We are ready to ring in the New Year, but before we bid adieu to 2018 let us have a look back at the biggest fashion trends that the year witnessed. From the return of bike shorts to tiny sunglasses, from tropical prints to sneakers with ethnic wear, from power suits to transparent bags—in every way possible this has been a big year for fashion aficionados.
Guardian 20 spoke to some prominent designers from the fashion industry to know about the trends that stood out in 2018, and about the ones that would continue to dominate the market in the coming year.
Raghavendra Rathore, who is also known as the “king of bandgala”, advices that in 2019 men should go for multifunctional waistcoats, vests and gilets with multi-pocket design details. The emphasis on design functionality and relevance will be a key feature this coming year. When it comes to daywear style, the photographer’s waistcoat, game vests and coats are expected to make a huge comeback.
Rathore said, “In 2018, hand-woven silks, linens and cotton, jacquard patterns on fabric, which were all in vogue, remained predominant in our collections and in the market as well. Also, the customisation and innovation in weave and structure, is an attempt to revive heritage textile into contemporary silhouettes designed with relevance and purpose.”
To get projections for some upcoming trends in the handloom market, we got in touch with designer Gaurang Shah, a.k.a. “the master of weaves”.
According to him, there has been a rise in the sari’s popularity in recent months, with new ways of draping redefining the garment. In 2019, this trend would further develop. Shah said,” The biggest trend for me personally is the growing, and sustained love for handlooms and traditional garments. Also, I am pleased by the fact that saris have become alluring for all age groups.”
Shah is also concerned about a negative trend that ran riot in the fashion world in 2018: plagiarism. “This is another trend which we can see in our fashion industry. The industry should find ways to eradicate copies and copycats,” he said.
Designer Purvi Doshi, who has been working tirelessly to promote sustainable fashion and handloom styles, spoke about the fashion trends that dominated 2018. “Athleisure has been one of the major trends this year,” she said. “As health and fitness have become more and more popular, comfort clothing has really caught on. Mixing comfort and athletic wear together, athliesure fashion has been popular not only in India, but also in the international markets. In terms of colour, this summer we saw several monochrome lines that stood out from the pastels and florals. We have seen quite a bit of layering, too, this year, with people styling with capers and overlays and stoles and so on.”
The designer also predicts that athleisure, sustainable fashion and detailing are going to rule 2019. But jackets and overlays are going to “steal the show”.
Renowned Hyderabad-based designer Anushree Reddy talked about a bizarre trend that didn’t please her one bit in 2018. She said, “Velvet was something that everyone wanted this year and I wish we went a little easy on this style. Velvet as a fabric is something that I am not so keen on using in 2019. I wish this goes away.”
Designer Samant Chauhan was displeased these past months with “fairy-tale dresses”. “The bizarre trend of fairy-tale dresses has to get over by 2018. People have an obsession with these and they think these dresses make one look prettier, but I feel that this style is so overdone.”
According to Chauhan, the biggest trend that dominated the wardrobes sector in 2018, and is expected to rule the market in 2019, is sneakers. He said, “People have started wearing sneakers with almost every outfit. Sneakers with Indian wear were seen everywhere. We saw people redefining their style by confidently pairing sneakers with all kinds of looks. Whether it’s a lehenga, sari or an Indo-Western dress, a good pair of sneakers can definitely amp up your look. You just need to pair it up with nice accessories. One should not hesitate to experiment with this and should be confident to try new styles.”