Chic 2012: Brands that created buzz

Chic 2012: Brands that created buzz

New Movers

Formal wear suddenly became important with the launch of Kenneth Cole and Thomas Pink. I’m especially excited about the Kenneth Cole though the Indian tax-laden prices could stretch anyone’s wallet.

Kenneth Cole store

Thomas Pink store

WonderBra lifted Indian women’s hopes (pun intended) by making their debut on Zivame.com, while Furla’s accessories made for a colourful display at their Palladium store.

Wonderbra on zivame

Superdry got the best launch publicity ever with Shahrukh Khan wearing a Superdry vest in Challa from Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

SRK in Superdry- Jab Tak Hai Jaan - Copy

And Sephora’s first store in India was the best Christmas gift ever! Can’t wait for it to come to Mumbai, even though a friend has promised to bring me some goodies from the Delhi flagship at Select Citywalk this week. Fingers crossed.

Coming soon

Lipsy for party dresses and red carpet gowns; Stuart Weitzman for pricey men’s and women’s accessories; Dune for footwear and accessories that are a bit more affordable.

Lipsy

With Indian law now allowing 100% FDI in single-brand retail, we can expect many more brands like Topshop and H&M to consider setting up shop on Indian soil.

Almost disappeared

Esprit called off their deal with Madura, so the brand’s flagship stores in India are already shutting down. Miss Sixty is nowhere to be seen either—any idea if the Italian brand’s around at all?

This is the second in a series of posts rounding up the Indian fashion scene in 2012.

Chic Guide: 5 things guys need this December

Chic Guide: 5 things guys need this December

Winter jackets and coats

Trench coats are classics, wool jackets are reliable, and shiny finishes are hot right now!

Trench coat from Zara

Zara Velveteen Trench Coat

Lined Reefer jacket from La Redoute (available on Rock.in)

LA Redoute  LINED REEFER JACKET

Jacket from Celio

CELIO_Purevers jacket

 

Party essentials

A fun evening shirt, smart blazer or coloured jeans- what are you wearing to the Christmas and New Year parties?

Shirt from Calvin Klein Jeans

CKJ- shirt

Blazer from Diesel

Diesel Blazer

Look from Rajat Tangri Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2012

Rajat Tangri- blazer

Sherwani/ Bandhgala

There are plenty  of weddings to attend this month and the next, so an embroidered or brocade sherwani is a smart fashion investment. Gentlemen will also love the classic bandhgala in a contemporary colour.

Look from Debarun Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2012

Model in Debarun LFW W/F 2012

Look from Anita Dongre

Bandhgala- Anita Dongre

Scarf/ muffler

Scarves and mufflers say a lot about you while keeping you warm. Are you Mr Safe Grey or Mr Experimental?

Decking stripes scarf from French Connection

FC Decking Stripes Scarf 1999

Scarf from United Colors of Benetton

aw12_ucbman_sl_44

The right shoes

There’s lot of places to go this month and the next, and you need shoes to take you there.

Hand woven shoes from RUOSH (for weddings)

RUOSH Hand woven wedding shoes. Rs 5490

Shoes from Kenneth Cole (for parties)

Kenneth Cole shoes1

Bollywood Fashion: Raghavendra Rathore suits up Akshay Kumar in OMG!

Bollywood Fashion: Raghavendra Rathore suits up Akshay Kumar in OMG!

OMG Oh My God is one of those movies you can enjoy with your family, have a good laugh, and come away with an important message or two- this one is about religion and how we practise it.

As a regular movie goer, I wasn’t expecting much from the movie, and as a fashion watcher, I expected even less. Both ways, I was surprised. The movie is worth a one-time watch though the production values could have been better. And as a fashion lover, Akshay Kumar’s dapper look is something worth writing about (hence this post).

Akshay Kumar in OMG Oh My God

Akshay Kumar’s costumes

Akshay Kumar plays God (Lord Krishna) in human form, choosing to play a dude who rides a super bike and works as a “consultant”. He’s always wearing wears a peacock pendant and his laptop is embellished with studs in the same motif.

