Chic Insider: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara looks decoded!

Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin—the cast of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) have been rocking the promos and we’re enjoying what we see (fashion-wise)—from Farhan’s hats, Kalki’s sleek bangs, to Katrina’s free-spirited vibe.

Zindagi na milegi dobara poster

Curious about the five looks, we spoke to the styling team of ZNMD for a better perspective on the characters and how their traits translate into their screen persona. Arjun Bhasin, the costume designer for ZNMD explained the fashion looks while Osh Bhabani, Avan Contractor and Walter Dorairaj (the b:blunt stylists), told us the story behind the hair styles.

Here’s what the experts tell us (Fashion by Arjun Bhassin, Hair by b:blunt team):

Abhay Deol as Kabir
Fashion: Kabir is a funky rich kid with a sense of humour, so his personality and clothes are colourful!
Hair:  Being a rich guy, Kabir’s look is strong and edgy. So we’ve given him a lot of texture that’s fashionable, classy and tasteful.

Hrithik Roshan as Arjun
Fashion: Hrithik (as Arjun) is a chic London investment banker who’s bit of a control freak so his clothes are tailored,controlled, crisp and perfect.
Hair: Arjun’s character starts off almost straitjacketed. He’s a perfectionist which reflects in his style, though he becomes more relaxed after he meets Laila (Katrina). His hair style goes from smooth and and sophisticated to casual.

Farhan Akhtar as Imraan
Fashion: Imraan’s a bohemian, eclectic, romantic poet. So he’s bit of a hippy  and that reflects in his wardrobe—so he wears a kurta from a local market with designer sunglasses.
Hair: Imraan is effortless, fresh and lively, so the hair style is boho-inspired and has got a boyish feel. We’ve played with Farhan’s natural movement and texture, going from wavy to curly.

(Below: b:blunt stylist Avan Contractor working on Farhan Akhtar’s hair on the sets of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara).

Farhan Akhtar hair style in Zindagi na milegi dobara

Kalki Koechlin as Natasha
Fashion: Kalki is a super spoilt rich girl from Mumbai, hot on the trail of designers with kickass bags and shoes.
Hair: Natasha is very chic and classy. Totally inspired by designer outfits, her look just screams expensive!

(Below: b:blunt stylist Walter Dorairaj styling Kalki Koechlin’s hair while shooting for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara).

Kalki Koechlin hair stylie in Zindagi na milegi dobara

Katrina Kaif as Laila
Fashion: Katrina Kaif as Laila is a bohemian traveller and an island girl. She buys beautiful clothes everywhere and mixes them up. She’s not a designer girl—she more casual and sexy, and has a got a “Kate Moss” vibe.
Hair: Laila is a free spirit  and “live in the moment”  kind of girl. Since she has born and brought up abroad, she is very modern and boho, which translates into her hair style through beautiful movement, textured feel and the longish length.

Which look do you like the most?

Coming soon: In-depth look at the fashion in Zindagi na milegi dobara with costume designer Arjun Bhasin.

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?

LFW: 5 things we liked on Day 2

On Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011’s second day (March 12), the ramp was on fire (well, almost). The clothes sizzled, and so did the models. Our roundup of Day 2:

Designers went bold and sexy

If it’s summer, there’s got to be swimwear. And if it’s swimwear, the ramp’s gonna heat up. At Shivan-Narresh, models strode out confidently in sexy swimsuits. And Anand Kabra played peek-a-boo with sheer coverups over bikinis at the Sleek: The New Mystique show.

Also at Anand Kabra was the sensuous look with red, black and wine silk draped tunics. And on the boldness front, spunky designer Masaba Gupta led the way with giant-sized dots and rolled-up fabric as headgear.

Below left to right: Shivan-Narresh, Anand Kabra, Masaba Gupta

Shivan Narresh at LFW S/R 2011 Masaba Gupta at LFW S/R 2011 Lakme Studio Sleek Mystique Sensuous Look Anand Kabra

Mesmerising atmosphere, stunning collection

At Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011, Little Shilpa presented a fashion film along with her collection Fleurs du Mal (both her creations). With dim lighting, smudged eyes, hints of tears and seven intricate headpieces and neckpieces, Shilpa’s show was spellbinding to say the least.

