Thursday, 31 March 2016

Bag Review - Dior Diorver Tote

The beginning of a new season in the fashion calendar is always my favourite time of the year. It not only brings in new clothes but lots of new purses for me to play around with and review. This time, I have finally got my hands on the highly coveted and absolute must have for the season (and forever if I may say so), the Diorever bag.

Expertly crafted from bullcalf leather, the bag is lightweight and easy to carry. It boasts a minimalist design with a classic yet modern and structured shape which means you can use it for years to come. The most defining feature is that there are two ways to carry the bag. The reversible magnetic flap closure can be worn over the top handles or you can sort of fold it over to the back (where there are two more magnetic buttons) for a more relaxed look. An internal closure ensures that your belongings are safe however you choose to style it. The double gussets come with side buttons which you can snap shut for a more compact feel if you don't mind reducing the space size.

What I really like is how easily the purse can be opened and closed. I've had a lot of experience with luxury bags that are just not that comfortable to get in and out of. This inside is just as clean cut as the outside and comes with two main compartments and some internal pockets. My only issue was that the top handles don't attach to the sides but at the back. So when I used the bag, it was kind of leaning forward. But honestly, this is a small price to pay for such a beautiful purse. Oh, and the colours it comes in are equally delicious especially the crinkled metallic lambskin and the one in bright pink bullcalf.

I've been a huge fan of Dior handbags for as long as I can remember (those saddle bags from over a decade ago are still fresh in my memory) and from the looks of it, will continue to do so. Very few brands have the ability always keep it fresh and classic at the same time and Dior has done it season after season. J'adore.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Hemant & Nandita AIFW AW16 Review

At Hemant & Nandita, it was definitely winter. Presenting a very international looking collection, this was one of my day 1 favourites. The duo used home furnishing fabrics to create their clothes and it was good. Remember those ugly sofas you used to see at your grandma's home? Well, after the designers' fabulous update, vintage upholstery will never be the same again. Gold jacquard fabrics and gold embroidery was the foundation of the collection and gave the clothes just the right amount of bling.

Outerwear dominated the show with fur collared jackets in winter hues and a metallic sheen, embroidered jacquard overcoats (the white one with colourful work on it was a favourite) and quilted bombers. A red short jacket and a long one, boasting gold detailing stood out in particular. Luxurious woollen skirts followed with embroidered leaves, branches and flowers. Some came with thigh high slits. There were dresses too; some were flirty with all their pleats and some were sexy with the plunging necklines. Knee-high lace up stilettos added the perfect finishing touch to all the looks. This was a fierce collection with clothes that made a statement but looked comfortable to wear at the same time. It's no wonder their clothes are sold at some of the most prestigious department stores around the world.

Runway image via

Shantanu & Nikhil AIFW AW16 Review

Shantanu & Nikhil returned to Delhi fashion week after almost a two year break with their collection named The Last Walk. Their show focussed primarily on occasion wear with a predominantly muted colour palette of dove grey, ivory and beige with a few reds in between. The duo showcased some unusual and interesting draping styles for this collection. Case in point: A fitted, ankle length net dress with jersey fabric sown to form a U across the body. Sculptural, (I say sculptural because the draping reminds me of the ancient columns we see in history books) Greco Roman style dresses dominated the runway and are sure to be red carpet hits. Some came with sort of a high-low hemline, paired with tight pants. No Shantanu & Nikhil collection is complete without leather and so there were second skin style leather pants worn under cape dresses that were cinched at the waist. Lots of net and tulle came in the form of opulent, layered gowns. However, my ultimate favourite: An ivory, oversized, handwoven Bhagalpur wool jacket.

This was an overall beautiful evening wear collection filled with luxurious fabrics and sexy silhouettes. However, I do wish there were separates that could be easily incorporated into a daytime wardrobe too.

Image via

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Bag Review - Gucci GG Marmont Leather Shoulder Bag

Oh boy, have I been dying to discuss this bag on the blog since I bought it a few weeks ago. From the second I saw it online, I knew it was something really special. However, I wasn't sure till I checked it out at the boutique. After which I had my bag fund ready for the purchase!

Featuring a saddle shape, the bag is light, effortless and easy to wear. Since having a baby, practicality has become my number one priority. Last month, I started using my Givenchy Antigona bag again whilst taking Rania out and it turned out to be more of a nuisance than anything else. Imagine trying to juggle a toddler, a pram, a baby bag and then a giant purse! The Gucci on the other hand is much more comfortable. I swapped it for the Givenchy and the Bulgari for the rest of my stay and even used it at the airport on my way back to Delhi.

