Chic Preview: GAS Spring / Summer 2013

Chic Preview: GAS Spring / Summer 2013

What to Expect

How much can you experiment with denims, especially in summer? After all, denims are not usually the right fabric choice for warm weather. But with light washes and a strong focus on the colour offering for both men and women, the casuals at GAS seem interesting this season.

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The GAS Spring/Summer 2013 collection experiments with all shades of indigo, and treatments of varying intensity from raw to a strong wash. The bright colours of the women’s collection are a homage to spring, playing with strong contrasts between light and dark colours. The GAS folks call this the “chiaroscuro” effect (pronounced kia-ros-kuro).

Meanwhile, the surprise addition is pastels for men, since lighter hues have not exactly been the choice of colour for Indian guys. But I think at least a handful of cool Indian men might be willing to wear coral, peach and aqua green. The “raw used” look continues, and so do dusty, neutral shades of gray and light blue.

What to Buy and How to Wear

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Wear the GAS fluo jeggings with sleek printed tops; or pair neon blouses with neutrals.

The printed reversible jeggings are best worn with feminine blouses in light hues of yellow, pink, green and light blue

Pastels for men: Pastel chinos + denim shirts OR Pastel tees + dark jeans.

Chic First Look: Vero Moda Spring / Summer 2013

Chic First Look: Vero Moda Spring / Summer 2013

What to Expect from Vero Moda’s Spring/ Summer 2013 collection

Get stylish casuals to dressy club wear at Vero Moda this Spring / Summer. They’ve got a wide colour palette (bright fuchsia, mint green, white) in simple easy-to-wear silhouettes. The prints include two-tone bold stripes, ombre effects, tie and dye and the ever-popular florals.

Vero Moda WP STRIPY LS LONG SHIRT rs 1995

Detailing includes beading, with lace and neon hints on lightweight and sheer fabrics like silk, satin and organza.

PS—British model Poppy Delevingne is the face of Vero Moda for 2013, chosen for her fresh look and easy elegance.

Poppy Delivigne - new face of VERO MODA 2013

Bang on Trend

The “True Summer Look”: Lots of soft hues in pinks, whites and washed blues, seen on light fabrics.

Vero Moda BALCONY SL TOP IN RS 1695 (2)

Vero Moda GELLER HW ZIP LEGGINGS rps 2295

Updated Florals: They’re on dresses, tops, pants and shorts—but get a 2013 summery twist with the new colour palette.

Black and White:  This classic combo gets a bold edge at Vero Moda from Spring/ Summer 2013, with larger-than-life stripes and prints.

Vero Moda WP BLACKY SL SHORT DRESS rs 2295

What to Buy

Floral printed pants and shorts

Vero Moda printed pants GAMBLER LW CURVED YOKE FLOWER rs 2695

Black-and-white pieces (as stripes or colour blocked dresses)

Vero Moda WP YANNI BLAZER STRIPED rs 2295

Feminine white tops (the basics for the season)

Vero Moda AMELIA LACE 34 TOP- NFSC2 rs 3495

Chic Workshops: Personal beauty discoveries with Divo and Dermalogica

Chic Workshops: Personal beauty discoveries with Divo and Dermalogica

Couple weeks ago I attended a fun bloggers’ meet hosted by Divo (of hair accessories fame) and Dermalogica (the “white” skin care brand). At their workshops on skin care and hair, I learnt some new things. (Thanks to Akshata Honawar and Avni Amlani).

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Some things seemed common sense, some were a bit surprising.  Here’s what I discovered:

Mom was right about not stepping out with wet hair, and not just because it gives you a cold. When hair is wet, the cuticle is open and cortex is exposed. The sunlight can then de-colour your hair, making it turn a couple shades lighter.

Brands now selling “hair oil” are mostly selling serums packaged as oil. That’s because oil would be used a bit differently and wouldn’t wash off that easily.

BTW, oil is not so good for hair, but the massage is.

Henna changes the texture of your hair, making it rough and frizzy. Use ammonia-free hair colour instead.

Even those with dry skin can get acne. I’m not the only exception!

Everyone thinks they have a round face and sensitive skin. But not all of us do.

Exfoliation is the most ignored part of our skin care routine.  But regular, gentle exfoliation is a must. I need to stop being lazy now!

