AIFW AW 2017 is officially done with: and the message is clear. I should know. I was the only one not wearing a sari. Over the last five to seven years, ethnic wear has been cool with the people who swore they were westerners. They loved New York, Cosmopolitans, and Manolo Blahniks. Now, they like Jodhpur, Juttis and Shikanji.
The tribe has changed its vibe and that’s what AIFW AW 2017 was all about.
Kapde ki Kahani/ The story lies in the fabric
Amazon India Fashion Week AW 2017 started with a theme of handloom highlighting that need to appreciate textiles and the industry’s need for woven cloth. There seems to be an understated glamor in wearing cotton-silk, khadi and linen, a zest to experiment with fabrics like jersey crepe and a sense of pride in pashmina and ivory wool. Organza, crochet patterns and chanderi (SS 2017) were some of the celebrated textiles at AIFW.
It definitely worked as a reminder for what I’ve seen mom and dad doing for 30 years. To invest in good cloth that will last you years instead of trying to look cool in polyester sold by most retail chains. The kaam is the highlight and the rest is a story around it. Be it the embroidery (zardozi, aari or gota), the fabric seems to matter.
If you’re a print person, you’re in vogue. Patola, Ikat, Garden and Tribal prints are all doing the rounds. Pair them with earth colors, or any shade of blue–and you’re sorted.
The Big Ess in Sarees
It seems that the sari has been resuscitated; all nine yards. And with it, a new respect for anybody who shows appreciation for it. From kaarigars to kaarigari (embroidery), even the badla wire seems to instill a renewed sense of respect.
While most designers (like most people who came to attend AIFW) did their take on the Indian sari, Vogue magazine did 30 minutes with the help of over 50 fashion designers just for you. And, the buyers sitting in the audience, but mostly to celebrate its versatility. The show focussed on blues, golds, florals, tribal prints and gazillion ways to drape a saree.
Not just limited to attending weddings, saris can be a great way to infuse elegance into your everyday look. Wear with a shirt, a collared blouse, a peplum top. Style with a belt, your favorite kicks, you can even add fringes to the border or the pallu. Don’t like pleating a saree? Invest in pre-stitched sarees that save time or just go low on pleats.
The romanticism of ruffles
Add a little drama and exaggeration to your ensemble with details like ruffles, tulles, frills and fringes. Bell sleeves, motifs, prints, embellishments and fabric drama were some of the talking aspects at AIFW. After being scarred for life by Kimi Katkar and Karisma’s Kapoor stylists in 80s and 90s, I’m slowly turning pro-ruffle. One swoosh at a time.
It’s all about fits and layering
Boxy fits, asymmetrical cuts, and wispy silhouettes were most of what I saw on the ramp. The fit is more comfortable, almost like the anti-christ of skinny jeans. I don’t know if it’s the fabrics or a change in the attitude but the clothes seemed more comfortable, not being interested in your waistline or your gender. All in all, try to experiment more with silhouettes.
Another theme that caught my eye was layering. Layering in winters is not just your usual thermal, sweater, overcoat and scarf. No, it’s got more to it. More like pairing a short kurta with relaxed pants and an asymmetrical jacket–add “kawaii” socks to it. And statement sneakers. The intention is not to completely native: but celebrate both facets of it.
The trendsetters have spoken but I leave the interpretation to you.
Truth is, there’s no better time to stop trying to fit in. There’s no better time to stand out, without having to mean it.