Chic Poll: Most boring wedding trend

It’s the summer wedding season, and it’s time to bring out the pancake, doll up a bit, wear an outrageously weighty sari or lehenga and wear heavy jewellery.

Below: From Anupama Dayal’s Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2010 collection

Anupama Dayal LFW W/F 2010

The last few weddings I attended, I took mental note of fashion faux pas and what women were wearing. Not surprisingly, a handful of notable trends emerged, but those were outshone by styles that almost everyone was wearing. It was like those women were clones of each other.

So which ethnic wear/ wedding trend are you most bored of? Some trends that make my boring fashion list:

  • Brocade (on sari blouses, kurtas, sleeves, everything!)
  • Zardosi
  • Velvet bodice with brocade sleeves (a la Sabyasachi)
  • Anarkali kurtas

As one woman whispered to her friend, “Sabyasachi is the new Westside.” We couldn’t agree more!

So which wedding trend bores you the most? Answer our poll or leave a comment below!

WIFW: 141 fashion designers? We explain!

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2011 kicks off on April 6, and the designer list has been announced. A whopping 141 designers will showcase their collections at the Delhi event.

image001Now 141 designers is an amazing number, right? So we poked around a bit and discovered some interesting nuggets, that explain the numbers better:

Out of a total of 141 designers, 77 will have ramp shows. Fifteen of them are Hi 5 designers  (upcoming designers making their runway debut).

The remaining (that means 64 designers) will only display their collections in the stalls. That’s an area like an exhibition hall where you can check out the clothes and accessories, and even meet the designers. You can usually find buyers and journalists and other general visitors in this area during fashion week.

What we find most interesting is the list of designers who only have stalls. These include big names by Rohit Bal, Malini Ramani, Gauri & Nainika, Amit GT, Nachiket Barve, Prashant Verma, Ranna Gill, Rina Dhaka, Vineet Bahl and Wendell Rodricks. Wendell Rodricks WIFW

We wondered what such big names are doing off the ramp. It’s possible these well-established designers feel they don’t need ramp shows to get attention. Perhaps they’d rather focus on getting their clothes right, rather than dealing with the chaos and costs of a ramp show. Or maybe they feel ramp shows are just not worth the expense?

What do you think?

PS: Some of the recognisable names showcasing their collections on the ramp: Abraham & Thakore, am:pm by Ankur & Priyanka Modi, Gaurav Gupta, Geisha Designs by Paras & Shalini, James Ferreira, Label – Ritu Kumar, My Village by Rimzim Dadu, Namrata Joshipura, Neeru Kumar, Niki Mahajan, Pero by Aneeth Arora, Rahul Mishra, Rahul Reddy, Tarun Tahiliani, Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

WIFW: 141 fashion designers? We explain!

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2011 kicks off on April 6, and the designer list has been announced. A whopping 141 designers will showcase their collections at the Delhi event.

image001Now 141 designers is an amazing number, right? So we poked around a bit and discovered some interesting nuggets, that explain the numbers better:

Out of a total of 141 designers, 77 will have ramp shows. Fifteen of them are Hi 5 designers  (upcoming designers making their runway debut).

The remaining (that means 64 designers) will only display their collections in the stalls. That’s an area like an exhibition hall where you can check out the clothes and accessories, and even meet the designers. You can usually find buyers and journalists and other general visitors in this area during fashion week.

What we find most interesting is the list of designers who only have stalls. These include big names by Rohit Bal, Malini Ramani, Gauri & Nainika, Amit GT, Nachiket Barve, Prashant Verma, Ranna Gill, Rina Dhaka, Vineet Bahl and Wendell Rodricks. Wendell Rodricks WIFW

We wondered what such big names are doing off the ramp. It’s possible these well-established designers feel they don’t need ramp shows to get attention. Perhaps they’d rather focus on getting their clothes right, rather than dealing with the chaos and costs of a ramp show. Or maybe they feel ramp shows are just not worth the expense?

What do you think?

