Weekend views: Kareena mixes colours

Now that Kareena Kapoor is not size zero anymore (whatever that means), she’s covering up, but very tastefully. I was pleasantly surprised to see Kareeena in a casual salwar kameez on the reality talent show—India’s Got Talent. The actor paired a white kameez with a green salwar and a light blue net dupatta. Take a look:

kareena_indias_got_talent1   

Not sexy, not flashy, not in-your-face; instead, very, very sensibly put together. I’d love to wear such an unusual and And we mean the colours. At a time when every actor opts for a super short dress for TV and an evening gown for the red carpet, Kareena chooses traditional Indian wear. And we’ve rarely seen her in a bad sari.

Meanwhile, if you watched Kareena’s latest release We are Family over the weekend, you would have noticed her trendy outfits: bold prints, plaids and checks (all thanks to Manish Malhotra). A moviegoer especially liked her shrugs.

wearefamily-kareena kareena_wearefamily

What do you think of Kareena’s telly and big screen outfits? Tell us!

Dance: Amazing acrobatics, bad fashion

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Speaking Chic recently headed out to a Chinese acrobatics show, expecting to be enthralled by the mind-numbing movements. And while the young Chinese acrobats from the China National Acrobatic Troupe performed well (though they weren’t flawless), we left the show with mixed reactions.

We liked some of the balancing, juggling, spinning, and even athletic acts the troupe did, but a couple of glaring mistakes left us feeling the show was far from a true glimpse of the Great Chinese Culture.

Firstly, the music was far from the sweet, melodious Chinese tunes that I’d have loved to hear. Instead the acts were performed to loud, throbbing techno-pop-electronica you hear in a bad night club. And the garish costumes just drew attention away from the talent on display. No flowing silks, none of the Chinese prints and embroidery patterns. There were sequins everywhere, bejewelled leotards and similar—the kind you see dancing starlets wear at a Bollywood awards night.

And here’s the fashion disaster of the evening—a Chinese teenage boy dressed head to toe in leather! The teenager juggled shimmering hats while sporting a leather jacket, tight leather shorts, and thigh-high leather boots, blingy all over. Eeeeeesh! Take a look:

 leather all over 

The performance was organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China and India-China Chamber of Commerce & Industry, to mark the 60th anniversary of India-China “diplomatic relations” (the less said about that, the better—Speaking Chic does not discuss politics ;-)).

Meanwhile, check out some of the other body- and mind-bending acts below: straw hat juggling, skipping giant ropes as a pyramid, a rotating human pyramid, umbrella kicking while balancing on someone else’s feet and a really young contortionist. Some of them made me go Wowwwww!

straw hats juggling       rope skipping

contortionist_candles   umbrella kicking

                         human pyramid

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Chic Find: Hot in sunglasses

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A few weeks ago, Speaking Chic’s post on oversized sunglasses created quite a stir among readers. Several readers said they hated big sunglasses, and that most people looked horrible in them.

But recently, a reader pointed out that there was one person who could carry off the big sunglasses really well. We checked and double-checked and pondered over it, and realised that our reader was right. Hurray! There is finally someone who can carry off the look. And that is:

…. Randeep Hooda!

randeep_hooda_sunglasses

Yup! In Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Randeep plays Inspector Agnel Wilson in trademark Ray-bans (or are they Ray-ban lookalikes?), giving a decent performance, while adding considerably to the drool factor. From a cute and slightly cherubic guy in Monsoon Wedding, Randeep Hooda’s become a super hottie.

Meanwhile, if you’ve seen the movie, tell us what you thought of the 1970s look and Kangana Ranaut’s blingy costumes. We think the characters’ get-ups are in tune with the era, though we’re not so sure about Kangana’s one-shouldered gowns. What say?

kangana_ajay_onceuponatime

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Aisha: A Fashion Primer

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You’ve heard from Aisha’s costume designer Kunal Rawal on how he worked on the guys’ looks. To make it easier for all fashion and film lovers, here’s a mini-guide on Aisha’s fashion, so when you watch the movie, you don’t miss out on the fashion!

We’ve prepared this mini-guide with a little help from both of Aisha’s costume designers—Pernia Qureshi and Kunal Rawal. (Thanks!)

Key Looks

Sonam Kapoor as Aisha: Fun, feminine, high fashion

Abhay Deol as Arjun: Understated, bespoke, corporate

Amrita Puri as Shefali: Sweet behenji (later goes mod)

Ira Dubey as Pinky: Quirky

Lisa Haydon as Aarti: Tailored, glamourous

Arunoday Singh as Dhruv: Outdoorsy, casual

Aisha poster

Clothes: Who’s wearing what?