Little Shilpa at LFW S/R 2011

Meanwhile Manish Malhotra created a magical, royal and rustic atmosphere with coloured lamps and royalty-inspired decor. Take a look at the set:

Manish Malhotra at LFW S/R 2011

Something nice for the guys

The Energie show was all-male, with some great clothes for the guys: trendy, preppy sportswear, casual chic and relaxed day wear. At Manish Malhotra later that evening, the ace Bollywood designer presented some amazing chikankari and Kashmiri embroidery sherwanis for men. As an added bonus, this also meant that two back-to-back shows had super-hot male models walking the ramp, including Kunal Kapoor. WOOt!

Below: Energie and Manish Malhotra

Energie show at LFW S/R 2011

Manish Malhotra at LFW S/R 2011

Fun with hair!

Anand Kabra’s show was about clothes and hair, of course. Anand Kabra’s Magnetic was accompanied by a unique hair style:  an asymmetrical side sweep frontal fringe, with a half inverted French braid. Earlier in the day, we spotted wonderful and wearable hair accessories at Pam & Arch London worn on the side. The accessories were shaped like flowers, birds and fans.

(Below: Anand Kabra’s Magnetic look from the front and the back, Pam & Arch London.)

Lakme Studio Sleek Mystique Magnetic Look Anand Kabra at LFW S/R 2011 Anand Kabra Sleek Mystique Magnetic look at LFW S/R 2011

Hair accessories at Pam & Arch London LFW S/R 2011

Colours we want to see in a waffle cone

Yummmm… ice cream on the the ramp! Jatin Varma’s collection was titled Gelato which was enough to make our mouths water. His designs were marked by sorbet colours (melon pink, blue, white and dollops of yellow), light fabrics and delightful drapes on minis and gowns. Barely couple of hours later, Shivan-Narresh’s collection sought inspiration from Vanilla— so lots of white blocked cleverly with splashes of blue, orange and even black. I’m tempted to break my diet already.

(Below left to right: Jatin Varma, Shivan-Narresh)

Jatin Varma dress at LFW S/R 2011 Shivan-Narresh at LFW S/R 2011

Chic Guide: Be summer-ready, get silky-smooth hair and give the gift of water

TGIF—yup, it’s that day of the week again. If you’re confused about weekend plans, let Speaking Chic be your guide.

Chic Thing No 1: Gear up for summer!

Its’ getting warmer, so it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Purge your wardrobe of clothes that really really need to be discarded: the sweatshirt you wore almost every week in the past few months, or the sweater you’ve had for years. Then reward yourself with a trip to your favourite store or mall for a spot of window shopping. New collections are in stores (Esprit, French Connection, Vero Moda, Chemistry), so take a look at the trends before you decide on the clothes you really really want this summer.

Lakme Studio Sleek mystique - Creative LookChic Thing No 2: Get straight silky hair, go to Lakme fashion week!

Lakme Fashion Week starts March 11, and it’s going to be fashionable fun! Not got an invite to fashion week? Not a problem—just visit any Lakmé Salon or Studio in Mumbai, ask for the Sleek Mystique service. If you’re one of the first 500 customers, you could get into one of the LFW fashion shows!

There are four looks you can choose from. I liked the Creative Look (picture on the left)—great for layered hair like mine. (The service costs Rs 950.)


Chic Thing No 3: Buy a perfume, donate clean drinking water to childrenGiorgio Armani perfume Acqua Di Gio (Homme)

It’s simple actually—every time someone buys one of two Giorgio Armani fragrances (Acqua di Gio and Acqua di Gioia), they generate a donation of 100 litres of drinking water per year to children and their communities.

Once you buy the perfume, you can log on to Facebook’s Acqua for Life application, enter the code on the perfume carton, and build your own community with friends.

FYI, this campaign was showcased at Giorgio Armani’s Fall/Winter 2011 show at Milan Fashion Week recently. The Acqua for Life project is part of Armani’s partnership with  Green Cross International and the Unicef Tap Water Project. (Hey, this is a great piece of trivia the next time you want to silence a pretentious hobnobber).

Bollywood Fashion: Shahrukh Khan’s got contrasting looks in Don 2

Shahrukh Khan looked haggard, gaunt and almost repulsive on the cover of Bombay Times this Monday. His hair was long, dishevelled and tied up, he was unshaved, and he was in a prisoner’s uniform. In another photo (see below), he sports a tattoo on his right arm. Certainly not the Shahrukh we’re so used to.

Don2 Shahrukh Khan

We suspect that’s how Shahrukh will look in the early scenes of Don 2: The Chase Continues (releases December 2011).