Akshay Kumar in OMG Oh My God

As Akshay Kumar’s costume designer for OMG- Oh My God, Raghvendra Rathore has used his fine tailoring skills and refined taste to give the actor a polished yet approachable look. It’s a pleasant surprise to see Akshay Kumar dressed like that, given his usual OTT and mediocre on-screen outfits, much like his acting. But in this movie, Akshay is much more restrained and so is his character.

Key outfits

Several pieces in the movie are typical Raghavendra Rathore creations, such as the black single-button achkan in Akshay Kumar’s introductory scene and the military-inspired jacket toward the end of the movie. My favourite is the raw silk purple waistcoat Akshay wears on his first day to court, worn over a checked shirt and with a blue pocket square. The crisp white cotton shirt and linen pants were some of the all-time classics I spotted in the movie. I spotted several separates that would be a great addition to a modern man’s wardrobe.

Akshay Kumar in OMG Oh My God

The most surprising look though, is the suited Lord Krishna. When he introduces himself as God, Akshay dons a brown checked suit and tie worn over a formal blue shirt, with a red square in the breast pocket. That’s a carefully mismatched colour and pattern combination, but it seems to work for Lord Krishna (warning: may not work in real life!).

Akshay Kumar in OMG Oh My God

Contrasts work well- in fashion and films

Given his flamboyant, extroverted, and affectionate character, the choice of clothes isn’t surprising, though Raghavendra Rathore as Akshay’s designer is certainly a surprise choice. The two men have starkly different personalities and takes on fashion (or so it seems). Raghavendra Rathore’s style is dignified, his silhouettes quite fuss-free, and clothes are tailored with minimal embellishments. Akshay, on the other hand, is prone to flamboyance and exuberance. But given his super-fit bod and the height advantage, he carries off Raghevendra Rathore’s clothes with ease.

The final set of looks in OMG- Oh My God is perhaps the outcome of both men meeting halfway – Raghavendra Rathore adding eye-catching colours, buttons and piping, and Akshay Kumar “growing up”.

Chic Looks for AW 12: Is the Indian man ready for Van Heusen’s World Traveller?

Chic Looks for AW 12: Is the Indian man ready for Van Heusen’s World Traveller?

For Autumn Winter 2012, the Van Heusen man travels across the world through his fashion choices. He takes his pick from Milan’s creative sensibility, Costa Brava’s party spirit and New York’s work ethic.

Van Heusen lookbook AW 12

So how and where does the Van Heusen man fit into the Indian man’s fashion aspirations?

Can the Indian man mix dusty pinks with steel greys like the well-styled Milan man? Not really. Does he have the charisma to carry off evening wear with engineering patterns, and matt and sheen contrasts? To some extent, maybe. And what about the no-nonsense New Yorker’s sharp and minimalistic look? Hmmm… unlikely.

Van Heusen suit AW 12

Van Heusen shirt AW 12

Yet- I think the Indian guy is ready to learn. India’s the land of travellers (ask the travel agencies) and armchair travelers, and the man in the cubicle is enjoying the new Mad Men season, looking forward to James Bond in Skyfall, buffing up at the local gym, and dreaming of a holiday in France with a special someone. Why then should he not relish and adopt sophisticated global fashion?

Yes, Indian men are gearing up for international fashion. Hopefully retaining their local styles.

This post is the first in a series discussing the AW 12 campaigns/ collections of various fashion brands.

Fashion at Euro 2012: Of flashing underwear and stylish team kits

Fashion at Euro 2012: Of flashing underwear and stylish team kits

Turns out that flashing underwear is not just a wardrobe malfunction or a teenage style statement- it’s a cause for punishment!

Nicklas Bendtner- AP

Picture courtesy: AP

So Danish footballer Nicklas Bendtner flashed his underwear last week before millions of people, and the UEFA police is now after him. For flashing an unauthorised brand.

