Chic guide: Fashionable (and affordable) things to do this week

Category: Fashion

Budget: Up to Rs 10,000

What to do: Shop designers for less

Styles for Less @ Ensemble - 1 - Copy

Designer steals aren’t restricted to online sales sites that deliver dresses by the time they’re out of season. Ensemble’s Styles for Less promotion is a great way to grab top Indian fashion designers like Rajesh Pratap, Wendell Rodricks, Tarun Tahiliani, Cue By Rahul and Rohit Gandhi, Savio Jon, Pankaj & Nidhi, Gaurav Gupta and Prashant Verma for Rs 10,000 or less! The range of designs will be a fashion lover’s delight: from casual tops to dressy numbers. Our cards are ready to be swiped.

Styles for Less is on till June 17, 2011 at Ensemble—Kemps Corner, Mumbai.

Category: Accessories

Budget: Up to Rs 5000

What to do: Go for blue

Oxidised silver jewellery will always be a great option to go with traditional wear, so bring a dash of turquoise to your jewellery box (we like this little set from Amrapali—below left). And while you’re at it, don’t ignore blues for casual wear (necklace from Toniq)!

  Paradise Rs 469 (2000 x 2667)

Category: Beauty/ Makeup

Budget: Up to Rs 1000

What to do: Update your eye makeup for monsoon

The drops of joy every monsoon can be a nightmare for us girls who love our makeup. So stock up on Lakmé’s newest eye makeup products from its popular Nine to Five range. The Forever Silk Eyeliner and Kohl Ultimate are long-lasting, smudge-proof and water-resistant. The Forever Silk Eyeliner comes in seven metallic shades while the Kohl Ultimate is a kohl, smudger and sharpener all in one stick.

FOREVER SILK EYELINER-Blue Cosmos

Kohl Ultimate

Forever Silk Eyeliner is priced at Rs 395; Kohl Ultimate is for Rs 650.

What chic things are you planning to do this week?

Chic Friday facts: How India’s super rich buy clothes and jewellery

Couple days ago, we stumbled upon a report that had practically nothing to do with fashion. But some parts of the report were interesting enough for us to share with our chic readers. The report, called Top of the Pyramid (TOP India), is all about how ultra HNIs (ultra high net worth individuals) aka super rich Indians spend and invest their money.

Here are the fashionable bits that interested us:

Interesting insight: Though ultra HNIs plan big purchases with family, 58% of their apparel and accessories purchases are impulse buys, while 41% are planned with family.

TOP India spending apparel fashion accessories

We say: Window shopping is never easy—there are temptations galore. Even the higher price tags don’t keep the super rich away from impulse buys. We’re kinda surprised by the proportion of people willing to plan their clothing purchases though. Good planning makes for sensible shopping, what say?

“Although the preference is for well-known brands, the ultra HNI is not averse to bargain purchases.”

So everyone likes good deals aka sale shopping!

Jewellery

Fact: Ultra HNIs in Delhi are relatively the biggest spenders on jewellery.

Jewellery TOP India report

We say: No surprise there! Delhi is all about exuberance and being OTT, right? 😉

Statement: The Inheritors* and the Self-made* spend more on jewellery than the Professionals*. The more
prosperous you are, the more the jewellery on your person.

We say: Do you think this is true for all—what about elegance and the “minimal” look?

Big jewellery brands

The report opines that the major global jewellery brands like Cartier and Tiffany are not as successful as leading family jewellers and independent jewellery designers due to their “limited range, lack of custom-made designs and reluctance of Indians to pay a premium for
designer jewellery.”

True—Indians love jewellery that no one else is wearing.

Apparel and accessories

Interesting insight: The Inheritors are more drawn towards international designer brands and purchase their fave brands on foreign trips.

We say: While I’m not an ultra HNI, I do agree with the respondents who say that the shopping experience, available range, quality and prices are much better abroad.

Meanwhile, Professionals are relatively not very big spenders on clothes.

Ultra HNI TOP India report

The biggest spenders on designer apparel and accessories are from Mumbai.

