The Secret to Wearing Lehengas...

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Here in the UK the Lehenga, (a long skirt + blouse & scarf combination) is a seriously forgotten item of clothing.  Personally I think here in the UK we live under the idea, that a Lehengha is a traditional item of Indian clothing that is reserved only for Brides & Bollywood Stars. I however completely disagree!

It seems to me that young women here never really consider wearing a Lehenga to a Wedding Reception, Engagement, Sangeet Night or Mehndi, when you absolutely should. I'm going to try to remedy that and help you not only see the beauty in wearing a Lehenga but also help you feel more confident in taking a risk to actually wear one!

I think the record needs to be set straight a little, a Lehengha is not only worn by Brides! In fact over in the East, it is considered a regular evening wear outfit of choice by girls and women of all ages!

I think there are a few simple steps and rules to wearing a Lehenga and getting those right is the best way to make sure that you feel confident in wearing one...

The Rules

Rule 1: Echoing the famous words- Less is ALWAYS more when wearing a Lehenga… 

Rule 2: Make sure you choose the right shape of Lehenga, whether it be fishtail, A-Shape, Full   
             Circle, know what style suits you best...

Rule 3: Know that there are different way to wear a Duputta/Chunni (scarf) and make sure you 
             choose a style that suits the Lehenga best but also makes you feel comfortable...

Rule 4: Don't be afraid of wearing a short Blouse, for some strange unknown reason we are happy to 
             wear short blouse with a 'sari' but not with a Lehenga, essentially a sari and a Lehenga are 
             very similar, why not transform your Lehenga to look like a sari by draping your Duputta 
             across the front of the Lehenga?!

Rule 5: Choose the right style and the amount of accessories , if the Lehenga is quite heavy 
             don't over do it with the accessories, if the work is quite traditional for example keep the 
             jewellery rustic too, maybe try something as simple as a maang tikka!

Rule 6: Know that different types of embroidery work will have different types of effects on a 
             Lehenga, by that I mean for example a heavy stone encrusted Lehenga will look more 
             Bridal, but a simple Lehenga with Gota Work will look fun and effortlessly youthful and 
             not at all Bridal...

These lehengas are fun and striking and use embroidery work that is stunning 

This coral Amrita Thakur and gold and turquoise Arpita Mehta creation demonstrates Rule number 1 & 6 perfectly Gota Work for example just looks so simple and charming on a simple silhouette 

The key is in how you drape that Duputta, try wrapping it around like in the pictures above to create the illusion of a sari whilst still allowing those beautiful blouses to shine through

The Nath - A Comeback or a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Nath (nose ring) has been making one hell of a comeback of late, and its literally everywhere from the red caprert to the runway! Sonam Kapoor was first spotted donning one at Cannes Film Festival and Vidya Balan followed suit, once again both rehashing the big question: to wear or not to wear?! On the runway both Karl Largerfeld's Bombay-Paris Pre-Fall Collection 2012, Sabyasachi  and numerous other designers at Lakme Fashion Week had their models rocking these controversial accessories. 

A Nath to me is like marmite, you either love it or hate it, and personally, unlike marmite - I love it! They ooze edgy elegance and worn in a complimentary way, cannot only be extremely flattering but can make a showstopper of an outfit. The Nath or nose ring has come along way from being considered as a traditional ethnic accessory worn by brides primarily. Now I think there is a more diverse place for nose rings, Topshop and ASOS have both caught onto the rebirth of the Nath selling them as not only a accessory worthy of a night out on the town but as a more wearable daily accessory for the more daring of  fashionistas. 

Style Spotlight - Sonam Kapoor

Sunday, 20 October 2013

This weeks Style Spotlight falls on Sonam Kapoor, Bollywood actress and full time fashionista. Yes I admit I am a bit of Bollywood film fan (Indian cinema for those of you who are unfamiliar), and it was Sonam Kapoor's movie Aisha that made me take notice of her serious flair for fashion. Her father is the incredible Anil Kapoor who has appeared in various Hollywood ventures, most notably for his role in Mission Impossible 3 and hit TV show 24. Sonam Kapoor is one of my favourite style icons alongside Olivia Palermo and Rachel Zoe.

Now, she is seemingly never afraid to take risks on the red carpet her style effortlessly mixes both traditional Indian wear and edgy Western Designer wear, its a hard decision to say which style she looks best in, but for me I would have to say it's when she dresses in traditional Indian wear that she looks flawless, her designers of choice are not your average selection either, ranging from Satya Paul to Anamika Khanna, Shehla Kahn and Ridhi Mehra and 'traditional' is a long stretch of the word, but Sonam has this uncanning ability to take Indian wear to a whole new level. She's famously donned modern new 'concept' sari's to edgy overcoats over classic sari's to the most elegant anarkalis (long indian dresses with matching trousers/pants.)  Sonam also has an eye for stunning accessories that would make anyone envious! Her choices range from modern Outhouse pieces to the most classic of Kundan work jewellery (Indian Stone work.) 

This young starlets style mixes everything from Jean-Paul Gaultier to Vintage Dolce & Gabanna and countless more illustrious designers and honestly she could give any young Hollywood starlet a run for their money! Sonam continues to raise the style stakes and is fast becoming India's most stylish star, and  it wont be too long before we see her rising to  a truly international platform. 

Take a look at a few of my favourite Sonam Kapoor style moments! 

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Roundup...

Monday, 14 October 2013

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week made its annual return, celebrating some of India's most talented designers. Hosting legendary names such as Masaba, Anupama Dayal, Rahul Mishra, Pia Pauro, Annaikka, Bodice and Hemant & Nandita and many more!

Fashion Week is always a feast for the eyes, and always leaves you wanting more, and trying to decide a week favourite is next to impossible, and unfortunately a task I am still failing miserably at! There was simply just too much to choose from!  

India Fashion Week highlights exactly why the world should be taking more notice of these incredible designers, showcasing everything from traditional Indian wear to the most stunning evening and ready to wear outfits. 

Hand painted and printed materials in simple silhouettes made a beautiful return to the runway, everyone from the  Queen of Prints Masaba, featuring her machine print skirts to Dev r Nil's gorgeous tile palazzos to Anupama Dayals stunning printed sari's and long length skirts showed how simple yet colourful and dramatic prints can transform any piece. 

Annaikka used her forward thinking style to show some classically futuristic pieces, her coral metal rope top and long tulip skirt was a personal favourite, Vedngi Agarwal's and Rabani & Rakha's designs depict ultimate elegance and sophistication on the runway leaving many onlookers with a seriously long wish list! 

Here's a few of my favourite pieces, let me know what you guys think?! 

(P.S. click the image to zoom in!)

Masaba Gupta's vibrant mix of machine Jouy Print skirt and crop top and Polka Tube Dress 

 Dev r Nil's quirky prints mixed with truly classic designs

Poonam Dubey shows true elegance through her ethnic blends inspired by the crafts of Gujarat and Rajasthan 

Rabani & Rakha created stunning designs inspired by the old streets of Lucknow

Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna created a collection that was sharp and sleek featuring pieces such as this grey metallic evening dress with a sophisticated side slit and the two piece crop top creation in nude and metallic finish.

Annaikka by Kanika Saluja easy wear designs are dramatically modernised by her love for geometric patterns and clean shapes.

Anupama Dayal's young and retro prints transform these pieces

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