Lastly, I also discovered a Dermalogica product called Pre Cleanse. I thought it was another of those beauty company gimmicks, but I’ve tried the product a few times now and it’s awesome. It’s like a face serum that becomes a cleanser once you add water. It cleanses skin beautifully without drying it. Loving it! 🙂

Chic Recap: Sabyasachi is okay with fakes, wants to be more affordable

Chic Recap: Sabyasachi is okay with fakes, wants to be more affordable

It’s not often that a seemingly-reclusive fashion genius steps out of his workshop to share philosophy on work,  design and life. Last night, Sabyasachi Mukherjee had a heart-to-heart conversation with Boman Irani on Teachers’ Achievers’ Club (Star World). Take a look:

The designer, in his trademark white kurta-churidar and black waistcoat amazed me with his bluntness, sharp wit and unconventional views.  Some fun fashion-related tidbits from the show:

After Sabyasachi’s first collection, ace designer Rohit Bal complimented him, saying Sabyasachi was “the best designer ever”. Unfortunately, his second show got bad reviews and Sabyasachi made sure that didn’t happen again.
As we already know, Sabyasachi is a proponent of Indian textiles and handicrafts and has always said that Indian women look better in saris. He insists our traditions and past should be embraced, and more Indian women should wear traditional garments and weaves. I’m inspired, really. I’ve promised myself I will wear a sari on one day of Lakme Fashion Week.

During the interview Sabyasachi panned the West’s over-arching influence and approach to fashion. He said: “[I don’t like] the West’s patronising attitude just because they’ve mastered marketing and packaging.” That’s perhaps the most politically incorrect statement a designer could make.

Sabyasachi’s five-year plan is to make his label affordable for everyone in India. Can’t wait for that day!

He also hopes to direct a movie some day– and the costumes may not be designed by him.

The designer may be dressing Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee and Sridevi, but his mom doesn’t wear his saris. She says they’re unaffordable, especially “when there are other good saris available for Rs 800”.

Sabyasachi knows there are tonnes of fakes floating around, but he doesn’t mind that, as long as it “empowers karigars in some way.” Noble thought, no?

Sabyasachi-Star World

One word for this creative genius: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Chic Updates from Ritu Kumar, Namrata Joshipura & Tarun Tahiliani

Chic Updates from Ritu Kumar, Namrata Joshipura & Tarun Tahiliani

Veteran Indian designer Ritu Kumar will soon be honoured with the Padma Shri. She is the first mainstream designer to be conferred this well-deserved honour, with more than four decades in the fashion industry, preserving and promoting Indian textiles. Ritu Kumar’s body of work has paved the way for contemporary Indian designers and was once synonymous with Indian bridal wear before the current breed of designers gained popularity. After all, some of the new bridal designers were probably infants while Ritu Kumar was revolutionising the textiles scene in India. Hats off, Ms Kumar!

Meanwhile,  Namrata Joshipura has been announced as the grand finale designer at the upcoming season of Lakme Fashion Week. This will be Namrata Joshipura’s first show at LFW,  which will be her interpretation of Lakme’s cutting edge makeup range.

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With the week’s renewed focus on upcoming talent, this is not a surprise.  Last season,  Kallol Dutta and Pankaj-Nidhi presented at LFW’s grand finale. The show was well-appreciated but not without controversy.

Everyone it seems, is cashing in on the Pantone colour of 2013- emerald green. Timex has introduced timepieces studded with emerald green China CZ stones and sparkling Swarovski crystals designed by Tarun Tahiliani.

These India-inspired watches for women are available for Rs. 23,995 and Rs. 12,945. (Available at The Time Factory, Dadar, Mumbai). So if you can’t afford a TT lehenga, here’s your chance to own a piece designed by him. So what if it’s not your wedding joda?

Bollywood Fashion: Inkaar’s style will make you want to work in advertising

Bollywood Fashion: Inkaar’s style will make you want to work in advertising

Inkaar’s fashion is kinda agency-style cool. You’ll want to wear Chitrangada’s pencil skirts or Arjun Rampal’s blazers. Either ways, it’s a stylish introduction to ad agency fashion though agency guys will tell you they dress cooler and way more relaxed. After all, they can get away with chappals to office and Simpsons tees on a regular working day.

Inkaar- Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh

If you want to dress for success, join an ad agency, or just know how to dress like either of the two super-hot actors, read on.

Chitrangada Singh: Awkward junior to bitchy boss
Maya Luthra’s transition from a gawky copy writer to National Creative Director (NCD) is documented through varying levels of bitchiness and change in wardrobe.

