Chic Accessories: Essential picks for all budgets (Part 2)

Chic Accessories: Essential picks for all budgets (Part 2)

Budget: Rs 1001- Rs 2000 for each accessory.

Fun college bag

Every college girl needs a bag that shows off her quirky side. And has space for books.

Try: Messenger bag from Unhappily Married (Rs 1400)

Happily Unmarried-messenger_bag 1400

Classic ring:

A sleek, elegant ring is a multi-purpose piece of jewellery. Looks great with saris and dresses, at a wedding and party, with minimal looks and bling.

Try: Silver ring with stone from Lucera (Rs 1095)

Lucera silver ring with stone 1095


Everyday wallet:

What you need from a wallet- a colour you like, some detailing, and enough compartments to hold cash and your dad/ boyfriend’s credit card. 😉

Try: Wallet from Wills Lifestyle (Rs 1699)


wallet wills lifestyle 1699



Slip into comfortable ballerinas for college, office or a casual date. Or when the heels begin hurting you.

Try: Ballet flats from Catwalk (Rs 1295)

Catwalk ballet flats 1295

Chic Accessories: Jewellery inspirations and how to wear them (Part 2)

Chic Accessories: Jewellery inspirations and how to wear them (Part 2)

In my previous post, I wrote about some jewellery inspirations with some suggestions to wear them. Here are some more:

Inspiration: Flowers

If you can wear flowers on your shirt, skirt or trousers, why not on your jewellery? Crafted flowers (not just motifs) bring freshness to an ensemble.

Chic tip: Wear floral inspirations with pastel colours, and avoid floral prints please!

Below: Ring from Porrati

Porrati- PIR00019 - Copy

Inspiration: Everyday objects

Anything and everything can be adorned as jewellery- from unexpected objects like binoculars to antique-like cassettes.

Chic tip: Dare to pair with a funky print that showcases your quirky side.

Below: Binoculars charm necklace from Toniq

Binoculars- Charm Necklace - Toniq

Inspiration: The river Ganga

I’ve liked the jewellery of Tanishq’s just-launched Ganga collection, especially the earrings and bangles. The designs are derived from the various moods of the river Ganga.

Chic tip: Keep your look classic yet modern. Wear with sequins dresses and saris to a wedding.

Below: Earrings  from Tanishq


Inspiration: Tribal

Tribal touches have been a key trend this spring/ summer (check out Burberry Prorsum’s womenswear collection). It’s still not too late to wear them.

Chic tip: Combine a tribal accessory with the colour blocking trend- you can wear contrasting or similar hues for a chic look!

Below: Chain cord necklace from Zara

Zara chain cord and colour necklace

What kind of accessories are you wearing these days?

Chic Accessories: Jewellery inspirations and how to wear them (Part 1)

Chic Accessories: Jewellery inspirations and how to wear them (Part 1)

Like clothing trends, fine and art jewellery is inspired by everything around us- from popular culture to mundane objects to wild nature. Here’s a look at jewellery inspirations and how to wear them:

Inspiration: Safari

Choose an exotic animal or bird- tiger, rhinoceros, giraffe or kingfisher. Then wear it on your wrist, finger or neck.

Chic Tip: Wear with a loose blouse, feminine skirt and kitten heels. The idea is to look cute, rather than just cool.

Below: Elephant charm and Fantasy bird ring, both from Toniq

Elephant Charm from Toniq

Fantasy Bird- Ring from Toniq


Inspiration: Vintage

Oversized coloured rings and pendants are popular these days (I have a white stone pendant). So are faux and real diamonds designed in the 1940s style.

Chic Tip: Diamond earrings look gorgeous with delicate lace or net saris. Wear it to a cocktail, sangeet or reception. And don’t forget the red lips.

Below: Ring and earrings from Aldo Accessories

Aldo Accessories vintage ring

Aldo Accessories earrings vintage

Inspiration: Horror

Skulls remind me of exorcists in old Hindi movies. But they can be fun accessories!

Chic Tip: Don’t think so much! Throw on an old crew neck cotton tee and jeans. Or better, borrow your brother/ boyfriend’s graphic print tee.

Below: Touch skull bracelet from Mango.

Mango Touch skull bracelet

Inspiration: The heart and soul

If you’re a “thinker”, jewellery designs with metaphors and multiple meanings will appeal to you. For instance, Eina Ahluwalia’s recent collection presents the heart in a new form and perceives the eye to be the window to the soul.

Chic Tip: Wear unique pieces of jewellery with minimal looks, and make the accessory the centrepiece of your ensemble.

Below: Heart of Gold earrings,  Door to the Soul necklace, both from Breathing Space by Eina Ahlawalia.

Eina Ahluwalia Heart of Gold earrings

Eina Ahluwalia Door to the soul necklace


What jewellery inspiration are you wearing today?

