For the global Indian

For the global Indian

It was definitely Sarah Jessica Parker aka Carrie Bradshaw, who brought the high end fashion labels from the fifth avenue – Manhattan to the Indian drawing rooms. You wowed and ahhed when she would wear those amazingly sexy stilettos from Jimmy Choo, the Gucci bags and you saw top labels like Chanel, Versace,

A few months ago, global Spring Summer trends were announced for 2016, and fashion designers had their models sashaying in the colours of the season in the top fashion weeks, and lo and behold you had the trends trickling down to the street fashion of India. In retrospective – how much of it makes sense to India? We find out.

It was definitely Sarah Jessica Parker aka Carrie Bradshaw, who brought the high end fashion labels from the fifth avenue – Manhattan to the Indian drawing rooms. You wowed and ahhed when she would wear those amazingly sexy stilettos from Jimmy Choo, the Gucci bags and you saw top labels like Chanel, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada move from the top fashion magazines into the popular imagination of fashion conscious youngsters.

Every time a seasonal collection launches in the fashion streets of Paris, you heard the echoes of the trends in the urbane homes, and especially, with the multinational retail brands following the trends and launching their collection in the sub-continent, albeit with Indian sensibilities – it made more sense to be in the know of international fashion trends. What with the likes of the Bollywood divas (who are also our own super models) jumping on to the bandwagon in lieu with global trends – fashion couldn’t have made more sense in India.

When the Spring Summer trends made headlines trickling down from international runways into the fashion blogs and articles – you knew this season was all about exposed shoulders, a little bit of drama enhanced by the bold red hues, glitter and sparkle, a lot of net and mesh, tiny pleats, paper bag waist if you can handle it and X necklines, fringe, frills and stripes. Some of the trends like sheer and the colour orange (which is said to be the season’s black) are spill over from the last season.

In addition, washed out neutrals and white too have made an appearance on the ramps. And don’t be surprised that the new collection you found at your favourite stores stocking up a lot of lace and mesh – they are only following international trends of Spring Summer 2016 collection.

However, it is not necessary that the Indian fashion scene follow the international trends to T. The top Indian designers, if they agree on something – it is that – even as one can see flashes of trending global fashion during the Indian fashion weeks, there is so much more to Indian trends. Foremost of them is that Indian designer wear is a lot more focused on weddings.

So much so that young designers like Payal Singhal who does some amazing ready-to-wear is showcasing her wedding collection (for a resort destination and hence with a contemporary touch) at the Lakme Fashion Week slated to happen towards the end of March.

“I shall be recreating the regal style of the Maharajas in Indian fabrics and that means traditional jewellery too and I will be giving it a contemporary touch and this is where you may see traces of international trends. It has always been this way in India. For example, when the high-waisted skirts came into vogue, the lehengas and ghagras adopted it and you had the blouse following the trend of the cropped top.

In my present collection I have used luminous shades as is the theme at Lakme…a lot of organza and sheer and shimmered it with basic zardosi, a bit of gota and handmade brocade etc,” shares Payal. “Unlike my preference for the muted colours and black, this time I go by the trend and have navy blue, pomegranate, current pink etc,” she adds.

Even though the world is going anti-fit and Payal too has been a propagator of it – this time it is more about tight-fitted silhouettes, she shares. However, that doesn’t discount prêt that she expects many designers would showcase – a lot of summer cottons and resort wear.

More and more Indian designers are trying to include Indian handlooms into their collection and that automatically excludes the option of following global seasonal trends. Paromita usually does ready to wear and uses handlooms and hence has to order for fabrics over eight months in advance. “I have two stories running into my collection this season. One is the colour blocks woven into the yardage on the loom in tans, neutrals and beige. And another is the Indigo, which according to me is the best Indian colour.

We have expanded the indigo vocabulary by adding dhakai Jamdhani work. We have also used block prints on mulmul, which too is a rare technique,” she shares her theme for the Lakme Fashion Week. She works with contemporary silhouettes and says, “Trend or no trend, anti-fit works well for different body structures and classic designs are something you can wear throughout the year, which is what I prefer. I don’t follow trends at all. My collection opposes the fast fashion.”

In fact these are the times when the world is looking at India for inspiration shares, Shilpa Reddy, a Hyderabad-based designer. Her collection includes formal and bridal wear - there is clothing for all kinds of events that prelude and follow the actual wedding, Indo –western is the overall theme; she has jackets paired with sarees and sarees over chudidar etc, “India is one of the very few countries that does not strictly follow global trends,” she says. “Out of my 10 designs, three may have splashes from international fashion scene. But, it is more about the sensibilities of my clientele that I understand well and cater to them,” she shares.

“Be it the palazzos that go back to the Nizams or the band gala that is so very Indian royal and has made its way on to the international ramps, the harem pants, colours like purple – there is a lot of exchange and India has been inspiring many top designers around the world,” she avers.

So the verdict is – we, in India, follow global fashion scene, yet with a lot of Indianness involved. While Spring Summer is as much about casual, ready-to-wear, summery clothing, it is also about the big fat weddings and whatever shimmer you expect from the seasonal trend – you shall get that and more in the wedding collections.

And the hot summers will be dealt with the cool Indian handlooms. The neutrals, the ever-favourite white, cotton, lace, light denims will all be there, with them the palazzos that we have so come to love since the last few seasons. Anti-fit? Bring it on…We love that one too. After all, we have mastered the art of making the best of both worlds.

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