Crafted from the most luxurious, soft and grained leather, the bag's charm lies in all the  detailing it comes with. My favourite part is the antique gold hardware. The oversized GG, the tiger head and the rings that hold the shoulder strap make a strong statement. Whereas the subtle top stitching exudes understated luxury. Space wise, I have successfully filled it with an ipad mini (for Rania to watch nursery rhymes on the flight!), wallet, keys, passport and a little bit of make up. On another occasion I managed to fit my sunglasses case too. So I would say it's good enough to hold your immediate essentials which is great. That way one doesn't feel the need to keep dumping extra nonsense (guilty as charged). It features a flap closure with a push-lock system so it's relatively easy to open and close. It comes with one internal zip pocket and two small phone pockets. The belt like shoulder strap is adjustable so you can wear it in various lengths. This model comes in three different colours: Black, brown and red. Whilst the former two colours are classic, the red is just stunning to look at and is the one I bought.

Speaking of buying, I did a lot of research as to where the bag was the cheapest. After making a bunch of international calls, turns out, the London Heathrow boutique has the best price. And I have to add, the staff there was so helpful. They reserved the bag for me a week before my friend was due to fly out. All I had to do was give them her contact information and flight time. Here is a list of prices to save you all the hassle!

India - INR 161,000
United States - USD 2,590 (brown colour is cheaper I think)
London - GBP 1510 (you can claim your VAT at the airport)
London Heathrow - GBP 1250
France - EUR 1980 (you can claim your tax refund)
Dubai - AED 9,100

Akaaro By Gaurav Jai Gupta AIFW AW16 Review


I had never heard of the Gaurav Jai Gupta until esteemed journalist Namrata Zakaria wrote about him in one of her articles back in 2013. Despite reading about him nearly three years ago, this happened to be my first show! And I was in for quite a treat. Little did I know that the fashion designer was also a textile designer (pardon my ignorance on that front). In fact, in an interview I read online at Border & Fall, he quotes 'for my graduation in college, I didn't make clothes, I made fabrics.' Most of the cloth used in his collections are hand-woven at his Delhi based studios. For his FW 13 collection, Gaurav teamed up with Swarovski to create fabrics with crystals woven into them which was something really unique. Not only that, the designer loves to experiment with unconventional materials and often uses stainless steel in his weaves.

For the coming fall, Gaurav stayed true to the India Modern theme. Whilst most of the looks were very contemporary, the techniques to create the textiles were as Indian as it could get through the use of traditional weaving techniques. Flatform shoes and the metallic sheen on the clothes exuded a very futuristic vibe. Comfort was key here as was seen through the various easy to wear dresses (especially the shirt-dresses) created from luxurious hand-woven silk. There was a sense of practicality too with the reversible outfits. Who wouldn't want to be able to wear those stainless steel merino wool pants two days in a row? Just turn them inside out and you're good to go! Jackets in tussar silk and some in merino wool were simple and on point with the season. More separates included capes, tunic tops and culottes. However, what stood out the most were the silk zaree sarees that were draped sculpturally and almost as if they were bandaged around the models.

As one can see from this and past collections, Gaurav Jai Gupta has a firm belief in understated luxury and practicality in dressing. Through the use of unconventional materials in textile design combined with age old Indian weaving techniques, his clothes are truly India Modern.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Varun Bahl AIFW AW 16 Review

Varun Bahl was as usual on point with the embroidery in his collection; detailed, intricate and impeccable. This designer returned to the ready to wear market after five years, so naturally, the silhouettes didn't include his elaborate bridal wear (minus the last few looks). The clothes were easy to wear and fuss free. What I loved most about the collection were his versions of the bomber jackets. Beautifully embroidered bombers that seemed really light made their way down the runway. Some paired with dresses, some paired with his signature net lehengas that were toned down to look like maxi skirts, these babies will be flying off the shelves come next winter. A blue jacket in particular, with sheer sleeves and appliqued  flowers is a piece I've got my eye on. Another favourite from the show was a ruffled sleeved black tunic top with lots of white appliqued flowers and a pretty blue owl.

There were dresses made from chiffon and tulle featuring sequins and embroidered animals which seemed slightly off season, but then not every part of India gets a harsh winter. Fur collar accents added a nice touch and as I mentioned above the embroidery was lovely. More than the minis, I liked the semi sheer, layered maxi numbers more. A knee length black dress with a ruffled peplum and a layered net overlay was just stunning.

Overall, it was a nice collection that will do commercially well. Varun is a veteran at the end of the day and knows exactly what will bring in the big bucks. And he delivered just that.