It is the time of year to look back and retrospect on the good, the bad and the ugly. And with Bangalore being among the most popular fashion capitals of India, it is only but natural to look at the crests and troughs of its fashion graph in 2013.
Bangalore-based designers, have done us proud. With a good number of international stores to her credit and having participated in international fashion shows from Who's Next Fair (Paris), Premiere Class Accessory Fair (Paris), Colombo Fashion Week (Colombo) to Tranoi Fair (Paris), and “Under the Louvre” Fair in Paris organised by Who's Next, designer Sanchita Ajjampur says: “The street is the real barometer of style and our city’s street fashion shows an increased awareness of fashion accelerated by advances in technology and media proliferation. The Birth of a new breed of experimental consumers with no qualms about any mode of self expression has led to a complex fashion fabric in the city.”
For designer Anita Dongre who has been listed as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business in India”, “The style conscious in Bangalore, just like in any other city, are clued in with the latest trends in fashion but don’t follow it blindly. Fashion is about an expression of self and Bangalore folks let their personal style mix with what’s in trend for an overall comfort chic look. The trend in 2013 of bright pop colours like hot pinks, lime greens, corals and the revival of jumpsuits, crop tops, metallic pants, and even the quintessential sari, evolving with new drape styles and cuts, to appease the younger lot, seems to be accepted well here”
Designer Deepika Govind is pleased that “2013 has been a year of awareness in Bangalore with so many new upscale malls and brands coming to town. Also, a whole lot of portfolio stores provide customers an ample choice for occasions of various kinds.The beauty of Bangaloreans is that we never overdo any particular style. We’re a more sophisticated lot. I’m making every effort to see that people individualise their sense of fashion. This herd mentality is horrendous. You go for a party and all you see are a hundred girls dressed in LBDs. We need to bring in cutting-edge style and perhaps be like Tokyo which is where people bring in a personal touch to anything they wear.”
“Also, at weddings, why the same anrkalis and mosquito net lehengas? Ours is a diverse country and city, even. Why not experiment with other textiles such as Banarasi, Kanjeevarams and Uppada Silks?”
In a large way, Bollywood is culpable for the present state of affairs. With every other woman wanting to buy Deepika Padukone’s Chennai Express sari, designers are often flooded with requests from clients. “We must stop aping actors at least in 2014.”
Deepika is all praise for designers like Bibhu Mohapatra, Naeem Khan who has dressed the likes of Michelle Obama, and Prabal Gurung, who have been treading the international fashion line making a visible impact in New York.
Coming to accessories, Rachana Reddy, who recently won the Grazia Young Fashion Award ‘13 for accessories -bags category, says: “Bangalore has surely been good in terms of being receptive to newer designers and their products. However, if you look at the bigger picture, the market is yet to evolve like Delhi or Mumbai.
Over the past two years, we’ve brought in unique bags in distinct combinations of wood, leather, silk, and metal. The next year would be more interesting as we will be launching a full-fledged semi precious /costume jewellery line consisting of neckpieces, earrings, cuffs, rings, head chains, etc along with our bags in summer.” The Bangalore-based designer now retails at stores in Riyadh ,Kuwait, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore and hopes to retail in the US /UK next year.
“The accessories design scene here is still a bit nascent but this only means it provides plenty of opportunity to all the aspiring accessory designers to explore the untapped potential of this city.”
City-based jewellery designer, Sankeerthi Aipanjigully, says: “Punk and jhumkas have been big in Bangalore.
Spike/fluorescent/bright coloured inlays/stones added to jewellery make them trendier. Manish Arora has really killed it in the international market this year for his jewellery designed for Amrapali.”
For those wondering about fashion trend hits and misses this year, stylist and fashion blogger of Bindigasm.com, Pranita Mehta, says: “Statement neckpieces, peplums, printed pants, print on print look, neon on apparel and in accessories, metallic accessories like spikes and studs, Aztec prints, lace and leather together, and the androgynous look have been a rage in Bangalore this year.”
On the missteps list, she includes “PVC looks, ultra shiny waxed apparel, OTT Goth, and prints like cats and butterflies stayed on too long when the rest of the world had already moved on to stripes and florals.”
Fashion weeks contour the fashion scene in any growing metropolis and the same is true of Bangalore. Each season, there is a new designer. People are not afraid to showcase something never seen before together, and with fashion stylists, photographers and bloggers increasing by the day and attending such dos, including the Trousseau Week that was a huge hit, people are becoming more aware and conscious about the changing trends in the fashion scenario.
Nicole Faria, Miss Earth 2010, says: “Indian fashion has grown to be loved all over the world.
India has its own charm as well as its unique models that are performing fantastically on every international fashion platform.
Whether they bring home the crown or not, they’re leave indelible footprints in the hearts and minds of those watching them. Model Rachel Byros for instance has been a huge inspiration internationally this year.”
With 2013 being a success for the most part in Bangalore’s fashion circuit, with ever evolving trends, newer designers, brands, increased fashion weeks and boutique stores, fashionistas here are eagerly looking forward to a more fashionable 2014.