Category Archives: Hello From Luxemi

Birchbox’s Deepica Mutyala on Beauty Tricks for Indian Women

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At the ripe age of 16, Texas native and now beauty maven Deepica Mutyala had set a goal—that she would move to New York City and ignite her dream of working in the beauty industry. And that’s exactly what this University of Texas, Austin graduate achieved. After stints with companies like L’Oréal USA and L Brands on Victoria’s Secret PINK, Deepica now works as a Senior Manager in Brand Development at Birchbox in NYC. Getting makeovers by Beyonce’s make-up artist (!) and being exposed to the biggest brands in the beauty biz is all part of typical work day for this gal (sounds terrible, right?).

We caught up with this makeup maverick for a quick tete-a-tete on the best beauty trends for Indian women, common mistakes, must-have products and more! Pssst…she even threw in some cool insider trade secrets!

Luxemi: What are the most common beauty mistakes Indian women make when dressing in traditional wear?

Deepica Mutyala: I don’t think there should be any rules with makeup. It should be about your mood and how you feel whether you’re in Indian or western clothes.  Indian girls tend to stick to red lipsticks as their go-to with Indian ensembles but mix it up and have fun, I say! You can completely change the way your outfit looks by just changing your hair and makeup, thus allowing you to repeat that sari at the third wedding of the season (that is, of course, if you haven’t already discovered the beauty of Luxemi!).

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What are the latest beauty trends that will lend themselves beautifully to Indian wear?

  • Plum lips and bold brows! I especially love plum lips with white Indian outfits and I am definitely not a believer in the ‘no white after Labor Day’ rule.

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  • Braids: I don’t think Indian girls play with braids enough because they fear that it’ll look too traditional. But there are so many ways to experiment with them. My current favorite is a voluminous messy fishtail. It’s a great way to stand out in a room full of straightened or curled hair.

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  • Contouring: Contouring is still having its moment and lends itself perfectly to Indian wear. Who doesn’t want defined cheekbones and glowing skin, right?

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 5 must-have beauty products a desi girl’s kit ought to have?

  • A brow pencil: You know how threading your eyebrows completely changes the look of your face? Filling your brows lends the same effect! It’s a product most Indian women don’t realize they need (because they already have dark, thick brows) but can’t live without once they see the difference it makes.
  • A bold lipstick: I am loving plum lipstick right now. A classic, high pigment plum that I love is M.A.C Cosmetics’ Rebel, but if you’re looking for a light berry shade, I recommend the Cynthia Rowley Beauty creamy lip stain in Dahlia. It’s layerable, so you can add coats for intensity and personal preference.

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  • Concealer: I think if you surveyed all Indian women and asked them what their number one beauty concern is, we would say dark under eye circles. Since I battle this problem too, I like using a heavier concealer that also has brightening properties. My current favorite is the Vasanti Instant Pick Me Up Color Correcting Illuminator in shade CC 4. It has the glowing effects that everyone loves from YSL’s Touche Eclat with the coverage power of M.A.C Cosmetics’ concealers—the best of both worlds!

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  • Highlighter/Illuminator: If you want radiant skin, I have two tips: drink tons of water and find a killer highlighter. I especially love the way highlighter looks when I’m in Indian clothes. You can instantly tell the difference in pictures when you do and don’t wear it. I use a cream highlighter because I have dry skin. My current favorite is the Bio Brightening Stick from W3LL PEOPLE. The stick format makes it really easy to apply.

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  • Beautyblender: I’ve never met a makeup artist who didn’t have a beautyblender in their kit. The difference in how your makeup applies is unreal with/without it. It’s especially helpful when you’re contouring to blend with zero streakage. I can’t go back to using any brush again now. Make sure to wet the brush to where it doubles in size before using.

Indian celebrities who nail desi-dressing makeup according to you?

I love the versatility of Deepika Padukone’s beauty looks. She always mixes it up, from dramatic smoky eyes/bold lips to more subtle natural glows. She also gives me major brow envy.

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It’s also really exciting to see Mindy Kaling’s makeup looks evolve. I love that she’s not afraid to experiment with different looks across both fashion and beauty and you can tell she’s having fun with it.

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Insider beauty tricks you’d like to share with us?

