Category Archives: Luxemi 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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Filed under Designer Radar, Designer Style, Indian-Inspired, Luxemi Style, Runway Shows, Trend Update

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 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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What to Wear for Diwali

Diwali Dressing Guide

This is indeed our favorite time of the year. There is an air of celebration all around and a glow of diyas and a crackle of sparklers really does cut a pretty picture. We feel it’s only fitting that you ring in the festivities like the bonafide desi fashionista that you are. So we present just the sartorial inspiration you need to turn heads this festive season. Are you ready for a diva-esque Diwali?

Festive Dinner Soiree

A Diwali dinner with friends means you can bring on your glam and experiment with something trendy. Save the traditional ensembles for family affairs or pujas. A jacket style anarkali instead of the same ’ol salwar is a good way to go. Give it an unexpected twist by pairing it with a boho chic head harness. Finish your look with winged eyes and dewy lips.

Diwali Dressing Guide

Luxemi Pick: Chiffon Jacket with Gold Embellishment by Kisneel and Gold Pendant and Pearl Headpiece

Poker Party

Play your best hand, sartorially too. If you plan on playing cards till the wee hours of the morning, you might as well wear something comfortable. Opt for a kurta that can be teamed with sharara pants or leggings. Tie your hair in a fishtail braid or messy bun so that it doesn’t interfere with you raking in the moolah!

Diwali Dressing Guide

Luxemi Pick: Hot Pink Silk Coat with Sequins and Sterling Silver Engraved Hanging Earrings

Diwali Puja

Why not bring out a lehenga for one our biggest festivals? Go all out traditional for the occasion and pick one in bright, festive hues. Play around with your dupatta drape to add a dash of fun to your repertoire. A polki set is bound to complement this look beautifully.

Diwali Dressing Guide

Luxemi Pick: Neon Lehenga with Gota Work by Laila Motwane and Gold Kundan Collar and Earrings

Family Get Together

A family get together demands you strike the perfect balance between customary and contemporary. If you ask us, a sari is your best bet. Add a dose of the unexpected by pairing it with an interesting blouse —a cape, a cropped sherwani and daring back cut-outs are the season’s trending choices. Head here for more sari styling tips.

Diwali Dressing Guide

Luxemi Pick: Red Screen Print with Gold Sequins by Satya Paul and Multicolor Enamel Peacock Bracelet

 So what will you be wearing this Diwali? 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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Filed under Celebrity Style, Designer Radar, Designer Style, Indian-Inspired, Luxemi Style, Runway Shows

Style File: Esha Gupta

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Esha Gupta may not be your typical Rs. 100-crore blockbuster Bollywood actress (yet), but her impeccable personal style does put her in the league of A-list fashionistas. This ex-beauty pageant winner’s flawless good looks coupled with her penchant to pull off anything from the simplest to the most experimental looks with effortless ease makes her a true sartorial winner in our books.

The 4-film-old actress, who made her silver screen debut with Jannat 2, first caught our eye when she was spotted in a striped off-shoulder Surendri dress accentuated with a metallic belt. Not many could have worn the bare-back look as well as she did. Since then, her performance on the style graph has only moved upwards. We break down why we’re so smitten with her style.

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Desi Twist

esha gupta style file

When it comes to desi wear, Ms Gupta is not one to make do with the same ’ol ubiquitous Indian ensembles. She’s always spotted in fresh styles like palazzos and crop tops with a draped duapatta, dhoti pants teamed with a sherwani, sari-gowns or color blocked floor length tunics with high side-slits. There’s also no escaping the fact that she has a very soft spot for Manish Malhotra creations—but really, can you blame her?

esha gupta style file

Get her look: The Racer Back Salwar with Sharara Pants by Kisneel is in tune with Gupta’s aesthetic.

Ear Ear!

esha gupta style file

Gupta seems to abide by the ‘accessories can make or break a look’ maxim very seriously. No wonder her jewelry choices have caught our eye on more than one occasion. Amping her looks with one-of-a-kind earrings really seems to be her signature. From OTT chand baalis and diamond stunners to quirky ear cuffs and jhumkas, she sure knows how to up the ante with some drool worthy ear candies.

esha gupta style file

Get her look: These Blue Enamel Chandelier Hangings with Pearls by Silver Centre are bound to make a memorable statement.

Designer Files

esha gupta style file

L to R: In Atsu, Pankaj & Nidhi, Ikai by Ragini Ahuja and Nihil Thampi

While most actresses are often scrambling to secure fresh-off-the-runway looks from top international brands for their western looks, Gupta is all about championing upcoming Indian designers for the same. From Nikhil Thampi, Nishka Lulla and Hemant & Nandita to Ragini Ahuja, Pankaj & Nidhi and Atsu, she has been spotted in them all. Extra props for that!

esha gupta style file

Get her look: Gupta sure would approve of this Coral Wrap by designer Nikasha. Lose the dupatta and churidaar and you can also wear it as a casual dress!

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

What do you think of Esha Gupta’s style? Tell us in the comment box below!

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Filed under Celebrity Style, Designer Radar, Indian-Inspired, Killer Accessories, Luxemi Style, Trend Alert, Trend Update

How To Rock The Dhoti Pant

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Image: Tarun Tahiliani

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

dhoti pants

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

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

dhoti pants

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

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

Payal Singhal

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

dhoti pants

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

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

Tarun Tahiliani

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

Slim fit dhoti pants by Arpita Mehta

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

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

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

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

papa dont preach interview

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

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

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

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

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

papa dont preach interview

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

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

papa dont preach interview

Fall ’14 accessories

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

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

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

What are the key traditional wear trends this season?

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Long blouses with back detailing

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

papa dont preach interview

Style a jacket in many ways

A style advice that never fails?

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

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

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

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

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

 

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The Dawn Of The Gen-Next Sari

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

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

The Quirky Sari

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

The Cocktail Sari-Gown

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

The Draped Sari

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

The Offbeat Blouse

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

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

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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