Shorter days and longer nights – isn’t this season perfect for some gloss-inspired outfits to shine on? Incidentally, one of the most daring trends of this season is the return of high-shine fabrics like latex, plastic polyblends and patent leather that are so big on the international runway right now. For those who complained about the never-ending series of normcore and ugly-inspired trends, this trend is a sigh of relief as finally ‘glam’ takes center stage with the high-shine effect.
To put it simply, bold fashion choices are best when they are worn boldly. Whether it’s a plastic or patent leather – don’t shy away by using just subtle elements this season says designer Sunaina Khera. “High shine fabrics make quite a statement when they are worn in a solid colour. If you want to make it a little understated, pick a softer colour – like muted gold, soft pink or even white.
Iridescent sheers also look great this season. High shine fabrics typically have a very structured form with little room for fluidity. Teaming them with softer fabrics, that have more movement in them, would work well. Soft knits or light chiffons will break the monotony of the look. It’s amazing to see how new designs are breaking the predictable styles in these rigid fabrics. It’s not just black patent leather pants or a hot red latex bodycon anymore. We see whites, pinks, powder blue, yellow and more unconventional colours. Gowns, trench dresses, floor-length skirts are some unusual silhouettes making their avant-garde appearance on the runways. To begin with, pick a look that suits your body type. It helps if it’s separate because you can style it differently each time. Go minimal on the accessories, allowing focus to remain on the high-shine piece. I would say, it’s ideally suited for the formal evenings, however, if done right it can make for a great day look as well.”
Not just international labels like Simone Rocha, Fendi, Moncler, Gucci, and Christopher Kane, but even high-street stores are offering their own range of laminated looks for the season. Designer Kerry Parker mentions the high-shine fabric trend as a challenging yet significant trend for Fall/Winter and adds, “The trick here is to transform the fabric from racy to refine by pairing it with contrast fabrics. Go classic and team a vinyl trench coat with denim, comfy trainers and a simple T-shirt. Avoid skinny fits at all costs and opt for a straight or wide-cut leg to create a cool look. The colour trends indicate a bold palette of autumnal hues complemented by some more unexpected shades. Introduce colours of 2018 – Charcoal Grey, Seashell Blue, Sunny Yellow, monochrome to your wardrobe with brightly coloured accent accessories like tights, heels, and statement belts. Invest in a fashionable coat or jacket that is tailored according to your body and defines your shape. This will keep your look stylish and also keep you warm.”
Thanks to the international runway, the high-shine trend also works really well with the ongoing awareness of diversity. Designer and creative director at Amazon Fashion, Narendra Kumar, explains, “The best way to put this together is to mix shine with a matt texture. Be it in a skirt top or with a jacket or a pair of boots. Don’t forget to get some colour in the makeup to play it up well. Go for the eyes and push the blush, get funky with large frame glasses to get a contemporary look. High shine fabrics, unlike sequined or embroidered fabrics, have a natural sheen and in garments, and they are often body hugging. They are heavier in appearance and weight over normal fabrics. In terms of Indian context, it is essential to pair them for evening wear owing to their appearance. Additionally, our tropical weather can cause discomfort in wearing these fabrics so keep that in mind.”
Elaborating more on the Indianised appeal of this international trend, UK-based designer Sati Takhar suggests a fine balance with different fabrics. “Before choosing a trend, I think we have to look at what the climate is like. For example, if you are wearing a complete leather silhouette in India during summers it will be uncomfortable. It also, depends on what occasion which silhouette you are wearing. Other than that, one has to make sure that they don't over accessories and let the hair and make-up with the whole look speak. Walk with fun and own the room, after all, fashion is an extension of your personality. In my recent collection, I have used leather in the bodice but a lame or foil print sari to mellow it. One can also wear a pre-draped saree either with leather or with silk pants, as leather might be quite uncomfortable for hot regions. Team Indian ethnic fabrics like brocade/ Benarsi with faux fur or vintage printed fabrics to feel luxurious. Match corset bodice with contemporary saris or pair it with peplum dresses to play up the East meets West collaboration.”