The old Hindu tradition of covering the head with a dupatta promises to be back in vogue. As a chic replacement of the ghunghat, Indian fashion designers have included ample hoods and cowl necks in their autumn-winter collections.
"Cowls and hoods are replacements of 'dupattas' and 'ghunghats' that Indian women wear on their heads," Sucheta V Merh said.
A ghunghat is one end of the sari or simply a stole that has traditionally been used by married Indian women to cover their heads or even faces. <b1>
"Keeping in mind the style and design factor I have very interestingly used the cowl at the back of the sari to give it a Western trait. Cowls not only enhance the beauty of the Asian figure but also give a gown look to the sari".
"I am sure they are going to be a huge hit in the coming winter season," she added. Merh showcased her collection at the recently concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) here.
Her line had flowing capes, cowls at the back of a sari, floating panels in jackets, layered frills and lace effects used to adorn the clothes, which included skirts, saris, brocade dresses, angarakha kurtas and churidars.
Apart from her, renowned designers Rina Dhaka, Ashish N. Soni, Rajesh Pratap Singh and label Fightercock by designer duo Abhishek Gupta and Nandita Basu have also crafted cowls and hoods for their lines.
"I have included woollen cowls in my autumn-winter collection and they would be in fashion during the season," said Rina Dhaka.
Dhaka created a medley of outfits ranging from traditional saris to long gossamer tube tops, kurtas, kaftan tops teamed with straight-fit jeans or slacks and short woollen jackets with capes or cowls replacing dupattas and scarves.
Soni's collection offered textured dresses, coats with cowls on the back, satin trousers, self-checked dresses with pocket detailing, double and single breasted jackets teamed with trousers, navy T-shirts, draped tops, ski jackets and faux fur coats matched with leggings.
Rajesh Pratap Singh's line consisted of dresses with hoods, resembling the dupatta or ghunghats. There were deep cowl necked tops that looked like stoles as well as long leather coats teamed with slacks and slim fit trousers to give an ultra-chic look.
Singh had displayed the same collection at the Paris Fashion Week and earned accolades.
The label 'Fightercock' by designer duo Abhishek Gupta and Nandita Basu had loosely fitted funnel neck blouses teamed with slacks and jeans for men and women. There were capris, trousers, jackets and asymmetrical dresses having hoods.
Commenting on the functionality factor of hoods, Neeraj Chauhan of the label Azara, said: "Apart from just being a tradition, dupattas prevented the person from heat, dust and cold, and hoods would serve the same purpose."