Top six fashion players of 2017

Dec 23, 2017, 15:01 IST | Shweta Shiware

It's that time of the year again. Here's a recap of the supercool fads that caught people's attention over the last 365 days 

Will you remember 2017 for being the year of the saree, the instances when Priyanka Chopra wowed us with her daring sartorial choices, or how the Millennial Pink became fashion's shade du jour? With 2017 drawing to an end, we reflect on the year's biggest, brightest and boldest fashion players.

Red carpet momentsAishwarya Rai-Bachchan Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan 

In terms of sartorial selection, Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan couldn't be more disparate. But it didn't really matter, since the mélange represented different faces of modern India on the global playground. At the MET gala, Priyank chose a bad a** version of the ball gown, in a number by Ralph Lauren that carried the whiff of a trench coat. Ash rendered the Cinderella story in an ice-blue princess gown by Michael Cinco at the Cannes red carpet.

Saree, not sorryPriyanka Bose

The saree endured the catwalks and controversies. Designers like Amit Aggarwal and Abraham & Thakore built their collections off the concept of upcycling chanderi, ikat and patola; the maker of light-as-air linen sarees — Anavila Misra made a case for its other half, the blouse, for the girl who wears her smarts on her sleeve. And Sanjay Garg and his quest for making the saree as
normal, if not iconic, as a T-shirt kept the fashion press busy. Early in November, designers and craft revivalists showed some spine by pooh-poohing an article in the New York Times that said the rise of the Benarasi saree to prominence has coincided with PM Modi's push for a Hindutva agenda, and hence “Hindu” attire.

Emphasis on inclusivity

Veronica Campabell at Wendell Rodrick’s show
Veronica Campabell at Wendell Rodrick's show

A combination of clever casting choices and emphasis on size diversity fuelled conversations around inclusivity. Lakmé Fashion Week's Summer/Resort 2017 edition introduced India's first transgender model, Anjali Lama. It was followed by Veronica Campabell, a plus-sized transgender model, who walked for designer Wendell Rodricks' collection for an apparel brand
exclusively catering to plus-sized Indian customers.

Instagram stories

Snapshot from Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s exclusive instagram show titled, The Udaipur Collection, as part of Spring Couture 2017

The photo-sharing app, owned by Facebook, became the key hub for fashion's tastemakers, and their platoons of fans in 2017. Industry biggies like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anita Dongre and Tarun Tahiliani staged fashion campaigns aimed squarely at Instagram, replacing traditional formats -- that of fashion magazines -- making the once “exclusive” fashion industry accessible to the public. Isn't that wonderfully egalitarian?

Kinship with millennials

At designer Narendra Kumar’s show held on February 3, boys flaunted make-up, and sported relaxed bomber jackets screen-printed with jungle motifs. Girls wore skinny ties and tailored suits, with faces scrubbed clean of greasepaint. And just like that, Nari turned India’s idea of gender identity on its head.At designer Narendra Kumar's show held on February 3, boys flaunted make-up, and sported relaxed bomber jackets screen-printed with jungle motifs. Girls wore skinny ties and tailored suits, with faces scrubbed clean of greasepaint. And just like that, Nari turned India’s idea of gender identity on its head.

A report released last year by global financial major Goldman Sachs on the Indian consumer says it is the 440 million-strong millennial population, distinguished by its education, digital literacy and growing spending power, that will decide the fate of the modern luxury market. It's about that oddball aesthetic with no regard for gender otherness or tired conventions that tickles this group. How else can you explain a pinch of pink infiltrate the cultural zeitgeist with such ubiquity? Yes, we are talking about the Millennial Pink, fashion shade de jour of 2017.

T-shirt activism

A model sports a Gaurav Gupta creation­
A model sports a Gaurav Gupta creation­

Fashion and feminism are strange bedfellows. With the two coming together to make the modern woman and her liberation, cool again, this year was significant in a way. From the sardonic to the contentious, wordy tees in all their forms were brash, brilliant and boldly feminist. 'We Should All Be Feminists' by Christian Dior, 'The Future is Female' by Prabal Gurung, and 'I'm A Feminist, What's Your Superpower' by our very own Gaurav Gupta, summoned the power of the slogan T-shirt and its ability to subliminally provoke by simply existing in a certain time and place.

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