Bollywood Fashion: Sonam Kapoor does a double desi, which Indian look should you wear?

Bollywood Fashion: Sonam Kapoor does a double desi, which Indian look should you wear?

Sonam Kapoor- the fashionista. Sonam Kapoor- the willingly typecast actor? In both her new releases (Raanjhanaa and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag), the young actor is seen in similar desi girl styles, although from different eras. Even so, it would be tough to pinpoint an outfit from a specific movie.

Sonam Kapoor in Bhaag-Milkha-Bhaag

Sonam Kapoor is the typical small-town girl in the movies- demure and tongue-tied in the 1950s-based Bhaag Milkha Bhaag; and educated and confident in the present day Raanjhanaa.

Here’s my take on Sonam’s looks from both the movies.

Sonam Kapoor as Zoya in Raanjhanaa

Costume Design: Payal Saluja

Sonam Kapoor in Raanjhanaa

In this movie set in Varanasi and Delhi, Sonam Kapoor starts off as a pretty school girl (Zoya) who evolves into a shrewd college graduate with a political inclination.

Sonam’s clothes in Raanjhanaa feature deep Indian earthy colours that blend well into Varanasi’s crowded markets. She’s mostly wearing cotton kurtas with contemporary prints, that include paisleys and geometric Indian designs. These prints are quite commonly spotted in Indian stores, and are perfect for the girl-next-door that Sonam plays.

The kurtas have a border with a hint of embellishment or detailing (like gold thread work), and her outfit is completed with a contrasting dupatta. Sonam’s accessories are mostly jhumkas of various colours, shapes and sizes, carefully paired with her ensembles. As a look, Zoya’s style is easy to achieve and imitate if you’ve got the right mix of kurtas (available everywhere) and jhumkas (those too).

Sonam Kapoor in Raanjhanaa

BTW, I’ve noticed recently that most actors playing young women from small-town India are spotted in colourful kurtas and jhumkas (example: Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu). Are there no other accessories available to these girls?

Sonam Kapoor as Biro in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Costume Design: Dolly Ahluwalia

In Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Sonam Kapoor’s Biro is a typical 1950s girl. Living in not-so-dandy conditions near the railway tracks, she steps out to fill water from the community tap every morning. Her Punjabi attire is a super-short kurta, and, surprise surprise(!) a patiala salwar. And there’s a contrast dupatta again, with her red chunnari playing a somewhat significant role in Milkha Singh’s life and memories.

Sonam Kapoor in Bhaag-Milkha-Bhaag

I’m not sure if this is what young Punjabi women wore in the Fifties, but if they did I hope they know the short kurta-patiala combo wasn’t really flattering. The extra wide patiala salwars and voluminous gathers that Sonam wore aren’t exactly meant for well-built Punjabi women. But the mismatched print combinations and floral prints were just right– portraying Sonam as a lower middle class girl who has little time or inclination to do matchy-matchy to make it in time for the tap water. Her rustic appearance is kinda rustic with unstyled hair and plain kada and balis (so no makeup, and almost no accessories).

Sonam Kapoor in Bhaag-Milkha-Bhaag

It won’t be a good idea to try aping Sonam Kapoor’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag look, as you would most likely come across as a behenji in 21st century India. Milkha Singh’s legend may live on, but the fashions from his era most certainly don’t!

Chic Accessory: 1 Versatile Bag, 3 Hot Trends, 6 Easy Looks!

Chic Accessory: 1 Versatile Bag, 3 Hot Trends, 6 Easy Looks!

A versatile bag is what every woman needs. The bag should be great-looking, spacious and compliment the trends of the season. I found one such bag at the Lavie store over the weekend, and the easy style, the comfortable size and the pop of colour made me want it immediately. I was inspired enough to pair this bag with the hottest trends (neutrals, prints and aqua) and the right occasions to wear them, with must-have add-ons and accessories.

Take a look.

Trend 1: Classic neutrals (for office)
The bag will hold your tablet, makeup kit and wallet. The sober colour scheme makes it an excellent pairing for classic and casual work wear, from blouses and trousers, to skirts and dresses.

Look1-Work

(Blouse & trousers from Arrow, dress from Mango, blazer from Vinegar, Earrings from Tanishq, Shoes from Tresmode).

Trend 2: Bold prints (for leisure)
Exotic, tropical, Asian, floral… wear these prints to a movie, lunch date or shopping, grab this bag, and your look is complete!

