After a creative flood at the Fashion Week, T. Krtihika Reddy checks out some trends that are set to trickle into the mainstream

It’s been a week of fashion madness in the national capital. From minimalism man Wendell Rodricks who opened the show with his Cubist interpretation of form and fabric to narrative fantasist Rohit Bal who closed the pageant with his regal ‘Yasas’, the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week saw the best of talent from Mumbai and New Delhi renew bonds to prove there was no creative crunch in the country.

“People are now buying with their brains,” a top buyer from the West had remarked three seasons ago. Though depression chic is passé today, designers are still serving up styles that could last seasons. Take the dress, for instance. A gazillion copies of the simple structured / draped dress have spawned in recent times, a trend that could last well beyond Spring-Summer 2010. Almost every designer — even the likes of Ritu Kumar, known for her ethnic silhouettes — did plenty of dresses.

“But the operative word is re-interpret,” says talented designer Nachiket Barve, whose ‘Toxin’ rocked the ramp. “Fresh drapes and fresher accents can make a simple dress look haute. That’s what designers have done. We’ll be seeing more dresses in the months ahead and there’ll be street-savvy interpretations too.”

Easy-going

With jauntiness becoming a defining quality this season, designer Malini Ramani lays emphasis on no-fuss clothes. “I’d recommend playful, easy-going outfits. And that’s what I’ve done for my upcoming collection for Chennai too. Though I’m not a trend person, I know clothes that look simple and cool are here to stay.”

Designer Namrata Joshipura sees the resurgence of sheer. “Yes, transparency is in. It lends lightness — in terms of volume and colour. And, I also see the emergence of a slightly futuristic fashion sensibility. Not robotic or space-age style, but elements of it. We’ve seen too many bright colours light up the runway; so, don’t go for predictable pastels or over-do neutrals in the coming months. There’s been plenty of resplendent red and eggplant purple, neon brights and gilded tones. Shaped skirts cropped to varied lengths are also a trend.”

With downsizing stories making headlines, the accent is clearly on curve-skimming numbers. Some dresses are designed so tight you are at serious risk of splitting a seam! “But, that’s where smart designing comes in. Interesting drapes with crisp pleats, folds and tucks are not just up-to-the-minute modern. They are comfortable as well,” says Namrata, stressing the importance of drapes.

“With drapes, you can achieve that beguiling mix of girl-woman clothes,” adds Nachiket, who recommends outfits that work well across various age groups and places. “Versatility is one thing designers can’t afford to ignore in the coming months. Even while designing separates, one has to look at limitless options!”

Positive energy

With so much positive energy emanating from the catwalk, design ace Kavita Bhartia says: “Dresses or tunics, innovation will be taken to a different level. Tunics, particularly, are a hit since they go with a bigger age group. They can be teamed with leggings or trousers to make a statement. ‘Indian ethos with a global appeal’ will be the buzzwords in the coming months. Quite a few designers are looking at blending Indian crafts and textiles with unusual Western silhouettes.”

When you think embellishment, think sequins this season. “Yes, bling is back. But use bling intelligently. A subtle smattering will do,” cautions Nachiket. Rule benders would love to mix sequins with a barely-there palette instead of dark tones.

From what was seen on the ramp, one thing is clear. Be it Narendra Kumar’s ‘meditative’ line or Pallavi Mohan’s ombre effect, designers are now looking at a concept-wearability balance. “Today’s woman cocks a snook at conformity. Everybody wants to be a somebody. There’s thrill in transgressing norms. But the challenge lies in creating something new that eventually trickles down mainstream with slip-and-slide ease,” smiles Kavita.

IN STYLE SPHERE

All dressed up Whittled down or flounce-filled, the dress is here to stay.

Sheer bliss Go for whisper-weight sheer fabrics. They lend lightness to a creation.

Get ruffled Yes, ruffles are big. A smattering or a surfeit, they make a statement.

Bling on… Sequins are back. Nothing to beat them for a sexy sundown look.

Snug jackets With jackets you can dress up or dress down an outfit. But be careful to choose one that flatters your shape.

Architectural clothing Sculpted silhouettes are in. So are linear lines and geometric cuts and patterns.

Ombre mood Ombre effect, where one shade seamlessly merges into another is in vogue.

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