Category Archives: Designer Style

Luxemi Talks To Designer Ragini Ahuja of Ikai


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There is no stopping Ragini Ahuja. The Delhi-based designer who debuted her label Ikai at the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 Gen-Next show has gone from being a newbie to fashion frat darling in no time at all. The testimonies to this are many, but consider this: she was the first runner up at the recently concluded Vogue Fashion Fund 2014, a prestigious win for the young designer indeed.

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Not your basic designer, Ahuja’s creations feature a touch of edge, an inherent uniqueness that sets them apart. Think unexpected mixing of textures, leather detailing, hand woven fabrics and prints that strike a balance between look-at-me and subtle. Her latest collection ‘Metal’ focuses on sheep nappa and brass strips ingeniously appliquéd in flora and fauna shapes while using feminine fabrics, sheer chanderi and cotton marbled in corrosive colours with a hint of oxblood and gold.

Luxemi: Tell us about your foray into fashion designing. Is this something you always wanted to do? 

Ragini Ahuja: I was more inclined towards illustrating and graphic art than fashion initially. But I ended up pursing my Bachelors in Fashion Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, which is how I got here. Though I do make boxy silhouettes that work as a canvas for my edgy illustrations and animated graphic details.

Who is the quintessential Ikai woman? Tell us more about the label.

The Ikai woman is real, curvaceous, fearless and confident. The label aims at creating highly wearable clothing by reinterpreting the traditional Indian aesthetic in a non-traditional way. So think boxy anti-fits are adorned with edgy artwork and animated details. The label has carved a niche with its unconventional use of leather and use of age-old techniques in the offbeat ways.

Shibori Leather Applique' yoke shirt SS14

Your creations always feature an offbeat element, with a lot of texture play. Is this a conscious move? What are some of the label’s signature styles?

Our design process starts with artworks, textures and mixing new with the old, traditional with the modern. The surfaces are then translated onto fabrics. The shibori box maxi (seen on actress Esha Gupta) with beautiful shibori stripes, appliqué leather belt details and leather roll up detailing at the hem is one of our hot sellers. It is big boxy, easy-to-wear and cinched beautifully at the waist.

Shibori Box MaxiOur big, boxy anti-fit shirts are also a signature style.

Antler Reverse Applique' Box Shirt FW14

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

I love to pair traditionally hand-woven chanderi saris with leather bustiers, crop shirts and belted appliqué jackets.

What are the key traditional wear trends this year? What should be avoided at all costs?

Neon and anything that doesn’t flatter your body type should be completely avoided. As for Indians, wear classic saris, anarkalis and lehengas, as they never go out of style. For those who don’t mind experimenting, give our edgy leather floral applique and chanderi double layer reverse appliqué tunics and kurtas a go.

Who are some of your favourite designers and why?

I love Alexander Wang and Abraham & Thakore.

A style advice that never fails?

Find what looks good on you and stop following trends blindly!

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

The Rustic Gold Triangle Necklace with Black Ribbon and Gold Pinky Ring by Amrapali are my top picks!

Untitled-1 What’s your take on the designer’s work? Tell us in the comment box below! 

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5 Indian Accessory Designers To Watch Out For

Indian accessory desingers

Image: Outhouse

An Indian’s love affair with bling is a well-known fact. We do, after all, take our jewelry very seriously. But lets face it, that bridal polki set or heavy solitaire necklace isn’t going to cut it at all the time. Nor is high street junk. Hence a burgeoning army of accessory designers have cropped up to cater to those in-between requirements. Considering the bauble heads that we are, we’re always scouting for ace accessory designers to add to our ever-growing collection. So after rounding up five fashion designers to watch out for, we bring you the five accessory labels we are totally crushing on right this minute.

 Outhouse

Indian accessory desingers

Launched by sisters Kaabia and Sasha Grewal in October 2011, Outhouse has quickly become an accessory label du jour, a tour de force to reckon with. A fusion of contemporary styles and rich craftsmanship, their pieces are known for their bold and avant garde lendings. If you’re looking to make a head turning statement, then your search for the most fitting baubles ends here. Thanks to the fierce loyalists they have gained along the way, the brand is opening their flagship store in Delhi soon.

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Neha Dhupia, Shraddha Kapoor and Deepika Padukone

 Mrinalini Chandra

Indian accessory desingers

Mumbai-based designer Mrinalini Chandra’s pieces are an ode to the rich culture and poetic verses of India, though she always gives her traditional inspiration a quirky, contemporary relevance. Cases in point are her collections featuring funky chair and fish motifs, but preserved with a desi spin. Chandra believes that her creations are an eclectic range of whimsical, slightly modern yet slightly ancient, stuck in-time-designs!

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Sonam Kapoor, Esha Gupta, Kalki Koechlin, Karisma Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez

Eina Ahluwalia

Indian accessory desingers

Touted as India’s first conceptual jewelry artist, Eina Ahluwalia’s label called ‘Breathing Space’ boasts of pieces inspired by life and aim to take the wearer on journeys within themselves and through time. The designer resorts to handmade fretwork, which makes her creations intricate and detailed. She doesn’t refrain from making bold statements either—hence you will find references to religion, scriptures, messages of kindness, respect and love and shout-outs against social issues.

