TREND TALK Mon­soon Ready

Chang­ing sea­sons mean a change in the wardrobe. And if it is the mon­soons, it is all the more rea­son to own a wa­ter­proof wardrobe. Bindu Gopal Rao dis­cov­ers sev­eral new age in­no­va­tions be­ing seen now in the mon­soon wear space. Read on…

Apparel - - Contents July 2018 -

Ex­plor­ing the many new age in­no­va­tions in the mon­soon wear space

For mon­soons, be­sides the fab­ric, it is the wa­ter­proof tech­nol­ogy that is widely adopted in the gar­ments that cre­ate a bar­rier be­tween the body and rain. Un­like ear­lier times, brands these days are bring­ing dif­fer­ent fea­tures to match with the weather con­di­tions. Dif­fer­ent coat­ings in­side the jack­ets that dry the gar­ment quickly without com­pro­mis­ing on the com­fort, keep­ing the breatha­bil­ity fac­tor as the top most pri­or­ity, have been the game chang­ers in the mar­ket.

NOW TREND­ING

The most im­por­tant trend dur­ing mon­soons, which is chang­ing ev­ery year, is that of breath­able jack­ets and rain­proof bags. Sim­i­larly, a sim­ple plain trans­par­ent pon­cho is the talk of the town for col­lege stu­dents and of­fice go­ers. “It is im­per­a­tive that you switch to darker colours and play with a palate of strong shades. Wear a cool rain pon­cho to beat the chill and keep dry. Soft denim is an ab­so­lute talk of the sea­son and the trend is here to stay till the mon­soons. Women are drool­ing over dresses and tops in soft denim fab­rics. The ma­te­rial is sum­mer friendly and quick dry­ing, and should last the mon­soon as well,” says Aan­chal Saini, Co-Founder & CEO, Rent It Bae. Vinyl and PVC fin­ishes have proved to be mon­soon wear favourites over the past few years. This was a pre­dom­i­nant trend on the cat­walk as seen by Burberry, Fendi and Chanel and is the clear choice for in­clement weather. Esha Gupta, Founder, House of Ze­niaa, says, “Plas­tic is hav­ing a real high fash­ion mo­ment for Mon­soon ‘ 18, ap­pear­ing every­where from the func­tional rain­coats at Burberry back in Lon­don to Valentino’s fu­tur­is­tic moto jack­ets and Chanel’s glam­ourous capes and boots in Paris. Hooded rain capes, denim jack­ets and skirts trimmed with plas­tic fringe and the house’s trademark cap­toed, demi-heeled boots are on trend.”

IN VOGUE

Play­suits in printed flo­ral pat­terns, mid length skirts, cu­lottes and shorts are al­ways a hot trend for the mon­soon game, ev­ery sea­son. This year cot­ton shorts and lighter com­fort­able fab­rics are in vogue. ‘Ath­leisure’ be­ing the big­gest trend of the sea­son can be well played in the mon­soons, wear­ing Dri-FIT mech­a­nised clothes as they are com­fort­able and dry off quickly. In the mon­soons, a roomy chif­fon ‘bell sleeved dress’ is func­tional and oh-so-chic. Sum­mer capes in a bright colour paired with frayed denim shorts is

a great in-be­tween driz­zle out­fit. Vi­brant hues of in­digo, green and blue and elec­tric flu­o­res­cent mix in cot­ton and rayon hold good for the mon­soons. Crop pants are all new regulars even dur­ing the heavy down­pour, mak­ing a per­fect com­bi­na­tion with trendy t-shirts,” says Ri­tika Taneja, Head, Cat­e­gories Man­age­ment, Shop Clues. There are not many op­tions for men in for­mal wear dur­ing mon­soon, hence they should stick to cot­ton fab­rics and suits made of syn­thetic fi­bres.

