Monthly Archives: December 2012

Eve of Change: Anonymous Delhi

31st Dec 2012

You might be thinking why am I commenting on the recent events in India. I know its out of sync with my fashion blog but it just didn’t feel right to ignore this watershed moment. The horrific devastating attack on Anonymous in Delhi has brought to the surface the bubbling frustration of the Indian people towards the government, police and society’s views on gender.

In my opinion the three main ways to instigate change in India is through education, media and the government.

peace protest

The single most effective way I believe India can promote equality is by empowering women through EDUCATION. An educated woman has options, has financial freedom, has confidence and inspires the world around her and the next generation.

Bollywood is not the only source of female role models; there are many positive female role models outside of the industry! Indra Nooyi- CEO of Pepsi, Chanda Kochhar- MD and CEO of ICICI bank, Kiran M Shaw- CEO Biocon are just a few! Maybe its time these inspirational women got more MEDIA coverage so they too become household names.

CANDLE_LIGHT_VIGIL_1315375g the hindu

A GOVERNMENT can only lead a country successfully if it represents the country it serves. There needs to be more young people in politics of both genders, the antiquated views of some of the governments officials in the last few weeks have proved that the existing government needs to be brought into the 21st Century!

hindustan times

So on the eve of 2012, I am wishing and hoping that 2013 brings positive changes to India and its people.

Images from hindustani times, addatoday, the hindu

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Friday Fives: Outhouse

28th Dec 2012

This week’s Friday Fives is five lush pics from Outhouse’s A/w 12 look book. I do remember thinking after the Lakme Fashion Week shows that there were some really strong accessories designers and that I should do a special Spotlight post- but looks like I forgot! DOH!

Outhouse was founded by sister’s Sasha and Kabbia Grewal last year. Their combined experience in the industry (Kabbia interned at Eddie Borgo and Sasha designed an export house that’s clients included Topshop) plus their clear and distinct design vision has resulted in a fab start for the young label -lots of press, celeb fans and importantly stockists!

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outhouse 5

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Images are from Bombay Electric (one of their stockists)

Unfortunately their website links to not alot. I understand it takes time to build a website but a note to all new designers- at least put up a holding page with some basic company, contact and stockist info! Don’t make it soooo hard for your customer to find you!!! Well I did find their facebook page – Outhouse Facebook which has some info!

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Spotlight: Sridevi & Madhuri Dixit’s style

27th Dec 2012

When I saw the pics from the recent Hello! India Hall of Fame event I wasn’t coo-ing over the young-uns gowns, it was all about Sridevi in Prabal Gurung and Madhuri Dixit in Dior. They definitely topped the style charts that eve! Its fab to see two Indian forty something style role models. They are showing that it’s not okay to give up and opt for elastic waistbands and loose fitting kurtis or for that matter about clinging on to youth by still wearing short skin tight dresses but more about evolving your style. Both actresses know that its all about the cut, knowing what suits your body shape and not flashing the flesh!  

sridevi final 1  

Sridevi day look is so easy and sooo right, whether it’s a well cut blazer and skinny jeans or white top and coloured trousers. And as her for eve looks, with her tall athletic frame she looks stunning in Sabyasachi as well as the long gowns in pops of colour.  

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 Madhuri’s petite and curvy frame looks best in clothes that are well fitted over the bust, nipped in at the waist (often with detailing at the waist to emphasis the area) and that flair over her hips. I do prefer her traditional choices over her western looks but saying that- she looked amazing in that Dior gown! 

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I would have liked to have added more forty something style role models but let’s face it there aren’t many older women in the public eye. I hope that starts to change too!

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Vogue India!

20th Dec 2012

A couple of months ago I received an email from the uber talented Sita from Vogue India.Com (the AMAZING revamped website is down to her!!!) She’d read and liked my post ‘Retarded Velvet: Diary of a collection S/s 12’ and invited me to pitch any ideas/stories for the website. Ok, so my first reaction was OMG my blog was just read by VOGUE INDIA!!!!! And then it turned to OMG what am I going to pitch???!!!! Well here’s how I got on- my first two articles went live this week!- a write up of the Valentino exhibition and an interview with Aashni & Co.