If you have extreme dark circles, use a bright red or orange lipstick as a base under your eyes before applying concealer. The bright pigmentation of the lipstick evens out your skin tone. We work with celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin at Birchbox and he mentioned that this is one of his favorite beauty tricks to use on Mindy Kaling. Major game changer!

Most people apply mascara outward going towards their ears to create a sort of cat eye look. But for a more wide-awake makeup look, apply your mascara inward. By re-directing the lashes this way, your eyes will pop and look more refreshed. I learned this trick from Mally Roncal who has been the go-to makeup artist for celebrities like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez and now has her own beauty line called Mally Beauty. The products are all extremely brown-girl friendly (high pigments)!

Want more fun tips from Deepica? Follow her on Instagram @deepicam

What do you think of Deepica’s tips and tricks? Tell us in the comment box below!

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Filed under Beauty Secrets, Get the look, Guest Post, Hello From Luxemi, Hello From S&S, Indian Fashion 101, Indian-Inspired, Luxe Interviews, Luxe Ladies, Luxemi Inspiration, Luxemi Style, Style Secrets, Trend Update

5 Ways To Spice Up A Sari

 

Sprucing up a conventional saree

Sari: Neeru Kumar, Jewelry: Luxemi

Elegant, versatile and always event-appropriate, saris are all that and more. As much as we love our six yard desi wear staple, we can’t help but feel that wearing them the same ’ol way can get monotonous at times. That’s why we dug around to bring you five exciting ways to amp up your sari looks. From simple spruces to plain edgy, pick the style that best suits your personality. Rest assured, boring will be wiped out from your sartorial vocabulary once you adopt one of these ingenious styling suggestions.

Cinch it with a belt

Sprucing up a conventional saree

For those who would rather not go overboard with the experimentation, adding a belt is the easiest way to spruce a sari. Take your pick between a traditional kamarbandh and an edgy western-looking belt, depending on the sari in question. What’s more, apart from being wildly chic, this style also creates the illusion of a narrower waist.

Try a different drape

Sprucing up a conventional saree

The regular pallu drape can sometimes be yawn inducing, don’t you agree? So why take that route when there are so many more interesting drapes you can have fun with. Wrap your pallu around your neck instead of throwing it over your shoulder or bring it to the front and pin it on the other shoulder. The sky is the limit when it comes to draping!

Add a jacket or cape

Sprucing up a conventional saree

Sonam Kapoor and Anamika Khanna have collectively made this the most preferred way to add a contemporary twist to a traditional sari. The buzz created by Ms Kapoor’s cape sari worn on the Cannes red carpet this year indeed bears testimony to the fact. So if you’re wearing a heavily embellished sari, throw a sheer cape over it. An embroidered jacket over a simple chiffon sari is also a good way to go.

Skip the old school blouse

Sprucing up a conventional saree

Play around with your blouse to give an old sari an instant update. From a long corset blouse, Bengali style full-sleeved version, cropped jacket blouse, asymmetrical hemline blouse or one with interesting back detailing, there are so many options to choose from.

Wear the pants

Sprucing up a conventional saree

Take this inspired styling idea from runway to reality at your next desi soiree. Who needs a petticoat when you can wear pants instead! Take a cue from some of our favourite gen-next designers and team your sari with churidaars, wide legged trousers or even skinny jeans!  While you’re at it, slip into sneakers for a fitting sporty luxe avatar. Are you game?

How would you spruce your sari? Tell us in the comment box below!

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Filed under Five Things, Get the look, Hello From Luxemi, Indian Fashion 101, Indian-Inspired, Luxemi Style, Runway Shows, Trend Alert, Trend Update

Get The Look: Alia Bhatt

Alia Bhatt in Vogue

Vogue India, September 2012

Bollywood’s newest entrant, 21-year-old Alia Bhatt, hasn’t just wowed critics with her acting credentials but has also quickly climbed fashion charts to become a celebrity style favorite in a short time. Considering she was groomed by Karan Johar and that her first magazine cover was Vogue’s September 2012 issue, did you really think it would be any other way?! We love this spunky young gun’s no-holds-barred attitude and fuss-free approach to fashion — she knows she’s a looker but doesn’t try too hard to hog the limelight — and that is exactly what makes her a winner in our books. Here’s how you can snag her style in three simple ways!

