Saturday, June 30, 2007

Drenched in style

Rains need not dampen your passion for fashion. The season is right to dress up and go wild with colours both in apparels and accessories, says Ritusmita Biswas

As the skies open up you must be wondering what to wear during these rain-soaked monsoon days. Don’t fret. Gone are the days when a dull grey rainy morning meant wearing your dullest clothes and taking your black grandfather umbrella to the office. Monsoons now mean wearing a lot of bright colours and dressing up to combat the gloomy weather. Designers might differ on their choice of colours but almost all of them agree that monsoon fashion is definitely in. And so are bright colours.

Take for example the dowdy black umbrella that was once the common thing to carry along. That seems to be completely out and fashion umbrellas are in. These designer umbrellas come in various hues and prints. Said Joseph Thayyil of the John’s Umbrella Mart in Alappuzha, Kerala, in a recent interview: “The umbrella has assumed a whole new meaning — people don’t see it as a cumbersome utilitarian item any more. It’s more of a fashion statement, a mark of one’s status and style.” That’s why he has tried to give the umbrella a new twist and make it hip, happening and cool.” Agrees R Basu of Duckback Emporium in Esplanade, Kolkata: “Since the last few years rainwear has stopped being just a utility object. It’s as much a fashion accessory as other items. We at Duckback are constantly striving to give it a new fashionable look in terms of colour and designs.”

Youngsters are going for all kinds of designer umbrellas and it is not just about colour. Be it a teenager or a young top brass corporate executive, everyone is striving hard to ensure that his/her umbrella makes the latest fashion statement. Therefore, in the circuits we have umbrellas of all kinds: right from patch work to believe- it- or- not, kantha stitches on khadi.

This fashion consciousness for the monsoon season doesn’t stop at umbrellas. There are umpteen varieties of fashionable and colourful raincoats you can choose from. When shopping for them, keep in mind that when it’s raining, and you have to go out, what people see is the coat, not what you are wearing inside. So, take time to choose something really appealing. Keeping in with the trend, you can go for bright colours like electric blue, fluorescent green and dazzling red, to name a few. Match up these raincoats with colourful boots. Not only do they add excitement to your monsoon outfit, they also make you stand out against the muddy puddles. However, if you prefer to stick to traditional wear and boots are not suited for it, don’t lose heart. From branded to non-branded segments you have various categories of rubber shoes and slippers beautifully designed so that you can tread comfortably yet fashionably through waterlogged streets.

Colours also dominate apparels for the season. The monsoons basically give the designers a good excuse to play with colours.

Over the years, there has been a marked change in the perception of dressing up during this period of the year. Designers across the country recommend bright hues now. Says designer Jyoti Khaitan of Kolkata, who recently launched her bridal wear collection: “Monsoon is a dull season and so I have used a lot of bright colours like vermillion red, flaming orange among others.”

Designer Agnimitra Paul points out that cotton is the essential fabric for the monsoon season as it dries up fast and is comfortable to wear. According to her a cotton T-shirt and a pair of cotton capris would be the ideal wear this season. Heavy materials like heavy silks and jute apparels are a definite no-no for this season.

As far as make-up is concerned, keep it to the minimal. So here you are. Go paint the town red even if it pours outside.