PS: Some of the recognisable names showcasing their collections on the ramp: Abraham & Thakore, am:pm by Ankur & Priyanka Modi, Gaurav Gupta, Geisha Designs by Paras & Shalini, James Ferreira, Label – Ritu Kumar, My Village by Rimzim Dadu, Namrata Joshipura, Neeru Kumar, Niki Mahajan, Pero by Aneeth Arora, Rahul Mishra, Rahul Reddy, Tarun Tahiliani, Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

LFW: 5 things we liked on Day 1

The first day at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 threw up a number of surprises, and we liked them all! Take a look at our top moments from LFW’s Day 1:

Sabyasachi had fun with fashion

Pop colours, fun with fabric, matching unlikely textures… Sabyasachi didn’t leave any creative stone unturned. With every outfit, he stunned me by the sheer wizardry of his craft. Wearable straight off the ramp? Yep, if you’ve got the personality.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee at LFW S/R 2011

Japanese designers: The show must go on

As the world remained glued to TV sets and news sites awaiting news from Japan, Japanese designers took it in their stride and put on the special Tokyoeye show as planned. While the creations were not particularly breathtaking, the designers certainly seemed to have designed for an international sensibility.

(Below left to right: Somarta by Tamae Hirokaro; araisara by Sara Arai)

Somarta by Tamae Hirokaro at LFW S/R 2011 araisara by Sara Arai at LFW

Variety of looks: geeky chic, bright lips, bindis

Strange… the bindi has almost disappeared from young women’s foreheads, whether in Delhi or Ludhiana, so it was a pleasant surprise to see them on the ramp at Myoho. And we also loved the oversized catty glasses (very chic) at Sabyasachi, bright pink and orange lips at Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao (super trendy for summer!).

(Below left to right: Myoho and Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao)

Myoho at LFW S/R 2011 Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao at LFW S/R 2011

Gen Next show: Fresh dose of fashion

Six GenNext designers showcased their debut collection at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. A couple of them managed to break through the clutter to present some interesting ideas. Manas Dash was one, Miriam Strehlau was another. Interestingly, both had very strong Indian inspiration. Whether they become more popular in a few years, only time will tell.

(Below left to right: Manas Dash, Miriam Strehlau)

Manas Dash GenNext designer at LFW S/R 2011 Miriam Strehlau GenNext designer at LFW S/R 2011

Wearable fashion

If there’s one thing Speaking Chic enjoys, it’s wearable ramp fashion! While Mineral by Priyadarshini Rao’s clothes will be seen on the rack in her new stores at affordable prices, there were copious amount of clothes that we would wear straight off the ramp. Examples: Shivaji Dutta’s dresses, skirts at Chaitanya Rao and several garments at Arpan Vohra.

(Below left to right: Shivaji Dutta, Chaitanya Rao and Arpan Vohra)

Shivaji Dutta dress at LFW S/R 2011 Chaitanya Rao dress at LFW S/R 2011

Arpan Vohra dress at LFW S/R 2011

LFW: Sabyasachi finally has some fun

After his show, Sabyasachi Mukherjee said, “I’m a boring designer. So I decided to have some fun this time.” And that’s exactly what he did last night at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. (And we’re having some fun too—we give you the runway report as a story in pictures.)

The show with outfits were in simple earthy tones, black and ivory prints, styled conservatively. But Sabyasachi was just teasing the audience. His interpretation of the women of the Sunderbans was offbeat and inspired by several decades of the last century.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

In matte red lips, high buns and catty glasses, the models (and the designer) seemed to be mocking us with unexpected twists to traditional garments. Like asymmetric sleeves, pop coloured tops with floor-length skirts, umbrella-shaped shoulders, shimmering loose jumpsuits, rustic gowns…

Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011 Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

Sabyasachi juxtaposed unlikely textures, colours, fabrics and embellishments, like gowns with rustic Indian gold-work embroidery, blocking khadi with printed cotton, even saris-cum-skirts! Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011 Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

Sabyasachi used lots of khadi, hand-produced cotton, textured raw silk and even a bit of lace in detailing. Very interesting outcome!

Some of the unusual stuff:

  • Short babydoll dresses with matching underpants!
  • Sack dresses with deep-cut armholes
  • Fabric made into a fan, fixed on the back of a blouse
  • Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011
  • Black blouses and petticoats with colourful printed saris
  • Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

The accessories of choice were statement neckpieces and stacks of bangles (both very trendy).

Sabyasachi Mukherjee LFW S/R 2011

Even thought the show was eccentric, quirky and even a bit kinky, you would have walked out thinking, “I’d like to wear some of this!”

