Caped Crusaders

 winter wardrobe has a few favourites — the bomber jacket, the long trench coat and the cape. The latter, mostly seen in its casual (and superhero) avatar, has undergone a makeover this season. Those of you who have kept eyes trained on the red carpet will agree that instead of being a lazy girl’s cover-up it’s now a fashionista’s statement garment. Since actor Gwyneth Paltrow stepped out in a white Tom Ford at the Oscars in 2012, the cape has made an impressive debut on the red carpet. Back home, designers such as Anamika Khanna, Nikhil Thampi, Siddhartha Tytler and Pankaj & Nidhi are giving it their own interpretations.

More recently, actor Ileana D’Cruz grabbed eyeballs with her dramatic all-black outfit, complete with a floor-sweeping cape that she wore to the Filmfare Awards night. As designer Nikhil Thampi says, it was a risk that paid off. “Normally, Ileana is associated with demure, feminine dressing. We wanted to skip the usual off-shoulder gowns and go in for a more severe look with a pant-suit and cape,” says Thampi. Though he took a break from formally showing an Autumn-Winter 2014 collection, the cape has been an important part of his range of separates for the season. “I don’t usually follow international trends when it comes to silhouettes, but the cape, which is a global hit now, was an exception,” says the designer, who is using a mix of polyester and crepe to get the drape right.

But D’Cruz isn’t the first Bollywood leading lady to espouse this style. From Sonam Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra to Jacqueline Fernandez and Taapsee, actors have been favouring the cover-up in varying lengths for public appearances. And they are making the look their own, pairing capes with saris, trousers and pant-suits. Many of Sonam Kapoor’s winning looks, ones where she looks elegant yet edgy, can be credited to Kolkata-based designer Anamika Khanna. For Khanna, the cape is a familiar silhouette, one that she has used season after season with successful results.

“The best part of the cape is that it can be dressed down or dressed up depending on the look one is aiming for,” says Khanna. Known for her penchant for layering, the designer likes to play around with varying lengths of the cape that are teamed up with saris or Indo-western ensembles. “The length and styling of a cape depends on what outfit it is paired with. We work with a variety of laces to create more feminine versions as well as those with a more heavier and structured look,” says Khanna. This idea came across superbly in Kapoor’s latest outing at the Filmfare Awards 2015 night where she wore a sheer floor-sweeping cape by the designer.

Interestingly, the garment is not just an integral part of designer Kiran Uttam

Ghosh’s Autumn-Winter 2014 collection but of her bridal range as well. “More than a casual appeal, there’s a certain drama associated with the cape. It does the job of a jacket or a dupatta, whichever way one wishes,” says Ghosh, who is all set to include it in her Spring-Summer 2015 line-up too, using fabrics such as georgette, jersey and cape.

“Layering with a cape not only adds dimension to your outfit, it’s also the perfect solution to take you from office to evening. And why wear a typical jacket? It’s all about irreverent styling. I have paired capes with saris, calf-length skirts and even shararas,” says Ghosh, who sees capes going longer and sheer in the months ahead.

Source- the indian express