7 fashionable Diwali inspirations

Come Diwali every year, and I’m usually digging into my wardrobe for a newish Indian ensemble. And it’s usually a safe style, very me, but also very, very typical of me. This Diwali, I’m trying to be a bit different, drawing inspiration from some new looks. So I’ve put together a lookbook of sorts to get me going on the ideas. There’s still a week to Diwali (and this weekend I will be in India, yay!), and all of these ideas are easily doable. 😀

Of course I can’t try all of these ideas, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

Don a jacket

It can be short like a waistcoast or long like an anarkali, it could be embroidered or block printed… “A plain kurta paired with a printed or embroidered short jacket is the perfect alternative to a dupatta,” says Rahuul Jashnani, managing director of Jashn. “Button it or just let it loose, or wear it on your sari for a bold and edgy and daring look.” I agree.

(Looks from Jashn)

Jashn festive ethnic jacket

Jashn festive ethnic jacket

Go long, long, long

If you’re a vertically-challenged like me, then long silhouettes can be quite exciting. Plus longer the length, the grander you look, and the more elegant you feel.

(Kurta set from Anju Modi, long kaftan from Hemant & Nandita)

Anju Modi kurta set

Kaftan hemant Nandita

Or go very traditional

Gota, bandhini, leheriya—our cultural heritage has plenty of fabric, print, texture and embellishment options to choose from.

(Looks featuring gota and shibori techniques from Rangriti)

Rangriti festive collection Diwali gota

Rangriti festive collection Diwali

Wrap a gorgeous dupatta

I’m moving on from mere contrast dupattas. I’d rather wrap a stunning dupatta around me to draw the attention. I’m in love with these ones from Gaurang, or something embellished-border like this one below.

(Look from Sahiba)

Sahiba festive collection

Try a shirt-like blouse with a sari

It may seem that only Sonam Kapoor can pull off a shirt with a sari. Maybe yes, maybe no. Well, we won’t know till we try it, right?

(Sonam Kapoor wearing Anupama Dayal)

Sonam Kapoor in Anupama Dayal

Sport a bindi

I’m not even talking about Gwen Stefani here. It’s Indian, so why not place a cute bindi on the forehead? So feminine!

(Bindis from Bookmybindi.com)

Bindis for diwali

Bindis for diwali

Mix shades in jewellery

Gold and white are a classic combo, but well, it’s a little safe. I love admiring jewellery with coloured stones- blue, pink, green…. “A mix of diamond, polki and jadau jewellery with bright colourful gemstones in innovative ways and eclectic styles add appeal to any outfit,” says Aakas Barmecha of Yoube Jewellery.

(Earrings from Yoube Jewellery, Pendant-earrings set from Swarovski)

Yoube diamond earrings

Sarovski pendant earring set

Which stylish idea or trend inspires you most this Diwali?

Bollywood Fashion Guide: Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu Returns

In my previous blog post, I did a look breakdown of Deepika Padukone’s indo-chic look in Piku. In Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Kangana Ranaut’s character Tanuja Trivedi (Tanu) is also seen in contemporary Indian wear but her definition of indo-chic is drastically different from Piku’s style.

Kangana Ranaut Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Tanu is a free-spirited quirky girl who loves having fun. As a married woman in London, she opts for Indian styles. So she wears saris in public, complete with mangalsutra and very noticeable sindoor. Her saris are mostly retro-style lacey ones, and in the opening scene she has bundled up in a beige trench coat over her sari.

Kangana Ranaut sari Tanu Weds Manu

Once back in India, the pre-marriage Tanu takes over, and she’s back to her colourful self. In the earlier film Tanu Weds Manu Kangana Ranaut opted mostly for greens and blues, but in this film her look is bolder than ever, choosing bright pinks and oranges.

Kanagana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu Returns look breakdown

Kangana Ranaut patiala Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Printed kurta or tee

Printed patiala

Bright printed or crushed dupatta

Accessories: Jhumkas (her favourite carried forward from Tanu Weds Manu), necklaces and stacks of bangles

Makeup: Lots of it, and usually very matchy-matchy. So if Tanu’s wearing a pink kurta, she’s applied pink blush and pink lipstick. And oh, there’s also a tiny bindi and tonnes of mascara and even fake eyelashes!