Look 2- Leisure

(Top from French Connection, pants from W, dress from Zara, cuff from Juvalia & You, earrings from Aldo Accessories)

 

Trend 3: Aqua (for holiday)
You need this Lavie bag for your holiday– to carry your sun block, documents, some shopping and even a snack. And the aqua colour scheme is a perfect contrast for your summery bag (and mood).

Look3 Holiday

(Tee from Forever New, shorts from Only, dress from Elle Fashionwear, Hat from Toniq, Sunglasses from Opium)

How are you wearing your favourite bag today?

LFW SR 2013: The best jewellery of the week

LFW SR 2013: The best jewellery of the week

While I enjoy watching clothes at the fashion shows, sometimes the best part of the shows are the accessories—whether it’s the bags, shoes or jewellery. At Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2013, there were plenty of accessories on the ramp, and some were as exquisite as the clothes. Here’s a closer look at the best jewellery at LFW SR 2013. (More accessories to come in future posts).

Best Jewellery

Pallavi Foley’s designs focus on “movement”, customisation and unusual shapes, but are still wearable at all sorts of occasions.

Pallavi Foley jewellery

Pallavi Foley jewellery

This was my first chance to see Pallavi Foley’s creations up close and I liked what I saw, especially the way she moulds the metal into shapes with white spaces. I took a fancy to these earrings. 🙂

Pallavi Foley jewellery

Suhani Pittie’s tribal-inspired work was a tad disappointing this time, because the tribal-inspired pieces almost seemed kitschy and repetitive. Some of the pieces were ordinary  (like the kadas), though she’s still with complex neckpieces.

Suhani Pittie jewellery LFW SR 2013

Suhani Pittie jewellery LFW SR 2013

Amrapali, as usual, was great (as seen in Vikram Phadnis’s show for Swades Foundation).

neha dhupia in Amrapali- LFW SR 2013

LFW SR 2013: Suhani Pittie brings tribal jewellery to the ramp

After tribal prints becoming an international trend,  it’s now time to turn to tribal inspired jewellery. Suhani Pittie’s collection at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2013 is largely inspired by communities that live parallel lives as warriors, forest-dwellers and hunters, hence the rustic touch. The use of circles relate to the network of relationships they form but which are missing in our urban life.

image

As usual, her jewellery was intricate, and she used copper as the base, contrasting with  modern  material like acrylic. Suhani went beyond necklaces and earrings, featurin  ear buttons,  borlas, hair bands, and anklets. If you look closely,  you will motifs of the sun, leaves, totems and chakras.

I’d choose to wear toned down versions of her jewellery. Would you?

Five reasons I’m excited about Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2013

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2013 kicks off today and I’m super excited! Here’s why.

Naeem Khan

The man who’s dressed FLOTUS Michelle Obama a number of times will be showcasing his work Saturday night. And he will participate in a workshop on Friday, talking about his style and creations. Meeting or seeing this man is reason enough to attend Lakme Fashion Week.

Menswear

The best menswear designers in the country will be on the ramp after a long gap. The list includes veterans like Narendra Kumar and Arjun Khanna, along with young designer Kunal Rawal (he did the men’s costumes for Aisha). Narendra Kumar’s shows are always worth a watch, and this time he’s expected to make a strong statement on the country’s socio-political situation. Hmmm….!

Narendra Kumar SR 2012

One more platform for GenNext designers

Lakme Fashion Week has been supporting new designers for several years now, but this  time they get an additional benefit with support from Zovi.com. The online shopping site will manufacture and retail one garment from each of the debuting designers. So get ready to shop already!

Live webcast

Lakme Fashion Week shows will be broadcast live on YouTube, which means instant fashion! So we can all watch the shows in our PJs over the weekend. They’ve already got a preview of the season online, so check it out:

Jewellery

Very few fashion weeks have accessory designers participating. It’s good to see Suhani Pittie back at LFW, and I’ve always wanted to see Pallavi Foley’s creations up close. This is my chance! 🙂Suhani Pittie LFW

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 is from March 22 to 26, 2013 in Mumbai.

2013 Crystal Ball: Shopping trends, big fashion headlines

2013 Crystal Ball: Shopping trends, big fashion headlines

Loving the lingerie
Women are enjoying the sexy inner wear options they’re getting online, from lacy corsets to G-strings. And there are plenty of websites to choose from (Zivame, Peri Peri Skinwear and Straps and Strings). Now I wouldn’t buy a bra without trying it on first, but things like straps, stockings and free size tube tops can be bought easily!

