But the fashion lover in me, sees a lot more than those superficial things and tries to find things on the inside. I try hard to overlook the cliche and appreciate the effort. Trends get recycled. Things my mom wore, is now being sold to me. If only she had kept all her old clothes, I wouldn't even need a new wardrobe to fit in. But fashion is a lot more. Fashion weeks offer a lot more. It's an open interpretation to each of us, where you come, you see and you take what you get from it. I always over-analyse things and will continue to do so.
This time, I tried picking out a few trends that were predominant on the runway, and made an effort to make it relatable to every single person. Without going on to quote the entire Miranda Priestly rant about the blue sweater, I'll summarise and say it quick, whether you care about fashion or not, fashion cares about you. Everything you wear was designed by someone and came down a runway at some point in time and eventually made its way to you.
So on that note, here are some of my handpicked favourite trends, fresh off the runway with some style lessons and very valid(ish) reasons about why you might want to wear them.
WHEN IN DOUBT, JUST BELT IT
Belted trench at Grazia young fashion awards, belted saree at Ritu Kumar, tan belt at Shivangi Sahni, bejeweled belt at Aarti Vijay gupta, studded belt at Tarun Tahiliani
The number of times I've been faced with the same kind of dilemma. Every morning when I get dressed, that reluctant 2 second pause in front of the mirror almost always ends up with me adding a belt to my outfit. Whether a particular dress or a tunic is a little over-sized or is very plain in general. The belt, whose purpose is no longer to keep your pants up, but is now a fantastic accessory that completes your entire get-up by cinching in waists, adding shape and holding down layers.
My favourite kind of belt is a neutral shade so that it matches most of my outfits and I prefer a braided/woven pattern, because it doesn't wear out as easily as the others. I also have stocked up on a few neon colours for the duller outfits and a few others with stones and glitter for my evening looks.
Wearing the trend: I don't think anyone needs to be told how to wear a belt. But just to be safe, here are a couple of tips to make sure you follow. Always make sure your belt accentuates the smallest part of your torso, which is your natural waist. If you're wearing a shirt dress or a tunic that is loose, add a belt to define and add curves and shape to your body.
SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND
Indian pastels at Divya Reddy, metallic crop top at Payal Singhal, shimmer gown at Namrata Joshipura, draped gown & jackets at Monisha Jaisingh
Of course, LFW winter festive would never be complete without the festive part. And festive is all about the bling and about shining bright and sparkling. I know a few people whose fashion mantra includes phrases like "bling it on" and "in it to bling it" and so on. So I understand that need and I feel it at times too. Whether it comes to me in the form of a bling accessory or a sequined jacket or even a shiny dress, there are some days where no one can "dull my sparkle" (and yours too!)
Wearing the trend: I loved how Divya Reddy had subtle colours for her Indian garments and didn't hold back the bling. That works very well instead of going bright and blingy. Metallic textures and embellishments are also a huge plus, and if you're bling-shy, you can try out accessories first, like clutches and neckpieces, instead of an entire dress. I also feel, that every fashion conscious bling addict needs a sequinned jacket in her life. Lastly, if you're a gutsy girl, a sparkle and shimmery dress is probably a major part of your life already. I have a shimmer backless dress in my wardrobe, that has been sitting there for half a decade now, and I've never worn it. I think it's time to get that poor dress out soon, judging from the trendy pieces Namrata Joshipura had in her collection, my dress will be a hit!
SOMETIMES, SYMMETRY = BALANCE
Illuminati jacket at Armaan Aiman, red embroidery at Shivangi Sahni, geometric crop top & overcoat at Urvashi Joneja, chevron print at Tarun Tahiliani
Okay fine, if you're like me, you crave for symmetry always. Something that's a little off will make you want to stick a fork in your eyes. I cannot explain the number of times I threw tantrums and cried before school days with my shoulder length hair, because one side would behave and the other rebelled. I pleaded and asked my mom to let me stay home instead. I was marched off to school in ponytails instead. I still lived.
But my obsession hasn't died yet. I'm very particular about lines that run parallel (especially in my images) and I will be anal about it. Of course this obsession made me somewhat good in geometry and garment construction, until the time I had to make an asymmetrical skirt, but I managed to do that too. Now I take small amounts of refuge in clothes that are symmetric. Whether it's their construction, or their embroidery or even a print. It's calming, and makes me feel balanced.
Wearing the trend: Jackets and shirts are the way to do. A small cropped jacket with details on the bodice look wonderful, like the piece from Tarun Tahiliani. Geometry shapes are also your friends. Go in for prints like the chevron or the safest, stripes.
THE BIRD (AND EVERY OTHER DAMN ANIMAL) IS THE WORD.
Bird print at Nachiket Barve, Printed jacket at at AM:PM, fox jacket at Armaan Aiman, horse print at Masaba and giraffe separates at Huemn
I have so many friends who crib about the fact that even though they love animals to death, they can never adopt/buy any because a parent might strongly disagree. They find my 3 cats and 1 dog family at home such a lucky blessing, and of course it is. And when I go on to tell them that I've previously owned even a live chicken (which I did not eat) they completely lose it.
