LFW W/F 2011 Day 5: Manish Malhotra dazzles in the grand finale

It was an elaborate set made of giant wooden frames and a clock-mechanism appearance– perfect for the final show of the five-day extravaganza Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011.

Manish Malhotra at LFW W/F 2011

Manish Malhotra’s collection was as dramatic as any Bollywood movie. Making the most of chikan work and silver and resham embroidery, the ace designer created a collection of breathtaking festive and wedding wear that introduced a few new elements while retaining the Manish Malhotra signature.

The silhouette for women was of graceful panels and flared lehengas and gowns. Manish paired swirling lehengas, well-constructed cholis and saris for women, with elegant jackets and corset blouses. Embellishments were everywhere– on the sleeves, down the front, on jackets and cholis, along with multiple borders.

Model for Manish Malhotra at LFW W/F 2011 Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011

Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011 Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011

Manish kept the colours tones festive with white and candy floss pink, in contrast to black, wine, gold, pale grey, metallics and cherry red. We noted that the designer had mixed, matched and clashed colours for a strong impact. For instance, a grey kurta with a longer bright pink lining, or orange and pink in the same outfit! The opulent clothes were stitched from rich fabrics like lace, chiffon, silk, net and velvet, while most dupattas were kept sheer.

Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011 Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011

For men we saw sherwanis and long coats with wide cuffs, pleats and gathers, even as some coats were lean and layered over kurtas. The colours were masculine (black, grey, wine), albeit with a hint of fuchsia for collars and cuffs.

Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011 Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011

And oh, in case you haven’t heard already, Kareena Kapoor was the showstopper (she is also the face of Lakme Absolute, on which Manish’s collection was based).

Kareeena models for Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011 Kareena Kapoor at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011

Some of the ideas from Manish Malhotra’s show we’d like to steal immediately:
1. Two dupattas for a single outfit… nice! (My mom earlier spotted this on Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham)

Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011
2. Thick/ multiple borders

Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011
3. Neutral/ pastel outfits with a pop of colour in the detailing, jacket or dupatta

Model at Manish Malhotra- LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011 Day 5: Aneeth Arora layers again, Kallol Dutta loves geometry

On the closing day of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011, Aneeth Arora artfully used fabrics from across India for her trademark layered creations. Meanwhile, Kallol Dutta showcased geometry in his collection in more ways than one.

Pero by Aneeth Arora
Aneeth Arora’s collection at LFW W/F 2011 was an advanced lesson in mix-and-match. She mixed fabrics, silhouettes and colours as she layered a whole range of garments in her show.

Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011 Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011

The young designer highlighted the skills of Indian weavers, using fabrics from different regions of India. It wasn’t just her favourite khadi that we saw, but also kota, doria, chanderi, linen and wool, all expertly layered for cooler weather. She mixed textures and silhouettes from the onset—the opening model wore a crochet baniyan with a khadi skirt, chanderi shirt and jamdani scarf.

Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011

We enjoyed the choice of colours, that included peach, lilac, wine, ash, brick, rose and military green that were fused together as simple shirts, structured trousers, jackets, jumpsuits, and even shrugs and overcoats.

Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011 Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011

While layering is not new to Aneeth Arora or to the fashion world, we noted that this clever layering was something we could keep in mind for next summer as well.

Kallol Dutta 1955
The word “unconventional” best describes designer Kallol Dutta, and while his colour palette is usually monotonous, his outfits are striking and impactful.

In a seemingly simple collection, Kallol gave his own twist to simple garments like jackets, dresses and trousers. The prints were seemingly taken from a high school geometry book, and detailing like braids, tiny pleats, frayed edges and tassles made all the difference.

Model at Kallol Dutta LFW W/F 2011 Model at Kallol Dutta LFW W/F 2011

Kallol used wool, wool blends, silk, satins, nets, voiles, kora silks, gauze and calico in black and white (with hints of blue and pink) for garments like palazzo pants, multiple hoodie, disjointed waistcoat and askew dress.

Model at Kallol Dutta LFW W/F 2011 Model at Kallol Dutta LFW W/F 2011

Yes, unconventional is the right word for Kallol Dutta. We could also add quirky, crazy and out-of-the-box to the list.

LFW W/F 2011 Day 2: Narendra Kumar jazzes up menswear with a swingin’ show

There was live music, dancing and some very polished gentlemen. No, it wasn’t a dance club from the mid 20th century, but Narendra Kumar’s show at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011. The collection, presented to a live rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Fly me to the moon, comprised formal evening wear for men.

