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About luxemi

Writer for The Luxe Report: News, Trends and Fashion Inspiration from Luxemi.com

The New-Age Lehenga

The new lehenga

There’s a new lehenga in town and it’s one you are going to love! Gone are the days when we gals had to lug around heavy crystal encrusted lehengas that weighed a ton. As Indian fashion becomes increasingly concerned with comfort, an easy flowing maxi skirt coupled with a trendy crop top has quickly emerged as the lehenga’s present-day counterpart. For those of you who love to mix and match, get ready to celebrate because this cool new go-to is all about versatility and fun. With Sabyasachi on board as evidenced by this Lakme Fashion Week Spring-Summer ’15 collection, it’s safe to say that this combination is here to stay. We snooped and rounded up the best of the trend. Twirling was never simpler, just leave those dupattas behind…or maybe not!

Anushree Reddy: Aqua Splash

The new lehenga

Known for her fresh color palette and penchant for all things girly, Anushree Reddy’s LFW showcase had blockbuster songstress Kanika Kapoor looking pretty as a picture in her mint skirt and floral crop top with cut outs! The knot detailing on the skirt really uplifts this look.

Payal Singhal: Shimmer and Shine

The new lehenga

Payal Singhal’s AIFW AW ’15 showcase married vintage French romance with easy silhouettes. This cream net skirt paired with a Chantilly lace crop top can easily transition from day to night with the right accessories. Extra props for the bare shoulders and pastel hue!

Arpita Mehta: Bohemian Belle

The new lehenga

The wild child within will rejoice at the sight of this colourful gypset chic look. Fun and flirty, the punch of color complements the dull gold beautifully. We suggest wearing this skirt and boxy crop top for an upcoming mehendi function.

Sabyasachi: Vintage Swag

The new lehenga

Sabyasachi’s ’70s-inspired stripped crops with full floral skirts are the season’s talking point. Effortless sexy and oh-so-stylish, this pairing (the tiger belt included!) went on our wishlist the minute we laid eyes on it. The designer, it seems, can do no wrong.

Kavita Bhartia: Pretty as a Picture

The new lehenga

Preppy with a feminine desi twist just about sums up this Kavita Bhartia number. Soft fabrics and signature appliqué hand embroidery makes this outfit decidedly pretty. The mixing of textures seals its fate as a winning head turner.

Babita Malkani: Out of the Box

The new lehenga

Dare to bare? Then this showstopper outfit from Babita Malkani’s LFW collection makes for an interesting choice. That crop top really does have our heart. Toned arms and oodles of confidence are a must for this one!

Anju Modi: Princess Diaries

The new lehenga

Anju Modi had a more youthful approach this time with a fantasy-inspired collection that exuded decadence and luxury. This blazer paired with a sheer shirt and panel skirt is fit for a modern-day princess. It helps that neo jackets are the season’s au courant must-have.

Shruti Sancheti: Quirk It Up

The new lehenga

Mainstream is so boring and this boho-chic offering is the perfect antidote. This well-constructed cap sleeved bohemian crop with its ombre silk skirt has gypset fashionista written all over it. We recommend a fishtail braid and minimal accessories with this one.

Will you jump on this bandwagon? Tell us in the comment box below!

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Filed under Designer Style, Indian Fashion 101, Indian-Inspired, Luxemi Style, Runway Shows, Trend Alert, Trend Update, Uncategorized

Luxemi Talks to Designer Anushree Reddy

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Think vintage charm, flower power, feminine frills and pretty perfection and designer Anushree Reddy instantly comes to mind. The newest ‘IT’ designer, known for her use of vivid colors, attention to detailing, and princess-like Indian wear, has quickly soared through the popularity charts and is definitely on top.

Anushree Reddy interview

From an avid shopper to a sought-after designer, Anushree has come a long way indeed. Fashion designing, it turns out, wasn’t this Hyderabad native’s Plan A. Armed with a degree from the London School of Economics, she was happy just filling her closet with beautiful designer wear, until her stint as a fashion editor with a Hyderabad-based lifestyle magazine made her rethink her career path. Hence the self-taught designer’s label took shape in 2010, she made her Lakme Fashion Week debut in 2013, and the rest, as they say, is history!

Your SS ’15 collection is all about candy colours and feminine frills. Tell us about your inspiration for the same. 

Anushree Reddy interview

For ‘The Royal Courtyard’, I took inspiration from the home of Nizams, where ethereal begums redefined grandeur. Each design from this collection is soaked in nostalgia and each piece holds a piece of history within it. Prints, of course, featured prominently and I brought zardozi embellishments to the fore, as it is part and parcel of being a Hyderabadi! Traditional yet contemporary and royal, this collection has an overall Nizami influence and has been created by the most skilled karigars from the city.

