LFW S/R 2012 Day 1: Shows to watch today

LFW S/R 2012 Day 1: Shows to watch today

Fashion lovers, Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2012 kicks off today! Here are the shows I’m excited about:

Gen Next show: Every season, LFW kicks off with the Gen Next show. It’s always interesting to watch India’s young fashion talent present their first collections. Looking forward to it! The Gen Next designers are Archana Rao, Shikha Grover & Vinita Adhikare, Manoj Kumar & Vinod Bhardwaj, Tanya Sharma, Megha Garg, Yogesh Chaudhary and Prashant Kumar.

Below: Shashank and Prajwal, Gen Next show at LFW W/F 2011

Shashank and Prajwal LFW W/F 2011

SoFake by Sapna Bhavnani and Sukriti Grover: Sapna and Sukriti’s first collection for SoFake emphasizes on classic cuts, strong structured shapes and the use of basic colours “black, grey and white” that can be paired with anything. Their inspiration? Kathakali and the British Raj!

Shivan – Narresh: Shivan and Narresh are best known for their resort wear. Since I’m already in the process of getting into shape this summer, I’m looking forward to their swim suits. 😉

Below: Shivan-Narresh at LFW S/R 2011

Shivan & Narresh 3

James Ferreira: He is known as a “master draper and cutter” and returns to the Mumbai fashion scene after a gap of five years. James will present “Save the Air” that is dedicated to Mumbai, and hopes to bring around awareness for the quality of air we breathe.

Which show are you looking forward to today?

LFW S/R 2012 crystal ball: What to talk about this fashion week

LFW S/R 2012 crystal ball: What to talk about this fashion week

Eighty-three designers will present their collection at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2012, ranging from the well-established Anita Dongre and Sabyasachi Mukherjee to the debutantes Megha Garg and Archana Rao.

LFW Participating Designers and Sponsors for Summer Resort 2012 - 2

But what will the people at fashion week really talk about? Some predictions as I peek into the fashion week crystal ball:

Bibhu Mohapatra’s show: This will be the New York-based designer’s first fashion week showing in India, and with his international fan following, I predict a packed house for his show on Saturday evening and plenty of fawning after that. But will Bibhu buzz be louder than (Rohit) Bal buzz? Can’t say!

Indian textiles: This season the third day of LFW S/R 2012 is dedicated to Indian textiles, with designers showcasing Indian weaves and fabrics. There will also be workshops on the resurgence and importance of Indian weaves and crafts, in which designers like Krishna Mehta, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Bibhu Mohapatra will participate.

Nina Manuel: Nina Manuel is back in India and has landed the LFW TV gig. The leggy super model will bring a regular dose of behind-the-scenes fashion, interviews and more on LFWTV.in.

Non-designers-turned-designers: From hair stylist Sapna Bhavnani to artist Payal Khandwala, fashion “outsiders” are taking a bold step into the fashion world at LFW S/R 2012. I’m really intrigued to know how their varied experiences translate into fashion. Good luck to them!

Mumbai’s missing: Word on the street is that Manish Malhotra has pulled out from LFW S/R 2012 because he didn’t have time from his Bollywood schedule to put together a collection. But the Mumbai designer I’ll miss most is Nachiket Barve (I always love his clothes!).

Below: Rohit Bal, Narendra Kumar, Swapnil Shinde

Rohit Bal, Narendra Kumar & Swapnil Shinde at LFW SR 2012 Press Conference

“Haven’t I seen that somewhere?”: Every fashion week as new collections roll out on the ramp, there’s a sense of déjà vu. Designers repeat themselves, get inspired by movies, actors, and, of course, Rajasthan. Let’s get over that already. I want to see original fashion, please!

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2012 runs from March 2 to 6, 2012 in Mumbai.

WIFW A/W 2012: What happened on Day 3

WIFW A/W 2012: What happened on Day 3

Here’s what I learnt on Day 3 of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012.

The standard Indian inspirations were still on the ramp

Gujarat and Rajasthan have inspired designers across the world, and continue to do so. Abraham & Thakore harked back to their NID, Ahmedabad days with hand-woven and hand-printed textiles. (Below: Abraham & Thakore)


Abraham & Thakore at WIFW AW 2012

Meanwhile, at Pallavi Jaipur the designer combined Rajasthan’s colour, kitsch and patchwork with an urban flair. The key accessories were hair pieces.

