Diwali: Unpacking 2023's trends from colours, designs and prints, to the accessories that you use to add a traditional pop to your attire this year

TIP: Pops of bright, bold and vibrant hues are always on trend for Diwali. Model: Aishwarya Rajkumar. Picture: Ieva Jenciute of Evaphoto

TIP: Pops of bright, bold and vibrant hues are always on trend for Diwali. Model: Aishwarya Rajkumar. Picture: Ieva Jenciute of Evaphoto

Published Nov 2, 2023


Diwali/Deepavali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most significant and vibrant festivals celebrated by Hindus worldwide.

During Diwali dress code and fashion choices add to the festive spirit.

Deepa Jagjivan-Singh's passion for versatile fashion led her to establish a niche boutique range earlier this year, called Jivan by Deepa.

"My love for fashion was sparked by my paternal grandparents. They were both tailors and have rich tailoring backgrounds. I have vivid memories of the melodious sounds of my grandmother, Kalavati Jagjivan, on her beautiful vintage Singer sewing machine. My grandfather, Ishwarlal Jagjivan, was a professional coat maker, who owned Springbok Tailors in Grey Street. The handwork on these coats was done by my grandmother.”

Deepa Jagjivan-Singh

Jagjivan-Singh said clothing, cotton and creating were integral to who she was. Through Jivan by Deepa, she aimed to create unique Indo-Western ensembles that are mindful of their carbon footprint.

“Each piece of clothing is created to be styled differently to allow the wearers’ individuality to shine through,” she said.

“Diwali is about coming together with family and friends to celebrate good over evil. It’s also about reflecting your unique individuality through your attire. It’s all about not being afraid to experiment with what feels right to you,” she added.

Jagjivan-Singh shared these tips:

Colours: – The 2023 Diwali colour trends sees a pop of bright, bold and vibrant hues like red, yellow, purple and orange with intricate embroidery details, paisley prints and embellishments.

TIP: Pops of bright, bold and vibrant hues are always on trend for Diwali. Model: Aishwarya Rajkumar. Picture: Ieva Jenciute of Evaphoto

– There has been a resurgence of bold prints from intricate floral patterns to geometric designs that add a sense of drama and vibrancy to traditional wear.

TIP: Bold prints from intricate florals patterns to geometric designs. Model: Aishwarya Rajkumar. Picture: Ieva Jenciute of Evaphoto

– However, while these bright colours have always been associated with Diwali, an increasing trend of light pastel hues like peach, baby pink, mint green and monochrome outfits are becoming a popular for ethnic attire.

TIP: Pastel hues like peach, baby pink, mint green are also in. Model: Aishwarya Rajkumar. Picture: Ieva Jenciute of Evaphoto

Styles: – There will always be traditionalists like me who prefer to dress in classic Indian attire like a sari on Diwali but in today’s globalised world it has become popular to experiment with fusion fashion styles. This trend is created by merging the elements of classic wear with contemporary styles, patterns and fabrics that blend traditional with modern to create a fashion-forward ensemble.

TIP Fusion fashion styles are great option for versatality - think one outfit, many wear options. Model: Aishwarya Rajkumar. Picture: Ieva Jenciute of Evaphoto

– People look for comfort and to some that means a sari, lehenga, anarkali or punjabi. But to others it's more of an Indo-Western look. This fusion of Indian and Western styles has resulted in easy, breezy, soft and comfortable dresses, co-ord pants or skirts sets with matching coats and flowy drapes. The key is to understand your own silhouette and choose an outfit that will accentuate your best features.

Jewellery: – Diwali has always been associated with bold and statement jewellery pieces. Large earrings are the rage like jhumkas, thanks to Karan Johar for reviving the hit song in the movie Rocky Aur Rani ki Prem Kahani. You can pair jhumkas with chunky necklaces featuring bold coloured gemstones. Stacked bangles from different sets can be mixed and matched to allow your personality to reflect through your jewellery.

My favourite is Kundan jewellery, which has its roots in the royal palaces of Rajasthan. It adds a touch of regal appeal to any outfit. Pearls are timeless for the classy, charming and romantic notes, and are a perfect choice to add to your Diwali ensemble.

TIP: Use traditional Indian jewellry as a statement piece. Picture: Pexels.com

– A trend which has become popular is temple jewellery, featuring intricate temple details and motifs of deities. But there are also those who have held on to sentimental pieces of jewellery from parents and grandparents. These pieces create a feeling of nostalgia and retro-chic to our modern-day looks. Silver and oxidised jewellery provide an edgy feel.

* Youth: For the younger generation that don’t want to wear full-on traditional Eastern wear, they may opt for boho chic or an Indo-Western look. The most popular trend among the younger generation is the crop-top trend, which is versatile. This can be incorporated into any ethnic wear, be it a sari or a lehenga skirt to create fun and a mix-match feel. A simple bodysuit can be adapted in the same way as a crop top. Use a dramatic dupatta to help your look pop.

TIP: Use India crop tops and pair body suits with a traditional skirt for a more youthful look. Model: Aishwarya Rajkumar. Picture: Ieva Jenciute of Evaphoto

– Dresses in Indian prints, denim jackets over punjabis and sneakers with any kind of Indian dress seem to still be trending. These boho-chic outfits can be paired with chunky Indian jewellery to add that touch of desi.

For more tips and trends see Instagram


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