This interview is a re-blog of the post on Vogue India. Com

PANKAJ & NIDHI, AMIT AGGARWAL NOW IN LONDON

Aashni Shah’s eponymous new store introduces the new faces of Indian design to this global fashion capital

vogue aashni 1

London’s Notting Hill just got a big injection of desi love in the form of fashion boutique Aashni & Co. Owner Aashni Shah is doing her bit to revamp the concept of Indian fashion in the global fashion capital by filling her store with eclectic labels such as Bodice by Ruchika Sachdev, Surendri by Yogesh Chaudhary and Pankaj & Nidhi.

Along with these labels that are making their debut in the English capital, the boutique hasn’t missed out on the classics: lehengas, anarkalis and saris from Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi & Manish Malhotra. In conversation with The Asian Fashion Journal, Shah talks about her love for Indian fashion and why she’s convinced its time to go international has come.

vogue aashni 2Aashni Shah next to a mannequin dressed in Bodice by Ruchika Sachdev.

What’s the story behind Aashni & Co?

International designers have been travelling to India for inspiration for years, but Indian fashion has never been celebrated in the same way as collections from France, or Italy, or Japan. It’s time for Indian designers to take centre-stage, and have a platform in London to showcase their talent. Our boutique is a selection of the finest that India has to offer while making it more convenient for people here. We plan to start our online portal in two months.

vogue aashni 3Ethnic wear by Sabyasachi.

Who is the Aashni & Co customer and how are they responding to the labels stocked?

Our Indian customers are delighted that their favourite brands are now accessible in the UK. We’re visited by international tourists and British customers who’re astounded by the talent that’s remained hidden from their knowledge and wardrobes. And, since we’re enthusiastic about colour, something many British brands shy away from, vibrant pieces made from luxurious fabrics have struck a chord with all our customers.

vogue aashni 4A bright Nida Mahmood jacket.

vogue aashni 5This gorgeous embroidered Pankaj & Nidhi jacket is center-piece worthy.

vogue aashni 6An array of bright colours and patterns by Pankaj & Nidhi

There’re so many exciting Indian labels out there, how did you decide which designers to stock?

India is thriving with design talent and the variety of choice makes it almost impossible to choose from. But I was determined for the store to have a clear story that still managed to cater to a wide demographic. I wanted to create a balance between well- established Indian labels, experimental collections and new talent. My vision is to incorporate a selection that is accessible to both Asian and non-Asian clients. We currently stock Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi, Gaurav Gupta, Shivan & Narresh, Nida Mahmood, Pankaj and Nidhi, Gauri & Nainika, Bodice by Ruchika Sachdeva and Surendri by Yogesh Choudhary. This month, we’ve added Manish Malhotra, Varun Bahl and Amit Aggarwal.

vogue aashni 7Eina Ahluwalia jewellery ethnic jewellery.

vogue aashni 8Indian accessories in eye-catching reds, blues and golds.

vogue aashni 9Modern Indian fashion in all its graphic glory.

Images courtesy Aashni & Co & Nina Patel

Aashni & Co is located at 47 Ledbury Road, London W11 AA; www.aashniandco.com
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Friday Fives

14th Dec 2012

Hey guys- Friday Fives is a new regular for the blog where I pick out my favourite five things for the week. This could be anything from my fav five make up looks to my fav five winter coats of the week! I’m kicking off with my fav five celeb looks and with three uber glam parties this week (the Cavalli launch, Ensemble’s 25th anniversary and Hello! India Hall of Fame do) there were plenty of options to consider.

Sridevi’s style just keeps getting better and better! And she looked absolutely sensational in Prabal Gurung at the Hello! India Hall of Fame party

Sri Devi Hello! India Hall of Fame

I was kinda disappointed with the looks at Ensemble’s 25th anniversary party. The only outfit that stood out for me was Anu Dewan in Stella McCartney. The bronze pumps and skinny belt work well with the striking print but the bag was a duff choice.

