The silhouette that has been all the rage on fashion runways, this season and several previous seasons, is the anti-fit look. No marks for guessing why, particularly for the denizens of this warm sub-continent. A lose outfit that drapes gently, quietly accommodates the fluctuating sizes and bulges, has room for air to circulate and breath, sans the pinch and cinch of a fitted outfit, lends itself to be the hottest look of the season.
The history of fashion, as was recorded in Europe, never took into account the discomfort quotient. At the time when women chose to be smothered in impossible body crushing bodices and men wore tights in the pre-lycra era, traditional Indian apparel was all about anti-fit, with stylish drapes and breathable natural fabrics. The fashion scape globally is more mature now. Dress-to-please-yourself is the thing to be rather than the need to adhere to anything that is about body-shaming or that which is uncomfortable.We bring Meher Castelino’s pick of anti-fit designs from Lakme Fashion Week’s Spring-Summer 2017 and select looks from Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2017. Meher points out that in the 90’s the anti-fit wave was very strong in western fashion thanks to the rise of the Japanese designers who flooded the fashion world with their Zen like silhouettes but India did not follow them so strongly although a few designers like Wendell Rodricks moved into the anti-fit zone with his Goaninspired resort wear, which suited this look.
Lakme Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2017
KARISHMA SHAHANI KHAN
The collection was a line of contrasting garments that merged effortlessly on the ramp. The graceful, versatile, flowing sari with the structured trench coat was turned into a great fusion statement. The silhouettes were oversized and anti-fit that were cleverly gathered and tied with the aid of intricate knotting as well as tucking. The profusion of layering at times with four different silhouettes coming together were in perfect harmony.
“The Khadi Way”- the eternal fabric of freedom in India, had fluid tent dresses, comfortable indigo dyed skirts and relaxed long-sleeved blouses that were perfect for summer. Easy breathing shirts and blouses tucked in buttoned bohemian trousers were another interesting concept.
HOUSE OF MILK
“Healing Garments” collection from ‘The House of Milk’ by designers Reshma Merchant and Priyanka Kaul Lakdawala had healing fabrics that enriched the soul with its calming effect. Fluid, free-flowing and quite ethereal in shape and style, loose cape blouses, softly gathered empire line maxis, tent tops, cropped tops and draped togas in white were highlighted with ornaments that were ideal for the collection.
For Santanu Das and Chirag Gandhi of ‘Maku Textiles’ the path of organic, slow, sustainable fashion is their forté for every collection. The collection “To Be or Not to Be” had simple basic, loose, flowing silhouettes for asymmetrical overlapped dresses, A-line dresses, raglan sleeve cropped tops teamed with gathered skirt and tunics with pin tuck detailing.
The Indigene label created by Jaya Bhatta and Ruchi Tripathi presented “Modest Luxury” with hand-block prints, textured weaves, recycling fabrics and ‘Sujani’ hand embroidery as the centre of attraction. From easy shapes of layered blouses, tunics and pants, the collection moved to wide cropped tops, ombré loose pants, slim skirts and summer coats.
“Chiaro-scuro” by Amrich was a collection inspired by the beauty of nature. The brand’s simple, flowing, silhouettes featured a mix of fit and flare for easy breezy garments. Taking the beauty of the traditional clothing of the Orient and merging it with the Occident, the designers presented a perfect amalgamation of style, design and detailing.
Staying true to her fluid creations, Sohaya Misra unveiled a line of deconstructed ensembles under her ‘Chola’ label. There were soft, fluid, easy, drapes as well as the deconstructed shapes teamed with structured jackets and trousers. Feminine, flouncy, frilled, layered, cowl, shapes were the leitmotif of the collection. Loose flowing long gilets or covers worked for the trios of most entries and the trousers, palazzos and wide pants complemented the garments.
Sayantan Sarkar’s collection “Beyond Boundaries” was influenced by colourful gingham checks and plaid patterns woven on handlooms. Each ensemble was fluid with a free flowing appeal that highlighted the Gamcha weaver’s talent. The silhouettes were anti-fit and innovative but with a marked western touch.
“Lost and Found in Africa” was the very rustic and unconventional name for Nupur Kanoi’s earthy collection. The inspiration revolved around African tribal crafts and culture, which Nupur cleverly merged with Indian ethnicity. Kaftan-jumpsuits, Sharara-jumpsuits and a fringed playsuit with oversized kite jacket were some of the interesting silhouettes
VINNET – RAHUL
Vineet-Rahul, the designing duo for their label ‘Charcoal’ presented “Gulnar”. Inspired by the beautiful blossoms of the pomegranate fruit, flower and the bulbul bird, the “Gulnar” collection was a romantic fashion take with Chanderi shirts, cropped tops and pants with sheer tunic or long shifts had the patterns splashed on them as embroidery or printed.
Rina Singh’s mélange of summer wear under her label EKA had silhouettes in boxy shapes at times teamed with fancy, lacy, sleep-in culottes, cropped linen pants or striped midis. The soft summer coats were a favourite teamed them over dresses, cropped pants, blouses and skirts. The ensembles were utterly feminine and dainty in form and silhouette with a gentle, timeless quality and a great mix and match appeal.