Manish Malhotra, Gaurang Shah and Sabyasachi bringing back the Anarkali from hibernation at the winter festive fashion weeks can only mean one thing – This time-honoured, flattering and bellowing classic is back. Not like it was ever gone, but this time, it’s updated with cold shoulders, dramatic slits, belted, jacketed versions, topped off with capes, cut outs at the waist, plunging necklines and ones that come with pre-draped dupattas! Here’s some inspiration from the runways to update the classic for the festivities ahead.
Slits sky high
The new and improved anarkali is not heavy. It has bright prints on lighter, pastel or rich tones and comes with a modern silhouette. Ever seen a piece with a high slit in the front or dangerous side slit? Well, it’s time to give that a shot.
Clean and classic silhouettes are always welcome, but this season, say hello to asymmetry in your anarkali. “Take this Shantanu & Nikhil’s piece for instance. The newness lies in the fact that they’ve used printed khadi fabric and the extreme asymmetry. The khadi fabric gives it the beautiful volume. Perfect for the festive season,” adds Bengaluru designer Shruti Kulkarni.
Packed & pre-draped
Fresh off the runways, pre-draped dupattas are having a moment in the limelight. Why? Because it’s extremely fuss-free. “Whether your dupatta is stitched to the end of your anarkali and is worn like a saree pallu or pre-draped and stitched to one shoulder with embroidery, it suits people of all ages. It allows you to experiment with draping styles, lending to its unique look,” says Shloka Sudhakar, a Bengaluru designer who attached a metallic dupatta holder to her anarkali to highlight the entire outfit, as seen here.
Jackets all the way
In what’s an ethnic layering trend, designers are updating their royal, floor-sweeping anarkali with fitted jackets. Like this Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla’s pristine white creation on Anushka Sharma. Want to fashion a jacket for yourself? Give heavier fabrics like jacquards, taffetas, worsted wool and heavier silks a shot. Bonus: According to stylists, you can also wear it with a saree or a lehenga!
Speaking of drapes, for another young Bengaluru designer, Aditi Lal, the caped anarkali stands out. “It adds a unique drape when compared to a dupatta. To be able to play around with it and wear it suited to personal style adds to its charm. It also makes it a lot easier to handle the outfit as the trouble of having to pin it or just having to constantly hold it is gone,” she says about her creation shown here.