More jewellery inspirations to come. Watch out for part 2.

Bollywood Fashion: Why Parineeti Chopra’s Ishaqzaade is intelligent costume design

Bollywood Fashion: Why Parineeti Chopra’s Ishaqzaade is intelligent costume design

I saw Ishaqzaade (starring Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor) recently, and was quite impressed with the delicacy shown to the costumes of the heroine Zoya. The costume designer (Varsha-Shilpa) and director’s (Habib Faisal) attention to detail is astounding, as everything Zoya wears, carries or drives defines her personality in a unique way. For instance, she drives an open jeep with confidence, fires a gun with brashness, and talks on her iPhone.

Parineeti Chopra-Ishaqzaade-4

Every element of Zoya’s wardrobe represented an important aspect of her personality and the urgency of the situation. Here’s a look at what stood out the most from Zoya’s wardrobe (and her character).

The black waistcoats

Zoya has no qualms about “borrowing” and altering her father’s black waistcoats for herself. As the darling of the family, she gets away with her gender-bending wardrobe.

Resourceful and tomboyish.

Parineeti Chopra-Ishaqzaade-1

Simple silhouettes

Simple cotton kurtas and tunics with skinny jeans and churidars define Zoya’s basic style statement. The silhouettes are straight-cut and easy to wear. So no kalidar kurtas, embellishments or heavy prints. The detailing is limited to block prints, chikan work and pleats.

Practical and fuss-free!

Comfort over fashion

When was the last time you noticed shoes in a movie? In Ishaqzaade, you most certainly do, because Zoya doesn’t wear pretty heels or sandals. Instead, she wears floaters as she campaigns for her father. Yes, floaters! And when she’s on the run, she’s in casual canvas shoes. No heels, bows or buckles.

She’s a girl ready for action.

Parineeti Chopra-Ishaqzaade-7

Yes gun, no gold

In her introductory scene, Zoya is seen checking out guns for herself. She finally selects one and pays for it with gold jhumkas! Now how many girls would barter jewellery they’re supposed to wear to a grand party for a gun?

Cheeky and fearless.

The all-important sharara

Zoya’s pink sharara paired with a blue dupatta is the outfit that marks important turning points in the movie (and her life). Both times she wears this pretty outfit are happy occasions become tragic milestones. Quite obviously, she opts to wear the outfit for her secret wedding ceremony, because it’s perhaps the only one of its kind that she has. And when tragedy struck after her wedding, I couldn’t help but feel that the outfit was an ill omen for the girl.

Who would think that a pretty outfit like that would spell the beginning of doom?

Parineeti Chopra-Ishaqzaade-3

What did you think of Parineeti Chopra’s costumes in Ishaqzaade?

Chic or Eeks? Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla at Cannes

Chic or Eeks? Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla at Cannes

Dear Mommy Aishwarya,

I’m happy you haven’t bowed down to the pressure of losing your post-pregnancy weight immediately after birth.

Aishwarya Rai Bachhan Cannes 2012

So while you can’t carry off a body-hugging evening gown (or more importantly, the snobbish designers won’t have samples in your size), at least choose an outfit that’s stylish and flatters you.

The gold work on this Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla outfit is a bit too jarring for me and the genteel folk at Cannes. You could have done with a lighter blouse  for instance.

Or how about trying on a looser silhouette- there are so many flattering designer dresses for heavier and curvier women. The A-line is always flattering.

Also, how can you wear an Indian  outfit and leave your ears bare? Earrings are the one accessory that pull an Indian ensemble together.

BTW, the makeup is gorgeous! Loved the eyes.

What do you think of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s ensemble at Cannes 2012?

LFW S/R 2012 Day 4: Shows to watch today

LFW S/R 2012 Day 4: Shows to watch today

It was a fashion-packed weekend that ended sooner than I wanted. But hey, it’s another day at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2012!

Bodice by Ruchika Sachdeva: The young designer has been tweeting extensively about her upcoming collection for her label ‘Bodice’, and the designs seem to be an interesting amalgamation of vintage influences and menswear tailoring, while being futuristic.

Eina Ahluwalia: Eina’s accessories are bold, in-your-face and don’t hesitate to call a spade a spade. Her collection based on domestic violence last year had made quite a mark, and I spotted some good pieces at her stall yesterday.

Below: Eina Ahluwalia at LFW S/R 2011

Eina Ahluwalia at LFW S/R 2011

Swapnil Shinde: Last season, Swapnil used folds, pleats and drapes in materials like acrylic, PVC and leather to interpret sound waves. The “rolls” and tubes made quite an impact on the ramp.

Narendra Kumar: There’s only one word for Narendra Kumar’s shows—fun! One of the few menswear designers at LFW S/R 2012, I’m expecting a stellar collection from him this time as always. And of course, lots of eye candy and an entertaining show. (Last season, he got models to do little jigs and dance steps on the ramp!).

