Top of the Crops

The waist is back in focus as fashion takes a fancy to midriff-skimming tops.

Written by Anjali Jhangiani KP | Published: June 17, 2013 5:03 am

Clad in a blue midi skirt and a shirt-inspired crop top that hinted at her toned midriff,Sonam Kapoor looked the part of a pretty damsel at the recent premiere of the film Shootout at Wadala. It may have been a detour from her usual glamorous avatar,but Kapoor’s ensemble — designed by Nishka Lulla — didn’t go unnoticed. Similarly,at a recent appearance at Mumbai’s Lakme Fashion Week,actor Neha Dhupia paired a V-neck crop top with a floor-length Sneha Arora skirt.

The ever fashionable Kapoor and Dhupia are,in fact,part of a posse of celebrities (including the likes of singer Rihanna and Hollywood actor Diane Kruger) who are daring to bare their midriffs in crop tops,keeping with the latest designer diktat. A trend that has trickled down from the ’90s,the comeback of the crop top has captured the imagination of many Indian designers as well.

So while autumn-winter 2012 saw Nikhil Thampi and Sailex Ngairangbam give the crop top a glamorous makeover,summer-resort 2013 lines have seen Anupama Dayal create crop tops with peplum silhouettes and Masaba Gupta feature a range of bandeaux and bustiers,some bearing a vintage fan print. “Masaba doesn’t really play safe and her overwhelming prints make her pieces really stand out. Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga have also showcased chic versions on the runway,” says stylist and fashion entrepreneur Pernia Qureshi,who has herself sported the look on many an occasion.

Other summer line-ups have seen Lulla experiment with bralets and crop shirts in stretch cottons and muslins,and Astha Narang play around with fitted and loose styles in cotton and bright chiffons. Besides,fabrics that breathe,stripes,monochromatic palettes,neons,prints,leather and lace detailing are also in vogue.

While the midriff-skimming look may not be a new thing for the sari-sporting Indian woman,the crop top is a slightly tricky trend to pull off. “To wear it well,one must have a flat stomach,and designers offer no compromises on that,” says Qureshi. Thampi believes it’s a trend that is restricted to youngsters,who are comfortable with flaunting their skin. However,Lulla believes that every age-group can wear a crop top with élan. “Those in their twenties may want to pair a cool casual crop T-shirt with high-waisted jeans or shorts,while people in their thirties can team a fitted crop top with a high-waisted pencil skirt and a blazer for a night out. If you are in your forties,you may wear a fitted crop shirt or a top under a sheer dress or wear it with wider legged trousers and a blazer. Embrace the trend rather than trying to look half your age,” she advises.

Pairing the crop top with the right kind of bottoms is clearly of utmost importance. “One can style a bustier — like the one by Masaba — with a matching pencil skirt or team a peplum crop top by Anupama with a pair of high-waisted pants or add a layer over a neon top,” says Qureshi,swearing by the rule of pairing opposites. “If you are wearing a loose-fitting crop top,you can wear short or tight bottoms; if it’s a fitted one,go for loose trousers or long skirts,” she says. For those who want to play it safe,Thampi suggests palazzo pants or floor-kissing skirts.

And when it comes to accessorising,keeping it simple is the name of the game. “The garment is already helping you make a statement; heavy accessorising will be overdoing it. A good handbag and a pair of oversized sunglasses are enough,” says Thampi. “There isn’t a hard and fast rule when it comes to accessories for crop tops but a pair of earrings or a statement necklace can make all the difference. If you want to dial it down,a cuff and a pair of ballerinas will do the job just fine,” says Qureshi.

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