Monthly Archives: August 2012

Karishma Shahani : Chauraha A/w 12/13

30th August 2012

I recently came across Karishma Shahani’s spectacular graduate collection ‘Yatra’ and have been keenly following her work since. Chauraha meaning crossroads is her latest offering and I caught up with the uber talent to find out more about the inspiration behind her label and collections.

Chauraha design boards

1) Describe your label in one sentence
India with love to the world

2) What’s the story behind the label?

Started in 2011, the label was born after graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2010. The label focuses on design as a celebration and its ways to fit contrasts in harmony. We work through re-interpretation of materials and their functions depending on current needs, creating heirlooms to be passed through generations. With an aim to create vertically integrated systems we stand as a means of promotion of global crafts. Combining a fusion of two extremes, make our products experimental and unconventional, while being hinged on modern functionality, reaching out to all from India with Love.

Chauraha silhouette design board

3) What’s the inspiration behind the a/w 12 collection? and describe your design process.

The core of the idea lies on the road trade and exchanges took place before the advent of technology. The idea of the mixing of cultures, people, ideologies and faiths aside from this business exchange forms the basic of our Chauraha or Crossroads. Integral to this idea were the strong visuals of people from differing culture amalgamating at the same place. The people who walked this road ranged from the richest to the most non-materialistic nomadic of human kind. The design process like our garments is organic and instinctive in nature. Toiling is done extensively alongside sampling for all the textures that fit the inspiration. Once we have enough information to work with we start putting these individual elements together, omitting some and enhancing others on the way.

Chauraha Colour/Mood board

Look Book

4) You’re known for having an ethical label, how important is it to you for it to be so and how do you do this?

It is very important to think about how and who your aesthetics affect. We maintain our ethical approach through local sourcing of fabrics, utilising hand-embroidery and applications to create our surfaces. With the use of local skills everything is produced inhouse with a no-waste whatsoever policy, where fabrics are re-used through different techniques i.e. lining with second-hand materials or end-of-line fabrics, ensuring every piece has a uniqueness and its own individuality. Through re-utilisation of already existing material / non-clothing materials we love to create self-run projects to explore their potential to wear and to hold. Through collaborations with social organisations we aim to increase our association with different craft regions. The idea is to make do with what we have, to give something new meaning to bring it up to our present context and requirements. This philosophy is not new to us and is highly ingrained with our Indian cultural context. The idea of heirlooms, of saving for our children, of inheriting all the beauty from your parents, of sharing not just values but our lives with our near and dear ones and of old is gold, it always will be.

Look Book

5) What have been your personal highlights for the brand so far?

With acknowledgements such as ‘Best Surface Textiles’, ‘Nina De York Illustration Award’, ‘Fashion Graduate of the year’, ‘Fashioning the Future- Unique Design Finalist’ and now being a part of Lakme Fashion Week 2012 are all highlights for the brand and for me personally. In other cases our work being acknowledged for its journey and its products are like a pat on your back which help you go on and not stop, it’s all those meaningful encouragements that do wonders.

Look Book

6) What are you future goals?

The goal in to make people more aware about how much power fashion has to affect lives of all those involved or those who come within its proximity. The ultimate aim is to create vertically integrated systems in which every part of each piece can be handcrafted with our support. Hence being able to grow our own cottons, dyes to weaving them to the finished product ready for the customer so we can steer our journey to a more aesthetically ethical future and confidently be able to say it is sustainable from India with love.

At Lakme Fashion Week

and lastly could you give me details of your stockists.

Bombay Electric, Mumbai

Thanks Karishma!

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India Fantastique: 25 years of Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla

24th August 2012

India Fantastique is a coffee table book that marks 25 years of Abu & Sandeep’s formidable creative partnership. The duo’s couture collections are a celebration of India- full of traditional Indian techniques and craftsmanship which get the delicious Abu & Sandeep spin. The book has two volumes showcasing their fashion as well and their interiors commissions. I’ve shared some of their heavenly fashion images below.

Sotheby’s U.K will be launching the book as well as hosting an exhibition 3rd- 5th Sept.

While searching for images I came across Abu & Sandeep’s blog. I particularly enjoyed the MADE IN INDIA post where Sandeep discusses his views and suggestions in moving the Indian Fashion industry forward. Well worth a read.

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Shyamal & Bhumika : LFW Winter/Festive 2012

20th August 2012

Shyamal & Bhumika named their collection ‘Maharaja’ and it certainly was a rich and opulent affair. Creatively the collection hasn’t moved on much from their last- the same jewel tone palette remains as well as the use of similar weaves and embroidery but saying that I’m sure the collection will be a hit with Brides and Grooms- and hey Ralph Lauren has built a career tweaking his signature style each season maybe Shyamal & Bhumika will do the same.

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week Trend report coming soon!

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Chanel Pop Up Covent Garden

17th August 2012

I had some time to kill last week before a meeting and found myself wandering into the ohhh sooo enchanting Chanel pop up store in Covent Garden. All the delicious make-up and heavenly scents were beautifully displayed and it was impossible for me to leave empty handed! I even had my nails done in their treatment area downstairs (The price of a manicure is redeemable against any purchases) Seeing as its all about purple for A/w 12 I went for a vampy deep purple nail varnish called Vendetta. It looks almost black in some light. I also bought a lipstick; I thought it’s about time I graduate from just lipgloss and the pretty Paradis colour is an easy colour for me to wear.