How to get Kangana Ranaut’s Tanu Weds Manu Returns Look

Kurta from Biba

Biba kurta

Patiala from Soch

Soch printed patiala

Dual-toned dupatta from Aurelia, available on Fashionara

Crushed dupatta

Sari from Pernia Qureshi

Pernia Qureshi sari

Jhumkas from Fida

Fida classic jhumkas

Pink bangles from Vidhya Kangan, available on Craftsvilla

Ethnic pink bangles

Style & Shopping Guide: Deepika Padukone’s Piku look

FOUND: Deepika Padukone’s kurta from Piku! (Read on to know more).

In Piku, Deepika Padukone has one of her most unglamourous on-screen avatars. Here’s a complete style breakdown of Piku and where you can shop Deepika Padukone’s look.

Deepika Padukone in Piku

Deepika Padukone as Piku

Deepika Padukone’s character Piku is a working woman and always in a rush due to her father’s morning drama. No high-end designer wear or heavy makeup for her. Instead there’s minimal styling and accessories. Piku’s look is relatable and girl-next-door and indo-chic but deliberately non-colourful.

Clothes seem to be thrown together, her hair is almost a mess, and there isn’t much time for makeup and accessories either. She carries one big bag in which she can dump everything.

Deepika Padukone in Piku fashion

Piku (Deepika Padukone’s) complete style breakdown

Minimal no-fuss kurta

Loose pants (salwar pants or palazzos), sometimes skinny jeans

Long printed scarf/ dupatta tied on bag or loosely draped on her neck

Footwear: Flat sandals/ chappals

Bag: Large leather carryall/ tote/ shopper

Jewellery: Small drop earrings that go with almost everything

Sunglasses

Makeup: Almost none. It’s mostly a nude-ish lipstick and a small bindi

Shop Deepika Padukone’s Piku look

Blue and white kurta-pants set from Biba

Biba kurta set

Black kurta from Aks (available on Jabong.com)- exactly the same Deepika Padukone is wearing in Piku (see the first picture above)

Aks-Black-Kurti with pants

Maroon palazzo pants from Soch

Soch Maroon Palazzo Pants

Bag from Elespry

Elespry bag

Glares from Titan

Sunglasses by Titan

Drop earrings from Tanishq

Tanishq- drop earrings with pearl

 

Get Deepika Padukone’s top fashion trends from HNY

The Diwali release of this year Happy New Year starring Deepika Padukone, Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, has several fashion trends to watch out for.

Styled by veteran fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Deepika Padukone is mostly seen in “performance” outfits, which mostly feature bling and shine. And then there a few hot fashion trends have been incorporated into Deepika’s wardrobe in the movie. Here are the trends, and where you can buy the looks.

Crop tops

You need a sexy midriff like Deepika’s to carry off a crop top. These super-short tees and tops are best worn with high-waist jeans or pants and a cool belt. Deepika paired her crop tops with track pants and dhoti pants for dance rehearsal.

Get the trend from: AND, Forever 21 (Below: Mint crop top from AND)

AND Mint Panel Crop Top- Deepika in HNY

Printed kurtas

Prints on ethnic Indian wear are not restricted to paisleys and Indian flowers anymore—there are bold multi-hued florals, abstracts, geometric patterns and even African tribal prints on kurtas now. I especially loved Deepika’s white kurta with a bright floral splash.

Get the trend from: Zovi (Below: Geometric printed kurta from Zovi)

Zovi geometric kurta

Refreshing colour palette

Like any feel-good Bollywood movie, the colours were bright and happy. Deepika’s off-stage kurtas and tees are from the citrus family- lemon and orange, with a hint of peach.

Get the trend from: Mango (Below: Pleated top from Mango).

Mango yellow top- Happy New Year

Deepika Padukone’s best outfit in Happy New Year:

It was the hands-down winner- the blue bustier top and embellished skirt Deepika wore to a party (in the song Indiawaale). Very glam, very MM!

Deepika Padukone in blue Indiawaale

5 top tips to trendy Diwali dressing

While we don’t usually put much though into our festive dressing, ethnic Indian wear is moving rapidly when it comes to designs and styles, with new trends coming every season. Here are some tips to help you wear these trends and look super-stylish this Diwali.