But if you have family that doesn't want animals at home, because caring, maintaining and attending to them obviously takes time and effort, don't worry. You can always wear an animal print or be an animal yourself (Huemn separates, I'm looking at you giraffe!)
Wearing the trend: If being a giraffe is too much for you, or even being a leopard is not up your alley, there's always other animal prints you can have, on your outfits. From patch-worked and appliqued foxes to brush strokes of horses and the more Indianized prints of elephants and stags, the options are truly endless. And when you're truly stumped, pick a random bird, because, well, you know...
SIZE AND MAGNITUDE DOES MATTER!
Asymmterical adornments at Vasundhara, DIY-able at Mayank Anand and Shraddha Nigam, fringe and tassels at Nikasha and sexy nuns at Valliyan by Nitya Arora
Lets be real. Size of course matters. Who has the biggest phone, who wears the smaller size clothing, whose heel is the highest, these inane things matter to us and occupies our mind at most times. My personal thing of late has been how big my accessories. I grew up with a penchant for over sized totes (of course during my fashion school days I had tons of things to carry in them, from paints and paper to sometimes fabric and all the essentials) which has now moved on to statement accessories like big necklaces and earrings. The sales of harnesses and body chains have been booming over the last two years, because it seems everyone almost feels the same.
The way I see it, if you pick one big accessory, say like one huge neckpiece, you're exempted from adding on multiple cuffs and earrings and you can carry off your entire look based on that single neckpiece. Talk about a win situation! Similarly, wear big earrings and forgo the other small details here and there, and look like a human instead of a christmas tree.
Wearing the trend: Start small. Layering neckpieces is a very good way to begin, and give you a small hand at creating your own kind of statement jewelry, from pieces you already own. Give your ears a small rest in between wearing long danglers and if you're up to the challenge, wear a neckpiece on your head, queen style.
NOTHING RISQUE, NOTHING GAINED
Super short choli blouses and red slit top (all) at Nikhil Thampi, keyhole neckline at Namrata Joshipura and white gown with side cut outs at Monisha Jaisingh
If you're a bit prudish, you might want to skip this and move on to the next one. This risky business is for that woman who is confident with herself and her body. Of course over-confidence completely kills it too. So make sure you have middle ground. Cleavage baring keyhole blouses and dresses and deep deeeep backs (or fronts) that flaunt bra-less bodies are things that you might feel like second skin to you.
Wearing the trend: The key is to find your comfort zone. The second step is to know your body and understand how certain trends and cuts will look on your body. If you're blessed with a generous bosom, don't bare cleavage, but focus on another body part, like perhaps your legs. If you worked hard on those surfboard abs, wear those crop tops and bikini saree blouses with pride.
SHAKE IT OFF
Velvet tasseled jacket at Tarun Tahiliani, tasseled shrug at Sonakshi Raaj, fringed leather jacket at and tasseled crop top at Shivangi Sahni and flapper dress at Nikasha
I used to shake it off before I even heard Taylor Swift sing about how haters are going to hate (x 5). All I needed was a fringed skirt (which I had while growing up) or other fring-y garments that danced every time I moved. With these party pieces, I never needed an invitation to dance, because I was already on the dance floor, working it.
Of course, the fringes and tassels are now mostly related to either tribal-ness and Bohemia or the flapper style from the 20's. Pick your favourite and rock the trend.
Wearing the trend: If the 20's is what you're obsessed with, or you have a Great Gatsby themed party, you're best with a fringe dress or even a skirt. If you want a more 70's or a tribal approach, jackets and kimonos are what you need to look into. For a more edgier look, find macrame pieces and leather jackets that have fringe all over. Or if you want the easiest way out, just get a fringe bag (like I did) or a pair of fringed boots for a more cowgirl look.
THE WORLD IS BRIGHTER IN BLACK AND WHITE
Monochrome trench at Nachiket Barve, geometric crop top at Payal Singhal, skirt & blouse at AM:PM, monochrome layers at Tarun Tahiliani and florals at Nikasha.
I was one of those know it alls who always retorted with "black isn't even a colour" when anyone replied with a "black is my favourite colour". When you study colour, which you do only if you're a student of design, you're taught that black is the absence of colour and white is the presence of colour. It's really that basic. Adding white or black to any colours results to tints and shades of those colours.
But that being said, I soon joined in the black is my favourite colour bandwagon, but I also had a backup real colour (purple) if anyone tried to point out my ignorance. Of course the fact that I'm obsessed with the black and white combination doesn't help either. The most classic combination to ever exist. There's something so beautiful and lovely about the mixture of black and white, whether it's a plain tee or a pair of heels.
Wearing the trend: This is one of the easiest trends to follow. Either pick separates to put together or pick prints and mix them together, the ways to wear the trend are truly endless and it's all really up to you.
Stay tuned for all my outfits from the 5 days of fashion week.
All images photographed by Roxanne D'souza for head2heels.co