Who is the quintessential Anushree Reddy woman?

Anushree Reddy interview

She is someone who is independent, fun and willing to break away from monotony and try something fun like printed lehengas with quirky embellished blouses! She is someone who favours minimal styling — a great pair of earrings is all she needs! Envision someone who swears by vintage updos and fishtail braids. All in all, she is a girl someone who is always heading out to make a statement!

Tell us a bit about your personal style.

My look is subtle and understated with a nod to comfort. My favourite designer is Anamika Khanna, I recently picked up a dhoti saree from her for a wedding and am absolutely in love with it! And of course, there is nothing like a Chanel bag, it’s such a trans-seasonal classic piece.

What are the top Indian wear must-haves this summer?

A crop top and high-waisted skirt is all you need for an Indian summer wedding!

Anushree Reddy interview

What would you suggest one wear to a:

Mehendi: Dhoti pants and a kurta in shades of yellow and green.

Sangeet: A gold or champagne colored outfit, be it a lehenga or sari. The fabric itself should be self shimmer. This makes for a fun yet elegant look.

Reception: Go all red-carpet ready in a glamorous gown or a chic sari.

Cocktail party: A pastel sequinned gown should do the trick.

Who are your favourite celebrity stylistas and why? 

Deepika in Anushree Reddy

Deepika Padukone has always been my favorite. I have really started to warm up to Kangana Ranaut’s style and I would love to see Aishwarya Rai Bachan in my label.

A piece of style advise that never fails?

Always dress according to your body type!

 What do you think of Anushree Reddy’s creations? Tell us in the comment box below! 

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi 

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Filed under Designer Radar, Designer Style, Indian Fashion 101, Indian-Inspired, Luxemi Style, Runway Shows, Trend Alert, Trend Update, Uncategorized

Our Favorite Indian Looks from Amazon India Fashion Week AW ’15

AIFW

AIFW finale

The bells of change — ushering out the dated and welcoming the fresh — were at the core of the recently held Autumn/Winter 15 Fashion Week in Delhi. Amazon was roped in as the title sponsor in what was seen as a huge nod to the ever growing online fashion community in India. But AIFW wasn’t ready to simply rest on the brilliant collections that most designers showed. FDCI also pulled off a coup of sorts with the finale show — 25 superstars of Indian fashion came together to contribute two looks each to a 50-piece finale collection dedicated to the crafts of India. Safe to say, we couldn’t get enough of it!

So if you have umpteen winter weddings to attend, we are here to make your life (well, at least your wardrobe!) easier with a quick roundup of the season’s best desi looks!

Best Salwars 

AIFW

L to R: Anamika Khanna and Rohit Bal

Anamika Khanna had our heart with a masterfully draped look — dhoti pants teamed with a choli (blouse) and signature jacket — but this time in a vibrant burst of colors. Rohit Bal’s crushed floor length anarkali paired with a koti and statement dupatta in a deep shade of brick red had effortless drama written all over it.

AIFW

Ashima Leena

Designer duo Ashima-Leena chose eye-popping shades to highlight the bonhomie of a free-spirited gypset, while veteran JJ Valaya stuck to neutrals for a spot of some understated glam with his nomadic Russian themed showcase .

AIFW

JJ Valaya

We absolutely loved pretty much every look from Prama by Pratima Pandey — a collection inspired by Sleeping Beauty with a particular emphasis on breathable fabrics, floral embroidery, artful signature layering and lust worthy salwars.

AIFW

Parma by Pratima Pandey

Best sarees

nikasha and virtue

L to R: Nikasha and Virtue by Viral, Ashish & Vikrant

It’s no secret that we nurse a soft spot for Nikasha and her vibrant design sensibilities. Her AW ’15 collection ‘Ruby’ was no exception. The bold saris are sure to bring some much needed colour to dull winter days with its vivid hues, offbeat blouses and oriental feel. This clashing print sari by Virtue by Viral, Ashish & Vikrant made us sit up and take notice of its careful tailoring and winning interplay of textures. The slim belt was just the finishing flourish it needed.

amalraj sengupta

Amalraj Sengupta

Another sari that stood out was a hand spun number Amalraj Sengupta. It caught the eye without trying too hard and the jacket blouse sealed the deal.

Best Blouses

AIFW

L to R: Nikasha and Mynah Designs

Nikasha pulled out all aces with this collection and her blouses had a lot to do with it! The delicate zardosi work and camisole peplum silhouette of this particular blouse is sure to elevate a same ‘ol sari. Mynah Designs, on the other hand, played with a black crop top style blouse with strategic sheer panels for some peek-a-boo fun.

AIFW

L to R: Payal Singhal Tanvi Kedia

Tanvi Kedia’s colourful high-necked blouse was a crafty creation whereas delicate Parisian romance reigned supreme at Payal Singhal.

