Our favorite Bollywood, we-hate-them-but-can’t-do-without-them television soaps, Page 3 haute swish –set and the entire design world collectively, in a recent phenomenon, seem to have found a special love for an era gone by. Retro has suddenly become a buzzword and timeless classics are back with a bang (not that they had ever actually gone anywhere)! Revival of past trends, weaves and dressing styles is the ‘it’ thing. Recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week 2017 saw a barrage of designers paying an ode to these time-tested design and fashion elements.
With Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut starrer Rangoon – set in the backdrop of World War II – set to hit the theatres soon, this new-found love has received further propel! From Marilyn Monroe inspired blonde pixie bobs (sported by Kangana), high-waist trousers, highlighted cheekbones, floral design chiffon sarees and high updos and sleek ponytails of 60’s to lehenga suits, floral dresses and bell bottoms, many forgotten trends are ready to enter our modern, futuristic set of preferences and lifestyles. Kangana herself was seen in a series of classic sarees, while promoting her upcoming film, and all of them were absolutely worthy of emulating in real life.
This set us thinking, and we decided to compile a handy list of gorgeous retro looks – sported by our favorite fashionistas lately. And, in case you are wondering – from where and how will you cop these fashion statements – well, we have pretty smart suggestions for that too. Here you go –
- Fancy Florals
If you wish to channel the retro look – fabulous florals are your best bet. It’s unlikely that you are already not in love with them – but if you are ‘not’ – well, develop a crush for this charming classic. From gorgeous floral sarees to summer special summer gowns and dresses (take cues from Katrina’s appearance at Shahid Kapoor’s birthday bash – in this awesome black floral design dress), flower designs are making waves – and they are one of the easiest ways to bring a genuine ‘retro-feel’ to your look.
Kangana wore 3 floral sarees for her Rangoon promotions. Look at that sensuous chiffons saree – from her personal collection. How pretty!
You too can cop this look effortlessly with Saree.com’s fabulous collection of summer-ready chiffon and georgette sarees with flower prints and flower embroideries. Easy-peasy!
- Bold Blouses
Unlike what we choose to believe, the days of yore actually had women flaunting their inherent sensuality comfortably and naturally. Remember those surreal sleeveless saree-blouses – which showcased how pretty a basic and simple cut could look? Frills, dots, little laces, collars and puffs also are great add-ons to simple, classic blouses (ethnic or western) – for a true blue retro feel.
Feel free to get inspired from Kangana or Sonam’s classic sleeveless style. Or, get nostalgic in their hallmark retro blouses – Kangana wears a simple yet gorgeous linen off-white blouse with puff, elbow length sleeves and little ruffle details, while Sonam is uber chic in a high neck, cap sleeved statement blouse.
Ask for custom stitching of your blouse – in a perfect retro style – when you choose this dreamy, classic georgette saree from Saree.com.
- Chokers and Heavy Neckpieces
Women in 60’s and 70’s sure had swan necks – and dressing these lovely, shapely necklines was quite in vogue. Heavy neck-pieces look awesome with retro-styled sarees, blouses, salwar kameez, lehengas and hairdos. Take your choker inspiration from Sonam Kapoor – a saree loyalist – who seems to have a special love reserved for retro styling and stunning neck-pieces.
In her avatar as ‘Hunterwali’-inspired Julia too, Kangana has remained loyal to these spectacular neck adornments.
You too can wear a choker with a deep neckline and a classic updo to channel the retro look. Ensure, though, that you do not wear dangling earrings with a choker or a heavy neck-piece – as it’s best to keep the focus on one statement accessory. If you have a short neck, try wearing V-shaped neck adornments, instead of chokers, as they are best suited for longer necks. Avoid heavy neck accessories with boat-necks or heavily embroidered kurtas or blouses, though.
- Sheer Power
The power of sheer – nets, gossamer, gauzy chiffons or other translucent fabrics – was, is and will be undying – prove our designers’ and celebs’ love for everything see-through. From leading fashion designer Anita Dongre’s LFW-2017 collection to some of the most in-vogue trends in skirts, dresses, sarees, blouses, wedding lehengas and bridal-wear – nets and sheer materials are ruling the roost.
Bollywood’s latest obsession Mira Rajput – sported a gorgeous sheer dress from Anita Dongre collection to ring in her husband Shahid Kapoor’s birthday. Alia Bhatt too had shown all and sundry – the power of sheer – in her blingy saree!
