Bold vintage prints are emerging as clear favourites among stylistas
It has been a fragrant Garden of Eden on the international catwalk, with most style gurus from Prada and Moschino to Dolce & Gabbana creating refreshing floral prints, leaving bling far behind. Closer home, virtuosos Gauri and Nainika Karan took a trip back in time designing an effortless hip line on a gown that won favour with Bollywood’s ruling diva Priyanka Chopra --- one that she flaunted at the MTV Awards. “We used strong colours and a print that was inspired by vintage book covers. It was very retro and uber trendy,” explains Gauri. The duo’s line was brimming with combinations in vibrant reds, yellows and maroons.
Pankaj and Nidhi’s prints in eye-catching tangerine were inspired by musical instruments. “Prints are the dominating expression of the season, and we moved away from the predictable phool-pattis (flowers and leaves) to make a statement in prints combined with lattice work, appliqué, quilting and crewel work,” says Pankaj. The husband and wife duo played with a colour palette of spicy purples, navy blues and oranges.
Tanvi Kedia’s hippie deluxe line at the Wills India Fashion Week (WIFW) portrayed a hyper culture through a mishmash of prints, sandwiched stripes and hazy geometrics. Anupama Dayal on the other hand, paid homage to the city of Delhi during the Mughal era through Jamevar printed tier dresses, chiffon odhinis (stoles) printed with butis (small motifs), shatranj (chess) prints and so on.
Taking a more modern approach Ranna Gill says, “Prints are classics like denim. You can have a cluster of flowers at the hem of an outfit keeping it light but bright for summer, rather than using embroidery which adds bulk to it. And bold is beautiful this season --- I used neons, hot pinks and leaf and lime greens, which immediately strike a chord with women wanting that extra edge.”
Bangalore-based Sanchita Ajjampur had a novel take on the Panchatantra tales. It was a different story for menswear. “We used camouflage prints in aviator and metallic shades that kind of mixed Indian military, mythology and textures to create an urban warrior feel. The prints for women had bejewelled monkeys and exotic flora and fauna. We are in an era where prints are becoming more graphic --- digital printing gives you the freedom to meld and weld, add and subtract, making prints less sterile,” says Sanchita.
Prints in the form of soft blue stripes could be seen on the footwear line of Comme des Garcons who teamed up with street chic label Vans and Supreme. Giannini created a holiday mood at Gucci with palm prints much like Pia Pauro’s resort line, or Shivan and Naresh’s swimwear line that was inspired by the Naïve Art movement, complete with pop colours and burning pinks.
Conclude Hemant and Nandita, “We have always been doing prints and nature has been one common area of inspiration. Last year, our prints were about dry trees and colourful flowers --- last season we used flowers which were in X-rayed forms. This season wood and its various textures has been our inspiration.”