How To Rock The Dhoti Pant

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Image: Tarun Tahiliani

Previously considered a traditional menswear staple, the humble dhoti is no longer so. As scores of women look beyond the done to death churidaar to spice up their desi attires, the dhoti has emerged as a clear (and chic) winner. And it’s not just a claim we’re making, the runways dictate the same as well. Everyone from Tarun Tahiliani, Anju Modi and Anita Dongre to Pankaj & Nidhi and Payal Singhal have been dabbling with this bottom quite generously, giving fashion aficionados plenty to choose from.

dhoti pants

L to R: Anita Dongre, Joy Mitra, Shilpa Reddy and Anju Modi

Safe to say that the charms of this old school must-have haven’t been lost on us. Its versatility is what really tips the scales in favor of the dhoti. So we decode the umpteen ways in which you can sport this au courant favorite to score some serious fashion cred. 

dhoti pants

  • Team your dhoti with an embellished cropped jacket for a structured look. You could mix two complementing colors or simply opt for a monotone look for an elongated effect.
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Anju Modi

  • Another way to go is to wear your dhoti with a knee-length or high-low hemline kurta. Other kurta silhouettes that you can play with are sherwani styles or collared versions.
Payal Singhal

Payal Singhal

  • And if you’re looking for some celebrity validation, just turn to our homegirl Sonam Kapoor! She sure knows how to make the most of the dhoti and its adaptable ways. Take a cue (or many) from her and team yours with a high-low cape, a kurta with sheer panels or wear it in the form of a sari!

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  • You can even take the dhoti from your desi wardrobe to your western one. Simply pair it with a cool crop top or tucked-in blouse and you’ll be good to dash from a sangeet to a bar in no time at all!
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Priyanka Chopra in Pankaj & Nidhi dhoti pants

  • Color is no bar either. Black and gold are universal favorites and can be easily mixed and matched with a host of tops. But don’t shy away from hues like oxblood, moss green, ink blue or printed brocade ones either.
Tarun Tahiliani

Tarun Tahiliani

  • With a few tweaks, the dhoti pant can work for every body type. Skinny women can go all out with flared versions while those on the heavier side should opt for slimmer dhotis. They ought to avoid too many frills, else they risk an overwhelming look.
Slim fit dhoti pants by Arpita Mehta

Slim fit dhoti pants by Arpita Mehta

  • Since the bottom is voluminous enough, keep your top structured, snug and well-fitted. Too loose and you may drown under the bagginess of the look.

So will you don the dhoti this festive season? Tell us in the comment box below. 

 Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Luxemi Talks to Designer Shubhika Davda of Papa Don’t Preach

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Are you bold and adventurous with an insatiable zest for life? Is your wardrobe replete with edgy choices that make passerbys do a double take? If you fit this bill to a T, then we bet a gota-patti sari will never cut it for you in a traditional set-up. Which is where Papa Don’t Preach, a Mumbai-based label launched by Shubhika Davda in 2010, comes in. The Indian high street brand stands out in a clutter of me-too desi wear brands, owing to the rebellious spin they give their pieces—making them edgy yet effortlessly easy-to-wear. We talked to the brand’s Chief Fashion Officer and founder, Shubhika Davda in a candid tete-a-tete.

papa dont preach interview

Luxemi: Tell us more about your label. Who is the quintessential Papa Don’t Preach woman?

Shubhika Davda: After completing my fashion design studies from London College of Fashion, I came back to India in 2010 and launched Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika (PDP) as a high street brand catering to 16-35 year-old fashion enthusiasts. With strong influences from the London high street culture, I was always clear that PDP would mature into a brand that would design street wear clothing along with shoes, bags and accessories—in order to give patrons a complete look. Due to a strong demand from a fiercely loyal clientele, we forayed into bridal couture and Indian wear in 2012.

