Rich colours and opulent fabrics are ruling the roost this festive season, says Susmita Saha. It’s festival time girls! So don’t be a fashion victim when everyone around you is going that extra mile to tog up for an end-of-the-year celebration marathon. Besides the Diwali and Christmas jazz, the fashionista also has the flashy December 31, New Year’s Eve to contend with.
Says Nikhil Mehra of designer duo Shantanu & Nikhil: “The festive season’s always a critical phase for a designer and almost 70 per cent of sales happen in the last three months of the year.” Indeed, it’s action time for the designer brigade that’s stepping on the gas to unveil their festive collections.
The celebratory look book goes something like this: “Auspicious occasions demand that severe hues like black, brown and grey are given a complete miss,” says designer Mona Lamba of the MonaPali label. So, staying true to the festive spirit, the duo has been partial to rich tones of burgundy, royal blue and maroon. “You can’t go Western with a slew of Indian festivals forming the backdrop of your collection. The best way forward is the fusion route,” adds Lamba. The duo has long jackets teamed with churidars as well as elaborate anarkali kameezes in their repertoire.
Designer Payal Singhal admits that the festival customer profile is quite unique: “She’s a woman between 20 and 40 who likes to flaunt international design trends on Indian attire.” The Shantanu & Nikhil signature too has an extensive festive line. So, choose from a bouquet of gown-inspired lehngas which fly off the shelves in the year-end party circus.
But the lehngas come in unorthodox colours such as aqua blue and baby pink with modern detailing like flounces, pleating, gathering and fluting. The silhouettes are characterised with lots of volume at the base that’s twisted and turned by hand so as to give it a unique shape. “There’s a distinct Western undertone to the festive line,” says Nikhil.
According to Pallavi Das from the design team of Satya Paul, the signature label has an interesting line-up of silhouettes apart from their iconic saris to woo discerning clients. There are tunics, sherwanis for women, flirty dresses and of course lehngas for winter weddings. Das concedes that the sales figures go up by several notches post-October. The fabrics for the festive lines are opulent in appearance and texture including anything from satin, shot silk and georgette jacquard tonet.
Other designers toeing the festive line include Payal Singhal, whose winter/festive line 2010 titled Decadence was a tribute to the eventful 10 years that she’s been in the fashion business. Singhal plays with silhouettes like short kalidar kurtas, one-shouldered kaftans and short Pakistani kurtas while her creative canvas are fabrics like crepes, georgettes, tulle and satin. To spice things up, Singhal uses multi-coloured crystals, zardosi and gota embroidery and taar-work (metal thread) that lends a sparkly look to her designs.
If Singhal’s creations are exotic, young couturier Masaba takes the edgy route. She maintains that festive fashions needn’t be in-your-face extravagant. “Festive garments are changing. Designers are coming up with interesting themes and getting rid of unnecessary bling,” says Masaba. Her avant garde creations like backless anarkalis, plea-ted net saris paired with embroidered bodysuits, crushed lehngas with long kurtas and embroidered draped dresses are aimed at the “intelligent woman who enjoys the unconventional.’’
A post graduate of the National Institute of Design (NID), Nachiket Barve too has festive ensembles for daywear and glamourous evenings. To crank up the heat at those high octane Diwali card parties, Barve has stylish silhouettes like silk jacket dresses, chiffon layered dresses and silk blouses in his collection. “The collection’s a fresh take on Indian-wear and a funky spin on what’s considered traditional,” says Barve. Detailing is Barve’s forte. He’s indulged himself in his festive line with techniques like dip-dyeing, graphic bullion embroidery as well as appliqué and fine beading.
Truly, it’s the time to play dress up. And with couturiers all set to spoil you silly, how can you possibly not look fabulous while making merry at the turn of the year?