Being resort ready in 2021
The general mood for resort wear before the lockdown was to go big or go home, with extravagant styles and silhouettes. For instance, Tanieya Khanuja’s holiday collection last year had a lot of ruffles with exaggerated sleeves or structured corsets. The Zsa Zsa Zsu edit from Papa Don’t Preach had lots of embellished bralettes that were matched with ornate accessories. Now the focus is on comfortable transitional separates that can be recycled and reused over seasons to come.
Classic cuts and practical silhouettes with a relaxed feel are in, and there is a conscious shift towards sustainability. Vibrant florals, tribal prints and boho luxe-inspired ensembles took away the gloom of the pandemic and kept us looking forward to dressing up on our first holiday post-lockdown. I love to mix all kinds of prints, and I’m partial to graphic, animal prints, gingham, plaid and muted florals. I picked a couple of pieces from Saaksha & Kinni for my trip to Goa in December, as they fit the bill.
The kaftan has always been one of my favourite styles. But it has definitely gathered more attention in the past year. The bandhini kaftan from Dyelogue by Rachita Parekh, which I had featured on my Instagram feed, is a popular one. Several followers went ahead and purchased it for themselves. I think it had such a good response because it is flattering, comes in a range of vibrant colours, and suits most body types.
Other picks include Moroccan-themed kaftans from Rajdeep Ranawat (a current favourite with Kareena Kapoor Khan) and baroque embroidered maxis in bronze and gold by Nikita Mhaisalkar.
For work and play
One of the most frequent questions I get about resort wear is if they can be used beyond just one season or occasion — something that is on everyone’s mind post-pandemic. I believe it is important to invest in versatile pieces that can be styled not just on holiday, but back home as well. Fluid separates with dabu prints on muga silk from KoAi and free-spirited silhouettes from Verb by Pallavi Singhee come to mind.
I also love the bold and unapologetic designs of Bobo Calcutta, with graphic printed silk pieces that will provide all the drama you need after months of being housebound. 431-88 by Shweta Kapur is a brand that has stood the test of time; her classic minimalist clothing can be dressed up or down. And the voluminous sleeves and modern embellishments in Pankaj & Nidhi’s Talisman collection add some drama that is much-required today. On my wishlist: Suket Dhir’s linen pant suit, which can be matched with other separates, making it a classic addition to the wardrobe.
Necklines and accessories
Necklines and cut-outs have also been in the spotlight thanks to the focus on waist-up fashion for Zoom calls. For work, I’ll pick button-down shirts, turtlenecks, regular round or V-neck T-shirts and accessorise with minimal jewellery. Regular slim fit shirts from Zara and the muted office shirts from 431-88 with minimal embroidery are great options for a weekday meeting call. Off-shoulder, halters and strappy tops have been the preferred choice for my casual video interactions. I would pair these with some statement earrings from Valliyan, The YV Brand by Yashvi Vanani, Deepa Gurnani, Studio Metallurgy and Outhouse, along with layered necklaces from Misho Designs.
I’ve barely worn denim through the lockdown. But with travel opening up gradually, there are a lot of interesting jackets to pick from. I’d recommend Dhruv Kapoor’s embroidered ones; they are such a fun addition to the wardrobe and can elevate any look.
Accessories remain strong, with wicker bags (Straw India), straw hats, bold earrings, statement belts, oversized totes, trendy sunglasses and mask chains (Ishraya, Argento) adding glamour to muted colour palettes. While I’m not much of a hat person, I love to collect interesting belts and sunglasses. The former I pick from Loewe, Cult Gaia, Shivan and Narresh, peplum belts from Johanna Ortiz, Richa Khemka, and Alexander McQueen. I usually stay away from logo-embossed pieces. For sunglasses, it has to be Linda Farrow, Celine, Karen Walker and Dior. And don’t forget your resort must-have: a pair of interesting flat sandals to complete the look. I suggest Alameda Turquesa’s pearl-embellished tie-ups, the strappy Ofis from Ancient Greek Sandals and the ocean-themed selection from Cult Gaia.
The writer is a fashion stylist (@stylemuze) and co-founder of Funky Fish and Kairos Home.