fashion & glamour

Masaba Gupta: queen of quirk

Want to look stylish in 2018?

A brand new year is here and that, for the style conscious, it means a whole new range of fashion trends to choose from. So if you are looking for a ready reckoner with predictions for 2018, design experts give you a lowdown.

Fashion designer Aditi Lal casts her vote in favour of athleisure. “Colour-blocking is definitely going to be in with bright and vibrant colours and a combination of flowy and stiff fabrics working together to create elegant silhouettes. Motifs and embellishments will be used minimally just to give the outfit a bit of pop.”

In terms of ethnic fashion, Roopa Reddy, Creative Head at House of Blouse, observes, “Seasonal dressing is catching up on the ethnic fashion circuit in India.What I perceive as some of the top trends in ethnic fashion would be the re-appearance of the colour red, revival of traditional fabric embellishment techniques and weaves from the world over, Indo-Western fusion wear, and nose pins with every outfit.”

Though the pan-tone colour of 2018 is ultra violet, Roopa feels, “red seems to be taking ethnic fashion by storm after lying low for a while. The ever flattering angrakha silhouette now returns in re-invented kedia tops, kurtas, anarkalis and even maxi dresses, so do the sharara-style pants from the 70s. There’s a big rush for traditional fabrics like Ikat weaves, Shibori dyed fabrics, hand-block pints, Phulkari embroideries and Kalamkari painted material. Mix and match in saris and blouses continue into 2018 with Banarasi brocade boat-neck blouses still topping the list.”

Coming to fashion for men, Barbara Collini, fashion stylist, Indian Terrain, believes, “We’re veering towards an urban arch-influence that sees sportswear soar, branded aggressively with logos left, right, and centre. The 90s influenced wardrobe is going to be oversized or nothing and logo mania oriented but only during spring/summer.”

According to her, “Important colours will be red, camel, ochre and orange. Those who prefer a more neutral and discreet style can choose earthy tones. The safari mood and some military pieces, in shades of green, are a recurring element that seems to move men towards a more relaxed and informal style. This year the man in bermuda shorts is fashionable and flower power makes its appearance. The trendiest styles will be bomber jackets, 80s style jeans, checks, oversized sweaters, backpack and stripes.”

Fashion trends don’t encompass apparel alone and Sushrita Setty, Myntra Fashion Expert, says, “Accessories play a pivotal role in completing that perfect look. Armed with versatility, quirkiness and individuality, these baubles offer new opportunities of expression. Global trends for women that will rule the wardrobe for the next six months include layer-up necklaces. Take cues from Kim Kardashian and Rihanna. Start with a choker and work your way down. Tassel earrings remain a favourite. Move over aviators and oversized sunglasses. This season, we’ve only got eyes for the super slick and tiny framed-Matrix sunglasses. Futuristic vibes guaranteed!”

She adds, “It’s also time to go hands free. Who needs handbags and clutches when fanny packs are making a comeback? They’ve been reinvented and upgraded to a logo bearing ‘belt bag’. Blending Don’t forget to boot it up with boots in all shapes and forms. Try suede, velvet, or transparent. Best part? They don’t have to be high heeled. Practicality is key for women on the go.”

Fashionable accessories that men can opt for, says Sushrita, “no wardrobe staple can reinvent your look like a great pair of glasses and this season, gold is the go-to colour. Earrings for men don’t have to be limited to studs. If you are up for piercing your ears, you can rock the year with mini hoops. Bracelets retain a sense of masculinity and convey a notion of tasteful rebellion with their sleek appearance.”

And with that, we’re certain 2018 is going to be one hell of a fashionable year.

Oscars 2018A night of Guccis and Diors

The 90th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles witnessed the best and the worst of fashion the red carpet has ever seen. While some stars opted for sombre tones, others dazzled in pops of colour. There were those who preferred muted accentuation and others who went over the top with embellishments that included everything from feathers and fringes to fur.

Wonderful in white

It was pretty challenging to pick among the best dressed in white but we must admit Margot Robbie was a stunner, though she suffered a bit of a wardrobe malfunction. Decked in a form-fitted Chanel dress with jewelled detailing across the bodice and off her shoulders, with her hair worn in soft waves, she jazzed up her outfit with diamond stud earrings and a statement clutch.

Laura Dern also stunned everyone in Calvin Klein by Appointment. She paired her one-shouldered white gown with a classic hairstyle that featured cascading waves. And is Jane Fonda immortal? We have to admit that the fittest 80-year looked lovely in a beaded Balmain gown from Olivier Rousteing’s 44 Francois Premier collection that had an interesting angled neckline.

Glitz and Glamour

We couldn’t take our eyes off Jennifer Lawrence who wore a strapless and striking gilded Dior gown, bringing just the right amount of glamour to the red carpet this year. With her hair worn in loose waves, she looked every bit the diva she is.

Lupita Nyong’o is someone who never fails to dazzle on the red carpet. This year, she made a grand entry in a custom Atelier Versace dress, Alexandre Birman shoes, Niwaka jewellery, and a Versace clutch to match. Allison Williams too sparkled in an Armani Privé gown.

Think Pink

Viola Davis was among our favourites dressed in pink. She picked an electric pink dress from Michael Kors collection for the Awards. She totally channelled the 90s vibe with those massive hoop earrings she wore to match her outfit.