AIFW

Samant Chauhan

Samant Chauhan’s collection largely stayed within the gold and cream territory, making things interesting with avant garde cuts and shapes. How can this fringed cape blouse not be on one’s lust list?!

Best Lehengas

AIFW

L to R: Ritu Kumar and Anupama Dayal

Ritu Kumar proved again that she can’t go wrong with classic Indian wear and this lehenga from the finale show is sure to brighten up any festivity. Equal parts bohemian and chic, this unique Anupama Dayal lehenga is inspired by her muse Nur Jahan and boasts of an inimitable eclectic vibe.

AIFW

L to R: Payal Singhal and Sabyasachi

Payal Singhal’s heavily appliquéd tulle and organza creation has trousseau-ready written all over it while there’s no going wrong with Sabysachi’s tribute to India’s rich heritage with an embellished lehenga and jacket blouse. Brownie points for weaving marsala, Pantone’s color of 2015, into his looks.

AIFW

L to R: Varun Bahl and Anju Modi

Anju Modi turned her attention to the new-age princess with an upbeat collection that married the layering she is so famous for with a whimsical spin, happy colours and a younger overall vibe. Varun Bahl turned to the trusty combination of ivory, red and lots of shimmer — we bet many brides will be scrambling to sport these looks at their upcoming nuptials!

Which trends are you planning to try this season? Tell us in the comment box below! 

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Our Favorite Indian Looks from Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

Image: Sabyasachi Mukherjee

While fashion week season draws to a close internationally, the Indian fashion fraternity gets its gears in motion around March. As soon as summer hits the city, the best of the best come out to play at India’s beloved Lakmé Fashion Week. This season, which marked 15 years of the event, was no different. All of B-town and the who’s who of fashion insiders were seen soaking up the sartorial excellence displayed at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015 (read: 17th – 22nd March).

Obviously, we kept our sights glued to the runway to get our daily dose of wow. Gaurang Shah, Payal Singhal, SVA by Sonam and Paras Modi, Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, Anushree Reddy and Suneet Varma were among some of our favorite shows. After the curtain fell on Anamika Khanna’s brilliant grand finale on Sunday, we got down to the business of decoding the best desi looks from the fabulous week (yes, you can thank us later!). Here goes…

Best Sarees

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

Shivan and Narresh

Resort wear kings, Shivan and Narresh’s famous saree-kini made an appearance in this collection too, only this time, the colour inspiration came from French artist Henri Rousseau’s botanical paintings.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Payal Singhal and SVA

Payal Singhal‘s royal golden drapes with a touch of pastels sure made our hearts stop and Sva’s selection of sarees (the entire collection was inspired by Istanbul) were teamed with chic peplum blouses. Sabyasachi’s collection was a throwback to the ’70s and he went the retro route with his saris.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Sabyasachi and SVA

Gaurang Shah‘s sarees took a page from Hindu mythology depicting the marvels of nature on his prints and Anavila‘s contemporary take on the traditional saree was displayed on a range of interesting fabrics.
lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Gaurang Shah and Anavila

The clean, white Mulmul collection curated by Harper’s Bazaar boasted of sleek pieces in soft feminine silhouettes, enhanced with glass and various houndstooth patterns. Kiran Uttam Ghosh made a comeback with her signature pleats and flowing silhouettes.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Kiran Uttam Gosh and Anand Bhushan (Mulmul)

As always, one can trust Anamika Khanna to give the sari contemporary relevance. This time, she did it by teaming the drape with pants.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

Anamika Khanna

Best Lehengas

L to R: Anushree Reddy and Payal Singhal

L to R: Anushree Reddy and Payal Singhal

If you have a summer wedding to attend this year, get excited, because Anushree Reddy and Payal Singhal have you covered! The former’s collection was feminine fervour at its best — replete with lots of florals, candy colours and free-flowing silhouettes. Singhal, on the other hand, focused on fuss-free and flirty lehengas, perfect for those who run away from an overdose of bling.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Patine and Arpita Mehta

Patine brought back the ease and allure of the 1970s with the blend of Victorian lace and Indian embroidery while Arpita Mehta‘s collection was truly ‘A Royal Summer Affair’ with an overload of bright, feminine shades.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

Suneet Varma

Suneet Varma‘s lehengas were luxury personified, displaying an indulgence of precious finery.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

Manish Malhotra

Bollywood sweetheart Manish Malhotra sent out his ‘Blue’ collection down the runway, which left everyone feeling anything but! The intricate floral lehengas came with an interesting twist – off shoulder blouses, fringe detailing and embroidered jackets — what’s not to love?

