Chic Bags: What’s new this season from Lavie & others

Chic Bags: What’s new this season from Lavie & others

Lavie: Haute Hues!
Bold colours on bags are so in vogue, and Lavie’s got just the right ones this season. At a recent bloggers meet, the Lavie team introduced me to the colours of the season– corals, beiges and browns and the more daring ones like red and bright green. The colours were seen on all types of bags– structured, totes and shoppers, and even on slings. Slings are THE BAGS this season for Lavie, and no doubt they’re a cute style!

Lavie bags

Lavie bags

If you have a favourite colour or style, you will find it at the Lavie store this season.  My colour picks at the Lavie store were blue and red. BTW, though some say black is NOT a colour, a good black bag can make quite an impact and there are several excellent options at Lavie. BTW, I’ve always found Lavie bags a good choice for day and work bags, and this season’s collection lives up to that expectation.

I loved a sling bag at the Lavie store (which is perfect for my tablet), and I managed to get my hands on it. I’ve been using it almost ALL the time now, and it got me a number of compliments too. At office, it occupies pride of place on my desk. 😀

Lavie bag

Hidesign: From the Sixties
The boxy bag from the sixties make an appearance in Hidesign’s new collection. You can’t miss the retro appeal of the Courtney bags, and the unique shape of the Kylie photographer bag.

Hidesign Courtney Boxy sling Bag

Hidesign Kylie Photographer bag

Esbeda: Bling it!
Special occasions call for shiny accessories, and Esbeda’s dazzling clutches are just what the fashion doctor ordered for the festive season. These clutches will take you and your lipstick from Diwali parties to destination weddings.

Esbeda clutch

Esbeda clutch

Chic Shops: Three online stores to shop for accessories now

Chic Shops: Three online stores to shop for accessories now

Customised Bags: Toteteca

Toteteca bags home

You know when you fall in love with a bag, but wish it was another colour? It’s a disappointing shopping moment. But with Toteteca, that won’t be a problem anymore. Toteteca makes custom bags . Pick your favourite style, choose colours of the bag, customise the flap, the handles, the details, the tag, and voila! You’ve designed a bag that’s one of its kind. Unlike some other cusomisation sites, you can see the colour changes on the website. I loved the colour options and the prices (average price of bags is Rs 1600–1800), and some of the designs were good too. I’m bookmarking this one!

Toteteca bags customisation

Bags & Baubles: The Rummage

Rummage accessories home

The Rummage is an online store that sells fun accessories that include hats, jewellery and oddities like umbrellas and lens cases. I’ve been window shopping on The Rummage since months- first on their Facebook page, and now on their website. My favourites on the site are their painted clutches and stackable bracelets. And specsy girls will love their cute lens cases.

rummage_bags & accessories

Concept Jewellery: Rreverie

rreverie accessories

Leaves, postage stamps and Mughal motifs have inspired Isha Katoria to create the jewellery you see at Rreverie. While the prices vary from Rs 750 to Rs 6000 plus, some of the pieces are unique with excellent finishing and materials so you could use them for a long time. My picks: the vintage key pendants and the Avadh collection.

Rreverie accessories & jewellery Rreverie accessories

Chic Review: Get spoilt for shoes at Heel & Buckle

Chic Review: Get spoilt for shoes at Heel & Buckle

About Heel & Buckle
Heel & Buckle is a multi-brand shoe store featuring four brands: Alessandro and Rad Russel for men, Pazzion and Paco Gil for women. In Mumbai, the store’s at the Palladium, Lower Parel.

Heel & Buckle Store image 2

So what are these brands?
As the names would suggest, the brands housed at Heel & Buckle design premium pairs of shoes, high on style and quality (and thus not so easy on the pocket either, but more on that later).

First impression
The store looks neat! For a change, I didn’t get drowned in a sea of shoes. The shoes weren’t forced together like foot soldiers in battle, but grouped into mini-shoe stations with pairs of a specific theme displayed together. And because there aren’t hundreds of pairs overwhelming you, you’d end up carefully looking at each style, enjoying what you see (and therefore, more likely you’ll buy shoes from them).

Heel & Buckle womens shoes

Shoes in store
There are pumps, flats, stilettoes, embellished shoes for women, with formal, lace-up shoes, brogues and slip-ons for men. While most of the shoes I saw were meant for special and formal ocassions, parties and the like, you’d get a few pairs of everyday shoes too. BTW, there are also bags for men and women, along with belts and guys’ shoe accessories.

So what was good?
Most women’s styles were pretty, smart or elegant, but not too different from what I’d already seen at other brands. I liked some of the bejewelled shoes at the store and fell in love with a gold pair that I was very tempted to add to my trousseau! But overall I wasn’t too impressed with the women’s range, and found it a bit underwhelming given the prices.