LFW Summer/Resort 2011: Top 5 things we’re excited about

  1. A taste of Japan: Established Japanese designers will showcase their collections at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. These are Somarta by Tamae Hirokawa, Motonari Ono and Araisara by Sara Arai.LFW S/R 2011
  2. Exciting designer line-up: Some of India’s leading designers (absent last season) will make an appearance. We’re excited about Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Shantanu-Nikhil, Anamika Khanna, Raakesh Agarvwal and Pria Kataria Puri.
  3. Accessories galore!: This season at LFW will see a whopping 15 accessory designers on the ramp. We’re looking forward to Suhani Pittie and Rina Shah of Rinaldi, and would love to get a dose of the other designers’ accessories. (Below: Picture from Suhani Pittie’s LFW Winter/Festive 2010 collection)Suhani Pittie LFW W/F 2010
  4. Watching LFW LIVE!: It’s not possible to go to every show. So in the middle of a working day, fashionistas can just log on to LFWTV.in and get the latest from fashion week!
  5. Great fashion, of course!: Fashion week is about fashion, and that’s what we’re looking forward to. Would love to see some fabulous trends for the summer!

Fashion Weeks in India: The battle heats up!

It’s Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) vs Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) all over again. The two “rival” fashion weeks have been fighting it out for supremacy since several seasons now, but this season has been kind of amusing for us.

Consider this: LFW was scheduled to hold a press conference last week to announce their designer list for Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2011 (starts March 11). And lo, WIFW announced their designers on the same day (even though their event kicks off April 6). Cheeky!

Designer Overlap

As I scrolled through the LFW designer list, my heart skipped a beat as I spotted Sabyasachi Mukherjee. He had just been announced as the finale designer for WIFW!

It’s not uncommon for designers to present their collections at both these fashion weeks (examples from last season: Anupama Dayal, Anita Dongre, Manish Arora), but the finale designer of one fashion week also participating in another seems kinda strange to me.

image001 LFW aircel event logo

What People Say

I met an Austrian guy from the textile industry the other day. He visits India often, and is quite tuned into the fashion/ textiles/ art scene here. He reported to me what he had heard about the Delhi (WIFW) and Mumbai (LFW) fashion weeks: “Buyers tell me that the Mumbai fashion week has better quality, while there are more sales happening at Delhi fashion week.” While we can’t confirm this (yet), it could be true.

Digital Divide

Also, point to note: LFW is going all out to reach as many fashion lovers as possible. After tying up with Style Kandy last year for live webcasts, this season all shows will be streamed live on the official LFW website. On the other hand: WIFW doesn’t even have a dedicated website (it runs on the FDCI website).

Now what?

Meanwhile, both fashion weeks this season have a formidable line-up of designers. Other than the obvious question (who will win the Fashion Weeks Battle?), we are wondering: how different will Sabysachi’s two collections be? Will he recycle looks and outfits, or will he have a more spectacular show in Delhi than in Mumbai?

Fashion News: Sabyasachi is Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week finale designer

Sabyasachi Mukherjee will be the grand finale designer at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) Autumn/Winter 2011. WIFW kicks off on April 6, 2011 and the grand finale will be held late night April 10.

Arguably Bollywood’s favourite designer (Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan are his diehard fans), Sabyasachi will also create an exclusive line for Wills Lifestyle that will be available at the brand’s stores across India.

Our request to Sabyasachi: We know you’re a design genius, but please please please, could you shock and awe us this season? We’ve got sore eyes from seeing your same ol’ designs at every wedding, sangeet and Bollywood event. Thanks already.

FYI, Tarun Tahiliani was the finale designer at the previous season of WIFW, with Shilpa Shetty as the showstopper. Here’s a peek to refresh your memory:

WIFW finale Tarun Tahiliani Shipla Shetty

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?

Bollywood Fashion: Vidya Balan wears Sabyasachi… yawn

Vidya Balan’s penchant for Sabyasachi Mukherjee is well-known, but is the actor restricting her wardrobe too much? After all, she’s young, and has a real woman’s body which will be able to carry off a variety of styles.

We spotted Vidya Balan at a car awards ceremony over the weekend, and one glance at the sleeves, bodice and contrasting dupatta was enough to hint that the creator of her floor-length kurta and churidar was Sabyasachi. Take a look:

Vidya Balan Sabyasachi Vidya Balan in Sabyasachi

To confirm my inkling, I managed to ask her as she was leaving, “Who are you wearing? Sabya?” She looked pleasantly surprised, then smiled (a sweet one!) and said, “Yes, I’m wearing Sabya.”

We’re tired of seeing Vidya Balan in similar outfits again and again and again. Could someone please introduce the No One Killed Jessica star to other talented designers who also do great Indian wear?