It’s that time of year when the social calendar is completely filled (at least for the lucky ones) with dinners and open house parties. For the fashion conscious, this is also the time to upgrade their wardrobes. We asked three designers, Ramesh Dembla, Nimirta Lalwani and Rahul Mishra, to suggest ensembles that give tradition an interesting twist.
Mishra, who is passionate about organic fabrics and incorporates the work of Indian craftspeople in clothes with western silhouettes, defines the look for this Diwali thus, “Considering that Diwali is a festival of lights as opposed to a festival of colours, it is best to keep your attire subtle yet grand. I would recommend light colours, organic handmade fabrics and simple cuts.
A lovely angarkha dress in handmade fabric, like the fabric from Kerala, can be paired with trousers or chudidar. I would even recommend a rich Benarasi sherwani- styled kurta for women as Diwali is about fitted clothes, considering it is the beginning of winter. Men can wear a comfortable kurta-pyjama in organic fabrics or even a Lucknowi achkan with chikankari work on it if they can carry it off well. White, beige and off white are good colours for men. Try organic and handmade jewellery this time instead of chunky gold jewellery. Moradabad jewellery is nice. For men, I would recommend colourful stoles and bandhni scarves instead of jewellery. Handmade mojaris can be worn to enhance the outfit.”
Nimirta Lalwani, whose creations have been spotted recently on celebrities including Deepika Padukone, says: “Don’t even consider the same old kurtas and chudidars. Bling is not happening. This season deep and rich colours are making their appearance, like navy blues and chocolate browns. Pleated, draped tunics are nice for women when paired with leggings. Woollen stockings and leggings will also do. For the men, I particularly like the jersey kurta embellished with embroidery. Pair it up with jeans or chudidars. Add a stole to jazz up the outfit.”
Bangalore-based designer Ramesh Dembla suggests short Anarkali kurtas teamed with transparent chudidars for girls. “A fitted sari with a short grand pallu is also great,” he says. Jewellery must include diamonds and kundan sets.
High street fashion can make you look just as good as designer togs would. This is what the designers have to say:
Rahul Mishra: Ethnic brands like Anokhi and Fab India have a nice range of clothes that do not bust your budget. For Rs 2,500 you can get a complete ensemble. I recommend handcrafted cottons, silks and well-made khadi for both men and women. For the men there are shirts and kurtas that can be paired with jeans or trousers.
Nimirta Lalwani: I have seen excellent ensembles for Rs 2,000 and less in Janpath, Delhi. Girls can wear a richly embroidered choli and pair it with a plain chiffon or brocade sari. Men can find lovely sherwanis and team them up with leather kolhapuris to complete the ensemble.
Ramesh Dembla: I feel that high street fashion is about comfortable, casual clothes like long tops and kurtas with tights for women and casual shirts with denims for the men, both of which would not be suitable for Diwali!