The Retro Shoot
So, Retro Week. You’ve seen the articles, you’ve learnt much more about the 60s than you ever thought you would- the music, the lifestyle, the sports and the fashion. Speaking of fashion, I’m sure a lot of you looked at the articles and thought “that looks pretty cool, but can I really wear that?”
Well, we’re here to tell you that, yes, you can. Retro fashion is not just for the past, it’s not just for those impossibly leggy and gorgeous Pinterest/Instagram models and it’s not just for people with designer wardrobes. To prove that very point, we took the help of people like you and me, dug around in their wardrobes, mixed, matched and tweaked until we put together our very own RetroWeek photo shoot.
The Polka Dots
A staple of the late 60s, this is very easy to incorporate into your everyday wardrobe with minimum effort.
Hair, makeup and accessories also play up to the subtle, feminine look- a delicate white lace hairband with face framing curls, small stud earrings and pale pink lips. The understated makeup also lets the Twiggy- esque eyes stand out.
[Model- Mary Paul]
This outfit incorporates some of the best of the 60s-the polka dots, the fringed lace and the little bow. The flowing, palazzo -like cut and the high-waisted ribbon make it unmistakably 60s.
Accessorizing is key-turn the girlish playfulness of this look up with hoops and a very retro bow. For the hair, we did a twist on the classic beehive of the sixties by incorporating it into a braid.Nothing says sixties like the winged liner, and that is what we have used, along with pink lips to set off the bow in the hair.
[Model- Kendra Gandhi]
If you find incorporating polka dots in an entire outfit too OTT, you can use it in a small piece- a scarf, stole or hairband. Here, we have used a polka dotted scarf to tie the hair in a sixty-ish bow and then teased the hair for some volume.
This was teamed with flowing black pants- a nod to palazzos and bell bottoms- and a simple white top.
The makeup offsets the look- dramatic cat eyes and red lips for a bit of colour.
Go the Mod Way-
Think you’re “it”? Then the ultra cool, classy mod look is made for you. Think oversized shades, mini-skirts, bold prints, tailored pants, tunics, short hair and big sweaters.
Bold, red printed pants with a bulky cream top and oversized shades-very chic, very mod.
Short, sleek hair and a red lip complete the look.
If bright colours and prints aren’t your thing, go the other way-sleek and monochrome-a black mini contrasted with a delicate white. Keep the hair simple-loose waves with a deep parting -and red lips to add some colour.
The preppy look, a la the Ivy League colleges, incorporates polo shirts, buttoned up, sleeved and fitted shirts in pastel colours, well-tailored trousers and khakis, checked skirts and jackets.
Here, we have used a pastel blue shirt with small polka dots-buttoned up and long sleeved- and teamed it with fitted black trousers.
For the preppy look, opt for neat, pressed down hair and framed glasses.
Go the Hippie Way-
The late 60s brought the Woodstock Festival and with it the free spirited, hippy look-loose fabrics, tie-dye and batik, psychedelic prints, fringes, layering of jewellery-think flower power wild child.
We teamed black hotpants with a crocheted lace top, which lends the hippie factor.
To further enhance the look, we layered several chains and necklaces and stacked an armful of bangles.
A lace hairband worn across the forehead and unruly curls up the wild child factor.
The makeup is dramatic- smoky eyes and red lip- you just cannot look away.
If you want to just add a playful twist to wardrobe instead of going the whole hog-add details.
Here, we offset a bright, boldly printed pink long skirt with a plain black top and then layered carefully.
The hair is done up with a bright scarf tied loosely and messy curls. The makeup accentuates the free-spirited nature of this look-bright lips and standout, winged liner.
The accessories are important-we stacked contrasting chunky bangles and colourful necklaces for just the right touch.
Who said this look is just for the ladies?
Most people might find the hippie look a little too “out there” for guys today, so we turned it down a notch and added a very desi touch.
The loose kurta and Nehru vest pay homage to the 60s while the addition of the beads are a nod to the hippie look-all very Beatles in India.
A big, big thank you to all the models- Mary, Sherry, Kendra and Anuj for letting me poke around their wardrobes and proceed to experiment with various looks. Special thanks to Priya Darshini for her flawless makeup skills.
Also, a huge thank you to Anjali Gopakumar from Derailed Douchebaggery’s Existence section for taking time out of her hectic schedule to give the initial push that set the ball rolling, and to Rukmini Sengupta for letting me bug her 24×7 and putting the plan together!
Lastly and most importantly, photography credits to the crazy talented and extremely patient Dhruv Prakash of Phatman Photography, he really can make anything look good.
So that was our round up on the sixties looks you could create from your very own wardrobe. It isn’t rocket science- all you have to do is pick the right statement pieces and accessorize,accessorize, accessorize. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Also, don’t shy away from the inherent drama of the sixties-the big hair, the bold eyes, the crazy prints.
It’s good to let the crazy loose sometimes.
This wasn’t an easy task to get done. But thanks to Dhruv, who is a brilliant photographer and has been the brains behind this shoot along with Nayantara. When I discussed this idea with Dhruv, it was just vocal and nothing on prints, but his enthusiasm and hard work made it all possible. Also, the models, who took out time for the #DDRetroWeek and brought the 1960s to us with their poses and clicks, thank you! All I can say, a job well done and what an amazing team effort put in to bring out something so extravagant. Nayantara, a special thanks to her to get this shoot done and dusted to what you see.
– Rukmini Sengupta