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?

Awesome shopping streets in South East Asia

Shopping (and window shopping) is one of my favourite things to do when I travel to a new city or country. It gives me a feel of the local fashion, an opportunity to discover ideas for new looks and a sense of how the people there like to dress.

I particularly enjoy walking through shopping streets because they’re so much more fun than malls. You get to the see the neighbourhood, the city’s architecture and of course, street life. In this two-part series, I’m listing my favourite shopping streets. The first part covers my favourite shopping streets in Asia.

Hang Gai, Hanoi (Vietnam)

Hanoi’s Hang Gai has everything a fashionista would want: cute boutiques, chic souvenir stores, French-style cafes, local art stores and even a tshirt-only store. I shopped all of these on Hang Gai and in the neighbourhood, stepping into side streets to discover embroidery stores, handcrafted goods and lots of silk! My top buys: A tongue-in-cheek Hanoi tshirt from Ginkgo (local fashion brand) and hand-embroidered pouches. Browsing at local boutiques in Hang Gai and Hang Trong for clothes and accessories is highly recommended! You may just stumble across some unique finds.

Hanoi Vietnam street shopping

Hanoi Vietnam street shopping

Hanoi Vietnam street shopping

Orchard Road, Singapore

Orchard Street is anyone’s dream destination to shop in Singapore, and the craziness begins when you step off the MRT. I bought two pairs of shoes right at the station even before I hit the shopping street above. 😛 The good news is that Orchard Street has a range of malls to suit different shopping budgets. The bad news is, you want to go everywhere. After a lot of disappointments at Orchard Street stores (international brands were cheaper in India and H&M was a disaster), I finally discovered a store at 313 Somerset called Valleygirl that had trendy dresses and tops at moderate prices.

Singapore Orchard Road shopping

Singapore Orchard Road shopping

Singapore Orchard Road shopping

Singapore Orchard Road shopping

Bugis Street, Singapore

Yep, two places in Singapore! Bugis Street is a delight if you want to hog while you shop! I shopped there late evening, and bagged cool bargains on tops, lingerie, nightwear and souvenirs. Then we had a very Singaporean snack right on the street- the icecream sandwich. The restaurants on Bugis Street serve good local fare as well. I didn’t venture deep inside the market, which is where the best deals are to be found, but the street-facing and ground floor shops have some great deals!

Bugis street Singapore shopping

Bugis street Singapore shopping

Bugis street Singapore shopping

Bugis street Singapore shopping

 

Fashion Recall: Back to the Future

Back to the Future was all the rage last week, as the date of Marty McFly’s arrival from Back to the Future II came and flew by on October 21, 2015. The wonderful Spanish website Fashionisima posted a great piece on fashion from Back to the Future. Since it’s in Spanish, I’ve translated the important bits here (used only my Spanish skills for this, no Google Translate :-D).

Back to the Future jeans

And what look was he [Marty McFly] wearing in the year 2015? Jeans (they never get old!), an auto-dry and auto-adjustable jacket, a cap—in the words of the Doctor, what all kids wear, and the jewel of the crown: the Nike [shoes] without laces that adjust to your feet. Important detail to note: the pockets in Back to the Future are worn externally.

I don’t think jeans will ever fade from human history—they will be continuously reimagined with different fabrics, cuts and washes.

Nike didn’t want to waste this product placement and announced much later that the shoes from Back to the Future would go on sale… In 2011 they made a first attempt. Attempt, I say, because it didn’t get great reception despite its great promotion. The complaint of the fans? That the shoes don’t auto-adjust to your feet like in the Zemeckis film. Nike backed down, and has promised that in 2015 it will release definitive Nikes with superior technology in a limited edition. Dear Nike managers, that time is upon us, and it’s October 21, 2015.

Great idea for brand promotion, Nike. But please be realistic and honest with fans. Are such shoes technically possible in the forseeable future? Do tell.