After Don escapes from prison, and cops chase him around the world (including Berlin), the gangster will be back to his conniving ways and his preferred style. Calling it a stark contrast would be an understatement, right?

Don 2 Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan is formal, though he’s not wearing a suit. The stylist/ costume designer (we’re still trying to figure out who it is) has layered several textures in varying shades of grey. The garments have been tailored to make the already-fit Shahrukh aka Don look sleeker. And the trench coat is just to die for—can’t remember the last time Shahrukh Khan wore one on-screen. It’s the perfect touch to the 21st century, sophisticated gangster look.

Meanwhile, Don covers his evil eyes with sunglasses and sports a haircut that is full on the crown and slightly spiked (we suspect it’s Adhuna Bhabani-Akhtar/ her B:Blunt team behind the hair style). And oh, he’s clean-shaven. Yay to that!

In two words: We like!

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.

Bollywood Fashion: Kangana Ranaut does a desi curl in Tanu Weds Manu

Tanu of Tanu Weds Manu is a vodka-guzzling, invective-spewing, small-town girl who likes to have people dance to her tunes. And from the promos, she also seems to love dancing, gossiping and has a penchant for drama.

Even as Tanu (Kanagana Ranaut) has totally bewitched her suitor Manu (R Madhavan), we’re admiring her desi bold look.

Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu

Speaking Chic breaks down Kangana Ranaut’s Tanu look:


Kangana Ranaut is mostly dressed in kurta-salwars in Tanu Weds Manu, wearing the small-town uniform to the T. While most young girls across India seem to have adopted the jeans-tee staple, we’re sure Tanu’s wardrobe is partly dictated by her circumstances—ladkewale and all that. 😉

But Tanu is bold enough to sport low-backed kurtas and blouses (with net saris), perhaps indicating her boldness?

FYI, the movie’s costume designer is Namratha Jani, who also did the forgettable Dil Kabaddi.

Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu


If there’s one thing Tanu loves, it’s her earrings. Kangana is sporting lovely Indian earrings, from hoops to jhumkas to jadau. Lots of bangles too! (We find this a bit surprising since the current trends favour a few chunky kadas.)

Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu


Kangana Ranaut has often spoken about her extremely curly (and troublesome) hair in interviews, but this is one movie where she’s making the most of them. And her crazy hair contributes greatly to her bold personality. Besides playing with her curls, Kangana has also played with texture by crimping her hair.


Smokey eyes go subtle! Kangana’s smokey eyes have been skillfully done—the smudged eyeliner/ kaajal blends seamlessly with the dark eyeshadow. In some scenes, you see Kangana in eyeshadows of colours like pink and light blue. Lips are glossy with a hint of colour.

We loved Tanu, partly because we see a bit of her in us. Or maybe it’s the other way around. What do you think?

Bollywood Fashion: Madhuri Dixit vs Urmila on TV dance shows

What’s common between Madhuri Dixit and Urmila Matondkar? Both “former”/ “semi-retired” actors have now made the TV their home and judge dance reality shows. Madhuri Dixit judges celebrities dancing on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, while Urmila has just joined the panel on Chak Dhoom Dhoom (Team Challenge).

Here in ends the similarity. Madhuri Dixit has always epitomised grace, natural Indian beauty and charm. Urmila, on the other hand, has tried to play the spunky modern Indian girl since her Rangeela days. And the difference continues… in their fashion choices on the small screen.

While both actors are no longer young, Madhuri Dixit seems to have accepted that she’s now a mom. Playing the role of a good Indian mom, she’s been wearing Sabyasachi saris and kurta-churidars on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, comfortable enough to dance in them. Her makeup and hair are appropriate for her age, and she gives her look an Indian touch with flowers in her hair, a simple bun, bangles or other jewellery.

Madhuri Dixit in Jhalak Dikhla Ja

Urmila, on the other hand, is an eyesore. In Saturday’s episode, she wore a blingy outfit, with big hair, which made me quickly change the channel. Here’s Urmila in her first episode, in a colour that doesn’t suit her, her typical hair style (bangs blow-dried on the side), and makeup that’s completely unbecoming (it ages her). And her cleavage-revealing dress just makes me feel sad for her: is she that desperate to get attention? Wisen up, Ms Matondkar.

