Fashion forward 2011

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A wash of color or classic monochrome? Draped or structured? Classic or boho? Which is it to be?

These questions loom large as fashionistas get ready for a wardrobe detox. For folks who like to look good, it’s best to work with what they already have in their wardrobes, either by updating some classics or adding a few accessories to look hot and happening.

So, what’s in and what’s out of fashion this year? Designers say that the 1970s continue to be the decade of choice; with trend-spotters ticking off all the key looks, from Studio 54 glamazons to luxe boho-hippy. Fabrics range from supple suede to shiny satin this year and fringing will be key detail for accessories next summer.

The year begins on a playful and optimistic note, with vibrant colors and happy prints. Even the hottest color of the year, honeysuckle, which is a bright red-pink hue, brings in the spirit of positivity. Experts say it was chosen for “its escapist effect on the public’s collective psyches after all the bruising economic challenges of the past.”

As for tossing out some looks, the jeggings might be first on the list as it already looks iffy, even in India where it is still somewhat popular. One more trend that will head for the back burner this year is the use of synthetic, non-eco-friendly fabrics.

Says designer Sanchita Ajjampur, “Designers are putting joy and optimism back into fashion and accessories in 2011. Party dresses will appear more understated with minimal pleats and asymmetric detailing. The  an emphasis on short shift dresses using simple stitch detailing and block prints. Peg-leg trousers will continue to be one of the dominant trouser shapes with all-over sequins and fabric block leather pockets to offer a luxe edge.”

According to image consultant Prasad Bidapa, the key look this year lies in the silhouette. “It is important that clothes are not fitted but more flowing,” he says. “This is both flattering and wonderful for women. Women should look for luxury fabrics that mould the body and look relaxed; for instance, a pair of silk pajamas or a loose jacket. Classic colors like black and grey remain in style, but with bursts of bright colors to light up the look. I find that another important color of the season is primrose. Men can wear it and women can use it as an accessory like a stole or a dupatta as its golden touch will highlight Indian skin,” he adds.

Designer Deepika Govind says that the hottest trends of the year are knee-length jackets, above-the-knee heavy wool dresses, boots and scarves. “For summer, it will be sheer overlays, vibrant prints, acid, fruity colors, sandals, wedges and jewelry as well as feminine prints and soft detailing. There will be no sharp construction as simple, drapy outfits will prevail. This year, more than ever before, fashion will lean towards more eco-conscious clothing, natural fibers and organic dyes and coarse handlooms in mellow colors.”

According to Deepika, the trends that are out are platforms, polyester and nylon and junk jewelry. “High-waisted, pleated trousers, acid colors, military jackets, too much bling, broad belts, big ear rings and kimono sleeves are also out,” she says.

For men, it is a year when the narrower the look, the better. “Men should wear tighter clothes, but they have to be very fit to carry off the look,” says Prasad, adding, “Classic colors like black and grey are in. Men should wear their hair longer with more attitude and movement, not flattened like before. Men’s hair should look like they have just stepped off a boat – windswept and wild. Boots are also back in fashion.”

According to Sanchita, this is the year when the focus will be on modern minimalism and even the season’s bright palette is worked in flat planes of color with clean lines and minimal detailing. “This is the way forward,” she says.

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