Best Salwars

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Ridhi Mehra and Anamika Khanna

Ridhi Mehra’s soft romantic shades and oriental craftsmanship from the Mughal era added extra pizzazz to her salwars. We loved the dhoti salwars paired with crop tops and sheer capes! The draped salwars at Anamika Khanna in neutrals like ivory and gunmetal made a huge statement without trying too hard.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Payal Singhal and Divya Sheth

Divya Sheth displayed flower power with a hint of rustic elegance (flowy jacket-style kurtas for the win!) whereas Payal Singhal impressed us with her innovative salwars that came with slits in ethnic and tribal prints.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Divya Sheth and Surendri

Arpita Mehta and Surendri sent out fun, flirty salwars in net. The former veered more towards bubbly and youthful shades, while the latter flaunted vibrant hues and prints inspired by the parrot.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

Arpita Mehta

Best Bridalwear

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Manish Malhotra and Suneet Varma

Suneet Varma’s collection was aimed at the bride who wishes to shine bright like a diamond. His use of bold hues like red and royal blue with a touch of metallic and mirror-work quickly made it to the top of our lust list.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

Suneet Varma

Manish Malhotra displayed a variety of silhouettes – from asymmetrical hemlines to high-low blouses and offbeat blouses – apt for all those pre-wedding functions.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Sabyasachi and Soumitra Mondal

Sabyasachi brought back Disco fever for the upbeat, new-age bride with a generous helping of sequins while Soumitra Mondal presented a contemporary yet royal look, blending tradition and heritage with modern styles.

Best blouses

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

Manish Malhotra

The fringe blouses by Manish Malhotra were undisputed winners and right on trend too.

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Frou Frou and Mandira Bedi

Mandira Bedi’s choli blouses in vibrant colours were the picture of unabashed sexiness. Frou Frou’s subtle, powdery hued blouses came with interesting sleeves while Arpita Mehta unleashed her cape style blouses in delicate, sheer fabrics. And finally, Anamika Khanna closed the week with her intricately embroidered, stunning blouses in varied necklines teamed with signature jackets, officially getting us in the mood for summer!

lakme fashion week summer resort 2015

L to R: Anamika Khanna and Arpita Mehta

Which trends are you planning to try this season? Tell us in the comment box below!

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Style File: Neha Dhupia

Neha Dhupia style file

Her acting chops and stunning face aside, Neha Dhupia is also a bona fide fashionista. The former Miss India Universe likes to keep it simple and her taste veers towards minimalistic sophistication. In fact, word around town is that the actress has a penchant for shopping in the men’s section and prefers to think beyond denim when it comes to her wardrobe choices.

There is no doubt that this former beauty queen with an inclination for unconventional ensembles always gets it right. While her western looks are truly winning, what we can’t keep our eyes off is the diva’s desi repertoire. Neha has garnered the fashion clique’s approval with her easy-going, laid back and refreshing Indian looks and we are definitely part of that bandwagon! We break down the best of the best for you…

Draped in Decadence

Neha Dhupia style file

One thing’s for sure: Neha loves playing with silhouettes. Whether it’s Nupur Kanoi, Shantanu & Nikhil or Anamika Khanna, her fondness for layers of delicate fabrics and offbeat drapes is quite evident. Take a cue from her and experiment with drapes to truly stand out at the next wedding soiree you attend!

Neha Dhupia style file

Luxemi Pick: Our White and Silver Gota Angrakha Salwar will help you add a touch of elegant drapes to your own wardrobe.

New Kids on the Block

Neha Dhupia style file

The who’s who of Bollywood has given their nod to the talented newbies making waves in Indian fashion, Neha notwithstanding. The stylish lass is often spotted donning looks by various upcoming designers like Payal Khandwala, Taika by Poonam Bhagat, Swati Vijaivargie, Myoho, and Frou Frou, to name a few. Of course, the actress’ flair for fashion makes each outfit look even better!

Earthy Undertones

Neha Dhupia style file

Ms. Dhupia is a sucker for simplicity – understated elegance is what she stands by and we totally get why. Minimal prints, earthy color palettes, traditional weaves and clean shapes are her favorite as seen in the outfits she has worn by Akaaro, Ritu Kumar, Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg, and Abraham & Thakore.

Neha Dhupia style file

Luxemi Pick: If you’re a fan of Neha’s style, our Black and Gold Benares Print Lehenga by Mallika Mathur will be right up your alley.

Poster Girl

Neha Dhupia style file

Although she likes to play around and sport different designers, Neha clearly has a soft spot for Payal Singhal. We’ve seen the actress carrying off the designer’s works in bright colours and intricate work with effortless panache. Our only question? When can we raid her closet.

What do you think of Neha Dhupia’s Indian style? Tell us in the comment box below! 

For more on Bollywood style icons, read our style files on Katrina KaifJacqueline FernandezKangana RanautKalki, Anushka Sharma, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonam Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt.

