Season’s favourite cover-up of A/W 14-15..
A cape is a great way to add elegance and a stylish retro vibe to any fall wardrobe. It is deemed as the perfect transition piece to go from a warm to cool climate, extremely practical if one can find a cape with slits for moving one’s arms while being undeniably striking as an outerwear ensemble. The dramatic has been meeting the handy in the form of a cape being fashioned into dresses, tops and jackets for a few seasons now, in various different fabrics but autumn winter 14-15 runways had a new winner- the Knit Cape. Some exporters are more than familiar with the knitwear trend but for a few, it looks like a missed opportunity as they stick to conventional styles for the winter, oblivious to the possibilities of the style…
Spotted on the runways of : Red Valentino, Richard Nicoll
Little Red Riding Hood was, obviously, onto something with her seriously wicked and often copied, red cape jacket. The definitive style made it big, spreading winter warmth at the fall 13-14 runways. Average jeans and tops were teamed with elegant capes to make the outfit look instantly dressy and put-together. Designers went from military-inspired to Little Red Riding Hood as Raoul presented an olive wool and suede cape, Yigal Azrouël went for a deep maroon wool and cashmere one, Red Valentino’s ink blue was in stretch wool jacquard and velvet, Mulberry turned heads with their oxblood leather version and Etienne Aigner’s wool cape with leather sleeves and belt was announced as a favourite for the figure-conscious consumers. Vijay Sanon, Proprietor, A.P. Handicrafts says, “We have done a lot of capes in our past collections, in wool and cotton, with different variations of hoods, belts, etc.”
Spotted on the runways of: Barbara Bui, DKNY,Tommy Hilfiger
Indian exporters have expanded their selection of fabrics by, “manufacturing capes in cotton-viscose, viscose-nylon and acrowool, with a few pieces mixed with lurex yarn, in addition to jacquards to satisfy eveningwear requirements,” tells us Ujjwal Garg, Director, Grag Acrylics Ltd., adding that in his opinion, the longer loose ones are trending right now, with an attached belt to give it shape around the waist. Following the same pattern, Vivek Khandelwal, Owner, Patterns India shares that sporting short crisp capes was initially in fashion but now it has shifted to longer ones and experimentation with different shapes and collars keeps happening, in the same vein, they are trying out new fabrics too. “We are using poly-georgette, moss crepe, lycra, jacquards and even net schiffli to make capes; and we include value addition depending on the price bracket the clientele falls under.”
Spotted on the runways of: Victoria Beckham, Daks
While a cape immediately lends a luxurious jet-set vibe, it is often seen as something uncomfortable as it restricts movement of the arms but this myth has proved to be wrong time and again. The billowy trend was present in theatrical versions, as well as, sportier ones where the tailored and sleek look is maintained while, simultaneously, creating slits to increase movement. Victoria Beckham, Saint Laurent and Burberry, are a few of the designers who created classic slit versions in black. While both, with and without slit, stay in demand for a few, Vivek adds that they mostly try to involve a slit for increased comfort, which maybe 3/4th or full in length.
Following Pre Fall’s mania of cape coats, designers have transcended to knit capes for constructing roomy throwovers with a visibly cozy demeanor. While the ones in flat knits have come across as sweater kimonos-in some cases, printed and in others, with thick cable knits-circular knits, too, make a promising appearance. Avoiding the costume-like look, capes in neutrals and basic colours such as black/grey, cream/white and browns were seen with maximized versatility. To carry off a minimal look, the colours of the ensemble should be in shades of coral tones or monochromatic, which helps in downplaying the extravagant look of a cape. Vivek shares his colour scheme for the trend, “We are going for off-whites, black, German blues and playing with various geometric prints.”
Capes envelop, comfort and cut an impressive silhouette but for a few, they still seem like a new phenomenon. On further discussion as to what these exporters are manufacturing for winter wear, opposing point of views were at the forefront, since Jai Singh Sethia, Director, Nash Fashion India Ltd. said, “Long, classic coats are back in fashion and that is what we are manufacturing for outerwear” and Sunil Ramchandra Kokare, Senior Merchandiser, Opera Clothing Pvt. Ltd. believed that short coats in cottons or blazers in suiting fabrics were doing the best.
The versatility of the cape trend lies in the fact that it can be merged with other garments and not just coats. Parmod Aggarwal, Director, Protext Plastic Pvt. Ltd. telling us, “For autumn-winter 14-15, pullovers and cardigans without hoods is what is taking up maximum place in my collection,” reminds us that cardigans have also found a way with the trend being spotted on the fall 14-15 runways, where they have been constructed on the lines of long cape coats- with sleeves and droopy shoulders. Another popular of the season- a pullover, which A.Kochhar, Director, Mercury Knits swears by, takes us back to the form-fitting pullovers with an attached cape shoulder trail or ponchos delivered in blanket fabric, ending in tassels.