The quintessential Papa Don’t Preach woman is a free spirited risk taker. She is someone who displays a fiercely urban sense of style and is constantly experimenting and redefining her fashion boundaries. Think someone who is adventurous and relies on her own style sensibilities to stand out. She is not trend conscious, hence is always on the lookout for something unique. Which is why I do a lot of separates—to give them freedom to mix and match!

Your creations always feature a distinct touch of edge. What would you say are some of your signature styles?

Unabashed use of color as well as adventurous hand embroidery and patchwork detailing is our forte. I always try to use them in newer contexts though. For instance, our recent collection boasts of military-inspired tabs on saris and anarkalis. We retain the Indianness of the garment but make it younger. So no sari gowns coming out of our atelier! We play with silhouettes like skirts with draped dupattas and paneled crop tops—something only we are doing right now. Or then there’s the dhoti skirt-cum-sari along with a gathered pallu featuring latkans.

papa dont preach interview

L to R: Dhoti sari with waist belt, shoulder accessory and gloves. Signature paneled blouse and hip embroidered sari

We focus a lot on accessories like body harnesses, waist belts, metallic busts, embellished shoulder rests and clutches too.

papa dont preach interview

Fall ’14 accessories

What are the coolest/chicest ways to wear a sari according to you?

It’s all about creating something interesting with what you already have. A lot of women these days have several net saris in their wardrobe. Just give it an unexpected spin by pairing it with an interesting panelled or printed petticoat.

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You can also ditch the same old blouse and experiment with high street crop tops (try one with a logo or statement!) or a knotted or tucked-in shirt. But if you still wish to keep the look relatively traditional, then simply add a belt or funky body harness and play around with the drape.

What are the key traditional wear trends this season?

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Long blouses with back detailing

I think the sexiest part about us Indian women is our tiny waist. So make the most of it with traditional wear featuring nipped in waists. Longer blouses, but with strategic skin show are also very big this season. Think sheer blouses with delicate embroidery or a big cut outs on the back. With winter setting in, it’s a great time to play with jackets as well. Buy an essentially Indian jacket featuring mirror work perhaps, and style it in different ways—with a salwar, sari or even jeans.

papa dont preach interview

Style a jacket in many ways

A style advice that never fails?

I am all for comfort, but if you want to be really stylish, then it’s ok to compromise on that front. Sometimes, a little sartorial discomfort can take your entire look a few notches higher. It’s the way to go if you’re one who likes to be the centre of attention at all times!

Which are your favorite pieces from Luxemi’s latest collection?

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The Georgette Mirror Work Sari by Satya Paul as we at PDP are very big on mirror work and The Tonal Chikan Work Sari by Nikasha because it’s young and traditional at the same time.

What do you think of Papa Don’t Preach’s signature, edgy style? Tell us in the comment box!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

 

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The Dawn Of The Gen-Next Sari

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The past few seasons have been all about the sari. Designers have realized the importance of tapping the traditional wear market and the younger generation has embraced desi fashion more willingly too. The sari, as a result, has emerged as a clear winner but not without undergoing a quick revamp though. Its traditional drape, it seems, is no longer enough. India’s signature six-yard drape was given a more contemporary relevance and a new-age makeover—one that patrons have been quick to lap up.

We track the most popular styles around town. Which one would you rather wear?

The Quirky Sari

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From rickshaws, Pac man and cameras to color wheels and oversized lipsticks, no print is off limits. In fact, the brighter and quirkier, the better, or so an army designers, ones who have heralded this wave, seem to believe. Think quirky print saris and designers like Masaba Gupta, Surendri by Yogesh Chaudhary, Quirk Box and Nida Mahmood instantly come to mind.

The Cocktail Sari-Gown

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Why turn to international couture when you can find some fabulous hybrid haute couture creations in your very own backyard? Cocktail sari gowns are the new must-have of a wedding wardrobe—ideal for a reception or cocktail party. These gown-like drapes, with an attached bodice, metallic colors, minimal embroidery but maximum impact can be as elegant or sexy as you want them to be. Designers like Gaurav Gupta, Amit Aggarwal, Shantanu and Nikhil, Tarun Tahiliani and Sonaakshi Raaj should be your go-tos for them.

