Pre Fashion Week Predictions

With Lakme Fashion Week beginning tomorrow it is only befitting that we publish this story that appeared in the DNA earlier this month on my trend predictions for this Autumn Festive showcase.

FASHION FORWARD

Want a sneak peak of the styles, fabrics and hues in store at the upcoming Winter/Festive 2013 Fashion Week? Radhika Dhawan predicts the trends from ramp to road.

The big four—Paris, Milan, New York and London—may have moved beyond the excitement of the Autumn-Winter 13/14 collections, but in India things are just heating up. Key themes that are likely to translate to the Indian catwalks include: 
Punk
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'

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

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.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

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.”

The monk who sold her wardrobe

Interview with Arpan Gauchan, associate producer at Future East Films

Arpan Gauchan doesn’t believe in attachments, to material things. Whether it’s the daily yoga and meditation class she goes for that are an influence, or whether it is her nature she isn’t sure. But if anyone were to point out to a thing she owns and ask for it, she wouldn’t hesitate in giving it away. Which is why she also clears her wardrobe regularly every month, with her friends as beneficiaries.

u-and-down emline skirt, forever 21; black layered top wit old detailin, express

Up-and-down hemline geometric pattern skirt, Forever 21; Black layered top wit gold detailing, Express

In keeping with her calm, easy going personality, her style is also comfortable-boho with a touch of hippie. Dressed in long flowing dresses, long skirts, and lose pants all in natural fabrics, with no accessories – she is the kind of person who makes you wonder why you pulled on a pair of skinny jeans when you could be dressed in a breathable cotton Ikat dress.

“The way I dress also has a lot to do with the weather in Mumbai,” she adds. For evenings out, while the basic look remains he same, the quality and labels of the clothes improves and flats are replaced with boots or heels.

number of times worn: skirt - 0; top - 2

Number of times worn: skirt – 0; top – 2

Arpan bought the skirt with the up-and-down hemline while shopping at Forever 21 in New Delhi last year. “Actually my friend suggested I buy this, and I did without thinking or even trying it on,” she says. Later she realised the skirt is “just not her style” and never did end up wearing it. The top was also purchased on a trip to USA and she wore it a couple of times before she lost weight (all that yoga) and couldn’t fit into it any more. “I still love it though.” But it wasn’t difficult for her at all, to give away these clothes to Fuffabulous. Detachment from the material world as they say, does make life easier.

P1100819 (1)The skirt is perfect for a UK size 8-10, while the top fits a UK size 8.

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Photos and styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own

Dress code: Comfort casual

Interview with Mallika Menon, Creative Director Highway On My Plate, NDTV Good Times

As the Creative Director of a food-travel show Mallika Menon has a job that many dream of. However, a job that has you deal with unpredictable conditions in various parts of the country, involves “running around all the time” is not the kind of profile that allows for fashionable choices in work wear. It is probably one of the main reasons Mallika loves it. “I would never be able to work at a place that dictates what I should be wearing everyday,” she says.

Black layered tulle skirt

Black vintage tulle skirt

Comfort dictates Mallika’s every fashion choice. Recently while shooting a season of the TV show in the hills, jeans, sneakers and sweatshirts was her uniform of choice. She still uses the sweatshirt from her first year of college at St Stephens, New Delhi. “It gets softer as it gets older and I love that,” she grins. Since living in New Delhi makes weather appropriate clothing a compulsion, cotton is her fabric of choice for the sweltering summers. Anokhi, Fab India and Cottons is the troika of brands that comprises all her work wear for the season.

Able to carry off ethnic and western wear with equal ease, in winter, the salwar gives way to denim, the kurta to shirts, jumpers and coats and the dupatta is traded in for scarves. “I really enjoy shopping for winter clothes,” she says. And it is probably the only time she ventures inside malls. Her summer footwear of jutis, Aldo flats and her favourite North Face flip-flops is exchanged for boots. Yes, she wears North Face flip flops with salwar kameez. “They are the most comfortable,” she laughs. Adidas, North Face or Puma accessories provide that signature sporty touch to her every day looks. 

Purchased in 2011

Purchased in 2011

The only time she gave up her Fab India staples was while studying documentary film making at Berkely, in sunny California. But jeans and tees were still her favourites (and of course, the university sweatshirts). From Banana Republic and Abercrombie and Fitch to H&M and Urban Outfitters she probably owns T-Shirts from every brand that makes them. “The only time I wore pants was when I was interning in New York and had no choice but to dress formally,” she says.

Number of times worn: 1

Number of times worn: 1

And in Berkely is where she bought this tulle skirt from a vintage store for a 80’s themed Halloween party. That was the first and last time she wore the skirt. “I have a couple of dresses and skirts that I wear on rare occasions, mostly when I am going out,” she says.  Although she purged a major part of her wardrobe while moving back home from Berkely, she didn’t let go of this skirt. But she is happy to give it away to Fuffabulous, and for someone who loves vintage finds to be able to put it use again.

DSC_4649-1

The tulle skirt is perfect for a UK size 8-10 and can be dressed up with a white shirt and heels or down with a tee and neon accessories. 

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location: Worli seaface; Styling: Rachana Nakra and Radhika Dhawan; Accessories: Radhika Dhawan; Photographs: Karan Nevatia (karan1981@outlook.com)

Ring in the old, ring out the new

Interview with Nayantara Kilachand, founder and editor Mumbai Boss

“What was I thinking?” – a question women ask themselves often, about the men we date, desserts we consume, exercise classes we sign up for and well, the clothes we buy. Nayantara Kilachand asked herself a similar question when she went home and tried on the pleated peach skirt she had just purchased from Zara. “Every now and then when I decide to experiment with my look I end up with clothes I don’t wear,” she laughs. And a habit of buying things without trying them doesn’t help.

Peach pleated skirt, Zara

Peach pleated skirt with slanting hemline, Zara

‘Making sense of the city’ for the people of Mumbai, at work the busy editor is most comfortable in her now almost uniform of a T-shirt/ shirt and jeans. Even with the dresses and skirts for evenings out, she likes to keep it simple and classic. “I would much rather have one Chloe jacket that is ‘seasonless’ than buy trendy clothes every week,” she says. As an occasional shopper, she is quite unlike the stereotype of the impulsive, shopaholic woman – she knows exactly what she wants and only buys that!

New York is her favourite for the variety and value for money, while Paris for the boutiques and vintage. Nayantara shops for everything she needs once in a year from her favourite brands – Cos, Uniqlo and J Crew for basics and Topshop for denim. “But when I am travelling I actually don’t like to spend too much time shopping,” she says. Back in India, online stores with easy delivery and return policies are favoured.

Purchased in 2013; Number of times worn: 0

Purchased in 2013; Number of times worn: 0

A lover of all things vintage, Paris is much-loved for the jewellery and New York for those special finds like a jacket from Chloe from the house’s Phoebe Philo days. “I still use my mum’s bag from the 70s,” she says. The small brown leather Hermes bag after being repaired by the company is now in mint condition. “Since I mostly have classic pieces in my wardrobe, I don’t throw away things quickly.” Otherwise she purges her wardrobe twice a year and the clothes go to charity.

DSC_4616-1

For UK sizes 8-10, the cute pleated skirt with a slanting hemline is perfect for summer and a fun look to style easy or dressed up.

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location: Worli seaface; Styling: Rachana Nakra and Radhika Dhawan; Accessories: Radhika Dhawan and Rachana Nakra; Photographs: Karan Nevatia (karan1981@outlook.com)