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Lookbook for summer wear

This season, fashion is more about originality and innovation

Showli Chakraborty Calcutta Published 02.05.19, 09:02 PM
Light colours are in as are loose, flowing robes. 
Costume Crazie Needle

Light colours are in as are loose, flowing robes. Costume Crazie Needle The Telegraph picture

Some people demonise the Indian summer. But there are others who know how to make the best of it, especially the Indian summer. And the way to do so is to create an entire wardrobe befitting the weather.

This season, fashion is more about originality and innovation. Men are likely to search for watches, light-wash denim and corduroy, while women will continue to search for statement trainers, bamboo-structured handbags, as well as sustainable fashion.


“Summer clothes must ensure comfort. One must look good and be comfortable at the same time. You can’t wear something that will look dressy but make you sweat like a pig from inside,” said Ritesh Agarwal, a resident of FD Block and a student of fashion designing at NIFT.

Likewise several stores and boutiques in Salt Lake are stocking up on summer essentials. Says Indrani Saha of AD Block’s The Princess Diary - Beauty & Clothing Studio: “This season is all about cotton and linen. The weather in Calcutta is such that any other fabric will not keep you comfortable. This is the time to go all out with cottons, linens, khadi and mulmul. They are the best options.”

She adds: “Try a pastel-coloured sari with a chequered cotton blouse and a handful of handcrafted jewellery. This will add glamour to your look while you beat the heat. As summer is the season of being vibrant, energetic and positive, you should go with combinations like green and yellow /pale blue and pink/ cobalt blue and turquoise/ red and blue/ tan and maroon or purple / pink & grey.”

In keeping with the trends across the country, people in Calcutta seem to have rediscovered the beauty of our heritage fabrics. Every designer in the market, celebrity or otherwise, is celebrating the fabric of freedom in not-so-humble avatars. From rough spun to the finest mulmul, expect to see the best of khadi everywhere.

Another popular trend is indigo. Birthdays, weddings, dinner dates, house parties… you name it, they will wear it! Probably if we had a favourite fashion colour, it would by all means be indigo. Traditional block-printers in Jaipur use more of indigo than any other colour. This year, they introduced a green indigo, made possible with the addition of turmeric in their mix.

In keeping with the tradition, fashion entrepreneurs in the township are also experimenting with all shades of indigo, especially in block printed kurtas, saris, skirts, dresses, panjabis, half shirts and so on and so forth. Says Abira Roychowdhury from Ranikahini boutique in Laboni: “Indigo is a big hit and a classic print to wear. You could team it up with anything, be it a linen sari or a palazzo or even jeans. It will work wonders for you. Pair it with silver jewellery and you are all set for the day.”

In terms of colours, the ones that have really caught on the imagination of the fashion community are various shades of yellow and pastels. This will be the year of sophisticated pastels or neutral pastels like pale pink, ivories, silvers, greys and champagnes.

Swati Khemka from Crazie Needle said: “We have been selling a lot of oriental gowns and other evening wear. Summer colours are sophisticated pastels or neutral pastels like pale pink, grey and ivories.”

Costumes from The Princess Diary

Costumes from The Princess Diary The Telegraph picture

Sari from Ranikahini

Sari from Ranikahini The Telegraph picture

The new LBD

Saris were rediscovered by trendy young ladies, who wore them with utter disregard for conventions and in the most unusual of ways. Blue jeans and churidars have now replaced petticoats; cholis morphed into skinny stretch tees or bikini bras and hemlines floated well above traditional lengths. This season will see saris take the centre stage, albeit with a different look. Instead of blouses, team your sari with a crop top, or a vest or even a jacket. Keep it compact and whole.

Says Swapna Halder, owner of a tailoring outlet in CA Block: “My customers all come looking for various kinds of cuts and designs in blouses. They want to invest more in the blouse than in the sari. It feels nice to see young girls wearing more saris. Unlike the 1990s, when most women shunned the sari, people are now rediscovering the sari in a new avataar. And that makes me quite happy.”

Agrees Kuntala Basu Mallick, a resident of FA Block. “I'm a college student. But I wear saris at every given opportunity. Not only do I love the new age saris, I also love to sport heirlooms handed down to me by my mother and grandmother. It makes one look elegant, yet trendy.”

Sustainable fashion

Sustainability will be a big influencer for purchasing decisions for both men and women. The percentage of eco-friendly and recycled fibres and fabrics in retail brands has gone up significantly as consumers demand more sustainable lifestyle choices.

Hence the rediscovery of khadi is so much more significant this season. Special features such as adjustable trouser length, hidden and roomy pockets, adjustable slits in dresses and anti-stain, anti-wrinkle and easy-care garments are the norm. The reappearance of reversible clothing is also a conformation to sustainable clothes.

The tone-on-tone, thread work and textures are also a hit with men. Men now seek now a well-received pattern and the deconstructed silhouette that allows the outfit to be broken up and paired differently. In 2019, menswear will include experiments with asymmetry, drapes and tailoring.

Make-up (Box)

Morning make-up tips:

  • It’s important that you practise the daily CTM (clean, tone, moisturise) and apply an oil-free moisturiser during summers.
  • It’s a myth when people say that you shouldn't wear make-up every day.… A layer of make-up on top of the sunscreen lotion always protects your skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Invest in a power-house make-up primer. Glow up with some bronzer, keep things light, avoid using shimmer and go sheer. That is a kind of foundation that glides into your skin soothingly giving it a glowy effect and a no-foundation look.
  • Say no to shimmers. You can add light shades of eye shadow for the morning, teamed with a brown eye-pencil with a bit of mascara.
  • Team up with vibrant lip colours like orange/ peach / violet/ bright pink / mocha.
  • For blush you can go with peach or baby pink for a fresh look.

Night make-up tips:

  • Use lightweight concealers. Don't make your make-up too glossy as eventually it will appear cakey. So keep it light, applying a good coverage lightweight foundation.
  • Use a good primer along with bronzer to define your cheekbones.
  • For your eyes go for smokey eye-make-up with either brown or black. You can even use grey and marsala or bright blue with gold, along with black to make your eyes look prominent.
  • A well-defined eyebrow along with a good mascara is a must for both mornings and evenings.
  • You can use a brown blush-on for contouring and a highlighter to highlight your cheek and nose, thereby adding shine to your face.
  • Go for shades like nude, light pink or peach or even light mauve.

Tips: The Princess Diary - Beauty & Clothing Studio

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