Choose saree blouses with sheer details on shoulders and sleeves, or go for ultra-sensuous net sarees, or half and half sarees with net pallus. If you are not confident with sheer pallus or dresses, try net/ sheer adornments or details – like net pleats or net backs. The peekaboo effect looks super glam!
Net dupattas paired with party wear lehengas or Anarkali suits are also a great idea for creating a demure, retro look. For an Indo-Western look, pair a sheer cape or poncho with lehenga, skirt or crop top.
- Bare Shoulders
Bare, peekaboo shoulders were a rage in 70s and 80s and during the flower-power years. And, this trend is back with a super bang. Cut-out shoulders, off-shoulders, sheer shoulders, one shoulder – all these styles are back big time.
Alia Bhatt – the latest ‘it’ girl of Bollywood has been seen channeling the bare shoulder trend. Even in her upcoming movie Badrinath ki Dulhania, she is seen in a red, cut-out shoulders choli, which she pairs with a lovely Navratri lehenga. Kangana, Sonam, Deepika – all seem to be a fan of this look already!
Women can cop this glamorous look easily by picking bare shoulders/ shoulder cut-out designs in evening gowns, Indo-Western outfits, blouses with party wear sarees, crop tops, cholis for lehengas and even for palazzo suits and other salwar suits. However, this is not a formal, office-wear look – so don’t wear it to your work or a corporate meeting, even if it’s super trendy.
- Power Prints
Prints have an eternal charm. They really never went out of fashion – but yes, they did lose a little of trend battle to weaves, embroideries and textures. Happily, prints are making a major comeback now. With retro fashion trends in reverse gear – easy breezy prints that are also more utilitarian, convenient and practical are back at the center of the fashion game. Many B-town beauties, including Sonakshi and Sharddha were seen flaunting prints on their festive lehengas.
If the idea of only prints on a stylish, posh outfit seems a tad too plebian to you – you can always try a little embellishment over prints. The ostentation may not always be metallic or blingy. Tone on tone, innovative embellishment like ribbon flowers, fabric buttons are also a rage now. Take inspiration from this stunning, ethereal saree in soothing earthy beige – embellished artfully with dreamy fabric adornments.
Although florals are still ruling the charts – other retro prints like polka dots, stars and abstract prints popular too. From sarees to salwar suits, Indo Western suits and even lehengas, prints are now spotted everywhere. Take a look at this art-inspired print-weave fabric in this lovely floor-length suit. Certainly a must-have!
- Black and White – the monochrome winner!
What comes to your mind almost instantaneously, when you think of the golden old days? Black and white films, anyone? The surreal world of black and white cinema has an integral connection with the retro feel. So, there’s no wonder that this color combination is huge now.
From Kangana’s latest black and white saree that she sported for one of Rangoon’s promotional events to newbie Sara Khan’s official debut skater dress, she wore to Shahid Kapoor’s birthday bash – the magical monochrome effect of black and white is to be seen everywhere in Bollywood. And, are we charmed!
Of course, we are. It makes us feel nostalgic – and beautiful. After all, black and white combination is an evergreen, classy combo that looks great for all occasions and in all designs and outfits – just like this magnificent floral print white and black saree – with super pretty ribbon and thread embellishments.
The Victorian era, the Elizabethan era, the Edwardian era or the Italian Renaissance – the luxurious evening gowns connect one to the world fashion and sartorial history like nothing else! Reminiscent of royal capes, regal, floor grazing dresses, red carpet ready flounces or those velvet-laden ball galas, gowns offer a slice of the golden past in all its colorful, vivid glory.
From flouncy, full flare frocks to calf length dresses and mermaid sheaths, gowns from the past, putting the magical feminine charm at the center of dressing, are non-negotiable in every fashion loving girl’s wardrobe now. Laden with retro charm, these gorgeous outfits – in their ethnic or western avatars – were seen on B-town ladies on numerous occasions.
Indo-Western wedding gowns are the buzzword in the Indian wedding market now! Indian brides may still prefer to wear a bridal lehenga choli for their big day, but inspired-from-royalty retro gowns are worn on at least for one of the pre-wedding functions.
Liked these awesome fashion choices? Well, we are sure – you are smitten – just as we are by these gorgeous retro picks. Go on, get yourself a slice of the past (fashion)! And, while you are at it – don’t forget to raid your mom’s and grand mom’s wardrobes and trunks. Of course, no one’s stopping you from re-looking at the back of your own wardrobes too.
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Happy exploring! Much Love.