Tip 1: Experiment with embellishments

Embellishment sprayed all over your anarkali or sari are passé. The trend is toward embellishments on specific garments or sections of garments. This means pairing a heavy embellished dupatta from a lehenga with a simple kurta-churidar set, or heavily-sequined blouses with light saris. Embroidered borders on light saris and anarkali kurtas look great too. If you’re wearing calf-length anarkalis, opt for styles that have embellishments limited to the bodice. Also, look beyond stones or sequins—gold thread work, latkans (danglers) and shimmery thread can be great embellishments for Indian wear.

(Below: Look from Peppermint Diva and Anushree Reddy AW 14)

Peppermint Diva sari

anushree reddy look

Tip 2: Try prints for a change

We usually associate festive dressing only with embellishments, but why not explore the wonderful variety of traditional Indian prints? Block prints give a rich feel on luxurious fabrics, while leheriya saris with gota work are sureshot winners. Or try out any bandhini pieces lying in your closet, such as dupattas or saris. Of course, if you miss bling, look for pieces that have a dash of sequins or metallic embellishments.

(Below: Turi sari with gota border from Amazon, Block-printed suit set from Biba at Jabong.com)

Yellow leheriya sari with gota

Jabong Biba-Aqua-Blue-Cotton-Solid-Suit-Set

Tip 3: Mix and match

I know, mix and match as a fashion trend may be done to death recently, but it’s cool to create new looks from existing outfits. Mixing colours is easy, especially when you don’t need to match them. So pair the kurta of one outfit with the dupatta and churidar of another one. Or the gold blouse of your traditional sari with a new printed sari. Or throw a long or short jacket over your kurta. And who says you need to wear only traditional jewellery with Indian wear? Try diamond (or diamante) earrings with your ethnic outfits- you will be surprised how the fusion look works!

Below: Look from Ritu Kumar AW 2014 and Long jacket from Wrap Studio.

Yellow and orange suit by Ritu Kumar

Jacket from Wrap Studio

Tip 4: Update your accessories

You use your go-to metallic clutch all year round. This Diwali, try the batua instead (also known as a potli). They’re spacious, embellished and look great with ethnic Indian outfits, like saris and kurtas. When it comes to jewellery, you don’t need to follow the earrings-necklace-bangles routine. Instead, try on hair accessories like a maang tikka or clip, and ditch the bangles for a cuff and a simple gold-finish watch.

Below: Batua from Toniq, Jadau kada from Falguni Mehta

Toniq potli batua

Jadau kada by Falguni Mehta

Tip 5: Groom, groom, groom!

A gorgeous festive look is incomplete without the perfect makeup and hair, right? Go for fuss-free hair styles like a blow dry or iron for natural bounce and texture. As for makeup, make lip colours the focus—copper, champagne and burgundy are ideal for ethnic wear. And hey, red lip colours always work!

Bonus Tip: Always remember the basics of festive dressing (colours, fabrics, silhouettes)

Rich colours: Deep blues and greens, reds, pinks, corals, orange family. BTW, black is okay too.

Luxurious fabrics: Opt for silk and georgette over cotton and linen.

Flattering silhouettes: Anarkalis or salwar-kurtas to suit your body type, well-draped saris to create the illusion of height and curves, with thin borders for petite women.

Happy Diwali to all!

Pick of the Week: Cool kurtas to wear this Diwali

It’s Diwali week! I’ve always loved the Festival of Lights and especially enjoy dressing up for the festivities. As a kid, Diwali meant a shopping spree which was super tiring, but now I’m game for new clothes anytime. 🙂 And since Diwali is not limited to just one day, what you need in your wardrobe is a cool kurta. A lightly embellished kurta will see you through the extended festive weekend.

So here are my top picks for Diwali kurtas.

Kurta for women

Silk kurta Rs 3600 on Limeroad.com

This silk kurta with its self-embroidery effect has a luxurious feel, making it perfect for small family gatherings and card parties. Loving the colour and slightly glossy fabric finish!

Wear with: Contrast churidar and dupatta

Accessorise with: Kolhapuri wedges

Available at: Limeroad.com, Rs 3600

Kurta for men:

Striped-Aqua-Blue-Kurta from Jabong, Rs 3299

I was sold on this kurta for Diwali when I saw the lovely aqua blue. This embroidered kurta is perfect for the Diwali and Bhai Dooj celebrations at home, and you can wear it to upcoming wedding celebrations.

Wear with: Slim-fit pants or churidar

Accessorise with: Open-toed slip-ons

Available at: Jabong.com, Rs 3299

Bollywood Fashion: How Aki Narula made Ranbir Kapoor a Rockstar!

