Dusshera Dhamaka Of Swirls, Twirls And Sparkles
Cuts, colours, fabrics and textures… in short, fashions that define celebrations. Designers and fashionistas are gearing up to splurge on the festivities
The swirl of embellished, bedecked, multi-coloured skirts, the thwack of dandiya sticks, the thrum of the dhol and the energy of a large group of humanity having fun; hallmarks of dandiya raas that are so typical of Dusshera, that no other image comes so readily to mind. And in Hyderabad, regardless of which community you belong to, you will go to at least one night of carefully choreographed dancing. The larger contexts, mythology and religious percepts that hold up may be lost on most of us but we really enjoy our festivals. Families crowding the house, special foods being prepared, our homes – cleaned to a sparkle – decked up in marigolds and mango thoranams and most importantly, the clothes. What good is a festival without gifts and clothes?
So, here’s a look at what’s on offer for the festive season. The market consensus is that georgettes, chiffons, Banarasi silks and Banarasi net are still holding thrall. “Still very in,” says Quraishi of Mebaz. “The wedding collection that will also cover Dusshera. Net shimmer and net georgette are very popular right now. Since we, at Mebaz, do custom tailoring as well, a lot of people are coming to us for ghagras for dandiya raas. These are distinctly different from festive wear – made from different fabrics and aren’t so heavy.”
Your dandiya wardrobe is of necessity different from your festive party wear and dressy Western garb. But ‘tis the season to be dancing, “A line cuts, with lots of gher and embroidered panels are in demand,” says Bhargavi of Bhargavi Studios. She also does the typical Gult traditional half-sarees and sarees for family gatherings. But Bhargavi’s speciality is her corsets, “They aren’t cholis – these garments are not just designed, they are constructed to fit,” she laughs. Her Dusshera special line has every kind of work that you could ask for, “I mix-and-match the work that goes into my clothes. There are farooqui stones, appliqué and velvet work. I am very fond of creating texture, so most of my work is embossed.” If you aren’t feeling dressy, she also has classic, flowing Western evening gowns in sheer fabric to which you can add custom made accessories.
If glitter, sequins and beads are not your thing you have a slew of muted choices including Brijlata Gupta’s timeless classics. “My label, Brij, is well-known for its neat finish and cuts.” Brijlata’s Dusshera collection includes a line that she’s experimenting with, “I am working with traditional weaves and vegetable dyes like indigo, also texturing with fine pleats, pintucks and minimalist embroidery.” But sarees have and will
continue to be her forte. She relies on the richness of the fabrics for her kind of styling, “Chandheri, tussar, jute, silk, tissues blending with cotton, georgette and silk make for such a brilliant combination,” she adds. The fabric and cuts then become the star rather than the embellishments.
Krishna Mohan at Origins says they are concentrating on “Ethnic wear, ghagras and bridal collections which will cover festive needs of the city. A wide variety of fabrics including shimmer georgettes, Chandheri and Benarsi net with interesting work done in fabric leather, silk or Benarsi borders and innovative cuts are on offer from our stable of designers.”
On the high-end of the spectrum, Elahe’s Rajive Shroff is expecting a consignment of Anamika Khanna and Manish Malhotra’s LFW festive collection quite apart from Sabyasachi’s range and Gaurav Gupta’s cocktail sarees. “We have a range of sarees and lehengas in a broad price brand from a cross-section of designers,” he adds. Sudha Jalan of Also says, “You can take your pick of dressy from Rohit Bal, Varun Behl, Anshu Modi or Amish Arora, in fabrics ranging from chiffon, georgette to really dressy grand looks. Ideal for the wedding season.” Also is showcasing Vidhi Singhania’s Benarsi Kotta sarees later in October.
The colours for the season, the fashion pundits agree, are jewel tones – aubergine, indigo, bright yellow, chocolate and indigo. The cuts for the season seem to range from fish cut skirts to classic A-lines, and the tone is festive!