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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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Filed under Celebrity Style, Designer Style, Hello From Luxemi, Indian Fashion 101, Indian-Inspired, Luxe Interviews, Luxemi Style, Trend Update

Summer 2012 Trend – Sweet as Sorbet Pastel Colors

Indian inspires pastel colors runway fashion trends

Ever since Diane Kruger wowed the Cannes Film Festival crowd last week in her mint green Giambattista Valli gown, the world has been hooked on sugary-sweet sorbet hues. From Versace to Louis Vuitton and Philip Lim to Elie Saab, some of Luxemi’s favorite designers are hitting a refreshing note with sorbet-inspired color palates. Here’s how to add Indian flavor to this luscious look!

Pastel colors Indian inspired saree salwar fashion runway 2012 summer

Our first glimpse of sorbet-inspired looks was this summer 2012 ad campaign from Louis Vuitton. We’re loving how the designer went super literal, with models wearing lemon yellows, mint greens and strawberry pinks while kicking their feet up in an old-school ice cream parlor.

sorbet colors summer 2012 runway fashion indian inspired sarees salwars

And then there’s the Elie Saab collection, which features the designer’s signature gorgeous dresses in hues spanning from bubblegum pink to pale blueberry to lemon yellow. Our favorites are the gowns that mix cross-hatching with floral motifs to create a collage of textures — it’s a style that makes these sorbet hues even more delicious to the eyes.

pastel color trend summer 2012 designer style indian influence

We all know that the saree and salwar silhouettes are the perfect blank canvas for any color under the sun, but for summer 2012, there’s no Indian style note more essential than the sorbet colored saree or salwar. For a softer look, we’re loving this whimsical Peach Anarkali with Zari and Gota Work (which makes us want to run to the closest gelato shop) and this refreshing yellow Crystal and Thread Embellished Saree (which has us dreaming of lemon sorbet).

pastel colors summer runway fashion trends salwars sarees

Mint is definitely the hottest sorbet color of the summer and looks gorgeous on any skin tone! Luxemi’s Tonal Anarkali with Floral Gota Work is the best of both worlds: It has that sweet sorbet vibe we’ve been craving and the flower prints that are trending right now. With intricate gold gota floral work and soft ombré dying, this look hits the perfect balance between ornate and airy.

pastel colors indian inspired runway fashion summer 2012

Think sorbet colors are for the timid? Think again. Punchy separates are all over the summer 2012 lines from designers like Ralph Lauren and Philip Lim, and celebs like Rihanna have been rocking the sorbet color blocking trend ever since. Check out Rihanna’s high-waist Tangerine Tango pants and her cutoff plum shirt for a little inspiration. Luxemi’s Coral Angrakha Salwar with Velvet and Gota Embellishments features the same tropical colors (think: plum and orange sorbet!), plus lush borders embellished with intricate threading and contrast stitching.

What’s the moral of this color story? Sorbet colors are a fabulous way to freshen up your Summer 2012 wardrobe. Luxemi has a saree or salwar in every flavor you’re craving!

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