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Sizzling stripes

How would you like to wear your stripes? Running horizontally across a shirt, printed vertically on trousers (and thereby giving your legs a slim look) or having them printed randomly on a T-shirt to give it the semblance of an abstract painting?

Stripes may have been shunted to the back seat in recent times but now they are back with a big bang. This summer they’ve made a huge comeback —and in many novel ways. So, go ahead and fill your wardrobe with these bands of colour in different widths and combinations.

“Stripes can be played around with in a big way and what makes them a huge hit is the fact that vertical stripes make a person look slimmer,” says designer Rahul Khanna.

Designers are swearing by these slender and broad lines and putting them on just about every ensemble. Menswear designer Rajvi Mohan says that stripes, along with heavy checks, are a very strong trend. So, to spruce up her summer line, Mohan’s core collection has loads of vibrant stripes in a burst of colours as well as bright stripes in contr- asting shades. These combinations appear on shirts and jackets.

Designer Masaba Gupta, whose summer collection is high on stripes, says: “Stripes suit a wide age group — from women in their 50s to teenagers.”

Veteran designer Rajesh Pratap Singh’s collection flaunts stripes in all possible combinations woven in interesting organic yarns. These stripes stand out against a white base in red, navy, lime and pink on long shorts, shirts and even suits for men.

Nitin Bal Chauhan has experimented with stripes on graphic prints ; Pic by Rupinder Sharma

Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna too have played with a combination of stripes with floral prints. Their Spring Summer 2010 collection, Hypernature, is high on pin-stripes running through not only the garment but also on flower and moth patterns prints on jackets and shirts.

Stripes in vivid hues are also good news for those who are bored with solid colours. Bright, colourful stripes are doing all the talking on T-shirts by Nitin Bal Chauhan. “It’s a collection replete with conventional stripes on digital prints,” says Chauhan. He reckons that it’s time to experiment with stripes in combination with graphic details. “My collection even has patterns created with stripes in wide variety of colours,” says Chauhan.

Suits by Rajesh Pratap Singh come with stripes in red, navy, lime and pink on a white base; Pix by Rupinder Sharma

Giving stripes a more feminine touch, designer Masaba Gupta has used them liberally in her creations. She says that since stripes have comeback in a big way, she has filled her collection with bold stripes on pyjamas, dhotis, jackets, saris and jumpsuits using fabrics like silk and jute and also weaves like ikat.

Gupta believes that even though pin-stripes are here to stay, bold stripes might exit soon as people tend to find them difficult to wear. “Stripes also work well when you contrast them cleverly with a solid colour in the same ensemble,” says Gupta.

For instance, she has printed horizontal stripes on the pleats of half saris, keeping the pallu plain while at other times the stripes appear just on the pallu in saris in solid colours. She has also freely used black-and-white stripes on pants, pyjamas and shorts.

Moving away from the regular stripes she has innovatively used ikat stripes in shades of green, black and grey in some of the garments.

Gupta feels that stripes in combination of black-and-white are perennial favourites, while summer is times for blue and white stripes. Stripes in pink and white make an out-and-out feminine statement.

Rajvi Mohan on the other hand recommends shades of blue, purple, yellow to brighten up the summer.

A word of advice from Khanna: If you are broadly-built, avoid horizontal stripes as they will highlight your girth. “Instead go for vertically striped shirts and team them with plain trousers,” he suggests.

So, whether you want to step out in style with innovatively used stripes or use them to look lean, there’s plenty to choose from this summer.

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