We say: So while Delhi spends more on jewellery, Mumbai wins the battle of the clothes. Which city dresses better though? Our vote goes to Delhi.

Numbers: The potential market for apparel and accessories in India was estimated at Rs 64 billion as of 2010-11, and its mainstay is Indian traditional wear, saris and designer wear, particularly for weddings and personal collections.

We say: ZOMG! The number caught us by surprise, but we’re happy to note that people love buying (and wearing) traditional wear, despite most of us unable to drape a sari or keep a dupatta in place. Long live the sari!

If you want more such interesting insights, leave your query in the comments below.

* The researchers from Kotak Wealth and CRISIL Research have classified India’s ultra HNIs into three groups: Inheritors are born with a silver spoon, and have inherited high net worth; Self-made are first generation entrepreneurs whose success in business turned them wealthy; and Professionals are qualified, highly skilled professionals who gained wealth because the companies that employed them grew big.

The report Top of the Pyramid (TOP India- Decoding the ultra HNI) is a newly-launched annual report by Kotak Mahindra Bank and CRISIL.

Bollywood beauty ads: Bipasha Basu (Wella Kolestint) and Dia Mirza (The Body Shop)

The Bollywood bandwagon is on the endorsement spree yet again (eg: Sonakshi Sinha for D’damas), and the beauty brands are signing them on.

This time Bipasha Basu is promoting Wella Kolestint, a DIY hair colour brand, while Dia Mirza is the face of The Body Shop’s Moisture White range of products. And both actors are looking gorgeous!

Bipasha Basu for Wella Kolestint Dia Mirza in Moisture White ad for The Body Shop

We applaud the choice of ambassadors and visual treatments of both Wella Kolestint and The Body Shop, unlike earlier bloopers (a whitewashed Kajol!). Bipasha Basu has always experimented with her looks, especially her hair (remember she went super short once?), and we’re certain her healthy flowing mane will make women all over the country want to try Wella Kolestint at home. Check out her gorgeous hair at a recent Wella Kolestint event:

Bipasha Basu hair Wella Kolestint event

(Picture from Wella Kolestint Facebook page)

Meanwhile, just-turned producer Dia Mirza has always had clear glowing skin, and folks at The Body Shop India seem to have known that. We love the pristine imagery of the advertisement and Dia’s angelic radiance. I’m sure the photoshop guy didn’t have to “enhance” her complexion too much (thank god for that!).

Our verdict: Finally some sensible brand endorsements on the Bollywood scene! Thank you to both product/ brand managers for giving us a refreshing take on beauty. 🙂

What do you think? Which Bollywood actor makes for the better fit—Bipasha Basu for Wella Kolestint or Dia Mirza for The Body Shop Moisture White range?

Chic video: Imran Khan drops his jeans for Levis, oops… we mean dENiZEN

Levi Strauss Signature is now dENiZEN, and who better to announce it to the Indian youth than Bollywood’s chocolate boy Imran Khan?

In this cute advertisement, Imran drops his Levi’s Signature jeans at a public walk-in laundry for a wash, sitting in his underpants. As a coy Monica Dogra (another customer) gyrates to the music, a baffled Imran looks on. The ad ends with Imran pulling out dENiZEN jeans from the machine, and enjoying the comfort they bring.

Our verdict: Cute advertisement, intelligent casting, good choice of music and even better chemistry.

PS: dENiZEN is a recently-launched mass jeanswear brand in Asia (especially for upwardly mobile youth from 18-28), and will soon be introduced in the US as well. The dENiZEN Spring-Summer line is available at dENiZEN and multi-brand stores across India. Denim bottoms range from Rs 799 to Rs 1399. Also available: casual tops and shirts.

Chic news: Ford Fiesta inspires fashion, Sonakshi joins D’damas

Earlier this week, designer Swapnil Shinde presented a collection in Delhi inspired by a car– the Ford Fiesta. Based on the concept of “Energy in Motion”, the main themes of the fashion collection (and the car, we suppose) were use of strong colour, flowy silhouette with some modern and futuristic elements.

