From the likes of Michelle Obama (seen in a rosy, custom-made Atelier Versace gown) and Kendall Jenner (who picked a custom-made silver mesh for her 21st birthday) to Balmain’s shine-on pieces – the mesh cocktail numbers are doing the rounds across the board. For her 20th birthday in early October last year, Bella Hadid effectively predicted the trend with a two-piece silver chain-mail ensemble by Fannie Schiavoni. Later on in December, Lady Gaga wore a shimmering combination to perform on Saturday Night Live.
Balmain’s new campaign see Olivier Rousteing’s army frolicking in statement-making, metallic pieces radiating unmitigated va va voom. At the opening show of Lakme Fashion Week Monisha Jaising also sent out a shine-on chainmail look. We speak to designers if this trend is going to eclipse the ubiquitous naked dress…
Designer Rocky S recalls that the trend made its run in the 90’s in short dresses suited to fit a certain body type, leaving close to no room for experimentation. He observes that the use of mesh and chain was more rigid then. “This year the trend shall make a comeback in a relatable and wearable form making way for varied options. Using minimalism and comfort as key, the metal and chain trend will be incorporated as detailing on skirts, jackets and vests. This year will be all about armour-like tops, which will be a party must-have in the wardrobe. Drawing inspiration from the Medieval age, the colour palette that will rule the runaways for this trend will be royal in golds and silvers while the cuts shall be simple and clean,” says Rocky. He feels that the metallic imagery radiates confidence and strength.
Keeping up with Kendall
Falguni Peacock of the label Falguni and Shane Peacock calls supermodel Kendall Jenner – “the poster girl of this trend sporting an arresting array of low back and low front chainmail looks”. One can pick from a palette of gold, silver and pewter. She asserts, “You need to have sexy hot body because everything shows through it. All you need is minimlaistic make-up, do dark lips like Priyanka Chopra sported at the Golden Globes.”
She cautions, “You can’t do smokey eyes with the chain mail look. Complete your look with a pair of strappy shoes, you can’t wear close shoes, it has to be strappy stiletto. In 1960s, the last silhouette was invented, then it just gets modified and reworked upon with a modern twist year after year.”
Not for the meek fashionistas
One look at the red carpet history and one can deduce that the Chain mail has been a popular style for decades now. Designer Rohit Gandhi of the label Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna says, “Paco Rabanne was the first one to start the trend in the 60s . It’s a statement trend and but not for the faint hearted. We will definitely see it more of on the red carpet.”
Merely a fad
Designer Pria Kataaria Puri doesn’t see it replacing any kind of red carpet looks or dress. “It’s more of a fad; the look can be donned as a one off look for effect by celebrities at an event, but apart from that, I don’t see it becoming a trend because it is a drape style, reminiscent of the 80s, 90s era.”
Guess one will have to wait and watch…