Color Crush

Alia Bhatt in bright colors

When in doubt, wear a statement color! At least that’s what Bhatt swears by. She doesn’t seem to be one to go overboard with prints; instead keeps it simple in bright solid colors for utterly fuss-free looks. Throw on statement accessories to complete your outfit when opting for something similar.

Luxemi Pick: Dusty Pink Mukesh Saree with Bronze Feather Border

 

Crop It Like It’s Hot  

Alia Bhatt in crop tops

This newbie shed oodles of weight for her Bollywood foray so it’s no surprise that Ms. Bhatt has taken to flaunting her freshly toned midriff in a smattering of crop tops. Whenever she turns to them, she makes sure to maintain a delicious balance between neon pops and netural hues.

Luxemi crop top

Luxemi Pick: Gold Stretch Satin Blouse with Embellished Neckline by Kavita Bhartia

 

Layering Love

Alia Bhatt in layered indian wear

Bhatt’s petite frame demands that she add more dimension to her looks, which is why she is often spotted in layered Indian wear — and that, more often than not, translates into dhoti pants with a kurta and vest.

Luxemi Pick: Coral Red Tie Front Jacket Salwar with Floral Embroidery

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

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10 Things That Happen Before Going To Your 10th Indian Wedding Of The Year

10. You’ve been ‘introduced’ to or made awkward small talk with every single guy in your community.

10 things that happen before going to your 10th Indian wedding of the year

9. Desi Girl and Punjabi MC have played one too many times and you’re like…
10 things that happen before going to your 10th Indian wedding of the year
8. You timed your eyebrow threading perfectly so you can go to three Indian weddings for the price of one torture session.
10 things that happen before going to your 10th Indian wedding of the year
7. You’ve scrubbed your palms like an OCD gorilla because your last mehndi hasn’t faded yet.
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6. Hiding under a beach umbrella all summer to avoid hearing your mom make inappropriate skin color comments.
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5. Calculating the number of Instagrams people have posted of you in each saree you own.
10 things that happen before going to your 10th Indian wedding of the year
4. Hiking your saree up when you’re trying to dance to hip hop and realizing there’s no way to do it without looking like a tramp.
10 things that happen before going to your 10th Indian wedding of the year
3. Accidentally losing your mom’s real gold earrings and realizing you’ll have to hear how irresponsible you are for at least the next 30 years. 
10 things that happen before going to your 10th Indian wedding of the year
2. Draping your saree four times to get it perfect only to have an aunty re-drape it as soon as you walk in because it apparently looks like crap.
10 things that happen before going to your 10th Indian wedding of the year
1. Stressing that you have nothing to wear but then realizing Luxemi.com exists and all is right again in the world.
10 things that happen before going to your 10th Indian wedding of the year
Do you agree with us? Share your thoughts in the comment box below! 

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Luxemi’s 2014 Red Carpet Round Up

Sonam Kapoor in Vogue

Sonam Kapoor in Vogue

It’s that time of the year when red carpet alerts flood our news feed and Twitter timeline on a daily basis (well, almost!). So from international biggies like the Golden Globes, Grammys and Screen Actors Guild Awards to Indian favorites such as Filmfare Awards, Screen Awards and Star Guild Awards, we’ve scanned ‘em all. Like every year, 2014’s red carpets saw it all too — the good, the bad, the ugly and the disappointing. So after decoding 2014 runway trends and color trends, we are now  laying focus on the top red carpet trends to take a cue from. Agreed that not everyone can be a celebrity, but we all can definitely dress like one!

TREND: Sparkle and Shine

Sequined red carpet outfits

No red carpet is fully complete without a smattering of sequins. And considering the luxe lovers that we are, we lapped it all up! Our only grip — that more celebrities should have opted for colored sequins.

Luxemi's sequined sarees

Luxemi pick: Aqua Saree with Silver Threading and Sequins and Cream Georgette Sequin Saree.

TREND: Seeing Red

red alert on the red carpet

Siren red is always a striking way to go — it’s a guaranteed head turner. We love the bold approach Emma Watson and Elisabeth Moss took by pairing their red outfits with bright red lips.

