Fashion highlights: Adios, 2010!

As we bid goodbye to 2010, here’s a quick recap of the fashion scene in India and overseas. Kicking off this fashion trends!

Top Fashion Trends we liked

  • Graphic prints
  • Clutches everywhere
  • Lace
  • Mixing prints

Fashion Trends we didn’t like

  • Boyfriend anything (it’s not for everyone)’
  • Kurti and jeans
  • Too much 1970s!
  • Innerwear as outerwear (can anyone really wear this on the street?)

Bollywood

 

Bollywood fashion took the high fashion leap this year with Aisha, starring Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol. Sonam wore Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Christian Lacroix, while toting her Lady Dior, and Abhay Deol made a dapper style statement in Kunal Rawal’s custom-made suits.

Even as the world sought retro inspiration, very few people (and movies) captured the essence of the 1970s without going OTT. One of the few Bollywood hits Once upon a time in Mumbaai got the decade just perfect, right down to Ajay Devgn;s moustache and white-clothes obsession. And we’ve already mentioned how hot Randeep Hooda looked in Ray-Bans.

At the risk of starting another debate, we have to say that we liked Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s clothes in Guzaarish though they seemed completely out of character.

Shopping

 

Every self-confessed shopaholic/ fashionista in India (or at least in Mumbai and Delhi) flocked to Zara when it opened two stores in July. A worthy competitor to Mango (another Spanish fashion brand), Zara quickly became a must-visit shopping destination for visitors to the two cities. My relatives from Amritsar wanted to visit Zara, so did my (not-so-fashionable) boss (sincere apologies in advance!). We were excited enough to take some spy shots there (see this initial Zara review of the Mumbai store).

In the latter half of the year, Delhiites got lucky when a huge Forever 21 store opened at Ambience mall (Vasant Kunj). I briefly visited the much-hyped store in Delhi recently, and I must say I was impressed with the sheer size of the collection, and most of the clothes weren’t too bad either.

And then there was Diesel and plenty others joining the fashion party. Looking forward to more high street brands coming to India in 2011. Fingers crossed!

Advertising

 

Internationally, well-known celebs bagged a number of ad campaigns: from Madonna for Dolce & Gabbana to Julianne Moore (wearing almost nothing) for Bvlgari. Even as the latter ad was banned in Venice, Madonna’s portrayal of a housewife told an enchanting story. Lovely!

On the Indian advertising front, the Levi’s Curve ID TV ad disappointed. A LOT. The Curve ID concept is great (you choose jeans by your body shape rather than size), but the most of the ad shots were focussed on the girls’ umm… behinds. Seemed almost voyeuristic. Great track, though.

Meanwhile, Longines’ Dolce Vita advertisement starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is becoming increasingly popular.

What were the fashion highs (or lows) for you in 2010?

Aisha: A Fashion Primer

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You’ve heard from Aisha’s costume designer Kunal Rawal on how he worked on the guys’ looks. To make it easier for all fashion and film lovers, here’s a mini-guide on Aisha’s fashion, so when you watch the movie, you don’t miss out on the fashion!

We’ve prepared this mini-guide with a little help from both of Aisha’s costume designers—Pernia Qureshi and Kunal Rawal. (Thanks!)

Key Looks

Sonam Kapoor as Aisha: Fun, feminine, high fashion

Abhay Deol as Arjun: Understated, bespoke, corporate

Amrita Puri as Shefali: Sweet behenji (later goes mod)

Ira Dubey as Pinky: Quirky

Lisa Haydon as Aarti: Tailored, glamourous

Arunoday Singh as Dhruv: Outdoorsy, casual

Aisha poster

Clothes: Who’s wearing what?

Aisha: Designer clothes—Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Lacroix… the works! “I shopped everywhere in New York city,” says Pernia. “Thrift stores, vintage stores, department stores, the street…” (Speaking Chic has learnt that Frock was one of the stores)

Shefali: Anamika Khanna churidar-kurtas

Arjun: Bespoke Kunal Rawal suits

Statement accessories

Aisha: “The Lady Dior is Aisha’s go-to bag, it goes with everything!” says Pernia.