Paddy Power (which appeared on Nicklas’s underwear) is a betting company. According to UEFA rules, no player’s kit can include or endorse brands not approved by the football body. So Nicklas might be in trouble for ambush marketing.

More absurdly, there’s actually a rule on football players’ underwear. It states:

“If undershorts are worn, they must be of the same main color as the shorts.”

This just means one thing to me- a football association decides your underwear!

BTW, footballers do crazy things on the field, from illegal diving to taking their jerseys off, so baring one’s undies isn’t something new.

Team jerseys- analysed!

If you want to show support for your team, you can buy the team jerseys if you know who their sponsor is. Adidas has designed the jerseys for Spain, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Greece and Ukraine, while Nike has done for a host of nations France, Portugal, Croatia, Netherlands and Poland.

And if you’re football-challenged like I am, just buy the jersey that looks good. Here are my picks:

Boldest colour

The Dutch team’s bright orange. Also liked the deep red of the Spain jersey.

Dutch uniform Euro 2012

Most elegant kit

The French kit, no doubt. I love the combo of gold accents and classic blue.

French jersey Euro 2012

Most confusing

The red and white chessboard on the Croatian jersey reminds me of the black-and-white chequered flag of a Formula One race.

Best white uniform

Germany- three thin diagonal stripes. Cool!

Germany unifrom Euro 2012

Where to buy

Spain and Germany jerseys are available at Adidas stores across the country. Nike country jerseys are available in Nike stores and on Myntra.com.

Which Euro 2012 team jersey is your favourite?

Chic Trend: The Linen Buying and Wearing Guide

Chic Trend: The Linen Buying and Wearing Guide

Where to buy linen:

  • A number of high- street fashion brands have included linen in their summer 2012 collection. For men, the top choices are Tommy Hilfiger, Zodiac, Allen Solly and French Connection. I loved the delicious colours in Tommy Hilfiger’s menswear collection.

Solid linen shirt from Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger-linen shirt

  • Women can check out linen tops and tunics at AND and Allen Solly. Again, there’s a good choice in colours though styles are limited.

White and navy linen dress from AND.

AND-Navy white linen dress

  • Alternately, you can buy linen fabric that you like, and get it tailored into fabulous jackets and trousers. Siyaram’s just-launched Royale Linen collection (with Manish Malhotra) offers high quality linen in a range of patterns, colours and textures.

Linen buying tips:

  • Linen shirts mostly have looser fits, especially for men. So men may need to buy a size smaller than the usual. I learnt this the hard way when I bought a Tommy Hilfiger linen shirt as a gift for a friend.
  • Opt for shirts, jackets and trousers that are close to linen’s natural shades such as ivory, ecru and grey if you want a classy look.

Arklow Washed Linen shirt from French Connection.

French Connection Arklow Washed Linen shirt

How to wear:

  • My favourite formula to wear linen- Linen shirt + chinos = Smart and sexy!
  • Skip the jeans if you can. Denim makes you feel warm, which is the opposite of what you want to be in this weather.
  • Wear beige or white linen jackets with pastel shirts or blouses.
  • If you want to wear an all-linen outfit, then pair coloured linen shirts with neutral linen pants (white, gray or beige). Pure white linen shirts go with all colours, from indigo to tan.

Ultimate linen inspiration

Shah Rukh Khan in Don 2! Loved the linen jacket.

SRK in Don 2- linen jacket

Also read: Chic Trend: 5 reasons to wear linen this summer

New collections Part 1: S.Oliver, Esprit and Benetton (with summer trend quotient)

New collections Part 1: S.Oliver, Esprit and Benetton (with summer trend quotient)

This is the first in a series of blog posts covering the Spring/Summer 2012 collections hitting stores this season! Take a look at the collections and our summer trend quotient to know how trendy it is, decide what you like, and go shop! Happy shopping! 😀

In this post, I’ve written mostly about casual wear brands.