Aisha: Designer clothes—Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Lacroix… the works! “I shopped everywhere in New York city,” says Pernia. “Thrift stores, vintage stores, department stores, the street…” (Speaking Chic has learnt that Frock was one of the stores)

Shefali: Anamika Khanna churidar-kurtas

Arjun: Bespoke Kunal Rawal suits

Statement accessories

Aisha: “The Lady Dior is Aisha’s go-to bag, it goes with everything!” says Pernia.

Arjun: Vintage YSL belt, Cartier watch, tie clips

Colours

Sonam: Pastels, whites, some pop colours

Abhay: Lots of colour blocking (such as two-tone ties); off colours like powder and sky blue, ice blue, tones of maroons and tobacco browns

abhay_sonam_aisha

What to steal from Aisha

Pernia: “Everything is wearable. That was something I kept in mind while styling.”

Kunal: “Learn to block your colours well, and adopt an understated style.”

Costume designer favourites

Pernia’s favourite: Pink Christian Lacroix vintage top and skirt

Kunal’s favourites: Abhay’s metallic blazer in denim in the party scene; Arunoday’s sherwani in Gal meethi, Cyrus’s black Dior leather jacket with white t-shirt

Watch out for

Pernia says: The first wedding sequence, salsa song and Sonam’s purple climax dress

Kunal says: Salsa song, detailing on Abhay’s suits

Last word

You will spot both Pernia and Kunal in the film, and Kunal’s roasting marshmallows! “To my defence, everyone was styled in that shot except me!” Kunal exclaims.

Enjoy the movie and tell us what you think of the fashion in the film!

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Interview: The man behind Aisha’s men

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In the past few weeks, Abhay Deol in shirtsleeves, looking absolutely dishy in Aisha promos, is giving a whole new meaning to corporate-cool. A modern-day take on Jane Austen’s Emma, Aisha is perhaps India’s first truly fashion film, with Sonam Kapoor in designer wear throughout, and Abhay Deol looking dapper in bespoke suits. (Psst.. last December, we had touted Aisha as the film to watch out for in 2010).

Speaking Chic talks to the costume designer behind the Aisha men—Kunal Rawal. Kunal_Rawal_LFWKunal is a young Mumbai-based designer known for his casual wear label D.stress. His clothes have been worn by ShahRukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, among others.

You have worked with Anil Kapoor’s production house earlier—doing some outfits for Akshaye Khanna and Arshad Warsi in Shortkut. What led you to Aisha?

After Shortkut, I wanted to experiment with different fields, and decided to dedicate some time to fashion weeks and films. I took up Aisha because I knew the producers understood fashion and its importance completely.

To what extent do you think films need to pay attention to costumes?

The young Indian audience wants to see something real in films. At the same time, a movie is about actors, the characters they portray and their performances. If a costume doesn’t work, the character breaks down. If an actor gives a brilliant performance wearing a garish shirt, but the garish shirt will be more talked about than his performance.

In Aisha, Abhay Deol plays Arjun Burman, an investment banker; how much do you relate to that?

I’m poles apart from a banker! And that’s what excited me about working on this film.

How did you arrive on a look for Arjun Burman?

As a contemporary banker, Arjun would have a certain taste—opting for comfort and practicality, while still being stylish. Keeping this in mind, we looked for the right fabric and cut for Arjun. The fabric we chose was a good cotton blend, not too woolly and not too limp either. We created mood boards for him, and I designed custom-made suits for Arjun.  What resulted was at least a dozen custom-made suits for Abhay, each of an optimum cut and fit.

How would you define Abhay’s suits in the film?

The suits are simple, yet unique because of the subtle detailing—slim, single-vented, single breasted, with small lapels.

abhay_deol_aisha1

What is Arjun’s style statement?

Arjun doesn’t try too hard to look great, though he has a sophisticated style. For example, he blocks his colours well—you will see two-tone ties, in which the knot is one colour, while the tie is another.

And how would Arjun dress casually?

Arjun will wear a suit casually, without a belt. Check out the denim shirt in the posters, that’s in Arjun’s favourite fit, not what a typical banker would wear, but it works for him. He also loves crewneck t-shirts. 

As Aisha, Sonam Kapoor’s Lady Dior bag is her statement accessory. What is Abhay’s statement accessory?

His vintage YSL belt and Cartier watch—the Santos 100. He’s also wearing vintage tie-pins.

Where did you shop for the movie?

Even though Abhay’s look is mostly bespoke, I shopped a lot in London and New York for accessories, especially at thrift and vintage stores.

Let’s talk about Arunoday Singh, who plays Dhruv. How different is he from Arjun?

