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Rise and sparkle

When you see a rail of clothes, do you always (ALWAYS) zero in on or get drawn to anything that shines? My friend, you ain’t got an unseemly habit, you just got the sparkly gene! But it’s time for some self-control, please, as you have to keep in mind that understatement is the reigning king and less is always more. Take a cue from couture giants (read Ralph Russo, Chanel, Elie Saab, Tarun Tahiliani, etc.) who are vouching for a new kind of sartorial dichotomy — subtle sparkle.  

Creations from Chanel, Ralph & Russo, Shantanu & Nikhil, Zuhair Murad and Tarun Tahiliani

For the upcoming India couture week, from ace designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil to couture giants Tarun Tahiliani and Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, several designers are set to showcase silhouettes that sparkle and shine with pearls, crystals, sequins and more — but with an understated edge. 

An army jacket with sparkly detailing is trendy at the moment

Titled “Tarakanna”, Tarun’s collection is said to be a portrait of understated cosmic glamour that acts like an optical illusion floating loosely from the sky in celestial elegance a la vintage embroidery, finest Italian tulle, Chantilly lace and crystals from Swarovski. Whereas Shantanu & Nikhil’s “The Regiment” is about the sparkle in installments with the help of crystals from Swarovski. 

“But to avoid bingeing on glitter to the point where one can easily give passersby a migraine, impose some rules,” says designer Simran Arya of Carousel. 

“Anything that sparkles invokes a sense of joy, and wearing something shiny always makes one feel more confident.  However, adding too much sparkle is not always the right option. Sparkly or shiny fabrics should be treated as if they were bare skin — that is, they have a similar look-at-me quality and should be used in moderation, balanced with pieces that are neither flashy nor sparkly. Another good way to subtly introduce sparkle without leaving out that hint of shine is through accessorising your outfit with sparkly stud earrings or a neck piece or a glittery ring.”  

Go for a shirt or skirt or jacket, to begin with. That will give you an independent individual item to work with. Figure out ways to make light-catching pieces day-time appropriate, by meshing them with those off-duty workhorse pieces. An army jacket with sequined sleeves is tres trendy at the moment. 

A skirt with a sequined panel and a sparkly necklace is another great option. Pairing a dulled sequin sweatshirt with boyfriend jeans for a casual brunch look or finding a metallic handbag that stands out against an all-black outfit, always adds a bit of glitz.

Designer Dilnaz Karbhary of Dilnaz says, “Shine is easily available, at any hour of the day or night. Which means that there is nothing but my self-control standing between you and bling. Stay with one colour family. For the day, stick to a monochromatic look — navy pants with a navy sequined top. It’s work-appropriate but gives a kick. Also, think small. Big sequins demand a lot of attention.”

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