Models with Michael Boneham of Ford India showcasing Fiesta Futuristic Collection designed by Swapnil Shinde

Swapnil explained that through the collection, he translated the car’s bold kinetic design theme into his creations. While that’s an interesting spin, we would also have loved to see a cooler interpretation of the high-tech stuff used in the Fiesta (we hear it’s got voice control!). Like using entwined wires with tech charms as neckpieces or Blackberry-shaped clutches? (Interesting necklaces and odd clutches are hot trends currently.)

BTW, the fashion show was held not in a five-star banquet, but at a mall where the car is on display currently. Here’s a thought: why not let us girls shop at the mall for the collection/ similar clothes and accessories immediately after the show? And that could get us some freebies if we book the Fiesta? Sorry ladies, too much wishful thinking! 😉

Sonakshi Sinha joins D’damas

Speaking Chic is not a Sonakshi Sinha fan— so what, right? It seems plenty others like her, so she’s got yet another big endorsement, soon after the Provogue Spring/Summer 2011 gig. D’damas, a popular jewellery brand, have just signed on Sonakshi as their brand ambassador. The D’damas people believe Sonakshi’s got the qualities that modern Indian women possess (confidence, self-belief, charm and grace). Most importantly, they say—she “exemplifies the true Indian beauty.”

Take a look at the just-released image below and tell us what you think:

Sonakshi Sinha in D'damas campaign

What interests us most is the campaign theme—it’s based on memorable moments in a woman’s life. Like being a bride, celebrating Diwali or just simply enjoying the first rays of sunlight. Frankly, we’re bored of the typical jewellery-celestial-dreamy association, so we’re looking forward to some hatke advertisements from the D’damas people.

Chic accessories for every budget: ‘Coz it’s still summer!

Even as the first rain showers pour down in Mumbai, we’ve not forgotten that the hot weather is still around and most parts of the country will continue to bear the heat for a few weeks. And we summer accessories continue to rank high on our shopping list.

Alas, if only there was plenty of dough to buy every accessory we ever wanted! Well dahlings, there ain’t enough, so we’ve carefully picked the coolest summer accessories, based on price!

The accessories are affordable, and will keep you well for the next few weeks. 🙂

To make things simpler, we’ve broken up our prices into categories: Rs 500-1000, Rs 1000-2500 and Rs 2500-5000. And hey, the accessories labelled “Chic steal!*” cost less than Rs 500!

So take a take a look at our accessories of choice. Enjoy! (PS—refer to the guide below the fashion board to know where you can buy them).

Chic jewellery, hats and sunglasses

Chic summer accessories- jewellery, hats, sunglasses

Guide:

  1. Necklace from Marks & Spencer
  2. Cuff from Marks & Spencer
  3. Necklace from Aldo Accesories
  4. Flower burst Ring from Toniq
  5. Sunglasses from Fastrack
  6. Bleicher sunglasses from Aldo
  7. Sunglasses from Puma
  8. Hat from Aldo

Chic bags and shoes

Summer bags and shoes (accessories)

Guide:

  1. Two-tone fabric messenger bag from Zara
  2. Floral quilted messenger bag from Mango
  3. White handbag from Mango
  4. Betsy clutch from French Connection
  5. Red sandals from Tresmode
  6. Pumps from Tresmode
  7. Plaited sandals from Zara
  8. Flats with floral fabric from Catwalk

Chic accessories for every budget: ‘Coz it’s still summer!

Even as the first rain showers pour down in Mumbai, we’ve not forgotten that the hot weather is still around and most parts of the country will continue to bear the heat for a few weeks. And we summer accessories continue to rank high on our shopping list.

Alas, if only there was plenty of dough to buy every accessory we ever wanted! Well dahlings, there ain’t enough, so we’ve carefully picked the coolest summer accessories, based on price!

The accessories are affordable, and will keep you well for the next few weeks. 🙂

To make things simpler, we’ve broken up our prices into categories: Rs 500-1000, Rs 1000-2500 and Rs 2500-5000. And hey, the accessories labelled “Chic steal!*” cost less than Rs 500!

So take a take a look at our accessories of choice. Enjoy! (PS—refer to the guide below the fashion board to know where you can buy them).

