THE weather is taking a turn for the better in most parts of the country and it won’t be out of place to say that winds of change have swept across the fashion runway too. At the recently concluded Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) Spring-Summer 2016, this change was most apparent in the silhouettes and styling of garments for next year’s summer wardrobe. In the five days of the week that was, collections put forth by a crop of young designers stood out for their easy-breezy fits, casual yet chic look and an increasing use of natural textiles and dyes.
Using handloom fabric may no longer seem a novelty in fashion today, but what stood out in this fashion week is the way in which design labels are playing with form to make fuss-free clothes. These collections have an Indian (read ethnic) imprint along with an unmistakable contemporary touch. It was most noticeable in the debut collection of young designer Sonali Pamnani, under her label The Meraki Project. Among The First Cut designers chosen by Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Elle to present their debut collections, Pamnani picked a popular weave, Ikat, and wove a modern story with it. She paired it with light linens to put forth shift dresses, shirts and long jackets that made for perfect prêt wear. A mix and match of checks and stripes made for interesting patterns. Another First Cut designer, Shreya Oza presented an equally comfortable collection under her label Asa that boasted classic colours — mud brown, indigo, mustard — all of which were derived from natural dyes. The collection comprising long tunics worn over relaxed fit trousers and summer jackets came as a whiff of fresh air.
Simplicity was the underlying theme for the young designers, who chose the ‘less is more’ mantra for their debut shows. Proving that well was the collection by Eka and Lovebirds. Understated elegance defined their collections. It seems clear that designer labels are consciously making the outfits comfortable and easy to care. Another noticeable style has been layering. Once a prerogative of winter, soft layering has been a strong trend essayed by the designers this season. A long and flowing summer jacket is certainly high up on that must-have list. Make that denim, especially like the ones we caught sight of at Ikai’s presentation by designer Ragini Ahuja. Oversized jackets, bombers and worked upon denim were given a softer look, as they were paired with trench and pleated pants. Bleached denim appliquéd with vintage leather patches gave this collection a rustic spin.
Staying on track with the easy styling trend, designer Shweta Kapur of the label 431-88 presented a collection that deconstructed the sari and borrowed the art of pleating, wrapping and tying. Incorporating the spirit of punk into the silhouette of a sari, Kapur’s collection, “The Misfits” saw loungewear-like dresses, pants and skirts with mesh detailing. The white and blue colour contrasts and relaxed fits made this a winning collection. Here’s looking forward to summer already.