and this season, their designs were very impressive as well. As stated by one of the designers, Debarun, LFW was the starting platform for him when he made his debut in 2007, helping him expand his visibility nationally and internationally. He also stated that buyers looking for new talent in India come to LFW, making a large impact on the fashion scene. While designer Shyma Shetty of ‘Huemn by Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty’ agreed that the response from the public and buyers has been good this season, the number of buyers seem to have dropped a little this year. Still, another established designer Archana Kochhar maintained that LFW helps designers meet potential buyers while promoting young designers to showcase their creativity.

The massive scale of the show cannot be denied, being one of the main fashion events of the year. It sets trends across the board, as is agreed upon by all designers we spoke to. So here’s what we spotted and what you can expect from Indian fashion for the coming season.

Cutting it fine

Sleek and elegant contrasted with voluminous when it came to silhouettes chosen by the designers for their collections. In keeping with the wintry feel, maxi dresses and evening gowns were on almost every runway, along with lehengas and free-flowing anarkalis for the festive season. Floor-grazing gowns came with slinky cutouts like the ones seen at the Vizyon show, or with heaps of embroidery and lace to add to the dramatic feel. Athithi Gupta’s collection also featured the cutout trend in ultra-feminine jackets. The asymmetric cut was also very prominent, with many designers opting for one-shoulder dresses. Asa Kazingmei’s beautifully asymmetric dress with tribal print caught the eye of everyone at the show.

What we suggest: Everyone should have one dramatic evening gown in their wardrobe! But the asymmetric cut may not be suitable for all body types. One shoulder dresses are an easy way to stay in trend, or choose a short dress with a train to retain drama without compromising on flattering shapes.

Print this

The colours and prints at LFW this season stuck to three major trends – sombre autumn colours, shades of blue and tribal or geometric/graphic prints. Deepika Govind’s Pop Patola collection celebrated the Patan Patola double Ikat weaving style in an array of bright colours while Archana Kochhar’s saris sported geometric prints in black, white and green shades. Slashed sleeves were also all the rage in nude or peach colours, seen on sari blouses on the ramp. Monochrome and colour blocking continued to stay in trend, especially black and white, like in the dresses by Kallol Dutta for the Grand Finale. Saris in white and cream, embroidered with red, gold and silver thread were a beautiful sight on the runway.

What we suggest: A grand sari with geometric print is a great buy for the festive season but keep the print simple. If you don’t have an LBD yet, it’s time to buy one!

All the rest

With winter rolling around, jackets are a must in your wardrobe. The designers at LFW went from ‘80s style work jackets with exaggerated shoulder pads to slinky numbers with lots of shine. Embellished shoulders, both detachable and attached, are also right on trend. Sheer fabric was on almost every piece at the shows. Sheer blouses with rhinestones jazzed up simple saris while evening gowns benefited from light sheer at the décolletage. Leather mixed with fur and silk showed up on jackets and skirts while silk was the fabric of choice for all festive wear.

Some designers changed the game with differently-draped saris, keeping the pallu wrapped around the neck like a scarf. Shivan & Narresh’s much anticipated bikini sari made its appearance as well to thunderous applause. Palazzo and pajama pants kept things casual. Opulence was key to the festive pieces, with each designer topping the previous with voluminous lehengas and heavily embroidered tops.

What we suggest: Pick up one piece that will add some fun to your wardrobe and dare to be different. Sheer fabrics are key. High waist pants are back in full swing so pick up a pair.

This season was all about difference. From dubstep versions of the Zee Horror Show’s theme song to black paper butterflies hanging from the ceiling, designers were at their funky best. Watch out for the young talent, as their shows showcased more haute couture than prêt.

(This article was published on August 13, 2012)
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