<Review by: Anish Masand, an aspiring fashion designer currently studying at NIFT Mumbai and with a singular talent for style>

Whenever I meet skeptics and introduce myself as a designer (of course, that’s a bit of a stretch as I’m yet to be discovered), the first question they pose towards me is, “What’s hot in fashion?” I give them the once-over, take in what they’re wearing and retort, “Well, not those shoes for sure. It offends a lot of sensibilities!”

In all honesty, it’s difficult to say what’s in fashion because the nature of the beast is that it keeps changing every second. Yet fashion comes naturally to me – as a child back in the 1980s, my aunt took me with her to the tailor. I would point at fabrics and trims that matched and once home, I’d sketch out the design for her outfit. The garment would be a quiet statement and had all the other “Colaba aunties” copying the same dress.

I love fashion because it’s extremely personal. I don’t follow trends because I like to create my own. I love experimenting with shapes, colours and textures. It excites me, elevates me and keeps me sane. My day job leaves me with little scope to express my creativity. Yet my fashion classes every day gets my adrenaline pumping.

Coming back to that dreaded question of what’s fashion’s latest trend, this is what I believe is “in” at the moment – fetish. If the fetish trend hasn’t grabbed your imagination, then I don’t know what will.

Rihanna in a sheer Elie Saab dress. When black and white aren't it there's always red!

One of the biggest looks this season is the “good girl, bad girl” one – meaning either black or white. The oh-so-good-girl is dressed in knee-length dresses in white, nude, peach or pink, and with lace and sheer dominating her wardrobe. All the big high-street brands have at least one lace sleeveless dress in their fall collection. Brands like Zara, Mango, Vero Moda have lace dresses in white and nude in their collection, with some of them doing a singlet version of the same. Rihanna donned a beautiful lace gown by Stella McCartney at the Met Gala 2011 and a sheer dress by Elie Saab at the AMA’s 2011 (above).

The bad girl trend is all black or midnight blue (the colour blue is in, whatever the shade) with short bustier dresses and leather. It represents the rebel and carries that I’m-too-sexy-for-my-jeans look.

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff rocks a knee length bustier dress at the Tribeca film festival, a classic look for any season.

Sarah Jessica Parker

An even bigger trend coming up this season is a mix of the two. So don’t be surprised if you see a black lace dress with a strong leather belt or a mix of pleather to butch it up a little or a big trend internationally, the a mix of tartan and sheer. Remember the Sarah Jessica Parker tartan and tulle Alexander McQueen dress? Or Beyonce flaunting her curves in this Zuhair Murad gown?


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