What's up your sleeve?

A CONSTANT quest for `newness' explains the way the fashion industry operates today. By definition, trend-driven change in fashion is triggered by a number of key events and catalysts that mould a language of new styles.

While several elements dictate trends, the most important one is the silhouette. Oscar Wilde said, "It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances." This goes to say that it is of extreme importance to dress right and thus to know what is right!

The following piece meanders through highlights of this season, scaling the highs and lows in sleeve details. Style pointers indicate that it is time for sleeve-less. Cut-away and cut-sleeve concepts are ruling supreme. Sleeves are an integral part of the garment. But their absence too can be dealt with beautifully.

The basic cut-sleeves could be boring. The style gallery hints at detailing to make a statement. Jagged ruffle (long and short) details dropping down from the shoulder tip and extending into the armhole are a high in the Western and ethnic segment alike.

What's up your sleeve?

Spaghetti straps get a fresh face. High points in design reflect straps varying in thickness on either side. Concepts are flagged under a vision of asymmetry. Rivet and stud details across the straps create an element of interest. The same concept with sequin incorporation comprises the `ethnic narration'. Also, smocked, embroidered or pico panels falling down as sleeves can re-invent a boring top.

The style charts also reflect asymmetric necklines with a broad shoulder bar.

Highlighting the collarbone and the neck, these design concepts give what you need after 7 p.m. Macram�-details (the technique of knotting yarns) over the shoulder give gentle doses of elegance thereby emphasising the charm of feminine dressing.

Recreation includes cap sleeves that are sailing strong this season. Cap sleeves can propel you through the day, business luncheons and evening cocktails with ease. With asymmetric concepts sitting high on the fashion tree, cap sleeves with cross-over fronts, band collars and frog closures give you just what you need this season.

Hems are being faced with different ideas to create `that' element of interest. Sleeve ends can be over-locked in contrast coloured thread or Lurex depending on the `look' contained in other garment components.

Sleeves, originally just a provision for body covering, have become a mainstream element in the modern wardrobe - that which speaks a new language every season. Speaking it right, put your hands up in style.


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