The year 2017 was high on fashion. Aside from the many new trends that dominated the industry, we also saw the comeback of styles that managed to tame the glam world yet again. The year was all about making a statement with comfortable and stylish clothing. A lot of experiments with frills, drapes, embroidery, sequins, patterns, and colours added variety and novelty to every wardrobe.
Ace designer Ritu Kumar, spoke to Guardian 20 about the best trends of 2017. “The one thing that caught the attention of fashion watchers everywhere this year was the attention paid to sleeves. Starting with the off-shoulder trend to statement sleeves, this year has seen designers everywhere experimenting with the construction and fall of sleeves. Another good one this year has been the attention to detail, tassels, pom-poms, thread-work. All of these have gained prominence this year,” she said.
Fashion always moves in a cyclical pattern—whatever goes out, always makes a comeback. Keeping this in mind, we asked Kumar which trends of 2017 can be carried forward to 2018. On this she said, “Sleeves will continue being a focal point this year. We’re also seeing pop colours, sheer fabrics and asymmetrical silhouettes coming through in western silhouettes. Velvet is a current favourite and will continue to be the same next winter as well. For Indian wear, fabric like cotton matka and slub fabric will add dimension and structure to silhouettes. Relaxed-fit silhouettes are here to stay.”
Another renowned designer Gaurang Shah shared his views on the same topic. He said, “The trend of wearing handlooms and sarees has picked up in 2017 and will continue into 2018.”
He also told us about his vision for 2018, especially in terms of the handloom industry. He said, “The idea for 2018 is to take the handloom segment to the next level by infusing textures and new yarns with inspired designs and colours. 2018 is going to be a mix of eclectic patterns in subtle colours. Colour focus will be on pastels and patterns that will rule the year will be intricate and a mix of natural and industrial.”
According to Shah, the worst thing about 2017 are the cut-outs at the waist, which he says are “atrocious for an Indian woman’s body type”.
Designer Amit Aggarwal, whose fashion mantra is to create new trends and not follow old ones, feels that the stronger fashion currents will carry on into 2018, while the fads will be over this year. He said, “I think metallic will definitely go ahead in 2018 as it is a quintessential celebratory element. Metallic can easily work from dusk till dawn. I see it coming through in the form of embellishments, handwoven fabrics and cording as well as metallic details throughout the garment.
“The patterns and colours really depend on the mood and the season of the collections. For us we always work extensively on patterns every season, making it unique for the consumer.”
Designer Nida Mahmood, speaking about the fashion misses of the year 2017, said, “I find the bathrobe trend a bit far out and not very exciting, some versions of flash dance shoulder were not very flattering too. I personally did not enjoy the slit sleeve, especially when full sleeves were slit right from the shoulder; this trend seems a bit distasteful to me. Another trend which caught hold of my eyes for the wrong reasons was the boy scouts slash—it gave too much asymmetry which, as a styling tip, I will never go for or recommend to people.”
Mahmood, on her outlook for 2018 fashion trends, added, “For the year 2018, some statement embroidery and interesting embellishment techniques will be seen and will be followed as trends as well. I also feel that we will see a bit of layering in terms of ideas, not necessarily silhouettes but more on the level of techniques layered together for a unique look. For the coming year, we will see a lot of softer hues with a few pops thrown in but the fact that every season has got its own colour, they will always play up their charm.”
Designer Suruchi Khanna of Sana Couture says that the best fashion statement this year was the minimalistic look. “This was a season dedicated to pastel hues, and anything which was too over-dramatic was terrible. This season totally belonged to minimalistic fashion.”
On the comeback of velvet fabrics and cold shoulder patterns, Khanna said, “I really feel drapes, floral dresses, peplum blouses, crop and skirts and tail gowns are the trends that we will see in 2018 as well. I feel patterns like cold shoulders and velvets are going to be there in the early part of 2018 for sure. Cold shoulder pattern is a hot favourite on and off the ramp, which can be carried by most body types. Also, one can go seasonal with velvets, which will be the biggest fabric trend for 2018.”
Every year, you get something new to wear or you explore a different style, but few trends hold their ground. Trends like paper bag waist, stripes, trench coat are those that might never go out of fashion, according to expert stylists.
Another young designer Nidhi Yadav, creative head and founder, AKS, said, “Fashion always retains its sense of fun, its colour and glamour with a sense of determination and self-assuredness. Go for bright shades like burgundy, and a grey palette for 2018. Dusty cedar will emerge as one of the best winter 2018 colour trends. One can also go for caramel, teal, mint, plum, and grey. Patterns one can opt for are maxis, monochrome sets, tie ups and sheer dresses.”
“2018 will have a fair share of bright colours with structural and symmetrical patterns. I think handloom is something that will be most recognised in 2018,” said Mumbai-based designer Purvi Doshi.
The Autumn/Winter 2018 season will warm up the tones and treatments and textures from rich velvets, luscious silk tafettas, mohair and alpaca wools, tartan checks and bold herringbones, houndstooth and wide stripes.
Delhi-based designer Payal Jain spoke to us about how old and new fashion trends will make a comeback together in an innovative way in 2018. She said, “The mismatched look will remain strong, with a vintage/eclectic twist to colours, yarns and surface ornamentation. Metallic will be liberally sprinkled as details and accessories. Oversized hoodies, ponchos, wraps and throws will complete the winter mood, along with bold bags, boots, scarfs and hats.”
Jain added, “I am super excited about the 2018 fashion trends as they look set to break all the past norms, perceptions and boundaries.”