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    Street style for kids

    A cursory glance at the fashion statement of celebrity kids tells you that street fashion is here to stay even among this age group, says Sweta Kumari.

    One look at photographs of Harper Beckham, Suri Cruise or Dannielynn Birkhead who modelled for Guess and you know that street fashion is not a passing fad. Children, as much as youth, breathe it.

    Street style for kids is big business today. Funky, quirky and jazzed up with glamour accessories team up with the carefully casual look for girls and boys.

    Street style has always been there. It is only since the mid-1950s that its importance has been recognised, appreciated and emulated. Street fashion is considered to have emerged not from studios, but from the grassroots. It is generally linked with youth culture, and is often seen in major urban centres even though smaller towns have their own smaller hubs.

    Theories about origin of street fashion

    The Trickle Up Theory involves innovation or a picky style that begins on the streets, worn by lower income groups. It is picked up by designers and projected to upper class spheres which purchase the designs.

    A typical example of this is the T-shirt. From a modest start, the Tee has turned into an emblem of global fashion. It has become not just a fashion and cultural icon, but a message board where people can express their feelings in the form of slogans, symbols and logos. Messages focus on the wider audience of popular culture, or are directed at subcultures, politics, economics, social issues and more.

Street style for kids

A cursory glance at the fashion statement of celebrity kids tells you that street fashion is here to stay even among this age group, says Sweta Kumari. One look at photographs of Harper Beckham, Suri Cruise or Dannielynn Birkhead who modelled for Guess and you know that street fashion is not a passing fad. Children, [...]

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    Best fashion picks for women from Grammys

    With more women becoming confident and independent, it is now a norm to see that reflected in their dress, says Yashodhara Shroff.

    “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” Thus advised the late Gianni Versace, celebrated fashion designer of the eponymous Italian fashion house. The thought certainly captures the essence of New Age fashion, which focuses on concepts of individuality and self-expression.

    In recent times, many noted female personalities have begun to play a key role in transforming the way people perceive women’s fashionwear globally. Whether it is a classy and conventional look, or bold and over the top, contemporary women are not afraid of experimenting with their appearance or changing their style. This is evident in the way celebrities dress during award shows. This new-found comfort in wearing what one desires, irrespective of societal judgment, is gradually encouraging many women to ditch the norm and create their own fashion statement.

    The 59thGrammy awards in February 2017 proved this. While the men looked dapper as always, women took dressing up to a whole new level. Be it Lady Gaga’s unconventional and dramatic look or Chrissy Teigen’s Gothic look, the ladies certainly made sure that bold is the way to go.

    Let us explore the best fashion picks inspired by the unique dresses at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

    Shades of emerald: Emerald green made its presence. Even British singer Adele, who won the most awards, sported the colour. The popularity of this shade is in alignment with the colour of the year, ‘greenery’, announced by Pantone Color Institute. According to some fashion experts, emerald green suits almost all skin tones. Emerald and black is one of the best pairings and looks extremely sophisticated and charming. Pair emerald attire with gold or platinum jewellery to complete the look. While it is advisable to wear light make-up, one can opt for bold, red lipstick to add a dramatic effect.
    Elegant, feminine gowns: Jennifer Lopez’s pastel Ralph & Russo gown was one of the best dresses at the event. The multi-talented celebrity looked stunning. She paired it with diamond rings by Butani, heels by Christian Louboutin and a silver clutch. Feminine gowns are perhaps the most common and classiest dresses in fashion wear. They are also preferred by most as they accentuate the form, giving a soft, feminine and graceful look. A feminine dress is timeless and can upgrade one’s style quotient without much effort.

Best fashion picks for women from Grammys

With more women becoming confident and independent, it is now a norm to see that reflected in their dress, says Yashodhara Shroff. "Don't be into trends. Don't make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live." Thus advised the [...]

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    Fashion is in a flux

    The McKinsey and Business of Fashion Report on State of Fashion argues that the industry is in a flux. Technology, innovation, digitalisation, transparency, fashion immediacy, restructuring of supply chains and internal operations are the trends driving industry, writes Anjuli Gopalakrishna

    “Uncertain, Changing and Challenging” were the top three words that executives used to describe the state of the fashion industry in 2016 in the recent survey conducted jointly by McKinsey and Business of Fashion. This is not surprising. We have seen multiple sources of turbulence in the recent past: the Brexit vote in the UK, terrorist attacks in various parts of the world, the US election campaign, the slowdown of the Chinese economy, overall volatility of the stock market, digital disruptions in various forms, rapidly evolving consumer expectations and behavior in the wake of technology advancements. These put together have resulted in tremendous pressures on the fashion industry.

    The year 2016 experienced the worst sales growth rate of 2-3 per cent with stagnating profit margins. This is in stark contrast to the fashion industry’s performance in the previous decade of 2005-2015, which saw the industry grow at a 5.5 per cent annual rate, according to the McKinsey Global Fashion Index. The fashion industry interestingly still remains one of the key global value-creating industries in the world, with a staggering $2.4 trillion in total value. If it were ranked alongside individual countries’ GDP, the global fashion industry would represent the world’s seventh largest economy.

