A shoulder to bare

GO SLEEVELESS

A shoulder to bare

Baring your shoulders is the new oomph mantra in the fashion world, finds-out Homai Sagar.

This season, you might switch from silks to cotton, let your hemlines drop or rise, replace reds and blacks with pinks and whites or perhaps, try out stilettos instead of wedges. But on one count, all designers have a common advice to offer: show off a shoulder to your best advantage.

The bare shoulder is the current trend to sweep the fashion industry across India. So whatever you choose to wear – be it a blouse, a dress, shirt, halter, even a salwar-kameez or kurta – the shoulder’s got to be there and it’s got to be bare!

“I think the shoulder is the most flattering part of a woman’s body,” says Monisha Thakur, who has worked on an off-shoulder line for her latest collection. “By revealing the shoulder, you can be both revealing and not so revealing. It is not as obvious as the cleavage as it is more sensual than sexual.”

Another designer, Radhika Muttoo believes that baring the shoulder has been most under-exploited aspect dress designing for ages: “Shoulders have long been overlooked by fashion. When one wants to be sexy, the focus turns to the cleavage, a backless choli or maybe, a mini. But shoulder bones are the most sensuous part of the woman’s body. Besides, bare shoulders also mean minimum accessories because they are so elegant by themselves.”

In keeping with this newfound sense of understated sexuality, there’s Priyadarshini Joshi with her range of white cotton tops with interesting shoulder cuts. These vary from the highly popular right-to-left diagonal slash to the somewhat rare embroidered versions including a sprinkling of sequins.

Other designers are experimenting with still newer versions such as a stylised sleeveless look, shoulder-less sleeves, the classic bare-left-shoulder numbers and of course, those naughty spaghetti straps. In fact, every designer of repute is trying to find yet another innovative way of exposing the shoulder.

For instance, Supriya Sengupta’s accent is to celebrate “feminine charm” with sexy off-shoulder cotton tunics. “I have tried to remain as minimalist as possible, primarily to revive a sense of romance in women’s dressing,” she says about her tunics, which have become must-buys for the college crowd in Mumbai.

Malini Ramani’s kitschy collection also makes the most of the romanticism that rules designing concerns this season. There are usual spangled and beaded tops, besides a variety of floral halters, multi-coloured tie-ups and gypsy shoulder-less dresses.

Likewise, Sangita Singh Khaturia’s recent khadi collection has a bare-shouldered line meant for women in their twenties and thirties. In shades of purple and indigo, these constitute tops with cut off sleeves, gypsy blouses and off-shouldered shirts.  

There are also well-known designer stores like Gurlz, Westside, Globus, Omo and Oobe having huge stocks of shoulder-less tops, tie-ups, smocking blouses as well as fairy and butterfly sleeves in fabrics ranging from cotton knits and linen to chiffon, organza and jute.

“It is amazing how a frame of bones has become the new fashion statement this season,” observes Radhika Kishan, a boutique owner. “As the shoulder becomes the new erogenous zone, the focus has shifted from baring the legs for sex appeal.”
Radhika points out that most shoulder-less outfits are teamed with trousers, long skirts and even salwars, so as to keep the legs covered. “Or else, they take the shape of long dresses,” she explains.

“The best part of shoulder-less dresses is that it suits everybody, regardless of the body type,” says Radhika Kishan. “You don’t have to be broad-shouldered or particularly bony to carry off the dress in style. I have seen both plump and petite women looking unusually sexy while exposing their shoulders.”

But then, there’s one problem, should anybody be expecting that one size fits all. A shoulder-less outfit must be tailored to perfection, or else there could be embarrassing flaps and folds at the wrong places. This is a danger that no designer can eliminate from a pret-a-porter collection.

So be prepared for some basic alterations while buying a shoulder-less outfit this summer.

After all, why not bare the arms instead of the legs, if it is the oomph factor that has to be projected?

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