Durga Puja, which starts on October 5, has always been more than a religious and cultural festival for the citizens of Kolkata. It is a festival of bright lights, colours, gaiety and a time when the city puts its best foot forward - and this year is no exception as Kolkata decks up and gets ready to make a style statement.
It has become a custom to wear new clothes on Durga Puja. Initially it was symbolic, but now it means something more. It's now perceived as the perfect time to make a style statement.
The rush at the malls and clothing shops is proof of the fact that citizens of Kolkata are on the hunt for the perfect dress for the occasion.
"The trend this year for both men and women is a fusion of filmy and non-filmy dresses," city-cased fashion designer Pali Sachdeva told IANS.
"For example men are going for similar waist coats as are worn by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan in the television game show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hai. As for young women, they are more inclined to bright-coloured tisuue chiffons as worn by actor Katrina Kaif in her recent films like Singh Is Kinng, but matching them with unusual matt-finish blouses," Sachdeva said.
Sachdeva's designs under the label of 'Monapali' are sold not only in India but also in the US, Italy and Australia. "Scarves are the latest fashion statement this Puja," Sachdeva said.
"It's very important to have a scarf to go with women's western wear this Puja. The best pick is the pastel-coloured ones that go with any colour. You can also grab a designer scarf that will add panache to even a simple dress," she said.
The designer added that black and white colours are no longer the "in thing". "Both men and women should pick bright colours this year. And one must have a good pair of shoes or else all efforts and attire will be wasted. For girls, high heels are no longer in fashion. Boys can experiment with shoe colours," Sachdeva said.
Designer Sharbari Dutta said the trend this puja is "to take risks and go experimental".
"Designer kurtas always have a stable marrimental this year. For example, the demand for two-pierce kurtas - a fusion of kurta and sherwani - has become a 'hot pick' this time. As for cket, which is no exception this Puja. But men are more inclined to go expeolours, solid colours are being preferred more," Dutta said.
The fashion hunt has started in kids wear too. While girls are going for bright ethnic clothes, for boys it's the cargo look.
"Embroidered lehenga-choli and frock-cut salwar suits are the in thing for little girls while the fashion for boys is all about faded, shaded and narrow fit denim with matt-finished printed or check shirts," said Mohammad Akbar, a readymade garment wholeseller at New Market, one of the popular shopping destinations in Kolkata.
Besides, harem trousers, Anarkali frock salwars, long gowns similar to those worn by actor Deepika Padukone in Om Shanti Om and strapped dangi sets are also selling like hot cakes.