(Lace leggings from Zivame.com)

Zivame-Caprice Designer Stretch Lace Leggings

My precioussss!
From a diamond engagement ring to a polki necklace,  people may  end up buying fine jewellery online.  I’m sure our moms would prefer to go to the trusted family jeweler,  but hey, who has the time, right?

Niche wins
If you’re a gothic-loving young lady, or a new mom, or a designer-obsessed fashionista, there are already brands (and websites) especially for you. And you will get plenty more options this year.

Your favourite brand- now a click away
More brands, big and small, will take the online route in 2013. Many Indian and foreign fashion, accessory and jewellery brands have already adopted online shopping (Bombay High, Forever New, Shoppers Stop, Metro) and many more will follow this year. Zara’s India website seems to just a payment gateway away from ecommerce.

Forever-New-homepage

Big news to expect in 2013:

“[Online brand] sponsors big fashion event.”
Online fashion brands have got big marketing bucks to spend, and they will. Zovi, for instance,  is sponsoring the GenNext show at Lakme Fashion Week coming season.

“Indian designers introduce affordable lines”
Anita Dongre ventured into menswear last year, and has several affordable options in waistcoats, bandhgalas and sherwanis. Sabyasachi, meanwhile,  has quietly launched a line of saris that are under Rs 10,000. Word is that he’s on the lookout for investors to expand this sub-brand (called Sabyasachi by Sabysachi), and it’s likely he will find some in 2013.

“H&M to open in India”
Now that single brand retail ventures can have 100% foreign investment, I’m hoping H&M, Topshop and others make their “We’re coming to India” announcements soon. I am very very keen on shopping at Dorothy Perkins!

Chic 2012: Best fashion ads of the year

Chic 2012: Best fashion ads of the year

Fashion ecommerce sites ruled the fashion ad space in 2012. And they caught attention with the decades-old funda- Sex sells!

Myntra-Lisa Haydon-a

Myntra’s Hottest December Sale promo had gorgeous Lisa Haydon doing a striptease on primetime television. I’m sure I’m not the only one who initially mistook it for a Fastrack commercial.

The BeStylish promo was about sexy shoes and seduction. Enough to excite shoe lovers and then some!

And Tanishq brought in a refreshing change to boiler-plate jewellery advertising with their Mia commercials. Go-getter office girls dealing with real problems like parking space and not-so-good appraisals.

Special Mention: Fashion videos

Anita Dongre’s Jaipur Bride was beautifully shot and made every woman want to be an Indian bride.

Fastrack’s Like Bunnies We Multiply was funny, irreverent and unconventional. Just like the brand!

Which fashion commercial / video did you enjoy this year?

This is the first in a series of posts rounding up the Indian fashion scene in 2012.

Chic List: Things that shine! (Part 2)

Chic List: Things that shine! (Part 2)

In my earlier post, I shared some carefully-selected clothes that “shone”, especially those with metallic finishes. Today it’s all about the accessories!

Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough metallic-finish accessories, but there are some glittering patent-finish and croc-textured options that put gold to shame. Here are my picks:

Bags

Metallic bag from Calvin Klein Jeans (love the texture!)

CKJ metallic bag AW 12

Croc shopper from French Connection

FC Camden Croc Zip Shopper Bag

Bag from Steve Madden

Steve Madden BPANDORA_FUSCHIA

Shoes

Metallic finish slip-ons and heels can dress up any outfit!

Vanilla Moon

504-MINK-BRONCE-METTALIC

Charles & Keith

Charles & Keith silver shoes

 

Steve Madden

Steve Madden SUTTTLE_DUSTY-GOLD

 

Jewellery

Pendant from Myra- The New Age Chic Collection by Tara Jewellers

Myra's the New Age Chic Collection by Tara Jewellers (1)

Bangles from Toniq

Toniq-9923 (1500 x 1000)

Bonus: Makeup that shines!

Maybelline hyperglossy eye liner

Maybelline hyperglossy liner

Body pigment powder from Inglot

body pigment powder 17 Rs. 800

Chic Guide: 5 things you need this December

Chic Guide: 5 things you need this December

Winter jackets and coats

For the cold, cold weather! Choose from leather, faux fur and wool.

French Connection (wool)

FC Wonderland Wool Coat

Gas (faux fur)

DELIZIA copy - Copy

Blingy dress

To party the last few nights of the year away!

