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Color Defines The Onset Of Spring At Shubhra Designs


Recently it was Easter Sunday and the sun was shining on some purple and yellow crocus in the garden. When I walked my dog around the center, there were families all dressed up in their Sunday best, going to church and onto family activities afterwards. Little bulbs had cropped up everywhere, the first signs of spring. The roads were still edged with melting snow, it's hard to believe that April had already started.

Spring has always been a time for inspiration for artists, designers and creative people. Passover, Easter, Baisakhi and Holi are celebrations created for us to rejoice in color, new beginnings and renew our faith in the cycle of creation. From the wonderful exhibit of Indian art, post Independence, at the Peabody-Essex Museum to the floral shows around town, there is an explosion in color and creativity.

I am often asked around this time of year to give a synopsis of trends in fashion. What are the latest colors? How short, how long, prints or stripes, etc? Trends differ by country, climate and the strata of society. Most of the time when there is still snow on the ground here, it's hard for people in New England to celebrate Holi. Wearing a light, breezy chiffon dress and open toed shoes is out of the question, unless we are planning a vacation to a warm destination. The trends for men and women this year point to a very dressed up and almost mono-chromatic palette. By that I mean the return of a suit and tie (yes, Justin Timberlake is even singing about that) for men and a more dressy, retro silhouette for women. Think of "The Great Gatsby," which is being remade incidentally, meeting a certain New England old world charm. Beach wear is forecast to be limited to a nautical color theme of black, white and some red. For those of us, who like color and a riotous blend, it is a little disappointing.

My fashion prescription for this season is color and lots of it. The forecasts are created by fashion  insiders at least a year in advance. They are not weather people and have no idea what kind of winter we are likely to have! That said, after living in sensible pants and boots all winter, I am ready to pull out my retro dresses and recycled sari numbers soon. For the men, a little wardrobe pick me up- buy a new shirt or tie in a wonderful spring color like lavender or aquamarine and live a little. Try a more dressed up look with cufflinks and tie clip. Wear a gorgeous silk shirt to a dinner event. Ditch the wool sweater.

Lexington is having a town wide event where artists open their studios to show and sell their work. It is on the weekend of April 27th and 28th. I will be showing my colorful designs at that time. The runway fashion show is on May 9th at the Liberty Hotel at 10 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Here's to a warm spring.

Shubhra Chandra

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