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.

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! 😉

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?

Announcing the Chic Cleanup Project

Announcing the Chic Cleanup Project

I have an embarrassing confession to make—I have too many clothes. And too many bags and shoes and jewellery.

From pants to night wear, I have them all. But most of all, I have a tonne of casual clothes accumulated over the years. Some chic things I bought during my trip to Spain last year (bags, belts, makeup):

Sometime last year, I told myself I couldn’t really buy any new clothes because I had no space for them on my cupboard. So shopping became an issue. I came back empty-handed from almost every trip to the mall. I’m not really a shopaholic and I don’t buy on impulse, so that didn’t bother me much. But I wanted the cute skirt and the feminine blouse once in a while. And most importantly, I wanted to be up-to-date.

How can fashionista be dress trendy if I have don’t have new clothes to experiment with?

So late 2011, I decided it was time for drastic measures. I had to change my approach to my wardrobe, my shopping, my fashion, my style, and life in general. And the bottomline was:

I needed to get rid of my old clothes and my old life.

And so the cleanup began. I have taken a pledge that’s something like:

  • I will purge my wardrobe of all the “bad” and unnecessary clothes
  • I will adopt a minimal approach to fashion, styling and my life.
  • I will complete this by June 30, 2012.

While typing this, I feel that this does seem a bit self-absorbed – doing a cleanup because I want to be trendy. But it’s now become more than that. It’s about freeing myself from the mess I see everyday and freeing my mind from the “too much” in my life.

Call it declutter, call it taking the Zen approach, call it what you will. It’s ultimately a thorough cleanse of my life and I’m determined to achieve it.

So here’s what I will be doing in the next few months:

  • Throwing or giving away clothes I don’t want or need
  • Shop as less as possible (been kinda successful with this so far)
  • Discovering what and how much I really need in my wardrobe (do I really need 15 tshirts, for instance?)
  • Adopting a “system” to make my life clutter-free and minimalistic
  • Blogging about my experiences and findings!

All I ask, dear readers, is encouragement, support and your tips.

Let the chic (and crazy) cleanup begin!

WLIFW SS 2012: Day 1 highlights

WLIFW SS 2012: Day 1 highlights

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012 kicked off on October 8, 2011 in New Delhi. Here’s what happened on Day 1 (Saturday):

There were colours… lots of them!

True to the upcoming season, India’s designers showed us colours to brighten the summer of 2012. There were plenty of colours all around, ranging from bright to soft—we spotted orange, hot pink, blue and red.

Below: Gauri & Nainika; Nachiket Barve; Rajesh Pratap Singh

Gauri & Nainika at WLIFW SS 2012 Nachiket Barve at WLIFW SS 2012

Rajesh Pratap Singh at WLIFW SS 2012

Meanwhile, there was white (and pastels) too!

Who says white is not a colour? Rahul Reddy and Rimzim Dadu proved otherwise, even as some designers played with soft pastels.

Below: Rahul Reddy, My Village by Rimzim Dadu, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Nandita Basu

Rahul Reddy at WLIFW SS 2012 Rimzim Dadu at WLIFW SS 2012

Rajesh Pratap Singh at WLIFW SS 2012 Nandita Basu at WLIFW SS 2012

Meanwhile, Indian styles dominated

Rajesh Pratap Singh showcase ikat tunics, dresses and kurtas. Meanwhile, Aneeth Arora brought out the famous Madras checks and floral prints on dresses, coats and trousers. Nandita Basu combined kantha work with details like pleats and cowls.

Below: Rajesh Pratap Singh, Pero by Aneeth Arora, Nandita Basu

Rajesh Pratap Singh at WLIFW SS 2012 Pero by Aneeth Arora at WLIFW SS 2012 Nandita Basu at WLIFW SS 2012

Silhouettes were more structured than fluid

While most of us tend to associate summer with loose silhouettes, flowy garments and easy-going outfits, the designers surprised us with silhouettes that were had cleaner lines, robust shapes and a complexity-in-detail approach. But are they summer-ready? Yep!