The Draped Sari

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Gowns are not the only drape being incorporated into the sari. Dhoti saris, tulip hems and other offbeat silhouettes are just as popular. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that every designer makes sure to incorporate atleast one offbeat sari into his or her collection—either by way of a play of textures, experimental styling or edgy shapes. Once you’ve seen a bikini sari, you’ve seen it all (or maybe not). From subtle to outright bold, there is something for everyone here. Our favorite, hands down, is Anamika Khanna and her innovative experiments with this humble drape.

The Offbeat Blouse

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If these out-of-the-box saris are not for you, don’t worry. Just the addition of an interesting blouse will suffice. And there is so much to choose from too. Corsets, cropped jackets, vests, floor length jackets, high street crop tops, capes, sexy backs, high-low hemlines, loose camisoles and sheer patches—it’s time you threw the notion of the conventional blouse out of the window!

Got a favorite gen-next sari style? Which one would you rather wear?

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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STYLE FILE: KAREENA KAPOOR KHAN

 

Kareena Kapoor style file

Newbies may come and go, but for us, Kareena Kapoor Khan remains the ruling queen of Bollywood (and now that she’s a Begum, she’s quite literally royalty). In fact, we’ve been die-hard fans ever since she famously claimed ‘Mein apni favorite hoon’ in Jab We Met. She made her way into not just ours, but umpteen hearts, and stayed there without trying too hard.

That goes for her sartorial choices too—while other actresses are scrambling to score fresh off the runway looks and step out in headline making outfits, Kareena Kapoor Khan struts her stuff in the most basic ensembles—knowing she’s got the swagger to make a sack look like a couture creation. Which is what we love most about her style anyway—it is unpretentious, fuss-free and effortless—just like the actress herself. So as she set out to promote her recently released movie, we lapped up her all looks, styled by Tanya Ghavri. After all, it’s not everyday that Mrs. Khan graces us with her presence!

Ebony And Ivory

Kareena Kapoor style file

There’s no going wrong in a classic black and white combination, and no one knows that better than Khan—bright colors will have to wait for another day. From simple tops and dresses in the colours to even kurtas, she has given her seal of approval to this pairing on more than one occasion.

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Luxemi Pick: Black and White Hand Painted Saree by Satya Paul

Print Overdose

Kareena Kapoor style file

Why opt for a mix-mash of clashing prints when one statement print will suffice? Or so the actress seems to believe. In a severe contrast to her black and white looks, she experimented with several prints as well—be it polka dots, geometric or abstract. But what stood out out was how she always balanced it with neutral elements—solid coloured tops, simple accessories and fuss free hair and make up. We love!

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Luxemi Pick: Orange Print Kurta with Patiala Pants and Dupatta by Cottons Jaipur

Easy Chic

Kareena Kapoor style file

While everyone is busy trying on avant-garde silhouettes, Kareena proves that there is still ample virtue left in jeans paired with a simple top or tee. Certain combinations are deemed classics for a reason—because no matter how much time passes, you can just never go wrong with them.

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Luxemi Pick: Tonal Chikan Work Saree by Nikasha (because when it comes to Indian wear, nothing ages as gracefully as a sari!)

Desi Chic

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Mrs. Khan doesn’t shy away from Indian wear either. When it comes to salwars, voluminous floor-length anarkalis in a myriad of colors are her preferred choice.

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As far as saris are concerned, she likes to keep them simple—solid colors, fuss-free color blocked or printed variations worn with sexy blouses. In a sea of gota-patti drapes and embellished versions, this makes for quite a refreshing change!

Luxemi Pick: Shimmer Georgette Salwar by Nikasha and Pink Peony Printed Saree.

For more on Bollywood style icons, read our style files on Shraddha KapoorDeepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez and Kangana Ranaut

What do you think of Kareena Kapoor Khan’s style? Tell us in the comment box below!