Pallavi Jaipur at WIFW AW 2012

Pallavi Jaipur at WIFW AW 2012

Europe’s varied culture made for interesting fashion elements

Rajdeep Ranawat’s A Bohemian Legend was influenced by the gypsy way of life with rich fabrics and bohemian influences such as paint splatters, and contoured and colour blocked vines with Chantilly motifs. He used embellishments by Swarovski Elements, chains and leather tassels with pearls and filigree. (Below: Rajdeep Ranawat)

Rajdeep Ranawat at WIFW AW 2012

Rajdeep Ranawat at WIFW AW 2012

At Pankaj & Nidhi, the 200-year-old Polish folk art of Wycinanki (vih-chee-nan-kee) came to life with hand-cut felt fabrics appliquéd on to fabrics. Note the peacock and floral motifs.

Pankaj & Nidhi at WIFW AW 2012

Pankaj & Nidhi at WIFW AW 2012

I remembered by school days

Dev r Nil’s interpretation of Alice in Wonderland was a bit different from what I imagined when I read it in school, but the play with optics, butterflies, floating gold fishes and surreal flights was just as enchanting. (I now want to read the book again).

Dev r Nil at WIFW AW 2012

If there’s one thing I didn’t mind about “needlework” in school, it was the cross stitch. It was fun, easy, and I could use lots of colours! So I especially liked Pankaj & Nidhi’s cross stitch on leather, using wool yarn and silk tapes. And the cross stitch was done by punching holes in the leather to form a grid. Mesmerising stuff!

Pankaj & Nidhi at WIFW AW 2012

Surface textures excite me

Think splashes of blood red, orange and rust on black and grey texturised fabrics with surface ornamentation. Floral art work compliments sexy cut-outs in modern silhouettes—this happened at Bhanuni by Jyoti Sharma and I enjoyed almost every outfit I saw.

Bhanuni by Jyoti Sharma at WIFW AW 2012

Bhanuni by Jyoti Sharma at WIFW AW 2012

And Anand Bhushan created junkyard fashion by reinterpreting industrial steel, copper and other material through texture, form and colour. For instance, the dresses seemed like moulds or casts. The colours came from the effects of industrial methods like rusting, oxidation and tarnishing. Worth a look!

Anand Bhushan at WIFW AW 2012

We all enjoy old wine in a new bottle

Manish Malhotra’s been working with Kashmiri embroidery over the last few seasons (even in movies like Bodyguard), and this season was no different. The intricate thread and zari work from Kashmir featured on borders of churidars, pants and saris, along with matching belts and sleeves. Some of the stuff did look familiar, but his fans would love it.

Manish Malhotra at WIFW AW 2012

Manish Malhotra at WIFW AW 2012

Chic Read: 7 things I learnt at India Kids Fashion Week

Chic Read: 7 things I learnt at India Kids Fashion Week

“A fashion week for kids—really?” That’s how I reacted when I first heard about the event. Was that really supposed to be a serious fashion industry event? I mean, really!? Would anyone take it seriously? Why a fashion week for kids? Wasn’t that kind of too eager, a “bit too much”?

There was only one way to find out, by checking it out myself. So last week I decided to attend a few shows at India Kids Fashion Week in suburban Mumbai.

Shruti Seth at India Kids Fashion Week

One: Indian designers are warming up to kidswear

The designer line-up at India Kids Fashion Week was somewhat impressive. There were some big names on the schedule- Rocky S, Nishka Lulla, Payal Singhal and Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao, among others. So this was an event that at least some designers were taking seriously, which was a good sign. But there were also names I hadn’t heard of, but that’s not always a bad thing. There were also some non-fashion brands like Hotwheels who participated.

To be fair to the organisers (Craftworld Events), kidswear is quite a big deal internationally. Most large fashion houses, from high street to high fashion, have a separate line for kids- Gap, Zara, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Ralph Lauren… you get the drift. So why should the Indian designers be left behind?