Anu-Dewan ensemble stella mcartney

Madhuri Dixit looked amazing in Dior, its fab to see her in a gown instead of her usual anarkali/sari choice. Her hair and make up looked fresh and so now!

Madhuri Dixit at Hello! Hall of Fame

Ok, I already know this might come as a surprise choice seeing as Sonam Kapoor was Cavalli’s guest of honour and yes she looked gorgeous in the black lace gown but I just thought Jacqueline Fernandez look was just so effortless and the pop of colour just stood out!

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Well how could I not include Ms Balan in the list? The talented lady got hitched to her real life leading man Siddharth Roy Kapur and look at that awwww look of love! Congrats to the happy couple!

INDIA-ENTERTAINMENT-BOLLYWOOD

Images from India Entertainment Bollywood, Vodue India, Hello! India Facebook.

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Spotlight: Falguni & Shane Peacock

13/02/2012

I am a huge fan of Falguni and Shane Peacock’s work and their recent show at India Resort Fashion Week prompted me to take another look at their S/s 13 collection. (Although lets be honest-IRFW brings NOTHING new to the fashion calendar, there were plenty of collections that shouldn’t have made the cut and the established labels weren’t showing new collections but just added a few resort friendly pieces to collections they’ve already shown this year.) Ok enough of my ranting and back to Falguni & Shane! I LOVED their S/s 13 show where their high octane mix of distinctive prints, placement embellishment and clever cut outs rocked N.Y fashion week. My fav designs were the printed bodysuits with lace inserts, the stunning sheer gowns with ombre beading at the hem and the printed knee length dresses with Perspex cut outs.

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The creativity and imagination that these guys bring to the party are just insane and one thing is for sure their A-List following which includes Jessie J , Fergie & Cheryl Cole will be fighting over the styles come awards season.

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All above pics from S/s 13

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Above pics from IRFW where they added a few kaftan/swimwear pieces to their S/s 13 collection

My only criticism of the duo is their bridal collection which is in a word BLAH and a world away from the signature style on their mainline. Hmmm can you imagine the stunning studded blouses and galactic print saris that these guys could be bringing out? Many other designers are able to keep there style flowing through traditional and non traditional pieces- think Masaba Gupta’s camera prints on tailored jackets & kurtis and Shivan & Narresh distinctive cut outs and colour block on swimwear and saris. So Falguni & Shane if you ever read this please ditch the naff lace and roses and inject your rocking style to traditional wear!

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Images from Falguni & Shane Peacock, Purple Window, MTV.

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Masaba Gupta: The new creative director at Satya Paul

6th Dec 2012

This week it was announced that Masaba Gupta (yep- the one that does the super cool pop art type prints Sonam Kapoor always rocks) has been appointed the new creative director of Satya Paul. The Satya Paul brand was established over twenty five years ago and is known for its striking prints. It will be fab to see what spin Masaba brings to the brand.

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L-R Sonam Kapoor, Masaba Gupta & Mandira Bedi, Kareena Kapoor

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Satya Paul Ad Campaign

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Satya Paul

Another reason that I’m excited about this announcement is that it’s another cornerstone turned in the evolution of the Indian fashion industry. Established brands in the West have long been recruiting up and coming names to inject freshness, youth and a contemporary edge. Think Christopher Kane at Versus and Alexander Wang at Balenciaga. And likewise these young designers gain greater exposure and learn how to work on a larger scale within a bigger organisation, all skills that are vital in growing their own labels. Because who can forget it’s never just about the creativity- it is at the heart a business. I’m sure we will see this structure continue in the future hmmm I wonder who will be collaborating next. Kallol Datta and ?

Images from Satya Paul and Vogue India

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Blog Crush: Head Tilt

2nd Dec 2012

Cupid’s bow has struck again and I am crushing big time on new blog find- Head Tilt ! There’s many Indian blogs giving amazing ‘outfit of the day’ and ‘celeb goss’ but not that many do what Head Tilt do..and that’s to dig a little deeper – by not just observing and reporting fashion & culture but analysing what they see…case in point is the OMG! yum post on the recent reinvention of the saree by fashions young guns.