Luxemi's red sequin saree

Luxemi pick: Modern Saree With Red Sequins 

TREND: Risqué Risks

Risque red carpet outfits

For every safe, been-there-done-that look, there are always those who push the envelope. And it was no surprise that Queen B and Deepika Padukone topped that list this year. Kudos to Gaurav Gupta for dressing Victoria Hervey for the Golden Globes (wish they had gone easy on the sheer panels though).

TREND: Code Blue

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blue-red-carpet

We’re all for sightings in different shades of blue — the hue is electric, sophisticated and majestic. Clearly we aren’t the only ones echoing these sentiments as the color was a universal red carpet favorite this year.

Blue sarees on Luxemi

Luxemi pick: Blue Chiffon Saree with Aqua Sequins and Tonal Saree with Foil Printing by Satya Paul

TREND: Black and Gold

Black and gold indian outfits

Over on Indian shores, ebony spruced with gilded embellishments was a hot pick, and rightly so. We can safely say that there’s no going wrong with this color mash up.                                                                                                                                   P.S. We just can’t stop gushing over Dia Mirza’s draped Shantanu & Nikhil number. Score!

Mallika Mathur lehenga

Luxemi pick: Black and Gold Benares Print Lehenga by Mallika Mathur

Mommys to be on the red carpet

And we can’t sign off without mentioning the couture-clad (and super chic) baby bumps that thronged the red carpet this year, can we now? Here’s to the soon-to-be mommies and their stylish progenies!

Which were your favorite looks this awards season? Tell us in the comment box below!

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Luxemi’s 2014 Trend Guide

New year, new wardrobe. Right? Well if there’s one thing we know about the Luxemi girl, it’s this — she takes her ‘out with the old, in with the new’ fashion maxim very seriously. After all, no one wants to be tagged as the one whose sartorial picks are “so last year”! So we’ve put together the ultimate guide of the trends you need to say a very warm (and chic, of course) hello to in 2014!

Fashion trends for 2014

TREND: Pink Parade

Pretty pink has seamlessly transitioned from 2013 and 2014 and will continue ruling the color chart. The trick, this year, is to sport it without looking too Legally Blonde. Avoid an overly girly vibe and juxtapose it with some strong, statement making accessories.

Luxemi's pink picks

Luxemi picks: Our Fuschia Lotus Print Cotton Kurta with Legging by Cottons Jaipur, Floral Saree with black and silver sequin work and Dusty Pink Mukesh Saree with Bronze Feather Border fit the bill.

TREND: Tribal Touch

Right from Mumbai to Milan, tribal influences made appearances (and not a fleeting one, mind you) on many a runway. As for us, we’ve always maintained that boho-glam is a fashion keyword to swear by.

Luxemi's tribal inspired picks

Luxemi picks: Our “Tribal” Saree with Brocade Border is ideal for a wedding reception whereas the Simple Gold Ball Headpiece can amp up the most mundane of looks.

TREND: Pastel Play

We are candy crushing this season. Scoops of buttercup-yellow, lilac, pistachio, blush pink, powder blue and every other possible sorbet shade are ruling the color wheel — so why shouldn’t your wardrobe join in the sugar rush?

Pastel traditional wear on Luxemi

Luxemi picks: Our Yellow and Orange Geometric Print Saree with Crystal WorkNet Saree with Buttas and Sequins and Shimmer Georgette “Angel” Lehenga Saree boast of ladylike poise and elan.

TREND: Print Party

Prints can never really go off the style radar, considering that they are intrinsic wardrobe staples. And fashion biggies have given their vote to pop art inspired, candid prints this season. You’d be wise to stock up on them.

Prints on Luxemi

Luxemi picks: Our Crystal And Lace Digital Print Saree, Pink Peony Printed Saree and Digital Print Saree with Sequined Blouse by Satya Paul pack in a powerful printed punch.

TREND: Metal Mania

Who says that metallic hues are meant only for the night? This year, take your metallic beauties out for a spin even in the AM. No-holds-barred is definitely the way to be!

Metallic saree on Luxemi

Luxemi picks: This Red Net Saree With Metallic Sequins by Satya Paul will look just as stunning at an afternoon mehndi event as it will at an after hours cocktail gala.

So here’s wishing you ladies a super stylish and successful 2014. Cheers!

