Gilt trip

Gilt trip

It is arguably every Indian’s favourite celebratory colour. Our gold lust gets a bit more pronounced this time of year, when the colour of the season—whatever that may be—is just not, well, gold enough.

“In India, the demand for gold bags and accessories is constant, increasing around the Indian wedding season, Diwali, Christmas and the New Year," says Marielou Phillips, Chanel India’s head of public relations and press.

This season, however, it’s not only bags and accessories which have been gilted. Fashionistas from Shilpa Shetty and Ramona Narang Rodella to Nandita Mahtani and Ayesha Thapar have been seen wearing dresses, jumpsuits and skirts in the colour.

Designer Raakesh Agarvwal showed a line consisting of flapper dresses, jumpsuits and lehengas in gold at the Lakme Fashion Week in September. He says designers’ obsession with gold this season has taken inspiration from Michael Jackson as well as the Studio 54 era. “Also, after the economy has improved, gold is a sign of hope and victory," he says.

If you’re wearing gold to go clubbing, Agarvwal says, it should be monochromatic to look contemporary. “Gold and silver stilettos or a steel bag give it a futuristic look. Shoes in another colour will make it look dated, harking back to the 1980s," he says.

Apart from gold’s appeal to unashamed lovers of bling, designers are trying to make the colour acceptable to those who might not want to look that reflective. Roughing up gold and making it grungy is another trend. At the Lakme Fashion Week, Anamika Khanna sent out a model in a gold lehenga; wrapped around the model’s torso was an unglamorous, crushed black cotton sari.

Kalyani Chawla, vice-president of marketing and communications for Christian Dior Couture in India, recently wore a vintage Dior trench coat in gold, but over a grey Halston shift dress, which muted the bling.

“I would wear a short, sequinned gold skirt with maybe a plain white T-shirt. Worn with the right accessories, it’s very chic," she says.

Maithili Ahluwalia, owner of lifestyle store Bungalow 8 in Mumbai, is also a believer in the muted beauty of gold and uses it as an accent to glamourize a grunge look. “Torn shorts, a white ganji and a dusty gold waistcoat" is how she sees herself wearing the colour. “Gold should be counterbalanced with something casual. Then it can take you from the day to the evening, which is what most people keep in mind while dressing these days," Ahluwalia says.

Mahtani and jewellery designer Queenie Singh both say gold is their all-time favourite colour, both for day and night. Singh says she mixes the colour with white if she is wearing it during the day, so it doesn’t look flashy. “I would wear a gold shirt with white jeans, so it doesn’t stand out too much," she says.

Mahtani uses a gold belt to lift a plain black or white shirt dress, or to make jersey fabric look dressy. “On wintry evenings, a matt-finish, skin-toned gold blazer thrown on over jeans is chic," she says.

Jimmy Choo: ‘Cosma’ metallic suede clutch with gold studs, at The Galleria, Trident, Mumbai; and DLF Emporio mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi,Rs88,000.

Day glow: Gold is designer Nandita Mahtani’s favourite colour for day and night.

Gold standard: Actor Shilpa Shetty in a gown designed by Tarun Tahiliani, at her wedding reception. Photo: Yogen Shah

Louis Vuitton: Gold brocade pumps, at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai; The Oberoi and DLF Emporio mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi; and UB City mall, Bangalore, Rs66,500.

Mango: Black and gold dress, at Mango stores in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi. Rs2,350

Chanel: Hanging multi-chain metal bracelet, Rs1.33 lakh; two-tone gold and silver pleated leather clutch, approx. Rs1.8 lakh, at Chanel, The Imperial, New Delhi.

Anamika Khanna: At the Lakme Fashion Week in September, Khanna teamed a rich lehenga with a rough cotton sari.

Chanel: Gold embellishment and mirror-work on a crepe evening dress from Chanel’s Cruise 2010 collection.

Alberta Ferretti: Gold brocade dress from the Autumn/Winter 2009 collection.

Bungalow 8: Gold linen trench coat, at Bungalow 8, Colaba, Mumbai, Rs10,500. Photo: Shriya Patil Shinde / Mint