Heel & Buckle shoes

And what was awesome?
But let’s talk about men’s shoes now, because they drew my breath away. The exquisite leather, the finishing and the colour options were excellent, and I felt that finally there were shoe options for men that weren’t too boring, and not too casual or teenage-y either. And while there were several colours and styles, they were “safe “enough that most non-experimental Indian men would be willing to try.

Heel & Buckle mens shoes

What about prices?
Most pairs of shoes were Rs 6000 and above, and I the prices could up to Rs 20,000 plus. Yes, these prices would be a stretch for plenty of folks, but there are shoes, and then there are shoes. IMHO, the better pairs at the store would be worth the price, especially the men’s shoes.

How does Heel & Buckle compare to other shoe brands?
Heel & Buckle is not like any other shoe store, as you may have guessed already. So comparing it with shoe brands in India like Charles & Keith or Aldo would be unfair. In terms of prices, Heel & Buckle shoes are closer to Steve Madden, though definitely higher.

So what are their best shoes?
Choose a smart versatile pair from the fabulous men’s range. Or look for an embellished style in the women’s range.

Heel & Buckle mens shoes

More on the decor
There are some very personal creative touches to the decor that makes you give you a warm feeling. The little shoe tree at the entrance was adorable (see below). And then, there was a vintage typewriter and other such things that added some personality to the store!

Heel & Buckle decor

Heel & Buckle decor

Should you shop at Heel & Buckle?
Absolutely yes for men’s shoes (if you’ve got the budget). If you’re a woman shoeholic, you’re spoilt for choice anyways. It would be best to buy a one-of-a-kind pair that would be the key piece in your ensemble or an investment for seasons to come.

LFW WF 2013 Slideshow: Best of accessories

LFW WF 2013 Slideshow: Best of accessories

I’ve declared Accessories Week this week at Speaking Chic! Here’s kicking off the series with my favourite accessories at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2013. Scroll down for more on the accessories featured in the slide show.

Loved the shoes at…

Shantanu Goenka: Wonderfully embellished and to match the outfits!

Shantanu Goenka shoes

Sneha Arora: No-nonsense manly shoes are required for war, even if it’s only on the ramp.

Sneha Arora at LFW WF 2013

Aditi Holani: The cut-out shoes went well with the distressed look.

Aditi Holani shoes at LFW WF 2013

Noteworthy bags at…

Square Loop by Kanika Sachdeva: Neutral boxy leather bags are just right for work.

Karieshma Sarna: Her embellished clutches are winners all the way through.

And jewellery…

House of Chic: Spikes, skulls and dark metal…. it’s all goth!

Valliyan: Nitya Arora has been on the fashion week circuit for a while now… and we know why she’ll always be popular.

A word on hair accessories

I’ve always believed hair accessories are the most under-rated accessories… so the maang tikkas at Shyamal & Bhumika, bird clips at Shantanu Goenka, and butterflies at Pria Kataria Puri have made their place in my personal lookbook. 🙂

Chic Ads: Deepika Padukone makes boring specs & stylish shades look sexy for Vogue Eyewear

Chic Ads: Deepika Padukone makes boring specs & stylish shades look sexy for Vogue Eyewear

Deepika Padukone always looks good, and this summer of 2013 she’s rocking the Vogue Eyewear campaign wearing everything trendy in eyewear- from cat-eye sunglasses to square-shaped opticals.

Deepika Padukone for Vogue Eyewear

Dressed mostly in the hot neon colours of the season by Anaita Shroff Adjania, Deepika is showing off sunglasses to be worn at a stylish afternoon soiree, for a day of shopping and an early evening party. But she also sheds her glam image for a geeky stay-at-home look with plain ol’ glasses (aka spectacle frames) with a book by her side.

Deepika Padukone for Vogue Eyewear

The campaign has been shot by fashion photgrapher Prasad Naik in a variety of settings and looks. BTW, Deepika is the first Indian face of Vogue Eyewear and I think she’s the right choice! I can imagine her wearing the flirty shades in Cocktail and Race 2, and the geeky frames in Jawani Deewani. And maybe girls like me won’t feel too embarrassed about wearing specs anymore. 😉

What do you think of Deepika Padukone’s campaign for Vogue Eyewear?

LFW SR 2013: Men’s accessories of the week

LFW SR 2013: Men’s accessories of the week

Surprise, surprise! Men’s accessories suddenly grabbed the spotlight at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2013. Here’s a look at the top accessories for the guys:

Bags

Bags for boys were spotted in several shows—Shantanu-Nikhil and Arjun Khanna, to name a few

Arjun Khanna LFW SR 2013

Shantanu Nikhil LFW SR 2013

Brooches

Elegance personified at Rohit & Abhishek for Woven Gold.

Brooches at Rohit-Abhishek for Woven Gold

Shoes

High-top sneakers at Kunal Rawal are the ultimate in cool shoes!

Kunal Rawal shoes LFW SR 2013

Mojris aren’t usually seen in fashion shows, so this was a pleasant surprise at the Rohit & Abhishek show.