On the other hand, making an equally fashionable statement was Saoirse Ronan who was dressed in a pale pink custom Calvin Klein gown which she wore with matching pumps. And you’ve got to agree that she totally rocked her super short haircut.

Red Hot

Leslie Mann looked ravishing in a number from Zac Posen’s Resort line as did eternal favourite, Meryl Streep who was dressed in Christian Dior Haute Couture, Stuart Weitzman shoes, and Fred Leighton jewellery. Apart from winning the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Allison Janney won the hearts of fashion folk the world over, as she walked the red carpet in a plunging V-neck gown that featured floor-length statement sleeves. Well fitted and complete with a small yet gorgeous train, she carried a matching Roger Vivier clutch and wore Jimmy Choo heels.

When Bling Goes Wrong

Salma Hayek’s custom Gucci by Alessandro Michele dress had us thoroughly confused. The befuddling combination of sequins, layered ruffles, and a swathed neckline, was bad enough, but then she went ahead and wore a chandelier of crystal strands across her neckline, that spilt onto her shoulders and down her back, which was far from flattering.

Then there was Amatus Sami-Karim, wife of actor Mahershala Ali, who was dressed in a gaudy gold gown that featured numerous strange embellishments, including scale-like layers and two parrots, casually embroidered onto it, making the gown look even more hideous.

It’s hard to make a sartorial error in black, but songwriter and singer Taura Stinson’s shimmery gown just didn’t cut it.

Missing something, missy?

We’re not quite sure what actress Blanca Blanco was thinking when she zeroed in on that barely there red-and-white dress. With a daring and almost non-existent neckline and thigh-high slit, she failed to impress.

It also seemed like singer, St. Vincent, came to the Awards with half her dress missing. Featuring only one poufy sleeve, a sash draped in front of what could have been a bathing suit if it was made of Lycra, the bizarre hemline really had us thrown off.

Drape Jape

Singer Andra Day in a floral pink and blue Zac Posen gown that looked a lot like curtain fabric, the silhouette did nothing to flatter her figure either. Also in a floral ensemble, Whoopi Goldberg’s turnout this year hit a low, thanks to her gown’s drape like fabric and an overbearing silhouette. To make it worse, she wore combat boots under this despicable roomy dress!

Casual Much?

It’s such a pity when someone who is always elegant on the red carpet somehow doesn’t dazzle. Emma Stone sure looked chic in her belted blazer and pants combo, but it was much too informal for a star-studded event.

Shades of inclusivity

When Fenty Beauty launched last year, it was easily one of the biggest launches the beauty industry had seen in a while. Rihanna’s makeup brand released 40 shades of foundation, with the aim that every skin tone should find a shade match. While it was not a surprise that most of the foundations sold out rather quickly, it was surprising when it continued to happen with every restock that followed.

In complete contrast, Tarte Cosmetics recently launched their Shape Tape Foundation. The Shape Tape Concealer is a cult classic and was the best-selling concealer in the US in 2016. For some reason though, the brand decided to launch their foundation in two finishes (matte and hydrating) and 15 shades, of which only three are aimed at dark and deep skin tones. If you see the swatches online, you will notice that they seem to have excluded the entire range of medium-dark tones as well, which would mean that most of us Indians would have a problem finding a decent match. Simply put, Tarte probably hoped the ‘hype’ around the foundation and the success of the concealer would mask their mistake of releasing a range of colours that were severely lacking. But it didn’t — customers were unhappy, bloggers and writers tore them apart, and several influencers even deleted “First Impression/Review” videos in protest.

Following this, the beauty industry is still standing in solidarity against Tarte for their lack of inclusiveness despite the apology and promise of 10 more shades.

In the meantime, Huda Beauty released her #FauxFilter Foundation with 30 varying shades. And NARS’s latest offering, the Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation released with 33 shades (13 more than their previous range of 20), further cementing the views that the beauty industry must include everyone, from the palest to the deepest.

We are finally at a point where you need not mix and match to find your perfect colour, but can find one closest to your skin off the shelf.

Finding the perfect foundation match is still not that easy. Most makeup has its foundation (pun intended) in colour theory. It’s what makes finding a concealer to cover dark circles difficult, just as it makes finding your undertone beyond the basics of warm or cool complicated.

While Fenty Beauty did set the tone, there have been several brands that have always been inclusive such as MAC (25 shades), Bobbi Brown (30 shades) Makeup Forever (40 shades), Giorgio Armani (42 shades) and Estee Lauder (42 shades) as well as older professional brands such as Kyrolan and RCMA.

Even more affordable brands like L’Oreal have a comprehensive range now. Such as the True Match (₹1,025 on which has 33 shades in the US, but only 14 seem to have made it to India (of which only five seem to be available at most points). But it isn’t just about the number, but about the range of skin tones those foundations can cater to. Glossier, Becca and IT Cosmetics may have less than 10 shades each, but they happen to be evenly distributed between Light, Medium, Dark and Deep, and that’s what matters.

Now that there is so much awareness, and customers are demanding more from their makeup, it is time for cosmetic companies to understand their customers better, and make a conscious effort to go beyond mere tokenism and create a diverse range to include everyone who chooses to wear makeup.