Forecast Factory


Every season, a new trend struts down the ramp and makes its way into fashion and high street stores across the country. The shade card records changes, silhouettes are modified, fabrics change according to season, so do the shapes and sizes of the accessories. Some trends go viral, others just fade away. How do Indian designers hit upon the right trends for the market? "It's intellectual intuition," says designer Anita Dongre.

Merely looking up to the West for what's trending is never enough, also because the Indian market is very different from the international one. "Fashionable people are like a flock of birds. They fly together in the same direction. But one must innovate and bring one's own identity into a collection," adds Dongre. For her Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) Spring Summer 2012 collection, she started work three months ago. "I worked on the drawing boards, prints and silhouettes, and when I looked at the World Global Style Network website, which designers subscribe to for forecasting, it was uncanny how my work matched the trends," she says. For her, the process is about observation and travel.

Getting the forecast right comes with experience. Designer Wendell Rodricks doesn't subscribe to any forecasting format. "You have to observe the Indian market. Keep your ears to the ground to be able to feel the pulse of fashion," he says. "I've been doing it for more than 22 years now. One has to see when a current trend starts to become boring. If colours like blue and pink are in now, I will look at how to bring a certain freshness into them for the next season," he adds. Rodricks also looks at the client's reactions at fashion shows. "For instance, people seem to be fed up of skinny jeans and want a loose fit," says the designer known for his eco-friendly clothes.

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