 

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Shaadi Chic: Bollywood’s Most Fashionable Brides

bollywood brides

Long gone are the days when our prime source of bridal inspiration were wedding flicks and onscreen Bollywood brides. With edgy couture and tasteful, traditional ensembles, these tinseltown brides have substantially upped their off-screen game and we sure aren’t complaining. From Swarovski detailing and minimal make-up to singular statement pieces, these Bollywood brides know exactly what they’re doing. We round up our favourite real-life Bollywood brides who aced the wedding chic look effortlessly. Take note, brides-to-be!

Princess Diairies: Soha Ali Khan

bollywood brides

L to R: Mehendi, wedding and reception

As one can expect from royalty, Soha Ali Khan’s wedding to long-time partner Kunal Khemu was all about subtle sophistication. Choosing simple yet striking over over-the-top and ostentatious, Soha’s ensembles hit the sartorial bull’s eye. From the pink and gold Ritu Kumar kurta that she paired with a churidaar and a crushed skirt and standout chaand baalis for her mehendi to the gorgeous fuchsia Sanjay Garg lehenga she sported to the reception, the royal certainly dazzled. But it was the gold-dusted Sabyasachi lehenga that she wore for her big day that made us swoon—extra props for skipping bridal red. Topped off with minimal make-up and accentuated by heavy, traditional jewelry, the actress looked every bit the nawabi princess that she is.

soha-ali-khan-luxemi

 

Steal her style: Pink Anarkali with Gota Work by Nikasha, Gold Sequined Saree and Red and Gold Brocade Lehenga with Fuchsia Dupatta by Mallika Mathur.

Beauty to behold: Dia Mirza

bollywood brides

L to R: Mehendi, sangeet, wedding and reception

Dia Mirza’s wedding to beau Sahil Sangha was nothing short of a fairy tale. The wedding saw the gorgeous actress dazzle in elegant and feminine silhouettes that complemented her petite frame. She donned a rich marigold and purple Ritu Kumar chanderi anarkali for her mehendi and a whimsical gotta pati Anita Dongre lehenga for her sangeet– both the outfits were paired with soft, romantic hairdos. Being a true-blue Hyderabadi, we weren’t surprised that her wedding outfit, a Ritu Kumar sharara, paid homage to her hometown. Gold and green, spruced with rich traditional craftsmanship, the Awadhi style ensemble was reminiscent of stately old-world glamour. Giving her traditional repertorire a modern break was a peach and cream Shantanu and Nikhil lehenga that she wore for her reception with a contrasting diamond and emerald set.

bollywood brides

Steal her style: Mango Chiffon Saree with Mukesh Work and Raw Silk Contrast Border

Glam Goddess: Shilpa Shetty

bollywood brides

L to R: Wedding and reception

Unless you were buried under a rock, you know that one of the biggest things to happen in 2009 was Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra’s big fat Indian wedding! More is more was the motto as Shilpa wore a glittering, luscious red Mangalorean-style Tarun Tahiliani saree accentuated by a bevy of Swarovski crystals and reportedly priced at Rs. 50 lakh ($83,000!). Completing the bling fest was her majestic (and ample, might we add) kundan jewelry. For her reception, the actress chose to flaunt her curves in a signature gold sari gown by Tahiliani and Anmol Jewellers baubles.

bollywood brides

Steal her style: Gold Cutwork and Crystal Mukesh Saree and Lehenga Saree with Thread Work

Desi Diva: Esha Deol

bollywood brides

L to R: Mehendi, sangeet, wedding and reception

Esha Deol’s vibrant, bright and pretty functions were exactly what monsoon weddings in Mumbai ought to look like. Delicious summer shades set the tone for her repertoire as the bride wore Rocky S for her main functions—an orange, Swarovski-studded lehenga for the sangeet and a shimmering pale pink one for the reception. Neeta Lulla was entrusted with the wardrobe for the other two functions—she put together an ornate tangerine and green lehenga for the mehendi and a show-stealing red and gold bridal lehenga made by fusing three heavy Kanjeevaram sarees for the pheras. The former actress topped off her traditional garb with South Indian temple jewelry.

esha-deol-luxemi

 

Steal her style: Red and Gold Bridal Saree and Peach and Pink Ombré Bollywood Saree with Sequins.

Simple Sophistication: Kalki Koechlin

bollywood brides

L to R: Wedding and party

Kalki was the epitome of ‘elegance in simplicity’ at her wedding with director Anurag Kashyap (the two have separated since then). The dainty actress wore a traditional South Indian white and red Kanjeevaram saree for the wedding ceremony and turned to Laila Motwane for her post-wedding party outfit—an eye-catching mango and fuchsia lehenga that was equal parts fun, feminine and fuss-free!

bollywood brides

Steal her style: Pearl Embellished Statement Saree and Scarlet and Purple Lehenga with Gota Work by Laila Motwane

Which actresses bridal style do you dig most? Tell us in the comment box below!

