Every year this time, the air has a nip and the surroundings a distant feel of warmth. It is that time when it dawns on to me that another year has gone by and we are already in this month of festivity, holidays and celebrations. This is the time when the whole country is awash with celebrations... from Durga Puja and Navratri to Dussera and Deepawali heading into Christmas.
Happiness is in the air and I have a feeling this happiness quotient seeps through the clothes we sport. In my profession, we dive head long into this sudden frenzy and quick-fixing of "what to wear". I call it the inevitable clothes-rush and I have figured it is directly proportional to the number of listings popping up on our planners.
Indians are brought up on colour. It is ingrained into our systems. The clothes we wear, the food we eat, the traditional crafts and the various forms of art we see around us are all so energetic and alive with shades. A justified example would require the thoughts to envisage the barren lands of Ladakh, the pine scented breeze of the East and the sand dunes of Rajasthan. The brilliantly hued clothes the local gentry of these areas wear, catapults the visual image we conjure up in our minds about these terrains, into a colourful, rich and lively one in an instant.
India has a rich culture and an enormous history of costumes. We have a blend of outfits, and thus a vast selection. Men and women can choose from an array of ensembles and during the celebrations, it is even more fun experimenting with different looks. From the traditional wear to the crispy and glamorous; from the classics to the contemporary; from the saris and kurta-pyjamas for men to fusion for both, the range is amazing.
One can experiment with the fabric varieties and get away with a lot of new breed of blends. Some fabrics are loud and are able to carry on without the addition of any surface texture and are preferred in very subtle styling. Some are mute and require value addition. Silks and heavier weight fabrics can be carried off with aplomb. Light weight outerwear additions are a possibility. They look pretty and bring on a stylish touch. The trend this season is a mix of textures and subtle solids. Bold prints are very strong and make a tough statement. Beautiful blends are in and here to stay.
When "dressing-up" calls, we think of a sure-shot successful way and colour is definitely a winner. Festive times demand cheerful colours, and the choices range from warm to the easy cool ones, from the vibrant to the calm tones and the emphasis this season lies in the warm tints of gold. The secret behind adopting a style is to follow fashion trends closely. The silhouettes, colours, fabrics and design details tend to follow a definite path each season and it is easy to track them. The fine points when correctly incorporated in garments and related accessories give out the best visual effect.
Wispy long delicate silhouettes and snug gladiator fits for women are the forms to swoon over this time. These are able to merge beautifully with the Indian traditional wear. The maxi look is here and is visible in the long kurtas. Embroideries enhance the ensemble and crystal bling and swarovski work remarkably.
For women who prefer to flaunt the classic sari, tiny embroidered blouses work best. Small details like a sleeve variation, placement of the closure, the neckline detail and the work, all combine to give the best result. Emphasis can be given with stunning encrusted jewellery clasps at the back or on the shoulder of the blouse. The ones who swear by an Indian salwar or a churi set, can have variation in pyjamas and the kurtas. The trend is turning towards the closer-to-the-body, away the voluminous overdone kalidar. A good option is the "bias". Emphasis still prevails and embellishment can be added in classic areas around the neck and sleeves or at more experimental parts like the back or the seam lines. Mix and match of fabrics also works awesomely.
Men have the choice of perking up the traditional wear with minute changes and additions. A dhoti instead of the classic pyjama makes the outfit more flamboyant. The more enthusiastic men could work on the different drapes of the dhoti. Experimenting with the kurtas in the cut and small details like the length, the opening, the value addition and colour work together to get the best result. Dishy pants and out-of-the-box shirts with tasteful embroideries are a rage. The biggest change however in men's clothing is the introduction of this fantastic colour palette which has revolutionised the whole concept of men's wear.
Getting back to where we started, the festivities are here and how. Dress up your best and enjoy the celebrations.
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