Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Pregnant (And Very Sleepy) Fashion Blogger

Sigh, where do I begin after a long leave of absence from my beloved blog? Well the truth is, this was a totally unwanted leave! Apart from heading to London for a lovely getaway with my mother and later the husband. The deal is that I am 12 weeks pregnant. And with the first trimester comes extreme exhaustion making me a total sleepy head. It's almost like my brain just stopped functioning. To be honest I don't even know how I managed to cover couture week. Between the nausea and the sleepiness it was a miracle I managed to attend. As soon as I got back to Dubai (and Delhi now) the only thing I managed to get done successfully was lay on the couch in the family room from the minute I woke up to well, pretty much most of the day!

Now that I am almost done with the first trimester, I am looking forward to more productive days filled with relatively more energy and hopefully be less of a sleepyhead. There have been so many things I wanted to write about. First was the long overdue haute couture week that happened in Paris, followed by India Couture week and then some bag reviews. I am quite excited about two really cool bags I am going to talk about in the coming few days. I'm just waiting for the bag samples to be sent to me. These are some pretty new and HOT bags so currently they're in the middle of shoots with a lot of high fashion magazines. Once they're back, they'll be sent to me where I will photograph and review them.

Now that you know why I've been MIA, here's cheering me entering my second trimester and some fun upcoming blog posts!


The pregnant blogger (who is in dire need of new clothes that FIT!)

Monday, 21 July 2014

India Couture Week 2014 - Dissecting What I Wore

It's very rare for me to post photos of what I wear to events or even out and about because generally I am not a very experimental person. I have standard style which I define as classic chic and stick to the basics which I have now become very bored with. I am starting to get a little sick of the usual silk shirts and skinny jeans that I hoard season after season. For this couture week, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and experiment a bit! Here's the dissection.

Day 1 was Sabyasachi, so naturally I HAD to wear one of his outfits. I decided to attack my sister's closet for her Sabyasachi couture outfit she wore for the day of my nikkah. It was this beautiful oxblood colored choga with the most exquisite embroidery in dull gold and was unlike anything the designer ever created. Of course I wasn't going to wear the choga, (velvet in 40 degrees centigrade, I am not that bad a fashion victim). I was going to wear the palazzo pants that was to be worn under the choga.

Mind you, I've never worn big, flared pants ever before. The pants were in a dark wine colour and had a block print all over with a big embroidered border at the end. So basically when you wear the whole ensemble together, only the border of the pants can be seen. I tried those on with a black shirt and a pair of heels and it looked pretty fun, so I settled on that. On the day of the show, I paired the outfit with polki earrings and a maroon Chanel 2.55 bag to complete the look. Any thoughts?

The pants under the choga
3.5 years later, pairing the pants with a shirt!
For day 2, I had already decided I was going to wear my oversized SS 14 Acne Studios poplin shirt dress (click on the link if you want to buy it). The fabric of the dress was just beautiful and perfect for a hot summer night. I cinched the dress at the waist with a very old Ferragamo belt that I had lying somewhere in my closet. For my accessories, it was my cool new Moschino bracelet, Saint Laurent Paris Chyc clutch in a yellow and SS 14 Prada wedges (click on the link to purchase). For the finishing touch, I added a red insect brooch on the lapel of my dress.

The third day was a bit of a dilemma. I had absolutely no clue what to wear and I was determined to do another fun indo-western combination. Finally, I decided on wearing a pair of Forever 21 skinny jeans, a crisp ZARA white shirt with my beautifully embroidered Anamika Khanna sleeveless jacket (remember the Anamika anarkali I talked about a little white ago in one of my currently trending posts that came with a jacket as part of the ensemble). For the accessories it was a blue Saint Laurent Paris Chyc clutch, antique blue and green chatri earrings and once again for the finishing touch I added these eagle collar pins I picked up from Primark last year. Et voila!

Tip: When buying Indian clothes, try and invest in pieces that have separates that can be worn individually as well. This way you get more use out of your Indian wear because most our expensive Indian clothes end up being worn twice at the most and then just sit at the back of our closets! So for example, my wedding sangeet outfit was a JJ Valaya couture jacket worn over this stunning Spanish style skirt with round metal rings inside it. I have worn the jacket with the skirt and with skinny jeans. The skirt also can be worn separately white shirt that has an oversized collar. Same goes for the clothes I described above. So always keep an eye out for ensembles that you can pair with western clothes as well. Just more value for money. Not to mention, if worn correctly, it can look absolutely fabulous.

Now for my final day of India couture week ( I didn't attend the last two days), I was kind of tired and decided to keep it fairly simple. A pink Diane Von Furstenberg silk shirt worn over a denim Zara pencil skirt. For the accessories it was a camel Givenchy Antigona clutch, Gucci suede high heeled loafers  with horsebits and a statement Swarovski necklace. I was so blah that day, sadly I didn't really take a picture of myself at the venue!