Bollywood Fashion: How Aki Narula made Ranbir Kapoor a Rockstar!

India’s got a new silver screen rockstar— Ranbir Kapoor! Ranbir’s Jordan (aka Janardan) is a rebel who doesn’t care a damn about the world. He sings about his angst, raises his voice against the establishment, and most importantly, he wears what he wants.

Ace designer Aki Narula has designed for Ranbir in Rockstar, and the two distinct looks he has created for Ranbir are poles apart. Here’s how Aki Narula has worked his magic on Ranbir in the movie.

Ranbir Kapoor’s pre-rockstar look (Janardan)

With unkempt hair and stubble, Jordan portrays the ultimate Jim Morrison fan. But much before his rockstar days, Jordan was Janardan, a middle-class Delhi boy who was awkward around girls and wanted to be cool.

Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar

That’s when Ranbir wears:

  • Skinny and straight-fit jeans
  • Colourful knit sweaters
  • Typical “stylish” shirts

Ranbir Kapoor’s Rockstar look (Jordan)

Jordan is not the fumbling Delhi boy Janardan in an earlier life. He’s had a broken heart, he’s been to jail, and he’s got a fearless attitude. He doesn’t need to be cool anymore—he goes grunge, dishevelled and vagabond. What Jordan is wearing:

  • Kurtas: He didn’t wear those to college, because kurtas just weren’t cool. Now he wears them because he no longer cares what people think of him.
  • Military jacket: The military-inspired jacket (for both men and women) was a rage last winter, and Ranbir might make it popular again. Given his Kashmiri background, Jordan is quite fascinated with the armed forces.Ranbir Kapoor- embellished jacket in Rockstar
  • Qawwal jackets: These sleeveless jackets indicate Jordan’s connection with qawwali singers.
  • The famous police shirt: Ranbir’s wearing a police shirt in Sadda Haq, with an attached feather. A blatant act of rebellion against the system!
  • Ranbir Kapoor-police shirt in Rockstar
  • Colours: The gypsies of Prague inspire Jordan to wear bursts of colour and add a personal touch to his performance clothes.

Accessories

Ranbir’s Rockstar accessories are minimum. He sometimes dons a Nehru cap with badges that remind him of his mentor (Ustad Jameel Khan- Shammi Kapoor), and tassles and small objects like feathers.

Ranbir Kapoor Nehru cap in Rockstar

Besides these, Ranbir is also wearing a chain around his neck with a piece of his first broken guitar string and his first guitar pick. He adds little souvenirs to the chain as he travels around the world.

Ranbir Kapoor chain in Rockstar

What do you like about Ranbir’s look in Rockstar?

Rockstar releases on November 11, 2011.

Five chic things to do before Diwali

Five chic things to do before Diwali

It’s Dhanteras today, ladies! And if you are as unprepared as I am for Diwali, here’s a quick checklist of things to do in the next two days.

One: Get your outfit ready

If you’ve bought a new outfit for Diwali, it’s time to get off the packaging and figure out the best way to wear it. How will you drape your sari or pin up the dupatta of your lehenga? Does your blouse or choli fit you perfectly?

Chic tip: Stock up on safety pins and carry some in your clutch for emergencies.

Below: Anita Dongre at LFW W/F 2011; Payal Kapoor at LFW W/F 2011

Anita Dongre at LFW W/F 2011 Payal Kapoor at LFW W/F 2011

Two: Choose your jewellery

Polkis are a big trend and they’re here to stay—choose a traditional piece for Diwali. “Indian” designs like flowers, petals and peacocks are fantastic for Diwali.

Chic tip: Younger women could opt for trendier pieces which they can club with jeans and blouses after the festivities.

Below: Earrings from Sia Art Jewellery; Mor-Peacock ring from Toniq

 

Sia Rasrawa earrings  Toniq Mor- Peacock Ring

Three: Grab a clutch

If your outfit goes easy on the embellishment, you can choose a blingy clutch with it. Brocade clutches go wonderfully well with Indian ethnic wear.

Chic tip: If you prefer dangling a bag from your wrist or bangle, choose a cute potli.

Below: Nizam clutch from Holii, clutch  from Esbeda, potli from Shagufta Quamar at LFW W/F 2011.

