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


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


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

Magazine Update: Dior, Diesel steal covers in November

Magazine Update: Dior, Diesel steal covers in November

Dior gets three

Dior has made it to three fashion magazine covers this month- a good hit rate (and well-thought strategy). So you see Dior cover Vogue ( on Shweta Nanda), GQ (Ajay Devgn), and Marie Claire (Soha Ali Khan).

Soha Ali Khan in Marie Claire Nov 2012

I could imagine Shweta Nanda in Dior. Maybe even Soha Ali Khan (she’s got royal blood). But never Ajay Devgn- he’s too rugged, too massy and too unfashionable for high fashion, right?

Ajay Devgn in GQ Nov 2012

But Vijendra Bhardwaj, who’s styled Devgn on the cover and photo feature, has got the actor looking surprisingly at ease comfy in designer wear. Or maybe it was Devgn’s best-kept fashion secret or he’s a brilliant actor. Nevertheless, Vijendra’s done an excellent job in this shoot.

Vogue goes social?

Meanwhile, I am surprised with Vogue’s choice of cover girl- they had earlier made a shift from top models to Bollywood stars. Are they moving to the high-class social circuit now? It’s highly possible, given that Bollywood is quite devoid of classy and fashionable folks and that the Bollywood-loving audience may not be the ideal (or real) Vogue reader. Wait and watch!

Shweta Nanda on Vogue India

Roberto Cavalli for Sonam Kapoor– again!

A couple years ago, Sonam Kapoor shot a spread for Vogue with Roberto Cavalli at his mansion in Italy, wearing only the designer’s creations. In November’s issue of Grazia, Sonam’s done a repeat (though not at the Cavalli mansion). Sonam dons Cavalli on the cover and in the photo feature. Too bad there’s no mention of any exclusive contract or deal.

Sonam Kapoor in Grazia Nov 2012

Diesel cares about Women’s Health

Women’s Health is not exactly a fashion magazine, but it’s certainly aspiring to be seen as a upscale one, with focus on intelligent content and an appealing layout. Diesel seems to be taking it seriously- since it’s everywhere in the magazine this month. Kalki Koechlin wears Diesel on the cover and the photo feature inside, the inside cover two-page ad is Diesel, and there’s a special photo feature dedicated to a jacket’s multi-tasking ability. That jacket is, of course, a Diesel.

Kalki Koechlin in Women's Health Nov 2012

Denim Campaigns: Autumn/Winter 2012

Denim Campaigns: Autumn/Winter 2012

Denim brands usually have the best (or most interesting) campaigns. They can be bold, provocative, fun and unconventional. Here’s a look at some denim campaigns for Autumn/ Winter 2012, dissected by category.

Super premium: Diesel

Shot by: Steven Meisel

Key model: Coco Rocha (the social media darling)

Diesel AW 12 campaign 3

This season’s Diesel campaign is a tad retro, but with the Diesel attitude intact. In the portfolio-style pictures, the models seem to be part of a screen test showcasing looks that range from edgy to Western.

I first noticed the accessories- sexy black sandals, oversized watches. And then the decades-old props- Polaroid camera, microphone and riding crop. Pieces to grab are the women’s jackets, and the black cropped top with lace sleeves.

Diesel AW 12 Campaign 1

While this campaign is not as eccentric as last season’s dollhouse-burning, giant hammer toting models, it’s got a lot of spunk and chutzpah, just what you would expect from Diesel.

Diesel AW 12 Campaign

BTW, the campaign comes alive on their website– check it out!

Premium: Calvin Klein Jeans

Shot by: Steven Klein

Key models: Lara Stone, Myles Crosby

CKJ AW 12 campaign

Twenty-first century grunge meets sex appeal in the Calvin Klein Jeans campaign! The dark ambience and the prison/ underground setting provide a stark contrast to the shiny textures in the pictures.

There’s clever play on shiny and matte textures, while the fiercely unconventional CKJ models ooze sex appeal even while underground. You just can’t miss the shiny gold pants and the reinvented skinny jeans for the season.

CKJ AW 12 campaign 2

On my wishlist is Lara’s denim shirt, while the guy’s denim shirt seems super cool too. As for the shiny pants- I’ve seen them and they are wearable if you style them well.

CKJ AW 12 campaign 3

And if I didn’t know better, I’d say this guy has got an eye on me. 😉

Mass appeal: Pepe Jeans

Shot by: Alasdair McLellan

Key models: Edie Campbell, Claude Simonon

Pepe Jeans AW 12 campaign

Pepe Jeans has been trying hard to upscale its image, starting with campaigns that have global appeal. In their Autumn/Winter 2012 campaigns, the models look for their “friend” Pepe around London’s Thames-side landmarks.