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Luxemi Talks To Jewelry Designer Mrinalini Chandra

Lisa Haydon wearing a Mrinalini Chandra necklace for Vogue India

Lisa Haydon wearing a Mrinalini Chandra necklace for Vogue India

Jewelry designer Mrinalini Chandra — one of the most coveted names in the industry today — clearly has an affinity for all things whimsical. She has, after all, turned chairs into bejewelled adornments and fishes into ornamental shawls. With ‘endless love, laughter and happily ever after’ as her mantra, Chandra has taken it upon herself to give fashion jewelry a couture update with dollops of handcrafted finesse. Her pieces are a perfect marriage of complementary contradictions — old-school yet modern, vintage yet eclectic, trendy yet timeless. What’s more, her army of patrons include the who’s who of fashion favourites like Sonam Kapoor, Esha Gupta, Asin, Jacqueline Fernandez, Kalki Koechlin, Karisma Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra and more.

Mrinalini Chandra

Tell us about your foray into jewellery design and about the launch of the brand.

Like many young girls, accessories always held a special place in my wardrobe but it was only much later that I realized that it was my professional calling. The more time I spent learning about the delicate nature of jewelry during college (editor’s note: she received her masters from the Creative Academy, Milan and Fashion and Lifestyle Accessory Design degree from NIFT, New Delhi), its profound relationship with the wearer drew me to explore this particular art form further. I honed my skills at Tanishq and Mont Blanc before officially launching my label at Lakme Summer Resort 2014.

Mrinalini Chandra at LFW SR 2014

Mrinalini Chandra at LFW SR 2014

Your brand is well known for giving the Indian aesthetic a modern twist. Tell us more about the thoughts and ideas behind your various collections. 

Creating aspirational wearable art has always my ultimate dream and Indian handicraft techniques and textiles have always inspired me. It was perhaps this love for delicate and intricate handcrafted artworks that made me pick a field that allows me to indulge in the same. I am very hands-on with my work. I think of myself as more of an artisan — I like to sit with the metal and create new things using my bare hands. Truth be told, there’s nothing quite as fulfilling.

Mrinalini Chandra

What are your key inspirations?

I draw inspiration from everything around me. Variety inspires me. It’s the love for experimenting with design that leads me to create dynamic forms while keeping the beauty of the pattern intact. There is scope for so many new things and that challenges me to experiment and take risks in terms of material, forms, craft, techniques etc. Since I love traveling, I often take several cues from art and architecture too. Nature, of course, has been a ubiquitous influence across my collections.

What are the top trends and must-have jewellery pieces this season?

Mrinalini Chandra

Palm cuffs, hath phools and hair accessories are reigning trends at the moment. For someone who likes to go that extra mile with their jewelry, our unique introductions like metal scarves composed of a fish motif, arm spring, elbow cuffs, fingertip rings, gajra hair pins and maathapattis should be go-tos.

Which pieces dominate your personal jewellery box? Tell us about your go-to pieces.

Mrinalini Chandra

Mrinalini Chandra wearing her own creations

My personal jewellery box is dominated by statement earrings and glass bangles. I also love tribal finds and a lot of my personal jewelry pieces have been acquired during my various travels around the globe. I believe in allowing one accessory to dominate my look and avoid unnecessary clutter.

Do you have an advice on the right way to accessorize?

It is quite interesting to see people accessorize in unexpected ways today. Experimentation is essential and the wearer must always style the accessory in a manner that stays true to their aesthetic. After all, it’s this individual touch that gives jewelry life. I sometimes see people falter when picking the right jewelry for an outfit — the key is that the two should complement each other but never clash and fight for the limelight. A lot of thought needs to be put into this, particularly if you wish to go OTT. Balance is everything.

Which are your favorite pieces from Luxemi’s collection?

I absolutely love the glass kundan earrings available on Luxemi — they promise to give any Indian outfit such an interesting facelift!

Mrinalini Chandra

 

Mrinalini Chandra

What do you think of Mrinalini Chandra’s creations? Tell us in the comment box below! 

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Luxemi’s Favorite Spring-Summer ’15 Shows

Spring-Summer '15

L to R: Bhibu Mohapatra, Naeem Khan, Rahul Mishra, Manish Arora, Prabal Gurung

The Spring-Summer ’15 international fashion weeks presented a profusion of trends we can’t wait to try out. Mid-riff baring evening looks and fringe strutted down the runways of New York, London, Paris and Milan, signalling the arrival of playful dressing. Denim, gingham and suede stood out as the most popular fabrics (much to our delight!). Though we loved looking through collections of celebrated designers from around the world, we can’t deny that we’ve always nursed a soft spot for our homegrown designers on the international front. So we decided to decode the season’s most prominent trends as dictated by the incredibly talented desi names who are making their mark globally.

