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Simply cool!

As the weather hots up, there are some cool options for your wardrobe



Plainness is the order of the day. A designer like Wendell, whose collection doesn't have any embellishment, is having a dream run. -- Photo: Sandeep Saxena

GET READY for a gratifying summer. Designers are stitching some cool designs, creations that don't demand a perfect shape, dresses that don't ask for audacity. No doubt, it is the younger brigade that is leading the charge. "I always stand for comfort. This year the trend is feminine. I won't say my collection is forgiving, but of course it's flattering," smiles Wendell Rodricks, the Goa-based designer, who presented his Ripples collection at the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2005 recently.

"Anyway, my inspiration has always been a woman in her mid or late 20s, who may not have the perfect shape but has the buying capacity. It's practical and fortunately now the trend has come my way as well. The advantage is, in this age group the body size is almost the same, irrespective of the nationality. So you can address a large clientele."

Talking about his latest, Wendell says, "The clothes move like ripples over the body. I have used crinkled organza for this purpose." His collection has an earthy, brownish tone with hints of blues and reds, but Wendell also promises his designs would have a linen base and white tone.

"I believe this will work better for the scorching summer."

The ethnic touch with lots of metal sequins and hints of gota and leatherwork is making a return, but designer Suneet Verma feels it is not really something new.

"Just the territories have changed. A few years back, Dutch milkmaid — equally ethnic — was in demand. Today the influence is more Eastern. Again Eastern includes places like Morocco as well." It is common knowledge that both Moroccan kaftans and Rajasthani skirts are finding space on the Indian ramp and store shelves.

Skirts remain the flavour of the season both with flounce and in sharp forms. "Flounce and cascade are still in, but I don't think the layered look is still big," reflects Suneet.

Aparna Chandra, also on the Fashion Tour, feels very long skirts have outlasted their value and the emphasis is more on knee length or even shorter ones. She adds: "Pants are also in demand but unlike skirts, here only slim line is in demand."

Suneet says last year the emphasis was on the hemlines of kurtis — below the navel, but this season the focus is under the bust. No wonder empire line — made popular by Bipasha Basu — finds a place in every designer's collection.

Aparna, recognised for her understated lines, has this time taken a break from her image and experimented with a riot of colours. "My creations reflect my state of mind. I am very happy these days, so the colours — even fluorescent neons — which I have never used before, find a place."

Still, she reminds us, she hasn't gone overboard but maintained a subtle tone of fuchsia and lime green to suit the weather. "My collection has a very womanly look of the 1960s. The drapes are fluid yet glamorous."

Overall, subtlety is the order of the day. A designer like Wendell, whose collection doesn't have any embellishment, is enjoying the trend. "Finally one can survive without embroidery and attending page 3 parties."

Even those who love to work with embroidery are going for textured ones. Adds Aparna: "Over the years, designers have started realising the need for making something that 10 people could be seen wearing. That one-off dress approach is fizzling out."

At the same time all is not over for the daring. There is Malini Ramani, waiting to dress you up in her holiday wear inspired by the tropics. Here linens take a walk as she has used lots of chiffon and net. Here, long skirts shy away in front of her ultra minis, disco pants and bikinis. "I design what I can wear," as she puts it.

ANUJ KUMAR

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