It was one of the few shows we girls could swoon, whistle and cheer (it was a virtually all-male show). Each model did a little jig or dance step on head ramp, spreading the joy of music and rhythm.

Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

The collection’s focus was bespoke suits (especially classy tuxedos). The colours were beyond black—deep sapphire, wine, green, pale pink, midnight blue, along with neutrals. The men looked dapper in single and double breasted jackets, with broad, narrow, peak and notched lapels. The tuxedo lapels were inspired by Japanese kimonos, while we also saw draped and cut away collar jackets and the iconic “smoking”. The trousers were sexily slim with turn-ups.

Namit Khanna at Narendra Kumar LFW W/F 2011 Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011 Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

The fabrics were just as luxurious with Dupion silks, velvet, smooth Ari silk, patterned and textured handloom silks and brocades. The beautiful jackets had hand and machine embroidery, quilting, appliqués and motifs from the Art Deco and Nouveau periods.

Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011 Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

We were almost disappointed when the fun show came to an end, though Kabir Bedi in a white brocade tux and some more singing provided some cheer. 🙂

Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

Day 1 at LFW W/F 2011: Rina Dhaka, JJ Valaya dazzle with their Indian wear

Two veteran Delhi designers (Rina Dhaka and JJ Valaya) showcased their collection in Mumbai on the first day of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 and lived up to their reputation.

Rina Dhaka

Rina Dhaka’s collection of easy-to-wear court couture was completely feminine in colour, silhouette and fabrics. The colour palette included delicate hues like lilac, plum, soft pink and champagne. The fabrics were sheer, and as Rina Dhaka later explained, “from the 1990s”, such as tissue, chiffon and organza. We loved the use of lace and lamé (both contemporary fabrics).

Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011  Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011

The metallic embellishments, however, were modern, with gota, plisse and sequins, along with pewter beads. While most garments were simple straight-cut kurta sets, Rina Dhaka also sent long sheer skirts, lace and cut-out tops and even a pre-stitched sari.

Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011  Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011

JJ Valaya

Meanwhile JJ Valaya, who loves photography almost as much as fashion, showed his collection in a viewfinder-and-lens themed set as giant screens played a series of photographs in black and white, sepia, colour and digital formats. Each theme formed the colour palette and mood of that segment. The garments included saris, lehengas, churidar-kurta sets for women and bandhgalas for men.

Hence there were waistcoats with white motifs, paneled sheer kurta and black churidars, brown and off-white printed saris with crystals, lehengas and cholis with net dupattas and paisleys for men’s Raja coats.

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

Taking a step forward into colour, Valaya used red and blues in long coats, jackets with saris, bandhgalas and lehengas. Embellished yokes, printed saris and floor-length kurtas decorated with rich crystals, stones and sequins rounded off the Tasveer collection. Embellishments also included precious stones, gold detailing and velvet embroidery. BTW, we especially loved the waist pouches and hair jewellery.

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

The mainstay of the collection was JJ Valaya’s Alika jacket in raw silk, shot silk, brocade and lame, pairing it with a variety of garments—saris, lehengas and tunics. Can’t wait to get my hands on one!

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

Chic transformation: Story of a brocade sari

Few months ago, I wrote about Priyanka Chopra wearing a sari-inspired Louis Vuitton outfit on the Vogue India cover. In the post, I shared my sari-transformation wishlist. I’m happy I can now say I transformed a gorgeous sari into a wearable and equally gorgeous jacket. Here’s the story of the incredible brocade transformation:

In my mom’s cupboard lay an unworn green-and-purple brocade sari. Despite being at least couple decades old, the fabrics had lost none of its sheen and lustre.

Green brocade sari

The wedding season was coming up, and the invitations were flowing in. Ergo I needed a few new outfits, and this time I wanted to wear something special yet different. That’s when the idea of transforming the old sari struck me. With Mom’s nod, I was ready to give the brocade a new avatar. Mom and I teamed up to make this happen (neither of us have any design-related education or training).

Step 1: What do we do with the brocade sari?

During a visit to designer Ritu Kumar’s store at Phoenix Mills, we saw a couple of long jackets that were absolutely lovely and were perfect to wear during a sangeet, but they were heavy on my pocket. The jacket I tried on was fab, and inspired us to make a knee-length jacket from the fabric.

