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Fashion speak: Step out in style this Navratri

Last updated on: October 5, 2010 18:21 IST

Image: Your ghagara should fit well, like this one from Anita Dongre's LFW collection
Photographs: Dominic Xavier

We spoke to ethnicwear designer AD Singh to get the lowdown on festive trends this Navratri. Here are the dos and dont's.

With the nine nights of Navratri celebrations commencing on October 8, youngsters everywhere are getting into the festive mood and going into

Here, ethnic couturier AD Singh whose opulent designs are popular with Mumbai's glitterati, outlines fabulous festive fashion trends.

Make sure your ghagara fits right

Flaired skirts and ghagaras are the staple of Navratri and will never go out of style. But you need to ensure that yours has a clean-cut finish.

Please don't opt for those one-size-fits-all ghagaras, with dirty naras (draw-strings) hanging out! It's a myth that they can't be altered and you should make sure yours fits you perfectly, preferably with a zip to fasten it in place.

Corset cholis, unless you have a great torso

Image: Corset cholis like this one by Manish Malhotra are created to flatter specific body-types
Photographs: Dominic Xavier

I know that the festival is associated with short, sexy cholis, but please opt for those only if you have the kind of great torso needed to carry one off.

If your bodyline is not perfect -- and nobody expects all women to have the ideal figure -- corsets are a great alternative to skimpy cholis.

That doesn't mean you go to a designer and just ask for any corset. The point behind this garment is that it can flatter your figure, so you need to choose one that's right for you -- if you're top-light, opt for one that has contours at the bust to enhance your assets and if you're top-heavy, a cut that shows off some cleavage will look nice. The same goes for other areas of your torso, like the waist and your back, shoulders etc.

Avoid bandhini

Image: This cutting-edge festive style by Anupamaa Dayal is just the thing to stand out
Photographs: Dominic Xavier

It's been done to death over the years. So dare to be different -- opt for an ensemble in a variety of fabrics or one that uses different forms of embellishment instead of the age-old bandhinis that everyone else keeps opting for.

Experiment with your dupatta

Image: Drape your dupatta differently, like this one-sided slouching style by Abhirahul
Photographs: Dominic Xavier

Forget about that saas-bahu style of wearing the dupatta over one shoulder and tucking it in at the waist. Try out different ways of draping it across the front, the back, knotted at one end, over just one side...try to create a new, unusual silhouette that will breathe added appeal into your outfit.

Backless drama

Image: A backless beauty from Anita Dongre
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera

Go the dramatic route with the cut of your choli -- try one that's backless, or with brooches or detailing on the back instead of the front. There are a variety of styles out there when it comes to backless blouses, find one that works for you.

Citrus colours are the key

Image: Krishna Mehta's festive offerings at LFW boasted of the hottest colour palette
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera

Bright hues like turmeric and pink are where it's at when it comes to festive wear. It should be bright and light at the same time. If you prefer a subtler tone, deep indigo is very trendy right now.

The right length

Image: This ghagara from Shyamal and Bhumika is just the right length
Photographs: Dominic Xavier

I often notice that people's Navratri ensembles are trailing the floor when they are dancing and celebrating. That is most unsightly -- you have to get the length right!

Make up your mind beforehand as to whether you're going to be dancing in your heeled shoes or barefoot and get the length of your skirt or ghagara accordingly.

Stick to traditional togs

Image: These dhoti pants by Debarun are great, but maybe it's better to stay traditional for Navratri
Photographs: Dominic Xavier

Personally speaking, I think new formalwear trends like jackets with ghagaras and dhoti pants are great, but not for the festival. That's like wearing a Roberto Cavalli dress to a Diwali party, or jeans to the beach -- the outfit may look great, but it's just not suitable for the occasion.

So go with tradition, namely swirling skirts and ghagaras.

2010 special: The attached dupatta

Image: Neeta Lulla's latest offerings sport a lot of attached dupattas
Photographs: Dominic Xavier

Women tend to set aside their dupattas to dance all night. So this year, we're creating a lot of outfits with dupattas attached. That way, the complete silhouette of your outfit remains unaltered and you can dance without having to worry about it slipping off all the time.

Be comfortable

Image: Masaba Gupta's festive line this season is fun and comfortable
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera

And finally, the whole point of Navratri is fun and revelry, so make sure that your clothes, however stunning they may look, are comfortable enough to dance the night away in. There's no point in putting on a fantastic ensemble and then paying attention to it all evening because something or the other is bothering you!