Inkaar- Chitrangada-Singh

So from baggy printed peasant blouses, messy hair and chin piercing, Maya gradually moves to crisp blouses, designer accessories, formal dresses and blow dried hair. Her put-together look (by Nick Roy) and choice of accessories might be too jarring for a chilled-out work place. Statement neck pieces,  Louis Vuitton belt, and well-coordinated totes would stick out like a sore thumb among the Angry Birds slippers and Fab India kurtas. But hey, Maya’s NCD and I know women would want to dress like her (including me).

Inkaar- Chitrangada-Singh

The only fashion faux pas were the few “revealing” outfits Chitrangada wore. The unwritten “no-cleavage-in-office” fashion rule was broken, and the sari blouses covered way too little though there was good reason to highlight her sex appeal.

Inkaar- Chitrangada-Singh

Get Chitrangada Singh’s Inkaar look:
Team a pencil skirt with a pastel blouse that flatters your skin tone and figure. Accessorize with solitaire earrings (real diamonds if you can afford them), killer pumps in neutral or pop colours, and a statement watch.  Apply nude makeup with special focus on the eyes.

Inkaar- Chitrangada-Singh

My favourite piece: The pencil skirt!

Arjun Rampal: The suave, smart CEO

Arjun Rampal’s character Rahul Verma is a small-town guy who has made it to the top and is now “grooming” young talent (which involves sleeping with the new girl). He seems to be the serious type– staying aloof,  not smiling much, and wearing dark-rimmed spectacles. BTW,  those glasses make him look handsome in a geeky sort of way. The mature look by Niharika Khan suits the actor wonderfully.

Inkaar-Arjun Rampal

His workwear choice is semi-formal and smart casual, such as shirts with smart jackets and blazers. The colour palette is largely blue and grey with some additional subdued colours that a career man would wear. I especially liked the dull green blazer with elbow patches.

Inkaar-Arjun Rampal

Get Arjun Rampal’s Inkaar look:
Wear a lightly-coloured formal shirt with interesting detailing such as a contrast placket, collar or cuffs. Add a blazer in a colour of your choice with slim fit trousers or dark jeans (depending on where you work). Put on a pair of glasses that suit your face shape, preferably with dark rims. Skip the tie, but do wear lace-up or slip-on leather shoes.

My favourite piece: The glasses—they would make any man look instantly mature and sexy! 😉

2013 Crystal Ball: Shopping trends, big fashion headlines

2013 Crystal Ball: Shopping trends, big fashion headlines

Loving the lingerie
Women are enjoying the sexy inner wear options they’re getting online, from lacy corsets to G-strings. And there are plenty of websites to choose from (Zivame, Peri Peri Skinwear and Straps and Strings). Now I wouldn’t buy a bra without trying it on first, but things like straps, stockings and free size tube tops can be bought easily!

(Lace leggings from Zivame.com)

Zivame-Caprice Designer Stretch Lace Leggings

My precioussss!
From a diamond engagement ring to a polki necklace,  people may  end up buying fine jewellery online.  I’m sure our moms would prefer to go to the trusted family jeweler,  but hey, who has the time, right?

Niche wins
If you’re a gothic-loving young lady, or a new mom, or a designer-obsessed fashionista, there are already brands (and websites) especially for you. And you will get plenty more options this year.

Your favourite brand- now a click away
More brands, big and small, will take the online route in 2013. Many Indian and foreign fashion, accessory and jewellery brands have already adopted online shopping (Bombay High, Forever New, Shoppers Stop, Metro) and many more will follow this year. Zara’s India website seems to just a payment gateway away from ecommerce.

Forever-New-homepage

Big news to expect in 2013:

“[Online brand] sponsors big fashion event.”
Online fashion brands have got big marketing bucks to spend, and they will. Zovi, for instance,  is sponsoring the GenNext show at Lakme Fashion Week coming season.

“Indian designers introduce affordable lines”
Anita Dongre ventured into menswear last year, and has several affordable options in waistcoats, bandhgalas and sherwanis. Sabyasachi, meanwhile,  has quietly launched a line of saris that are under Rs 10,000. Word is that he’s on the lookout for investors to expand this sub-brand (called Sabyasachi by Sabysachi), and it’s likely he will find some in 2013.

“H&M to open in India”
Now that single brand retail ventures can have 100% foreign investment, I’m hoping H&M, Topshop and others make their “We’re coming to India” announcements soon. I am very very keen on shopping at Dorothy Perkins!