Blast from the Past
by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu
Fashion is heading towards a new direction – backwards, as the 1920s are revived.
A couple of years ago, Hollywood fashion was inspired by a film called Chicago, which brought back into vogue the exuberance of the jazz era when fashion was defined by the 'flapper girls.'
From the heavily-ironed bob cut hair, the calflength handkerchief-hemmed li'l black dresses, sassy cloche hats, wrapover coats with fur collars to the dramatic make-up -- pencil thin eyebrows and ox blood lips -- this was the decade of luxuriant fantasies. Now, Indian fashion is heading the same way.
"In India, we've seen an overdose of kitsch styles," states designer Ritu Kumar, who feels with fashion being cyclic, this is the season of extravagant excesses. "Rekha's look in Parineeta marked a return to an age when glamour was equivalent with style. Fashion is reflecting the 1920s Hollywood grandeur, dominated by exotic glamour. The crystallised, bling bling look is toned down with an emphasis on an old world charm," she adds.
With over-the-top styling making way for classical elegance, designer Aki Narula says Hindi films too will see a glimpse of 'understated glitz.' "The boho chic sensibility is fading and lots more stark vintage has come into prominence.
Worldwide, post 9/11, we'd seen a burst of colours and floral prints explode onto the fashion scene. But that upbeat optimism is giving way to no-fuss clothing with layering, draped fabrics like satin, jersey and tweed and signature accessories like geometric shaped clutch bags and pearl strands," explains Aki.
Stylist Anna Singh says, "We are seeing a comeback of sensuous silhouettes like the Empire line accentuated with fine detailing." Be it the slinky evening gowns adorned by Greta Garbo in the classic femme fatale tale Matahari or the thick bangs of 1920s' legend Louise Brooks -- Hollywood glamour is clearly on its way back into the heartland of Indi fashion. As they say, antiquity never fades.