High Street: Staying in Style

High Street: Staying in Style
Tarun Tahiliani, Designer
Suhani Pittie, Jewellery designer
Varun Bahl, Designer
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Name a 2016 trend for women that you love.

Dhoti pants are for the modern Indian woman. They are ideal for someone who is aware of traditions and at the same time has a strong individual style. The dhoti pants can be paired with a kurta or a t-shirt for a contemporary chic look. One can even wear pre-draped pants and dhotis and bring the elegance of another time in a contemporary way.

What are you loving in men’s fashion at the moment?

The waistcoat is to India what the Chanel jacket is to France. I love it for men. In a tropical country, it slips over kurtas and can be paired with trousers, jeans, or dhoti. It allows structure. It has transcended fashion with its timelessness. It is the common man’s jacket and comes in every shape and size. I have seen it at the Kumbh Mela as well as at the most elegant parties in Delhi and Mumbai. It is egalitarian. All my friends around the world want to wear it.

Easy-to-wear separates are the trend. You can mix and match dhoti pants, lungi skirts, tunics, T-shirts, innovative kurtas for a fresh look

What is the biggest no-no for men when it comes to dressing?

I hate the trend of Indian men blindly aping Italian models even when they don’t have the right physique for it. They tend to wear things that are over- fitted, a little too jazzy, and things that might look good on them if they were 6 feet 2 inches tall and very lean. I think the biggest oversight is trying to be too Western one day and overly Indian the next. I have always maintained that you’ve got to have your own style.

Is there a garment or accessory you would like to see come back in style?

There is no doubt that fashion has progressed by leaps and bounds in the last 15 years in India. Yet, I have this sinking feeling every time I sit at an airport or a mall that somehow women looked more elegant 16 years ago. That the humble sari that has been tossed off for the light dress did more for Indian curves.

That while clothes are more practical today, something of feminine grace is lost. It is my eternal love for the sari that really pushed me to transcend traditional definitions and make the silhouette universally appealing. Both concept saris and traditional ones paired with a well-tailored jacket are my favourite to this day.

Prints, stripes, colours or a particular silhouette… what do you predict is going to be the next big thing?

I think easy-to-wear separates are the trend. You can mix and match different silhouettes like dhoti pants, lungi skirts, tunics, t-shirts, innovative kurtas and asymmetrical hemlines for a fresh look. It’s now much more subtle and chic. Also individualise it, so you are not wearing a look from just one designer. It’s all about individuality.


What are the trends for 2016?

I don’t like to use the word trend. Everything is trendy if you love it and it has functionality for you. That said, exciting new ornaments are always fun to try. Midi rings, palm cuffs, anklets, ear buttons, metal belts, and harnesses are some styles. Men can wear cufflinks, pocket watches and tie-bars. Both men and women can mix bracelets with their watch. But mind you, these have always been around. You are just seeing them now in a modern avatar that is practical and can be part of a regular modern wardrobe.

How can one incorporate jewellery into the work wardrobe?

Professional needn’t be boring. Wear a ‘haslee’ under your collar. Or wear your scarf with a brooch. Always wear a classy watch. If the environment allows it, then wear simple long-chain earrings. Avoid bracelets that jingle; they could be distracting. Men can go crazy experimenting with cufflink designs. A sleek watch and maybe a tie-pin and you are good to go. A smart business card case is always a good accessory.

Maang Tikkas seem to have had a revival. Is there any other piece of jewellery you like to see back in fashion?

I won’t call it a revival. They are a staple in every Indian wedding and have been forever. They are just seeing modern avatars. I have myself worked on many interpretations of traditional ornaments and since nothing has really gone out of style, I would just like to say that I would love to see new renditions of, say, the nath.

Metals, gems, colours… what do you love at the moment?

I fall for anything that catches my eye. I made my own German silver when I couldn’t find an allergy-free version. Right now, I’m obsessing over rhomboidal leadalite. I’m a gemologist first. The geek in me always surfaces. Brass, copper, steel, wire, zipper, silver, acrylic, anything that catches my creative fantasy. My work is unapologetic and it’s conforming in a non-conforming way. And I fall in love with something new everyday.

Both men and women can mix bracelets with their watch

Name a piece of jewellery worn by a celebrity on the red carpet this year that you’ve loved?

Besides our ear buttons and linkcoletté that Sonam Kapoor wore to Cannes this year, I fell in love with Heidi Klum’s butterfly earrings.


Name a 2016 trend for women that you love and one you think is overrated.

For me, ruffles have always stood out as a trend with those flirty silhouette and feminine forms. With no runway leaving out elements of ruffles, this trend has made a bigger comeback this year. Ruffles were a stand-out feature in my AW16 collection. I have incorporated them by adding an edge to it with 3D blooms. Invest in some pretty dresses with ladylike silhouettes and lightweight tops, as they are likely to be in trend this year. I personally believe in delicacy, so indulging in an accessory overdose with too many statement pieces is a trend that I feel is overrated.

Name a 2016 trend for men that you love and one you think is overrated?

While this trend can be overwhelming for some men, I have been experimenting with floral prints in my couture collection and they have been popular for their added brightness in many runway looks. For those who are open to trying this trend but hesitant to go all out, I suggest incorporating floral slim ties or pocket squares in vivid floral prints to add a bold element to your look. In my opinion, overtly fitted pants are an overrated trend this season. A good fit is great but a relaxed cut allows you to look stylish while not feeling constrained.

How can one translate styles from this season’s runaways into one’s work wardrobe?

Buttoned-up, ruffled white shirts are a classic runway trend that could be paired with formal trousers and/ or stylish overcoats, definitely a staple for women’s work wardrobes. Shirting stripes have been an international runway obsession this season and a perfect trend to incorporate into your office attire. You can play around with variations in colour, size and the direction of stripes to achieve multiple looks.


I believe indulging in an accessory overdose, with too many statement pieces, is a trend that is overrated

Is there a garment or accessory you would like to see come back in style?

Strands of pearl wrapped delicately around the neck are a classic and versatile accessory. They could be paired with Western as well as Indian outfits. Multiple lines of pearls help achieve a sophisticated look. I would definitely love to see it back in style.

Prints, stripes, colours or a particular silhouette… what do you predict is going to be the next big thing?

Colours offer a new perspective to fashion and will continue to dominate the market in the coming months. Sensual colours like amethyst orchid and cashmere rose will be standouts for the season.

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