S.Oliver

s.Oliver Casual brings the joy present in nature to their clothes.

Summer trend quotient: 7/10 (florals and greens)

s.Oliver Casual_007 SS 2012

Selection by s.Oliver (the premium line) is about holidays, luxury and being relaxed and carefree in style.

Summer trend quotient: 6.5/10 (resort and relaxed wear)

SELECTION by s.Oliver_041 SS 2012

QS by s.Oliver is for those outdoor summer days with friends, enjoying music, love, spontaneity and youth.

Summer trend quotient: 6.5/10 (lots of colour, non-seasonal prints)

QS by s.Oliver_050 - Copy SS 2012

Esprit

Women’s wear at Esprit is about whites– formal and informal summer dresses, elegant blouses and jackets. And then there are the audacious flower prints on chiffon, linen and soft silk—seen on skirts, shorts, blouses, leggings, jumpsuits and dresses.

Summer trend quotient: 6/10 (needs some excitement!)

Esprit SS 2012 dress

For guys there are daring plaids, box checks and chess board prints. The colour of choice is blue—from light to navy! Laidback guys will enjoy the Jamaican short pants and trousers in a range of colours, best worn with Esprit’s hats and tees.

United Colors of Benetton

It’s a season in Technicolor, says Benetton! And they’re right.

UCB ss12_man_campaign_11

For men, there are bold chromatic combinations, multi-coloured solutions, with cable-knit designs, patterns and vibrant stripes.

Summer trend quotient: 9/10 (love that they’re big on patterns!)

UCB ss12_man_look_9

For the ladies, the explosion of colours and prints continues at UCB. Don’t miss the spots, stripes and bold colours (orange, pink and blue).

Summer trend quotient: 9/10 (dots are hot this season!)

UCB ss12_woman_look_6

More collection updates coming soon!

It’s Women’s Day today! So let’s talk about men

It’s Women’s Day today! So let’s talk about men

It’s International Women’s Day today, but I’m not one to celebrate it. You can read my rant against Women’s Day here.

So to “celebrate” Women’s Day, I’ve decided to focus on men. This is a special post especially for men, based on inputs from girl friends and Speaking Chic readers. They’ve shared their views on what they like best about men (from the fashion POV). In short, they answer the question—when and how do men look their best?

This post is meant for the guys, so I’ve addressed the men, not the ladies.

Guys, here goes:

Start with the jackets: Women love men in dinner jackets, formal jackets and stylish casual jackets. My personal favourite these days is the light linen jacket like the one SRK wore in Don 2. Tres chic! (Below: Jacket from Zara)

 Zara jacket with buckle collar

Impress with your fragrance: Not one, not two, but three women told me they love fresh, clean, aquatic scents (I do too)! Which means CK’s Eternity for Men Aqua is a hands-down winner.

CK Eternity for Men Aqua

Dress down once in a while: While women love men dressed formally, they also like the guys to chill out once in a while. So wear casual shirts with sleeves rolled up, geeky tees with reference to popular culture and coloured polo tees. (Below: T-shirt from Guru).

Guru tshirt A/W 2011

Don’t forget to groom yourself: Well-groomed nails are a must. One reader even recommended manicures for guys. Also on the list are soft hands, shaven face and moisturised lips. (Below: L’Occitane Shea Butter hand cream, The Body Shop lip balm).

Body Shop lip balmLOcccitane hand cream

Hair is important: Shiny, glossy hair is awesome. So is the neat and clean gelled look. But not too spiked, thank you!

Accessorise: Sport classy belts with brands/ logos, and wrist accessories like bracelets/ kadas. My current favourite is an oblong dial watch with a leather strap. (Below: Watch from Fossil)

Fossil Roman Leather Watch Black

Rock those jeans: If a guy can pull off well-fitted jeans (not the skinny ones), the woman will be super happy! That’s because it shows the guy is healthy and fit. And we all like that, don’t we? (Below: Look from Diesel)

Diesel jeans

Try on new trends: Women like to see men who are “with it”. Think coloured shoes, boots, fresh colours, slim fits, grunge and lots more.