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Luxemi Reviews 2013’s Top Fashion Moments

While we are gearing up for a super stylish 2014 (we wouldn’t have it any other way!), we are also engulfed by a sense of fashion nostalgia as the end of this year inches closer. 2013 was indeed a year of several fashion hits, misses and moments that made us sit up and take notice. So, we bring you a roundup of everything that had tweeting, hash tagging and obsessing over at brunch with our fellow fashionistas-in-crime this year!

Luxemi adds Amrapali to their designer roster

Celebrity favorite, Amrapali Jewels made their way to Luxemi’s designer directory with exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces curated especially for us!

Deepika Padukone wearing Amrapali

Vidya Balan causes an uproar at Cannes

Actress Vidya Balan made it to the prestigious jury at the Cannes Film Festival alongside Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg among others. Woot woot! Her red carpet appearances — styled by and dressed in Sabysachi — however were bit of a snooze fest. Turns out there is a thing as too much Sabyasachi. Who would have thought?

Vidya Balan at Cannes

Tarun Tahiliani’s Cannes crusade

Veteran designer Tarun Tahiliani was handpicked to showcase at the prestigious amFAR 20thCinema Against AIDS benefit gala and fashion show held at Cannes. His beautiful Cannes crusade saw supermodel Karlie Kloss (and many more) strut down the runway in a liquid gold draped sari gown.

Karlie Kloss in Tarun Tahiliani

Luxemi gets featured on BuzzFeed

Thanks to the raging sari rental trend, being fabulously designer clad at a wedding need not burn a hole in your pocket anymore. Our founders discussed what makes this concept tick on BuzzFeed this year.

BuzzFeed-logo

Priyanka Chopra turns Guess Girl 

Back in Bollywood, it was definitely the year of actress-turned-pop star Priyanka Chopra. PC, as she is fondly called, kick started the year chartbusters in collaboration with Pitbull and Will.i.am and topped it off by snagging the title of the latest (and first Indian) Guess Girl — photographed by Bryan Adams for the brand’s holiday campaign.

Guess girl Priyanka Chopra

Marc Jacobs moves on from Louis Vuitton

 After 16 years with French luxury giant Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs called it quits with a sentimental farewell show that left the entire fraternity (including us) teary eyed .

Marc Jacob's last Louis Vuitton show

Tanishq’s buzz worthy commercial 

Tanishq’s TV commercial supporting remarriage (plus featuring a dusky model), got the brand major props for making a strong and positive social statement. It’s definetly a step in the right direction!

Selfies whip up a storm

Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed ‘selfies’ as the international word of 2013. So now when your granny asks what is this selfie (for the nth time), you can safely hand her a dictionary and be done with it (sigh of relief)!

Power selfie

Gap + Warish Ahluwalia

Designer du jour Waris Ahluwalia was chosen as the face of Gap’s Make Love campaign, making it the most fashionable statement against racism indeed. Kudos!

gap make love campaign

The nath makes a comeback

Heirloom, old-school desi jewels made a major comeback, with the nath (nose ring) leading the way. Everyone from Sonam Kapoor and Vidya Balan to Kajol were seen giving it their unrelenting support.

Nath makes a comeback

 

Black and white take centre stage

Goodbye sindoor red bridal wear! Indian brides finally opened their trousseau trunks and wedding closets to make way for white and black ensembles (a color hitherto considered inauspicious).

black and white on luxemi

 

Showbiz India chats up Luxemi

Still have questions about how exactly Luxemi works? Showbiz India caught up with our co-founders to give you the low down.

Feel like we missed something? Tell us in the comment box below!

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Luxemi’s Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday shoot French Vogue

Image credit: French Vogue

Exchanging gifts is undoubtedly one of our favorite December customs — and while it is always delightful to be on the receiving end, the best of us are often in a fix when gift hunting. Hence we put together a quick guide that promises to rescue you from your gifting woes. Whether you’re shopping for your mother, sister or BFF — we’ve got the perfect picks, no matter what their style sensibility. So hurry, put on your Santa hat without further ado!

 The Glam Dresser

Get something head turning and statement making for the uber fashionista in your life. Our modern kundan set and black sequined border sari fit the bill to a T!

Modern Kundan Set

Sequined saree with border

 The Minimalistic Dresser

You’ll want something subtle and fuss-free for this one. Delicate shades are always a good go-to and we’ve got you covered with this cream georgette sari.