And that's all folks! Reviews to be posted shortly.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fashion Week Etiquettes - DON'T Push Unless There's An EarthQuake

Fashion week is always an exciting time. For people who get personal invites from the designer and for us media people. It's a time when you put on your best and perhaps the quirkiest clothes, witness some great fashion by some of our country's best designers and of course a fun time to socialise with people.

I have only become a fashion week regular this year as I applied for the media accreditation to cover shows for my blog. Previously I would attend shows as the PR would send us invites for being regular customers. Between then and now, I don't know why I continue to get shocked at people's behaviour during the shows. Take the Sabyasachi couture show that kick started India Couture Week the other day. First and foremost, it was a bit frustrating that there was no separate media entry as there usually is during Ready To Wear fashion weeks. But that isn't the worst part. I am okay with standing in line with everyone else attending to enter the show area.

What I am not okay with is the stampede that takes place to get in. You see I have always been one of those who will stand in a queue, never breaks a line and patiently wait for my turn. Because it is something I have been taught in school and by my parents. But what I witnessed for that show was women, head to toe in designer wear (like I was too), dripping in diamonds, ELBOWING their way through to get in! Elbowing I would say is an understatement. I am talking pushing with full force, pulling hard at their friends who may be a bit far behind to get them to come join them at the front so they can get in faster. What I don't get is that if the seats are all numbered, what difference does it make how fast you get in? Like they say, there are some things money just can't buy - and that's class!

There I was getting squished with my friend and fellow blogger Rasna, and then there was poor Sunil Sethi screaming at the bouncers for not stopping more people from entering. The entry into the Sabyasachi show was just plain disgusting. Even if lets say the organisers may have botched it up a bit, but we are civilised humans right? We do have an education. Most people attending fashion week are educated. Be it photographers, journalists, buyers, clients, whoever! I don't see the need to push your way through. Between all the pushing and pulling, I was honestly scared that I might fall down one of the stairs!

The point of this post was to try and send a message to fashion week regulars. Please don't keep up this behaviour. After all we aren't animals! Unless you get front row seats, you still can't see the collection properly so save all your pushing and pulling for an emergency like an earthquake! Hell you can't see the clothes properly from the third row which is where we bloggers usually sit. Anyways, the next time you attend a top notch designer's show, try and maintain some level of dignity. And this goes for everyone including journalists, not just the socialites.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Dior FW 14 Haute Couture - Looking To The Past For The Future

Hello everyone! I am finally back from the dead. Okay not the dead but from my very lovely summer holiday in case you were wondering where I had disappeared off to. Anyways, its back to work now which means catching up on the Fall/Winter haute couture shows starting with Dior.

I thought after following Raf Simons for Dior so closely for the last few years, that I might have had him all figured out. You know, his minimalist aesthetic, his love for architecture and bright colours, etc. After I saw the FW 14 Haute Couture show, turns out, I hadn't had him all figured out.

The show theme was kind of like a quick presentation on fashion history. “I was interested in the process of finding something extremely modern, through something very historical; particularly through a juxtaposition of different themes,” explains Raf Simons in the press note. Divided into eight parts, the show started with Marie Antoinette style dresses, except they looked like what she may have worn in present day times. Most of them were worn with panniers, like Marie Antoinette's court dresses but these were modernised with pockets and tulle that was light and breathable.

Flight suit inspired silhouettes came next. Who would have thought that outfits worn by space goers would make their way into couture! The juxtaposition of feminine embroidery on silk against industrial-esque zippers on jumpsuits inspired by astronauts was a fine touch.  The silk dresses with zippers all the way down the front had a pretty clear message; that haute couture dresses need not take forever to wear. The Edwardian coats paired with contrasting trousers that followed were just breath-taking despite their simplicity. However, nothing could steal the limelight from the 18th century court jackets with the most exquisite embroidery on them paired with simple turtle necks and trousers. There was also a new, super cool version of the Bar jacket. This time collars were exaggerated and looked almost architectural with my favourite being the rounded collar as seen on Malaika Firth. The show closed with feminine, pleated silk dresses bringing technology and tradition together.

Historical references in ready to wear and haute couture are nothing new. But the way Raf re-interpreted it is very new. Whenever we think of 18th century inspirations, it is almost a reflex to assume the clothes will be big ball gowns filled with layers of tulle and heavy embroidery. However, not anymore. He has managed to make the past a lot less dramatic and a lot more suited to everyday life. “It was an idea of confronting what people now think is an aesthetic that is modern – it felt more modern to go to the far past, not the ‘modernised ‘look of the last decade. The challenge was to bring the attitude of contemporary reality to something very historical; bringing easiness to something that could be perceived as theatrical. It is the attitude that matters.” explains Raf in the press note. Once again, a fantastic delivery from one of the most important men in the fashion industry.

Click here to watch a video on the highlights of the show or click here to see the entire image gallery. In the meantime scroll down to enjoy some photos of my favourite looks along with a short video featuring the magnificent set.

Image Courtesy: Christian Dior