Holii accessories Nizam clutch Esbeda Clutch

shagufta quamar-potli

Four: Embellish your feet

If you haven’t got a luxurious pedicure done yet, get one immediately. Then step out to buy bejewelled footwear that will you will wear for the entire festive and wedding season.

Chic tip: Can’t find shoes that match your outfit? Don’t worry, shoes need not always be matchy-matchy! Just make sure they go with your ‘look’.

Below: Groom Multi from Steve Madden, sandal from Mochi

Steve Madden Groom Multi

Mochi-sandal

Five: Last-minute gifts

Some fashionable gift ideas that suit all budgets (depending on the brand):

  • Beauty/ skin care hampers
  • Perfumes
  • Set of candles/ diyas
  • Watches

Below: Juicy Couture light moisturising lotion, perfume: Guerlain Shalimar, men’s watch from Fossil.

Juicy Couture light body lotionperfume Guerlain Shalimar_plumesFossil watch

 

Chic tip: I’ve recently turned into an advocate of gift cards or vouchers (giving my cousins gift vouchers for Bhai Dooj). Most well-known stores have gift vouchers, and we stumbled across a site called Gift Cards India, where you can shop for vouchers from an amazing number of brands!

Bonus: Shopping for the festive season

Diwali shopping is a great time to get wonderful options and offers on clothes, accessories, makeup and tonnes of others things. So for fashion lovers, it’s ideal to gear up for the upcoming wedding season NOW!

Chic tip: Pret-amoda.com has some excellent festive pieces. Type in the code bcNVoFAH2I when shopping to get a discount. (Valid till October 26, 2011).

Pret-amoda Diwali promotion

Happy Diwali, everyone!

Chic Trends: Dressed up ethnic whites to look nice

There’s a problem with wearing white in India—wear too much of it and you look like you’re off to a funeral; wear too little, and you’re soon facing an overdose of colour.

I don’t have too many white clothes, least of all in my ethnic selection. But after seeing the wonderful whites this season, I think it might soon add them to my wardrobe.

Here are some chic ways to wear white the ethnic way, that you can wear to your cousin’s mehendi or friend’s sangeet without looking morose.

Pair white with brights
Red and black make a deadly combo, but have you ever considered wearing red with white? Choose a flowy white kurta with gold embellishments and pair with a red dupatta. And hey, you can replace red with warm festive colours like orange and yellow and even funky neons.

Below: Kurta-churidar-dupatta from Alpa-Reena; Look from Archana Kochhar’s collection

Alpa-Reena red and white kurta churidar dupatta Archana Kochhar white with neon colours kurta-churidar

Beyond borders
From the simple gold and silver gota to embellished pattis, your white and cream saris, kurtas and dupattas can get transformed in just a few stitches. In a variety of colours and widths, let the border be the highlight of your look.

Below: From Timeless by Anita Dongre’s Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 collection

Anita Dongre's Timeless white sari with gota border

Off the white track
True white is pristine, pure and very difficult to maintain. Opt for off-whites, creams and beige with thread, bead and pearl embroidery.

Below: From Ensemble’s Ecru collection.

Ensemble Ecru collection

How are you wearing white this season?

Wedding Fashion: Brooch it up!

I love accessories—especially the smaller ones like hair clips, bangles and rings. They may be small in size, but they make a big (yet subtle) impact on my final look.

Which brings me to my accessory of choice this wedding season: the brooch!

Brooch for wedding: fashion accessory

How many of us have brooches? (I didn’t, until a short while ago). How many of us have brooches and wear them often? (I’m waiting for the wedding cocktail tonight to wear mine).

How to wear a brooch (some fun ideas!):

  • If you are wearing a kurta-churidar-dupatta, let your dupatta hang on one side and use the brooch to keep it in place.
  • Run a hair pin through it and use it as a hair decoration.
  • Wearing a long jacket? Pin it right in the middle!
  • Use it to keep your sari pleats in place (to draw attention to your envious waist).

Where to buy a brooch:

  • If you don’t have a brooch yet, fret not! Your friendly neighbourhood store (where you buy scrunchies, hair clips and other goodies) might have some.
  • Head to the multi-designer stores like Ensemble, Re or Amara—they stock accessories from clutches to sandals to art jewellery, and you might find brooches there.
  • Several Indian bridal wear designers also have brooches.
  • Hunt online! There are plenty of fashion sale websites that offer great deals. I bought the Tarun Tahiliani brooch I from a website recently, and it cost me approximately Rs 1500.