If you are the kind who thinks winter is synonymous with grey skies and dark hues, then brace yourself, because this might shock you. When it comes to fashion, there's nothing dark or pale about the colours you should be sporting this season. Au contraire, this winter is all about bold colours, big stripes and animal prints, if the Fall/Winter showcases across the world are to be believed. Designers are telling you to beat the gloom, ditch the blacks and grey and play with colour instead - block it, layer it, splash it.
"For women, the season is about loud and dramatic silhouettes with animal prints, while for menswear its making a return to tailored items, 1960s style", says Delhi-based stylist Rin Jajo.
Colour blocking, which was big a couple seasons ago, is making a comeback as part of a larger turn towards the 1970s and 80s for inspiration. Autumn/Winter collections by labels and designers like Burberry Prorsum, Alberta Ferretti showcase a lot of mod cuts in bold colours. Back home, designers like Kallol Datta and Rajesh Pratap Singh are experimenting with 60s style cuts and bold lines and colours as well.
"One absolute must-have this winter is a trench-coat," says stylist and bogger Sonu Bohra of Fashion Bombay. "It's the perfect 1950s noir-ish thing to tone down all the bright colours. Another huge trend is the oversized knittes sweater," she adds.
One of the most effective ways to pull off bright colours this winter is by layering your jeans and a sweater - an absolute necessity this season - with a bright coat or jacket, paired with neutral accessories. Or if you're a little adventurous, another pop of colour in the shoes or hat, which are a sure way to funk yourself up this coming winter.
When it comes to being retro, one thing you cannot forget is the flared jeans. Taking a cue from the 70s, this season is all about ditching the skinny jeans. Butched up pants - linen, chino-style or even wide legged - are a must have for a winter wardrobe. Pull the denim off, boot-leg style and pair it with a tucked in check shirt, and workman boots or oxfords.
While this summer saw raised hemlines, winter brings to you the maxi skirt making an appearance on runways across the world for Ralph Lauren, Jill Sander, Lanvin and Marc Jacobs among others. At home, the maxi skirt was spotted in the Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Drashta and Swapnil Shinde collections.
To go androgynous this season, experiment with cuts and flares by wearing straight, wide-legged pants, boyfriend jackets and daddy's shirts. Take a cue from Abrahim & Thakore's Winter/Festive 2011 collection and team a saree with an over-sized shirt and replace that maxi skirt with a mundu.
Whichever look works for you, remember that this winter is all about beating down the greys and raiding your mother's closet from when she was your age. After all, it's never too early to start preparing your wardrobe for the next season.