Simply Kolkata decodes the hottest fashion and accessories trends in the city.

first_imgBack to weaves handloomMeghna Nayak, fashion designer, wearing her label LataSita.If you are in Kolkata during the Durga Puja, it seems unthinkable, impossible even to celebrate those days without turning to traditional and ethnic wear. And while there maybe a plethora of cuts, styles and fabrics to choose from, you can never go wrong with a handloom weave-a classic choice that can be repeated year after year. Popular social media movements like the “I wear handloom” campaign started by Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani on National Textile Day, or the ‘100sareepact’-a movement started on Facebook-are making the humble nine yard drape a runway favourite now.”I think the very thought of having direct access to, or wearing your heritage, your roots and your tradition on your skin that makes the idea of wearing handlooms so great,” says Meghna Nayak, 31, designer and founder of sustainable fashion label LataSita. If you find wearing a sari or for that matter any kind of unstitched handloom cloth too cumbersome to drape, then there are plenty of other ways of wearing it too.Nayak has taken a simple red bordered tangail sari, a mainstay on Durga Puja days for mothers and grandmothers, and turned it in to a strapless dress. “Even youngsters who do wear a sari perhaps wouldn’t turn to such a simple basic weave. It’s such a pleasure to get an 18-yearold, who would never wear a sari, show interest in this skirt, and now they are quite literally wearing a bit of Bengal,” says Nayak. At a statement minimalist wardrobeIn this festive season of shopping frenzy, a movement is slowly making brand toting fashionistas veer towards minimalism and focus on classics. Inspired by the supposedly French concept of a ten-piece wardrobe, the idea is steadily gaining ground in the city. Its details are in its simplicity.Instead of just amassing clothing and accessories, one should have a wardrobe of a few key pieces which may be more expensive than an average high street brand, but serve as investment pieces. “I think it’s more practical to prize quality over quantity. It makes more sense to have a good pair of heels or a classic bag instead of hording many that won’t last long,” says Saachi Bhasin, 19, model and actor. It also helps create a clean no-fuss look. “I think a good pair of jeans, a classic solid shirt or top, a good watch, a nice bag and simple jewellery can work for everyone.And with a little imagination one could make it work for most occasions,” says Bhasin. Indian staples you could add to the list of statement pieces are a few sari blouses in basic colours like black, red gold, silver and beige, suggests PR entrepreneur and consultant, Supreeta Singh, 35.”Kalamkari fabric blouses and multi-coloured check blouses also make for great contrasts that you can wear with nearly anything and would help maximise even a modest collection of saris,” says Singh. For a formal and corporate look, Singh suggests, “a couple of shirts, a few pairs of well-cut trousers and blazers, and a good watch could make for a smart office wardrobe, which works for any season”.Saachi Bhasin, model and actor, flaunts her favourite statement bags.Top five wardrobe staplesWell-cut Trousers BlazersStatement bags Designer watchesSari blouses in basic coloursModern Indian fusion wearKipling ay have predicted “never the twain shall meet”, but when it comes to our wardrobe, there is always a clash of traditional and contemporary. Crop tops aren’t just to be worn with western wear but as blouses for saris and dhoti pants that are currently in vogue can be teamed with fitted jackets. “One of my favourite pieces is this outfit by Abhishek Ray which can be worn as an anarkali as well as a gown.It all depends on how one wears it and how one styles it. It can work both ways,” says dancer Sreenanda Shankar. Another favourite of hers is an ivory and black asymmetric hemline, cotton voile kalidaar kurta. “It has a jamavar yoke and ombre dyed churi sleeves. This look was conceptualised to break the traditional norms of ethnic dressing and put in western elements in terms of styling with fishnet stockings, knee-high boots and chains in the ears. Yet the traditional nath and vermillion binditake us back to our roots.For me it was a powerful look which signifies the modern Indian woman who is deeply rooted in her culture, yet trendy, bold and experimental,” says Shankar. Fusion also makes ethnic wear more accessible for all body types.advertisementLadies who aren’t very comfortable sporting a fully Western silhouette, would find a tunic and palazzos flattering and yet modern. Women who are not quite inclined to wear a sari or battle a heavy dupatta while pandal hopping on Durga Puja, could easily wear an ethnic kurta as a tunic with white trainers for a hip new look. But it’s a look that can go wrong so wear it with care. “Fusion is a very common and happening word. My father Ananda Shankar, who was known for popularising fusion music across the world, used to tell me that if one doesn’t get it right then it can sound like cacophony. I think it’s the same with clothes,” says Shankar.Jewels of desire Offbeat JewelleryEina Ahluwalia, jewellery designer, wearing her own creation.Accessories are not just adornments anymore but conversation starters, feels fashion designer Sakshi Jhunjhunwala, 24. “I think people want to make a statement rather than just wearing the same old pieces. Which is why head gears and harnesses are huge hits right now,” says Jhunjhunwala.Polki, Meenakari, enamelled jewels have taken a backseat. What has replaced them, are quirky designs, experiments with various metal, wood as well as fabric. Kolkata’s fashionistas are no more sticking to the traditional bangles, rings and eleaborate neck pieces. Instead, earcuffs, bodychains, maangtikas in unconventional designs, waist chains, armlets and handcuffs are all the rage. Jewellery designer, Eina Ahluwalia, 41, too feels that there is a big shift towards the contemporary. Customers not just want to flaunt their jewellery, but understand the story behind it as well.With her new collection titled, Battlecry, Ahluwalia aims to show the transience of life. A recurring motif in the collections is that of the legendary creature-the Griffin. “The griffin’s body is shaped in a way that the hind is that of a lion and the head and wings are that of an eagle. It is a majestic combination of intelligence and strength.It is a symbol of divine power, known for guarding priceless possessions and treasures in the worlds beyond,” she explains Ahluwalia. Offbeat jewellery, like haathphools, maangtika and waist chains owe their current popularity to the fact that they aren’t as heavy as their older traditional avatars. The jewellery that was earlier restricted to weddings or formal functions is now being worn as an everyday essential.Ahluwalia also spots body positivity in this trend. “For women who have fuller figures, wearing a waist chain or a long necklace shows body confidence. It’s like a celebration of even our imperfections, which is wonderful,” she says, adding, “I had never made bodychains as part of my regular wear collection. Now I know people who just wear it through the day, eating sleeping and bathing in it”.Top jewellery trendsOffbeat lightweight jewelleryStatement pieces with a historyNew materials like wood and fabricTrending pickshaathphools, maangtika, waist chains, armlets, handcuffslast_img

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