As we step into a brand new decade, check out the looks that will dominate the style statement.

Style, trends, fads, the red carpet, glitterati, glitz and glamour... all synonyms for the one term that has overtaken our lives: fashion! What began as intellectual consciousness of the outward appearance has gone through numerous tucks, nips and crops especially over the last decade. The turn of the millennium saw fashion take on a new avatar; the demure coy look of the 1990s was out and loud, bold and hot swooped in. Less was more in attire, while the more the merrier overtook the bags-shoes-jewels department. The girly, feminine visage played tug-of-war with the boho chic look. Goth rivalled formal gowns while the biker couture made a grand entrance. Denim continued its dominance in every area, including lingerie! The men too took on a new look; for once matching steps with the fairer sex.

Style analysts are already racking their grey cells in eager anticipation of the next decade, because it's only going to get bigger, better and steamier! The fashion bonanza is allowing itself to take on a radically unique statement this time around.

The Garb

Couture has seen many a face-lift with each calendar year; some fads were applauded while others were hurriedly shown the door. One of India's hippest designers Rocky S gives his take on what's to come. “2011 fashion trends will accommodate the mantra of ‘buying less but spending more', which means more quality, fewer indulgences but grander statements. Spring/summer 2011 will see a shift from the decade-long empowering military look to the biker chic look. Lace influence in a classy twist with antique-style fabrics are some key trends. We can also look forward to disappearance of stretch lace and more of unique takes. A hip-hugging sheath dress with a below-the-knee hem is the ultimate in hourglass dressing that accentuates curves and fosters femininity. Tassels will steal the show as a popular trimming that signifies luxury and exotica.”

Pune Fashion Week's curtain raiser Seema Singh has her pointers for 2011. “Solid colours like purple orchid, corals, lemon yellow and whites will rule the chart. Lace and crochet will favour girly frocks. Loose dhoti pants and flared bottom linen pants will catch up on the summer trend-o-meter. Shrugs and short cropped jackets, already the season favourites will see a trend rise gradually.”

Satya Paul's style predictions, “Intense multihued garments with floral/geometric patterns in combination with straight cuts and lines in neutral tones and whites with lots of layering and other specific detailing will be the new emphasis; the overall feel exemplifying fresh and raw. Simple well tailored garments with accessories in brighter tones add spunk. Most importantly keep it minimalistic; make an ‘under' statement.”

Traditional is in

Jewellery has always taken the top slot in the accessories basket. Gold is now facing fierce competition from diamonds and other precious stones. Gold was forced into a white makeover as titanium and platinum hit the stage. Delicate and dainty and over-the-top elaborate and chunky became two sides of the same coin in the last decade. Jadau, polki and kundan became the ordinary version of the diamond. Traditional and contemporary took turns as haute jewels. Designer brand Golecha Jewels open up on forthcoming trends: “Jewellery as such is always doing a merry-go-round. Few patterns stay in style permanently; most emerge, retreat and come back after a gap. The New Year will see more traditional designs with a dash of contemporary work. Uncut diamonds and coloured stones will in the spotlight.”

‘Hair' I come

Always given a step-sisterly treatment, hairstyles did an about turn in the last few years by becoming the number one style statement. Hair was snipped off; extensions were attached; black changed to blonde, red and even purple, blue and pink! Hair accessories became the hottest purchase and tantalising tresses a routine.

B-Blunt, a premium Mumbai salon, gives pointers on upcoming fads. “A haircut from a good hairstylist is a must. As for colours, soft and earthy tones that glint in the sunlight are making a comeback. Highlights or placement panels of rich browns and subtle biscuits tones will enhance the haircut because warm hues hold a tinge of glamour. Big hair is the way to go; lots of volume, bounce and exaggerated body. Chemically straightened hair is on the way out since natural movement in the hair is the new mantra. Give up the iron to straighten; instead maximise volume by turning on the blow dryer and pumping some life into the hair. The flat look is passé; making way for soft loose curls. B-bold, B-different but most essentially B-you!”

Bridal blush

Bridal couture, although seasonal, becomes the mainstay of fashion creativity mostly because it's the one legitimate excuse to take your glam to the peak and no one utters a syllable! The Indian mentality of ‘no budget for that once-in-a-lifetime event' helps bridal extravagance. Designer diva Mandira Wirk dishes out bridal expertise. “Silhouettes in sheer fabrics from the 1950s that accentuate curves and foster the feminine look make a come-back. Emphasis on minute detailing like tassels, laces add zing. Sophisticated glamour will definitely be the end look. The colour palate will extend to soft colours as well as vivid ones that reflect energy and excitement; so shades of aquas, blues and greys will be favourite picks. A winter wedding could see structured jackets with shoulder and sleeve detailing. Vintage will be the inspiration for accessories.”

Acesso speak

Accessories have always been a girl's best buddy; be it bags, shoes, hats, ornaments or even make-up. But the obsession has seen an all time high in the last few years. Mallini Agarwalla of Malaga Bags talks specifically of bridal baggage with the wedding season coming up. “Bridal couture requires more heritage and classic handbags. Opt for an evergreen jewelled handbag, which can be worn with both ethnic and western wear with additions of rubies, emeralds or just pearls if that's your preference and budget; it is rich , classic and can be handed down generations. Also a clutch in gold and silver and a crystal minaudiere would complete the collection.”

The accessory tagline overall seems to be contrast and over-the-top without apology; a confident carriage becoming a pre-requisite. Basically just let your creativity go wild!

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On the fashion flightJanuary 13, 2011