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Shoulder it, stylishly

Shoulder it, stylishly

Trans World Features (TWF) | 04 Apr 2016, 06:00 pm
Off-shoulder tops are hot this summer according to fashion designers. Pramita Bose reports

Don’t give it a cold shoulder, literally, but expose it with elan this spring-summer, say fashion designers. We are talking about off-shoulder tops, of course, which are ruling the fashion scene now.


Conceptually, however, shoulder-baring is nothing new but has been a part of dresses from ages. Observes designer Shruti Sancheti, “ It’s been a trend from time immemorial. Its origin can be traced back to the great evolving era of Indus valley civilisation down to the Aryans and the golden period of the Guptas in history. On the western front, Greeks, Romans followed this fashion route and later during the Victorian and Edwardian reign, a woman’s shoulders, collar bones and arms were steadfastly ruling the roost. Its USP is that it reveals yet looks demure.”


It appears sexy yet feminine and additionally, looks stylish and leaves the rest to imagination. “The cold-shoulder trends with downplayed make-up, halter-variations and boat necks with sleeve cut-outs would hold sway in the months ahead,” Sancheti predicts.


“No wonder the shoulder fad is hitting the runways big-time at New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks this 2016 spring season. Earlier in the 90s, this was a craze and now it has sprung back to emerge as the biggest story in the fashion street,” echoes Shibani Sanghvi, CEO, creative head and founder of Divaat.com, a leading online fashion store for trendy apparels at pocket-friendly prices.


Exposure is the key element here but overdoing things can spoil the whole show. So the right mix and balance are crucial, suggest fashion exponents. Cautions  designer Zulekha Shariff, “It’s definitely a sexy way to show off your skin but if you try too hard, it backfires. These off-shoulder dresses  are the best bet to draw attention to your face and lend the illusion of an elongated neck. Hence, minimal styling is needed when you slip into an off shoulder and look gorgeous at the same time.” 


The high-street stores are now brimming with off-shoulder varieties to pick and choose from. Tops with ruffled, crochet, a white lacy look or just sleek velvety gowns can do all the talking for you. While for a bohemian look, opt for those gypsy tops, navy off-shoulder with distressed jeans and brown suede fringe heels, white sheer off-shoulder with denim skirts, shoes, skinny jeans and a bucket purse make a style statement as also floral prints for the summer. One may pair it up with white pants.

The fashionistas would know how important it is to pay attention to the bottom part of the dress when in an off shoulder number. Slouchy fabrics, peplum-fitted, polka-dotted, paisley-printed or gold metallic structured tops and flowy elegance in periwinkle, beige, yellow and white shades are re-defining off-shoulder drifts in the market. As add-ons, high-waist jeans with hat, skinny-tights and red ruffle skirts can be teamed up with off-shoulder tops to create that cool, chic look. Separates as in maxi dresses or gowns also look good.

 “A black off-shoulder dress with a classy cross belt bag, a blush pink dress and a floral top with distressed denims are a few good must haves in one’s closet. Interestingly, off-shoulders are incredibly easy to be coupled with any bottoms,” says Sanghvi.


There is no particular colour palette to compliment this silhouette, yet tops generally in soft pastel hues, whites and nudes retain their popularity with nautical prints for company. “For an avant-garde feel, bold chromes and prints would look simply awesome with a little bit of ruffles to unleash that X-factor. Petite floral prints for off-shoulder summer costumes are yet another runaway winner,” prescribes Sanghvi.


The fabric can range from silk crepe to linen for maxi dresses, kaftans, tunics and dinner dresses. “And if you want a bodycon top or a tight-fitting dress to clad yourself in, then lycra is just the material to work wonders for you,” she adds.


On the other hand, Sancheti urges stylistas to raise their bar with “denims which is a hot trend this year”. While in print section she considers native prints, paisleys, block prints and special screen prints to set their own benchmark and the print-on-print story to be pronounced as a strong trend for the year.


Hints of pastels or the Pantone unisex palette that comprises offbeat tints like ‘rose quartz’ and ‘serenity’ are the go-to colours of 2016 fashionscape and would undoubtedly give your off-shoulder attires a very chic yet refined look. 


“Even darker hues like blacks, khaki green and burgundy will look stunning to the admirers’ gaze,” recommends Shariff, who votes for solid colours and smaller prints to get along with this trend. “However, it’s always good to select prints and fabrics depending on your body type. Almost any print can suit this style right from the stripes to florals with fabrics ranging from lace to cottons,” she observes.


Off shoulder tops can work for office-wear too but then, advises Sanghvi, “ For a corporate spin, pair it up with a pencil skirt or a neat trouser. And if a night-out is planned with your girlie gang, never forget to grasp an alluring pair of shorts to be the cynosure of all stares.”


Images: Collections of fashion designers Zulekha Shariff and Shruti Sacheti

Shoulder it, stylishly

Trans World Features (TWF)
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