The show must go on
Cherries and plums sparkled on the runways. Silhouettes were dramatically cut. Blasts from the past added to the list of innovations that the year had to offer. While black used to be the favoured colour of fashionistas, 2008 brought with it a burst of playful shades. From couture to prêt-a-porter and B-town to the street, everyone was talking the language of colours.
YEAR OF EXUBERANCE
Hear upcoming designer Wafa Safi, who shares her views about the year that was. Says she, “If I had to describe this year in terms of fashion, I’d say it was the year of exuberance. With jewel tones, velvet details and embellishments, everyone was going experimental. Take, for example, Rajesh Pratap Singh’s collection in which he brought out the best of classics. The colours which took everyone’s heart away this season were plum and teal and you will see the impact of it in the coming year as well.”
70 MM FASHION
In Bollywood, one saw leaner bodies and lots of oomph when it came to the men and the women who rule. Right from Kareena Kapoor’s much-hyped size zero figure to Priyanka Chopra’s retro yet metro look in Dostana, fashion spoke volumes everywhere. The men also weren’t far behind, with Abhishekh Bachchan and John Abraham strutting their stuff in the same film.
Movies influence fashion. This year saw that happen to a greater degree than usual with many men going uber stylish. “This year was really radical in every sense. Fashion is but a social phenomenon, and it was linked with everything this year. Look at what movies like Fashion and Dostana did. The good thing this year was that Indian fashion got a lot of exposure. The brands which were once whispered among the elite have now become household names. We had three fashion weeks which definitely became a part of everybody’s lives,” says Nachiket Barve. 2008 being the year of colours, one saw many men experiment with bright shades which found a permanent place in their wardrobes. Checkers, plaids and even pin tucks made it playful for the boys.
MORE THAN CLOTHES
A look makes the maximum impact when accessories are well planned. Chandelier earrings, gold jewellery with animal motifs and Indian motifs made waves on the ramp to such an extent that they have invaded the international market as well. “All the veteran craftsmen and designers behind the success of big international brands have been Indians. The best of talent is available in India. Everything that goes comes back again, as these motifs were followed by these big brands ten years ago. The origins of these designs come from veteran Indian craftsmen,” says jewellery designer Varuna Jani.
The trends this year were constantly changing. Voluminous silhouettes gave way to more fitted ones, and tight bottoms gave way to bubble fits. Designer Arshiya Fakih Eappen says, “With the climate change, brighter colours have given ways to into deeper tones like wine reds, muted grey and silvers. Different forms like Gothic romance and gold to retain the old girl charm were used this time. I think Gothic will continue for a long time, and shift dresses will make a comeback for the summers,” she says.
SHOPPING: THE RIGHT MEDICINE
Even though the recession has hit the markets, the urge for looking one’s best hasn’t stopped people from indulging in shopping therapy. “This year has been down because of the recession. It hasn’t really stopped people from buying designer wear. Many styles emerged this year in saris, evening gowns, kurtas and much more. I think we’ll see fresher and cleaner styles next year,” says Radhika Dhawan, director of a travelling boutique.
2008 wasn’t called the year of drama for nothing. The Indian red carpet was covered with evening gowns. International shoe brands were major hits, as were big bags which have made major fashion statements worldwide. Shoes redefined the mismatch trend, with pinks, yellows and even dazzling oranges and reds being worn with immense enthusiasm. With apt hairstyles, make up and accessories that merged perfectly well, 2008 gave us a lot to think about.