Fashion is said to be as fickle as a woman getting dressed for a party, or perhaps more so. Its definition might in itself be elusive, with most fashionistas and Czars of style finding it easier to call it ‘an extension of one’s personality’. If only it were that easy. Ask Bollywood actor Vidya Balan for instance, who had a tough time facing criticism for her ill-fitting western wear before she found respite in anarkalis and kanjeevaram saris.
The year that stands on the verge of becoming history, witnessed its share of trends in apparel, jewellery, make-up and hair, much like its precedents. As fashion conscious as we have become, we also followed it to the hilt, be it students adorning jumpsuits bought at a flea market or office goers wearing colour-blocked dresses to work.
And then there were some remarkable developments in the world of fashion, including India-inspired translations on the global scene — from turban-wearing models in ace designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s fashion show to bindis, Indian paisleys and sari gowns incorporated by other designers. Gaultier once remarked, “In every collection I have done, there is always an Indian inspiration.”
However, in a surprising twist of events, another encouraging trend was to see local designers and models making it to the national runway, standing out in a haze of established names and long-legged beauties adorning designer wear.
Apart from looking back for a nostalgic recollection of what made it to the ‘it’ list and what didn’t, it’s interesting to note which fashion trends will be carried on to 2013.
So, here’s a look at what was and what will be, for all you fashion savvy women and men.
Rewind to the 12 trends that were loved by all and sundry who care about fashion:
1. Online shopping
It’s finally caught on and how! The web is now an integral part of the lives of young India, and there is no holding them back from browsing through a plethora of products online and placing an order. Be it fashionandyou.com, rock.in, flipkart.com or asos.com — sites selling clothes, cameras, phones, electronic gadgets et al are all there on the World Wide Web. And fashion pundits predict the trend only becomes stronger in the coming year.
2. Colour-blocked apparel
It isn’t for the faint hearted. Dresses in two or more contrasting colours that are bold, muted and complementary make for colour blocking. After Hollywood, the trend quickly travelled to India and made for an eye-catching view on the ramp and on streets.
These are an offshoot of last year’s dhoti pants. Long, large-bottomed pants that flare from the waist onwards, in a host of fabrics — from flowing georgettes to lycra — they spell comfort at its best. Though a ’60s comeback, palazzo pants or jumpsuits (Kareena looked ravishing in a lovely Emanuel Ungaro jumpsuit at the promotions of her film, Heroine) spell style and a relaxed look, and can survive another year.
4. Coloured bottoms
From Katie Holmes and Cameron Diaz to Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra, there was colour on most fashion divas’ legs. For those who could dare, picked flashing reds, burning rusts or electric blues; while others who liked it light preferred pastels such as baby pink, sky blue or light peach.
Instantly pepping up a look with oodles of sophisticated charm, blazers have the power to
transform a shabby outfit. Knowing that the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has a soft spot for short blazers (usually royal blue), you can be sure they are something you can never go wrong with. In India too, most actors realised they looked better with a blazer on a not-so-pretty dress.
6. Animal prints
For once, animals came to be respected, even if only for their skin. From zebras and leopards to tigers — animal prints were one of the hugest highs fashionistas could get. And the trend wasn’t limited to dresses alone,having infested shoes, accessories and jewellery. Young fashion designer Masaba Gupta used them amply and celebs loved to wear these.
This one is well on its way to 2013, and what’s better than the fact that it suits those who are endowed with health as well as those who fit in the ‘skinny’ category. In skirts or dresses, a short overskirt or ruffle attached to the waistline of the garment makes for a ‘peplum look’. Since it adds flair to the bodice and helps cover a flabby tummy, it is no surprise that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan chose to wear an Elie Saab peplum dress for her Cannes appearance this year.
8. Lace and crochet
A fabric so dainty, it would make any woman feel like a princess. From Chantilly to Baroque, lace has travelled from high-street European boutiques to Indian designer stores and nestled comfortably to be used in gowns, dresses, jackets — anything that you would care to look at. Crochet too, for that matter, is at par, for that mysterious ‘femme fatale’ touch to your personality.
9. Hot pants
Deepika Padukone, in her toned legs, carried off hot pants like the siren that she is. Very short shorts ruled sultry summers, and designers say they are keen on continuing their experimentation with them in the new year as well.
10. Focus on the shoulders
This trend was perhaps an outcome of designers’ boredom with necklines and hemlines. So, this year marked ample playing around with the shoulders of dresses and coats, some of it being inspired by King of Pop Michael Jackson’s military-style jackets. An interesting catch, but not so long-lasting.
11. Statement accessories
By statement, we don’t mean chunky or overly large, but neckpieces, earrings or bracelets that stand out for being unique. Since we have some of the most innovative jewellery designers coming up in the country, there was no dearth of statement pieces to be worn at special dos this year. Expect more outstanding work in 2013.
12. Wavy, Grecian hair
Hair is usually only a part of a look and doesn’t find mention as a fashion statement on its own. But this time, it has earned itself the spotlight for brining back natural waves. After most girls got their hair burnt from excessive chemical straightening and rebonding (and losing whatever was left), stylists decided that lose, wavy hair is the best bet. Scrunch it after a wash, use a serum to tame frizzy strands and you’re done. If it’s a formal occasion you are heading to, all you have to do is get a Grecian-style bun. How easy! In fact, this is what fashion must be. It lets you breathe and look easy. Don’t try decoding it like some law of Physics. No one has ever cracked it.