Luxe

Festive notes

Riaan Jacob George | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on September 28, 2017

Not so old-fashioned: Festive clothes this season needs to be fun, easily manageable and funky to boot

Fine and dandy: Bespoke suit by Raghavendra RathoreVineet Modi

With the party season round the corner, five designers share their fashion forward advice

The last few months of the year are packed to the brim with festivals, get-togethers, parties, holiday cheer, and not to forget, weddings! There is no better occasion to wear our glitzy best than now, as we prepare to rejoice during the festive months. Luxe catches up with five Indian fashion designers to take notes on how young India’s are gearing up for year-end festivities.

Anushree Reddy Smart separates and classic prints

In the last few years, there has been a constant reinvention in the way people dress. Young women are looking for smart separates that can be mixed-and-matched, as well as reused. Festive trends this season are not particularly over-the-top, and do not encourage an embellished look. Instead, the focus is on smart cuts and flattering silhouettes that are light on embroidery. A lot of thought goes into where it is placed. Another thing that characterises this season’s festive trends is the love for prints. Prints enable silhouettes to be fluid and have more volume. As far as colours are concerned, pastels are still playing a major role. One standout silhouette for this season is the off-shoulder. We have seen it in the past few seasons, and it isn’t going anywhere. Lastly, vintage prints are dominating festive trends. Things like the khada dupatta as well as old Mughal motifs are being revamped, making them more relatable and easier to wear.

Nachiket Barve Reusable pieces

It’s 2017, and the modern woman does not want to go to a party dressed like a chandelier. She wants to be comfortable and free enough to dance the night away. Smart separates are the key to constructing a good festive wardrobe — for example, pairing a lehenga with a shirt, or even a cape with skinny pants and heels. It’s all about being able to reuse these pieces — collectibles and not disposables.

Another important factor in festive fashion is lightweight clothes. You need to have clothes, that are easy to pack into a suitcase and then store in your wardrobe. Everyone today wants to shoot fun Boomerang videos for Instagram; you can’t do stuff like that if your clothes are weighing you down.

There is a huge focus on jewel-toned palettes this season. Colours like sapphire blue, tanzanite blue and even garnet red, expressed in a colour-blocked format add a feminine feel. Motifs inspired by flora and fauna continue to make an appearance on festive clothes — read Greco-Roman goddess motifs, olive branches and even some Roman wreaths.

One thing that everyone needs to look at is craftsmanship — you need to choose pieces that reflect exquisite quality and craftsmanship and that can stand the test of time. Whether today or later in five years, they will be relevant.

Payal SinghalThe modern bride

I see the contemporary Indian bride as someone who is mindful of her personal history and keen to pay homage to her heritage, but also seeks comfort and practicality. in her attire. She is all about individuality and curated looks that don’t scream ‘head-to-toe store bought’ any more. Mixing completely diverse prints, such as geometrics with florals or small florals with larger ones is a go-to trend. Many brides are opting for prints, favouring it over zardozi, mirror-work or traditional forms of embroidery. The trend is to give a creative twist to traditional Indian motifs, fabrics and weaves. Think gota work in leather, or lehengas made with different textures by combining brocade strips.

Another significant festive trend is mix-and-match. For example, brides can wear a Benarasi lehenga with a beautiful silk shirt from an international designer, and a family heirloom set handed down to her by her grandmother. Among the many trends doing the rounds this season, there is major emphasis on garments that accentuate the shoulder — hence Bardot necklines, cold shoulders, off-shoulders, and shoulder cut-outs are big at the moment. They tie in perfectly with the current love for choker necklaces. Brides prefer off-shoulder styles at weddings as opposed to plunging necklines. The focus has now shifted to interesting trousers with styles like shararas, cropped palazzos, embroidered hems and cowl pants. If you still want to wear the lehenga but in a fashion forward manner, then choose one with a shorter hemline layered with a churidar.

Monica Shah, JADE Monochrome Magic

This festive season there will be a profusion of monotone looks. Monochrome, where the blouse, dupatta and lehenga are all in one colour, is a key trend for festive wardrobes right now. Similarly, the same print runs from the blouse to the skirt and dupatta. There are great advantages to this — when the entire ensemble is a single colour, it gives the person a sense of length and looks sophisticated. Monochrome lehengas with hand-woven embroidery adds richness and glamour to an outfit, in colours such as champagne, gold and red, or even a midnight blue.

If you wear a monotone lehenga, you can be more experimental with your jewellery. When you keep your overall outfit within the same colour palette, the outcome can be just as striking as wearing a vivid colour. It allows you to highlight certain parts of your silhouette. Festive trends will come and go, but women should be themselves, feel beautiful and choose what makes them feel spectacular.

Raghavendra Rathore Long live the bandhgala!

Indian men are increasingly becoming more open about recognising the versatility of the bandhgala. It is being canonised as part of bespoke clothing, a category earlier reserved only for Western suits and Western blazers. The infrastructure needed for the bandhgala jacket and the Western suit is more or less the same. Clients demand finesse in handmade detailing which makes all the difference to a bandhgala.

There is an increasing demand for classic Western suits made with the most luxurious fabrics. This focus on fabrics is going to be the mainstay of festive trends for men. I am starting a new initiative for bespoke women’s wear in Western silhouettes, as women are increasingly opting for such outfits. People have been asking us to design custom evening wear for special occasions as well as festive occasions.

In a market where technology supersedes much else, there is a demand for classic, handmade tailoring, custom-made silhouettes, and a personal touch. Today’s client is much more interactive.

Riaan jacob george is a luxury journalist based in Mumbai

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Published on September 28, 2017
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