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Trend spotting Five fashion musts of 2017

Most of the ruling trends of the year 2017 look like they are here to stay in 2018 or at least leave a long hangover. Get started, dress up, show up and bowl everyone over at the best New Year bash in town, writes Nandini Guha

Call them bold and beautiful. Call them dramatic. A riot of psychedelic colours, flowing garments (all oversized) skimming the ankles, shiny and sequined attire, Nehru and Bolero jackets, thigh high boots, handloom wear with a twist, funky accessories for girls, sequined and embroidered jootis for both men and women comprise the look and the ramp-talk of the season. Most of the ruling trends of this year look like they are here to stay in 2018 or at least leave a long hangover. So get started, dress up, show up and bowl everyone over at the best New Year bash in town!
Long dresses: Seems to be the biggest year-long trend for women, whether they are tall or short, slim or plump. Ultra long kurtas and dresses were seen to be skimming the ankle, often making the accompanying churidar or palazzo invisible. While the length adds elegance to tall people, it doesn't add much to people of a lesser height. But women of all ages seem to have embraced it, even if they are in there 60s or 70s! In menswear too, long kurtas have been in, paired with dhotis, dhoti pants or plain churidars. Says designer Sharbari Datta, famous for traditional ethnic wear, "Long dresses were always worn by Afghani women and even Indian women from royal Muslim families. The gharara, sharara, and long silhouette is probably a revival of that retro look. And in the West, the gown whether full sleeved or drop-shouldered is still so popular at the Hollywood functions." Datta is planning to design Indian as well as western wear for women soon, though her new store Shunyaa, stocks only kantha sarees (in the women's section) for now.
In the new line for men, elegant blazers, jackets and shirts with a dash of her signature kantha embroidery are rubbing shoulders with the bandhgalas, prince coats, Nehru jackets just right for the wedding season. Nehru jackets seem to have caught the fancy of both the young and the old this year, and the fact that the Prime Minister sports one quite often, probably adds to its style quotient.
80's look is back: This year, clothes reflected the 80s look and so, the "shine" was back. Lycra and satin were in and so were the sequins. The stones and sequins were even being used to dress up a top or a T-shirt. Says Abhishek Dutta, "Oversized clothes are in. Fashion is all about cycles and now, the psychedelic prints and Metallica are back. Hollywood films from the 80s must have been an influence on these clothes. They add glam to the look and are carried off by teenagers and party-hoppers pretty well. The bomber jackets are also inspired from the 80s." In fact, even accessories like goggles come in all pop and neon colours this year, colours like blue, orange, yellow and even scarlet red ruled the streets as the wearer carried them off with swag. They might look good on the perfect beach body but maybe not so hot on the roving Romeo about town.
Pompoms: Handloom was big this year and in designerwear too, handwoven, fine cotton was in demand. Embellished with colourful pompoms (on sarees, dupattas, shoes, earrings) the bold and bright handloom saris were seen peeping from boutiques as well as newbie stores looking to make a mark. Colourful pompoms were also used to brighten shoes, especially ethnic jootis. Pompoms in all colours also adorned neckpieces and scarves. Says Dutta, "Handwoven menswear is so trendy. Boleros, jackets, bandhgalas, done up with digital prints, enzyme washes are just right for the season. So are linen and denim pants. This line of couture is available at Biswa Bangla and Tantuja stores all over India." Dutta's handwoven line is easy on the pocket and big on comfort and eco-friendly as well.
Dhoti pants: Looks good on both men and women, especially tall folks who can flaunt their long legs. Team them up with short or long kurtas and become a show stopper this winter. Women can wear them with bolero jackets. You could also pair them with T-shirts or Nehru jackets for a casual yet chic look. The material can be cotton or lycra or even silk.
Multi-disciplinary artist Sujoy Chatterjee has launched a whole range of dhoti and drop-crotch pants recently which can be worn to parties or weddings in this season of mists. Vibrant, solid colours are his choice and his brand is all about comfortable, unisex couture. Says Chatterjee, who recently launched his line, ATOSH in collaboration with RANGGA, "This is not about luxury wear which is basically the bridalwear market. But team up the dhoti pants with stylish bandhgalas or kurtas and you can easily steal the show at a party. But it is basically casual wear that I'm looking at for both men and women."
Boots and jootis: Both boots and jootis are all over the market (also on shopping websites), and have become popular with men as well as women, again. Jootis can be Punjabi, Rajasthani or Pakistani but they come in all kinds of materials: velvet, leather or artificial leather, jute. Depending on the occasion, you can pick up one from an array of options. These jootis can be worn with salwar kameezes or jeans, depending on the "look" you want for the day. Most of them are embellished with stones, beads and sequins, and are an essential part of the trousseau of the bride in the wedding season.
At the other end of the spectrum are fashionable boots made from the finest leather, fur, suede, velvet and synthetic materials. In keeping with the season, leather boots for women are available in varied heel lengths, ranging from 3 cm to 12 cm, providing both style and comfort. An assortment of heel-types is also available: block heel, cone heel, kitten heel, wedges – tailor-made to suit the desire of every woman. The length of the boot also varies to team up the clothes that go with them. Says Dutta, who designs both jootis and boots for men and women, "Textile and leather is in. Playing with textures is also a feature of my collection. Embossed leather has been used and pointed toe shoes are also doing well. In jootis, embroidery on leather and velvet is what I work with, for both men and women". Dutta supplies to stores abroad and his collection will soon be available online. During the cold months, especially in metros, one gets to see a lot of thigh-high boots on women, made from fabric or leather. They go well with pants or skirts. You can check out the seasonal discounts at a good online shopping site if you are too lazy to roam the markets.
Nandini Guha

Nandini Guha

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