Arjun: Vintage YSL belt, Cartier watch, tie clips

Colours

Sonam: Pastels, whites, some pop colours

Abhay: Lots of colour blocking (such as two-tone ties); off colours like powder and sky blue, ice blue, tones of maroons and tobacco browns

abhay_sonam_aisha

What to steal from Aisha

Pernia: “Everything is wearable. That was something I kept in mind while styling.”

Kunal: “Learn to block your colours well, and adopt an understated style.”

Costume designer favourites

Pernia’s favourite: Pink Christian Lacroix vintage top and skirt

Kunal’s favourites: Abhay’s metallic blazer in denim in the party scene; Arunoday’s sherwani in Gal meethi, Cyrus’s black Dior leather jacket with white t-shirt

Watch out for

Pernia says: The first wedding sequence, salsa song and Sonam’s purple climax dress

Kunal says: Salsa song, detailing on Abhay’s suits

Last word

You will spot both Pernia and Kunal in the film, and Kunal’s roasting marshmallows! “To my defence, everyone was styled in that shot except me!” Kunal exclaims.

Enjoy the movie and tell us what you think of the fashion in the film!

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Interview: The man behind Aisha’s men

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In the past few weeks, Abhay Deol in shirtsleeves, looking absolutely dishy in Aisha promos, is giving a whole new meaning to corporate-cool. A modern-day take on Jane Austen’s Emma, Aisha is perhaps India’s first truly fashion film, with Sonam Kapoor in designer wear throughout, and Abhay Deol looking dapper in bespoke suits. (Psst.. last December, we had touted Aisha as the film to watch out for in 2010).

Speaking Chic talks to the costume designer behind the Aisha men—Kunal Rawal. Kunal_Rawal_LFWKunal is a young Mumbai-based designer known for his casual wear label D.stress. His clothes have been worn by ShahRukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, among others.

You have worked with Anil Kapoor’s production house earlier—doing some outfits for Akshaye Khanna and Arshad Warsi in Shortkut. What led you to Aisha?

After Shortkut, I wanted to experiment with different fields, and decided to dedicate some time to fashion weeks and films. I took up Aisha because I knew the producers understood fashion and its importance completely.

To what extent do you think films need to pay attention to costumes?

The young Indian audience wants to see something real in films. At the same time, a movie is about actors, the characters they portray and their performances. If a costume doesn’t work, the character breaks down. If an actor gives a brilliant performance wearing a garish shirt, but the garish shirt will be more talked about than his performance.

In Aisha, Abhay Deol plays Arjun Burman, an investment banker; how much do you relate to that?

I’m poles apart from a banker! And that’s what excited me about working on this film.

How did you arrive on a look for Arjun Burman?

As a contemporary banker, Arjun would have a certain taste—opting for comfort and practicality, while still being stylish. Keeping this in mind, we looked for the right fabric and cut for Arjun. The fabric we chose was a good cotton blend, not too woolly and not too limp either. We created mood boards for him, and I designed custom-made suits for Arjun.  What resulted was at least a dozen custom-made suits for Abhay, each of an optimum cut and fit.

How would you define Abhay’s suits in the film?

The suits are simple, yet unique because of the subtle detailing—slim, single-vented, single breasted, with small lapels.

abhay_deol_aisha1

What is Arjun’s style statement?

Arjun doesn’t try too hard to look great, though he has a sophisticated style. For example, he blocks his colours well—you will see two-tone ties, in which the knot is one colour, while the tie is another.

And how would Arjun dress casually?

Arjun will wear a suit casually, without a belt. Check out the denim shirt in the posters, that’s in Arjun’s favourite fit, not what a typical banker would wear, but it works for him. He also loves crewneck t-shirts. 

As Aisha, Sonam Kapoor’s Lady Dior bag is her statement accessory. What is Abhay’s statement accessory?

His vintage YSL belt and Cartier watch—the Santos 100. He’s also wearing vintage tie-pins.

Where did you shop for the movie?

