Design speak: Pastel shades and traditional looks for the festive season
This festive season, style yourself with Indian textiles, they are high on fashion and weather friendly, too. Linen, for example, besides being comfortable and a luxury fabric, gives protection from the UVB rays and is germ free by nature. The moisture absorption is very high and it keeps your body cool during summers and warm during the winters. You can also wear linen cotton blends and cotton saris, which are very much in fashion.
There are immense possibilities with any natural yarn. Promote slow fashion – hand woven clothes – and don’t follow trends blindly. For the five days of Puja I would advise that it’s best to stick to traditional wears. Wear short cropped tops in jamdani weaves, layered jackets and hand woven dupattas. This time round it’s more about pastel shades, beige, light pink, grey, light blue and white, with may be with one or two bright colours, such as, white with fuschia. Focus should be more on natural fabrics and weaves. Besides linen and cotton, the eternal fabrics, such as, tussar and khadi can also be worn. Use Indian textiles and keep the clothes simple in designs and strong in textiles or fabrics.
I think a lot of girls and women want to look different during festivities but they also want to buy something, which they can mix and match and wear for other occasions, too. Wear long kurti, long kalidaar jackets teamed with pants and a cropped top or a sleeveless kurti with sheer jackets and long printed skirts.
Jackets worn with a big lehenga marries tradition with modernity in a glamorous manner. The variety of cuts depends upon body types. The very curvy ones should avoid voluminous cuts. One should go by the shape of his or her body. A lot of jewel tones are in vogue this season including deep sapphire blue, amethyst, emerald green, beautiful shades of pink and coral. Black and pink would look very nice together.
Don’t wear something that doesn’t fit nicely and also, do not over-accessorise. Most importantly, never wear something that’s not appropriate for the occasion. Don’t wear a designer knock off, it’s the worst thing you can do. Wear traditional weaves instead. Keep your hair and make-up natural and beautiful. If you buy clothes off the shelf, tailor them for a perfect fit. Invest in high quality fabric rather than buying a cheap one – it will last you much longer. For men I would say, please put a little effort while dressing up. Wear fitted kurtas or shirts and wear traditional shoes such as mojris, kolhapuris or nagrais. You should look nice from head to toe.
The surprise colours of this season are bright pastels instead of the usual yellows, reds and oranges. There will be more teals – green and blue—pistachio green, coral pinks. It’s a pleasant change. In prints, florals, of course, are in fashion, especially the large floral prints. But what’s really emerging as a trend this year is animal prints. It’s not the usual tiger or leopard prints, this time there is a lot of bird prints happenning and quirky animal prints like the zebra prints. It’s psychedelic and festive.
But when you plan to invest in floral prints, buy according to your body size. If you are large built, wear small floral motifs and if you are petite then go for those oversized floral prints, which are very much in style this season. In menswear, too, pastel shades are the colours to choose from.
These five days of Puja are meant for traditional and ethnic wears. What you probably can do is wear them differently. You can experiment with the blouses. Team up your hand woven linen,jamdani or cotton sari with a cropped T-shirt or a wrap-around top or a short bolero jacket. You can also try spaghetti tops with saris, which gives a very young and quirky feel to the sari, making it comfortable yet traditional.
Full sleeves are out of fashion now and nicely fitted blouses or kurtis are in fashion. The saris can be worn in 100 different styles -- you can wear a dhoti style sari teamed with leather belts for a change. In fact, lots of belts are paired with saris. Wear a metal belt or a kamarbandh or any piece of jewellery around your waist. For younger crowd, who cannot wear a sari properly, there are pre-stitched, pre-pleated, concept saris. For the evening one can also wear the sari gowns. Apart from that one can go for anarkali kurtas,jackets. Palazzos and Dhoti pants are a rage this season when it comes to bottom wears.
For both men and women, asymmetry cuts and designs are in vogue. In fabrics, try linen or linen blends, such as silk-linen or cotton-linen fabrics. Georgette is also an ideal fabric for festive wear. Besides, go for cotton lycra for more fitted garments.
I don’t follow trends simply because I believe in the revivalist tradition, when it comes to fashion. We work with weavers from older generation and hold on to old traditions. For the festive season, I would suggest, follow trend in your own way.
This season we have concentrated on three collections. The first one comprise hand woven desi tussar, it has a very nice texture and we have tried to revive older jamdani motifs, collected from archives We have used only three colours -- the natural tussar colour, which is beige, kora or ivory, red and white. This is a very Bengali colour palette.
Our second collection consists of pure mulberry silk, where we have used colour blocking and revived hazar butipattern of the famous tangail weaves. And our third collection has 100 and 80 counts of pure Dhonekhali saris.
I feel, our attire during the pujas should be traditional, since this is the only time we can experiment and realise our actual taste in clothes. Wear hand woven clothes as much as possible. There are now handicraft fairs held every other week across the city before Pujas.
Take your pick of handloom sarui or kurta and mix and match. In Kolkata, you still ahve the luxury of getting tailors in every nook and corner. So, instead of buying readymade clothes buy fabrics and make your own pieces of bespoke attires.
The colours I would suggest for this season include vermillion, olive green and turmeric yellow.
Off white or beige is another sophisticated colour, especially when you pair it with gold. But whatever it is, do not wear those hideous synthetic and sequinned gowns with a pair of heels. You don’t have to look like a strutting peacock.