Bibhu Mohapatra

Spring-Summer '15

The collection was inspired by the life of writer, activist and shipping heiress, Nancy Cunard. Bibhu Mohapatra reestablished his predilection for prints as geometric shapes were splashed across crop tops with organza panels hanging down the sides. Digital prints were also prominent on evening dresses and formal gowns. We fell hard for his collarless skirt suit made from leather and silk strips – a subtle ode to Cunard’s signature leather jacket. True to his design aesthetic, the collection was feminine yet eclectic…something Cunard would definitely have appreciated!!

Naeem Khan

Spring-Summer '15

The lure of sporty silhouettes was too hard to resist even for the name most associated with Hollywood glitz and glamour. Silk sweats and sheer panel sweatshirts covered in an explosion of crystals made quite the entry, closely followed by multi-coloured floral prints at our beloved Naeem Khan’s show. Evening-wear came out to play too – whether it was taffeta kaftans for the bohemian spirit, embroidered minis for the rising starlet, or the caviar-encrusted emerald jumpsuit for the bold fashionista — the designer dazzled us with his forte yet again.

Manish Arora

Spring-Summer '15

The king of kitsch cut back on embellishments but his maximalist style continued to shine through. Roses in full bloom, ornamental baseball caps and metallic footwear pervaded the runway. Manish Arora experimented with sheer panelling too, this time in the form of striped negative spaces. But what caught our attention most were the sweater dresses emblazoned with prints of neon eyes and Goddess Kali! Overall, the collection screamed quirky street-style meets kaleidoscopic sportswear.

Prabal Gurung

Spring-Summer '15

Prabal Gurung’s collection took us back to the Himalayas, just where his Fall ’14 collection left off. Except this time, the wool and layers were replaced by silk jackets, iridescent fabrics and peek-a-boo flashes of skin. The flirty print dresses and skirts were a visual treat, while the covetable strapless gowns topped off with racer-back tanks displayed effortless drama. It was the perfect union of his two principal interests: sportswear and high fashion.

Rahul Mishra

Spring-Summer '15

His first showing in Paris after his much-lauded Woolmark Prize win, Rahul Mishra‘s show was kind of a big deal—to us at least! He sent out his signature simple silhouettes with complex embroidery, boasting of sporty yet romantic sophistication. His modern designs came with a twist – well-tailored suit jackets were paired with sheer embroidered white skirts, petal patterns curved over the shoulders of zip-up jackets and embroidered white flowers covered black sheer jackets. The dynamic contrast between the softness and strength of the collection charmed us off our feet!

Which show do you give your vote to? Tell us in the comment box below! 

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Sonam Kapoor’s ‘Dolly Ki Doli’ Looks Decoded

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Ever since Sonam Kapoor made her Bollywood debut she’s been tagged as the industry’s high priestess of fashion and rightly so. With her impossibly chic style, Sonam has single-handedly changed the face of costume designing in Indian films. She made Dior and Chanel household names with chick flick Aisha and her recently released film Dolly Ki Doli is all about shining the spotlight on homegrown designers. Kapoor’s latest is about a con artist bride who thrives on a Marry. Run. Repeat. mantra. And you know, where there’s weddings there’s awesome bridal fashion to be had. We decided to turn watching this movie into a fun ‘spot the designer’ game. Styled by Karuna Laungani, Elle India’s ex-Fashion Editor (also Sonam’s stylist for Khoobsurat), we weren’t surprised when we spotted the coolest names in the industry.!

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Anita Dongre

We love a badass bride and the first look is no exception. Sonam rocks the edgy bridal look with a traditional Anita Dongre gota patti lehenga but instead of a dupatta, it’s paired with a moto jacket and aviators.

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Manish Arora

The “bride gone wild” act continued with Sonam in this eclectic Manish Arora couture lehenga that she wore for a song during the movie’s closing credits. An OTT look-at-me lehenga worn with a cropped jacket and statement sunglasses is our kind of combination indeed.

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Jade by Monica and Karishma

Another label making it to the promotional posters was a turquoise and coral lehenga by bridal wear brand Jade by Monica and Karishma. The blue is a welcome reprieve from bridal red—do we spy a trend in the making?

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Ritu Kumar

That’s not to say that bridal red was given a miss altogether in the movie. We spotted Sonam in a red Ritu Kumar sari worn with a gold blouse and an embellished Anupama Dayal tunic worn over patialas. Steal her look with Luxemi’s Red and Gold Bridal Saree.