 

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The Best Desi Looks From Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014

Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 14

Kareena Kapoor for Manish Malhotra, Lisa Haydon for Ridhi Mehra and Jacqueline Fernandez for Anju Modi

If you’ve been following our Instagram you know fashion week frenzy is in full swing. India Bridal Fashion Week just came to a close and the international shows and Wills India Fashion Week are just around the corner. While prepping for these, we made a quick stopover in Mumbai for Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014—just to soak in all the festive fashion being sent down the runways. We round up our favorite desi looks—ones we will be swearing by to get us through Diwali and of course, all the weddings that lie ahead!

Anju Modi

Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 14

Staying true to her earthy sensibilities, Anju Modi’s ‘Mahikarnika’ collection was inspired by the paintings and sculptures of Ajanta and Ellora. We loved the layered looks, jeweled tones and of course, Modi’s signature use of statement jewelry.

Krishna Mehta

Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 14

Krishna Mehta’s breezy and upbeat collection brought handlooms from Benaras, Maheshwar, Bhagalpur and Manipur to the fore. The collection was divided into four color stories—indigo, orange, white and shocking hot pink—which coupled with ingenious layering and a fuss free appeal made it an instant favorite.

Manish Malhotra

Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 14

Veteran designer Manish Malhotra can’t seem to catch a break and has been churning out one collection after the other. His LFW finale show, called ‘Gloss’ reunited him with his long time muse and friend, Kareena Kapoor. After playing with Kashmiri embroidery the last few seasons, Malhotra has shifted his focus to mirror work, tie-and-dye and a more mature colour palette.

Payal Singhal

Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 14

We always look forward to Payal Singhal’s easy chic collections and her latest line ‘Excavations didn’t disappoint. —especially the catchy Chintz print that was a permanent feature of the showing. She showcased her signature silhouettes like crop tops combined with pants and skirts as well as asymmetrical hemlines and offbeat blouses. Interesting pre-draped dupattas were another element to watch out for.

Ridhi Mehra

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Now you already know that we have our eyes on Ridhi Mehra. Her maiden LFW collection, ‘Mystical Nuit’ was as wearable as it was trendy. Signature cuts, silhouettes and embroidery were a mainstay but we also saw some new pairings and inclusions like the tunic paired with palazzos, belted saris and dresses.

Sonaakshi Raaj

Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 14

Sonaakshi Raaj has carved a niche for herself as someone who can marry traditional silhouettes with western sensibilities pretty effortlessly. And this collection was no different. We spotted quintessential Sonaakshi Raaj pastel colors and sari gowns. But what really caught our eye was the recurring dhoti drape—used not just as a singular bottom wear but also as a sari. Would you rock it?

Got a LFW favorite? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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India Bridal Fashion Week 2014: A Recap

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

L to R: Shraddha Kapoor for JJ Valaya, Esha Gupta for Jyotsna Tiwari and Kangana Ranaut for Suneet Varma

If there’s one thing we’re willing to OD on, it’s fashion. Especially Indian fashion. Just when we were recovering from all the fabulous fashion that came out of India Couture Week 2014 and prepping for the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014, we were treated to a spot of bridal revelry with India Bridal Fashion Week, held at the uber luxurious DLF Emporio mall in Delhi this year. We round up the looks you absolutely ought to know about. Bridal chic, anyone?

ASHIMA LEENA

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

Ashima-Leena’s collection ‘Jashn’ was a fitting celebration of the complexities of hand embroidery, rangrez work (dyed clothing typically associated with Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat) and the beauty of love. The ramp revelled in a captivating riot of colors, beautifully enhanced with an abundance of gold. The shararas, lenghas paired with long blouses, and tunic style sari blouses were sillouhettes that stood out.

 

FALGUNI AND SHANE PEACOCK

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

You can trust husband-wife duo Falguni and Shane Peacock to always churn out staples for the utterly modern bride. This time, they turned things up a notch with biker jackets, statement prints, cascading capes, sheer bodysuits and very contemporary styling. Are you daring enough to sport this?

