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Check This Fashion Out
This season, the scottish checks are a hot favourite for all designers.
If there is one thing that Chanel's trademark tweed suits said when they climbed to the top of the world's most copied fashion item list is that tweed is no longer the scratchy, shoulder bender of a fabric that it used to be.

The last month there has seen three major international brands hitting the Indian fashion scene with 'Tweedy' winter collections-first up was Moschino that set up a shop in Mumbai, Hugo Boss that opened another store and then, of course, the brand that began the fabrics transformation from 'High-utility low fashion' to a 'High-utility high fashion' fabric, Chanel.

What's working for tweed currently is the international fashion forecast, which declared it to be the trend for this winter and the next, triggering a feeding frenzy worldwide. Indian designers too jumped into the fray. At India Fashion Week. Rahul Khanna-Rohit Gandhi's 'Cue', Kiran Uttam Ghosh and Deepika Govind all decided to spice up their collections with sprinklings of tweed. While the highlight of the 'Cue' show was a sheer bubble skirt teamed with a severe tweed jacket, Kiran Uttam Ghosh swore by her tweed jackets with kantha work on them. According to Rahul Khanna of the Rahul-Rohit due, the "in the past two seasons tweed has come back in a big big way. The checks are getting smaller and not bolder and fabrics like satin and velvet are being used to make it more Tun' this season."

But here's an important question-is this mindless fashion forecast following or do Indians really wear tweed? More importantly, even 45-odd years after the fabric began it's rather 'Jassiesque' makeover into high fashion and three seasons after it began plugging high fashion shops, do most Indians even know what tweed exactly is?

If Khanna is to be believed, "they do." Tweed, the designer says, is quite a hit among the partyratti up North. "Tweed is not the jacket people wear to work anymore. This season is all about mixing and matching tweeds with embellishments, ruffled sleeves," he says. Their next winter collection features tweed as the main fabric.

That, however, is by no means a happy ending to the tweed story. While tweed found quite a few followers at the fashion week, there have been instances of designers like JJ Valaya dropping it in favour of other familiar fabrics for his winter collection.

But what further muddies the already muddied scenario is that while some of our fashion designers insist that Indian tweed is of 'world class quality', there have been other fashion designers who have had their tweed segments dropped by international buyers just because the 'the Indian tweed looked a tad ragged compared to it's foreign avatars'.

So the Moral of the story says that as far as tweed and its Indian fate is concerned, the signals sent out remain confusing. However, if you're a high-flying Mumbai socialite type who vacations in the Swiss Alps and takes skiing vacations to fashionable places, go ahead, pick up a tweed skirt and pair it with leather boots-that is, we're told, hotter this season than the good old tweed jacket.
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Posted on : 25/11/2005
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