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11 months ago
How to beat an offbeat artist | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Ever since his arrival at Gucci, designer Alessandro Michele or should we say — the emperor of maximalism, has been belting out a cross-genre medley of aesthetics — which is hard to pin down. Is he visualising a librarian, who longs for that old world whimsy or is he referencing a poet who morphs into a rockstar by evening? Is it a university lecturer with a strong sense of identity and personal style or an heiress, who’s devoted her life to resurrecting heritage monuments? Perhaps it’s a cross-pollinated canvas of everything and much more. Season after season, Alessandro reinterpreted geek chic by sending out his eccentric muses in oversized and sparkly eye-wear with a weakness for pussy-bow collars. On one hand, his Renaissance-inspired heritage suits with statement appliques bring to mind an off duty aristocrat, his cape dresses with bead bow accents and jewelled buttons conjure a visual of a bold and unapologetic style savant. Besides the Italian luxury house, labels like Erdem, Marni, Dries Van Noten and closer home, Sabyasachi (especially his early works) have recontextualised and refined contemporary romanticism by making ‘intelligentsia cool’ — common parlance. 

With the nerd pack making a comeback on the global runways like never before, we ask our Indian designers to reinterpret an offbeat artist or an off duty aristocrat in their own handwriting... 

A nonchalant luxurista Nachiket Barve

Mixing eras, tastes and sensibilities in a whimsical way is what the offbeat artist revels in. Wearing luxury pieces with nonchalance is what makes the look effortless and modern. I have sketched the artist, who wears crushed silk Aegean tie dye pants with embroidery along the side seams, teamed with a top that’s structured with felt applique. A kimono-esque jacket with olives embroidered in a lattice with zardosi is the strong piece that the artist would wear for a casual dinner or even attending a wedding in a way that’s irreverent and breaks rules. A gold scarf with a beaded fringe rounds off her look. The sketch amalgamates strong pieces from my collections where each separate piece celebrates craftsmanship and style, but together offer options that the wearer can interpret in their own way!

Hipster aristocrat Payal Singhal 

My new age hipster aristocrat wears her Indian clothes with the same sensibility as her Western wear wardrobe. Cool comfortable luxurious and minimalistic-yet-fashion forward. Here she is wearing a boxy crop top with gold shoulder detailing and a low-crotch pant sari with side tassels.

A woman of today Nandita Mahtani 

A woman of today — who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to make her dreams a reality. Fashionable in a royal blue sequinned sheathed dress with an engulfed bird motif and quirky burgundy leather jacket with embroidery and sequinned badges yet unique and whimsical with her backpack and glasses is what makes her a trendsetter and not just in trend.

Free-spirited gypsy Arpita Mehta

If someone asked me how would you like to dress if you wanted to make a statement and wear the same thing for a month when you go out, this sketch would be my answer. It would be a depiction of my constant ideal party look and mood. That’s how I’d constantly want to dress and look, provided I could. A strikingly bold hand-embroidered rich, mirror, thread and patchwork jacket, a knitted crochet bralette and a pair of high-waist ripped mom jeans. I’d add a pair of elaborate earrings to keep it quirky and subtle simply styled hair. My brand represents youth, and for me I am the artist and the muse too.

Eclectic magpie Aniket Satam 

Our eclectic magpie is more like this cultural sponge who absorbs ideas, memorabilia and souvenirs across the globe dissecting the decades. In this sketch we can see this quirky mix of eccentric elements such as bold Indian gypsy embroideries with the optical graphics of hounds-tooth checks. The pinafore silhouette is playful and has this strong school uniform hangover, when teamed with this preppy polo tee in an electric palette of brilliant fuchsia pink.

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