Monthly Archives: February 2012

WIFW JJ Valaya Finale

28 Feb 2012

JJ Valaya closed the week with an extravagant, spectacular show inspired by the rich colours, prints and silhouettes of the Ottaman empire. The show started with simple flowing white organza pieces that gave way to rich, heavy bridal outfits and ended with the stunning outfit Kangana Ranaut wore.

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The Asian Fashion Journal meets…..Square Circle design

A key reason for starting this blog was to highlight the work of exciting designers and creatives that have an Asian connection. Designers that are either influenced by the sub-continents rich creative history or by its contemporary culture. (and no I don’t mean clichéd filmi poster bag designers)

Square Circle design is one such duo. I met Archana and Mala, the Mother and Daughter behind Square Circle at a recent charity event where they showcased their stunning collection.

1. Describe SquareCircle in a sentence.

Being a SquareCircle means you never have to fit into a mould.

2.What’s the story behind the label?

It all started when Archana was creating some nursery decorations for her first grand child. Nirmala got inspired by the little Bankura Horse drawings which are Indian tribal toys that Archana was painting, that these would be beautiful on scarves. So the first scarf was born!

3. Describe the design process and your key influences

We love animals. So the Bankura Horse became the theme for the first collection we designed. We then included the Horse motif in various guises: from the ancient Chinese Tang Dynasty Horse, to the more pop art inspired photographic styled images of famous races horses and we continue the Horse Theme with the St. Marco Square Horses in Venice as well as the Princely Horses of India.
The essence of what we do is that we keep changing our style as we are influenced and inspired. We are Chameleons, so we are ever changing and never held captive in trends. We are constantly evolving!

4. Who are SquareCircle Pieces designed for?

We design our pieces for both women and men. The design can appeal to whoever is drawn to it. We design for people who love colour, quality and enjoy being unique and different.

5.What Style Icons would you like to see wear your scarves?

We love people who have the courage to be themselves and be adventurous even outrageous! – irrespective of fashion and trend. People like Oscar Wilde, Stephen Fry, David Bailey, The Duchess of Alba, Audrey Tatou, Charlotte Rampling, and there are many more…

6. Where are the scarves available to buy?

Currently, we’re really honoured to have a “royal warrant” with the Royal House of Udaipur as our scarves and shawls are stocked by the Princess Bhargavi Mewar’s luxury boutique Aashka, located in Jaipur and Udaipur. We are also at Cowley Manor Boutique, voted one of Britain’s best luxury Boutiques by Vogue. After the success of several charity auctions, where we donated scarves, such as the one held by the Kings Troop in St. Johns Wood in June ’11 where our Tang Horse Maroon was snapped up for about £1000 and the Diva Horse went for about £400, we were inundated with calls from private buyers who missed out on purchasing these stunning scarves at the auction. Though we do not sell online, we’re always very touched when people contact us directly and we always make a special effort to accommodate them.

7. What are the label plans for 2012?

We have launched a line targeting the stylish man, which we are sure, the women will love too! We’ve been developing our diffusion line, SquareCircle1961 to be aimed at the stylish younger crowd.

There’s also a secret project in the pipeline…stay tuned!!!

Thanking Archana and Mala for the interview and I think their next stop should be Liberty Scarf Lounge!

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WIFW A/w 12 Rocky S

Alongside launching Vilasa (the designer’s new wedding planning company) Rocky S launches his latest Bridal wear collection. Ok, so it may not be a ground-breaking collection and there are no new ideas but it is still a pretty collection.

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Rishi Kapoor Inauguarates LSE’s India Week

21st Feb 2012

With my Mum in tow I popped down to the start of the London School of Economics’s India week which was inauguarated by the legend that is Mr. Rishi Kapoor. Armaan Kirmaani (R.K’s co-star in Patiala House) came on stage to give an intro to the star and to explain his own route into acting. He studyed Law at Cambridge before enrolling on a series of acting courses and making his way over to B-Town. His speech was full of humour and he finished by asking us all to remember and appreciate the great gift our parents have given our generation- the gift of choice. That our parents generation of hard work has afforded us the freedom to choose our own path. So very true. The floor was then handed over to the excitable Prof Rachel Dwyer, Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema. Her intro and the subsequent conversation with Rishi Kapoor was warm and engaging. Rishi was as charasmatic as ever and during the interview the audience had a karoke moment or two when Rachel pulled up some of his film clips. My pictures and video from the event are pretty dire so I’ll leave you with a few stills from his films.

the best pic I could manage on my phone!

