Thursday, 30 January 2014

Kitsch Launches Marchesa!! Wooohooooo

Marchesa, a Hollywood red carpet favourite, has finally entered Indian territory and we have Priya & Charu Sachdev to thank for that. Last Friday, I went for the fabulous launch of this great new venture by the sisters and it was a fashionable one. My favourite club, Blue Bar at Taj Palace, had pretty floral archways in the patio that served as a runway where models, including the ever so gorgeous Lisa Hayden strutted in these beautiful gowns.




Marchesa presented during New York fashion week

Marchesa  presented during New York fashion week
The clothes designed by Georgina and Keren are as close to couture as it can get. The gowns and cocktail dresses always have the most exquisite detailing on them; be it embroidery, embellishments or feathers and are made out of the finest fabrics."Marchesa collections fuse exquisite detailing with supreme femininity and we are excited to bring this beautiful brand experience into Kitsch's offering" says Charu.

Over the last two years, the trends at Indian weddings have been changing. During a youngster's or even a wedding sangeet, more and more Indian brides chose to wear a gown as opposed to Indian wear. Most of them opt for Indian designers to create their gowns, but I think it's great that we have Marchesa dresses in our country too now as it gives the Indian market more variety to chose from. Not to mention these dresses are just so unique and their cuts are just a class apart.

But it's not just in bridal wear that this trend is changing. I have attended a lot of fancy farmhouse parties (Diwalis, birthdays, etc) where women are seen in gowns and cocktail dresses.  

Spending power has increased in our country and our style mavens are always on the look out for something that stands out. That is exactly what Marchesa is. Something different, something exquisite and something fabulous.



Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Lightness Of Modern Day Haute Couture

Haute couture has long been associated with flamboyance and Cinderella style ball gowns that are filled with never ending layers of tulle and are extremely uncomfortable to wear. However, the SS 14 couture collections presented last week gave us a new meaning to couture. Most of the designers featured garments that were extremely wearable despite thousands of hours of craftsmanship involved in creating them. 

Let’s start with the Valentino collection. A very light and breezy gown opened the show with musical notes that took 1600 hours of embroidery. But from far, it actually looked like the notes were printed, so you can only imagine how light the gown must have felt when Katy Perry wore it to the Grammy's.  Next, were these ethereal ballerina tutu style dresses in which one of them had a snake made out of feathers that slithered from the shoulder, wrapped itself around the waist thrice and made its way towards the thigh. I wonder how many hours that must have taken?!



Moving on to Dior, as I mentioned in my previous post, this was yet another collection that looked light as air, but at the same time was one of the most labour intensive ones produced by the couture house. The minimalist aesthetic was a strong one here, but there was intricate hand embroidery done in almost every garment you saw on the runway. We also saw the new couture jumpsuit and jumpsuits have always been so casual. But, in this new era of couture, women are no longer required to be uncomfortable in their clothes. Women today don't spend their day playing dress up. Time is of the essence. Even an haute couture client who may be hosting a benefit has to walk around and mingle with her guests. If she wears a dress that weighs heavier than her, how on earth can she walk around?

At Chanel, the sportswear movement was prevalent throughout. There were sporty skirts and boxy crop tops with fitted corsets underneath. Not the kind of corsets that leave you gasping for air, but the kind that you actually run around in. Then there were cycling shorts that had sequins and little motifs embroidered on them just like the flirty, dropped waist, lightweight dresses. Silhouettes with feather seemed light as air as did the wedding dress that closed the show. We Indians are so used to wearing lehengas that weigh ten kilos, its refreshing to see minimalism enter bridal wear.

The collection plays tricks with your eyes! As someone who sees the shows on all I see is light garments that shimmer as the model moves and sometimes when I zoom in I get to see a little bit of the detailing. Its only when I researched further, did I find out the iridescent effect of every garment came from the hundreds of tiny sequins that were stitched on to the fabric. That was what mesmerised me the most, that some of the work was so subtle, you only realise it when you close up images.

Another much talked about collection was that of Viktor & Rolf for using latex to create the garments. The nude coloured dresses were almost like second skin and sometimes it was hard to differentiate! A dress that was made from folds of latex had a hand painted bird that looked like it was holding the folds. The entire collection was extremely light, and the hand painted birds, ruffles and bows that were used for the detailing were my favourite. Even though this seemed more of a promotional activity for their new perfume, the clothes definitely were in sync with the era of modernised haute couture.