The women from Back to the Future II paint their eyes in geometric shapes and silver tones, which doesn’t deviate much from the looks in these images:

Back to the Future makeup

Something that they couldn’t have depicted better is humans’ obsession with technology… In Back to the Future [they make it with their] futuristic glasses—see the attempt by Google Glasses below – but the Apple Watch could also be adapted.

back-to-the-future-fashion-02

Oh yeah, a watch that can check email, glasses that can capture images or search for a keyword… who knows what’s next in wearables?

Image sources: Fashionisma.es

The excerpts have been translated from the Spanish.

Throwback Thursday: Gaurang’s gorgeous dupattas

At Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2015, I was looking for inspiration for a new Indian look and I found it at Gaurang. His collection was a refreshing break from the ethnic boho and heavy embellished collections that usually dominate the ramp.

LFW SR 2015 Guarang dupattas

Very Indian in style, silhouette and colour palette, the show featured eye-catching dupattas that I dubbed “statement dupattas” because you can make them the cornerstone of your ensemble. The dupattas featured jamdani, phulkari, chikankari and kalamkari work. Since that show I’ve been hunting for beautiful dupattas—printed, embroidered, embellished, appliquéd, what have you…. I haven’t had much luck and I’ve moved to another country but I can continue to dream, right?

Gaurang dupattas LFW SR 2015

Gaurang dupattas LFW SR 2015

Gaurang dupattas LFW SR 2015

BTW, as icing on the cake, Vidya Balan was the showstopper for Gaurang. 🙂

Vidya Balan Gaurang LFW SR 2015

Memory from: March 19, 2015

Location: Palladium Hotel, Mumbai

My shoe story and new season wishlist

I have only two pairs of shoes right now, not counting my sports shoes. I’ve been living with just these two pairs since four months now (no kidding). Besides, autumn/ winter collections have hit the stores, so it’s time to invest in a new pair. Or two. Or several.

But I’m a fussy shoe buyer and there’s good reason for that. I have tiny feet with a difficult size, and so when I buy shoes, I have to buy a pair that looks great, fits wonderfully, and lasts me a long long time.

Sigh… here in Yangon, like almost everywhere else, size is THE main problem, but that doesn’t stop me from checking out shoes like my life depended on them. As they say, if you can’t wear them, admire them. Okay, I just made that up.

Anyways here are some droolworthy shoes I’d like to own. You are welcome to drool too.

I can see these slip-ons from Accessorize jazzing up all my casual outfits.

Accessorize slip-ons

Sexy pumps from Aftershock. Now all I need is a party invite…

Aftershock London pumps

… And a lunch invite to tote these gold loafers from Tresmode.

Tresmode  gold loafers

Every girl needs sensible ballerinas, and I like this pair from Lavie.

Lavie blue BALLERINA

Now this is what I call comfy, edgy chic from the Vanilla Moon stable.

Vanilla Moon  TANIA

Just one word: prints! Clarks X Orla Kiely is killin’ it.

Clarks Orla Bella Blue Floral shoes

A red-hot pair from Metro that will knock him over.

Metro red heels

Oh-so-versatile classy block heels in black from Marie Claire (available at Bata).

Bata block heels

TREND ALERT FOR MEN: Style tips to go short or long

Since it’s halfway through the year (what? June already?!), it’s time for a guy to update his wardrobe. There will always be tshirts and shirts to help change a man’s look, but how about updating your style with fashionable shorts and pants instead? From easy going shorts to comfortable jeans, here are some top choices and handy tips for the boys.

Shorts

Prints, checks, or good ol’ solids. Great for chilling at home, stepping out in the sun or for a beach vacation.

Trend Alert: Quirky prints on shorts (and shirts) are really hot right now. Play safe with polka dots and textures or go crazy with florals, camo prints.