Chic jewellery, hats and sunglasses

Chic summer accessories- jewellery, hats, sunglasses

Guide:

  1. Necklace from Marks & Spencer
  2. Cuff from Marks & Spencer
  3. Necklace from Aldo Accesories
  4. Flower burst Ring from Toniq
  5. Sunglasses from Fastrack
  6. Bleicher sunglasses from Aldo
  7. Sunglasses from Puma
  8. Hat from Aldo

Chic bags and shoes

Summer bags and shoes (accessories)

Guide:

  1. Two-tone fabric messenger bag from Zara
  2. Floral quilted messenger bag from Mango
  3. White handbag from Mango
  4. Betsy clutch from French Connection
  5. Red sandals from Tresmode
  6. Pumps from Tresmode
  7. Plaited sandals from Zara
  8. Flats with floral fabric from Catwalk

Chic Interview: Priyadarshini Rao on Mineral, seasonless fashion and more

Fashion designer Priyadarshini Rao and her husband Jaydeep Shetty have a new baby—Mineral. This ready-to-wear label made its runway debut at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011, and bids goodbye to fashion seasons (its tag line is “no more seasons”). The focus is on bringing postmodern, versatile and stylish fashion to Indian women. Priyadarshini Rao at LFW SR 2011

Priyadarshini Rao talks to Speaking Chic about Mineral, seasonless fashion and the Indian fashion scene.

What’s the story behind the Mineral concept?
I’ve seen the evolution in the Indian fashion industry over the past 15 years, and even though retail has become significant, Indian designers are largely focussing on wedding, trousseau and bridal wear. There is a pressing need for affordable, good-looking fashion, for both impulse and pre-meditated purchases. The brands that have come in from foreign countries focus on western wear for Indian women. Indian women do like to wear good, sophisticated clothing, but not necessarily spend Rs 5000-10,000 per outfit. At Mineral, we realise this, and address this need.

What’s the idea behind “no more seasons” at Mineral?
We’ve become used to the idea of fashion seasons, though in Indian cities like Mumbai seasons don’t matter, and don’t make sense to people. Hence the idea behind seasonless fashion, though this doesn’t mean that the clothes in the stores won’t change. Our mission is to provide something classic and stylish that will last beyond six months. We focus on a great product, that is wash- and heat-friendly, and will be cherished for a few years.

What has been your key learning from your earlier retail experience with Shoppers’ Stop and Sepia?
There is a lot of learning everytime you do something new. In Shoppers’ Stop, I realised that unless you give your 100 percent, you can’t do well. At that time [2008-09], it was tough to sell clothes in the price range Rs 3000-6000. I worked on Sepia in its formative year; it started well and people related to it. I’m in charge of product and will not dilute quality—will raise it like my own child. With Jaydeep’s 18 years of retail experience, we know which way we want to go, though we know that mistakes do happen.

How is Mineral different from your eponymous label?
Priyadarshini Rao is clearly a different product from Mineral, and I’ve pushed it to the level of luxury pret. It’s got my aesthetics and signature, with a lot of fusion wear and the garments are priced between Rs 10,000 and 15,000. A woman may buy a “Priyadarshini Rao” product three to four times a year, for special occasions, even as she buys Mineral 10, maybe 20 times, a year.

Who is the Mineral woman?Mineral by Priadarshini Rao at LFW SR 2011
She is a working woman trying to balance her home and office. She’s well-read, connected and travelled. While she’s not too much into fashion, she wants stylish clothing and looks for garments to wear to meetings and other places without needing to change thrice a day. The woman who comes to Mineral to buy understands what looks good on her, and often buys 3-4 garments at a time.

Which brands do you consider competition?
The competition is tough now with some Indian brands. In terms of quality I’d consider brands like Vero Moda, Esprit and Tommy Hilfiger as competition. While Zara concentrates on fast fashion, and Mango is kind of high fashion, Mineral is more about core fashion such as a linen shirt.