Cream georgette saree

The Trendy Dresser

Our gold Kashmiri earrings and pinky ring by Amrapali are right on trend, just like the girl you’re shopping for! So aren’t these the obvious choices for her, then?

Wrap around earrings

Gold pinky ring by Amrapali

The Boho Dresser

Eclectic accessories are the best bet when shopping for the gal who’s a hippie at heart. Luxemi’s gold pendant and pearl headpiece and gold flower hand charm will be instant hits.

Pearl and gold headpiece

Gold hand harness

The Androgynous Dresser

Our hot pink silk coat will work well for the woman whose dressing aesthetic is best described as ‘boy meets girl’ . The androgynous silhouette juxtaposed with an utterly feminine color makes for a charming contrast.

Silk coat salwar

The Urbane Dresser

The city girl likes to keep her looks polished and sophisticated, and isn’t afraid to bring a contemporary dash to her traditional looks. Our silk saree with bronze zari by Satya Paul will occupy a place of pride in her closet!

Satya Paul silk saree

The Kitschy Dresser

She’s one who is constantly incorporating quirky elements into her wardrobe and mixing things up. Have no doubt that she will love our embroidered clutch by 5 Elements.

embroidered clutch by 5 Elements

That’s not all. Take 20% off an all our accessories through the month using our LUXEHOLIDAY code — now isn’t that what you call ‘happy holidays’? ;-)

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Luxemi’s top picks from India Bridal Fashion Week ’13

tarun tahiliani at bridal fashion week

Tarun Tahiliani ensemble

Reasons beyond the typical runway shenanigans brought this years second bridal week, India Bridal Fashion Week ’13, to the spotlight. Several fashion editors unabashedly tweeted how hard it’s become to keep track of the unending fashion weeks taking place these days. While we agree it may be overkill and that gimmicks and celebrity show stoppers take away from the real focus, the fashion — we still can’t help but pay attention when bridal wear is involved (no surprises there).  And this round up of our favorite looks from ‘the week that was’ will make curating your trousseau and nuptial looks simpler!

Structured drama at Gaurav Gupta

Gaurav Gupta bridal collection

Gaurav Gupta

The coming-of-age of the gen-next Indian bride can be credited to Gaurav Gupta to a large extent. His love affair with structured silhouettes and western cuts continued with this collection too — perfect for a cocktail party or intimate reception.

Draped saris at Tarun Tahiliani

tarun tahiliani at bridal fashion week

Tarun Tahiliani

Tarun Tahiliani’s signature pre-draped saris stole the show this bridal week. We absolutely love their effortless drama. Just throw on statement earrings, pull back  your hair and you are sangeet-ready.

White meets gold at Rohit Bal

Rohit Bal bridal collection

Rohit Bal

Goodbye sindoor red bridal wear and hello white + gold! The past year has been all about white traditional wear (previously considered an inauspicious color for brides) and Bal dedicated ample runway time to this color combination. We heart!

Layered salwars at Falguni & Shane Peacock

Falguni & Shane Peacock bridal collection

Falguni & Shane Peacock

There is a certain degree of flamboyance and opulence associated with Falguni & Shane Peacock designs and their bridal line was no different. We are lusting over the layered salwars with sheer overlays —  a welcome break from the ubiquitous zari-gota anarkalis. We’re also digging the Senorita vibe of the updo!

Androgynous silhouettes at Raghavendra Rathore

Raghavendra Rathore bridal collection

Raghavendra Rathore

Raghavendra Rathore is India’s final authority on jodhpuris and bandhgalas. He extended his revered mastery to androgynous women’s traditional wear with sherwanis, bandhgalas and gowns this time. We can’t wait to slip into these styles for an engagement party!

So there you have it —  update your desi wardrobe with our handy guide.  It’s all about mixing tradition with a sprinkle of irreverence this season!

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Luxemi Interviews Fashion and Celebrity Stylist Kushal Parmanand

Sonakshi Sinha in Hi! Living

Sonakshi Sinha styled by Kushal Parmanand for Hi! Living

Fashion and celebrity stylist Kushal Parmanand jokingly refers to himself as an “Indian fashion industry fossil!” And considering he’s got over 10 years of experience under his belt, we get why (well, kind of!). His foray into the industry was one most can only dream of — he kick started his career with revered couturiers Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla after which he moved on to working with Nandita Mahtani. Styling came knocking his way in the form of a Fashion Directorship at Seventeen India, followed by stints at L’Officiel India, L’Officiel Homme, Hi!Blitz and most recently Noblesse India. His stellar repertoire also boasts of styling Bollywood beauties like Bipasha Basu, Sonakshi Sinha and Sonali Bendre among others. We engage the stylist du jour in an exclusive tete-a-tete!

