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Monsoon fashions

Whats hot for this Season?

Monsoon pictureFrom Sanyukta, Seasons Correspondent Mumbai, August 1:

It is raining cats and dogs. Braving all those puddles and slush you have to reach office on time. As you turn to cross the road, an autorickshaw passes by splashing the muddy water on your saree. Next you try to catch a bus but end up getting drenched in the thick downpour. After you reach office, you try to wash off the mud and squeeze out the excess water from your pallu. But it is not so easy.
The result is you shiver through your bones the whole day in the air-conditioned environment. Had the fabric of your saree be rayon or silk you could have avoided this mess. It is this necessity that has caused the advent of monsoon fashion in India. India, which is still waking up to concepts like fashion seasons was blindly aping the Western idea of spring/summer and autumn/winter collection.

Vandanna Roy
However, for the past couple of years, designers like Vandanna Roy Of Sentiments have started bringing out monsoon collections.Says Vandanna, "during monsoon, the accent is on bold colours, pastels are out simply because the sun is not shining as bright as it was in summer. Fabrics like blended cotton and polynylon are ideal for this season. Chiffon and crepe are out as they lose their sheen once they are wet. I prefer thicker fabric material as it will also keep you warm. My personal favourite for monsoon is capri pants teamed with tank tops, I think it is the best for the season.

"Sunita Ramnathkar's Barcode has worked on the Jungle theme this monsoon. Says she, "my designers have captured the thick greenery and wild dense growth of jungles for the monsoon. Deep beige, olive green are the dominant colours in this pret collection." But not all designers believe in bold colours for monsoon.

Wendell Rodricks
Goa-based Wendell Rodricks prefers to bring out the various hues of sea to dark bold colours of greenery in his collection for the season. The dominant colours in Wendell's collection include blue, green, indigo and white. The fabric used is blended cotton.

According to Dinesh Chheda who has been designing ethnic threads for women for more than 25 years, "most women prefer wearing salwar-kameez to sarees during monsoon. That apart, they generally do not buy anything major during this season. All their buying is confined to summers or festive occasions. Hence, I do not see the need to design for this season. However, if I ever design for monsoon then the accent will be on synthetic fabrics and bold colours."

Seema Roye
In contrast, leading designer Seema Roye has brought out Splash, an exclusive collection comprising six different segments, to welcome rains. Seema's collection consists of elegant beach wear, Indo-Western fusion and traditional Indian wear. Her palette is as wide as blue, peach, light copper and white. Palazzos teamed with tank tops are among the fusion wear and elegant zardozi work on satin mark the ethnic collection. Her fabrics include satin and net.

Unlike Seema, Shaina NC does not design for monsoon nor does she believe in any kind of work on her clothes for the season. She avoids fabrics like cotton, crepe and organza. According to her, "silk is best suited for the monsoon. It also gives scope for variation in the hues."

Anita Dongre whose AND outlet at Crossroads avers, "traditionally,Indian women used to have a different variety of clothing exclusively meant for the monsoon. It is only now that we have realised the need to revive this tradition. I have not brought out anything new for this season but my fusion wear, which is a blend of Indian bandhani with Western outfits, seems to be the right choice to offset this season."

Designer Jai Ramrakhiani makes special bermudas for the monsoon. "I think bermudas are best to avoid the various hassles of heavy downpour," he smiles.

Vikram Phadnis simply treats monsoon as an off season and takes a break during this period. He would rather concentrate on his autumn\winter collection than design for monsoon.

Manish MalhotraStar designer Manish Malhotra has similar views. Says he, "I think colours like blue, light purple, indigo, lemon yellow and white, which are a designer's favourite for summer also hold good for monsoon. He does not see the need to design separately for monsoon.

Deepak Duggal who is into men's fashion in a big way, has designed special shirts for the monsoon. Says he, "it is important to use the right fabric during monsoon as there are certain fabrics which lose their sheen once wet. Hence, I import a special blend of rayon and cotton from Italy, which I use for most of my line for this season. The rayon ensures that the clothes do not cling to your body and cotton dries up fast so it is an ideal blend for this season."

With so much to choose from for this season, monsoon will never be looked down upon as a dull and dreary season anymore. Most, I am sure, will be ready to welcome the showers. EOMů

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