The Maximalists

Have you exhausted shorts,jumpsuits and every other frills-free attire in your wardrobe this summer? Then go chic with something that has wowed fashionistas everywhere and has accumulated a cult following in India as well — the maxi dress.

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti | Published:July 11, 2009 3:22 am

Have you exhausted shorts,jumpsuits and every other frills-free attire in your wardrobe this summer? Then go chic with something that has wowed fashionistas everywhere and has accumulated a cult following in India as well — the maxi dress. Actor Kareena Kapoor has been stocking up on her Roberto Cavallis and BCBGs,while designers Pria Kataria Puri,Anupamaa Dayal and Ranna Gill flaunt their own creations.

What started out as an essential part of a vacationer’s resort wardrobe has now transcended seasons and is an integral part of fashionable brunches and laidback evenings out. “It’s one of the hottest fashion recalls from the 1970s. Designers such as Halston,Ossie Clark and YSL popularised the relaxed,chic maxi dress and today,it can effortlessly update and refresh a wardrobe,” says designer Sanchita Ajjampur,whose recent collection for Kuwait-based store Villa Moda has explored the maxi dress.

“The maxis swung back in fashion around fall-winter 2007 and somehow the trend has lasted and is now going strong,” says Delhi-based Dayal,who has an extensive collection of the dress in her recent lines,beginning at Rs 4,500. “The silhouette suits the Indian build and works well for those who don’t want to go in for short dresses.” Dayal advises bright colours and wispy fabrics for a perfect blend of comfort and glamour.

Of course,there are things to keep in mind. “If you are on the leaner side,it’s best to go for a maxi dress which is cinched at the waist and flared from below. But for others,a loose silhouette works well since it gives a leaner and taller appearance,” says designer Raakesh Agarvwal,whose ornate array of maxi dresses has a huge fan followings in actors Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta. Agarvwal’s outfits start at Rs 18,900 and go higher up depending on the embellishments.

When designer duo Falguni and Shane Peacock showcased their spring-summer 2009 collection at the London Fashion Week,the biggest draw was their printed maxi dresses. The two had combined busy prints,including their favourite animal prints,with jewelled empire lines and worked out a dishy cocktail. “I think prints look best on maxis. As for the fabrics,georgettes and chiffons are ideal,” says Falguni.

The difference between a more formal evening wear and a maxi dress is in the length,points out designer Nida Mahmood. It’s mostly till your ankle and allows you to show off your footwear,rather than going all the way down. “High heels are the norm,but of course jewelled sandals work well too. For those who have a quirky sense of humour,I would recommend sneakers,” she smiles,pointing out how,in keeping with the mood of her recent collection “High on Chai”,she has incorporated street motifs on her maxis.

“The whole idea is to be fun,comfortable and flamboyant,and if you’d rather be more toned down,then go for neutral shades off-set with chunky accessories,” says Dayal.

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