Pepe Jeans AW 12 campaign

While the showcased looks don’t really make a strong impact, the iconic London imagery (London Eye, Tower Bridge) and camaraderie among friends may draw the attention of Brit-inspired denim buyers. On the other hand, the London setting could backfire, since several high street and mass market brands have featured Brit themes in the recent past.

Pepe Jeans Aw 12 campaign 3

In the campaign images, the focus is on knitwear with a modern twist and a quirky outerwear. The one really cool piece – a shaded faux-fur jacket – may not be available in India.

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?

Chic February Guide: What to do, where to shop, what to buy this month

Chic February Guide: What to do, where to shop, what to buy this month

It’s February already! And while it’s time to take stock of broken resolutions, it’s also time to figure out your fashion agenda of the month. Here’s my guide to being chic this month.

Buy Valentine’s gifts: Fragrances

It’s the month of romance so it’s the right time to buy some chic gifts for your special someone and close friends. Give your guy the newest launch from the Giorgio Armani perfume stable—Code Sport. The fragrance is a woody aromatic citrus and an explosion of freshness on a base of torrid sensuality. I know why the ladies will love this one. 😉

Armani Code Sport

Guys looking for a special fragrance for their special gal could try Ralph Lauren Romance Valentine’s Day 2012 Limited Edition, a fresh sparkling floral. The pink-silver carton enveloped with delicate metal-grey entwining flora and vines would make her swoon. 🙂

Ralph Lauren Romance perfume

Buy Valentine’s gifts: Gizmo

The Diesel Noise Division’s VEKTR headphones are the perfect gift for a fashionable music lover (or a musical fashionista). These headphones fuse Monster’s secret experimental audio savvy with Diesel’s iconoclastic design.

Diesel headphones

The gizmo has a sharp and faceted look and translates Diesel’s obsession for innovation and details: head of the Mohican inside the cushion and on the metal piece, contrasting colour, and clash of different finishing outside-inside (shiny and matt). Even the cable is designed not to tangle. Can’t wait to hear music on this one!

Shop at: Ensemble

Ensemble’s end-of-season sale kicks off today, and if I was in the mood for designer wear that’s where I’d be headed. (I shopped at their Lion Gate store during the sale last year). Running up to February 4, you can get up to 70% off on outfits from designers like Savio Jon, Tarun Tahiliani, Anamika Khanna, Gaurav Gupta, Gauri & Nainika, James Ferreira (picture below) and many more.

Ensemble Sale- James Ferreira

Attend: ‘Demystifying the Drape’ workshop

At Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, fashion designer Shaina N.C. will shed light on the different ways the sari can be re-vamped. The workshop is meant for those who wear saris regularly and those who don’t. I’m hoping I can make it to this workshop.

The workshop is on February 6, 2012 from 2 to 3.30 pm at Artisan’s Centre, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.

Look forward to: Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week

FDCI & CEL AW 12 logoFDCI’s Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 kicks off February 15 in New Delhi, and it’s going to be the fashion event of the month. Designer duo Shantanu-Nikhil will open the season and pave the way for over 130 designers to showcase their collection. WLIFW A/W 2012 promises to bring awesome fashion and fresh trends!









What are you looking forward to this month?

Chic Reviews: Fashion films

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If you’ve leafed through a fashion mag lately, you would have spotted a Diesel ad. There’s a picture of a guy hanging upside down from a bus window kissing a girl, and the copy advises you to Be Stupid. Attention-grabbing concept, to say the least. But the campaign has caught the attention of UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, which recently banned the ads saying they were racy and indecent.

While some say the campaign was well… stupid, let’s move away from the Diesel debate and take a look at a recent trend in fashion campaigning—short films. Here are the Speaking Chic mini-reviews:

It started with the Chanel No. 5 ad, a story in the Orient Express, with glimpses of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Starring Audrey Tautou, I found the ad (and the protagonist) mesmerising and enthralling.

Speaking Chic rating:  4/5


And then there’s Christian Louboutin’s Dancer in a Daydream with the designer tap dancing with two long-legged ladies. Great fun to watch, and their trademark red-soled shoes are a striking part of this film.

Speaking Chic rating: 3.5/5

Dior’s Lady Blue Shanghai has a dreamy, surrealist feel. But despite David Lynch’s direction and John Galliano’s creative touches, the film is very close to umm… boring. Marion Cotillard’s Dior outfits, the bag, the decor, are splendid, but not engaging enough.

Speaking Chic rating: 3/5

As for Prada’s First Spring: Love. The. Clothes. But that doesn’t make a film, does it? A motion picture has the power to tell a story,but this film didn’t do that. (If I wanted to see the Prada collection, I’d flip through their latest runway show.)

Speaking Chic rating: 3/5 (only for the clothes)

What do you think about the recent fashion and luxury ads? Are they high on high on fashion, low on substance?

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