Working those leathers in Bobby

Clip from Karz- Meri Umar Ke Naujawaanon -Om Shanti Om

Banner from the hit Do Dooni Chaar

Still from Agneepath the role no one expected R.K to play.

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London Calling, LFW the highlights

20 Feb 2012

It’s all about London in 2012- from the Diamond Jubilee to the Olympics and what better way to start off the momentous year with a spectacular LFW. It’s about time the fashion spotlight was on London. The city has always been a place for raw talent to be recognised with graduates from the RCA, Central St. Martins and LCF taking key roles in the industry. The issue has always been in supporting talent past the early years and into fully fledged fashion houses which has resulted in the deflection of British talent overseas. In the last few years all the hard work of the BFC (with Sam Cam and before Sarah Brown) alongside the initiatives of Lulu Guiness’s  Fashion East, Topshop’s NewGen and Fashion Fringe have paid off by increased pr, investment and sponsorship to London’s home grown talent. Long may it continue!

Here’s my highlights from the week.

1) Mary Katrantzou for Topshop-LFW special

There was histeria around Topshop’s latest designer drop and its not hard to see why…this was not a watered down fashion lite version of her main line it was pure Mary at a high st price tag

2) Stella McCartney’s amazing return to LFW (ok so it was a pre-collection to the main line show next week)

3) House of Holland – inspiration Mork & Mindy meet Tour de France- ohhh so fun! We’ll be rocking the zig-zag and electric hounstooth this a/w

WIFW A/w 12 Manish Malhotra

18 Feb 2012

Alongside N.Y/London Fashion Week- Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week kicked off in India this week…and I’m Soooooo suprised to be loving Manish Malhotra’s latest collection. I found his last far too bling tastic for me but I’m loving the pared down A/w collection. Malhotra was inspired by the craftmanship of Kashmir and cited the popular flowers of Kashmir “gulaala” and “giltoor” as the starting point of the collection. By keeping his sequins at bay and by using colour block embroidery panels with expanses of whites, creams and ivories he let the beauty of the Kashmiri embroidery shine.

I adore the Anarkali piece above…definite bridal inspiration!

Sabyasachi & Sotheby’s London

18 Feb 2012

Sotheby’s has just announced their upcoming “Inspired by India” exhibition due to run 8th-15th May. The exhibition will showcase the work of designers that celebrate rich and diverse traditional Indian skills in a contemporary, exciting manner. The show will feature textiles, jewellery, photography and fashion by designers such as Rahul Kumar, Alice Cicolini, Pia Wustenberg and of course Sabyasachi.

Alice Cicolini’s fine jewellery

Rahul Kumar’s ceramics

Gita Pandit’s photography

Sabyasachi’s fashion

I adore Sabya’s work, he is in a class of his own and I don’t think there’s any other designer that can sit alongside him. He is a true talent.

Can’t wait for the exhibition

Chanel “Shade Parade”

18 Feb 2012

Apparently lippy has been ousted by nail varnish as the best selling beauty buy. Well for anyone needing a little inspiration look no further than Chanel’s ad and their new ohhhhh sooooooo pretty S/s 12 colours named April/May/June….yum

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

16th Feb 2012

How amazing is this shoot by Stylist? The fashion special celebrates Kylie’s 25 years in the industry with a shoot featuring 25 of the world’s greatest fashion designers. This newbie mag is shaking things up and giving the power glossies a run for their money. LUSH! LUSH! LUSH! I love the fact that the shoot celebrates great British talent by including amongst many-the fab Peter Pilotto, Preen, Richard Nicoll and Roksanda Ilincic

Perfect way to kick off London Fashion Week!