What are the challenges you face at Mineral, considering it’s a new venture?
We have our own design team and we produce smaller lots, which makes production more expensive. Our design team is always on its toes, and keep their fingers on the pulse of the Mineral customer. Luckily, the team is deeply committed and involved in the product, and we realise how important it is to keep things moving, and to keep customers coming. We introduce 15-20% change to our collection every 6-8 weeks.

Mineral’s flagship store is at Infiniti Mall, Malad (Mumbai). Also available at select Central and Shoppers’ Stop stores. Prices range from Rs 800-2500.

Chic Interview: Priyadarshini Rao on Mineral, seasonless fashion and more

Fashion designer Priyadarshini Rao and her husband Jaydeep Shetty have a new baby—Mineral. This ready-to-wear label made its runway debut at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011, and bids goodbye to fashion seasons (its tag line is “no more seasons”). The focus is on bringing postmodern, versatile and stylish fashion to Indian women. Priyadarshini Rao at LFW SR 2011

Priyadarshini Rao talks to Speaking Chic about Mineral, seasonless fashion and the Indian fashion scene.

What’s the story behind the Mineral concept?
I’ve seen the evolution in the Indian fashion industry over the past 15 years, and even though retail has become significant, Indian designers are largely focussing on wedding, trousseau and bridal wear. There is a pressing need for affordable, good-looking fashion, for both impulse and pre-meditated purchases. The brands that have come in from foreign countries focus on western wear for Indian women. Indian women do like to wear good, sophisticated clothing, but not necessarily spend Rs 5000-10,000 per outfit. At Mineral, we realise this, and address this need.

What’s the idea behind “no more seasons” at Mineral?
We’ve become used to the idea of fashion seasons, though in Indian cities like Mumbai seasons don’t matter, and don’t make sense to people. Hence the idea behind seasonless fashion, though this doesn’t mean that the clothes in the stores won’t change. Our mission is to provide something classic and stylish that will last beyond six months. We focus on a great product, that is wash- and heat-friendly, and will be cherished for a few years.

What has been your key learning from your earlier retail experience with Shoppers’ Stop and Sepia?
There is a lot of learning everytime you do something new. In Shoppers’ Stop, I realised that unless you give your 100 percent, you can’t do well. At that time [2008-09], it was tough to sell clothes in the price range Rs 3000-6000. I worked on Sepia in its formative year; it started well and people related to it. I’m in charge of product and will not dilute quality—will raise it like my own child. With Jaydeep’s 18 years of retail experience, we know which way we want to go, though we know that mistakes do happen.

How is Mineral different from your eponymous label?
Priyadarshini Rao is clearly a different product from Mineral, and I’ve pushed it to the level of luxury pret. It’s got my aesthetics and signature, with a lot of fusion wear and the garments are priced between Rs 10,000 and 15,000. A woman may buy a “Priyadarshini Rao” product three to four times a year, for special occasions, even as she buys Mineral 10, maybe 20 times, a year.

Who is the Mineral woman?Mineral by Priadarshini Rao at LFW SR 2011
She is a working woman trying to balance her home and office. She’s well-read, connected and travelled. While she’s not too much into fashion, she wants stylish clothing and looks for garments to wear to meetings and other places without needing to change thrice a day. The woman who comes to Mineral to buy understands what looks good on her, and often buys 3-4 garments at a time.

Which brands do you consider competition?
The competition is tough now with some Indian brands. In terms of quality I’d consider brands like Vero Moda, Esprit and Tommy Hilfiger as competition. While Zara concentrates on fast fashion, and Mango is kind of high fashion, Mineral is more about core fashion such as a linen shirt.

What are the challenges you face at Mineral, considering it’s a new venture?
We have our own design team and we produce smaller lots, which makes production more expensive. Our design team is always on its toes, and keep their fingers on the pulse of the Mineral customer. Luckily, the team is deeply committed and involved in the product, and we realise how important it is to keep things moving, and to keep customers coming. We introduce 15-20% change to our collection every 6-8 weeks.

Mineral’s flagship store is at Infiniti Mall, Malad (Mumbai). Also available at select Central and Shoppers’ Stop stores. Prices range from Rs 800-2500.

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