Monday, June 2, 2008

Fashion goes hippie!

IT’s the summer of free love, as fashion goes hippie! There’s a new spiritual soul to dressing. The mood is getting liberated. Broken dreams, faded flowers, torn jeans, loose long hair, a spirit of abandon -- that’s the fashion mood of the moment.

In his latest book, Brida, Paulo Coelho writes, “Clothes transform emotion into matter.” Sure, they express your grey, dark thoughts, vibrate happiness. Well, aren’t clothes an expression of anger, outrage. Fashion reflects emotions, expressions of youth culture on the runway. Says designer, Nitin Bal Chauhan, “The vibe is -- free. Are you expressing freedom in fashion? Neo-hippie is about taking new liberty and shaking up fashion trends. New haute hippy influences are fun. On India’s desi street fashion, I often notice, urban bohemian chic combined with rural aesthetics. This subtle combination of rural and urban style redefine desi hippy chic.”

Are you bold enough to be the wild hippie rose? The mood is about free love and Bob Dylan and being like a rolling stone on a new fashion journey! Boho has evolved as the Foho. Hippie fashion is about -- cowboy hats, large medallions, and floaty flowing outfits. Queens of Hippie are -- Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, and Elle Macpherson. Says Puja Arya, designer, “A wild spirit for fun -- that’s the fashion experience you should crave for! The mood is very modern, natural. We’re combining the 70s, with 30s, 40s, 50s, 80s -- and we’ve got a new hippie look. There’s no boho. There’s an edge to your dressing. It’s a time to experiment with your sexuality, fashion and expressions. The colour in vogue is Hare Rama, Hare Krishna orange. The look: fusion fashion with sutble Indian accessories combined with cowboy grunge.”

There’s a desire to be adventurous, nomadic and wild. The flower child era hasn’t lost its innocence. The new hippie fashion has a ‘soul’, hence the Buddha-inspired tunic and kimono are the new shapes of hippie fashion. Says Raakesh Agarvwal, “The new hippie wave is subtler but more glamourous. In the last few years, the fashion look hasn’t changed drastically. Hippie is freedom from conventional. Bohemian chic, grunge, rock ’n roll is going to be redefined. There’s the return of prints, florals and flowy dresses. There’s no ‘weird’ in hippie anymore. The look for hair: ponytails are trendy. The mood is wanderlust, free expression and carefree.”

If ’70s was bling, the neo hippie wave is very nomadic, along with ’60s love child and ’70s feminine power, the impact is threefold. It seems designers are taking inspiration from Erica Jong, song, “the future and the past are all one ... and that the moment now is all we ever have.”

Global fashion is craving for a new soul. Try the tie-dyed T-shirts, with ruffle dresses, platform wedges -- the look has a new aesthetic which is very eclectic. Says Shalini of Geisha Designs, “The mood is very trimmed hippie prints. School girl, laidback charm is in. There’s strong emergence of reds against blue.” Now, celebrity-hippies such as Milla Jovovich are launching their own fashion lines. Purple dye is all about going wild and hippie. The new twist to the gypsy tale is: wrap yourself in neons. Interestingly, hippies love hair accessories. Slip on a band around your head like Pocahontas. Or wrap your hair in bandanna. The politics of hippie style are not very complex. Nainika Karan, designer believes, “Hippie is about adapting to the ‘wild’ in your personality. You could just be more daring in your choice of style. Be it arty fashion, psychedelic colours. The essence is to discover ‘free style’. You have to let go. Neo hippie is about being glamourous, comfortable without any effort.”

In the supermarket of style, hippie is about creating diverse looks. The cult isn’t just a passing fad, but a shake-up call to designers to change drastically the look, the mood, the feel and become intellectual icons of hip rebellion. Says Varun Sardana, designer, “The neo hippie’s a diffused style movement, it isn’t about trash fashion. Rather about, affluent young people choosing to dress down, dress wild and dress funky.”

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