Two: Fashion choices for kids have grown recently

Besides the brands you see in the mall (such as Gini & Jony and Lilliput) and some others, there wasn’t too much happening in the Indian kidswear space. There were a few new entrants in the past three to four years, like Tommy Hilfiger and Zara (both with kidswear).

But even so, most clothes for children, such as jeans, tees, frocks, were mostly found in department stores (like Westside or Central). There was also Kidology which launched in 2010, that retails high quality fashion ready-to-wear kids’ and maternity clothing.

Kidology at India Kids Fashion Week

I met Neha Sachar Mittal of Kidology, who spoke about the boom in the kidswear market in India (over 20% in the past decade) and the need for clothes specifically meant for Indian kids (like for weddings and other occasions).

Three: What India Kids fashion week is really about

Simply put, India Kids Fashion Week is an event to sell clothes, accessories and even toys for kids. It’s not really an event for kids per se, though kids do participate as models and designers (designer Prachi Badve is 13 years old).

India Kids Fashion Week-Kidology

The event is for the industry—so that designers get a potential new market, and customers (parents/ kids), buyers (such as department and multi-brand stores) get good clothes for kids to get new customers and higher sales. So it’s like any other fashion week, but with a very specific focus.

Four: It was a fun event for and by the kids

I saw dozens of kids walking the ramp at India Kids Fashion Week. In the shows that I attended, I was glad that none of them were sexualised or objectified in any way. Their clothes were mostly stylish, and they had applied some makeup.

India Kids Fashion Week-OMG show

The PR girl Akshatha explained that the makeup was safe and edible because kids like to put everything in their mouth. Each kid did only one show, and there was a doctor on call as well. During the model auditions, the focus was on the kids’ confidence more than anything else. Whether this translates into kids aspiring to be models is a question mark, but I do know that the kids who walked the ramp got professional training and gained confidence like in no other way.

And what could be more kid-friendly than the presence of our favourite ogre Shrek? (He walked the ramp for Zoop by Titan and both grown-ups and kids went crazy!).India Kids Fashion Week- Shrek

Five: There are some awesome fashion options for kids

Some of the designers came up with fabulous clothes for kids. Rocky S created a black-and-white-themed collection for them, and the Kidology show with clothes by X, Y and Z was a real treat to watch. Seeing the cute hats, accessories and vibrant prints for girls, I wished I was a kid again. 😉

India Kids Fashion Week India Kids Fashion Week

Six: Kids get to choose!

Also, let’s not forget that Indian kids, especially in the metros and larger towns influence purchase decisions to a large extent. There were several kids watching the shows at fashion week, and they may form opinions on what they like and what they don’t, so they could end up playing a slightly greater role in what they wear.

Seven: It may be too early to talk about the business impact

For a first-time event of such scale, India Kids Fashion Week generated decent amount of interest in the local and national media. This was partly to do with the handful of well-known names on the ramp, such as Sushmita Sen.

Success will largely depend on the buyer-designer interactions and sales (Shoppers Stop was one of the buyers at the event), uptake of sponsors in the next season and public and media interest. It’s too early to say what will happen the next season, but one key takeaway from the event is that small can be big. Perhaps bigger than expected.

Fashion wishlist for 2012

Fashion wishlist for 2012

Happy New Year, readers! To kick off the year, here’s my wishlist for fashion in 2012.

Less brocade, no fur

Indian fashion has been taken over by brocade over the past couple years and it’s the mots ubiquitous fabric at weddings, sangeets, and the like. Meanwhile, despite PETA’s efforts and greater environmental consciousness, fur was everywhere on the international ramp and red carpet. We’d like to see less of both, please.

Below: Looks from Shyamal &Bhumika and Neeta Lulla, both at LFW W/F 2011

Shyamal & Bhumika brocade- LFW W/F 2011 brocade-Neeta Lulla at LFW W/F 2011

Young Indian women dressing as individuals, not clones

Enter a mall, beauty salon or a multiplex in any city in India, and you will spot Indian girls dressed in a uniform: skinny jeans, tshirt, open flat shoes and long straight hair. With new brands, international magazines and the amazing Internet, I’d been hoping for fashion to be more individualistic. But that didn’t happen last year, so maybe we’ll see a transformation this year. Do we really want a society of clones—people who look and think alike?

