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Crimson is your go-to colour if you want to sizzle this season

The country’s top couturiers tell you how to work this trend into your wardrobe and make-up kit too!

brunch Updated: Jan 08, 2017 12:26 IST
Lubna Salim
Lubna Salim
Hindustan Times
crimson,Shantanu & Nikhil,Namrata Joshipura
Crimson is colour of choice in silhouettes ranging from jackets to gowns and capes this season

Remember Hollywood hottie Dakota Johnson rocking the red carpet in a cool crimson grown at the BAFTA Film Awards? And Priyanka Chopra’s iconic twirl at the Emmy Awards in that crimson number, an image that went viral on social media?

Whether Dakota’s dapper Dior number or PeeCee’s jaw-dropping Jason Wu gown, it was made very clear that the colour crimson is all the rage this season. Homegrown designers are also cashing in on this trend, and have put together stunning ensembles, from beauteous bridal- and occasion-wear to glam gowns and chic jackets. So as the mercury dips, head for crimson, the hottest red.

Festive favourite

Niki Mahajan

Niki Mahajan has creatively paired crimson with ivory in her dressy creations

Passionate crimson plays protagonist in couturier Niki Mahajan’s bridal- and occasion-wear line, creatively clubbed with ivory. “We’ve come up with something called a nirari, in which crimson slips have been attached to ivory-hued gherdar bottoms. Then there are shirt anarkalis with ivory embroidery and I’ve also paired lehengas with peplum tops instead of blouses and cholis,” says Mahajan.

Since the collection was crafted keeping in mind the new-age bride who is willing to experiment and opts for a destination or day wedding, the fabrics are light and airy. Mahajan’s crimson creations come in silks, chanderis, net and cotton silk, and are detailed with French lace, chikankari and badla embroidery, as well as with fine zardozi work.

“These also work well for those attending a daytime sangeet, a cocktail party or even a traditional lunch,” adds Mahajan. She’s accessorised this look with pearl matha pattis and advises her clients to go for silver jewellery. To complete the look, the designer recommends pale make-up (read: light contouring, white eyeliner with a crimson pout) and hair tied into a messy bun.

A modern makeover

Shantanu & Nikhil

Intricate thread work and drapes set Shantanu & Nikhil’s creations apart

Designers Shantanu and Nikhil swear by the versatility of this hue and are working this trend to conjure crimson gowns, drapes and layered skirts. Their purpose is to modernise the colour, which is integral to traditionaland occasion wear, by using it to fashion Western silhouettes. “Crimson is a beautiful, rich colour that relates to India traditionally, complements the Indian skin tone, and works well with silhouettes ranging from bridal to evening wear,” says Nikhil Mehra. “Attaining the right shade of crimson is quite a task. Also, European influences play a crucial part in our design philosophy and set our crimson creations apart.”

S&N drape gowns come embellished with tone-on-tone textures with very intricate thread work. “Fabric that meets our design philosophy must be drape-able and have a nice structural fall, which is why organza and silk net work well for us,” says Mehra.

Bold and beautiful

Namrata Joshipura

Designer Namrata Joshipura’s love for crimson is visible in her signature jumpsuits

Designer Namrata Joshipura has employed crimson to craft her signature jumpsuits. These chic creations come with flared, ruffled sleeves and a feminine sheer panel on the neckline, and are enhanced by edging in silver-grey beads. “This is a style I personally relate to and it is sensual without being overly sexy,” explains Joshipura.

She’s also worked this trend into another crimson ensemble in which a cape (a popular silhouette this season) is layered on a floor-length gown, embellished with intricately-embroidered flowers. Another outfit is an asymmetrical crimson top with sequined flowers, paired with long black shorts.

“My fall collection, Concrete Garden, is inspired by the vibe and energy that New York City (NYC) exudes. So when I had to select a hue that reflects NYC in its element, it was crimson that really stood out for me,” says Joshipura, who used quirky accents like spiked earphones and embellished baseball caps to add an urban edge to her otherwise formal ensembles.

As for the make-up, says Joshipura, “Those who are willing to experiment can wear a matching lip colour and go for light eye make-up, or else opt for dark eyes and keep the lips nude.”

Jacket jamboree

Hemant & Nandita

Crimson makes a stunning appearance with gold detailing in Hemant and Nandita’s jackets

Crimson jackets in different styles stand out in the fall collection of designer duo Hemant and Nandita. They’ve layered these jackets atop peplum tops, blouses and skirts in their line.

“There’s a bomber jacket worn over a pleated dress and another look entails a long jacket worn over a peplum top and a knee-length skirt,” explains Nandita. “While the short bomber is ideal for a casual lunch, the long one works for a night out.”

These jackets are detailed with gold embroidery and crystals. “Red and gold is a statement combination that symbolises luxury and is one festive classic you can’t go wrong with. Jacquard, tweed and lurex are our favourite fabrics as they look rich and are warm to wear,” adds Nandita.

Since crimson is a strong colour, they suggest minimal make-up. “Highlight one major feature and pick a statement jacket, shoes or a bag to accessorise,” Nandita says.

An eclectic mix

Kiran Uttam Ghosh

Kiran Uttam Ghosh’s layered crimson ensembles feature fine machine embroidery which is overlayered with dainty hand embroidery

Kolkata-based couturier Kiran Uttam Ghosh is so obsessed with crimson that 90 per cent of her wardrobe is in this shade!

Her fall line is replete with layered ensembles like a deep red kimono wrap teamed with crimson dhakai dhoti pants. She’s also paired a crimson and silver grey ikkat kaftan with berry-toned trousers.

She’s partial to fabrics like handwoven silks and also loves dhakais. Ghosh’s ensembles start with machine embroidery and then are over-layered with dainty hand embroidery.

Keep it classy

Ritu Kumar

Veteran designer Ritu Kumar’s long crimson kurta can be teamed with varied bottoms for conjuring different looks

Crimson’s been employed by Ritu Kumar in sleek and streamlined silhouettes that can be paired with other pieces for a chic and festive look. “Crimson personifies festivity and adds a warm glow to an outfit,” says Kumar. She has created a crimson-hued long kurta in silk taffeta. “This is semi-fitted and looks good on varied body types,” adds Kumar. It can be teamed with a gold skirt or black cigarette pants. For a statement piece, check out Kumar’s long crimson A-line cotton kurta with pintuck detailing. It can be played up with a skirt and a scarf.

Fabric-wise, the designer has opted for mostly silks and taffetas. As for the make-up, Kumar recommends gold eye make-up and crimson lipstick.

From HT Brunch, January 8, 2017

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First Published: Jan 07, 2017 19:05 IST