 

GAURI AND NAINIKA

India bridal fashion week 2014

Gauri and Nainika took to the ramp after a brief hiatus, and boy did they bring back old-school glamour! Restricted to a palette of black, white and red, the collection featured sharp cuts, strong silhouettes, clean looks and the duo’s signature use of statement ruffles.

 

JJ VALAYA

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

There was ample use of traditional bridal red in JJ Valaya’s elaborate collection but the unexpected pops of blue caught our eye. Black and white bridal wear (hitherto considered a taboo) made for a large part of the showing, and of that, we approve! And if Valaya’s line is anything to go by, bid adieu to those same ’ol blouses—statement cholis are in this year.

 

JYOTSNA TIWARI

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

Jyotsna Tiwari’s bridal collection was a full throttle feminine affair, no surprises there! There were silhouettes not just for the bride but also for other attendees of a big fat Indian wedding. Think draped saris, voluminous cocktail gowns and floor length anarkalis in dainty, ladylike colors and studded embellishments.

 

MEERA AND MUZAFFAR ALI

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

Husband-wife duo Meera and Muzaffar Ali’s collection stayed true to their sensibility of bringing Kotwara’s (in Uttar Pradesh) exquisite craftsmanship to the fore. Their signature silhouettes like ghararas, wide legged trousers and use of somber colors were seen throughout the collection. We were instantly transported to an era gone by, one where an elegant Begum sahiba was the most stylish lady in the room.

 

RAGHAVENDRA RATHORE

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

The collection was touted to be a spiritual journey, reincarnating relics and was as crisp and minimalistic as a Rathore showing ought to be. The signature bandhgala emerged as a must-have for the bride and her entourage, worn with pants or voluminous skirts, for an androgynous break from all the feminine bridal wear out there. We particularly loved the punches of fuchsia pink that punctuated the otherwise black, white and red collection.

SUNEET VARMA

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

Suneet Varma’s ‘Princess of Shekhawati’ collection was the designer’s take on traditional India but with a modern twist. Mirrorwork embellishment, thread embroidered borders, colored aari embroidery and burnt gold and copper thread embellishments were the collection’s mainstay. What really stole the show were the exaggerated and incredibly statement jewelry pieces.

 

TARUN TAHILIANI

India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

Tarun Tahiliani’s ‘Modern Mughals’ collection was a luxurious one, no doubt. It had all the atypical characteristics that the label is associated with—draped silhouettes, cocktail saris, crystal work, digital prints and elaborate embroidery. But we couldn’t shake off the feeling of déjà vu, maybe because the maverick designer has been churning out back-to-back collections these past few months.

Which is your favourite IBFW show? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Shaadi Chic: Our Favourite Bollywood Wedding Fashion Moments

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It’s pretty much a fact—Indians love weddings and you can always trust Bollywood to make them larger than life. You also know we’re slightly obsessed with desi clothes, right? So we’re pretty much always smitten by the 70 mm wedding fashion portrayed on the silver screen. The captivating cocktail of colours, cascading dupattas and the beautiful women wearing them…it all comes together oh-so-beautifully! So to feed our fashion frenzy, we decided to indulge in a movie marathon of sorts—to recount Bollywood flicks with the best wedding style. Are you ready to walk (or should we watch) down this star-studded lane with us?

Alia Bhatt in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya (2014)

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Alia Bhatt’s quest for ‘Kareena Kapoor wala designer lehenga’ in this tribute to cult 1996 movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, saw her in some really catchy desi wear, styled by ex-Vogue India stylist Archana Walavalkar. We particularly love the sexy cholis she was seen in, courtesy Manish Malhotra. And then there were the side braids paired with jhumkas, finished with heavy kohl-rimmed eyes. Thumbs up!

Alia Bhatt in Two States (2014)

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The spunky South Indian woman is clearly having her moment in Bollywood. And Alia Bhatt definitely stole our hearts with her portrayal of Tam Bhram Ananya in this adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s namesake novel. Her kanjeevaram saris, traditional kurtas, jhumkas, temple jewellery and braids adorned with fresh flowers have our seal of approval.

