The three Cs for this year’s sunny days are cool, comfort and colour, discovers Krupa Shah
With the summer heat at your doorstep, revamp your wardrobe this season with the latest trends of spring summer fashion. Pack away your rainy season tees and wintry jackets and make way for something light, bright and colourful. With the recent Lakme Fashion Week, a host of new trends have cropped up round the corner for summer. Greens, yellows, dots, stripes, netting, flowing fabrics, sleeveless tops with eccentric and innovative neck patterns to flaunt your arms and neckline are all the rage this season. Dabble in popsicle-coloured skirts, shorts with roman flats or beaded gypsy sandals and light and delicate accessories. Flowing tops or floral printed shirts laced with traffic-stopping belts and palazzo pants are the look of the season.
The dog days are a time to cool off with cottons and comfort clothing. The sun’s scorching heat can undo your daily look with oiliness, dust, tanning and sweat. “Choosing the right fabric is very important in summers as it has to be washable and wearable. Use lightweight fabrics in lemony yellows, flowing silhouettes with subtle floral prints,” says designer Mohammed Anaikar who recently launched his Spring/Summer collection at Suede.
“If I had to choose a summer ensemble I would pick a soft washed voile, a loose printed summer jumpsuit with noodle straps to get as much as air as possible,” says renowned designer Richa Goenka.
With simple summer dressing, keep a light natural makeup and team it with minimal accessories like floral hair-bands or clutches and nude stilettos. “Heavy or chunky jewellery in summer is a bad idea as you are likely to sweat,” adds Richa. You might think that with summer a stylish short-crop would be the in thing. But that would be a faux-pas. “No short hairdos or straight hair,” says Richa, “Your best bet is to tie up your hair in a loose plait on one side with a light bouffant in front. The messed up look is very cool for summer.”
Colours: Bright bold neons, yellows, reds and electric pinks are your options. If neon is too bold for you, the colours to rock this summer are bright pastel sky blues, baby pink and dual tones. “My colours for S/S ’13 are fresh leaf green, sunshine yellow, hot pinks contrasted against off-white and black,” says designer Asmita Marwa, known for bringing back the boho look this year to the LFW runway.
Trends: “People are increasingly opting for global fashion and prefer styles that can be worn anywhere,” says Anaikar. Keeping in mind the speed of urban life, the need to look good anywhere has inevitably triggered the mix and match trend this summer. “The trend for summer is mix and match. You can try throwing together different textures and patterns like checks and floral prints or a blend of florals and stripes, nets, and airy silhouettes,” says Richa Goenka.
Summer is also the time for experiments galore. “Try wearing usual clothes in a different way. For example, try wearing shirts differently- say off one shoulder, or layered as a jacket. Summer is the time for quirky dressing,” adds Asmita.
Layering: One of the biggest summer fads this year is layering. “Choose different pieces of clothing that would be layered together but that could also be used separately,” says designer Anju Modi, who showcased her collection at Evoluzione. You can also sprinkle a dash of colour to dress up an ordinary outfit with brightly coloured stoles, she adds. If you like soaking up some sun, opt for layering with beach wear. “Wear bikinis and a shirt. Layer with thinner fabrics as that is much cooler than just single layers like vests or cotton jackets,” says Asmita. “Plus size trends are the same but, based on body structures, the designs are different. For example, stripes are in trend this summer and vertical stripes can make plump people look slimmer,” shares Anaikar.
Ethnic: If you thought of summer as cotton wearing time, think again. “You can also try fabrics like voile, linen and mull for the summer,” says Asmita. If you are into ethnic wear and prefer a touch of tradition to your wardrobe, experiment with easy, breathing fabrics in soothing colours. “The latest summer trends in ethnic wear are the classic cotton and crinkled look, palazzo pants, shorter tunics coupled with flared pyjamas and lots of layering. Opt for fabrics that are loose and yet lend a feminine appeal to any silhouette,” says Anju, who is known for her revival of ancient Indian handicrafts and age-old techniques. “My colour palette for the collection includes ecru, black with maroon, ivory, charcoal etc. and the colours trending right now are pop colours like neon, limes and orange.”
“Nowadays, ethnic wear is also becoming really fashionable in the party circuit. I would choose a long ethnic dress, perhaps a Khalidar along with a long drape of dupatta. It can either be worn without a chudidhar or with exactly 4 inches of the chudi showing. For a semi-formal event like a mehendi ceremony I would go for an ankle length anarkali with a short jacket. Layering an outfit by coupling lehengas with long tunics help in creating an illusion of height,” says Anju.
For a light breezy cocktail party, the evening wear in vogue this summer are cocktail dresses with white lace, subtle floral printed dresses and sunshine yellow maxis. “Crepe, georgette and chiffon are also good options for party wear as they have a flow and are light,” says Asmita, “For parties and social occasions, drape dresses with sparkles and sequins are in. Wear them long or wear them short, add a little bit of bling and you are done.”
“Sequins can be used for all kinds of clothes; dresses, jackets and even skirts. Palazzo pants are also summer-friendly and chic. You can dress them up with colourful belts add broaches to your tops,” says Richa.
Fiascos and Faux Pas
Many of us get carried away by the pretty mannequin on the window when we go shopping. The colour combinations, the design and patterns are attractive and instinctively we imitate. But blind imitation is perhaps one of the biggest causes of ill-suited dressing. “I think the most common fashion mistakes people make is not choosing clothes according to their body type. You should always take the advice of the store stylists because they are experienced enough to know what will look good on you! I see a lot of short people going for anarkalis even though it actually tends to make them look shorter,” says Anju.
Everyone has that one rebellious friend or relation who loves to go against everything, even fashion. They find their purpose of life going against the grain to express their individuality, not realising that rebellious clothing is itself a fashion statement! “A lot of people who wear clothes badly either do so in an ‘I don’t care’ attitude or in plain ignorance. But when you cannot carry something off, it shows and bad clothes just end up looking worse,” says Richa.
“Skinny people with modest bust lines should opt for cowl necks and strapless tops as it makes their bust fuller. They can also opt for high waistline pants or skirts to give volume to the hips.” On the other hand, people who are on the heavy side should wear wide or open necks. “Horizontal stripes make plump people look larger while small prints and dark colours make them look skinnier,” says Richa.
When it comes to summer, less is more. From clothing to hairdo and accessory, minimal and bright is the mantra this summer. Sometimes, a simple dress with a solid piece of jewellery makes more of a statement then a pile of accessories teamed up with a gaudy dress. The whole point of fashion before you make heads turn is that you should first feel good about yourself. So dress for the summer keeping your personal style in mind, and of course, coolness, comfort and colours.