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Anupama Dayal

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Ashima Leena

Considering how much we love offbeat lehengas, the green Ashima-Leena number with its jacket style blouse was an instant favorite with us. Love the look from head-to-toe, right down to the jewelry.

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Madsam Tinzin

Upcoming designers were part of the repertoire too.We loved the contemporary design of this blue suit by Delhi-based designer Madsam Tinzin.

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Mayyur Girotra

What’s stands out about this Mayyur Girotra look is how this otherwise modern lehenga was given a completely traditional Gujarati avatar with ingenious use of silver jewelry. Check out Luxemi’s versatile range of silver jewelry here, here and here.

Sonam Kapoor Dolly ki Doli

Luxemi’s silver jewelry

Which of the Dolly Ki Doli looks do you like best? Tell us in the comment box below!

Read more about Sonam Kapoor’s style here.

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Do You Know Your Indian Weaves?

100312-Luxemi--542

Made in India is seeing a revival—a revolutionary revival, actually. A host of designers are shining the spotlight on traditional handlooms and weaves from different parts of the country without succumbing to the ‘modern update’. So on the one hand you have Rahul Mishra putting chanderi on the international style map, while on the other Prime Minister Narendra Modi made khadi kurtas and nehru jackets stitched in Ahemdabad a major rage. Embracing and donning our Indian heritage is no longer considered old school or uncool. In fact, this return to our roots is a thing now. A stylish statement, really. If you’ve been following along you know Luxemi’s been championing this for awhile. So if you’re gearing up to make closet space for this traditional throwback, it begs the question—can you tell your patolas from your kalamkaris? And do you which region is famous for their upadas? Fret not; we have the ultimate guide for you!

Andhra Pradesh

indian weaves 101

Kalamkari collection by Neeta Lulla

The looms of Pochampalli, Venkatagiri, Gadwal, Narayanpet, Dharmavaram, Uppadas are best known for their silk and cotton sarees. The state’s Mangalgiri cottons and Kalmkari prints are lauded as well.

Bihar 

indian weaves 101

Tussar silk

That tussar silk (a non-mulberry type of silk) sari your grandmom is so fond of? It’s from this state! Bihar is also equally famous for their handwoven cotton mulmuls, particularly in the Madhubani print.

Gujarat

indian weaves 101

Patola creation by Gaurang Shah

The patola print, which is a particular craze these days, is a specialty of Gujarat and is made using a tie and dye technique that requires intricate weaving. The region’s Kutch work is equally well known too.

Jammu and Kashmir

indian weaves 101

Kashmiri Heritage collection by Manish Malhotra

Your shawl collection can never be deemed complete without atleast one pure pashmina or toosh from the region. Kashmiri kashida embroidery is equally beautiful and has to be seen to be believed! No wonder Manish Malhotra dedicated an entire collection to it in 2012!

Karnataka

indian weaves 101

Vidya Balan in Mysore silk

The Southern state’s Mysore silk sarees with pure zari borders, silk sarees with kasuti embroidery and belgaum sarees are heirloom pieces every fashionista should own.

Madhya Pradesh

indian weaves 101

Chanderi creation by Rahul Mishra

The chanderi fabric that Rahul Mishra has made so famous world over comes from this state. The state’s craftsmen are masters at churning our chanderi silk and maheshwari sarees too.

Maharashtra

indian weaves 101

Kirron Kher in Paithani silk saree

Exquisite Paithani saris and Vidarbha Karvati sarees in kosa silk that are a staple in the state are coveted across the country and are often handed down for generations.

Orissa

indian weaves 101

Sambalpuri ikat

The ikat print, which is splashed across collections of most high street giants today, is in fact the forte of this state and is known as sambalpuri ikat. Orissa is also famed for their bomkari handlooms, where designs are inspired by mythology spruced with animal and floral patterns.

Rajasthan

indian weaves 101

Bandhani and gota outfit by Anita Dongre

Rajasthan’s handlooms are just as vibrant and colourful as the state’s culture. Their bandhani or bandhej (a type of tie and dye technique), leheriya, gotta patti, zari and zardosi work are extremely famous and have found patrons in several designers like Anita Dongre and Nidhi Tholia among others.

Uttar Pradesh

indian weaves 101

Jame Judi Dench in a chikankari outfit by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla

Lucknowi chikan embroidery, an erstwhile favourite of Nawabs and royalty as well as a technique on which Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla have built their empire, hails from UP. It has been adapted into western and fusion wear too.

West Bengal

indian weaves 101

Kantha work

Baluchari work sarees that highlight the rustic culture of the state’s villages as well the subtle yet stately Kantha embroidery sarees are a must-buy for someone visiting West Bengal!

What do you think of our Indian weaves 101 session? Tell us in the comment box below!

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