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At a time when sexy bodycon dresses rule the  roost, Mumbai-based designer Nimish Shah begs to differ

Abstract prints, sustainable fabrics and classic ‘60s appeal sums up Nimish Shah’s latest collection. It is being launched at The Amethyst Room for the first time tomorrow. A fairly new label (launched in 2010), Shift by Shah, has been spotted on celebrities like Kalki Koechlin, Sonam Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha. Explaining his love for retro, the London College of Fashion alumnus says, “My training at Chloe happened during a time when they were heavily inspired by the ‘60s. And I was quite in awe of that era because it had the elements of minimalism, wasn’t provocative but was very feminine. As far as the costume history goes, ‘50s and ‘60s were by far the strongest in terms of fashion according to me.”

Free flowing
With floaty dresses and billowing blouses in silk twills, masshroo silk, bespoke jacquards, cotton drill and chambrays, his clothes are a far cry from the bodycon outfits trending today. “I think body hugging clothes are such a turn off because even if you are slim, if you are not toned enough, it looks bad! And I really think bodycon is only meant for models and not for anybody who’s slim. Also dorky shaped outfits allow people to imagine and there is the tease element involved,” the 29-year-old designer quips. Perfect for the approaching holiday season, you’ll find loose tunics, midi dresses, wrap skirts, cocktail maxis and fifties flare dresses featuring camouflage prints, abstract floral prints and geometric hand block prints, often with contrasting slips and lining to give them a twist. There’s also a night dress from the ‘60s (that he’d bought from a flea market), which is now a modern brunch dress.

Mind the details
With necklines three centimetres below the high neck point, calf length hemlines and full sleeves, Shah offers a conservative but elegant line. Not willing to typecast it for a particular age group, Shah says, “An 18-year-old or even a 65-year-old can pull it off but somebody with an old school thought and style would prefer these clothes.” Although the ready-to-wear outfits will be available only till the L size, Shah informs that he does custom work for larger sizes and can alter the shade or hemline to an extent. He also makes quilts out of leftover fabrics. Till September 20. Priced from Rs.4,500. Details: 24311496

Shah recommends
“The black silk dobby midi dress with crochet trim on the neck line  is my favourite. It’s got a beautiful lace detail slip inside a see through dress. So when you wear it with lace, it’s not that transparent but is very romantic, with a light feminine feel to it. There is a waistline but it still breaks notions of your routine feminine shape,” says Shah. Priced at RS.16,630.

— Sharmistha Maji

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