AMONG the greatest joys of ringing in a New Year is a contagion called hope. More so, since 2016 brought on many requiems: right from secularism to liberalism to free speech to an international collective heartbreak when Donald Trump and his silicon-infested wife Melania were announced as President and First Lady of the United States. If 2016 was all about life hitting skid row, 2017 can only offer optimism. Perhaps this is why Pantone’s colour for the year is called ‘Greenery’.

Here’s hoping this year makes up for all the faux pas of the last one, especially, in fashion. 2016 was the year for scratch-your-head confusion, where everything quotidian seemed to be in style, except that they weren’t particularly stylish.

I suspect 2016 will become known as the year of the Very Expensive T-shirt. Never before has stuff, such ordinary stuff, appeared with such extraordinary price-tags. Ever since Kanye West began introducing merchandise to promote himself and his music, Drake, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, M.I.A., Beyonce and practically every recording artist has become a fashion mogul of sorts.

The young fashion label Vetements garnered a cult’s following with its DHL t-shirt last spring. The most disconcerting thing about this canary yellow delivery-boy tee is its USD 300 tag. In an article called ‘Scam or subversion? How a DHL T-shirt became this year’s must-have’, British newspaper The Guardian elucidates. “A T-shirt with such a prosaic logo really threw down the gauntlet. Vetements – a label known for wonky 90s-influenced streetwear, real-world models and oversized fits, designed by a collective headed by Demna Gvasalia – had arguably brought anti-fashion back to fashion.”

With West and Vetements joining the dots between fashion, celebrity and commodity, one longs for the satins and sequins that come out of Paris. Pretty dresses were restricted to red carpets of movie ceremonies last year – except no sales followed Emma Stone’s couture picks.

And then there is the sneaker. I thought this was a quick break we were taking from the towering pressures of creating impossibly beautiful fashions, and our feet just wanted a little bit of, erm, downtime. I thought in a season or two, we’d be back with our enthusiasm for vertiginous heels. But this was not to be. We’ve barely seen the back of trainers three years later, in fact they’ve come up in hideous colours and embellishments: with sequins, animal prints, emojis and even on heels. How I hope 2017 brings us some elegant footwear. Because sneakers really belong in a gym.

Leggings, which were haute in the 1980s, are back from their style-disaster zone. Young girls (and they can only be worn by the very young) wear them with crop tops. Some leggings are printed, but some are slashed and sheer. And when we thought we were done with skinny jeans, came something skinnier. We’d love to see the Spring Summer collections bring us newer trouser shapes, billowing harem pants, a pencil skirt, or the very elegant maxi dress. We’d love to dress like ladies again. And oh, the pant suit hurts the heart so much, I don’t think anyone wants to be reminded of Hillary Clinton losing again.

If it isn’t athleisure, it must be vintage then. It seems all the world has fallen in love with tea-stained colours, frumpy frocks, flouncy sleeves and chintz florals. What commenced with Gucci’s timely take on androgynous fashion (Alessandro Michele showed his first collection at the same time the US Supreme Courts declared same-sex marriages legal across all states) almost three years ago, hasn’t allowed for another wave to form. Closer home, our vintage-loving Sabyasachi has sprung on so many me-toos, I went up to him at the Made in India fashion showcase a few months back to tell him everybody else’s collection looked like his.

There was little respite at our biannual fashion weeks, both in Mumbai and Delhi. Indian fashion only wears one look these days: the hand-loomed, anti-fit, lounge look. Oversize shapes in colours of the earth, boxy blouses, textile-loving concepts and indigenous arts have so taken over the mainstream, we’re aching to see the raised golden twists of zardozi. Sure, Indians do bohemian and austere monk-like habits really well, but can we please bring back some bling?

What 2017 must really do is fight for beauty in fashion. It must drag us out of sartorial ennui, put the posh and polish back in our clothes. If the high-street’s influence on fashion is causing this, let’s go to bed in couture. Because what we need most this year is to dream sweet dreams.Read more at:girls prom dresses | mermaid prom dresses