Urmila Matondkar in Chak Dhoom Dhoom

Our only complaint with Madhuri Dixit: she’s chosen to stick to safe Sabyasachi choices. Yawwnn! So please, please, Madhuri, either get Sabyasachi to design more exciting saris and suits. Take a hint from co-judge Malaika Arora Khan. She likes to have fun with her clothes.. (Her outfits on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa are by Vikram Phadnis).

malaika Arora Khan in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa

What do you think of Madhuri Dixit and Urmila Matondkar’s TV outfits?

Dial 022 for chic hair: b:blunt’s hairstyle collection for the fashion-forward

Talking to Adhuna Bhabani-Akhtar, Avan Contractor and Brent Baker of b:blunt is like hanging out with a bunch of friends who share an intense passion for hairdressing. And though Brent (a UK hairdresser) is the newest member of the 12-year-old b:blunt team, the lively bonhomie indicates otherwise. The trio recently kicked off  their collaboration with a collection of hairstyles for Spring/Summer 2011, called 022 (Mumbai’s phone code).

Adhuna Bhabani-Akhtar, Avan Contractor, Brent Barber of B:Blunt

Speaking Chic spoke to Adhuna, Avan and Brent over coffee and cake to talk about the story behind their new hairstyle collection.

Firstly, why 022 and Mumbai? Why not an international fashion capital like Paris or Milan?

Adhuna: Because Mumbai is where we all met for the first time! And because we all love the city.

Brent: I just love Mumbai—the city has a certain vibe to it that I enjoy.

How did you design the 022 styles?

Adhuna: While the three of us [Avan, Brent and I] ideated a lot about hair styles, we realised we had a common link: we all loved the iconic Halo hairstyle, which is very popular right now. So we modernised it for our collection, staying true to its curved shape, but playing with texture and colour.

Brent: We’ve used the Halo to give very “round” shapes to our styles. There’s lots of layering, and you can wear the styles in different ways.

How did the photo shoot go? Styling is a creative process, so were there any last-minute ideas that popped up?

Adhuna: That’s exactly how it happened!

Brent: Well, being a creative process, there’s always an element of surprise, but you deal with it, and you’re always prepared for disaster.

OMG, so were there any disasters?

Avan: Well, the disaster was that there too many wonderful options for us to choose from. But in the end, we choose the most trendy style, with some classic elements.

Brent: The disaster was that there wasn’t enough coffee!

Did anyone serve as your inspiration for these styles?

Brent: At the edge of East End in London, I’ve seen a lot of cool kids who dress incredibly creatively. And they have bangs right up to their eyes, it’s amazing how they carry it off. They were an inspiration for me.

What’s one definitive look from this collection?

Adhuna: This decade is not so much about a definite look. It’s must more about personal and individual style.

Avan: Yup, and today, everyone is more lifestyle-dependent, everyone wants the hairstyle to be quick, low-maintenance and easy to manage.

Who would be a B:Blunt guy or girl?

Avan: David Beckham, because he likes to try new looks.

Adhuna: Everyone, because we have something for everyone.

Brent: It would be someone who likes being different, but not necessarily loud. They can be different in an understated way.

Which is your favourite style from the collection?

Brent: (Picture below)

BBLUNT  210371

Adhuna: I don’t have a favourite.

Avan: (After thinking hard) Tough to have a favourite, they’re all different, yet similar.

Speaking Chic’s picks from the collection:

BBLUNT hairstyle 022 BBLUNT hairstyle 022

Which hairstyle would you like to try?

Chic and easy party looks: Sequinned & studded

There are party dresses, and then there are some more party dresses. But how do you transform a cocktail or evening dress into a complete party outfit? It’s all in the accessories! We show you how to get the right party looks with two classic sets of accessories: Sequins/ shimmer and studded.

Speaking Chic tip: Start with your dress as a “base” and play around with colours, accessories and jewellery till you find the right combo. You can choose one offbeat accessory if you like to experiment.

Sequins and shimmer

Party dress sequins & shimmer

Dress from James Ferreira and Savio Jon’s After Eight collection at Ensemble
Headband from Zara
Watch from ToyWatch (Gems collection)
Violent Thunder Clutch from French Connection
CELO shoes from Tresmode


Party dress studded
Dress from James Ferreira and Savio Jon’s After Eight collection at Ensemble
Hairband from Zara
Studded clutch from Aldo Acccessories
Shoes: CENT and CULT dressy peep toe with laceup, both from Tresmode


Which party look will you opt for tonight?