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For its latest chic avatar, the humble collar has found embellishment in embroidery, sequin, bead and ribbon when not cast in metal.
Nearly a year ago, French gemmologist Olivia Dar was strolling through the flea markets of Paris when she chanced upon an accessory that took her back in time. "These were beautiful detachable collars made of cotton and lace; they had some embroidery on them and a few ribbons attached for added effect. They reminded me of the ones my grandmother would wear when I was a kid," reminisces Dar, who runs an accessory label out of a studio in Delhi.
This gave her an impetus to incorporate this memory in her designs. "I decided to do my own contemporary take on such collars which were in fashion in the West in the '20s," she says. The resulting line — with collars made with beads and sequins sewn on to satin — is impressive. "They are the new statement pieces," she says.
Sequinned collars, collar neckpieces and even collar tips are the newest accessories in vogue. Fashion brands Zara and Accessorize too have come up with a funky take on sequinned collars. Vero Moda has chosen to play up collars in a line of tops by stitching sequins on to them. This, in turn, does away with the need for neckpieces. Jewellery designer Suhani Pittie's collar necklaces are structured metal beauties, including the ones with floral designs. Eina Ahluwalia continues to pair neckpieces with high-collared outfits. "We have done them in steel, copper and silver. Some are also made in bidri and on rare occasions, they are made on a base of felt," says Pittie, who makes collar pieces in every collection of hers.
Mumbai-based Shruti Bheda, who sources quirky accessories for her brand Blur, also vouches for the popularity of collar tips as well as the minimal-yet-edgy collar necklaces. "What works for these accessories is the novelty factor. Also, they draw attention to the neck area and make you look sharper," she reasons. Perhaps this is why Delhi-based designer Ruchika Sachdeva styled her models with collar tips from Blur. "My creations veer towards androgyny and they also have an air of vintage about them. Almost all my creations — for men and women — have collars," she explains.
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