The New York Metropolitian Museum of Art’s annual costume exhibition is always scrutinized and reinterpreted by designers. This year it celebrated punk with a ‘Chaos to Couture’ theme. The runways saw zips, chains, PVC, leather, tartan and studs. However, these were polished and not as scary as they could have been. Urban punk-chic
was illustrated in collections by Versace, Fendi, Jean Paul Gaultier, Saint Laurent, Chanel and Moschino.
Punk interpreted by Versace ‘Vunk’
Designer Nikhil Thampi is looking forward to seeing “Indian designers’ perception of punk”. With our diverse climatic conditions, going all out with fabrics like leather may not be optimal. However, it may be seen in tops, skirts or trims. “I’m mixing hard and soft, sheer with leather appliqués,” reveals Anushka Khanna.
Punk goes softer with a dark romance that’s both mystifying and lavish—think capes, high necks and toe-grazing hems, in opulent textures and grand silhouettes. Feminine, yet rocker-inspired, it dilutes tough elements like leather and hardware with flowing fabrics.
Sonam Kapoor in Shehla Khan
Think Meadham Kirchhoff, Christopher Kane, Givenchy. Key fabrics include lace and velvet. Gothic undertones are seen in prints and embroidery. Elements include studs, brocade and dark colours. “Opulent fabrics like ribbed satin, tulle, shimmer net, silk and organza offset edgy detailing (chainmail, crystals, leather applique) even as embroidered flowers and satin cords lend a romantic note,” says Ritika about her collection.
Velvet, never having fully disappeared from the Indian runways, emphasises dark romance. Though not too appealing in large doses, designers like Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla and Rohit Bal often use it to signify opulence. Nishka Lulla concurs, “Velvet may translate well on the Indian catwalk, mixed with chiffon and lace.”
Retro resurfaces. Shehla Khan says, “This fall, my favourite trend is retro. I love how most of the international designer collections are based on the 60s, 70s and even the 40s!” Nipped-waist skirt suits, soft shouldered coats, sweetheart necklines–think Mad Men. Prada, Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Oscar De La Renta exemplify this all-encompassing trend.
What’s His is Hers
The His for Her trend is still hot, though possibly approaching climax. Silhouettes will be less androgynous and more lady-like with sharp tailoring or drapes. Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackerman, and Dolce & Gabanna used traditional Savile Row plaids, hounds tooth, pinstripe and Prince of Wales checks and draped them with the ease of silk or had them embroidered. Shehla Khan says, “Internationally, structure is a common trend. Be it for outerwear such as jackets and coats or even blouses and dresses, every silhouette makes a statement. This trend can transfer to Indian wear in terms of separates, such as a sari with a jacket!”
Skirt Suits—a trend that emerged from the streets— are easier to wear than dress or trouser suits and can easily transition from work or daywear to the evening, by switching up accessories. Pencil skirts and belted jackets are essentials as seen at Prada, Marc Jacobs or skater skirts like Stella Mccartney. The new skirt, is longer at mid-calf length, with a slight flare at the knee, as shown by Hermes, Prada, Jil Sander and Celine. Nishka finds “the midi length very flattering on the Indian body type”. Mullet skirts like those of Jean Paul Gaultier are also expected to transition to Indian runways.
Monochrome continues to reign. You may spot these colours individually too. Black is black, so a liberal use of it would not be uncommon, especially in the Winter/Festive season. Be prepared to see a lot of white and not just as a day colour. On the Big 4 runways, head-to-toe winter white made strong impressions on Derek Lam and Proenza Schouler. My personal favourite was Celine’s use of all white for their ensembles. Shehla who loves white said, “This season my palette consists of deeper and bolder colours along with off white, which for me is always ethereal.” While monochrome might still rule, the palette on international runways encapsulated much of the spectrum from red to blue. Ritika agrees, “The colour palette ranges from dusky pink to a purple haze (a blue-tinted purple), crimson and black.”
Gold rules. As Thampi says about his upcoming collection, “Gold being a festive favourite, will definitely be a large part of the collection, but there would be a burst of different colours as well.”