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandez, Deepika Padukone, Chitrangada Singh, Sonam Kapoor and Sona Mohapatra

Suhani Pittie

Indian accessory desingers

To say that Hyderabad-based Suhani Pittie’s hand crafted baubles are extremely sought after would be an understatement. Her collections bring forth her fascination with ancient lore and traditional arts but she treats this inspiration with a bohemian sensibility. Sonam Kapoor can easily be touted as the poster girl for Suhani Pittie jewelry. Her partiality for the designer’s edgy and offbeat creations is easy to spot with one look at her repertoire. Also, here’s a fun fact: Pittie is couture maestro Anamika Khanna’s sister. Creativity, it seems, runs in the family!

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Esha Gupta, Vidya Balan, Parineeti Chorpa and Masaba Gupta

Valliyan by Nitya Arora

Indian accessory desingers

A jewelry brand strictly catering to hedonists, designer Nitya Arora believes that her creations are esoteric and niche. Think pop-hued handcrafted accessories with a vintage vibe but topped off with a New York edge. They are all about making an unabashed, bold and unadulterated statement. Case in point: the warning sign on the brand’s site that reads, “WARNING! While using our products you may find people, known to you or otherwise staring at your ears neck or wrist.”

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Shraddha Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Nimrat Kaur, Kajol, Sonakshi Sinha, Deepika Padukone and Aditi Rao Hydari

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

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Luxemi’s Top 5 Desi Picks From Wills India Fashion Week Spring-Summer ’15

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There’s nothing like fashion week to make us drop everything else, sit up and take notice. Considering Wills India Fashion Week is home to the freshest and brightest talent in the country we couldn’t help but give it our undivided attention. So after a through screening of all the runway shenanigans, we’ve rounded up our favorite desi looks that should be making their way into your closet come Spring-Summer ’15.

Rohit Bal

WIFW SS'15

Rohit Bal’s clothes are achingly beautiful and that’s an indisputable fact. But it was his finale show’s setting that made it sheer poetry. Set against the backdrop of Delhi’s Qutub Minar with Shubha Mudgal’s beautiful voice creating the perfect ambience, Bal’s ‘Gulbagh’ collection, replete with his signature use of whites, blacks and reds, was inspired by India’s rich heritage.

WIFW SS'15

Payal Singhal

WIFW SS'15

Payal Singhal’s signature silhouettes got a spring-summer makeover in a restrained black and gold palette. Titled ‘Firdaus’, the collection was an ode to Kashmir’s enchanting Gulmarg valley and featured embroidered blouses, fuss-free cuts, asymmetrical hemlines and short kurta sets among others. We particularly loved the exaggerated yoke, the collection’s most standout highlight.

Masaba Gupta

WIFW SS'15

Masaba Gupta can’t seem to catch a break! We can only wonder how this 26-year-old designer has been churning out back-to-back winning collections! Her latest was a tale of upbeat youthfulness. Interesting drapes ruled the roost—we spotted everything from dhoti pants, culottes with sheer panels, capes and cowl tunics. We think the firecracker and paintbrush prints are all you need to make a head turning statement come spring.

Kavita Bhartia

WIFW SS'15

Kavita Bhartia’s dreamy collection had us hankering for a summer wedding. The unapologetically feminine collection was high on pastels (blush pink in particular), gold embellishments, zardozi work, breezy silhouettes, sheer overlays and ample layering. Ladylike glam, did you say?

Tarun Tahiliani  

WIFW SS'15

If Tarun Tahiliani’s collection in collaboration with The Singh Twins (London-born artists known for the revival of the Indian miniature tradition within their modern art practices) is anything to go by, then SS ’15 is going to be an incredibly kitschy one. Tahiliani’s latest line was all about unabashed use of a kaleidoscope of colors, bold digital prints and OTT accessories. Hipster chic, indeed.

WIFW SS'15

Which designer’s showing gets your vote? Tell us in the comment box!

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Luxemi Talks To Designer Ridhi Mehra

ridhi mehra

Delhi-based designer Ridhi Mehra’s creations stand out in a sea of edgy and offbeat Indian wear owing to their demure chic vibe. The young designer, who has quickly catapulted into a name to reckon with makes sure that her ensembles are a happy marriage between European influences and Indian aesthetics…a throwback to an era gone by, if you will.

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Her elegant signature silhouettes have many fans especially Bollywood fashionistas (read everyone from Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Parineeti Chopra to Madhuri Dixit, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha) and India’s fashion blogger royalty.

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L to R: Ridhi Mehra with showstopper Lisa Haydon at Lakme Fashion Week WF ’14

Fresh from the success of her Lakme Fashion Week debut, the petite designer talks to us about her foray into designing, her signature styles, favorite Luxemi pieces and more!

Luxemi: Tell us about the launch of your label. Did you always want to be a fashion designer?