Vizyon

Vizyon-party dress

Mango

Mango CONTRASTED SEQUINS VELVET Dress 6390

Vero Moda

SUCCESS SEQUINCE MINI DRESS - NFSC mrp 2695 - Copy

 

Embellished lehenga

There will be plenty of weddings to attend this month- and you need to dress to impress!

Pallavi Jaikishen

Lehenga Pallavi Jaikishan_LFW WF 2012

Manish Malhotra

252-Manish Malhotra.

Shyamal-Bhumika

Shyamal-Bhumika Shodhan 1

Gorgeous earrings

For party nights (diamonds), for sangeet (jadau and polkis), and for weddings (traditional).

Myra by Tara Jewellers

Myra's the New Age Chic Collection by Tara Jewellers earrings

Neety Singh

Neety Singh polki earrings

Nizam Collection by Ganjam

Earrings - Nizam collection, Ganjam

High heels

Special occasions call for special shoes… who knows, your Cinderella story might come true. 😉

Metro

Metro 35-507M15 Rs1690

Steve Madden

Steve Maddden OBSTCL-S_BLACK-STUDS

Bollywood Fashion: Sabyasachi dresses Sridevi as typical shypical housewife in English Vinglish

Bollywood Fashion: Sabyasachi dresses Sridevi as typical shypical housewife in English Vinglish

English Vinglish is among the most heartwarming movies I’ve seen recently and Sridevi’s performance was real, moving and tear-inducing. And the lucky leading lady has had the chance to wear Sabyaschi Mukherjee on-screen for the first time. (He wasn’t The Big Thing during her heydays).

As Shashi Godbole, Sridevi’s costumes are apt, true to the character and take her through the most exciting journey in her life. The clothes bind Shashi and set her free, they blend her into the crowd and make her stand out.

Sridevi in English Vinglish

Sridevi’s Look

Shashi Godbole is a typical Maharashtrian housewife- she puts family before self, loves making laddoos and has simple tastes. Sabyasachi and Gauri Shinde (the director) have underplayed the clothes in the movie, but if you’re an avid fashion buff, you’ll see the fashion arc as the story progresses.

Shashi Godbole is not a fashion follower nor is she ostentatious, so you won’t see her in sequins (not even on the wedding day) or low-cut blouses. On a typical day, she prefers cotton saris with a border and Indian hand-woven motifs or prints. Her colours are carefully chosen Indian palette: blues, greens, pinks, maroons. No Yashraj-style shaded saris or flowing georgettes- she is about sensible dressing, not sensuality. Hence the hanky curled in her hand at all times, and the long choti (plait).

Sridevi in English Vinglish

In bed, she wears light cotton saris (like the one below)- mostly white ones with small prints. I remember seeing my grandmom wearing those kind of saris almost everyday, they kept her cool in hot and humid Mumbai and seemed to be easy to drape.

Sridevi in English Vinglish

Sridevi in New York

Once in the US, Sridevi begins to experiment a bit. It’s her way of looking good in a big city where she is an obvious misfit because of her clothes and language problems. Some interesting pieces from the NYC wardrobe:

· Tiny Indian-style checkered saris with contrast borders (one sari has multiple borders)

· Bolder colours and prints for the days she’s happy (I spotted a couple of Sabyaschi’s standard prints- like this one below).

Sridevi in English Vinglish

· Playing with textures- a single sari has a hand-spun cotton pallu and pleats with a lighter hued body that could be in cotton silk.

Sridevi in English Vinglish

Sridevi imitates Elizabeth Taylor

The trench-coat-over-sari picture that you’ve probably seen in the publicity stills is the only style statement in the film with a story behind it. While shopping in India, Sridevi tries on a trench coat at a mall, only to be mocked at by her husband. In New York, she watches The Last Time I saw Paris in which the elegant Elizabeth Taylor wears a trench coat. Out steps Shashi, wearing a trench coat, in the peak of summer, right under the blazing sun. It’s a liberating moment for Shashi, and if you’ve ever been told what not to wear by someone, you will know exactly what it feels like.

Sridevi’s accessories

In true Maharashtrian style, Shashi dons minimal jewellery, wearing what most married Indian women wear- mangalsutra, thin gold bangles, gold baalis and tiny studs. Sometimes there’s a thin black watch, and of course there’s a bindi.

Shashi’s handbags are Hidesign’s Estelle and Arno- functional as multi-purpose bags to store a dozen things, including some stationery for English class. 🙂

Sridevi with the Estelle bag