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Making sense of that festive look

Trends, fashion shows and style gurus will have us follow the beaten fashion track as showcased in glossies. Here, we bring you the best of the best sartorial advice from the country’s top designers. By Swati Rai

chandigarh Updated: Oct 27, 2013 12:11 IST
Swati Rai

Fashion pundits will have us believe that this bridal and festive season, the bride is the only fashionable person around. But, what about the rest of us who have to attend the many ceremonies before the wedding, the festivals and the random holiday? Fret not, this season, take a good look at yourself in the mirror and get set to be transformed for the numerous occasions that this celebratory season has to offer.

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Whatever may be your style statement — from the traditional coy bridesmaid to the bold bohemian belle, there is something there in the fashion firmament!

Think structure, structure and structure in outfits and mix and match hot picks of colour blocking and the blending of the old and the new. Try something new this season with embellished georgettes, nets and fine silks. Leading Indian fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani opines, “In the past, our styles have been traditional with heavy workmanship — not always good to enjoy a festive evening. We are now focussing on lighter, comfortable styles for occasion wear. A draped kurta in Banarasi rib net and brocade with a colourful gilet and stretched georgette churidaar is ideal for festive wear.”

Traditional best

Go beyond the ‘recommended’ look and go easy on bling and shine on the embellishments this season. Ace designer Ritu Kumar shares, “Colours such as turquoise, red, emerald, green, pink and other such rich hues are in vogue.

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The present trend is to go for brocades for the lehangas, but in fresh colours so that the ensemble is both rich and not too weighed down. Lightweight chanderi fabrics make up for the missing embroidery, which, if there, is mostly subtle thread work and light tikki work. The test of time comes from classic traditional this festive season.”

Of course, one’s design sensibility should govern one’s choice of colours, fabric and silhouette, so choose the one that best suits you and make the most of it. Luxurious chiffons, organzas, georgettes, crepes and nets in bright hues, colour blocked or otherwise, are the trends to die for.

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Fashion designer Krishna Mehta’s favourite colours for the season are also the rich and bright cobalt, crimson, red, fuchsia, orange and purple, resembling multimedia artworks with subtle layering and lending to the vivaciousness of the elaborate ensembles of long architectural jackets and soft-skirted dresses, varied pants and flared tunics along with the whole six yards.

Ring in the old

Go all out to experiment with your look this season, but bring in the old-world charm of exquisite embroidery and adorn it the traditional way with a little twist here and there to suit the occasion. The king of couture, JJ Valaya expresses, “The look for the upcoming festive season is a blend of traditional and modern sensibilities.

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Luxurious and elegant ensembles in rich fabrics such as silk, jacquard, georgette and velvet with beautiful embellishments and embroidery make for the perfect festive attire. Red is hot, so have fun with it. Also, sensuality is big in cuts as is the concept of the tailored with the draped.”

Fresh after the success of her WIFW (Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week) ‘Magic Woven’ collection, Krishna Mehta — the champion of Indian craftsmanship — prefers hand-woven traditional and tribal weaves in fine silks, wool and tweeds. “I am a traditionalist so far as festival attire is concerned; a handcrafted, intricately woven sari really is matchless,” she says.

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Feeling good, looking great

Feeling the moment and revelling in family time and a sense of shared enjoyment is equally important in making the festive season a truly memorable one. Looking good stems from feeling great, isn’t it? Star designer Manish Malhotra speaks his mind on the matter, “To me, a festive occasion is a wonderful blend of tradition, culture, rituals, colours and intensity of emotions.

Time-honoured practices come together with special occasions and new traditions to create happy times. My festive collection for this season is high on colour and on new silhouettes, while it plays with the concept of lightness of being with celebration in mind. The primary influences are from Rajasthan and Kutch — the mirror work, traditional colour blocking and a palette of deep green, dark beige and mustard, which are all characteristic of these regions.” It also features textured silks, youthful bright colours, saturated hues and Manish’s signature thread-work and custom-created zari work from Kashmir.

Fine-tuning fashion

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What looks good from afar may not be good at a closer look. This season, remember to spare some time for finer details of a garment, be it the stitching or even the cuts. A well-stitched and cut garment that is well-fitting too, looks perfect. Manoviraj Khosla says, “This festive season, the look is rich with a play of silks and velvets. Laser-cut work detailing will be the highlight of this season. Embellishments will not be as prominent with our look as will be detailing with tone-on-tone fabrics in different materials as well as printing in various different techniques.”

Make sure your festive look doesn’t end up becoming that festive look-alike faux pas. This season, don’t become a trend-follower, instead twist and turn the trends to set your own. Take these tips from the best in the field and sparkle. But, don’t forget to wear ‘yourself’!

Top Fashion Sense ‘13

What’s your story?

Adorn each piece of garment as if it were a story you wish to convey. The medium of doing so can be a fusion wear of a half sari, a pre-stitched, pleatless sari or even a traditional Kanjeevaram.

The long and short of it

The jackets get longer for you to team up with a sari, A-line skirt or even dhoti pants. Wear the in-vogue crop top with a knee-length lehanga or a pair of embellished culottes to stand out in a celebration.

Creative license

Flaunt a well draped and handcrafted piece of garment such as a sari from the length and breadth of India. Be it a Kalamkari ensemble or a Phulkari profusion.

Go feminine

If boho is not your style, choose well-structured feminine silhouettes in flowy fuchsia chiffon or palazzo pants with net at the hem.

Iron maiden

Choose metallic hues for that sheen this year, ranging from steel greys to auburn copper, and make a style statement like no other!

Manish Malhotra

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"My collection for this season is high on colour and new silhouettes, while it plays with the concept of lightness of being with celebration in mind."

Ritu Kumar

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"Colours such as turquoise, red, emerald, green, pink and other such rich hues are in vogue. The test of time comes from classic traditional this festive season."

Tarun Tahiliani

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"We are now focussing on lighter, more comfortable styles for occasion wear. Such as a draped kurta in Banarasi rib net with georgette churidaar."