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The real victory of contemporary Indianwear is blending eastern and western influences with seamless ease. While there are several new-age silhouettes that stand testimony to this, it is the micro-trend of ankle-grazing lehenga skirts that has caught our attention. A cropped version of the voluminous trailing lehenga that is at the centre of any wedding wardrobe (and ensuing Instagram posts), this one borrows from the tea length skirt. Come 2019, the cropped skirt trend is fast gaining popularity amongst millennials looking for effortless festive dressing. 

A model in Payal Singhal. Image: Courtesy Pinterest
A model in Payal Singhal. Image: Courtesy Pinterest

Born during the war-stricken turn of the 20th century and championed by Dior’s revolutionary New Look, the cropped skirt become the favoured uniform of the ultra-feminine ’50s – in its heyday, the skirt stood for freedom and emancipation. More recently, there was Elle Fanning’s Dior silk organza shirt and night-blue tulle skirt for the red carpet at Cannes. We aren’t forgetting Delpozo’s vivid jacquard skirts and Fendi’s sheer tulles either.

Its modern Indian counterpart today is a study in cool. This raised hemline has found a kindred spirit in the millennial sartorialist who wants to knock back drinks at the wedding’s open bar and then take over the dance floor before racing to the beach for the after party, rather than using her bulky ensemble as an excuse to merely sit pretty. She’s also not one for dust-gathering keep-them-stored-until-wedding-season silhouettes. She’s all about transitional staples. And the mid-length lehenga checks both boxes. You can wear them with dramatic blouses sans dupatta come wedding season, but also transition them into more western settings with formal blouses or crop tops followed by a quick change in accessories.

A model in Payal Singhal. Image: Courtesy Pinterest
A model in Payal Singhal. Image: Courtesy Pinterest

Designers have turned the spotlight on the hemline too. This calf-skimming length was a fixture at Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s Kashgaar Bazaar presentation — worn with jacket or off-shoulder top, polki jewellery and mojris, this heavily embroidered skirt can be a sangeet darling. Tone down the jewellery and throw in heels, and you have a fancy dinner party look. Sonam Kapoor Ahuja’s latest outing in this skirt only furthers its versatility.

Deepika Padukone in Sabyasachi. Image: Courtesy Pinterest
Deepika Padukone in Sabyasachi. Image: Courtesy Pinterest

Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, teamed her embroidered Sabyasachi midi skirt with a crisp white shirt making for an exceedingly fitting cocktail hour ensemble.  

Payal Singhal has always favoured the hemline since her earlier collections owing to the marriage of comfort and unconventionality that it promises. Her signature pairing of the cropped lehenga is with churidaars and a crop top, perfect for destination weddings.

 

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… just beneath the surface, there’s another world , and still different as you dig deeper – knew it as a kid , but couldn’t find a proof . It’s always a kind of a feeling . There is goodness in the blue skies and in flowers ,but another force – a wild sweet ache and madness that accompanies everything .. • • • locked deep in her thoughts , Frenzy wears a mustard raw silk half lehenga, paired with a cut-out-detail blouse with layers of expressive neons in sea shells , beads, orbed by metallic fittings. • • • Accessories: Shoes : Now, in case you didn’t know , Frenzy is ofc 100% Vegan – Seen here wearing a vegan, wholly handcrafted moto boot silhouette fashioned with a holographic front strap. Perched on a 4.5 inch block heel and a 1 inch platform, this amaranth shoe in faux leather is hand embroidered with 3D holographic highlights in a continuous airfoil motif with a zip fastened back • • Belt : A high-waist plum velvet belt featuring a rectangular buckle and 3D embroidery details follow : @accessoriesbypapadontpreach for more • • • Eye wear and Head Gear : PAPA DONT PREACH x PARAM SAHIB @parambanana • • • Jewels : @valliyan • • • Run Frenzy , Run Festive Couture ‘19 By Papa Don’t Preach • • •

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Anita Dongre’s raised hemlines are often teamed with jacket-inspired cropped blouses for mehendi-friendly looks while Papa Don’t Preach’s eclectic belted numbers worn with bustier blouses are the only party starters your festive wardrobe needs.

Praachi Raniwala

Raniwala is a freelance fashion, luxury and travel journalist, and a brand consultant. She has a degree in fashion and lifestyle journalism from London College of Fashion, and previously worked as a features writer at L’Officiel India. You can now find her words in Vogue and Condé Nast Traveller among other publications. The writer is based in Mumbai, but her heart belongs to London.