Katrina’s Bollywood fashion jhatka: Is it a sari or a skirt?

While Sheela ki Jawani (aka Sheila ki Jawani) rocks the charts, Katrina Kaif seems to be rocking on the Bollywood fashion front with a confusing outfit in the chartbusting song from Tees Maar Khan. So what on earth is that pink thing? Is it a sari, is it a skirt, or is it a cutoff lehenga?

Katrina kaif half sari in Sheela ki Jawani

It’s none of them, folks. It’s what the fashion world is calling a half-sari. What it comprises: a knee-length underskirt/ petticoat (or whatever fancy-shmancy name you want to give it), and a “sari” that’s not the sari’s length, but shorter and not even the same width as the traditional sari. It looks like something’s missing. Length, fabric…and a wearable garment.

We asked some people about their opinion on the half-sari concept. Some of the spontaneous reactions:

“It’s neither this nor that! Awful!”

“It would look stupid off-screen.”

“I wouldn’t want to wear that, but it might just become a hot trend.”

It’s worth noting that Tees Maar Khan costume designer is Aki Narula, and not Manish Malhotra, which is a refreshing change.

Meanwhile Katrina Kaif rocks another look in Sheela ki Jawani: loose white shirt with black shorts, very similar to what Veena Malik wore on Bigg Boss the other day.

Katrina in Sheela ki Jawani

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Wedding fashion: Let the kalidar kurtas bloom

For those who can’t (or won’t)wear saris at weddings for whatever reason, kalidar kurtas are the comfier, trendy and easy option. They are feminine, add grace to your gait and can create a colourful impact with shaded or alternating panels.

Handy tips to wear kalidar kurtas:

  • Kalidar kurtas are versatile: you can play with necklines, colours and embroideries.
  • Opt for longer kalidar kurtas as hemlines drop this season.
  • Team with a churidar; dupatta is optional.

mapxencaRS by Riddhi & Siddhi kalidar kurta Manish Malhotra kalidar kurta LFW

Left: MapxencaRS by Riddhi & Siddhi

Right: From Manish Malhotra’s Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2010 collection


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Wedding Fashion: Saris dipped in gold

Wedding picks: Top sari and lehenga trends

Wedding Fashion: Saris dipped in gold

Gold is everywhere this season… around your neck, on your ring finger and wrist, and of course, it’s on our clothes. Designers can’t bring enough gold to their lehengas and saris, and we don’t mind, because this time it isn’t OTT.

At Lakme Fashion Week, Anupama Dayal’s collection, which made plenty of good use of Indian embroideries and embellishments in the form of zardosi, gota and brocade.

How to wear gold in your wedding outfit:

  • Wear a sari, lehenga or kurta with gold metallic embellishments.
  • Tone down the bling with a broad gold border on your dupatta or sari.
  • Wear a gold blouse or choli with your lehenga or sari.
  • Don’t forget the gold jewellery!

Anupama Dayal kurta with gold embroidery LFW  Anupama Dayal sari in gold LFW  

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Wedding picks: Top sari and lehenga trends

Wedding picks: Top sari and lehenga trends

As promised, Speaking Chic brings you a special wedding wear series. Our series is not just for Indian brides, but for all our readers who are attending weddings of their friends, family and relatives over the next couple of months.

We kickstart our wedding 2010-2011 series with our top sari, lehenga and churidar-kurtas trends for Indian weddings.

Jewel Tones

Indian weddings are delightfully colourful. Wear jewel tones to make a striking appearance at the wedding, but make sure it’s not ostentatious or loud. (Shyamal & Bhumika lehenga below.)

Shyamal & Bhumika Shodhan lehenga in jewel tones


Who says printed saris should be restricted to day wear? Embellished printed saris look rich, festive and traditional, and can be worn to a wedding with the right jewellery. Take a look at the Satya Paul creation below:

Satya Paul blue sari at Lakme Fashion Week

Shruti Hassan is wearing a blue silk sari with embellishments on the border and blouse (bodice and cuffs).

More hot trends to wear (for sari, lehengas and other Indian wedding wear) coming soon. Stay tuned!

What should I wear: sari or dress? Or both?


Priyanka Chopra in Louis Vuitton on cover of Vogue India November 2010

If you think Priyanka Chopra’s wearing a sari made into a dress on the cover of Vogue India, you’re not the only one. The big hoarding on Mumbai’s Peddar Road had me convinced the smart fashionistas at Vogue India had tailored a sari into a dress for the actor. Turns out that the corset-and-skirt are from Louis Vuitton’s India-inspired capsule collection. Another dress from the collection below:

Louis Vuitton sari dress

The pictures I saw got me umm… excited, to say the least. I got thinking on which of my Mom’s saris I would like to make into another garment, and drew up a wishlist:

  • Brocade sari: Dress (but not a sheath—it’s overdone), flared dress (that can double up as a kurta to wear with churidar), or mini skirt
  • Chiffon sari: Loose tunic or layered dress/ jacket (like Nachiket Barve often does)
  • Net sari: Loose-fitting blouse
  • Sequinned sari: Sexy party dress
  • Lace sari: Blouse or waistcoat (to be worn over a solid tee/ shirt)


Which sari would you tailor into another garment? Tell us!

