Spot-on Style

While the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week may seem like a buffet,with many ideas and concepts thrown in together,I think of it as a moveable feast.

Written by Namrata Zakaria | Published:February 22, 2012 3:58 am

Favourite trends from the WIFW

While the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) may seem like a buffet,with many ideas and concepts thrown in together,I think of it as a moveable feast. In no time,the FDCI event has become the destination for fashion in India. Despite its date being brought forward,and two months taken away from designers’ working calendar,the fashion week packed in several good shows,handsome business and sufficient hoopla to fill up the party pages.

Trendspotting is often a giant myth created by insiders to keep the fashion cycle going. But since a seasonal cycle does exist,it’s important to note what keeps it wheeling. Tracking what’s hot is sometimes an exercise that requires a skilled eye,but it’s also often just second-guessing. It’s hard to miss the shine and shimmer of metallics this season. It probably will be the biggest rage of fall fashion. Rimzim Dadu has always used metal as her muse,and this time she takes on her textures of wires and pre-treated sequins as a visual treat. Anand Bhushan named his collection Junkyard using sequins as if they were leftover pieces of hardware on a factory floor. Power jackets,shiny pants,flat-laid spangles — move over zardozi,we can glitter too.

Trends reflect the sociocultural mood of the times. If there’s a new Marilyn Monroe film,the US will be all about the Fifties. YSL’s passing brought on a giant Seventies wave.

Indian weaves are always au courant in our designers’ drawing boards; it’s us being hot-wired to our cultural zeitgeist. Weaves,textures and embroideries are a perennial,but it’s commendable how they are constantly evolving. Abraham & Thakore’s bandhni and mirror-sequins were teamed with a collection that was as global as it was Indian. Nachiket Barve used colours of the sun and the desert,in shibori,tie-dye,and dyed silks for his modern take on the angrakhas. Priyadarshini Rao’s colour palette and fabric was Indian,although her shapes came from mainland China and Afghanistan.

Turkey and the Ottoman Empire came up often too,but I’m sure much of this has to do with the deep-pocketed Middle-Eastern buyer. Trends are often dictated by the market. Tarun Tahiliani presented,what came to be called,museum pieces from an Islamic empire — mystical gowns,palazzo pants,tunics in shades of aubergine and pomegranate. Barve opened with a delightful manteau inspired by Turkish tiles. JJ Valaya,who presented the grand finale,brought on a belly dancer,a whirling dervish and an acrobat from the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul,among his resplendent collection called Azrak.

This season,more than ever,the younger designers had their ear to the ground. Commercial viability was important — what was often derided as conceptual,collegiate fashion,well,grew up. Anand Bhushan and Dadu went softer and practical with their surfaces and cuts. Arjun Saluja,the cult designer intellectualised as appealing to the off-centre,presented a spectacular line that welcomed interest from a new audience. His signature construction and androgyny was well in place,but was far more relatable to many more people.

Finally,we’re soon becoming a country of cuts too. In a small but significant manner,the younger names of Indian fashion are upchucking traditional embroidery mores and are experimenting with silhouettes. Kallol Datta’s sack dresses forgive the skinny and the adipose-laden. Dadu’s collection was aptly called Past Forward,it looked back at tradition with a futuristic eye. Gaurav Gupta’s gobsmacking-good line took forward his obsession with new shapes. Pankaj and Nidhi’s play with colour,texture and cut is goosebump-inducing. This is a new India that loves its embroideries but wants other things too — fashion is about options after all. And this could well be the spring of cut.

namratanow@gmail.com

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