From glitterati circuit to the swish set, from travel freaks to party hoppers, capes have been ruling the fashion corridors in recent times, writes PRAMITA BOSE.
It’s not always what you wear that catches the eye but how you carry it conveniently, makes news. Fashion closely follows comfort which in turn spells out style and establishes a strong statement. Capes in fashion town once again raised a few good hopes to be aped and appreciated widely. From glitterati circuit to the swish set, from travel freaks to party hoppers, capes have been ruling the fashion corridors in recent times. The designers are not complaining either to burn the midnight oil or get the best fit for red carpet queens to strut down in haute elegance.
Cameron Diaz, Jeniffer Lopez, Cate Blanchett, Emilia Clarke, Jada Pinkett-Smith — you name it and the list has it to flaunt these stars’ fascination for caped gowns and bold dresses. There’s a glamour connection here. Incidentally, mention of capes can also be found in literature, history and superhero-fictions, plus witnessed among the uniformed men in military. So there’s a period feel too. The scarlet vintage gown is a surefire winner in this context.
“A hooded cape or a simple armless mantle or a sleeve-slitted cloak is now a figment of every couturier’s imagination. If you get it right, then nothing like it. Otherwise, it may fall awkwardly on the body frame if detected with loopholes,” warns designer Parul J Maurya from Delhi.
Yellow, black, light pink, emerald green — capes are now painting the fashion canvas with a bright palette of colours. Clad in a high-slitted caped yellow gown by Giambattista Valli Couture and a pair of eye-catching Jimmy Choo pumps, Jennifer Lopez looked ravishing every inch. While Clarke harked back to the retro 50s in a black number with cape detailing by Valentino. Of course Jimmy Choo sandals rounded off the get-up to augment her gorgeous quotient. Givenchy’s cape too came along with some interesting fringes to aptly suit the Academy Awardee Cate Blanchett to the tee. She further upped her sophistication with a Roger Vivier clutch accessory. Finally, Atelier Versace nailed it with a green creation that was enough to draw envy from its rival brands. Of late, these clotheshorses rewrote cape trends on the red carpet with an inimitable grace.
Calling it an all season-friendly costume, Kolkata-based draper Jyoti Sachdev Iyer recommends capes for the winters too. “Although we hardly had a brush with the cold this time, yet those who vacationed in hill stations, at upper cooler climes or flown to the snowcapped regions, they must have sworn by cape coats, cardigan capes and poncho capes to warm up and soar their body temperature,” she claims.
“Cape coats preferably go well with tall and lanky stature. Its well-cut rectangular silhouette accentuates the body shape and even if one doesn’t strictly belong to that svelte-slender bracket, no issues. For capes have the power to lend refinement to any form and figure. Cardigan cape is the ultimate winner for the chill as far as unveiling one’s style statement goes. Complimenting a casual polished look, cardigan capes also double up as shawls or wrappers to cover up the flaws. However, poncho capes are the most versatile and flattering of all three,” she further elaborates.
Mumbaikar Masumi Mewawalla approves of a no make-up look to tally with cape avatars. “A natural beauty always looks stunning. So be yourself to switch on the optimum in you,” she advises. Seconding her opinion, Iyer concurs: “I too prefer the subtle nude look to match with capes. Loose open long tresses would further encourage that minimalistic approach I fathom.”
To put the best foot forward literally with caped fashion, Mewawalla suggests: “If you are an avidly heel person, then opt for a mid-height elevation or flat mules or merely flats to rock it!” Cape back belted maxi dress, cape sleeve maxi dress, long lycra cape dress are some other great samples to try out this season.
“A cape suit is another amazing option to abide by. It is a cape teamed up with pants and a top. You can also throw in a wide belt with sufficient breadth to stand up to its flared volume,” Maurya lends her tip as the parting shot.
From desi divas like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Taapsee Pannu to foreign sirens like Victoria Beckham, Nicole Scherzinger, Anne Hathaway, Lucy Liu, Olivia Palermo, Kim Kardashian and Katherine Heigl, cape-fever has been gripping the who’s who of fashion like never before.
The cardinal red cape, flouncy and buckled capes from Gucci, double-breasted cape with feather-print, capes worn with side-embellished denim, sapphire silk collared cape added with an operatic flavour to it from the premium Burberry Prorsum label, capes styled with unstructured draping, asymmetrical cuts and multilayered look or paired up with hip boots and girlie booties, khaki trench-coat styled capes in neutral blacks and greys with double-breasted buttons lining up the frontal facet are doing the rounds of cape stores in the high-fashion market. For blistering hot summers, capes in lighter weaves and cotton textures can reduce the ordeal to a degree. And to accompany this simplistic look, suede black ankle booties and sleek black shades would ideally boost the swagger factor.
“Being carefully careless is the order of the day. If you know how to wear it with effortless élan, the world will be at your feet. Cutting an impression must be instantaneous,” volunteers Mewawalla. Arousing the onlookers’ curiosity about what lies beneath is another artistic point needed to make an entry into one’s style-file. “Check what you can slip into before donning the cape on top. If a casual dress or an understated column gown sneaks a peek from below, you know you are on the track of success. Keep this mantra in mind!” she further dispenses.