    The top challenges and opportunities: 2016 vs 2017

    What are the top-of-the-mind issues industry professionals are grappling with? Here is a quick snapshot of the top challenges and opportunities that the survey brought out for 2016 and 2017. Dealing with volatility and uncertainty is certain and here to stay. So are the changing consumer expectations driven by the digital and technological revolution. Today’s forever connected, well informed, discerning, customers with shifting loyalties to brands, seeking alignment of their purchases with their deeper values are that much more difficult to please and that much more unpredictable.

    Amidst the challenges, we saw some opportunities emerge as well. Top-end players like Burberry, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger successfully launched ‘see now, buy now’ runway shows to cater to the customer’s need for instant gratification. The reconfiguration of the entire design and product development cycle to enable the runway pieces to be made available instantly to end-customers across multiple locations and platforms is an entirely new concept. Whether this will be adopted on a wider scale and in a profitably sustainable way remains to be seen.

    What is clear is that brands can no longer afford to ignore changing customer expectations. Only those who pay heed and listen seriously to offer better experiences to their customers will stay in the game. Whether it is in providing instant gratification or providing an overall ease of shopping convenience seamlessly across different channels via omnichannel integration, or in addressing the need for transparency and information via sustainability measures or digitisation of supply chain initiatives are the developments to watch out for. The fashion industry is ripe for disruption and change.

Fashion is in a flux

The McKinsey and Business of Fashion Report on State of Fashion argues that the industry is in a flux. Technology, innovation, digitalisation, transparency, fashion immediacy, restructuring of supply chains and internal operations are the trends driving industry, writes Anjuli Gopalakrishna "Uncertain, Changing and Challenging" were the top three words that executives used to describe the [...]

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    Influence of fashion shows on the fashion market and on society

    Fashion shows are a channel of communication between fashion designers and customers where designers showcase new ideas through merchandise on live models. Saranya looks at the impact these shows have.

    Entry of fashion show in apparel industry

    Once upon a time, designers showed new styles and designs to clients through sketches. After the dress was completed, it was displayed on a wooden dummy. Fashion dolls are said to be the first means of circulating the latest dress styles. Fashion dolls were used to show upcoming styles and designs to the customers. The dolls were illustrated with new styles and dressed up with jewellery as well as hair and dress styles.

    Charles Worth, British couturier in Paris, came up with the idea of the living mannequin. When he opened his own store, his wife modelled his creations in the salon. When the idea worked, he employed mannequins who walked about in the salon or down the runway to show his collections to consumers. It was on early 1911, living models were used as a regular part of fashion promotions for retailers as well as manufacturers in the earliest fashion shows. Worth started his own salon in 1858. and on 1911 living models were used.

    Apparel manufacturers need a platform to promote products to the target audience. Fashion shows play a vital role in marketing clothes and conveying recent fashion trends. Nothing is constant in fashion. Designs and styles keep changing. Fashion shows help in creating interest among the public to spread awareness about new arrivals in design and style. These shows help to draw public attention. Fashion marketing scrutinises fashion trends, coordinate sales and promote goods. It is necessary to grant exposure to various trends and styles of clothing. Fashion marketing is likely to notify the public about recent changing trends and about what is in fashion.

    Fashion designers forecast trends. They attend trade shows or visit manufacturers to select fabrics and trims. Designers conduct fittings and adjustments on samples of their designs and the end product is marketed to clothing retailers. Fashion designers aim at inspiring the target audience to purchase the products.

    Through these shows, fashion designers can express their creative skills and talent in designing various types of clothes. The individual talent of designers is exposed and they get an opportunity to promote their creations.

    By involving themselves in these shows, retailers can gain various views of different designs and styles of clothes from designer shows. The knowledge gained from these shows helps retailers incorporate ideas into their boutiques. Using latest fashion software tools, designers can put designs on three dimensional images.

    Impact of fashion show on society

    Everyone likes to track everyday fashion. Fashion gives designers a chance to be independent in ideas. It boosts confidence in the wearer. Fashion is a form of expression for both the creator and the wearer. It helps people of similar aesthetics to bond.

Influence of fashion shows on the fashion market and on society

Fashion shows are a channel of communication between fashion designers and customers where designers showcase new ideas through merchandise on live models. Saranya looks at the impact these shows have. Entry of fashion show in apparel industry Once upon a time, designers showed new styles and designs to clients through sketches. After the dress was [...]

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    Renting Luxury: Indulge. Don’t Splurge

    The online fashion rental market in India, pegged at $3-4 bn, has been exploding with mushrooming startups and existing players even attracting seed funding. Obviously the fashionistas no longer believe in buying expensive designer wear when they can rent it at a fraction of the cost. Nivedita Jayaram Pawar explores this new trend in luxury clothing.