IN­NO­VA­TION MAT­TERS

Water­proof­ing tex­tile ma­te­ri­als are be­ing in­tro­duced us­ing nano water­proof­ing tech­nol­ogy. Soft­shell jack­ets are de­signed to keep the rain at bay. They look ex­tremely snazzy, un­like the pop­u­lar rain friendly ma­te­ri­als. They are made out of smooth polyester; mak­ing them uber com­fort­able too. Nan­otech cloth­ing fab­ric ‘never gets wet’. The se­cret to this incredible wa­ter re­sis­tance is the layer of sil­i­cone nanofil­a­ments, which are highly chem­i­cally hy­dropho­bic. The spiky struc­ture of the 40-nanome­tre-wide fil­a­ments strength­ens that ef­fect, to cre­ate a coat­ing that pre­vents wa­ter droplets from soak­ing through the coat­ing to the polyester fi­bres un­der­neath. Com­bi­na­tion of wa­ter-re­pelling sub­stances and tiny nanos­truc­tures is re­spon­si­ble for many nat­u­ral ex­am­ples of ex­treme wa­ter re­sis­tance, like the sur­face of lo­tus leaves,” (up to 5000 mm) that makes it per­fect for slight driz­zles to thun­der­storms, all the while en­sur­ing breatha­bil­ity,” says Bhupin­der Singh, Chief Prod­uct Of­fi­cer, Wild­craft. Sag­gar Mehra, Creative Direc­tor at House of Su­nil Mehra adds, “The key com­po­nent of any rain­wear fab­ric is the coat­ing or mem­brane that does the tech­no­log­i­cal trick of block­ing rain while also al­low­ing sweat vapour to es­cape. There are syn­thetic fab­rics like ny­lon or polyester that are coated with a water­proof­ing ma­te­rial such as rub­ber, polyvinyl chlo­ride, polyurethane, sil­i­cone elas­tomer, flu­o­ropoly­mers and wax.” Wa­ter­proof ma­te­ri­als have an ex­traor­di­nar­ily high use, with prod­ucts for everyday cloth­ing, sports­wear and pro­tec­tive cloth­ing for in­dus­trial or tech­ni­cal ap­pli­ca­tions. “The outer face of the tex­tile is treated with a durable wa­ter re­pel­lant fin­ish that helps form droplets and re­pels wa­ter from the sur­face. Each multi lay­ered tex­tile is en­gi­neered to al­low wa­ter vapour to pass through from the in­side to the out­side. This process is used to make sure the fab­ric is wa­ter­proof and com­fort­able at the ex­plains Gupta. Many designers and tech­nol­ogy firms have col­lab­o­rated on de­signer tech-ad­vanced cloth­ing like ‘Rain Pal­ette’ by Lon­don based de­signer Da­hea Sun. This acts as a pH in­di­ca­tor in the rain and the in-built app sug­gests the acidic com­po­nent in the rain.

TECH TALK

Wild­craft has al­ways been a pi­o­neer in us­ing Hypa Dry tech­nol­ogy for their ap­parel. “The Hypa Dry tech­nol­ogy keeps you dry while also al­low­ing your skin to breathe. The breath­able ny­lon fab­ric has nano-pores that mimic the skin; small enough to keep the rain out, but large enough to al­low sweat to evap­o­rate. Tai­lored with ny­lon and pow­ered by Dry Vent tech­nol­ogy, our range has su­pe­rior water­proof­ing

same time for the mon­soon sea­son,” says Mithi Kalra, De­signer.

CHAL­LENGE FAC­TOR

No mat­ter how wa­ter­proof the fab­ric, the stitch­ing seams are still vul­ner­a­ble to wa­ter seep­age through nee­dle holes. “How­ever, Wild­craft en­sures the seams on these prod­ucts are 100 per cent sealed us­ing seam-seal­ing tapes to cover the nee­dle holes. This ex­tra mea­sure en­sures that there are no stray wa­ter droplets seep­ing in through the seams,” adds Singh. The big­gest mar­ket­ing chal­lenge lies in chang­ing the mind­set of peo­ple. “Brands face a lot of rigid­ity with In­di­ans. A ma­jor­ity of In­di­ans find in­vest­ing in mon­soon ap­parel a waste­ful task. Man­u­fac­tur­ing is a game of un­der­stand­ing de­mand and sup­ply. If the de­mand drops, the prod­ucts au­to­mat­i­cally be­come costlier, or they would go out of pro­duc­tion if it drops dras­ti­cally,” opines Saini. Mehra adds, “Chal­lenges for man­u­fac­tur­ing these clothes in­clude as­pects like en­ergy-in­ten­sive man­u­fac­ture, un­cer­tain de­mand, in­creased costs as lab­o­ra­tory test for breatha­bil­ity is re­quired and dye­ing such fab­rics be­comes an is­sue. Some of the gar­ments are re­cy­clable and non-biodegrad­able; hence, in­ten­sive care is re­quired in its man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­posal.” Again, with the kind of tech­nol­ogy in­volved in mak­ing mon­soon friendly cloth­ing, there is very less aware­ness among the com­mon pub­lic which makes mar­ket­ing the prod­uct harder too. “It is a high in­vest­ment and pro­duc­tion cat­e­gory and re­quires an ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing process with skilled labour that fur­ther in­creases the cost of the prod­uct. Hence, wa­ter­proof cloth­ing is still un­der the cat­e­gory of less de­mand and due to its re­gional and sea­sonal fac­tor mar­keters find it dif­fi­cult to build long term busi­ness so­lu­tions around this seg­ment,” says Taneja. Again, with the trend to go eco-friendly, us­ing plas­tic in clothes may not be a wise idea ei­ther.

THE BIG­GEST MAR­KET­ING CHAL­LENGE LIES IN CHANG­ING THE MIND­SET OF PEO­PLE. BRANDS FACE A LOT OF RIGID­ITY WITH IN­DI­ANS.

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