Fashion can shine off the ramp too. Dhara Vora picks six summer lines, that you won’t spot at this season’s fashion weeks, to help you stand out in a crowd
Who: GENES — Lecoanet Hemant
What: After 35 years of being in the industry, designer duo Hemant Sagar and Didier Lecoanet launched their ready-to-wear line, GENES last year. The prêt label by the Indo-French designers is inspired by the fast lives of urban millennials, and their Spring line aptly displays that. The designs are inspired by the ’60s and the ’70s.
You will see delicate embroidered blouses, cropped pants, jumpsuits with floral prints, high-waist shorts, flared pants and shift dresses that would make you want to boogie. They have used techniques such as cutwork for the dresses, sequin embroidery and appliqué. Men can go bold too with chequered pants and suits, floral-tinted T-shirts, printed waistcoats and tailored shorts. Colours like white, black and navy blue, with pops of olive and burnt tangerine will do wonders.
Hemant Sagar and Didier Lecoanet
What to try: The line is fuss-free. It is best to keep it simple in summers, and the line makes it clear. The prints are delicate and the loose silhouettes, be it flared pants or shirt dresses, will let your body breathe.
Who: Krishna Mehta
What: A burst of colours just like the flowers you would see in full bloom, Krishna Mehta’s Summer 2016 collection offers designs in reds, maroons, orange, different shades of blue and pink and muted greens.
There are summery kurtas and tunics that are light enough to be layered too. Prints take over the collection, with geometrics and a few obvious jaali motifs.
What to try: Mehta is known for her use of natural dyes and handwoven garments. The cottons and linen are exactly what stylishMumbaikars could do with for the summer. A simple fabric is elevated with a play of different dyeing techniques and myriad patterns. Get inspired by Mehta’s geometric prints created using hand dyeing techniques that are Indian and contemporary.
Who: AM:PM by Ankur and Priyanka Modi
What: Mythology plays a big role in the Modis’ Spring/ Summer collection. Shakuntala, from the Mahabharata, who lived in a forest and was known for her beauty, is their muse.
All prints and motifs are inspired by nature — monkeys, cranes, lotus, the sky, foliage — and are smartly interspersed. What we like are the skimono-style dresses, maxi dresses, skirts with slits and modern drapes for saris.
The free drapes are made from silk, organza and satin.
Ankur and Priyanka Modi
What to try: The line is a great example of how to dabble with prints and natural motifs, which when mixed with horizontal lines, allow you to play safe and experiment too. Warm colours when fused on light shades like ivory make the outfit summer-worthy.
Who: Lola by Suman B
What: The designer’s Spring collection has been inspired by the state of Utah in America. Vivid colours of natural rock formations such as yellow, sparked with greens of parched shrubs make an appearance on the design palette. The silhouettes are airy like a desert and one will find jumpsuits, maxi dresses and gowns.
Other than pleats, the collection also has ruffles and a touch of sheen and metallic illusions to add some jazz to the otherwise stark colours.
What to try: Breezy does it. Ditch your heavy fabrics for evening occasions and try airy gowns that are simple. The solid colour makes the outfit striking. The label is favoured by the likes of Katrina Kaif and Malaika Arora Khan, both known for sticking to clean lines that exude sexy. Plus, if you need to go for feminine chic, pleats are your best bet.
Who: Ritu Kumar
What: The Spring Summer 2016 collection by Ritu Kumar has been designed in association with French designer, Samy Chalon. Both designers have drawn from the style sensibilities of each other’s countries, the culture of India merging with the effortless style of a Parisian. Floral prints add some love to shades of blues, ivory, turquoise and pinks. For summer day wear, you can pick from kurtis, skirts, short jackets, shorts, trousers and accessories made using cotton, chanderi and khadi. Evening wear gets a luxe edge with Banarasi cutwork. We also like the basics in bright colours that you can pair to create different looks.
What to try: This collection shows best how Indian prints can look extremely international when merged with the right shape of the garment. Pick out your boring old kurta, and pair it with bright cropped trousers or pajama pants and some brogues to create a whole new look.
Who: Jade by Monica and Karishma
What: After Shakun-tala, it’s Radha’s turn to inspire designer Monica and Karishma. Their romantic diffusion line, called Amoha, is inspired by Radha’s love for Krishna and the gardens of Mathura that was home to this love story. Glittering embroidery brings out the flow of the streams and swirling threadwork and prints represent the foliage and the dense love.
Ethnic motifs are in contrast with geometric patterns set on equally opposite shades of powder pink, mauve, pearl azure, periwinkle and black.
What to try: Baring midriff is accepted in Indian wear, thanks to cholis and lehengas, but do it in a different way. For instance, with this cape style blouse, which drapes over the shoulders to create a small window. Also, if you wish to layer your lehengas, wear sleeveless below-the-hip jackets that won’t make you sweat while you dance in a baraat.
>> Stick to fabrics like cotton, mulmul and linen for day outings; they let your skin breathe and make you feel less icky when you perspire.
>> Woven fabrics like chanderi are lightweight yet have a metallic sheen that work best for occasion wear.
>> When in doubt, wear solid colours, so you stand out even if your outfit is basic.
>> Matte lipsticks will help you pop your look.
>> If you’re going bold, play with colour on your eyes in matte bright eyeshadows to contrast ivory and cream cottons and linens.