Step 2: Embellishment

We wanted an elegant look, hence we decided not to add any sequins or crystals to the jacket. But we wanted to give it a contemporary touch and a sophisticated finish, so we went hunting for sari borders (and trouser fabric). The border we selected was sheer and embellished, and its colours complimented the brocade wonderfully. We chose a spun silk purple fabric for my trousers.

brocade sari border

Step 3: Tailoring

My expert tailor sketched for me his vision of the jacket, explaining the silhouette, fit and how he would use the border. I left the rest in his expert hands. 🙂

Step 4: Ta-da!

Transformed!

Final outfit: Long brocade jacket with embellished border and contrasting straight-fit ankle-length trousers.

brocade jacket brocade jacket with border and trousers

I wore this outfit at a sangeet I attended recently, and I felt like a true fashionista. 😉

Have you done something fun with an old sari?

Chic Trend: Perfect jackets for confusing weather

Is it winter or summer? Technically, it’s almost spring in several parts of the world, but for us in India, it’s neither winter nor summer. So most of us don’t know what to wear, because the mercury rises and falls as predictably as Rakhi Sawant’s moods.

The easiest way to deal with this winter-to-summer weather is to play with outwear—a jacket, shrug or cover-up that can keep you warm, or can be taken off without making you feel bare or incomplete.

Printed

Prints are big this summer so update your transition wardrobe with a printed cover-up that will be tres chic right up to autumn!

Zara printed kimono

Printed silk kimono from Zara.

Cropped

Cozy? Check. Short-sleeved? Check. Light-coloured? Check. It’s just right!

Tommy Hilfiger double breasted cropped jkt

Double breasted cropped jacket from Tommy Hilfiger.

Denim

Blue denim—classic.

Vero Moda DENIM jacket

Tara denim short jacket from Vero Moda.

What are you wearing for the winter-to-summer transition?

Bollywood Fashion: Katrina goes floral, Shilpa gets it right

The who’s who of Bollywood attended Sussanne Roshan’s The Charcoal Project launch on February 27.

While the guests checked out the imaginatively-designed, 14000-square-feet interior design store and its décor products, we checked out the fashion quotients of the Bollywood actors in attendance.

Hrithik Roshan, Jaya Bachchan, Pinky Roshan, Sussanne Roshan

Hrithik Roshan sports a smart jacket, Jaya Bachchan opts for a bright sari for a change, Pinky Roshan is too frilly and ruffly for us, while Susanne Roshan opts for the safety of black. What we like: Susanne’s eye makeup—smart way to add colour!

hrithik_roshan__karan_johar

Karan Johar in his geeky glasses again! Wonder why wasn’t he wearing those in Koffee with Karan? And now that Mr Johar’s fitter than before, why not wear a sharper suit?

katrina_kaif___hrithik_roshan

Katrina Kaif doesn’t bare much, keeps her hair natural, looks well… pretty!

raj_kundra_shilpa_shetty

Shilpa Shetty very, very rarely goes wrong in a body con dress. Liked her shoes—the tie-ups are the feet’s equivalent of bandage dresses!

shahid_kapur__hrithik_roshan

Didn’t Shahid Kapoor just turn 30? Or was that 13? Dude, growing up means wearing clothes your age and going formal at an event where your industry peers and “seniors” are present.

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!

Winter Fashion: Chic summer wear for cold weather

While Mumbai girls are fortunate in fashion matters (we have the same weather all year round), this year was a bit different. It actually got cold and dry and it’s been like this since December. I ran out of “winter” clothes to wear and was reluctant to buy new ones, fearing the weather become warmer the next day.

So what did I do? Converted my summer clothes into fun winter wear. Check out this long Mango printed top. It’s at least three seasons old, but I love it.

Mango printed grey top

How I wore this summery top in winter:

  • I usually wear this with capris or calf-length leggings. For winter, I needed to go longer, and get trendier. So instead of the plain dark leggings, I invested in a pair of full-length printed tights from Vero Moda. The winter florals are bang on trend.
  • Other options: Black treggings, brightly coloured tights (pink or blue)
  • I covered the sleeveless top with a white denim shrug from Mango.
  • Other options you can try: plain buttoned sweater or funky jacket (in grey or pink).

The final look: Chic, electric and trendy!

Mango grey top, Mango white shrug, Vero Moda tights

What have you done with your summer clothes?

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.