WLIFW: Wendell Rodricks revives the Kunbi sari

If you haven’t heard of the Kunbi sari before this, you’re not the only one. While people know the Banarasi, Paithani, Kanjeevaram and the Kasavu sari, not many are aware of Goa’s Kunbi sari. Designer Wendell Rodricks, however, is keen to bring Goa’s traditional sari into every fashionista’s wardrobe, with his Spring/ Summer 2011 collection shown at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week recently.

Wendell blended cotton and silk fabrics to create saris, tunics and tube dresses in ivory, sand washed greys and subtle greens (using organic dyes of iron ore, conjee, indigo blue, pomegranate and leaf dyes).

I think the Kunbi sari can make a simple, yet powerful style statement at work, a family gathering, or a bharatnatyam programme.

Take a look at the Kunbi sari and tell us what you think. Also note how Wendell has used the same fabric to create an ideal summer dress.

Kunbi sari at Wendell Rodricks WLIFW Subtle green dress at Wendell Rodricks WLIFW

What do you think of the Kunbi sari? Tell us!

Manish Malhotra gets Ash back on the ramp

Manish Malhotra’s couture bridal collection for HDIL India Couture Week comes soon after his LFW collection, and this time with a much-talked-about showstopper.

Manish went festive with plenty of colours: white to flame red, maroon, wine and jade green. He sexed up the collection with tiny cholis and cutaway backs, teamed with tiered or panelled lehengas, and velvet and brocade borders. Like his LFW collection, he often used shaded net for saris, with zardosi and crystal embellishments. Oh, and he favours kalidar kurtas.

Take a look:

Manish Malhotra couture week- orange lehenga Manish Malhotra couture kalidar kurta

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan walked the ramp for Manish.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at Manish Malhotra

Didn’t think much of this corset-fit blouse.

What do you think of Manish Malhotra’s showstopping outfit for Aishwarya? Tell us!

LFW: Neeta Lulla’s blinding collection

My eyes! My eyes! Neeta Lulla’s Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2010 collection was an uncomfortable experience, to say the least. At one point, I wanted to close my eyes and walk out of the main show area.

Too loud. Too OTT. Too much bling. I should have worn dark glasses to the show.

As a journalist later told me, “Ghastly!”

Neeta Lulla at LFW Neeta Lulla sari at LFW

PS— As mentioned in our Neeta Lulla preview, we weren’t expecting much from the show, but we never thought it would be this bad either. Sigh!

LFW: Manish Malhotra shows us red

Dear Manish,

I loved Kajol’s green lehenga in DDLJ, the shaded saris in almost all Yashraj movies, and I especially love the saris Kareena Kapoor wears on the red carpet (all yours, of course). You’ve made an easy transition from costume designing to creating wearable clothes. You continue dressing gorgeous actors in gorgeous clothes, and bridezillas insist on wearing a Manish Malhotra for their wedding. So what I didn’t understand is why you, of all designers, needed a sponsor for your Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2010 show.

While I did like some of the clothes in your collection, I was a tad disappointed. Using maroon, blue and black, you created a very wearable evening wear collection. But you put hammered everything possible into this collection—from silhouettes to embroidery.

Manish Malhotra show at LFW Manish Malhotra LFW red churidar kurta

I saw harem pants, salwars, kurtas, flowing skirts, lehengas, baby doll kurtis, shaded net and chiffon saris and velvet borders. For embroidery, again you used everything—zari, crystals, sequins and brocade.

The missing link was that there was no link. There was everything, yet not one concrete idea I could use for the upcoming festive season, nor a single “Wow!” moment.Manish Malhotra's show at LFW Mumbai

Manish, people will continue to buy your clothes, and Bollywood will continue to hire you, but here’s some unsolicited advice: experiment, go crazy, think beyond the usual!

Looking forward to your next collection already.

With love,

Speaking Chic team

LFW: Nachiket’s mix-and-match dazzles

Nachiket Barve got the idea for his Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2010 Magpie collection from the bird that steals shiny objects to decorate its nest. The designer “stole” inspiration from around the world, drawing inspiration from objects as varied as fabergé eggs, Moroccan star motifs, Marrakech’s tropical sunsets and Ukrainian paintings.

In true Nachiket style, there was plenty of colour (burgundy, turquoise, purple, ink blue and more) with relaxed, yet structured, silhouettes. The designer expertly combined various techniques in a single garment, such as cross stitch beading with silk and glass beads and 3D appliqué on graphic resist origami dyed dress.

Nachiket Barve cross stitch purple dress Nachiket Barve wrap dress LFW

Nachiket experimented with churidars, kurtas and saris for the first time, with interesting results. For instance, there were couple of tie-and-dye saris with appliqué borders. Also seen was the use of clever layering in contrasting colours.

Nachiket Barve sari LFW

Speaking Chic says: A fun, delightful and wearable collection, with several garments worth keeping for several seasons.