Kushal Parmanand

Celebrity and fashion stylist Kushal Parmanand

Luxemi: How did you foray into fashion? Is it something you always wanted? 

Kushal Parmanand: My foray into fashion was actually by default. I come from a family of two generations of engineers and they obviously wished for me to continue their legacy. After trying to pursue an education in computer science and management studies for two years, I finally landed at Fanshawe fashion school in June 2000 to pursue my true calling. I remember wanting to be in fashion, a designer in particular, since I was in 8th grade. Rohit Bal was my idol then.

Luxemi: You have worked with some of the country’s top stylistas — right from Sonam Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor to Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif. Who are your personal favorites?

Kushal Parmanand: I think I have the biggest crush on Bebo (Kareena Kapoor)! She is undoubtedly my favorite. She is extremely easy going and a breeze to work with. Most celebrities today know what works for them and are quite fashion focused. Having worked with many of them editorially over the years I feel that working collectively and keeping common interests in mind helps get the best out of a shoot!

Luxemi: Who are some of your favorite Indian and international designers?

Kushal Parmanand: Wow that is a very tough and long list! I love the work Riccardo Tisci does for Givenchy couture. This seasons in particular; I am loving key pieces from Balenciaga, Monique Lhuillier and Vionnet while Elie Saab, Dior, Valentino and Lanvin remain eternal favorites. On the Indian front I love different designers for their varied focuses. Anamika Khanna, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Gaurav Gupta are my favorite veterans. From the younger lot I am partial to Kallol Datta, Sailex and Nachiket Barve.

Actually I feel fashion is a bit fickle in that sense — every season you are bound to love that someone a little more purely because their showing tugged at your heart strings more than the others.

Luxemi: Autumn-Winter ’13 Indian wear trends that ought to be tried this season? Also tell us about the top colors one must have in their wardrobe? 

Kushal Parmanand: Monochrome continues to be a huge trend this season. Punk and vintage inspired fashion is also big. Think of smaller ways to include them in your traditional wardrobe. Red is THE color to be swearing by — not only is it one of our most traditional colors, it also looks lovely on Indian skin. Make sure to experiment with interesting updos and accessories for a refined look.

Luxemi: Style icons who carry Indian wear beautifully? 

Kushal Parmanand: I think Deepika (Padukone) looks great in Indian wear. She has an inherent grace about her, almost like royalty. Apart from her I think Kareena (Kapoor) looks her best when she is in a sari.

Kareena Kapoor in a saree

Luxemi: Your favorite picks from Luxemi.com

Kushal Parmanand: Laila Motwane’s lehangas, the coral wrap kurta from Nikashasaris by Neeru Kumar and jhumkis  from Amrapali are my top picks. The wine salwar with shell embroideryFoil Printed “Club” Pallu Saree by Satya Paul and Flowing Net Anarkali with Embroidery by Kisneel are also great options.

Luxemi Indian wear

Parmanand’s top picks from Luxemi

Luxemi Indian wear

Parmanand’s top picks from Luxemi

Amrapali earrings on Luxemi

Amrapali earrings on Luxemi

Luxemi: If one has only 10 minutes to put together an Indian look, what should be their go-to?

Kushal Parmanand: The chotu sari (one with a shorter hemline) is a great option.

Nandita Thirani sare

Chotu sari by Nandita Thirani

Pre-pleated saris and sari gowns are easier to drape, making them ideal go-tos as well. If neither works for you, there is always the humble salwar kurta which has many interesting variations this season. I personally always steer towards a minimalistic look. Finish it off with a dash of a strong lip and a messy braid or updo — absolutely perfect when you’re on the run!

Sonakshi Sinha styled by Kushal Parmanand

Sonakshi Sinha styled by Kushal Parmanand for Hi!Blitz

So take it from the man who knows best and make these quick tweaks to your desi closet. Trust us when we say that these simple additions will go a long way!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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