Here’s a teaser of the post but you have to check the full post on their site and make sure you follow them!

POISED TO WIN by Head Tilt

“Worn by maharanis and maids alike, the majestic “Saree“ has undergone little change over the course of time, until recently. Energizing the sari revival are a handful of young designers in New Delhi and Mumbai, among them Masaba Gupta, Shivan & Narresh, Gaurav Gupta and Amit Aggarwal. They are reinterpreting the millennia-old garb for a new generation of stylish women.”

DHOTI SAREE

head tilt 1 the asian fashion journal

[ From left: Anamika Khanna, Nachiket Barve, Anamika Khanna ]

PLAYFUL PRINT SAREE

head tilt 2 the asian fashion journal

[ From left: Aarti Vijay Gupta, Masaba Gupta, Surendri by Yogesh Chaudhari ]

SAREE WITHOUT PETTICOAT

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[ From left: Rahul Mishra, Nida Mahmood ]

LEHNGHA SAREE

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[ Clockwise from top-left: Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, Anju Modi, Sabyasachi ]

Content from this post from Head Tilt.

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Vogue India: Project Renaissance

1st Dec 2012

Well if there’s another reason to love Ms.Tewari this is it. The Project Renaissance initiative led by Bandana for Vogue India involved selecting the country’s finest handcrafted textiles and inviting leading international designers to- in her words ‘to mould them into something inspiring, something momentous. What you see is a sublime tribute to the historical, social and mythical magic of the Indian warp and weft.’

The results as you can see below are just beautiful and have importantly benefited both parties. Just as Hermes launched its limited edition saris and Gucci’s ‘Made for India’ collection, Project Renaissance has given these international brands an opportunity to engage with the Indian consumer in a more personal manner as well as enabled the welcome promotion of traditional Indian fabrics.

Burberry for Maheshwari silk

vogue India 1 burberry the asian fashion journal maheshwari silk

“I wanted to take our iconic trench coat and play with its unique identity. Like the trench, the Maheshwari fabric has an incredibly rich history and heritage, which I find truly inspiring.”

Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer

Maheshwari silks are known for their distinctive geometric motifs, stripes and checks which are derived from the beautiful carvings from the Maheshwar Fort. I found these images on the Cluster Shop India which shows images of weaves and where their patterns originate from.

maheswar fort burberry

Alberta Ferretti for Kanchipuram silk

vogue india 2 alberta ferretti the asian fashion journal kanchipuram silk

“I reinterpreted this beautiful fabric to realise something different from the traditional sari— I wanted to show [its] versatility, richness and allure.”

—Alberta Ferretti

Kanchipuram in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu is commonly known as the Silk city. The famed silk sarees are known for their heavy texture and rich lustre which comes from its high denier threads and pure zari in a double warp and weft weave. Designs include suns, moons, chariots, peacock, lions, mangoes and coins. Below are some traditional examples.

kanchipuram silk feretti

Prabal Gurung for Benarasi Brocade

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“The design and draping process was incredibly romantic and poetic- it stirred up emotions and nostalgia of my time spent (in India) “

–Prabal Gurung

Benares brocade from the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh is made of finely woven silk with intricate designs including paisleys, flowers and fauna motifs. Anita Dongre latest collection had some beautiful examples

benaras brocade silk

DKNY for Bishnupur Baluchari silk

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“The graphic red is so DKNY—vibrant, energised, colourful. It’s exciting to take something traditional and do something completely unexpected with it.”—

-Donna Karan, chief creative director

Bishnupur Baluchari silks are known for their detailed depictions of mythological and folk stories inspired by the temples of Bishnupur & Bankur of West Bengal. DKNY’s take like Burberry’s trench coat is a complete reinvention of a classic and are my fav’s from the project.

Bishnupur Baluchari DKNY

Here’s the fab video that accompanies project and shows all twenty of the designs.

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