Michelle Obama’s floor-length gown at the State dinner hosted in New Delhi drew much praise from the fashion fraternity. Closer home, style perennials Sussanne Roshan and Kareena Kapoor often sport modest lengths, made naughtier with a thigh-high slit perhaps.
And on runways from Dries Van Noten to Sabyasachi, the hemline has steadily travelled down south till it flirts with the ground. After many seasons of skirts so tiny, they resembled handkerchiefs, women are reclaiming the modest maxi.
"I call it the worldwide Prada syndrome," says Sabyasachi Mukherjee, the maestro behind Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s old-world look in the soon-to-be-released Guzaarish. "It’s a return to modesty, because women want to look enigmatic and elegant."
Mukherjee adds that his perusal of fashion blogs has revealed that men are also tired of the way women have been dressing - padded shoulders, exaggerated hips and stiff garments included. "The blogs quote men who wonder why women wear clothes that make them unattractive. Forget the fashion mafia, give any women the choice of looking boxy and stiff or slender and slim and you know what your answer will be," he insists.
"The best part of this new length is if your hemline touches the floor and you wear very high shoes, nobody will know how tall you really are. And you can make it formal or casual depending on the choice of fabric and embellishment."
Stylist Ekta Rajani thinks that the recent retro wave that’s hit fashion is also responsible for longer lengths. “After Yves Saint Laurent passed away, the fashion retrospective they held in Paris featured a lot of his work from the ’70s. Many designers were inspired by that and you can see it reflecting in their collections,” she explains, adding, “Also, there are more women designers like Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo who are becoming very influential. They design for working women who need comfortable clothing which is also stylish. You cant run around in a short skirt, can you?”
So, go get floored!