JULY 2013
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida
Fashion

TEXTURES DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Kiran Bahl

By KIRAN BAHL

Ramadan greetings to all. As many get ready to celebrate Eid in August and weddings all over, let’s see how certain textures can make a difference in our clothing, our style and ultimate look.

RUFFLES

Ruffles are so in right now, all over runways and designer shops. But the correct usage of this texture is so important too. When wearing an outfit embellished with ruffles, remember to ensure there aren’t too many of them, or else you will look juvenile! Just a couple of layers is enough and elegant. Placement is urgent too. Ruffles around your torso area can make you look fluffy, around your legs make you look shorter. Try wearing outfits with them decorating the bottom of your kameez, sleeves, or dupatta. A sari with a sprinkle of ruffles on the pallu border or blouse sleeves is oh-so-delicate and pretty.

VELVET/CHENILLE

Velvet is very Indian. Like a cool mix of silk and suede, it was used in practically every outfit for centuries, for men and women alike. For hot summer months, chenille replaced the velvet providing a lighter more breathable version of this rich fabric. How we can make velvet or chenille used more practically in today’s times is the question. And the answer’s easy! In fall and winter months, use velvet. In the spring and summer, use chenille. How much to use is the tricky part. Designers are churning out full velvet outfits for bridal wear and even chenille kurtas for men, even in the summer season.

Ladies, your sari should have velvet only in the trim of the border or maybe as a fill to the pattern. Chenille on the other hand, would be great used as your whole sari blouse or even as your petticoat if wearing a sheer sari in contrast shade. For suits, work trim or dupatta borders can be embellished in velvet work. A velvet bust top or ‘belt’ around the kameez can look elaborate and high-end too.

Gentlemen, velvet is a rich man’s corduroy and always looks royal. Try a sherwani with velvet embellishments mixed with sequin and threadwork. Or a kurta pajama with a chenille dupatta – traditional with a trendy twist!

NET

Net is everywhere, a bit too much if you ask me. From saris consisting of full net Anarkalis and churidaars drenched in it, it’s been one of the most popular fabrics used for the past half-decade already! Let’s mix up the look with other fabrics to appear a bit updated.

Ladies, get a sari with two tone textures. Mixing crepe silk with net or chiffon with net will look newer and even more couture than the regular all net sari. For those a bit self-conscious, make sure the net is towards the end of the pallu so your torso does not show through as much. Also, to appear thinner, try to have the net around the pallu wrap, versus around your legs – net fluffs quite a bit!

For suits or lenghas, instead of the overdone net looks with lining underneath, accent your ensemble with net. A shoulder or neckline made of net, full sleeves of net, even a scoop back filled in with net looks instantly expensive. A dupatta made of net paired with georgette or silk outfit looks nice too. Beware however. Never wear the net with lining combo around the legs. You’ll look frumpy, stout and even wider.

Besides ruffles, velvet and net, there are tons of fabrics waiting to be played with. Play plenty but remember not to mix more than a couple of different textures together. Too many will seem exactly that – too many. Less is more when using materials together, particularly Indian materials, as they are richer and more ornate.

With kids out of school and temperatures heating up, it’s definitely harder than normal to keep up with all. But remember, taking care of yourself and experimenting with your look now and then will keep you feeling fresh and motivated. Be safe, enjoy your family and friends and as always, remember to ‘gro with style’!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, “An Indian Boutique” in Tampa, Orlando and Sunrise, can be reached at (813) 843-9040, e-mail kiran@grostyles.com or visit www.facebook.com/grostyles

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