Dhruv is the complete antithesis of Arjun—he’s an outdoorsy Marlboro man.  So he’s wearing free-falling fabrics like linens and mulls.

Bollywood influences fashion—take the example of Shahrukh Khan’s Polo t-shirt in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. In what way will Abhay Deol’s clothes influence men’s fashion on the streets?

All the looks are very relatable and achievable. I’m sure understated fashion will come back to the fore. So will colour blocking for men—it’s as simple as choosing your colours right. Also overshirts, like the one Arunoday Singh wears, could be a rage.

 

What did you think of this interview? Do you have any questions for Kunal Rawal? Tell us!

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First look: Impossible office wardrobe

[tweetmeme source=”spkngchic” only_single=false] I just saw the trailer of the upcoming Mukta Arts film Hello Darling. From what I gather, the movie is about a perverted boss (Javed Jaffrey) who sexually harasses female colleagues. Three such women decide to avenge this harassment. Excellent theme, considering the prevalence of sexual harassment at the workplace. Interesting premise, but could someone have please paid attention to what the women wore to work? Note the impossible dresses worn by Celina Jaitley. Which office or company allows employees to wear cleavage-revealing outfits?

Watch the trailer and tell us what you think of this costume faux pas.

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Chic Leggings: Going graphic

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I see graphic t-shirts everywhere I go. Girls wearing them, their moms wearing them, on the racks (including at Zara recently), in window displays… And then I came across a pair of graphic-printed leggings, at a high street store abroad. They were certainly eye-catching, though I found them a bit daring for me. I didn’t think I had the panache and confidence to carry it off.

Then I saw Sonam Kapoor sporting a similar pair in a recent interview. Yes, the same Sonam Kapoor who wore badly-fitted anarkali-churidar not too long ago. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), she carried off the graphic tights really well. Paired with a long black tee, it was a deadly combo that elongated Sonam’s super long legs. Check out the TV grab below and don’t miss Sonam’s bejewelled clutch.

sonam_kapoor_graphic_tights

Needless to say, I’m giving these tights a second thought, but I think I’ll wear them only when I’m on TV. 😉 Would you wear graphic-print leggings? Tell us!

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5 things that ruined the IPL experience

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Cricketainment (noun): A combination of cricket and entertainment.

Example: The IPL is to cricketainment what Burberry is to trench coats.

As a culture blog, we just had to know what the most overused concept this summer was. So we ventured out for a Mumbai Indians match to get a first-hand experience of cricketainment and the IPL.

And oh, what a pleasant surprise it was! It was organised well (we guess it’s to do with the foreign management), there was food aplenty, and the fans were cooperative. Sadly, there were a few things that threatened to ruin our IPL experience (and these need to disappear ASAP):

  1. Too much music: Team song played after every four or six, and between overs. How on earth do the players stay focussed? (No wonder some of the good players are out of form in the IPL!). And there was also some recent trashy hits that made us cringe.
  2. A very irritating emcee talked before and during the match. Between overs, he’d shout out, “Mummmmbaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiii!” And the shrill “horn” that suddenly rings out—URGHH!
  3. EVERYTHING is sponsored—from the timeout to a sixer.  Not so sure about the match results though (ahem).
  4. Cheerleaders were boring (and looked bored).
  5. Parties and after parties? Sorry, is this cricket season or Oscars season?

Nevertheless, we came home a happy bunch, and not just because our team won. It wasn’t the loud music, the cheerleaders or even the thrill of being part of the crowd. It was a good game of cricket. And that’s what we want. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Celebs: The Sari’s State

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Indian women love the sari, and we love it even more when a famous international celebrity dons the traditional drape at a fancy party. But the shocking appearance of Liz Hurley in a sari sans blouse (aka choli) didn’t go down too well with quite a few women (such as my mom and your mom and most other moms).

But our homegrown Bollywood beauties came to the rescue, and showed us how graceful and non-bosom baring the sari can be. Kajol, Sridevi, Rekha and even Urmila Matondkar rocked the sari at the recent Filmfare awards ceremony. But the lady who can carry off the sari the best is Vidya Balan. Dressed in her favourite Sabyasachi (we would like to see her experiment with designers), the young lady seemed to be saying: “So what if I’ve lost oodles of weight? I like the sari and I’m gonna wear it, gowns be damned.”

 

filmfare-awards-2010 balan

While we like the sari, what doesn’t seem to go too well are the oversized rosary-type beads that Ms Balan might have taken from a sadhu at the Pushkar mela. And why tie back your lovely hair? Maybe she was just having a bad hair day, who knows?

Image courtesy: Santabanta.com

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