Health is wealth: Toned biceps, flattish abs, muscular legs. A good body and confidence can pull off almost every look. So being healthy and strong will make you look young, haute and happening! Drool… 😉

Models at LFW S/R 2012

Ladies, what are your fashion and style tips for men?

PS—Thanks to Florence, Tanveer, Harlein and Kanika for their inputs.

PS 2 —There’s a hidden message in this post. Can anyone find it?

Street Chic: Which car colour would you wear?

Street Chic: Which car colour would you wear?

In a fashion blog, there’s no chance for car talk. But since I love cars, I thought I’d share my love for them with a fashion twist and share them with Speaking Chic readers. Over the past year or so, I’ve spotted a lot of colour on Indian roads—from deep orange to dark blue to various hues of green. Some look great, some are urgh, and some are just wow. My question is—would you wear any of these colours?

So here are some cars in unusual colours I spotted on Mumbai roads recently. Take a look and tell me which colours are wearable and which ones are just too horrible to look at.

Weird green on Mahindra Xylo:

green-xylo

If there’s one colour weirder than mud green, it’s got to be this one. This green is somewhere between a pastel and a fluorescent, it looks terrible on the car, and would look worse on me!

Two shades of brown in a single look—yeah or no way? (For me—no way, Jose!)

brown-car

Shiny black all over—great look for the night. (And I’m coveting the Merc too!)

black-Merc

Red cars are popular in India, and most Indian women wear red as a symbol of marriage. But what about maroon? I think a maroon lehenga or sari would look gorgeous on an Indian bride.

swift-maroon

Unusual bright colours have made a recent appearance on Indian cars. The green Ford Figo has become popular (they call the colour squeeze), and so has the sunlight orange Nissan Micra (endorsed by Ranbir Kapoor).

 Micra-sunlight-orange

Both cars are spunky, and bring a tinge of freshness to Indian roads. What’s more, both colours would be just right for an Indian woman’s spring/summer wardrobe, but she would need a very strong personality and careful styling to carry them off.

Art on cars: Would you sport an Ed Hardy tattoo? Or something similar? I’d never get a tattoo, period!

 

So which car colour would you wear?

Chic Trend: Are loafers the new “it” shoes?

Chic Trend: Are loafers the new “it” shoes?

I last saw men and women wearing loafers in the last 1980s, or maybe the early 1990s. The most common ones I remember seeing were brown with little tassles. And then, those shoes disappeared.

But now, they’re in almost every good shoe store in town. I was extremely sceptical about them, but they seem to be THE SHOES for the season. Here’s why:

Reason 1: They are comfy. I’m not used to “closed” shoes being a Mumbai gal, so I wasn’t sure if I would be comfy in them. I tried on this pair at Tresmode, and they were super comfy. In fact, they seemed tailormade for my feet. 🙂

Below: Newbuck loafers from Tresmode (for women)

Tresmode loafers

Reason 2: This season, loafers (also called “slip-ons”) are available in a mindboggling range of styles and colours for both men and women. Loafers can be simple slip-on shoes, with minimum or no detailing or it could have a fancy buckle or faux laces.

Below: Mockk from Steve Madden (for women)

MOCKK loafers- Steve Madden

Reason 3: You can wear them almost everywhere! I wear my Charles & Keith loafers to movies, meetings, dinners and to run errands.

Below: Loafers from Charles & Keith (for women)

Charles & Keith loafers

Reason 4: They are great for both cold and warm weather. While I wouldn’t recommend loafers for summer, I don’t find them making my feet too sweaty in the current Mumbai weather. In Delhi recently, I wore my loafers with socks.

Below: Loafers from Carlton London (f0r men), available on BeStylish.com

Carlton-London-loafers-men

Reason 5: Loafers are chic! End of discussion! 😉

Do you have your pair of loafers yet?