LFW: Anand Kabra to create ‘Mystique’

Fashion designer Anand Kabra will present his latest collection Sleek: The New Mystique this weekend at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. Anand will present his interpretation of the previously-defined four hair looks (free spirited, creative, urban cool, sensuous), along with the yet-unseen fifth look— magnetic. The Hyderabad-based designer collaborated with the Lakmé Studio team to create the looks that will be showcased during the show.

Speaking Chic spoke to Anand Kabra about Mystique—the concept and the collection.

Anand Kabra LFW How do you relate to the concept of mystique as a designer?

Mystique is commonly associated with a woman. No matter how much you know of a woman, there is always an element of mystery with her. Interpreting the various facets of a woman was quite a challenge for me.

In your earlier collections, you had fun with colours like reds, yellows and whites. But mystique is usually associated with darker colours like greys and black. How did you combine these drastically different colour palettes?

You’re right—I love playing around with yellows and reds. While Lakmé Studio wanted an Anand Kabra chhap [stamp/ trademark] on this collection, there are strong doses of black in the collection, these colours are also there though in varying proportions. That gives a different interpretation without being too contrived and going off-theme.

How does traditional Indian wear represent mystique?

Indian costumes are yarded—so just the way they are draped or worn is very exciting. The sari palla, the drape, the pleat and the ghunghat create a mystery around the woman wearing it.

What were the challenges you faced in designing this collection?

As a designer, I was collaborating with a team from Lakmé Studio—but I didn’t want the collaboration to be unfair for either of us. My collections are usually about clothing and a manifestation of my vision. But in a partnership, one can’t overshadow the other. We needed to present a lifestyle, rather than just clothes or hair. Usually, I capture just one mood in my garments, but this time I needed to capture five moods. And the five moods couldn’t be jumpy, they needed to be seamless, and work well with each other.

How will your clothes appeal to women around the world while staying focussed on Indian women?

I design for Indian women. Ultimately, we are all talking the same language of fashion—the boundaries have merged. For me, Indian fashion is a wealth of colours and fabrics. It’s ultimately global fashion with a regional (Indian) flavour.

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).

Chic Reviews: Lakmé Citrus Rain Fruit Detox and Strawberry face washes

In part 1 of the series, Speaking Chic readers shared their reviews of Lakmé Fruit Blast Melon Melt and Pear Butter Mask. This post is part 2 of the Lakmé Fruit Blast range.

Lakmé Citrus Rain Fruit Detox face wash

(Reviewed by Kavita)

About the face wash:

Lakmé Citrus Rain Fruit Detox Face wash is a rich and frothy face wash with a concoction of fresh mandarin and sweet orange. It sweeps off all traces of dirt to give your skin a Vitamin C rush that will release stress and leaves the skin refreshed, zesty and re-energized.

Price: Rs. 85 for 50 g; Rs. 135 for 100 g.

Lakmé Citrus Rain Fruit Detox Face wash

Kavita says:

This face wash is quite good—especially for winters. It keeps my skin fresh and moisturised for 7-8 hours after use. Just a little product is enough for myself as it foams well. I feel the freshness as I apply the product and even after I wash it off.

Unfortunately I don’t get a fresh or citrusy fragrance from the product—that would have been wonderful. And at times, my skin feels slightly “stretched” if I apply more than usual or rub for a longer time. But overall, I’m quite satisfied with the product. It was ideal for winter!

Rating: 3.5/5

Lakmé Fruit Blast Strawberry face wash

(Reviewed by Chaitra)

About the face wash:

The strawberries in the product, with Vitamin B and C leaves the skin smooth and youthful, while the micro-beads scrub away impurities, leaving your skin refreshed and delicately perfumed with the fragrance of strawberries.

Price: Rs. 85 for 50 g; Rs. 135 for 100 g.

Lakme Strawberry Blast face wash

Chaitra says:

The product is exactly what it claims to be—gently exfoliating the skin, though it feels more like a massage than a scrub. It foams well, and makes my skin look clearer, brighter and fresher. I get compliments when I use this face wash. Like the other day, my colleagues thought I’d got “something done to my face” at the salon.

The effect lasts long, and I love that it feels more like a gel than a typical face wash. The only drawback: it makes my skin a bit dry sometimes.

Rating: 4.5/5

Have you used products from the Lakme Fruit Blast range?

Chic Reviews: Lakmé Fruit Blast Melon Melt and Pear Butter Mask

Speaking Chic readers review the recent Lakmé winter launch: Fruit Blast face washes. (This is part 1 of the series).

Lakmé Melon Melt Fruit Quench Face Wash

(Reviewed by Noor)

About the face wash

It’s a cocktail of muskmelon and watermelon in gel form that will deep cleanse, refresh and cool your skin. Rich in Vitamin A, B and C, the creamy gel will lathers to transform your skin into never before freshness, radiance and hydration.

