Fashion Autumn/winter 2012 is all about a burst of colours, finds Sangeetha Devi Dundoo

The dip in evening temperatures in the last one week has made many of us bring out our woollens. Barely a day or two after Deepavali, retail stores in the city swiftly shifted the focus from festive wear to autumn/winter collections. Should you or should you not indulge in retail therapy? Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll find in the city.

Far from gloomy: Winter, in the last two years, was dominated by shades of black, grey and a smattering of purple and maroon. The chilly months will be far from dull this time, with a burst of colours taking over. We saw the rise of colour blocking in the international scene early this year, which made little or no impact in India. Nevertheless, we lapped up colours in accessories and eventually in the form of coloured denim leggings and trousers.

The ‘pop colour’ concept gets pronounced this season. “International fashion weeks have seen garments in lime green, bright pink and canary yellow. In India, we find a lot of ochre (shades of golden yellow and yellowish brown), dusty or clay pink and terracotta brown. The dusky Indian skin tone can carry off a range of colours,” says designer Puja Sahney.

Usher in some colour: You will find cardigans, sweaters, jackets and knit wear in deep blue and teel in addition to winter favourites like black and grey. It’s easy to give into indulgent purchases if you don’t factor in your age and requirement while picking up coloured bottoms. “A pink top and a pair of bright blue pants maybe acceptable for campus wear but not for working women. An olive green turtle neck top paired with beige pants and a colourful scarf is a better option for older women,” says Puja.

Designer Bhakthi Reddy also cautions against a mindless overdose of colours. “Surprisingly, neon shades are around too. Pick up one bright piece, maybe a knit top, and tone it down with beige pants. Or if you have a solid black, grey or brown dress, use bright coloured bangles, bracelets, clutches, bags or footwear,” she says.

Fit and structured: Opt for a structured silhouette and choose jackets and fitted dresses that accentuate your waistline. Think before you pick up woollen ponchos since this may be a passing fad. “If at all you like ponchos, pick up one with a limited drape. A bulky one will not flatter Indian women who generally have a short torso and are heavy at the waist,” says Puja. She recommends lightweight cotton jackets that can be worn over shirts in winter and over camisoles in summer.

Boots can wait: Hyderabad’s winter tends to peak towards the end of December and wane by mid-January. Unlike Delhi, we can do without fur coats and long, heavy coats. Play around with layers — think knitted tops, light sweaters, scarves and dresses. “Calf-length and knee-length boots also don’t make sense in Hyderabad, even if the fashion industry promotes it as a must-have winter accessory. An ankle length boot or a flat ballerina, on the other hand, is a sensible alternative,” says Bhakthi.

With some planning, winter wear can be fun instead of dull and boring.

Season picks

l Lightweight cardigans in merino and cashmere wool.

l Long and short formal jackets in wool, cotton-wool blends.

l Coat-styled knee length dresses, best paired with ankle length boots.

l Woollen and satin finish dresses in bright colours.

l Formal shirt tunics combined with cigarette pants or denim leggings.

l Hooded sweaters to ward off the chill if you’re riding a bike.

l Colour denims and stretch denim leggings.

l Accessories in shades of mustard yellow, burnt orange and lime green.

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