Can you smell it in the air, despite the monsoon rain showing off before bidding farewell till next year? Yes, the smell is that of autumn.
The season brings along some of the biggest festivals of the year: Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Diwali, Bhai Dooj and Christmas. And if autumn is here, can shopping be far behind? Festivals offer the perfect opportunity for you to dress up in style. The occasions are many too, from rituals to parties, and if going out of town for the holidays, you might purchase a lot of fancy outfits, depending on the destination.
Designer Shruti Sancheti has observed the general inclination of the Indian consumer who does not mind spending a little more during festivals. “India has nine months dedicated to weddings and festivals. Our country loves rejoicing at such times. From grandparents to the little ones in the family, everyone happily slips into their festive attire to celebrate. Even the non-resident Indians who pay their yearly visit to their homeland during this time go on binge shopping.”
However, designer Vineet Kataaria of the Vineet Rahul label feels that fashion cannot be confined to just festivities. “It’s a state of mind and one’s philosophy about life,” he says. “A clean grey Chanderi sari with a plain red blouse or a crop top makes an interesting statement for any occasion. Grey has suddenly become the new black and is a solemn yet classy colour. However, our country luckily has a varied palette of colours to choose from, keeping in mind different occasions,” observes Vineet.
With so many colours to choose from, it is of little surprise that festive wear is bright. “I can’t imagine Indians opting for an austerity-drive when it comes to jazzing up their wardrobes with colour,” Shruti adds. For instance, clothes crafted out of the tie-and-dye method with attractive gota work are worn by most north Indian communities, while motifs bearing the designs of lotus, mango and parrots among others are woven in radiant tints on apparels down south and in the western parts of the country for festivals.
Shruti also finds that clothes have rich traditional embroidery like zardozi, pitta, kasab and dori during big festivals. Designer Vivek Kumar says that festivals motivate everyone, from the swish lot from the cities to the more sober small towns, to refurbish their closets with an exciting makeover. “Glittery streaks and lively hues add a whiff of freshness to one’s life and surroundings. It’s a departure from the usual clothes,” says Vivek.
Additionally, you could also consider doing a mix-and-match festive attire this year. However, the only thing that you will have to be careful about is the accessories. “For example, a clutch can be a fashion blooper if not well-executed,” he cautions.
What festival is complete without our traditional attire? From lehangas to chudidhars, we have ample choice. However, for Shruti, nothing works better than a sari.
“Saris in propitious pigments like red, saffron, turmeric and fuchsia with surface ornamentation are prefect for the season,” she avers. “Exquisite weaves drawn from the
regional cottage and handicrafts industry give ample choice.”
Apart from saris, the elegantly flowing anarkalis and lehengas in bright colours will always look regal and graceful. For men, a kurta-pyjama pair in fabrics like khadi, silk, matka silk and linen look great, especially if they are teamed up with a Nehru jacket and dhoti. To add more sparkle and shimmer to one’s get-up, one may also select a tasteful sherwani piece.
Vivek recommends shades of pastels like ivory, beige, dull pink, mint green and grey with absolutely no metallic colours or embroidery so that it does not take away the beauty of the original colour and material. Mild thread-work is suggested for embroidery, while cluttered prints are a strict no-no. Too much of buttis all over the apparel may also imbalance the overall look. Hence, constraint is important.
And if you are looking for something traditional yet modern, Vivek suggests that you overlap kurtas with collars and embroidery or consider wearing a brooch to highlight your fitted chudidhar or a stitch-draped dhoti. “For the young, a smart crop top with a skirt or a coat dress would fit the bill. For boys, Jodhpuri pants and short-jacket like shirts would definitely pass off as uber cool and comfy,” adds Vivek. To stand out in your ethnic wear, you can consider using abstract motifs.
Conversing about fusion, the couturiers say that over the past few seasons, there has been an amalgamation of the East with West that is preferred by many of today’s Gen-Y.
“Crop tops coupled with long skirts, dhoti saris, maxi anarkalis, palazzo saris are some popular interpretations of contemporary traditional clothes which are trendy and comfortable yet youthful at the same time. For young men, dhoti pants and achkans with jeans are interesting pick-ups,” says Shruti.
Festivity also rings in day-outs, revelry with friends and family, nightlong parties, pandal hopping, chilling out with buddies and dining out. So, while wearing heavy layers of orthodox outfits, comfort and travel-friendliness are also to be kept in mind.
“Pants with dupattas or dressy crop tops are a nice way for girls to dress up this season. Even skirts with crop tops look good,” Vivek advises for the trendy to take note of.
With so many options this season, choosing your perfect festive attire will be a lot easier with these tips in mind.