Price: Rs. 70 for 50 g, Rs. 125 for 100 g

Lakme Melon Melt Fruit Quench Face Wash

Noor says:

This face wash has an amazing fragrance—that’s the first thing I noticed about it!

The face wash gave me a “fresh” feeling, but only for the first five minutes. My skin felt amazing  for those few minutes, but I wish this effect lasted longer. Besides this, it’s just like any other face wash.

While you can use the face wash in the morning, I recommend Lakmé Melon Melt after a day out as the skin needs to feel cool after being out in the heat.

Rating: 2.5/5

Lakmé Fruit Blast Pear Butter Deep Hydrating Mask

(Reviewed by Deepti)

Lakmé Fruit Blast Pear Butter Deep Hydrating Mask

About the mask:

The mask contains pears and pure shea butter and is formulated for deep cleansing and intense hydration. Soft, buttery yet grainy textured pears are rich in vitamin C and K that help revitalize skin. Shea butter helps moisturise the skin, promoting cell renewal.

Price: Rs. 150 for 50 g

Deepti says:

I like this mask—firstly, it made me feel cool and fresh. After using the product, my skin felt soft and supple, and I was happy to note that the freshness lasted a long time. The soft, creamy texture and the invigorating fragrance is a bonus.

What I didn’t like was that if I applied a cream or moisturiser after using the mask and stepped out of an air-conditioned room, my face would become oily.

Overall, I liked the mask, and I would recommend it to my friends.

Rating: 3/5

DisclosureSpeaking Chic received these products for review from Lakme.

Part 2: Coming soon

Lakmé Fashion Week: Gauri & Nainika are grand finale designers

Feminine, glamourous, wearable, Bollywood favourites… Gauri & Nainika will be the grand finale designer for Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2011.

The designer duo’s eponymous label will draw inspiration from Lakmé’s upcoming Fantasy Collection. Gauri & Nainika are hoping to tap into the rich colour palette and the other-worldly dimension to create their upcoming collection.

“[The Fantasy Collection] is an exploration into the feminine and almost dreamy influences that drive the many moods of all women. With its fresh, vibrant colors of nature, Lakmé’s summer palette provides that element of richness and a touch of idyllic that every woman craves for. We hope that our collection will unfurl a whole new world of sparkling fantasies for women,” they said.

Going by the wonderful, yet wearable creations of Gauri & Nainika, we’re looking forward to the Lakmé Fashion Week already.

Below: Gauri & Nainika with Lakmé models.

Gauri & Nainika Lakmé Fashion Week finale

Fashion News: Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 designers announced

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011’s advisory board recently announced Gen Next, Emerging, and Accessory Show Designers for the upcoming LFW Summer/Resort 2011.

Here’s the complete list:

Gen Next Designers:

  • Anna Liza Ganguly &  Anita Walia
  • Deepti Purthi
  • Manas Dash
  • Miriam Strehlau
  • Shivaji Dutta
  • Timsy Kamboj

Emerging Designers:

  • Abhishek Byas
  • Jelin George
  • Pamela Phlaphongphant  & Archana Banchongrati
  • Sabah Khan
  • Sabbah Sharma
  • Vaishali Shadangule
  • Atithi Gupta

Below: An outfit from Jelin George’s Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2010 collection.

    Jelin George LFW 2010

Accessory Designers:

  • Eina Ahluwalia
  • Malini Agarwalla
  • Prabhat Kumar
  • Rachana Reddy
  • Rina Shah
  • Rohan Arora
  • Suhani Pittie

Below (from left to right): Picks from the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2010 collection of (Row 1) Eina Ahluwalia and Malini Agarwalla; Row 2: Rohan Arora and Suhani Pittie.

Eina Ahluwalia LFW 2010 Malini Agarwalla LFW 2010 Rohan Arora shoes LFW 2010 Suhani Pittie jewellery LFW 2010

More LFW News

This season renowned stylist and designer Aki Narula will mentor and guide the Gen Next applicants. I say they’re a lucky bunch!

Also, veteran designer Rohit Bal is now a member of the LFW Advisory Board.

Which designer are you looking forward to this season?

Lakme’s new launches: Perfect Radiance Compact and Fruit Blast face washes

In the recent past, Lakmé has launched several makeup products, such as the popular Gypsy makeup collection and Lakmé Day Perfect Lip Color.

This month, Lakmé launched two new products (technically one product and one product range): Lakmé Perfect Radiance Multi Mineral Skin Lightening Compact and Lakmé Fruit Blast face cleansers (or face washes).

Lakmé Perfect Radiance Multi Mineral Skin Lightening Compact

Lakme Perfect Radiance Multi Mineral Skin Lightening Compact Radiance is the new buzzword in makeup. Women today want makeup to give them a healthy glow rather than a matte look. And Lakmé’s Perfect Radiance Multi Mineral Skin Lightening Compact promises to give women just that. A recent addition to the Perfect Radiance range (which already includes foundation, cream and facewash), the compact is available in six shades. The shades have been especially developed for Indian skin tones by leading makeup expert Cory Walia.

