The country saw a record number of fashion weeks this year -- Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi, Haute Couture Week, the Van Heusen Men's Fashion Week, the Kolkata Fashion Week, the Chennai Fashion Week -- whew! The list is endless! But one is for sure -- the style trends seen on the runway were cutting-edge, distinct and show no signs of ebbing in the New Year. So here's a look at the outstanding ramp trends of 2009:
Yup, this was definitely the 'it' item of the year. Short, long, free-floating, tight -- the jumpsuit in all its forms and colours, was and continues to be a must-have. You can go casual in a denim one or formal in a silky sequin-dotted number. But go for it you must, because every fashionista worth her salt owns one at the moment!
The toga dress
Mediterranean inspirations were as big in 2009 as Indian influences were in 2008. And that doesn't go just for India, it goes for the international fashion circuit. Roman toga dresses, with their soft drapes and sensuous fabrics, were the toast of the year. And with the festive season upon us, it's time to break for the one in your wardrobe!
They go beautifully with toga dresses. And you get them in a variety of colours and styles, ranging from flats to six-inch heels. Gladiators could add a touch of glam even to a potato sack. And considering that anti-fits were also a big thing this year, that's a good thing, but more on that later!
The return of sequined bling
Just three little words: scrunched, sequined minis. Like the one you see Paris Hilton wearing here, which was designed by none other than Indian designer Pria Kataaria Puri. More steely metallic tones have been ditched this year in favour of bling-thing outfits that show off a heavy dose of shimmer and glimmer.
Put away those saris and salwars, because the anarkali has proved to be the hottest ethnic garment of 2009. From light, cheesy linens to florals and gold-embroidery, of late haute Indian women are preferring the flattering flow of these voluminous twirlers to almost everything else Indian wear has to offer.
They spell casual with pizzazz. You can look like a celeb trying to go incognito when you dress down in a hoodie, sweatpants, a branded handbag and oversized sunglasses -- and that's just the kind of appeal that's found favour with fashionistas in 2009. In fact, dressing down the right way is more difficult than dressing up
Harems and wide-leg trousers are no longer as much in style as dhoti pants. Whether they end a little below the knee or at the ankles, a pair of these is sure to look classy and 'with it', especially in well-draping fabrics like cotton-silk blends or muslin. A pair of heels and a great handbag added on and you'll look straight out of the pages of a fashion mag!
Formal ethnicwear suffered a setback in 2009 with the cocktail dress making a renewed foray onto the style scene. In fact, Indian brides are opting for dresses when it comes to their cocktail receptions this season, instead of the traditional lehengas. So go the comfy route instead of tugging at a sari or ghagra all night long
The evening gown
Everyone is aspiring to red carpet glam this year. Our Bollywood divas have been ditching saris for evening gowns and everyone else has followed suit. And you have to admit, our designers do Western wear with flair -- just ask US First Lady Michelle Obama, who chose to don a creation by Indian-born designer Naeem Khan for a state dinner at the White House last month.
Chalk this one up to the quirks of the fashion industry. But a few of the trendiest ensembles we've seen on the runway this year are the ones that have no fit to speak of whatsoever. And what's curious is that they end up looking so cutting-edge it's actually rather cool! So for street cred, you know what you need to shop for, but remember -- there's a very slim line between anti-fits and ill-fitting!
The coat dress
Instead of just grabbing any old jacket this winter, opt for a sexy little coat dress. They're well-cut, feminine and bring out your fashionable side, so ladies, become a little more selective when it comes to warm clothing! You can also opt for the same patterns in lighter fabrics if you live in sunny climes.
The 'Y' silhouette
Top-heavy and streamlining towards the bottom -- that's been the favoured silhouette this past year. So while skinny jeans and pencil pants continue to remain popular, batwing blouses, slouchy tees and long, pocketed tunics go with them.That's about it for the fashion round-up of 2009 -- for what to expect in 2010, we'll be tuning in to what the experts have to say soon, so make sure you keep an eye out for it!