Below: Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

Narendra Kumar at LFW W/F 2011

WIFW A/W 2012: Key looks and moments from Day 5

WIFW A/W 2012: Key looks and moments from Day 5

Look: The confident woman

At Kotwara by Meera Ali, the models wore breeches, skirts and ivory shirts in wool, chiffon, bamberg crepe and suede. The look combined structure and flowing lines, which I adore. I want to be this woman!

Kotwara by Meera Ali at WIFW AW 2012

Kotwara by Meera Ali at WIFW AW 2012

Look: The quirky woman

There were bright geeky glasses, printed shorts, skirts and dresses, along with funky motifs (exaggerated lips) at Niharika. You need to be very funky to carry off this look!

Niharika at WIFW AW 2012

Niharika at WIFW AW 2012

Hippie gone upmarket

Tanvi Kedia’s hippie-deluxe look is about non-conformist glamour with mish-mash of prints like sandwiched stripes, tapestry patterns and hazy geometrics.

Tanvi Kedia at WIFW AW 2012

Sheer in winter, anyone?

You can layer sheer fabrics in wintery colours like purple and dark blue with jackets, trousers and skirts this winter. Raj Shroff showed us how.

Raj Shroff at WIFW AW 2012

For the girl who wants to be a cop

For those dreamt of dressing in a khaki uniform for work, Rehane has the right look for you—caps and all!

Rehane at WIFW AW 2012

For the music-loving geeky gal

Noise-cancelling headphones- check. Geeky glasses- check. Sequins- check. Feminine silhouette, manly shoes- check. It was all happening at Schon by Sakshi Pradhan!

Schon by Sakshi Pradhan at WIFW AW 2012

For Gwenyth Paltow fans

If you liked Gwenyth Paltrow’s “cape” at yesterday’s Academy Awards, Tahera Peeran’s wraps are for you.

Tahera Peeran at WIFW AW 2012

Accessories of the day:

Sling-bag with old-fashioned lock at Verb by Pallavi Singhee.

Pallavi Singhee at WIFW AW 2012

Carved bags at Virtues by Viral, Ashish and Vikrant.

Virtues at WIFW AW 2012

Uncut diamonds and polki jewellery at JJ Valaya.

JJ Valaya at WIFW AW 2012

WTFashion moment of the day

Abdul Halder’s strategically-placed birds made me cringe. Which woman would want to wear this?

Abdul Halder at WIFW AW 2012

Fabulous ending

JJ Valaya ended WIFW A/W 2012 with a Turkish flourish. He used unusual art and craft based forms such as mother of pearl inlay, Turkish miniatures, Iznik Ceramics, weaves of the Sultan’s robes, exotic birds and graphic calligraphy in his jackets, dresses, breeches, shirts and blouses.

JJ Valaya at WIFW AW 2012

JJ Valaya at WIFW AW 2012

JJ Valaya at WIFW AW 2012

Customary Bollywood appearances of the day

Irfan Khan looking out of place at Kotwara by Meera Ali.

Irfan Khan at WIFW AW 2012

Kangana Ranaut all pouty and serious at JJ Valaya.

Kangana Ranaut at WIFW AW 2012

Announcing the Chic Cleanup Project

Announcing the Chic Cleanup Project

I have an embarrassing confession to make—I have too many clothes. And too many bags and shoes and jewellery.

From pants to night wear, I have them all. But most of all, I have a tonne of casual clothes accumulated over the years. Some chic things I bought during my trip to Spain last year (bags, belts, makeup):

Sometime last year, I told myself I couldn’t really buy any new clothes because I had no space for them on my cupboard. So shopping became an issue. I came back empty-handed from almost every trip to the mall. I’m not really a shopaholic and I don’t buy on impulse, so that didn’t bother me much. But I wanted the cute skirt and the feminine blouse once in a while. And most importantly, I wanted to be up-to-date.

How can fashionista be dress trendy if I have don’t have new clothes to experiment with?

So late 2011, I decided it was time for drastic measures. I had to change my approach to my wardrobe, my shopping, my fashion, my style, and life in general. And the bottomline was:

I needed to get rid of my old clothes and my old life.

And so the cleanup began. I have taken a pledge that’s something like:

  • I will purge my wardrobe of all the “bad” and unnecessary clothes
  • I will adopt a minimal approach to fashion, styling and my life.
  • I will complete this by June 30, 2012.

While typing this, I feel that this does seem a bit self-absorbed – doing a cleanup because I want to be trendy. But it’s now become more than that. It’s about freeing myself from the mess I see everyday and freeing my mind from the “too much” in my life.

Call it declutter, call it taking the Zen approach, call it what you will. It’s ultimately a thorough cleanse of my life and I’m determined to achieve it.