The compact contains Vitamin B3 to lighten skin tone and reduce intensity of blemishes. What’s more, it has SPF 20 to protect skin from UVA and UVB rays.

Price: Rs 150

Lakmé Fruit Blast Face CleansersLakmé Fruit Blast Face Cleansers face washes

Strawberries, watermelons, mandarins, raspberries… yum! Much as I’d be tempted to eat these,  the new Lakmé face cleansers are not meant to be eaten, but applied, lathered, and washed away. The face washes contain anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids (found in berries) and AHAs (found in citrus fruits).

The face cleansers are for a range of purposes, based on their ingredients. So the  Lakmé Melon Melt Fruit Quench face wash with watermelon and muskmelon will deep cleanse, refresh and rehydrate your skin; while the Lakmé Berry Lush Fruit Energizing face wash with strawberries and raspberries will exfoliate and keep your skin soft  and smooth.

Price: Rs 70 onwards for 50 gm tubes.

Lakme Day Perfect Lip Color: long-lasting lipstick

A lipstick that lasts 10 hours? Maybe it’s not just a dream anymore. Lakme has introduced Day Perfect Lip Color that claims to stay for up to 10 hours. It’s a gel-based creme lip colour with a shine and creamy texture.

Lakme’s Day Perfect Lip Colours are from the Lakme Nine to Five range, among the more popular products in Lakme’s product portfolio.  I remember Indrani Dasgupta’s TV ad a couple of years ago: the coffee didn’t fade her lip colour, neither did the pencil in her mouth, nor the various things she did throughout the day.

Lakme Day Perfect Lip Colors are available in 12 shades.

Our favourites:

Apricot Nectar, Black Currant Sorbet and Twilight Flame:


9to5 Day Perfect Apricot Nectar-9             9to5 Day Perfect Black Currant Sorbet               9to5 Day Perfect Twilight Flame-2


We haven’t yet got our hands on this lipstick, but if you have, let us know how long the Day Perfect Lip Colors stay on your lips. 🙂

Chic wedding makeup: Mesmerising Metallic

If you’re going to a wedding this winter, your sari, lehenga or kurta-churidar is most likely to be embroidered in gold. After all, zardosi, gota embroideries and everything gold is in vogue this season.

And the best makeup to complement Indian wear this season is to metallic. We show you how in Speaking Chic’s Mesmerising Metallic makeup guide:


If you can carry off a bronzer on your skin, then bring it on. Or stay safe with your oft-used blush.


Lancome metallic eyeshadow PosePlay up the metallic tones with the right eye makeup. Here’s how:

Sweep metallic eye shadow over your eyelid. (Check out Lancome’s Sensational Effects Eye Shadow in Pose).
Or, if you want to add more colour, cover your upper eyelid in a colour that matches your outfit (pink, purple or green). Then add a dot of golden/ metallic eye shadow/ shimmer on the inner corners of your eyes.


Avoid pinks and purples; instead use an earthy lip colour and add a touch of gold (lip gloss or shimmer) only to the centre of your lips. (Try Avon lipsticks in metallic shades.)


Moms are bound to have lovely hair ornaments (like maang tikkas) they hardly wore. Borrow a gold-themed one for the wedding, while minimising other accessories (you don’t want to overdo the bling, right?).

Check your makeup in the mirror once, smile, and you’re set for the wedding. 🙂

Are you ready to go metallic for the next wedding?

Guide to chic Diwali makeup: Part 2

In our previous post, we gave you some ideas for Diwali makeup and hair styles. Here are some more ideas for a chic Diwali look.

Makeup idea 2: Hot lips

Reds, plums, rich coloured lips are in vogue right now. Try Lancome’s lipsticks for red-hot lips.

Speaking Chic tip: With lips the focus of your face, keeping the rest of the makeup to a bare minimum.

Lancome red lipstick

Makeup idea 3: Rainbow eyes

Lakme gypsy collection eyeshadowConfused what colour eye shadow to use: purple, cream or green? Use all three! I tried this idea last weekend, and the results were striking. It’s a bit tricky to pull off this look, but with the right choice of colour and a steady hand, you can rock it! (FYI: I got this idea from Lakme’s Gypsy collection.)

Speaking Chic tip:  Choose eye shadow colours carefully. Rule of thumb: use one colour to match your outfit, one neutral, and a third that will blend well soften your look.

Hair idea 2: Sleek & chic

Sleek hair at WLIFWMy meeting with TIGI’s Akos Bodi and the recent catwalk shows convinced me that sleek hair is tres chic this season. If you have straight hair like I do, you don’t need to use a straightener. Apply a heat-activated straightening product to wet hair, and blow dry your hair.

Speaking Chic tip:  Tie a tight ponytail to sleek hair, set the style with hair spray, then enjoy the rest of the day with touching your hair again!






How are you doing your makeup and hair this Diwali? Tell us!