More quality fashion weeks, please!

In the battle of the fashion weeks in India (too numerous to name here), what we see are lists and lists of designers. But what we see on the ramp is often repetitive, mediocre or even amateurish. I’d like fashion boards to separate the wheat from the chaff and give us something that amazes, shocks and excites us. And if all they get is what we see on the ramp, then sadly the industry needs to rethink how it recognises and nurtures talent.

And my personal wishlist…

De-clutter and go minimal

I have too many clothes and not enough space, which makes it all the more difficult to buy new pieces every season. De-cluttering is not an option for me anymore, it’s a necessity!

Help others make the right fashion choice

I helped a couple friends select the right outfits, accessories and even complete looks. Now I’d love to help some more. 🙂

And umm… blog more often 🙂

‘Nuff said!

What are your fashion wishes for 2012?

WLIFW S/S 2012: Day 4 highlights

WLIFW S/S 2012: Day 4 highlights

The highlights of Day 4 at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012:

White and blue make for a fabulous summer combo

While white was all over the WLIFW S/S 2012 runway on Day 4, the non-colour found an unlikely colour complement in blue. Mynah’s Reynu Taandon used white and blue prints in her resort wear collection, while Rahul Singh used splashes of blue (literally!) on garments for a dreamy abstract look  to his collection.

Below: Mynah’s Reynu Taandon, Rahul Singh

Myna'h Reynu Taandon at WLIFW S/S 2012 Rahul Singh at WLIFW S/S 2012

Material Mix

Mixing materials has not been as rampant as it has been in the past few months on Indian ramps. After Swapnil Shinde used acrylic and PVC at LFW W/F 2011, Alpana-Neeraj used transparent plastic with flowy chiffon and drapes to create an unlikely world dominated by body-hugging non-fabric shapes. Meanwhile, at James Ferreira I loved his use of khadi with fabrics like crepes and silk for a modern Indian look. And BTW, Anand Bhushan used feathers on his dresses!

Below: Alpana-Neeraj, James Ferreira, Anand Bhushan

Alpana-Neeraj at WLIFW S/S 2012 James Ferreira at WLIFW S/S 2012 Anand Bhushan at WLIFW S/S 2012

East meets West… again!

In something as universal as fashion, east and west are mere labels. And like most trends, fusion is fun! So when Dev r Nil combines batik with pop art (think Indian-style rosettes as funky prints) and Anita Dongre uses Indian embroidery on western silhouettes, there’s reason to cheer. And how can we forget James Ferreira’s contribution to nationalism—khadi worn in contemporary styles?

Below: Dev r Nil, Anita Dongre, James Ferreira

Dev  r Nil at WLIFW S/S 2012 Anita Dongre at WLIFW S/S 2012 James Ferreira at WLIFW S/S 2012

Fabric detailing

Pin tucks and applique have been around for a while, but their use has now evolved into being the centrepiece of a garment, creating shapes or effects  that showcase the designers’ skill. Since we now see entire collections based on detailing like pleats, ruffles, gathers, twists and rolls, we know designers have better command over fabrics than ever before. Atsu Sekhose highlighted the neck and waist, Rahul Mishra created soft rainbow bands all over with pin tucks, and at Saaj by Ankita made rope by twisting fabric.

Below: Atsu by Atsu Sekhose, Rahul Mishra, Saaj by Ankita

Atsu at WLIFW S/S 2012 Rahul Mishra at WLIFW S/S 2012 saaj by ankita at WLIFW S/S 2012

Trend of the day: Sheer

Below: Atsu by Atsu Sekhose, Niket & Jainee, Anita Dongre

Atsu at WLIFW S/S 2012 Niket & Jainee at WLIFW S/S 2012 Anita Donegre at WLIFW S/S 2012

Prints of the day

Sunglasses on pants at Dev r Nil, animal print at Mynah’s Reynu Taandon.

Dev r Nil at WLIFW S/S 2012 Mynah's Reynu Taandon at WLIFW S/S 2012

WTFashion Moment of the Day

Dress that outlines your twin assets, an oddly-placed oversized rose with a trail, tulle wrapped around a dress, mismatching colours… sigh!

