From traditional to sexy, blouses get retro makeover

New Delhi: Remember the days when a blouse meant going to the nearest `matching centre` to pick up rubia or cotton yardage to go with that new sari. Not any more. From being a mere supplement, blouses have gone glam with a vengeance with long sleeves, low backs, bows, strings, tassels and what have you.

In a recall to the high-fashion era of Sharmila Tagore and Hema Malini in the 1960s, trendy cholis in brocade, net and velvet, not-so-long-ago considered old-fashioned, are once again adding glamour to a woman`s wardrobe.

Muzaffar Ali, known for his ethnic collections, said: "The new trend is long sleeves with a vintage or Victorian crossover look. Also, corset blouses with a variety in embroidery can add volume to the entire wardrobe. Blouses in fabrics like net, velvet and crepe playing with transparency on bright colours are perfect for Indian attire."

From designer studios to silver screen, the new trend is catching on. Priyanka Chopra was seen in a long sleeved blouse in `7 Khoon Maaf`, while Deepika Padukone sported deep cut blouses with strings at the back in `Aarakhsan`.

Predicting more interesting traditional trends, ace designer JJ Valaya said clean empire cuts (blouses with deep cuts in front) and keyhole necklines will make a huge comeback.

"The blouse is an integral part of the Indian psyche. Personally, I believe in sophistication, sensuality and simplicity. For me, clean empire cuts, keyhole necklines with deep backs can accentuate looks," he said.

Also, strapless blouses with a back knot and one shoulder beaded blouses, something that yesteryear diva Mumtaz was often seen wearing in her films, are some of the most in vogue styles.

"Blouses play a very important role, whether you want to look sexy, hot or classical. A lot has been introduced and tried in cholis to achieve the most sensuous look. Now women concentrate more on choosing the perfect blouse for the special occasion than they do the sari," designer Abdul Halder told reporters.

A well-designed and properly stitched blouse can enhance the overall look of the sari or lehenga.

Stylist Pam Mehta suggests that women should go for flattering cuts to enhance their overall look.

"Sensual and flattering cuts are in. The empire line could be embellished with cutwork and the sleeves could be short with accents of the embroidery from the sari. Low backs with intricate embroideries help highlight the saris and give a younger feel," she said.

"One should be aware of different aspects of blouse like fabric, colour, cut and designing to complete the attire and complement the look. Sleeves can add zing and oomph factor to a blouse. Round shape necklines are most common," she added.

Muzaffar Ali suggests minimal accessories if you are going in for an over-embellished blouse.

"Most garments are very decadent and often over embellished. The wise thing would be is to downplay the added glitter of jewellery! Big pearls are a good add on. They go with most things and bring in an additional elegance factor," he said.


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