Showing posts with label FDCI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FDCI. Show all posts

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.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

In Conversation With Shweta Kapur Of 431-88

Shweta Kapur

431-88 By Shweta Kapur SS15

The last fashion week, my aim was to look beyond the usual fashion big wigs of the industry. I wanted to check out more of the upcoming Indian designers and one such designer that came up on my radar was Shweta Kapur. I had the pleasure of hanging out with the designer at her stall and made sure not to miss her show. In fact her show was quite fun! I Loved how everyone got the 431-88 stamp on their arms and of course her clothes were fantastic.

The SS15 theme was Poolside Tailoring and featured slouchy shirts, cropped jackets, soft drapes, sexy slits, some deep necklines and contemporary saris all paired with Nike floaters. I mean pairing a sari and Nike floaters... just the sound of it makes you raise an eyebrow. But not in the case of Shweta Kapur. The closing look (sari and cropped jacket) in my opinion was the winning one. It really changes the way we have been perceiving this traditional Indian garment. The entire collection had this very relaxed vibe to it. The clothes just seemed so easy to put on! Nothing too restricting. Trousers were on the looser side and some garments came with a shiny drape attached either from the bust to the waist or waist to the thigh to add a bit of a bling. What fun right?

Anyways, so since I've become a fan of the label, I figured why not get inside the head of Shweta Kapur. Here's me digging deeper on the designer's background, more on her SS15 collection and future plans for the label:

Me: What does 431-88 mean?

SK: Sorry to disappoint but they are merely the last 5 digits of my phone number. 

Me: You've come really far in a short span of time. Briefly describe your journey. (P.S, she's got celebrities like Alia Bhatt and Diana Penty wearing her clothes)

SK: I studied womenswear at LCF and graduated in 2011. While studying, I did a series of internships with international labels like Burberry and VPL and Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla and Nitin Bal Chauhan in India. After graduation, I trained under a fashion consultant who did a series of projects including window dressing, personal styling and brand management for a year, after which I came back to India to start 431-88. 

Me: You use of colour is very limited. Is there any particular reason why?

SK: That’s not necessarily true. My SS14 was full of colour.  It’s not really about use of colour or not, it’s very mood based. If the season comes with a certain inspiration, it is then up to the inspiration to speak of the colours and its usage. Sometimes colours work and sometimes they don't. It's not like I purposely do not use colour. I love my pinks :)

Inside the stall

Me: What would you is say is your signature design aesthetic?

SK: Sexy meets sporty.

Me: What kind of fabrics do you like to work with?

SK: Fabrics to me make or break the garment. You could have a stellar pattern but if the fabric doesn't stand up to the same it’s a fail! Heavy crepes, tailoring fabrics are always my first preference and leather is of course a favorite too.

Me:Your ideal target market?

SK: The 431-88 woman is a global citizen. She sticks to classics and often shuns the trends. She is anywhere from 20 - 40 years of age and is well aware of what her style speaks of and is very certain of her sartorial choices and isn't really someone who is trend centric. In terms of fashion she is focused and has a steady knowledge of the market. 

Me: Tell me a little bit about your SS15 collection. What inspired you? What made you use Nike floaters to pair with the clothes?

SK: For SS15 I wanted to focus more on the commercial aspect as I felt it was lacking in the previous collections. The entire collection revolved around the idea of a hungover Sunday morning spent next to the pool. I wanted to relax down the idea of tailoring hence we styled it with pool sliders for the show. Sleeves of the blazers were rolled up, shirts were loose on the body and the slits were made higher. 

Me: There were two saris on the ramp. Was this the first time you showcased Indian wear?

SK: Yes to showcase but I have been doing my version of Indian wear for stores for a little while.  

Me: Do you plan on designing Indian clothes, or would you want to stick to Western wear? Yes/No and why.

SK: I thought about what the 431-88 woman would wear on occasions that demanded Indian wear. She would want something that is different from what is available and something that is fuss free. So I did cropped blazers instead of blouses and pre-stitched saris and pants that take the form of saris. I just like the idea of taking something and making it 431-88. For me, my approach to design has changed from battling it between Indian wear and Western, to just focusing on providing my client with a complete wardrobe.

Me: Do you see 431-88 with an accessories line in the near future?

SK: We already do. We always do our own bags, snoods and beanies so the world really is our oyster. It is great I feel when you can approach your favorite designer for all your wardrobe solutions.

Me:What e-commerce platforms are you currently retailing with?

SK: As of now, only my own.

Me: Any plans of opening your own store?

SK: Not right now. Our main focus is on our website and making the brand better and stronger. It is still considerably young and we have a lot yet to achieve.

Me: Any plans on going international?

SK: Like I said before, the focus is first and foremost on making 431-88 a strong brand. To cater to our international clients, we are going to start international  deliveries soon through our website. Though we have done pop up stores in the past in London, it is not something that we are focusing on. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Monisha Jaising - India Couture Week 2014

Whilst I know India Couture Week finished over a month ago, I still want to talk about my second favourite show. As I mentioned in the Anju Modi post, I attended only three days out of which I thoroughly enjoyed only two shows. Anju Modi and Monisha Jaising.

The show started with some interesting Indo-Western style full skirted gowns made out of silk at the bottom half. The bodices were either leather, or had rococo style embroidery on a burgundy fabric or gold stripes entwined into the bodice. I've been obsessed with leather clothing, so naturally the gown with the leather bodice really got me excited. Another favourite silhouette was the pale pink saree with the embroidered cropped jacket on top. Pairing a cropped jacket over a saree isn't a new concept, but the look was still lust worthy. It had an air of nonchalance to it.

Now for the real piece de resistance, it was the sherwanis that really stole the limelight in my opinion. Meticulous garment construction paired with luxurious fabrics like heavy wool crepe and intricate embroidery inspired by the peacock gate of the City Palace courtyard, I am yet to see a better shervani in the last few seasons. Personally I am a huge fan of the bandh gala jacket/shervani or whatever you may like to call it and swear by my JJ Valaya couture jacket. I have no doubt that the Monisha Jaising ones are going to be an instant hit with a long client list waiting to order them. When paired with contrasting embroidered leggings, the look is a little blingy, but good bling. Not tacky but just really fresh and playful. The colours used such as pale pink and powder blue were just perfect.

When it came to the saris, whilst most of them were great, one in particular caught my eye. An ivory coloured saree, with mukaish work and silk embroidery on it. The edge was decorated with ostrich feathers. Ostrich feathers are so graceful and I love how they waft when you walk and it is exciting to see Indian designers incorporating them into their designs these days.

Finally, it was Lisa Haydon. Oh what a bride she made. In a leather lehenga with traditional gold embroidery paired with a fitted shirt. How can anyone forget that look. Even though the stunning Lisa wore it, the beauty of the lehenga outshone Lisa. The whole black leather lehenga was sheer genius.

Although, in all honesty, I wonder how well this piece will do commercially. Sorry I wasn't trying to kill the mood, but I just thought, most brides end up being so traditional because parents and grand parents are equally involved in wedding planning. How many would actually be able to wear this to their wedding? Just a fleeting thought.

For the longest time, just like Anju Modi, I never really checked out Monisha's clothes before. I am so thankful for attending India Couture Week because it truly changed my perspective on the Indian couture scene. A collection that was globally inspired, yet steeped in Indian tradition in every possible way; Monisha managed to get a perfect blend of Indo-Western. Here's to many more successful collections for this fabulous designer!

Image Courtesy: The Fashion Design Council Of India

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.