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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Winter in Bloom

Fall fashion takes a fancy to floral prints,albeit with a dark and moody twist.

Written by Kimi Dangor |
December 1, 2013 11:29:32 pm

During their Cruise-Resort collection showcase at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week’s Autumn-Winter 2013 edition,resortwear specialists Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja — of the label Shivan & Narresh — sent out a vibrant floral print,dressed in flaming oranges and flossy pinks,the saturated colours eye-catching against a black background. Their “bright and indulgent” flowery take on Fall fashion was unusual,for a season associated with monochromes and geometric prints. But not altogether untoward,going by the various floral prints we saw on autumn-winter runways.

In a season of subversion,where black is a bridalwear hue and sweatshirts are going luxe,is it any surprise that florals are no longer the prerogative of summer and sunshine only? From Valentino and Givenchy to Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Shivan & Narresh,various designers have introduced florals in their collections this winter,albeit slightly removed from the pastel hues and candyfloss candour of summer. Darkly romantic or edgy in turn,fall fashion is blooming again.

“The emergence of florals as a winter print is largely due to increased experimentation by designers to break fashion clichés,” says Bhaitya,whose label derived inspiration from the works of the Naïve Art movement and presented a print with a child-like and credulous quality. “The print recreates a child’s drawings with sketch pens and has a raw,scribbly look to it,” says Narresh.

While the duo played with jewel tones,Shift by Nimish Shah boasted of a broody backdrop to his vintage floral print and Payal Pratap introduced roses on moody blue,deep purple and black backgrounds. Big and bold was the mantra for Huemn by Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty,who presented grown-up

appliqué florid centrepieces on sombre skirts and suits,and small and subtle made it to the storyboard of Mukherjee,Kolkata boys Dev r Nil and Arpita Mehta,thereby proclaiming that flowers,especially roses,can bloom in winter too.

“It’s a very textbook notion that florals take a backseat during winter. That rule has been broken. Now,it’s largely dependent on the colours and treatment of the print. After all,how long can you do tweed,geometric prints,houndstooth and herringbone for winter?” asks Shah,who presented three different colour stories with his archival rose pattern derived prints. “The colours,naturally,tend to be more autumnal with bases of black and blue,or darker tones used either in the foreground or on motifs,” he says. Interestingly,Shah not only stuck to chocolaty brown,deep indigo,dusky pink and other autumnal colours,but he imparted a distinct distressed and aged look to his prints as well through the process of hand-printing and overdyeing.

Roses also cropped up on the runways of Pratap and Dev r Nil,albeit in entirely different interpretations and treatments. Pratap’s collection “Opening My Grandmother’s Trunk” evoked a dark romanticism and attempted to recapture the past through a tapestry-like rose print. “I view a print as akin to an embellishment — almost a texture on the fabric. My roses had a depth as each print has nearly 20 colours,therefore giving a beautiful texture to the fabrics,especially the slubby silk dupions I had used,” says Pratap.

While Pratap chose to go the vintage way,Dev r Nil’s line “In Silence” exuded a zen-like Oriental calm in tone-on-tone prints. “The idea was to keep it romantic. Hence,there was an underlying sophistication and subtlety to the prints,” says Debarghya Bairagi. Again the accent was on methodology as different forms of screen-printing — khadi,acid and discharge — were employed. “We used blacks,whites and reds,apart from using different shades of one colour on the same outfit in varying contrasts,” says Bairagi.

Floral prints,which have given designers more colour and print options to play with,are also increasing their winter wear’s market base. “Winter is followed by resort when people are inclined to travel and these prints are perfect for holiday wardrobes too,” adds Bairagi. Looks like winter fashion is literally coming up roses.

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