In the sunlight you can see purple sheen.

Images Chanel

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Five reasons that the Olympics put the Great back into Great Britain

The lighting of the Olympic cauldron by the next generation

1) POSITIVE ROLE MODELS. The athletes and the volunteers of 2012 have provided the nation with new positive role models. The athletes have shown us all what hard work, dedication and a healthy dose of competitiveness can achieve. A big cheer goes out also to the 70,000 volunteers who brightening many a day and made the Games run as it did. Both the athletes and volunteers have inspired us all to get involved.

Jess Ennis – Girl Power 2012

2) RENEWED SELF BELIEF Us Brits aren’t like the Americans, we’re a nation that’s a little too self-deprecating but the Olympics has shown us Brits that we’ve still got it and can deliver.

All those medals – Go Team GB!

3) NATIONAL PRIDE. The Olympics bought a nation together, it didn’t matter what colour, religion, age or background we all rallied around to support our country- our team GB. (and finally reclaimed the Union Jack from the right wing)

My sis and I at the Water Polo- never seen a match before but loved every second!

The magnificent volunteers

4) OPTIMISM. The doom and gloom has been put aside and there’s a renewed sense of optimism in the air.

Iconic image of Olympics 2012

5) SHOWN THE WORLD HOW GREAT WE ARE. Billions of people around the world have been watching the Games and we’ve been able to show the beauty and diversity of the U.K. As well as showing our creativity as a nation- The stunning architecture/construction of the Olympic park, the artistic flair of the Opening and Closing ceremony (Danny Boyle, you did good + did you see the nod to British fashion with Erdem, VB, Giles, Paul Smith and Burberry!) and finally just how welcoming we are as a nation. (Come on tourists’ book your tickets now!)

The spectacular Closing ceremony

Images from Vogue, The Times, The Mirror

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Prabuddha Dasgupta : A tribute

13th August 2012

The fashion industry mourns the loss of a leading light with the recent death of Prabuddha Dasgupta. His body of work marks him out as one of India’s most progressive photographers from the controversial ‘Women’ a collection of portraits and nudes of urban Indian women to Ladakh a stunning exploration of the wilderness of Tibet and of course his commissions by Hermes, Louis Vuitton, GQ, L’officiel and Vogue

Hermes commission

His personal work- Ladakh (my favourite collection of images)

L’Officiel commission

All images Prabuddha Dasgupta

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Anita Dongre: LFW Winter/Festive 2012

10th August 2012

I’m slowly making my way through the yumminess of LFW and am sharing my favourites from the week. Anita Dongre’s collection is up there in my top three (you can tell I love it as I couldn’t even limit the post to a few pics!) The collection had a Turkish/Middle Eastern feel with its rich colour palette of vibrant oranges, reds, pinks, golds and azure blue- the influence spilled over into the prints with gorgeous Moorish patterns that were beautifully mixed with contrasting prints. The other key trend to note is the use of Benares weaves especially stunning used simply in the maxi dresses. Anita’s an expert on putting a spin on the traditional in her own feminine way and I’ll be coo-ing over this collection for a long time- ! (and don’t get my started on the bridal leghna Preeti Desai wore – WOW! ) Enjoy the pics

All images

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Payal Singhal: LFW Winter/Festive 2012

4th August 2012

Ohhhh such prettiness from Ms Singhal on day one of LFW. The collection ‘India in Colour’ was a heady mix of colour and embroidery from all over India. The colour palette veered from the vibrant pinks of Rajasthan to the more subdued tones of the East with stunning Abhla and Mukaish work added to the mix. Beautiful Ms Singhal, just beautiful!

All image Lakme Fashion Week

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Cocktail: Deepika Padukone wardrobe

3rd August 2012

I finally got round to watching the summer blockbuster Cocktail and what did I think? Hmmm Saif Ali Khan as a playboy in a love triangle who changes when he falls in love? Sound familiar? yep its the same old character he plays over and over again but nonetheless it was enjoyable enough. The real star for me by far was Deepika Padukone’s wardrobe. Anaita Shroff Adajania the film’s stylist just nailed it and Deepika’s feisty character Veronica got the hottest looks from a mix of designer brands (yep there was a Burberry moment or three) to High St brands (I spotted French Connection and All Saints) I’ve picked out my favourite looks but couldn’t find any clear full shots in her eve looks : (

And I think some of Veronica’s styling has spilled over into Deepika’s real life because her wardrobe has been yum recently especially the super hot gold maxi she wore at Vogue beauty awards

Images are from High Heel Confidential, Vogue India and Cocktail

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How to get Coral Lips like Sonam Kapoor

2nd August 2012

I have been wanting to add video tutorials to the blog for ages!!! and this weekend I got together with my friend Dipali Damji (she’s an uber talented make-up supremo) to create the first video. I LOVE Ms Kapoor’s make up, it’s always fresh and flawless and we decided to show how to get her yum coral lips.

Products used from Mac

Prep + Prime lip primer

Ruby Woo Lipstick

Cherry Lip Pencil

Creme blend blush in Optomistic Orange

& to finish the look to make sure there’s no smudging or fading we used Lipcote lip colour sealer

Hope you enjoyed it!!!!

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