Deepika Padukone in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)

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No one does sophisticated glamour quite like Bollywood’s reigning sweetheart. Deepika Padukone’s trendy wardrobe designed by Manish Malhotra not only had us adding similar styles to our lust list, but also had us desperately wishing for her washboard abs. The royal blue ’70s style sari worn with a bikini blouse was a raging hit.

Sonam Kapoor in Aisha (2010)

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As a rich Delhi fashionista, Sonam Kapoor naturally had a wardrobe to match. And it wasn’t just her Diors and Chanels that left us green-eyed. Much before all-white Indian wear became an it-trend, Kapoor sported the ethereal look (an Anamika Khanna lehenga, if you must know) in this movie, perfectly offset with a brilliant polki set. In fact, all through the movie, she was partial to ivory Indian wear and uncut diamond jewellery. Très chic, indeed.

Anushka Sharma in Band Baaja Baarat (2010)

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Anushka Sharma’s loud, quintessential Punjabi ensembles in this wedding flick may not have been high fashion, but they definitely echoed with the girl next door. There’s no denying that it further fuelled our love affair with OTT color blocking, kitschy elements, patialas and mojaris!

Aishwariya Rai Bachchan in Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

jodhaa-akbar

Period love story Jodhaa Akbar was a jewellery fanatic’s delight. The exquisite and extravagant jewellery worn by Aishwariya Rai Bachchan (all by Tanishq, perfectly complemented by elegant Neeta Lulla lehengas) in her portrayal of a Rajput princess and then a Mughal queen instantly had us wanting her entire treasure trunk. Apart from making jadau and polki jewellery incredibly popular, the movie also brought net Indian wear back in vogue.

Got a favorite? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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What To Wear For Your Best Friend’s Wedding?

sonamkapoor1It’s a big day, one that probably comes a close second only to your nuptials. Your bestie (BFF, soul sister, the love of your life or whatever else you’d like to call her!) is all set to tie the knot and you need to look just perfect. Trendy with a side of desi chic and sexy—is that right? The task of curating a trendy yet diverse wedding wardrobe may seem difficult, especially considering the plethora of functions an Indian wedding involves, but it’s not impossible. You know what makes it even easier? You’ve got Luxemi to break it down for you!

Mehndi

The mehndi demands something that’s fuss-free. Think sleeveless or cap sleeveless so that the henna doesn’t ruin your outfits. Secondly, opt for a silhouette that allows you to move around with ease, preferably a sharara. After all, there will be ample dancing involved. The same applies to your jewelry as well. Stay away from sombre colours, vibrant hues is the way to go! A fishtail braid adorned with fresh flowers will finish your look beautifully.

Indian bridesmaid dressing

 

Luxemi Pick: Raw Silk Choli with Sharara Pants by Nikasha and Gold Kashmiri Earrings with Faux Pearls 

Sangeet

A tad more formal than the mehndi, the sangeet needs you to slip into a heavier ensemble. A lehenga would be our top pick, especially if you’re dancing on stage. You can always change into a simple salwar for the after party. Considering gold is big this season, make sure your outfit incorporates this gilded hue. Top off the look with a maang tikka, necklace, earrings to match and soft curls.

Indian bridesmaid dressing

Luxemi Pick: Gold Leaf Lehenga with Velvet Blouse by Malika Mathur and Kundan Set with Pearl Embellishments

 

Cocktail

Skip the gown and take the Indian route instead. A stunning sequinned or Swarovski studded sari (read some quick tips to spice up a sari here) with a halter blouse and diamond chandelier earrings to match will do the trick. Turn to deep colours like bottle green, wine or ink blue. Black, as always, is a safe bet.