Even though Abhay’s look is mostly bespoke, I shopped a lot in London and New York for accessories, especially at thrift and vintage stores.

Let’s talk about Arunoday Singh, who plays Dhruv. How different is he from Arjun?

Dhruv is the complete antithesis of Arjun—he’s an outdoorsy Marlboro man.  So he’s wearing free-falling fabrics like linens and mulls.

Bollywood influences fashion—take the example of Shahrukh Khan’s Polo t-shirt in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. In what way will Abhay Deol’s clothes influence men’s fashion on the streets?

All the looks are very relatable and achievable. I’m sure understated fashion will come back to the fore. So will colour blocking for men—it’s as simple as choosing your colours right. Also overshirts, like the one Arunoday Singh wears, could be a rage.

 

What did you think of this interview? Do you have any questions for Kunal Rawal? Tell us!

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Chic Leggings: Going graphic

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I see graphic t-shirts everywhere I go. Girls wearing them, their moms wearing them, on the racks (including at Zara recently), in window displays… And then I came across a pair of graphic-printed leggings, at a high street store abroad. They were certainly eye-catching, though I found them a bit daring for me. I didn’t think I had the panache and confidence to carry it off.

Then I saw Sonam Kapoor sporting a similar pair in a recent interview. Yes, the same Sonam Kapoor who wore badly-fitted anarkali-churidar not too long ago. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), she carried off the graphic tights really well. Paired with a long black tee, it was a deadly combo that elongated Sonam’s super long legs. Check out the TV grab below and don’t miss Sonam’s bejewelled clutch.

sonam_kapoor_graphic_tights

Needless to say, I’m giving these tights a second thought, but I think I’ll wear them only when I’m on TV. 😉 Would you wear graphic-print leggings? Tell us!

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2009: Bollywood round up

Best on-screen wardrobe

It wasn’t Kareena nor Katrina, but Sushmita Sen’s outfits in Do Knot Disturb that were tres chic! She donned the right clothes for the role of a rich woman being cheated on by her husband — high-fashion and luxe.

The movie was a real drag, but Sush’s clothes made me look forward to her next screen appearance. The final scene in which she wore a white dress, statement chain-link necklace and hat? Fantastic end to an otherwise boring movie.

Weirdest on-screen wardrobe

Kareena Kapoor’s outfits in Kurbaan gets a thumbs down from us. In Delhi, she tried the Indo-Bohemian look, with a fitted V-neck tee, shawl draped round her neck, flowing ghagra skirt, AND a churidar. How’s that for too much? Sorry, but it just doesn’t work. When she shifted to NY, she apparently forgot her clothes in India, and stuck to body-hugging tees with tight jeans and leggings. Great body, girl, but excite us, we’ve seen enough of bodycon!

Most disappointing wardrobe

Skirts are a girl’s new best friend, agreed. But did we have to see Katrina Kaif in skirts and sleeveless tops and dresses in almost every frame of Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani? Ranbir Kapoor’s thin long ties and crazy prints were more exciting than Katrina’s bare arms, frankly.

Wardrobe revival

You can never go wrong with Sabyasachi saris, so that was a safe bet. But Vidya Balan going boho-chic in Paa flashbacks definitely wasn’t. The talented actor brightened the silver screen with a) the saris and b) earthy colours and long skirts, complemented by messed up and crimped long hair.

Both looks totally worked for Ms Balan, and methinks it’s partly due to with the newfound confidence thanks to her weight loss. Well done!

Saddest beauty trend

Yes, size zero is always troublesome, but that’s so 2008. The last month of the year threw a new bouncer at us: two lovely dusky women in TV commercials looking completely whitewashed! We mean Kajol and Deepika Padukone endorsing Olay and Neutrogena respectively. There was good money for sure, but why did they appear so pale? God help us!

Great expectations of 2010

A sneak peek into the sets of Aisha has Sonam Kapoor looking casual, well-dressed and fresh, while Abhay Deol is just as dapper.

Based on Jane Austen’s Emma, it’s the movie to watch out for in 2010.