Celebrating festive fusion


, Style

Put a spin on the typical and amp up your wardrobe with a little imagination this festive season

With festive season in full swing and ethnic wear in great demand, step up your style game with Indo-western fusion and embrace a different side of you. The burgeoning events calendar with festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, Diwali, Eid, Onam and others can daunt you with wardrobe queries and make you miss all the fun. “This season is about experimenting with an off-beat colour palette that is away from the gaudy brights, primary colours, earth tones, etc.,” says fashion designer Payal Jain. It is time to ditch the regular and opt for fresher hues, asymmetric hemlines, flawless fringes, trendy sleeves, collars, exquisite designs and trendy jewellery that come together to create an aura of extravagance reflecting the spirit of the festive season. “If you want to stick to the conventional colour palette, rust red and navy combination is stylish yet understated. Solids in canary yellow and pink also works well for a day time occasion,” says fashion designer Kunal Anil Tanna.

salmon, peace, aqua, mint, fog and ecru are the colour trends of the season, adds Payal. The fresh touch of fusion to the ethnic wear will not only give you a makeover but will add an essence of style and elegance to your look. “Nothing spells festive like a burst of saffron. Team it with monochrome for a subtle yet distinctive look. The idea is to throw in some colour on classics. Like offsetting a spring green with white,” suggests Kunal. Giving your ethnic wear a twist with the flattering trends are sure to gear you up for the parties and help you don the perfect look.


This festive season you can be the perfect host and also turn around heads at various parties by adding a western touch to your ethnic outfit. “Western approach of ‘Less is More’ is finally beginning to appeal to the Indian woman’s sensibility and they are focusing on beautifully draped and sculpted silhouettes, versus heavily embroidered, beaded and crystallised ensembles,” says Jain.
If regular salwar kurta or simple saree styles are not something you want to wear this festive season, you can add an oomph factor with some fusion hacks. Add cigarette pants and embroidered kurta cum jacket to your wardrobe. “Tunics with high neck and collar add a formal touch to the attire. The amalgamation of modern silhouettes with the traditional handloom; and feminine designs along with light fabrics will be on trend this year,” says Kunal. Anarkali kurtas with high neck and collar in retro prints are a wonderful option for casual Eid gatherings. The chicer attire can be donned with pants in pastel hues or embroidered in a pattern similar to the kurta.

Palazzos can never let you down when it comes to fashion. Whether it is ethnic or formal office look, palazzos work well for every occasion. Opt for a palazzo in different colours, patterns and fabrics to pair it with a silk kurta for unconventional appeal. The trend for asymmetric hems is becoming a craze with many designers adding the style in their collection. Cigarette pants, palazzos, leggings or even patiala can be teamed up with asymmetric kurtis for a captivating look. A Kutch jacket over a jumpsuit is a modern, edgy and traditional combination.

Grundy and ethnic are the right words while choosing an outfit for men. For comfortable yet stylish look, men can experiment with ankle-skimming pants with shirt kurta and bandhgala jacket. To give the look an extra edge, bandhgala jacket with floral prints can be added to the ensemble. Nehru jackets are a must-have in men’s wardrobe for an Indo-ethnic look.


Why wear sarees the same old way when you have plenty of options to experiment with the traditional style? “Form-fitting tunic dresses teamed with dhoti salwars, vintage jackets worn with traditional shararas, voluminous skirts paired with corset tops, bustiers, shirt blouses, structured jackets and flowing capes are making a huge statement this season,” says Payal. nnovative styles of draping with quirky elements are wonderful ways to add elegance to your outfit this season. Twist up the traditional sarees by adding a belt hat will not only keep the pleats in place but will also add to the neat look. Shorter saree drapes in single colour can be paired with contrast leggings or straight pants. If leggings are not your choice, you can cross-wrap the saree and tie the pallu in a prominent knot. A quirky jacket with different types of collars, textured materials, metallic motifs and embellishments can dazzle up the ensembles. If you are heading to party or a social gathering, carry a stone encrusted or designer clutch and add shimmering gold and silver ornamentation to complete the look.

Lehenga choli for a garba night or Diwali party will not look the same with a little bit of experiment. The most flattering trend is the asymmetric lehengas with asymmetric tops and cholis. You can pair kaftan inspired or sequin embellished cholis with broad bordered lehengas. Plain lehenga give the look of a long skirt and are amazing for casual look. A statement sleeve choli with a mermaid cut skirt or a broad bottom lehenga with an embroidered long jacket are some of the hottest trends of the season. If you are too shy to experiment, you can add a cape to the floral and embroidered long trail lehengas. Off-shoulder embroidered or sheer ponchos with layered and ruffles lehengas can be a great outfit. “The easiest way to put together a last minute festive look is by pairing a pretty ethnic skirt with a crop top or a saree blouse and a dupatta in a contrasting, bright colour,” suggests Kunal.

Men can go for a classic look with polo pants and pathani jacket with zari embroidery over a light coloured shirt. A shorter version of sherwani with dhoti pants and morjaris are a great ensemble to become the talk of the town.



Traditional handlooms with captivating patterns and prints is an extensive amalgamation. If you want something off-beat for garba night or Ganesh Chaturthi evening, you can wear a dhoti styled kurta. Payal Jain’s suggestion is to stay strong with one piece of jewellery, be it a strong neckpiece, beautiful earnings, quirky armband, a series of bracelets, traditional Mang-Tikka or enchanting nosering.

A clutch with ethnic earrings can dazzle the attire. “Instead of your regular jhumkas, mix up your ethnic style game with pretty chandbaalis instead. Experiment with necklaces, earrings and bracelets to create a new look with the same clothes,” adds Tanna Take the festive fashion one step further with bold slit kurta in geometric pattern. They work well with everything from trousers, jeans, palazzos, leggings and churidars. In this era of fusion, you can add the loose Aladdin pants from the good old cartoon days to your outfit. Pair it with a poncho top with embroidered bottom hemline for comfy yet stylish look. If you are looking forward to make a statement on formal office parties during the festive season, pair a sleeveless asymmetric top with churidar pants. A front slit dress paired with silk pants is a wonderful mix and match option. To make it gorgeous, you can take the slit higher to the ribs with a matching pair of low-waist flared pants. Men can give a modern twist to the timeless classics by wearing linen dhoti pants with graphic tees or casual shirt.

The changing trends with Indo-western fusion over the last few decades has taken the world of fashion by storm. The perfect mix of elegance of ethic attires with trendy westernised patterns is sure to add an extra edge to the grandeur of the festivals.

Text: Kritika Dhawan

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