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Fashion: Cape crusader

| DIPTI
Published : Jan 23, 2016, 10:53 pm IST
Updated : Jan 23, 2016, 10:53 pm IST

If you have a flair for flair, then discover the drama and convenience via the cape in its various avatars: collared, double-breasted and more

Jennifer Lopez rocking the cape gown at the 73rd Annual Golden Globes.
 Jennifer Lopez rocking the cape gown at the 73rd Annual Golden Globes.

If you have a flair for flair, then discover the drama and convenience via the cape in its various avatars: collared, double-breasted and more

Capes don’t they make you recall the good old days when you as a young kid had tried to imitate your favourite superhero multiple times (it’s duel time, right ) by tying your mom’s stole, dupatta or oversized towel over your favourite pair of pyjamas Well you might think that you were ahead of the curve on this one but sartorially speaking, capes have gotten a major fashion makeover ever since and are ruling the runway.

Capes, according to designer Neeta Lulla, have begun to “invade the hearts” of women across the globe. “Every season we are seeing more capes being created and worn on the street,” she says, “And I think it is mainly because capes are not just something different to wear but they also give a special feeling when you put them on. The new generation of women are discovering their drama and convenience. And presently, it is seen as the ideal topping for both multi-layered sportswear and dresses.”

The capes have had a long history, shares designer Archana Kochhar. “The ones which fit at the shoulders had dominated women’s outerwear in the 19th century. Of course, now the style tweaks have made a difference in the capes’ popularity. I think people have tackled how to design them so they are functional. When I am designing them, I too look at the functionality element and make sure you have room to move your arms within your cape because otherwise you feel like you are in a straightjacket. Some of them are highly impractical — it’s nearly impossible to drive in certain kinds of capes and they limit handbag choices — but their dramatic flair can make you feel like a cross between Red Riding Hood and a minor European royal at the opera. However, designers seem to be taking notice and are creating more adaptable and practical versions, with larger arm slits, for example. The sweater-like capes with tablecloth-pointed hems are highly popular too.”

But designer Rajvvir Arora of the Label DiyaRajvvir argues that the restriction of a cape is actually part of its charm. “Like a pencil skirt, it is meant to be constricted, maybe a little bit sexy,” he says, “So you move in a different way, you behave differently.”

“Capes are part of this bohemian mood,” says Deepika Govind. “I also think that they are a great layering piece; they give a bit of volume, a bit of movement. You can put jumpers or T-shirts underneath. As for its variations, you have several options: collared, double-breasted, patchwork, knitted, structured, fringed, tailored, mid length, full length, trench style — so think about what will work with the rest of your wardrobe.”

Now for the big question — how to wear a cape without sending out Count Dracula vibe, designer Salita Nanda suggests, “Opt for a below-the-knee cape for dramatic effect. But team it with simple clothes. Mid-length capes are great with well-structured clothes worn underneath. Long capes look great over a gown or even a lehenga. It is a perfect alternative to the dupatta. Wearing one colour head to toe (especially winter white) always looks chic whereas longer, flowy styles make up for a perfect counterpoint to mini-skirts and tall boots. If you are worried about losing your waist, then just throw on a belt, wide enough to stand up to all the volume. Shoulder bags will slip off. So clutch ‘em by the straps instead.”

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