Indian bridesmaid dressing

Luxemi Pick: Black Net and Platinum Saree with Crystals and Sequins and Crystal Quartz with Black Onyx Earrings

 

Pheras

A return to tradition is the way to be for the pheras. We’d advice making a statement with simplicity and a handloom or woven sari is the perfect way to do that just that. Gold jewellery will complement this look. And don’t forget to pull your hair in a bun!

Indian bridesmaid dressing

Luxemi Pick: Neon Green Cotton and Silk Saree by Neeru Kumar, Dual Strand Gold Gungaro Necklace and Sterling Silver Engraved Hanging Earrings

Indian bridesmaid dressing

Check out our Co-Founder, Swathi Narra, rocking this Neeru Kumar sari at her best friend’s wedding (Don’t forget your statement sunnies for a day wedding)!

Reception

We understand that playing dress up for two-to-three days in a row can get exhausting. If we had our way we’d just wear jeans and a tee to the finale function! But since that can’t be, an anarkali is a good option—it helps that it is easy to slip in and out of. We’d skip the necklace and let statement earrings do the talking.

Indian bridesmaid dressing

 

Luxemi Pick: Brocade Coat with Velvet Border by Kisneel and Vintage Topaz Kundan Enamel Earrings

What are you top picks for bridesmaid dressing? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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The Best Of India Couture Week 2014

 

India Couture Week 2014

L to R: Shraddha Kapoor in Gaurav Gupta, Alia Bhatt in Manish Malhotra and Lisa Haydon in Monisha Jaising

India Couture Week 2014 followed close on the heels of Haute Couture Week held in Paris, and reinforced India’s prowess when it comes to design and craftsmanship. Taking a cue from last year’s Couture Week, there was a continued focus on catering to a younger crowd as the designers experimented with newer, fresher silhouettes.

And while we definitely missed Anamika Khanna, there was still plenty to love this year too. After a thorough scanning of all the looks that set the runways ablaze, we bring you the collections that made us fall in love with Indian couture all over again!

Anju Modi

India Couture Week 2014

In yet another avant-garde tribute to womanhood, Anju Modi used her collection ‘Manikarnika’ to bring regional craft to the forefront, while staying true to her earthy design sensibility.The line centered around dhoti pants teamed with asymmetrical jackets and cropped jackets and half buttoned full length anarkalis. It was a pairing that felt fresh and fashion forward. The jewellery, as is always the case with Modi, was another highlight.

 India Couture Week 2014

Gaurav Gupta

India Couture Week 2014Gaurav Gupta’s collection was as dramatic and sensual as one would expect it to be. Think sheer panels, peek-a-boo cutouts and unforgiving fits. But there were also a few safe full-skirted lehengas with long brocade jackets and pants paired with structured jackets (to cater to the more conventional market, perhaps?). Gupta’s signature sari-gown made several appearances (how could it not?), this time spruced with stunning, embellished capes.

Manish Arora

India Couture Week 2014

Hands down the most recognized Indian designer abroad, you can always count on Manish Arora to bring a dash of irreverence, playfulness and eclecticism to a couture showing. At this years show, Arora’s set was full-on disco themed, and saw models walk down the runway in kalidar midi skirts, bell-bottom shararas, plunging (actually that might just be an understatement) necklines, mirror embellishments and statement baubles. Couture kitsch, anyone?

Manish Malhotra

India Couture Week 2014

Manish Malhotra’s ‘Portraits’ collection was all about unabashed glamour (what else), with a vintage spin. There was ample of mirror work, zardosi, sequins and resham embroidery. Silhouettes ranged from lehengas and saris paired with jacket-style blouses and unexpected sheer necklines to sleeker, more restrained floor length kurtas. And of course, Bollywood show stoppers—Alia Bhatt and Aditya Roy Kapoor.

Monisha Jaising

India Couture Week 2014

An extension of the sentiment of her previous couture showing, Monisha Jaising’s ‘World Bride’ collection continued to target the modern Indian bride who likes her bridal repertoire to be contemporary. Hence there were plenty of draped saris in flirty colours, printed and gleaming gowns and a lehengas galore. The icing on the cake, however, was the black leather lehenga worn with a white shirt and traditional jewellery, modelled by Lisa Haydon. Fierce!