Saaj by Ankita at WLIFW S/S 2012

Look of the day

Feminine, formal and flattering shape at Atsu.

Atsu at WLIFW S/S 2012

Makeup of the day

Thick blue eyeliner at Mynah’s Reynu Taandon. Super like!

Reynu Taandon at WLIFW S/S 2012

Accessory of the day

Gandhi cap at James Ferreira—a political statement, perhaps?

James Ferreira at WLIFW S/S 2012

Celeb appearance of the day

Gauhar Khan for Rahul Mishra.

Gauhar Khan for Rahul Mishra at WLIFW S/S 2012

WLIFW SS 2012: Day 2 highlights

WLIFW SS 2012: Day 2 highlights

What we saw on the ramp on Day 2 of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012:

Colours were neutral, muted and then mixed

From ivory to white to beige,  we noted a hint of neutrals, mixed cleverly with vibrant colours for a quintessential summery look.

Below: Manoj Dubey, Urvashi Kaur, Manish Gupta

manoj 4 Urvashi 5

MG 5

Fabrics, textures and surfaces ruled

Indian designers showcased their skill and adeptness with fabrics through a variety of techniques. There was patchwork at Kavita Bhartia,  Japanese structures at Sanchita, and wide variety of materials at Morphe by Amit Aggarwal. Shipra Gupta opted for layering and tiers to add quirkiness to her garments. We also enjoyed the innovative cutwork at Bhanuni by Jyoti Sharma.

Below: Shipra Gupta, Sanchita, Morphe by Amit Aggarwal, Bhanuni by Jyoti Sharma

1 1 - Copy

IMG_6447 Jyoti 6

Embellishments got a new meaning

Embellishments ranged from thread embroidery to metallic, even as WLIFW designers experimented with other materials to bring a special touch to their collections. At Bhanuni by Jyoti Sharma, embroidery motifs were used in a 3-dimensional manner using threadwork and beads. Manoj Gupta used bead work, buttons, laces, tapes, silk threads  to make diagonal stripes, swirls and circles, while Namrata Joshipura brought her garments to life with metallic embellishments on textured surfaces.

Below: Bhanuni by Jyoti Sharma, Manoj Gupta, Namrata Joshipura

Jyoti 4 MG 1 

Sheer is here

Sheer has been a rising trend on the international fashion scene for a while now, and it’s now on Indian ramps as well. The bold sheer-ness at Label by Ritu Kumar, see-throughs at Samant Chuahan, and mix of transparent and opaque fabrics at Taurus by Dhruv & Pallavi are wonderful excuses to wear see-through six months down the line.

Below: Label by Ritu Kumar, Samant Chauhan

Ritu Kumar 6 SC 2

Look of the day:

The sophisticated woman at am: pm (Ankur and Priyanka Modi) draped in rich fabric for a glam evening out on town—and chooses not to wear a dress or gown.


Accessories of the day:

Neckpieces at Samant Chauhan; forehead jewellery at Kavita Bhartia.

SC 4

Kavita 2

Makeup and hair of the day:

Bright pink lipstick at Manoj Dubey; side updos at Manish Gupta.

Below: Manoj Dubey, Manish Gupta

manoj 4

MG 2

WTFashion moment of the day:

That moment when model walked down the ramp by Sanchita wearing supersized headgear and minimal clothing. Wonder what the model was thinking. Any guesses?


What did you like from Day 2 at WLIFW S/S 2012?

WLIFW SS 2012: Day 1 highlights

WLIFW SS 2012: Day 1 highlights

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012 kicked off on October 8, 2011 in New Delhi. Here’s what happened on Day 1 (Saturday):

There were colours… lots of them!

True to the upcoming season, India’s designers showed us colours to brighten the summer of 2012. There were plenty of colours all around, ranging from bright to soft—we spotted orange, hot pink, blue and red.

Below: Gauri & Nainika; Nachiket Barve; Rajesh Pratap Singh

Gauri & Nainika at WLIFW SS 2012 Nachiket Barve at WLIFW SS 2012

Rajesh Pratap Singh at WLIFW SS 2012

Meanwhile, there was white (and pastels) too!

