Return of the retro

Return of the retro
Fashion is a cycle — patterns, designs, prints, textures and cuts have their highs and lows (literally and figuratively). When one trend fades, another one pops up to replace it. High-waisted pants is one such clothing item that saw a boom in the ‘40s and stayed in fashion for a long time before its disappearance. And now, it’s making a reappearance but with a few modifications.

Examining this evolution, fashion designers and experts share their thoughts on the vintage trend. Manoviraj Khosla, a well-known name in the fashion industry, says that although high-waists are coming back, it’s mostly restricted to women. “When the cut for men’s high-waisted trousers changes, it’ll come back in vogue. You can’t have a slim-fit cut for men, the pants must have looser silhouettes. Like any trend, I’m sure this will come back too but it won’t happen overnight,” he explains. Harpreet Narula, another designer, adds that women are more accepting of vintage trends. “Women pay more attention to how flattering a clothing item looks on them.”

High-waisted pants are known for their ability to accentuate a person’s figure, be it their waist, hips or legs. Harpreet says that they suit any kind of body figure. “The hour-glass shape is ideal for any kind of clothing, but high-waists also suit peach-shaped bodies and lean figures. They define the hips so if a person is bottom heavy, dark colours will look best as they slim down the appearance of the hips.”

Deepika Govind, a City-based designer, mentions that she has always been a fan of high-waists, but makes the distinction between high-end cuts and those used on a daily basis. “High-waists emphasise the waist and that makes them my preferred style of trousers. When it comes to low-waist trousers, they tend to slip off the waist because Indians are known for their hour-glass body types. Low-waists are better for those with a straight figure. If used as casuals, high-waists won’t look great, especially if they have elastic bands; they have to be tailored right. If made well, they’ll make your legs look longer and you, elegant.”

But there are some who think that high-waists won’t suit everyone. Manoviraj says that high-waists won’t look good on a bottom heavy person because they highlight every part of the body. “They are best for lean and hour-glass shaped bodies, those with slim bodies and rounded butts. If you have large hips, high-waisted trousers won’t look good. And if worn right, they can make a person look sexy and attractive.”

Although this is an encore performance, there have been some changes over the years. “Now, there’s more emphasis on tribal and ethnic prints. And bold colours and layering is in vogue. The technology used to make these pants is also different,” says Harpreet. But it boils down to a retrospective of the vintage.

Deepika adds that colours like black, beige, white, dark blue and burgundy are ‘in’, while materials like silks, linens and cottons are popular. “If you have colours like washed down yellow or tangerine, you can’t wear them throughout the year. They are more seasonal.” And she says that geometrical shapes are in fashion now. Even the bands and construction of the trousers have changed. “This helps the outfit look more dramatic,” she adds. So, from Coco Chanel’s high-waists to what it is today, they have made a dramatic change, but have remained same in essence.  

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