Ridhi Mehra: Designing is something that comes to naturally to me now but back in the day, I never really thought I’d pursue this career! Destiny has played a big role here. I started out as a business student and completed my education in management studies from The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. My mother and aunt were already established in the garments and retail industry in Delhi and I came back and joint their venture in the management department. That’s when I was drawn to designing. So I pursued a fashion design course at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in 2010 and launched my label in 2012.

Who is the quintessential Ridhi Mehra woman?

The Ridhi Mehra woman is one who believes in making a statement with simplicity. She is one who prefers her traditional wear to have a modern update, and that is my focus while designing too!

How would you describe your aesthetic and signature styles?

ridhi mehra

Ridhi Mehra’s signature placements

My label is associated with strong European influences, intricate and meticulous handcrafted detailing and an emphasis on fine tailoring and cuts. Our draped dupattas as well as shoulder and waist patches are our atypical touches. My new collection continues to feature our side placements and retains the stitched dupattas but also boasts of newer placements. We are also experimenting with traditional and sharara jumpsuits, embroidered shorts, capes and dresses. In the end, it’s all about dark romance with a clear partiality for all things vintage.

What are Indian wear must-haves for this festive season?

ridhi mehra

Short anarkali with salwar

An Indian embroidered jacket is a must as it can be paired with everything from anarkalis and shararas to lehengas and pants. A short anarkali with salwars is a trendy break from its voluminous counterpart but a classic full-length anarkali is a must! A stitched concept saree, though a tricky option, looks incredibly chic. Our embroidered crop tops are extremely versatile and easy to mix and match too.

Ridhi Mehra crop tops

Ridhi Mehra crop tops

Who are your favorite celebrity stylistas?

Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone are my all time favorites; they carry everything with élan!

ridhi mehra

A style advice that never fails?

 Never overdress! Ever.

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

ridhi mehra

The Mango Salwar with Gota Embroidery by Nikasha, Gold Plated Silver Elephant Bangle by Amrapali, Navy Blue and Magenta Embroidered Flower Clutch by 5 Elements and the Orange Salwar with Asymmetrical Hem by Nikasha are my top picks from Luxemi.

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

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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!

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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

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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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Kalki’s Top 5 Indian Looks

 

kalki's best indian looks

Actress Kalki Koechlin is not your regular mainstream Bollywood actress. It’s safe to say that she has broken the mould of typical starlets who are often reduced to mere pretty props in big budget films — the hero’s sidekick on his adventures. How so? Well, here’s a young actress who can play a  prostitute in her debut indie movie Dev D. with as much ease as she can portray a high maintenance girlfriend in a mainstream flick like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Add to that how she is always using her stardom to support pressing women’s issues in society, and you have an actress who is more than just her designer wardrobe and item songs. You can always trust Ms. Koechlin to keep things interesting. And that’s exactly what makes her tick.

The same can be said about her style as well. Hipster cool just about sums up her repertoire and she is always known to add an individual twist to everything she dons. While we know all about her love for upcoming Indian designers, especially Nimish Shah of Shift, and her penchant for experimental western silhouettes, we decided to spotlight her traditional wear choices instead. One thing is certain — her style isn’t boring!

White Wonder

Kalki looks ethereal in this white Manish Malhotra floor length number, but it’s clear to see she consciously stayed away from the heavily embellished anarkalis the veteran designer is generally associated with. Minimalistic chic is the way to go.

kalki's best indian looks

Luxemi Pick: Channel Kalki’s white washed look with our Cream Georgette Sequin Saree and minimal accessories.

 

Black Beauty

When it comes to Indian designers, this actress of French descent has a strong affinity for all things Sabyasachi. Not many can pull off this overwhelming lehenga with its floor length top but Kalki manages to sail through effortlessly. Learn from her and when mixing several elements be sure to keep your jewelry and make-up minimal.

kalki's best indian looks

Luxemi Pick: Our Black and Gold Benares Print Lehenga by Mallika Mathur mirrors the same aesthetic of this Sabyasachi stunner.

 

Indian Punk

This Nikhil Thampi saree gives the six-yard stunner a punk update and Kalki does ample justice to it. We love this look right down to the last details — the cinched belt, offbeat brooches and kathakali print. (Read more on sprucing up a sari here).

kalki's best indian looks

Luxemi Pick: Wear this Gold Sequined Saree with our Black Brocade Blouse by Wild Orchid and a black petticoat.

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Color Burst

This Laila Motwane lehenga, which Kalki wore for her wedding festivities, is as girly as it gets for her. We love the mix mash of colors — so fresh and vibrant!

kalki's best indian looks

Luxemi Pick: This Scarlet and Purple Lehenga with Gota Work by Laila Motwane is as close as it gets to Kalki’s bridal ensemble of choice.

 

Red Alert

Kalki’s all-red asymmetrical kurta and churidar makes a fuss-free statement. It’s a causal look she wears pretty effortlessly. It’s perfect for a mehndi function or festive dinner affair. Team it with a color blocked clutch for added impact.

kalki's best indian looks

Luxemi Pick: Our Orange Salwar with Asymmetrical Hem by Nikasha allows you to dress down without looking dowdy.

For more on Bollywood style icons, read our style files on Deepika PadukoneJacqueline FernandezKangana Ranaut and Alia Bhatt.

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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