Who says white is not a colour? Rahul Reddy and Rimzim Dadu proved otherwise, even as some designers played with soft pastels.

Below: Rahul Reddy, My Village by Rimzim Dadu, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Nandita Basu

Rahul Reddy at WLIFW SS 2012 Rimzim Dadu at WLIFW SS 2012

Rajesh Pratap Singh at WLIFW SS 2012 Nandita Basu at WLIFW SS 2012

Meanwhile, Indian styles dominated

Rajesh Pratap Singh showcase ikat tunics, dresses and kurtas. Meanwhile, Aneeth Arora brought out the famous Madras checks and floral prints on dresses, coats and trousers. Nandita Basu combined kantha work with details like pleats and cowls.

Below: Rajesh Pratap Singh, Pero by Aneeth Arora, Nandita Basu

Rajesh Pratap Singh at WLIFW SS 2012 Pero by Aneeth Arora at WLIFW SS 2012 Nandita Basu at WLIFW SS 2012

Silhouettes were more structured than fluid

While most of us tend to associate summer with loose silhouettes, flowy garments and easy-going outfits, the designers surprised us with silhouettes that were had cleaner lines, robust shapes and a complexity-in-detail approach. But are they summer-ready? Yep!

Below: Rahul Reddy, My Village by Rimzim Dadu, Nandita Basu

Rahul Reddy at WLIFW SS 2012 Rimzim Dadu at WLIFW SS 2012

Nandita Basu at WLIFW SS 2012

Embellishments were subtle

Malini Ramani used her favourite little mirrors to embellish, while Nachiket Barve used his favourite floral appliqué along with silvery leaves.

Below: Malini Ramani, Nachiket Barve

Malini Ramani at WLIFW SS 2012 Nachiket Barve at WLIFW SS 2012

Look of the day

The cheeky girls wearing uniform-like garments and headgear at Gauri & Nainika.

Gauri & Nainika at WLIFW SS 2012

Accessory of the day

The applique envelope clutch at Nachiket Barve… fabulous! (Close contender: Fluorescent belts and chappals at Rahul Reddy.)

Below: Nachiket Barve, Rahul Reddy

Nachiket Barve at WLIFW SS 2012 Rahul Reddy at WLIFW SS 2012

Celeb appearance  of the day

The customary Bollywood appearance on Day 1 at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week SS 2012 was by the cast of upcoming movie My Friend Pinto, Prateik and Kalki Koechlin for Rina Dhaka. Do they look good? Sure. As for the clothes—best left unsaid. 😉

Rina Dhaka 1

What are your favourites from Day 1 of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week SS 2012?

Chic Pics: 250 topless models audition for upcoming fashion week in Delhi

It will soon be time for the third edition of Van Heusen India Men’s Week and preparations are on in full swing. So 250 young men turned up for the model auditions of India’s only fashion week exclusively for men. A glimpse of the auditions:

Van Heusen India Men’s Week models

The bare-chested guys would have been enough to make many of our readers swoon!

Anyways, a jury (that didn’t ogle) judged the men on attributes like confidence, attitude and physique. The jurors Ashish Soni, Aparna Bahl, Gautam Kalra, Jamal Shaikh, Namrata Joshipura, Naveen Ansal and Rohit Bal selected 20 new faces for Van Heusen India Men’s Week 2011.

The very hot and lucky models who made it are:  Akshit, Ankit Raj, Arya Bhat, Danish, Himanshu Sherawat, Honey, Krishna Chaturvedi, Kuldeep Samant, Pankaj Tanwar, Puneet Beniwal, Ravinder, Romey, Shekkar Singh, Siddhant Bhutani, Sulabh, Sumit Grewal, Sumit Sejwal, Taher Ali, Uday Sandhu and Yashwant.

Here they are with the judges and with some clothes on:

Van Heusen India Men’s Week models

Ladies, pick your favourite and tell us who you want to see on the ramp. 😉

Have a drooling weekend!

Van Heusen India Men’s Week 2011 will be held September 2-3, 2011 in New Delhi.