March 19, 2024 FDCI

Monochrome Contrasts

Ritika Mirchandani offers tone-on-tone, summer pastels with placement bling for occasion wear this season.

By Asmita Aggarwal

“My mother has been the most inspiring figure in my life. As a designer herself, she introduced me to the world of fashion from a very young age. Growing up surrounded by her creativity and passion for design, deeply influenced my own interest in fashion. Her guidance, and support have been invaluable to me, shaping me into the designer I am today. She continues to motivate me with her talent, dedication, and love for fashion,” says Ritika Mirchandani who is showcasing her line at LFW X FDCI 2024, Mumbai.

Known for her eponymous label by her name, has been dressing women in her ubiquitous shimmering shararas and interned with Ralph Lauren after studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, believes her journey in the fashion industry has been both challenging and rewarding. “I’ve had the opportunity to express my creativity through designs that reflect my unique perspective and style. My achievements include creating collections that resonate with women who are looking for stylish and comfortable clothing,” says Ritika.

The landscape of womenswear has evolved significantly since she entered the industry. One notable transformation is its expansive growth, largely driven by enhanced accessibility. Thanks to the proliferation of online shopping and e-commerce, women now enjoy a broader array of fashion choices. Additionally, there has been a notable change in consumer expectations, particularly regarding quality. Modern women prioritize factors like fabric, construction, and durability, fuelling a demand for high-quality, enduring garments.

“The emergence of social media has profoundly impacted the womenswear market. Platforms such as Instagram have revolutionized how fashion is consumed and promoted, offering designers and brands new avenues to showcase their creations and connect with a global audience. This heightened visibility has democratized fashion, making it more inclusive and accessible. These shifts have influenced how women engage with fashion, fostering a greater willingness to experiment with diverse styles, trends, and brands. This has resulted in a more vibrant and diverse market,” she believes.

For this season, she anticipates several trends to be prominent. Monochrome looks are likely to continue being popular, as they offer a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic that is easy to style. The shift towards tone-on-tone and monochrome bridal wear reflects a desire for understated elegance and timeless appeal in wedding attire. “Summer pastels are also expected to be a key trend, as these soft, muted hues evoke a sense of freshness and lightness that is perfect for the warmer months. Pastels are versatile and can be easily incorporated into various styles, making them a popular choice for both casual and formal looks,” she explains. Overall, these trends reflect a preference for simplicity, elegance, and versatility in fashion, which aligns with the current emphasis on comfort and practicality in clothing choices.

Ritika offers mix-and-match so she designs pieces that can be easily mixed and matched with other items in the collection or with existing pieces in a wardrobe. This allows for endless outfit combinations and extends the wearability of each garment. “My designs feature contemporary silhouettes that are on-trend yet timeless. These silhouettes can be styled in various ways to suit different occasions, adding to their versatility,” she adds. The collection for 2024, can be worn as separates, such as pairing a blazer with trousers or a skirt.

As a designer, she believes that incorporating bling into Indian occasion wear dressing should be done thoughtfully to avoid overwhelming the outfit. While a touch of glamour can elevate the look, too much bling can make it appear excessive. “Instead, I recommend using bling strategically as accents to highlight specific areas or features of the outfit, such as the neckline, cuffs, or hemline. This approach adds a tasteful sparkle that enhances the overall aesthetic without overshadowing the outfit’s elegance. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to bling in Indian occasion wear dressing to maintain a sophisticated and refined appearance,” she confides.

Though the lessons she learnt from Ralph Lauren and Cynthia Rowley, like the former taught her, the importance of attention to detail as he is a maverick from the design of his garments to the presentation of his stores. “Brand consistency is what takes you far. Both Ralph Lauren and Cynthia Rowley have maintained a consistent brand image and aesthetic throughout his career. This includes everything from his classic Americana style to his iconic Polo logo,” she adds.

While Ralph Lauren is known for his classic style, he has also shown a willingness to innovate and adapt to changing trends. Overall, the key lesson from Ralph Lauren is to create a brand that is not only stylish and aspirational but also timeless, consistent, and customer-focused.

 “My USP lies in our commitment to sustainable and ethical fashion. We prioritize versatile materials and production methods, ensuring that our garments are not only stylish but also environmentally conscious. In terms of embroidery and embellishment trends for this year, we are seeing a rise in intricate embroidery appliqué. This technique involves attaching pre-made embroidered patches or motifs onto garments, adding a unique and detailed touch. It’s a great way to add texture and visual interest to garments, and we’re incorporating this trend into our designs,” she adds.

Additionally, she is experimenting with new shapes and silhouettes this year, moving away from traditional cuts and exploring more asymmetrical and exaggerated shapes. “This adds a modern and avant-garde twist to our designs, allowing us to offer something fresh and exciting to our customers,” she admits.

As a designer, she advises women who shop seasonally to focus on investing in versatile pieces that can easily transition between seasons. Look for timeless silhouettes and high-quality fabrics that will last beyond the current season. These pieces can be layered or accessorized to suit different weather conditions, allowing you to get more wear out of them.

“Instead of following every seasonal trend, consider incorporating them through accessories or statement pieces. This way, you can stay current without overhauling your entire wardrobe each season. Building a wardrobe with a mix of classic pieces and trendier items will give you more flexibility and ensure that your wardrobe remains stylish and practical year-round,” she concludes.

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