Shoes at Rohit-Abhishek LFW SR 2013

LFW SR 2013: Bags of the week

LFW SR 2013: Bags of the week

Shimmery beach bags

They’re shiny, they’re bejewelled, and they’re supersized. Check out the beach bags at Pia Pauro!

Pia Pauro beach bag

Wooden clutches

Wooden carvings from the Renaissance appeared on clutches at Sounia Gohil. Do we need another reason to believe they were romantic, luxurious times?

Sounia Gohil wooden clutch

Urban laptop bags

Bags for the busy working woman are simple, carefully crafted and neutral—as seen at Nishka Lulla (bags by Vitasta).

Nishka Lulla Vitasta bag

LFW SR 2013: Footwear of the week

LFW SR 2013: Footwear of the week

Kolhapuris gone wild

Aprajita Toor’s footwear was part of designer Debarun’s ramp show. This designer seems to love to give a personal touch to the typical kolhapuris and sandals. The colours are bright, the embellishments are cute though kitschy—the ones who love the Indian boho look will like these shoes.

Aprajita Toor shoes

Vintage shoes

These wedges from Frou Frou by Archana Rao are embroidered to go with the vintage theme of her collection. Notice the cross-stitch pair on the top left. Archana Rao is perhaps the kind of designer who wants her collection to be exactly the same theme, right down to the last detail (there were similar prints/ embroidery in her garments).

Frou Frou by Archana Rao shoes LFW SR 2013

Unusual (weird?) shoes
Megha Garg had some very unusual shoes. From afar, they seemed like boxes. A friend had to point out that these “green things” were actually footwear. 😛

Megha Garg shoes at LFW SR 2013

Chic Preview: Jeremy Scott’s Adidas shoes with wings and poodles now in India

Chic Preview: Jeremy Scott’s Adidas shoes with wings and poodles now in India

Three words came to mind when I checked out Jeremy Scott’s limited edition range for Adidas Originals- outrageous, outlandish and over-the-top. There were poodles on the shoes, wings on high-top sneakers and chain-lined jackets. That’s partly the reason famous people like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and MIA wear Jeremy Scott.

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Now that the Limited Edition Jeremy Scott collection is in India, the eccentric designer’s work needed a closer look. The bright prints and unexpected shapes are worth a peek.

While Jeremy Scott’s winged shoes aren’t really for everyone, the designs seem to be miniature works of art (they were certainly displayed like art in the Adidas Originals store!).

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The colours are attention-grabbing, and I couldn’t help but stare at the winged shoes. I tried on the sneaker wedges– they’re cute, add height and unlike other heels, they don’t hurt.

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The shoes and clothes in the line are as wearable as you want them to be. For instance, I’d wear the sneaker wedges with a neon tee and jeans, an oversized top and shorts, or even a girly blouse with a skirt. I’d then skip on the other accessories. The cut-out jacket is another winner if you’re the sporty types.

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And what about the signature winged shoes? They’re a beautifully-crafted pair and I can imagine quirky fashion experimenters who love to shock people wearing them. I don’t think I have the personality to carry off such styles, but there are people who do, and they would rock Jeremy Scott!

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Jeremy Scott for Adidas is available at selected Adidas Originals stores across India. Prices start at Rs 8999 for a pair of shoes.

Chic Opinion: Why Indian men are obsessed with shoes

Chic Opinion: Why  Indian men are obsessed with shoes

It’s true– Indian men love shoes, and they love them more than Indian women. Here’s proof:

 

Google Trends- shoes for men

 

This graph shows the relative volume of searches done in the past one year in India for the terms “men shoes” and “women shoes”. Terms like “shoes for men” and “shoes for women” show similar trends. Surprised? So was I!

As the Google trend chart indicates, men’s shoes are way more popular than women’s shoes in India (globally the search trend is just the opposite). So does that mean Indian men are more interested in shoes than women? Well, it does seem to be so.

With most Indian women complaining that the guys here are just not fashionable, this little statistic has been puzzling me for a while now. Most women I spoke to said they knew guys who loved shoes but just didn’t know why.

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To get some answers, I went straight to the source- guys I know who love shoes. This includes a colleague who loves wearing coloured shoes to work (our office dress code is smart casual) and a couple of friends. Here’s what they had to say:

Men have fewer fashion choices or options to change their look. There’s tshirts and shirts, jeans and trousers on a normal day. So how do you get some variety? With accessories, specifically shoes.

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Watches are expensive, ties are almost redundant and in India you don’t get to experiment much with jewellery like cuff links or chains. Changing the shoes are an easy and inexpensive way to update a look.

Guys like to stick to specific types of shirts or styles (they even buy multiple pieces of a single garment at one time), and often repeat jeans throughout the week, so the lack of variety is made up with a change in footwear.

I think this seems to be a reasonable enough explanation. What do you think?

PS- Ladies, next time your man complains about your footwear collection, point to his shoe rack. And men, there’s nothing to be ashamed about- women completely understand what shoe love is, so admit it. 🙂