Onesies, pant suits, capes: See Indian wear’s summery makeover
Indian prints and silhouettes are colliding with elements of Western wear in cool cottons this summer. New silhouettes include the kurta onesie, the ethnic pant suit and the caped kurta dress. There are also Kalamkari wedge heel shoes, formal shirts in Ajrakh prints, palazzos covered in Batik.
Ethnic prints in Indo-Western silhouettes is a bit of a pendulum trend, says Ritupriya Basu, stylist with design brand Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop. “Trending mainly in the summers and monsoons, then fading a bit and eventually making a comeback in different avatars the following summer.”
Because our summers are so hot and so long, we have always had interesting silhouettes emerge during this season, fashion designer Nachiket Barve adds. “People need constant change too, and that’s one reason we’re seeing these silhouettes, and seeing traditional prints bring their vibrancy to cotton, muslin and linen fabrics.”
Look closely and you’ll see elements of Central Asia too, in the Uzbeki Ikat and Kazakh patterns on some of this summer’s ethnic wear, in addition to Indian prints, says Anuradha Kumra, chief of product at FabIndia.
“Fashion follows a cyclic pattern and while the Central Asian prints and Indian prints are trending globally, Afro textile designs are slowly gaining popularity too. Before we know, they might be trending in the next two-three years,” she adds.
Here’s a look at our top fusion trends of the season.
The kurta onesie: It’s a kurta that extends into a slim-fit but flowing jumpsuit in light cotton or muslin. These onesies are often styled in solid colours, to be paired with printed capes.
The ethnic pant suit: Think kurti and capris, but more formal. The corporate pant suit has got a desi makeover with a button-down kurta that ends around the hips, paired with narrow pants bearing the same print.
Caped kurta dress: A midi in Ajrakh or kalamkari prints with attached shrug, this looks like a kurta at first glance but is more summer-appropriate. For that extra desi semi-formal look, pair with a hand-block-printed cape.
The kalamkari jacket: These are light cotton coats that look like collared tunics but extend to thigh level, and are bright with traditional kalamkari prints. Best when paired with shirt dresses; can be used as light autumn-winter wear too.
Printed footwear: There are collections of kalamkari and Ajrakh shoes too, boots, Oxfords, wedge-heel shoes and mules covered in ethnic patterns.