Burberry took the fashion world by storm this year at London Fashion Week, when the likes of Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse walked down the runway in what were perhaps oversized blankets, meant to be outerwear capes. Warm, woolen blanket ponchos in tribal prints and muted reds and yellows with the wearer’s name monogrammed on it as a stamp of personalized fashion – a new iconic trend was brought to life.
However, move over to this side of the hemisphere and we have a winter essential of our own. Always in demand and something we have loved embracing since ages – shawls! Layers upon layers topped with a rich and delicate shawl – it’s cosy, practical, versatile and elegant – what’s not there to love?
As winters creep in with the sun already setting at 6:15pm, Instep gets hold of some of our top designers to ask what trends will see the dawn of a cool, breezy, winter day when it comes to these chic, statement accessories.
A velvet affair
Living in the foggy, hazy winters of Lahore, it’s no surprise that designer Kamiar Rokni has a vast collection of shawls in his wardrobe. But what makes them special is their originality in design and Kamiar’s individual sense of style. Though he has a penchant for cashmere shawls and is often spotted flaunting one, he feels there will be one welcome addition to the fabrics used for shawls this season. “We have seen a lot of shawls on the ramp this season, embellished in different ways. I for one love the idea of a bejeweled velvet shawl with a contrasting silk lining – something almost slinky and tactile,” he shares.
High intensity colour
At this year’s PLBW, the duo proved that they are game-changers. Just when you expected them to come up with a range of traditional outfits emphasizing more on embroidery, they gave everybody a shocker with a playful collection of bridals paired with rich, textured, and embroidered shawls. As showcased on the runway as well, the duo predicts a colour palette of dark but vivid tones to take over, unlike the usual dull greys and browns. “This winter is likely to bring its own colour palette of warm oranges and reds to the essential black, while the designs will range from traditional to modern,” says Safinaz.
A touch of contemporary
The woman behind the exquisite and even more luxurious Toosh collection, which not only attracted a number of buyers but many animal rights activists as well, brought a modern twist of delicate embroidery to this prized accessory and feels the trend will continue. “Our circus theme from last year was very popular so we will bring that back this year as well with the addition of screen-printed scarves and stoles,” reveals Nida. “Shawls are often for keeps so hand-embroidered ones never go out of fashion.”
Zara Shahjahan Transitioning into formal wear
Zara Shahjahan was another show-stealer at PLBW this year as she incorporated bright embroidered shawls to her folklore-inspired bridal collection. She suggests that unlike earlier years when women would scour markets for pure pashminas, the trend has now shifted gear towards signature designer shawls that focus more on the design and embroidery element. “I am expecting to see a lot of women pair a simple, plain kurta and polki earrings with an expensive, hand-embroidered shawl for a wedding or a formal dinner because they are a statement in themselves,” predicts Zara.