    It’s not taboo anymore to turn up at a high profile luxury event in clothes that are rented and not owned. Instead, it’s considered practical and economical considering the sartorial demands of an increasingly busy social calendar. A hectic social life coupled with the onslaught of social media has made repeating ones clothing or accessory almost unforgivable and even social harakiri. So in such circumstances it makes little sense to invest thousands of rupees in clothes that will be worn once and be relegated to a corner of the cupboard.

    What’s the buzz all about

    A decade ago, renting high-end designer wear was more or less unheard of. Women who didn’t want to purchase an expensive dress for a one-time event were left to borrow from a friend. Designer gown and accessory rentals were the exclusive territory of celebrities and their stylists. But all that has now changed.

    The allure of ‘no ownership’ is now moving beyond housing and cars. High end fashion is now one of the biggest rental industries on the rise. It makes perfect sense for people who can’t afford luxury brands but do appreciate the quality. The new generation raves multiple experiences and desires to be fashionable and trendy, without the pressure of permanent ownership. While the international market is huge for wardrobe rental services, with successful ventures like rent the Runway, Lending Luxury, Girl Meets Dress, etc, in India this trend is still in its early days.

    Shilpa Bhatia, an erstwhile Hindi film stylist, was among the first few to tap into the potential of luxury rental as early as in 2005 when she launched The Clothing Rental in Mumbai. “It was always a herculean task to source garments for all the advertisements that I used to style. Brands would often request for Armani suits and red carpet gowns without a budget to support the request. I would run around crazy trying to create a fancy look and would be frustrated when the tailor didn’t get the right finish. That’s when I decided to invest a small amount on certain classic products that I would have a need for often. It started out just to ease my styling career. Slowly other stylists discovered us and started renting from us. They too noticed the value in our goods.” The Clothing Rental today has two stores in Mumbai apart from an online presence. Offering similar deals are a number of online fashion rentals, including flyrobe.com, swishlist.in, stylebank.in, liberent.com and stage3.co. Renting outfits has become common for those once-in-a-lifetime events (wedding, mehendi, sangeet, bridal showers, bachelorette parties) that require a level of luxury that’s not necessarily worth the long-term investment.

Renting Luxury: Indulge. Don’t Splurge

The online fashion rental market in India, pegged at $3-4 bn, has been exploding with mushrooming startups and existing players even attracting seed funding. Obviously the fashionistas no longer believe in buying expensive designer wear when they can rent it at a fraction of the cost. Nivedita Jayaram Pawar explores this new trend in luxury [...]

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    Wear brands that are ‘Made in India’

    Industry feels the concept of ‘Make in India’ is the right direction to take, to make India the powerhouse that it can be. But for the initiative to be a success, issues of tax benefits, single window clearances, heavy duties on imports, imparting of skill-based training to the labour force and development of infrastructure need to be sorted out first. Manisha Almadi Midha spoke to head honchos of some Indian brands and upcoming fashion designers for their take on the initiative.
    Monica Oswal

    Executive Director, Monte Carlo

    In 1984, Oswal Woollen Mills (OWM) in Ludhiana launched its signature brand, Monte Carlo and transformed the Indian garment sector. While its winterwear was developed from best quality pure wool such as Australian merino wool (certified with the Woolmark logo), the brand has emerged as the masses’ first choice when it comes to purchasing value-for-money products. Its apparel line is accepted as a trend among the fashion-savvy. Monte Carlo’s range of knitwear consists of over 500 designs for men, women and tweens. The brand’s tagline ‘It’s the way you make me feel’ is an expression reflecting the love, warmth and care that Monte Carlo has delivered ever since its inception. In 2006, the brand introduced the bold, energetic Alpha range in its women’s collection. Monte Carlo is available through 225 EBOs and over 1,200 MBOs in India and abroad. Monte Carlo has also marked its presence in UAE, Nepal and Bangladesh with exclusive outlets. The products are available online now, e-tailing through its dedicated website and other e-commerce portals.

    Mustang Socks was founded in 1986 by Naazneen Katrak. In 2004, Naazneen and I partnered to take Mustang to the next level. Today, Mustang manufactures 1 million pairs of socks every month and has a presence in over 5,500 MBOs and has 36 distributors across India covering almost every major market segment in the country. Our distribution channels are already strong in North and West India. We are now looking to further expand in East and South. We recently opened our first wholesale store at Dadar, Mumbai and are looking forward to starting our e-commerce portal soon. Apart from this, we take pride in exporting our socks manufactured in India to the Middle East (including the UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt), England and Italy. Currently, we are exploring the US market as well.

Wear brands that are ‘Made in India’

Industry feels the concept of 'Make in India' is the right direction to take, to make India the powerhouse that it can be. But for the initiative to be a success, issues of tax benefits, single window clearances, heavy duties on imports, imparting of skill-based training to the labour force and development of infrastructure need [...]