The festive season is the perfect time to dress to the nines and showcase ethnic fashion with a modern twist. While colourful ghagras and sarees are de rigueur, the celebrity sightings and fashion shows for this season offer several cool trends that can inspire and rejuvenate your festive wardrobe in the coming months.
A common theme seen across different designer collections is that clothes are more easy-to-wear and styled for smaller gatherings, thanks to the pandemic. “Festive fashion this year is looking light and easy,” confirms celebrity stylist and wardrobe consultant, Delna Nallaseth. What you need to keep an eye out for, says the expert, is lightweight festive wear that is comfortable enough to let you fluidly mingle with your loved ones. Light festive wear need not be boring as you can play around with prints and colour contrasts for a head-turning look. “[When in doubt] You can’t go wrong with classic silhouettes, accessorised with just statement earrings or a neckpiece,” suggests Nallaseth for days when you just don’t know what to wear.
From the recently concluded FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week, the stylist picks colour blocking, as seen at designer Anamika Khanna’s collection, as her favourite trend that works for this season (she also recommends checking the collection by Ruchika Sachdeva’s Bodice for colour combinations). “Anamika Khanna’s collection had creams colour blocked with reds and blacks (in prints too) with kaleidoscopic colours. This is a fun way to go festive this season,” says Nallaseth.
Another combination she suggests for the festive season is a printed or an embroidered crop top, worn with a wrap skirt (instead of a typical lehenga), or palazzo pants in a solid colour. Repeating the same print for your top and bottom, either in the same or contrasting colour, is great for the festive season too.
If you really wish to stand out, you could also get inspired by the trends seen at the international fashion weeks this season, which can also smartly be translated to the festive Indian context. “I loved the Givenchy SS22 Paris collection. Mathew M. Williams designed classic silhouettes with exaggerated shoulders with tapered waists, and it was a collaboration with a New York-based artist [John Smith] and was visually stunning and bright,” says Nallaseth, recommending exaggerated shoulders as a fun silhouette to try for your desi outings too.
Here are other inspirations, fresh off the runway, that you could try this festive season.
1. Wrap blouse with handloom fabrics
The roster of Indian textiles is wide enough to offer design and style inspirations for every occasion. When styled well, even an old heirloom sari can look contemporary, effectively continuing the dialogue of handcrafted textiles being relevant even today. Like designer Sanjukta Dutta who created a series of modern silhouettes with the textiles of Assam. Such as this black wrap blouse paired with a pleated stitched skirt in the same colour scheme. You can use dupattas in other rich Indian textiles such as Benarasi brocades to DIY a wrap blouse too.
2. Embellished tops
Cholis and crop tops with dangling embellishments at the hem of the blouse are perfect for this groovy season. It can be rows of bugle beads, or like designer Tarun Tahiliani’s latest collection, which used conch shells extensively for accents. As Nallaseth suggested, remember to pair your embroidered or printed crop top with a solid colour for a contemporary look.
3. It’s all about the contrast
You can also pick different separates from the same colour palette to create a contrast. As seen on actor Mrunal Thakur for designer JJ Vallaya’s show, combining bright reds, with more earthy tones can create a strong visual impact.
4. Keep it simple with stripes
Keeping it simple can also be striking. Soha Ali Khan shows us how to effortlessly look charming as the showstopper for designer Megha Jain. You can combine stripes with stripes, or even tartan and gingham for an eye-catching look like seen in this off-shoulder gown outfit.