While most of Alexandre Vauthier's collection was quite sensual with the braided leather skirts and chokers with spikes, however, there was an element of lightness in some silhouettes. In particular, a shirt dress, that was reinterpreted in satin by dropping the hemline all the way to the ankle and a slit that was thigh high. Perfect for a girl who lives by the 'I don't give a shit' mantra but loves her couture too.


Footwear too played an important role in these shows. At Schiaparelli, there were flats with crocodile leather straps and plumes used to decorate them. Viktor & Rolf used ballerina shoes. Dior and Chanel had the couture sneakers. The flat shoes symbolise liberation. Enough of the six inch high heel drama. Make way for flats people!

Dior sneakers

Chanel sneakers that can cost up to 3,000 Euros

Schiaparelli flats

The clothes and footwear in last week's shows send a strong message. No longer do women have to be uncomfortable to be fashionable. Not in footwear and not in couture. It is truly a new era of high fashion.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Christian Dior SS 14 Haute Couture - Entering A New Era Of Couture

Light and airy… those were my first words to my fabulous friends at Dior PR when I emailed them as I was watching the show. Raf Simons has set the bar for what modern day couture should look like. It was all about understanding today’s woman and the fast paced life she lives.

At a glance you might think, oh well that didn’t look like a collection that would take hours of craftsmanship due to the minimalist aesthetic. That is far from the truth. Cut work detailing was key to this collection. Almost every look  had small cut outs playing peek-a-boo with either skin, more delicate cut outs or intricate embroidery behind the layer. There were small three dimensional flowers or stems stitched on to the dresses that were jutting out which was a fine play of textures.

An ink blue skater skirt with a matching silk top in particular caught my eye. There were a million leaves (at least that’s what it looked like to me) that were sewn on to form flowers around a print of a woman standing on a rock. And if you pay close attention, some of the blue leaves were even painted white on the edge to add extra detailing….poetic. A strapless gown (I’m hoping to see it at the Oscar’s or perhaps even a big fat Indian wedding sangeet) with an overlay of cut out fabric resembling a honeycomb had another white layer attached on to the waist with white punched holes that shimmered as the model walked. Shimmered, because every bit of the fabric was covered in embroidery that only the finest hands in Paris can do. A white strapless mini dress with exaggerated peplums where the holes gave way to many tiny colourful flowers. There were even jumpsuits in this new era of couture!

Moving on to jewellery, Raf used merely a single chain with a pretty bow that grazed the collarbone evoking sensuality. Its not always about the bling or dripping in diamonds. It’s all about elegance and that can come with a simple chain too, just depends on the attitude.

I’m saving the best part for the last, which were (I’m sure you’re thinking when is she going to talk about THAT!) the sneakers. Yes sneakers at Dior Haute Couture for the first time ever. Only proving that Raf understands today’s woman so intimately. Imagine a girl at her cotillion who has just danced with her blue blooded partner and has an after party to attend. What does she do? She puts on her dancing shoes… her couture trainers.

Raf is always ahead of the game. Making couture more comfortable, wearable and effortless despite being one of the most labour intensive collections produced by the couture house; GENIUS.

Please enjoy some photos from the collection below or click here to see the entire show.

Image Courtesy: Christian Dior




Favourite Look

Favourite Look - Notice the sneakers


Favourite Look

Monday, 20 January 2014

Le Mill Is Coming To Delhi - More Reasons To Rejoice

Okay all my fabulous Dilliwallas! I've got good news for all of you. I have just been informed that Le Mill is having a pop up shop in our very own city! Between the 23rd and 25th January, head over to 125/126 Meherchand Market, 1st Floor to check out the merchandise. The FW 13 stuff is going to be at 50 per cent off and older merchandise is at 70 per cent off.

Oh man, I've been dying to buy a Peter Pilotto skirt and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get my hands on one this week. I also feel the sudden need to buy another Alexander Wang bag. Don't ask me why. I just bought the Victoria Beckham clutch I featured in a previous post and trust me I should NOT be shopping. But when such temptations are within the realms of your own home, I guess I should just give in and do what the voices in my head say.. they eerily whisper .."go shopping Hanadi, you NEED new stuff". Apart from the bag obsession that I have, I'm thinking of focussing on ready to wear items when I visit their pop up shop. I have, off late developed a strong liking for Mary Katarantzou dresses. Plus there was this SS 13 blazer from Joseph that I had seen in London and was stupid enough not to buy it so I'm like really really hoping I find that in their older merchandise. Can you think of a better way to end a bitterly cold January?

