What to expect in fashion in 2015


What to expect in fashion in 2015

Fifteen candles

This year, the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) celebrates 15 years of India fashion weeks. For those who came late, the Lakmé India Fashion Week split in 2005 into the LFW (now held twice a year in Mumbai and organized by IMG Reliance) and Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (now held in New Delhi and organized by the Fashion Design Council of India). As the original, the LFW has the prerogative to celebrate this milestone. “The celebrations will include revisiting the memories and iconic fashion moments in this 15-year journey. Besides, we will have a showcase by industry veterans as well as one on LFW’s discovery of GenNext designers,” says Saket Dhankar, head of fashion at IMG Reliance.

Does this mean that the warring lobbies in Indian fashion will bury their hatchet(s)? If so, we will clap at least 15 times.

Telling it through fabric

From October 2015-January 2016, London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum will host an exhibition titled The Fabric Of India. The first such major exhibition, it will explore the layered stories of, and behind, India’s handmade textiles. Curated through V&A’s existent textile repertoire and those chosen from collections across the world, the exhibition will illustrate the process, history and politics associated with India’s fabric legacy. Visit www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibi tions/the-fabric-of-india/ for stories of Indian artisans and craftsmen, their wares and world.

Hair and now style

“They will just have to get used to it,” actor Sonakshi Sinha told her hairstylist, the Mumbai-based Kanta Motwani of Kromakay Salons, when the latter told her that Indian men weren’t particularly fond of short hair. Snipping off her long locks and gamely challenging her “conventional Indian girl” image, Sinha Instagrammed her lovely short bob to the world. Indian female celebrities seldom experiment with their hair, so short hair remains the indulgence of the fashionably “incorrect”. Sinha is a welcome exception. Raise a toast then to the short bob as the hairstyle of 2015—if you want a variant, try Anushka Sharma’s cropped version in PK.

H&M, finally

H&M (Hennes & Moritz Ab), the Swedish multinational clothing company that reportedly drives one of the highest fast fashion sales in the world, is set to launch in India this year. The launch is slated for the latter half of the year, with the brand’s Fall/Winter collection. There is talk of multiple entries in malls across the country.

Eat your shoes

Edible to look at, fruity smooth to wear and fluorescent in colour and personality, Melissa shoes—flats, wedges, chunky heels, jelly shoes by the Brazilian brand—will launch in India with a Spring/Summer 2015 collection called Eat My Melissa. It underlines the brand’s Aranha model (spider in Portuguese) from 1979, recreating the original shape inspired by the sandals worn by fishermen of the French Riviera. It will include new models signed on by designers like Karl LagerfeldJason Wu and Vivienne Westwood, who are design partners with the brand.

Face of the year

Stunning faces and bodies may crowd the world of glamour and fashion but our bet is on actor Nimrat Kaur as the face of the year. Steely and self-assured, attractive in an empowered way, the once upon a time magical cook and housewife in The Lunchbox, the 2013 film, is now the face of a new Titan ad underlining the single woman’s undeterred aura. Kaur, who also played Tasneem Qureshi, an ISI agent, in the fourth season of American TV series Homeland, illustrates how a woman who knows her mind frames glamour in a unique way.

Socking summer

For her Spring/Summer 2015 collection, called Good Luck Irani Café, designer Nida Mahmood has interpreted the Irani cafés of the 1940s and 1950s. A psychedelic, quirky line, it includes one of the most original summer accessories, called the Sock Shoes, with a kettle brooch on them. “We made proper shoes, then covered them with socks and then again gave them an extra sole,” says Mahmood, explaining that she wanted to design and imagine out of the box, as if for a Cinderella tea party with the Mad Hatter. The Sock Shoes followed that line of thought. Brilliant.

Author of the ‘sharara’ jumpsuit

Varun Bahl completes 10 years as a designer in 2015. Bahl has been working assiduously to separate the artistic and the commercial in his mind and his brand, learning how to keep them apart or bring them together when needed. His elegant silhouettes, dexterous use of lace, clever mix of vintage and contemporary, inclusion of black in bridal wear and fascinating use of apple and moss green, make him the couturier to watch out for this year. Creator of the Sari Trousers in 2014, Bahl wants us to stand by for the sharara jumpsuit that will walk the ramp as part of his next couture collection, to be shown in the latter half the year.

Kerala tourism? No, thank you

Kochi-based designer Sreejith Jeevan, one of LFW’s most promising discoveries last year, has designed a collection from Kerala mundu fabric as part of his brand Rouka for “the artsy tourist”. It includes shirts, tops, lungis and tunics.

“Called Going Home, it is inspired by what Malayalis do when they come home to Kerala,” says Jeevan. Unlike the snake boats and Kathakali dances promoted by Kerala Tourism, Jeevan’s white cotton pieces with the “kara” border have black arty embroidery motifs, evoking a sense of Kerala without the clichés—village walks, the toddy tapper, street food, a Malayalam blockbuster. The collection will be retailed later this month at the Pepper House at Fort Kochi, now an art residency and one of the main venues of the ongoing Kochi Biennale.

The long legs

Calendars may have become discreet and digital, but calendar girls still grow the longest legs in the glamour business. What’s a new year without a bevy of beautiful models on glossy paper? Two cheers then for Aastha Pokharel, the winner of this year’s Kingfisher Supermodels 2, a reality TV show that airs on NDTV Good Times. And the third for Atul Kasbekar, the lensman with a glamorous eye and a long-time Kingfisher loyalist, for giving the Nepalese stunner a quiet simmer sans come-hither coquettishness.

For legs though, our vote goes to the Coorgi Dayana Erappa, one of the other four girls on the calendar

“It’s the best edition so far,” says Kasbekar, explaining why photography essentially feeds on location—he considers Cappadocia, Bokrum and Pamukkale in Turkey, for instance, as pristine ideals to offset skinny prettiness.