Coming soon: Wedding and winter specials

The climes are a-changing. Even as the mercury drops, the wedding fever spreads. Speaking Chic will bring you the best of fashion, beauty, clothes, accessories and makeup to tackle the onset of winter and the upcoming wedding season: the chic way!

Stay tuned.

Do leave us any questions you want us to answer about winter or wedding wear in the comments below.

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.

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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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Zara Review (with spy shots)

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I’ve just come back from a wonderful trip to Turkey, which included tonnes of shopping, including at Zara and Mango. So I thought it’d be a perfect time to test the Zara store in Mumbai. Here’s my honest review (with cool spy shots).

I’d heard scary stories the day before I visited Zara’s Mumbai store—there was a queue to go in, it was packed, long lines at the cash counter… you get the drift. But surprise! No lines to get in, enough elbow space, though Zara was a bit crowded for an Indian store.

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Zara is a sprawling two-floor store, with men, kids and women’s casuals on the first floor, and the ground floor dedicated to women’s wear. The men’s section was unexpectedly crowded, which is good news, because it indicates that Indian men are acquiring good fashion taste. I spotted some basic guys’ tees for Rs 895.

Coming to the casuals range (the TRF line), there were basic half-sleeve tees for Rs 445, jeans-like-leggings (Rs 1590; not called jeggings here), graphic tees, leggings, and a couple of really cool jackets. One was a pink cotton ruffle jacket (Rs 1790), and the other a smart short-sleeved blue leather jacket. A lot of the garments reminded me of the Istanbul store, indicating that they from the latest collection.

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I brought out my camera, but I’d only taken two pictures before an Oriental-looking guy called Mike said, “Sorry, photo not allowed.” I mumbled a sorry and put it back inside. Moments later, I saw an Oriental-looking girl, and guessed that Zara has sourced staff from other stores in Asia.

On the lower floor, I spotted formal blazers (useful for formal meetings), cocktail dresses, tunics, blouses, jeans and trousers.  

The striking trends in the Zara collection were floral prints in easy, flowing silhouettes, whites, graphic prints, and a bit of lace and cutwork. And then there was the key trend this season—denim. Besides the jeans, there were skirts (Rs 990), shorts, a dress or two and even denim-look slouchy pants (Rs 2190)! The party dress selection was more classic than trendy, but very wearable.

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Among accessories, the stoles and bags didn’t deserve a second glance, but there were plenty of shoes to keep us girls happy, and several were available in my hard-to-get size (a tiny 36). Again, Zara had made an effort to stock the hottest shoes, such as strappy flats and gladiator-style stilettos. Unfortunately, the shoes are priced similar to or bit higher than Charles & Keith and Nine West. I even saw a pink pair for Rs 5000!

BTW, I noticed Zara had tried to give their collection a desi appeal with a FabIndia-like printed skirt on display and several tunics that were clearly India-inspired.

The Verdict:

Will I go to Zara again? Yes. Is it now my favourite store in Phoenix Mills? Nope, that’s still Landmark. Would I recommend the store to others? Yes.

BUT… Zara needs to get its pricing right, since I found prices undeserving, even surprising or just appalling! And if you’re an avid shopper abroad, then you don’t need this store.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping Zara’s mere presence in India spurs Mango to pull up its socks and give us better stuff.

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Curves are back, and how!

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I love curves. I heart Crystal Renn, my laptop’s rounded corners are a blessing in disguise, and I prefer dome-shaped structures to unseemly glass buildings any day.

So when I saw some very smooth and sexy curves on the streets over the weekend, I whistled. I lost focus and the model ran through my mind all day.

Stop thinking whatever you are, people! It was a four-wheeled beauty— a Volkswagen Beetle, bathed in red. It’s cute, yet smart. Powerful, but not intimidating. Strong, but curvy. If that isn’t sexy, what is?

As if reading my mind, Volkswagen today announced in a TOI ad: Curves are back.

The timing couldn’t be better. The car’s on my wish list now, and if anyone knows a way to make pots of money very quickly, please contact me offline.

PS—Volkswagen has not paid me for this blog post.

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Chic News: Good Times are here!

My late night TV viewing is usually limited to the 5764th rerun of Friends, unless an episode of I’m too Sexy for my Shoes is playing on NDTV Good Times. The designer challenges, the latest style and fashion recommendations and fashion explorations are too much fun to watch. And the charismatic and leggy Ambika Anand is the perfect host, teamed up with the stylish Mohan Neelakantan.

Turns out that the new season of the show kicks off February 12 and with it a series of on-ground events that complement the channel’s brand. The first event, themed “Sexy Shoes”, is a grand party to be held in Delhi. Other than the great food and dance and other standard fare, the party’s style quotient will get a fashionable boost with Salvatore Ferragamo, Just Cavalli, and Canali showcasing their Spring Summer 2010 look.

For all fans of the channel (including me), this new initiative seems to be a great way to enjoy our passion for food, fashion, gadgets and luxury. When, where and how of the events have not been revealed yet, but my ears are close to the ground already.

Now if only we could get an invite to the Sexy Shoes party!

UPDATE: Turns out I can get an invite after all, so can you! Participate in the Sexy Shoes contest and you could win an invite for the party!

Chic Invite: Bachelor Cheers!

My cousin KK is getting married soon, and to celebrate his last few days of singledom (read: freedom), he and his lovely fiancée are throwing a grand bash for close friends and family (singles and doubles both invited).

So KK did the expected thing—he invited us on Facebook. And then caught us off guard when he followed it up with a very cool invite – a cocktail glass, all dressed up for a party!

DSC00976The little silver scroll on the stem, held together with ribbon, doubles up as a brief invite.

So why is this chic? For starters, it comes as a surprise to those invited (the glass came in an inconspicuous maroon paper bag with a personalised tag), it’s fun and it’s completely in tune with the idea behind the party!

So here’s a toast to KK and his lovely bride-to-be P! Wish you both a happy, fulfilling and fun life together! :-)