Rohit Bal

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Rohit Bal chose a cocktail preview over a runway show to display his capsule collection, one that was replete with classic, free-flowing anarkalis, saris and lehengas in ivory, spruced with elegant jewellery. The pop of color came by way of the menswear on display.

Sabyasachi

India Couture Week 2014Sabyasachi’s show was drenched in the genius and sheer magnificence that only this Kolkatta-based designer can bring to the table. His collection ‘Ferozabad’ retained the maharani-chic, vintage vibe his creations are generally associated with (in fact, many felt that the entire collection had a sense of déjà vu), albeit with a relatively more modern touch. There was a special focus on menswear in bright chintz too. The set, which resembled a luxury train headed to Ferozabad in Uttar Pradesh, was the real hero though.

Varun Bahl

varun-bahl-india-couture -week-2014

A fresh collection, targeted at a younger clientele, Varun Bahl’s showing had a varied color palette—starting with noir and then moving on to ivory, teal, canary yellow and bridal pink and red. Sure the conventional bridal pieces made an appearance, but what really caught our eye were the asymmetrical kurtas paired with sheer leggings, embroidered gowns, OTT floral motifs and Bahl’s signature sheer blouses.

Until next season!

Check out our Couture Week reports from 2012 and 2011 here. 

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi 

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Your Guide To Sports Luxe Indian Wear

 

Sports Luxe Indian Wear

Deepika Padukone in Huemn varsity sari, Vogue June 2014

Sports luxe is fashion’s latest buzzword. Everyone from King Karl and Alexander Wang to Stella McCartney, Prada and Jeremy Scott are playing for this team so how could our homegrown labels be far behind? A volley of Indian designers like Nishka Lulla, Huemn, Masaba, Surendri and GaGa by Tanya Sharma among others have jumped on the sportswear bandwagon too.

It was the 2012 London Olympics that really put the ball in this trend’s court. Then came wimbeldon and FIFA fever and there was no looking back. There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to sportswear-inspired western wear — varsity jumpers, silk bombers, leather joggers, statement sweatshirts and the works. But the real challenge for the desi girl is to incorporate this style into her traditional wardrobe as well. So we decided to coach you on just how to bring your A-game to the field. Are you ready to play?

  • The most important rule is that comfort is your key player. Your ensemble should be laid-back and one that allows you to move around easily.
  • Sportswear inspired fashion moves much beyond jersey. Think reimagined luxe materials like neoprene, silk, leather, lycra, mesh and sheer panels with a smattering of embellishments.
  • The easiest way to try this trend is to give your sari blouse a sporty spin. You can swap it for a jersey-inspired crop top from your favourite high street label. Or get your neighbourhood tailor to make you one that is loose and comfortable. Sequinned renditions are not off limits either.
Sports Luxe Indian Wear

L to R: Huemn, Shivan & Narresh, QuirkBox, Nishka Lulla

  • Skip those tight churidars and opt for something that’s more relaxed. Desi joggers or loose drawstring pants are a good idea. Since your bottom will be free flowing, opt for a more structured top.
Sports Luxe Indian Wear

L to R: Sougat Paul, Surendri, Annaikka

  • And then there are sneakers and Converse shoes. We’d suggest them with everything from saris and lehengas to suits. It’s not a simple look to pull off, so wear it with a generous helping of confidence!
Sports Luxe Indian Wear

Masaba Gupta

  • Say yes to lots of layering too. Cropped jackets over cholis or tunics and sheer skirts over pants will give your sporty look a sophisticated touch.
  • Give your lehenga a sporty spin by teaming it with a heavily embellished bomber jacket. Not only will you look wildly chic but turn a lot of heads too!
Sports Luxe Indian Wear

Hemant and Nandita

So what’s your take on this trend? Are you in it to win it?

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Filed under Indian-Inspired, Luxemi Style, Trend Alert, Trend Update