If the crop top was the toast of last summer, looks like the focus on the waist will continue this year too. And tummy tuck and belt up seem to be the mantra. Internationally, designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Vivienne Westwood and labels such as Armani and Burberry brought the attention back on the feminine figure with the use of a belt — be it in its slim or broader avatar for Spring-Summer 2014. Closer home, cinched waists have been making their presence felt.
Designer Payal Pratap says she likes to use them as a styling tool. “I personally love belts. I think a person looks a lot more chic when they use a belt. There are so many variations of knotting and experimenting that can be done to alter the look,” says Pratap.
The designer has worked with different materials varying from leather, textured leather to jacquard, felt and satin. The Japanese Obi-style broad belt was omnipresent in her summer line and she has retained it in her winter collection as well. “I think the Obi belt, which is a rather wide belt, accentuates the waist beautifully, making one look feminine,” she explains. “It adds another dimension to the outfit with the play of colour,” adds Pratap, who suggests wearing a broad leather belt over a tunic or any flared silhouette.
An increasing number of designers are also teaming belts with Indian wear, especially with saris. Traditionally, kamarbands or gold waist bands have been a part of many bridal trousseaux, especially in south India and the belt offers a contemporary take. But designer Nachiket Barve who has paired corded belts with saris in his summer collection lists a few things to keep in mind before getting carried away with the trend.