Retro fashion: Trends that withstood the test of time

Retro fashion: Trends that withstood the test of time

By PREETI SINGH | | 18 June, 2016
(From left to right) Mansi Sharma eyewear collection, Mughal-inspired outfit from Neha Khullar and Kundan collection from SLG Jewellers.

Ieagerly used to wait for the summer vacations in my childhood. Visiting my granny during the summer break was the biggest joy and more than this, I always had a deep curiosity for her big antique trunk which was seldom opened other than when she was in the mood to give out presents.

It was a magical box of sorts. I remember the old trunk had beautiful vintage jewellery and sarees which she would gift to my mother,  and which I inherited from my mother. Such vintage sarees and suits are back in fashion now. Everything that is old and in vogue is not limited to outfits, accessories like jewellery, eyewear only but even furniture, cars are now preferred in vintage style.

I remember my mother had a bobby print saree which was a rage at the time when film Bobby was released in 1973. Dimple Kapadia’s perky polka dotted top was enough to woo the audience.  Polka dotted outfits are still popularly known as bobby print in fashion industry. Retro designs usually focus on particular timeline or popular culture during an definite era. Fashion from 50s till 90s are all back in vogue now. As they say, history repeats itself, Mughal inspired designer suits to Rajputana jewellery are  back in vogue and are considered a hit by the designers in fashion industry. One can’t dare say now that our grandmothers were old-fashioned due to the significance vintage designs still have in contemporary fashion.

Designer Neha Khullar who designs Mughal inspired outfits says, “Haven’t we all heard the phrase, ‘old is gold?’ I just incorporated this phrase in my collection in the most literal sense. Vintage garments are an epitome of eternal elegance which never goes out of fashion, which is why my garments have a vintage feel to them but with a modern twist.”

“Haven’t we all heard the phrase, ‘old is gold?’ I just incorporated the phrase in my collection in the most literal sense. Vintage garments are an epitome of eternal elegance which never goes out of fashion.”

There are many aspects to keep in mind while designing a vintage inspired product. The outfit should not lose its retro quintessence while designing a modern outfit. It has small intricacies which one needs to take care of.

Talking about her Mughal inspired creations, Khullar says, “Outfits especially from the Mughal era were voluminous and carried a lot of embroidery. Since my collection is based on the same lines, I keep in mind the volume, shape, silhouette and kind of embroidery while designing a vintage outfit. I focus on keeping the vintage look alive and amalgamate it with modern silhouettes. The prime focus of my collection is on intricate embroideries like French knots, zardosi work and many such to give the garments a royal and niche look. I incorporate the grandeur and luxurious touch with elegant and intricate embroidery.”

Interestingly, sunglasses these days are no more associated with a geeky look. But the compelling bit are cat-eye glasses, round frames known as Gandhi frames and big frames that of 70s are back in town.

Remember Zeenat Aman flaunting big red sunglasses in Dum Maro Dum? Along with her act in the song, her eye wear too got the attention of the masses. So much so, that they became raginf trend of those days Now, those same mid-rims in different rim sizes and multiple bright colours like yellow, red, pink, green, blue have replaced modern rim-pattern like small rim collection.

Mansi Sharma, who designs vintage inspired accessories and eyewear which goes by the name, Go Spiff says, “I am an eyewear aficionado and love collecting funky vintage glasses. Our collection covers various styles from 60s to the late 80s. From the beatnik-inspired block by block that features bold dark lines and a squarish frame to the russian spy; big delicate square frame that represented the peak of the biking subculture of 80s are back with a bang now. A classic rectangular handcrafted piece, with rubber detailing on top bar as well as a now-extinct detachable nose bridge to steampunk inspired by the subculture of the 19th century are very fashionable now across all the age groups. Borrowing heavily from the classic tear drop shape, Ice Pops are the newest design trend — with lens and frame rolled into one. The design is unique, we restore and curate collections of vintage eyewear. All of them have a very strong design aesthetic that makes them stand out in the crowd.”

She adds, “It requires great hard work to discover old factories, select a range from their stock and then restore and change lenses and before finally putting them up online. Vintage-inspired products also have similar factors to be kept in mind.  Certain things I keep in mind while curating the collections are — uniqueness of the design, comfort, repairability and sturdiness. The most important aspect nad the attraction quotient of the design remains its uniqueness.”

Vintage jewellery has always remained in demand. From casual parties to wedding ceremonies, these can be seen everywhere. From heavy necklaces like Rajput Kundan jewellery to light oxidized ones, everything is in demand in the fashion industry.

Pritesh Goyal, director and designer of SLG Jewellers says, “Customers these days are very choosy and have different sorts of demand. We focus on antique product jewellery. We make oxidized jewellery fusioned with diamonds with white gold which gives an antique and vintage look to the product. Vintage jewellery is not always about heavy ones, they come in light look too. It is very popular in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Jaipur. It is both contemporary and vintage jewellery amalgamated in one product. We get a huge demand for Mughal, Nizam and Rajput style jewellery from customers.”

So clearly, when it comes to style quotient, all that’s vintage is still in vogue even today.

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