The London Fashion Week held in September earlier this year saw the runway showcasing casual chic that can be worn as everyday street wear and India has followed this trend as well.
The Wills India Fashion Week that took place in New Delhi recently to showcase Indian Designers collections for Spring/ Summer 2015 also showcased casual chic collections. Designers like Pankaj and Nidhi, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Nachiket Barve and Payal Singhal have used modern design sensibilities, indigenous fabrics and focused on smart silhouettes to offer a casual and contemporary approach to dressing.
The aim of their collections was to be aesthetically appealing instead of being inaccessible. The use of a subtle colour palette, lack of sparkling embellishments and basic hair and make-up indicated quiet and solid glamour.
Rajesh Pratap Singh who is known for his minimalistic designs showcased his ‘Blue Blood’ collection, using natural indigo and khadi denim styled with everyday jumpsuits and leather shoes. His line for men and women boasted elegant simplicity and everyday casual fashion.
Pankaj and Nidhi are known to balance mainstream fashion with artistic appeal. They showcased their collection called ‘Vintage Closet’ that used silk with threadwork to express the beauty of lace in the form of jackets and cape dresses.
Designer Sanchita Ajjampur who is based in India and Europe showcased her collection named ‘Modern Nomad’ that blends sportswear with contemporary casual. Models were also seen wearing striking white sneakers on the runway!
Payal Singhal as well was inspired by Kashmir’s Gulmarg valley and uses monochrome colours of black and stone in chanderi, tulle, organza and silk.
This smart casual wear by designers uses detailed work with modern design and international fabrics as well. It its more subtle but nonetheless as attractive and appealing.
Nachiket Barve mentions that he would select a material like jute over working with any shiny and bright chrome. He also finds the idea of handmade clothing as opposed to machine made and raw as opposed to polished fabrics exciting and says that one his coats made out of jute from his collection had embroidery that took over 300 hours to make!
Despite excess and luxury clothing dominating Indian couture, this smart casual wear is another option for buyers. Pankaj and Nidhi point out that when they design their collections they also keep a global clientele in mind and add that Indian consumers have also changed their expectations and appreciate these casual styles.
Owner of multi-designer store Elahe, Smita Shroff states that Indians are adopting this minimalistic style as well and she has noticed a change in consumer preferences since the time she founded her store 15 years ago.
Thus the demand for intricately made casual Indian wear is definitely making its way into fashion in India!