So here’s what I will be doing in the next few months:

  • Throwing or giving away clothes I don’t want or need
  • Shop as less as possible (been kinda successful with this so far)
  • Discovering what and how much I really need in my wardrobe (do I really need 15 tshirts, for instance?)
  • Adopting a “system” to make my life clutter-free and minimalistic
  • Blogging about my experiences and findings!

All I ask, dear readers, is encouragement, support and your tips.

Let the chic (and crazy) cleanup begin!

Chic 2011: 3 fresh fashion labels for an exciting 2012

Chic 2011: 3 fresh fashion labels for an exciting 2012

We kick off our year-ending series (Chic 2011) with three new fashion labels and designers that show plenty of promise for 2012 and many more years to come.

Applied Arts Alliance

A collaboration between three very interesting people, Applied Arts Alliance has created what the trio like to call a “Westo-Indian collection”. The collection comprises mini kurtas with French and Austrian collars that are accessorized with Japanese obi belts, shirts, corsets and waistcoats. Their cotton prints are born from the “love marriage” between Anokhi and Versace.

Applied Arts Alliance blue printed dress Applied Arts Alliance black printed dress

The three people behind Applied Arts Alliance are Praline- a Parisian costume designer, Harri- a Viennese print maker and Payal- the Mumbai-based photographer. If you are looking for unique prints and garments with a classy touch, the AAA might just be perfect for you.

To view their collection, email Payal on payal.appliedartsalliance (at) gmail (dot) com.

Papa Don’t Preach

While Shubhika Sharma launched her fashion label Papa Don’t Preach in 2010, it’s only recently that the label’s website came to life. Papa Don’t Preach is for young women who like edgy dressing, individualistic styles, and affordable high street wear. The label has two distinct lines: one for daily wear with jersey dresses, play suits and tops and tees and the other for the times you need to doll up (structured drape dresses, impish skirts, dramatic lowers and jumpsuits). There are several saris and accessories as well.

Papa Don't Preach

Visit the Papa Don’t Preach website to view and buy their collection.

Neha Sahai

Neha Sahai, a NIFT graduate, has crawled through malls and plundered Delhi’s Sarojini Market to mix the edgy with the classical for her jewellery. Using plenty of Indian elements and bright colours, Neha has dared to use unusual objects like wooden toys. The jewellery can be worn to college or a fancy party, and have the right dose of eccentricity and boldness.


Neha Sahai will showcase her collection at BMB Art Gallery in Fort, Mumbai on December 9-10, 2011. Her jewellery is also available at designer stores across India. Visit Neha Sahai’s Facebook page for more information.

Bollywood Fashion: Chammak challo Kareena Kapoor shows us how to be a Diwali phataka

Bollywood Fashion: Chammak challo Kareena Kapoor shows us how to be a Diwali phataka

Happy Diwali, lovely readers! May you be as chic as Kareena Kapoor (or your favourite fashion icon)!

Ra.One releases today, and there’s no doubt that Kareena Kapoor’s Chammak Challo will be as big a draw as G.One’s superpowers. I’ve spent weeks trying to understand the secret behind Kareena’s gorgeousness in the song, and I think I’ve finally cracked the code. It’s all about the fashion!

Kareena Kapoor in RaOne

Kareena’s mindboggling curves have no doubt added a major oomph to her look, but let’s not underestimate the power of fashion to make you sexy. Especially when Manish Malhotra is the man behind the clothes.

After hours of painstaking notes, I’ve drawn some fashion tips from the Diwali phataka. Use these easy-to-follow fashion tips to show off your sexy side!

Fashion tip 1: Wear red

Manish Malhotra has dressed Kareena in an attention-grabbing colour and it’s a colour that suits her. The colour that suits you could be deep blue, purple or hot pink.

Fashion tip 2: The outfit is simple yet chic

The pre-stitched sari (or shall I say half-sari?) designed by Manish Malhotra has minimal embellishment, along the border. The focus is on enhancing Kareena’s body shape rather than making her look like an OTT diva or queen.

Fashion tip 3: Cover up, but only so much

The semi-sheer blouse Kareena wears is only half the story. As the song begins, Kareena’s wafer-thin pallu is firmly in place, till she decides to tuck it into her sari. You don’t need to go all-sheer to show off your figure, but just peek-a-boo at the right places could work wonders.

Fashion tip 4: Accessorise to your advantage

Kareena Kapoor’s sex appeal is enhanced with the choice of jewellery. The absence of a necklace draws attention to her collarbones, and the dangling earrings and nose ring pull you toward her face which is absolutely gorgeous. (Intensely-lined eyes, light lips).

Kareena Kapoor in Ra.One song

Tip 5: Set a trend

It’s been ages since I saw a young woman (who is not a bride) wear a bindi, and someone even told me that bindis are “out of fashion”. We hope Kareena’s bindi will make the humble red dot popular again!

Stay chic!