Below: Rahul Reddy, My Village by Rimzim Dadu, Nandita Basu

Rahul Reddy at WLIFW SS 2012 Rimzim Dadu at WLIFW SS 2012

Nandita Basu at WLIFW SS 2012

Embellishments were subtle

Malini Ramani used her favourite little mirrors to embellish, while Nachiket Barve used his favourite floral appliqué along with silvery leaves.

Below: Malini Ramani, Nachiket Barve

Malini Ramani at WLIFW SS 2012 Nachiket Barve at WLIFW SS 2012

Look of the day

The cheeky girls wearing uniform-like garments and headgear at Gauri & Nainika.

Gauri & Nainika at WLIFW SS 2012

Accessory of the day

The applique envelope clutch at Nachiket Barve… fabulous! (Close contender: Fluorescent belts and chappals at Rahul Reddy.)

Below: Nachiket Barve, Rahul Reddy

Nachiket Barve at WLIFW SS 2012 Rahul Reddy at WLIFW SS 2012

Celeb appearance  of the day

The customary Bollywood appearance on Day 1 at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week SS 2012 was by the cast of upcoming movie My Friend Pinto, Prateik and Kalki Koechlin for Rina Dhaka. Do they look good? Sure. As for the clothes—best left unsaid. 😉

Rina Dhaka 1

What are your favourites from Day 1 of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week SS 2012?

Shopping spree: Accessories (belts, shoes, bags) and makeup galore!

You can’t shop fashion unless you’ve got the right accessories and makeup to go with your clothes! Here are my top accessory picks from the shopping I did on my Spanish holiday:

Shoes: Studded sandals and brogues

Studded sandals from Shana Brogues

Jewellery: Leaf necklace

(Note to self: Gold polish still rules the accessories world.)

Leaf necklace from Bershka

Belts for all occasions:

Super wide to slim…

Belts: white, purple, lace, black

Bags:

The floral summer tote and Blanco clutch define cute-n-casual chic.

Bags for summer

Makeup haul: Lips, eyes, face, nails… it’s all there!

 Makeup haul from Spain

Note the brands we’re missing here in India: Bobbi Brown, NARS and Sephora. I wasn’t going to let some of the world’s best makeup pass me by! BTW, the Bobbi Brown foundation is flawless and invisible, like second skin. No kidding.

Smashbox lip gloss set: I L.O.V.E [heart] lip glosses, and I got this Smashbox set for just Rs 1000 (approx).

Smahbox lip gloss set

NARS Blush: Makes me blush! 😉 Also bought orange-red lip colour in pencil form.

NARS Blush in Gina

Happy weekend shopping, ladies!

Related Post:

Shopping spree: What I raided from Mango, Zara

Shopping spree: Accessories (belts, shoes, bags) and makeup galore!

You can’t shop fashion unless you’ve got the right accessories and makeup to go with your clothes! Here are my top accessory picks from the shopping I did on my Spanish holiday:

Shoes: Studded sandals and brogues

Studded sandals from Shana Brogues

Jewellery: Leaf necklace

(Note to self: Gold polish still rules the accessories world.)

Leaf necklace from Bershka

Belts for all occasions:

Super wide to slim…

Belts: white, purple, lace, black

Bags:

The floral summer tote and Blanco clutch define cute-n-casual chic.

Bags for summer

Makeup haul: Lips, eyes, face, nails… it’s all there!

 Makeup haul from Spain

Note the brands we’re missing here in India: Bobbi Brown, NARS and Sephora. I wasn’t going to let some of the world’s best makeup pass me by! BTW, the Bobbi Brown foundation is flawless and invisible, like second skin. No kidding.

Smashbox lip gloss set: I L.O.V.E [heart] lip glosses, and I got this Smashbox set for just Rs 1000 (approx).

Smahbox lip gloss set

NARS Blush: Makes me blush! 😉 Also bought orange-red lip colour in pencil form.

NARS Blush in Gina

Happy weekend shopping, ladies!

Related Post:

Shopping spree: What I raided from Mango, Zara