Military print shorts from Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy mens military shorts

Linen shorts from Selected Homme (available on Jabong.com)

SHDott dark blue linen shorts H RS 3995

Denim shorts from Superdry

Denim shorts Superdry

Chinos

They’re comfy, easy and available in a range of colours. Chinos are quickly replacing jeans and formal trousers as the “smart casual” alternative to everything!

Trend Alert: After building up your chino collection with basics like khaki and black, stock up on bright blue, wine and olive green.

Complete look from Arrow

Arrow SS15 - Arrow chinos

Trousers from French Connection

FCUK blue chinos

Red chinos from Breakbounce

Breakbounce red chinos

Jeans

A man needs his jeans, no matter the season, the shade, the style.

Trend Alert: Skinny’s still in style, but wider leg and relaxed fits are slowly making a comeback. Look fashion forward already!

Complete look from Killer Jeans at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015

Killer Jeans Lakme Fashion Week SR 2015

Jeans from John Players

Mens Jeans John Players

Jeans from Lee

Lee mens jeans

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

 

SUMMER CHIC: 20 pretty pieces you will love

Pastels, pops, prints and pinks,

All these chic choices make me blink,

In wonder I look at these summer faves,

Twenty reasons to make me rave!

Enjoy these drool-worthy picks for summer. 🙂

Pretty Prints

Dress from French Connection, Peplum top from Trendy Divva, Sling bag from Toniq.

French Connection printed floral dress

Trendy Divva Black Printed peplum top

Printed sling bag from Toniq

Pretty Pinks

Tunic dress from Label by Ritu Kumar, Shorts from Elle, bra from Amante.

Tunic dress Ritu Kumar, LABEL

Elle pink shorts summer

amante Serenity Bra, Pink Sherbbet,Rs.1395

Pretty Palettes

T-shirt from Being Human, Dress from Superdry, Bag from Holii.

Being Human tshirt

Superdry TIE DYE MIDI DRESS

Holii Hyacinth white orange bag

Pretty Pops

T-shirt from Ed Hardy, Studs from Fida.

Ed Hardy printed tshirt

Studs from Fida accessories

Pretty Pastels

Polo from US Polo Association, Pencil skirt from Miss Selfridge, Shoulder bag from Viari.

Yellow USPA tshirt

Miss Selfridge yellow pencil skirt

Viari Santorini summer shoulder bag

Pretty Pairs

Heels from Clarks, Ballet shoe from Melissa, Sneakers from Superdry.

Clarks Coral heels

Melissa metallic ballet flat

Superdry sneakers

Pretty Purses

Tote from Hidesign, Tote from Accessorize, Cutwork bag from Lavie.

Hidesign orange tote bag

Accessorize mirror tote

Lavie cobalt blue cutwork bag

Which pretty piece are you buying on your next visit to the mall?

Picks of the week: Avengers Age of Ultron tees

Yay! The awesome supervillain-thrashing team (aka Marvel superheroes) is returning this weekend in The Avengers: Age of Ultron! Now if you’re a true fanboy or girl, of course you need a tshirt declaring your love when you go watch the film. VoxPop has more than 50 super cool Avengers Age of Ultron t-shirts:

Avengers Tee-shirt

Avengers Tee-shirt

Avengers Tee -Shrit

Inspired by the superheroes and moments from the film, there are enough choices to spoil the fans: colours, graphics and themes. I’ve been browsing for a while now and it’s difficult to pinpoint a favourite (liking too many of them!).

Iron man Tee-shirt

Hulk Tee-Shirt

Iron man Tee-shirt

Special note for fangirls:

Ladies, this t-shirt collection may be for the boys, but don’t let that stop you. Buy a size that will look like an oversized tee. Then throw it over a spaghetti or racer back top, and let it show. Or you could shorten the length to make it a crop top. Wear skinny pants or shorts with coloured sneakers, and voila! Here comes the fangirl. 🙂

Shop The Avengers: Age of Ultron tshirts at VoxPopClothing.com (Price: Rs 799)