Okay enough of what I plan on buying? What will you have your eyes on at the sale? DON'T forget, 23rd to 25th January. Happy shopping people!



Sunday, 19 January 2014

Why I'm LOVING Le Mill India! (Pardon me for not having discovered it sooner)

We Indians are big fans of luxury designers and love nothing more than to put on our best outfits paired with fabulous accessories and head out to socialise. However, at some point, due the lack of variety with International brands things started getting a little saturated here. It was only the usual Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel that we would end up seeing on people and quite frankly it tires the eyes out. Not to say I don’t adore these brands, in fact, I am a loyal Gucci fan and Chanel, well if you’ve been reading my previous posts, you’ll know that I am currently saving for another 2.55 bag. But beyond a certain point, you want to see other fun brands in the fashion circuit, like an Alexander Wang Pelican bag or maybe a super fun Jason Wu clutch.

I recently heard about a Mumbai based multi-designer boutique, Le Mill. Yes I know you’re probably like raising an eye brow, thinking ‘WHAT, you JUST heard about it??’ Hey, better late than never right? This new, albeit a late discovery has got me extremely excited. They also have an e-commerce site to make their goods available all over India, which is fantastic since I live in Delhi. I went through every product on their website to check out their merchandise and I have to say I am so impressed. I wanted to see how competitive their prices were as it just makes my life easier if I can buy these brands in India itself, so I decided to compare the prices that they are selling their stuff at with international e-commerce sites.

The Le Mill boutique in Mumbai
First up in my comparison list was the Proenza Schouler PS1 leather Ipad case on the Le Mill site which retails at INR 37000. A similar leather Ipad case on net-a-porter was working out to be INR 46,415 and that’s if I choose to deliver it to Dubai. For some reason when I clicked ship to India the ipad case wouldn’t show up. Ordering it to India anyways would be more expensive as duties are higher. So for a similar ipad clutch which differs only very slightly in dimensions (on Le Mill it’s 11x8.5 and net-a-porter its 11x9), surprisingly, it’s cheaper in India! Granted that colourful Ipad cases are last season as they recently went on sale everywhere, however, I checked the Barney’s sale price and it was 24,000 INR not inclusive of shipping and duties which pretty much works out to be the same price eventually.
Next up was the Alexander Wang IT bag, the Rocco. The Rocco Black Dumbo retails with Le Mill for INR 50,450 and when I checked the retail price on the Alexander Wang website (I made sure I checked the dimensions and all) the price was INR 56,983 and this doesn’t include the US city taxes if you were to buy it there itself or duties if you were to order it online from an e-commerce site. I had featured an orange Rocco that was on sale on My Theresa for a previous post where the sale price was INR 37952 again, not inclusive of duties or shipping.

Reese Witherspoon with the Rocco bag

Rihanna with the Rocco bag

Moving on, my next item was the Peter Pilotto Abbey top. It retails at Le Mill for INR 67,650 and for INR 68,256 at net-a-porter which is pretty much the same price as the net-a-porter price is inclusive of duties. However, at least when you order it from Le Mill, and the top doesn’t fit you get the ‘free returns in India’ option which honestly is very important. My mom ordered a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes from Saks Fifth Avenue which didn’t fit very well and for her to send it back meant losing out on roughly 200 dollars!

After careful research on these items (there were more I researched on but I wont bore you with my in depth analysis), I am now more excited than ever to start shopping from this fabulous boutique and their online site. And other than the prices, the list of designers they stock is amazing! Isabel Marant (yes, they have the absolutely MUST HAVE Bekett sneakers), and even Shourouk!! Funnily I just spoke about Shourouk in a previous post and I find out the brand is available on home turf. The Row, Pamela Love and even Alexander Wang’s diffusion line T by Alexander Wang; Le Mill is now a part of my internet explorer favourites.

Anna Dello Russo wearing a Shourouk necklace
Gisele Bundchen in the Isabel Marant Bekett sneakers
Seriously I want to hit myself on the head because I was in Mumbai last week and I never went to the boutique! It’s all good, when I spend two months there during April and May, I know exactly where I’ll be lingering.