Look for ‘above-the-keyboard’ styles for festivals this year: Ameet Panchal of Ethnicity offers fashion pointers for the festive season

The festive season is here and it is time to wear the right attire to celebrate the occasion. In an interview with YSWeekender, Ameet Panchal, CEO, Ethnicity, offers some tips and ideas on how to change your wardrobe for the holidays.
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As the festival of light and the season of celebrations are just around the corner, it is time to do a bit of holiday shopping. Despite the fact that we are planning virtual meetups with family and friends amid the pandemic, the need for a festive range of clothes is a top priority.

Ornamental attire for festive occasions

YSWeekender caught up Ameet Panchal, CEO, Ethnicity, the brand that is known for its India-inspired attire, for some tips on festive wear.

Established in the year 2008, Ethnicity has now spread to 20 cities and has over 30 stores. As a home-grown fashion brand, it works at staying true to Indian culture and modern trends.

Ameet Panchal

Ameet has over three decades of innovation and experience in the fashion industry and is excited about Ethnicity's new festive collection called Umang.

“As the country gears up to usher in new beginnings with the upcoming festivities, it is always a good time to upgrade your fashion wardrobe,” he says.

Ameet also spoke about the fashion trends to try out during the festivals, the trendiest looks for winter, and the most stylish colours and textures of the season.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

YSWeekender (YSW): Can you tell us about your latest festive fashion collection, Umang?

Ameet Panchal (AP): The Umang collection is a vibrant assortment of styles that reflect eternal optimism. The collection has many embroidered garments inspired by artisans of several regions of the country. We have focused on detailed zari embroidery designs blended with delicate aari work. The intricate embroidery is displayed against exquisite velvets, chanderi silks, and silk blends in a variety of colours.

Traditional and modern wear from the Umang collection

YSW: What are some of the trendiest festive fashion styles this year? How is it different from the past?

AP: This year, to ensure the safety of our family and friends, most people will celebrate all festivals virtually, but they look festive and all set for the celebrations. Here are some of the fashion trends we are seeing this year…

  • This festive season, classics will make a comeback.
Above-the-keyboard styles with embroidery and metal thread work on yokes will be a key trend this year.
  • We see customers investing consciously in styles that have versatile styling possibilities to be dressed down as casual pret as well as accentuated with statement accessories to make a bold statement.
  • The tonal trend is also big this year with head-to-toe monochromatic styling.

YSW: In your opinion, why is it important to choose proper festive wear, even if you are planning on virtual celebrations?

Festive kurtas for the occasion

AP: This year, we need to create a ‘festive atmosphere’ to perk an otherwise sombre atmosphere and all of us need a much-needed respite from the hardships of the year. When you look good, you feel good! Although, yes, we should all remain indoors and maintain physical distance, fashionable clothes will only brighten these festivities as we stay connected and celebrate with our loved ones through video-conferencing applications.

YSW: What are some of the styles of last year that are no longer fashionable now?

AP: At Ethnicity, we create trans-seasonal classics that stay trendy and timeless for years to come. Last year, shararas, ruffled lehengas, and sarees in lustrous tones were the rage, which we see continuing this year too. We will see global colour trends rule and a lot of re-styling as people will get creative with their outfits.

YSW: How can you use the existing items in your wardrobe and add a festive touch this year if you are unable to go out?

Add accessories like fine jewellery to add a festive touch

AP: This year, the demand for ostentatious clothes will be much less and minimalistic styles that double up as festive attire will become popular.

You can intermix outfits and experiment with styles. The purchase of accessories to create festive ensembles by accentuating existing outfits is a good idea, as this will allow you to ring in the festivities. Also, you need to wear something new at more reasonable prices to dazzle and wow friends and family on-screen.

YSW: What are the trendiest colours of this season and how can you combine them?

AP: The trendiest colours of the season are:

  • Vibrant jewel tones and soft pastels will be the predominant colours of choice for most festive ensembles.
  • Neutrals paired with pop-toned accessories will be the go-to for those looking to make subtle style statements.
  • Vivid hues like ruby reds, magentas, mustard, onion pinks, and greens (as can be seen in the Umang collection).
  • Silver will be big this season, as it is the ‘new neutral’ that pairs back with every look and accentuates our Indian skin tone.
  • Metallics and golds accents that instantly create a more refined look will always be in vogue, be it within jewellery or clothing accessories.
  • People can also use analogous colour tones of the colour wheel and build shades. This year, the trend is to use bold hues and mix them up in order to create a power clash that makes both the colours pop and stand out.
  • Another colour trend is to pair different hues of neutrals together.

Men can choose from a festive range of clothes too

YSW: What are some of the fabrics you would recommend that are perfect for the festive season?

AP: Rich brocades, jacquards, organzas, chanderi silks, soft velvets, as well as handloom fabrics are extremely well suited for the festive-wear as they have an innate sheen and lend a very refined look to the wearer.

YSW: What are some of the top styles you see for winter this year and how do you plan to incorporate them?

AP: For winter, we see fall colours and deeper shades being incorporated in fashion garments. At Ethnicity, we are maintaining minimal design elements by adding sprinkles of gold to our garments to add a festive allure. With the nip in the air, we will see a lot of layering and a shift to long sleeves with embroidery and sequin detailing. Classic mandarin collars on garments and thicker dupattas that double up as capes will also be trendy.

Designer masks are going to be a big trend as masks have become an integral part of our lives. We can look forward to silk masks in eclectic shades and interesting prints and embroidery during this winter and garments matched to masks.

YSW: Can you give us three tips on how to look stylish for the festive season?

AP:

• Spruce any outfit and elevate your style with statement jewellery. Think large mangteekas, chandbali earrings or jhumkas, kundan chokers and / or cuffs.

•  Add a belt to cinch your waist when wearing a saree or stylishly drape a dupatta as a jacket and add a belt to give it an edgy look

•  Drape a saree or dupatta innovatively over your lehengas or kurtas and experiment with different looks that take you from traditional to modern.

YSW: Can you tell us about your company? How you started and what is special about your clothes?

AP: Ethnicity was established in 2008 as a home-grown fashion brand. We are known for our craftsmanship, seamlessly blending vintage with new-age and staying true to Indian culture. As we have grown, we have stayed true to our Indian roots while adding a modern twist to our collections.

Many of our collections are ‘India-inspired’ and derived from the rich heritage crafts of our country. We introduce capsule collections that take inspiration from Indian art forms.

We craft garments with special emphasis on fabric development, the finish of a garment, skin-friendly clothes and supple drapability.

YSW: How would you define fashion and style?

AP: Fashion by definition is a trend that is ‘current’ and cyclical in nature, whereas style is timeless and innate. We understand that every individual is unique and rare which is why we offer a range of garments which will support every mode of self-expression.

YSW: Where are you based and how can customers access your clothes?

AP: Ethnicity is headquartered at Mumbai, Maharashtra. Our collections are available in all Ethnicity stores across India and online at www.ethnicity.in.

(Images credit: Ethnicity and Shutterstock)

Edited by Megha Reddy

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