Decoding the Runway: Bridal Trends 2016-17

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Monique Lhuillier Spring 2017. Image Courtesy theimpression.com

Maybe it’s the excessive amount of wedding shows on TV or all my friends getting married, but I am OBSESSED with wedding dresses. Brides these days are spoilt for choice, no matter the budget, style or body size (finally) there is a runway worthy dress out there. If your boyfriend just popped the question, you are one lucky bride, because the bridal fashions for 2016-17 are fabulous – almost anything goes! Continue reading

Decoding the Runway: Jason Wu S/S 2013

This isn’t his latest showing, but since we’re going through the hottest summer, I felt I should focus on the Spring Summer collections. Just the thought of looking at fall’s heavy fabrics have made me break into a sweat.

Jason Wu put up a dreamy erotic collection for spring summer, the dainty with the cheeky, this designer really stepped out of his element and went with the provocative. Let’s not forget this is the same designer who dressed Michelle Obama for the Inauguration Ball, and yet also slipped onto Rosie Huntington-Whiteley a lingerie-est ensemble.

Jason Wu 2

A duality of aesthetic is what I most look for in any collection, every piece that came down the runway was something worth coveting. Nude and Black were the colours of choice, and how can you possible go wrong with a little leather thrown in there for added spice. The prettiness of a navy blue, star speckled dress was balanced by a S&M leather harness that brought a strength to the overall look.

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The same can be said about the razor back sequined knit top worn with a flouncy net maxi skirt, that alone would have looked like it was meant for a ballet performance. However when worn with a sexy leather harness just took the entire look and sent it to high fahsion heaven.

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The best look of the show however, is the one piece teamed with a black chiffon cover up. Swap the Bulky bag for a whip and you’ve got yourself one risque outfit. Are we happy to see the inner Wu dominatrix displayed? I say yes, pretty can take a back seat for a while.

 

Decoding the Runway: Burak Uyan’s Fall Winter 2013-14 Collection

Every few months I get an email from Burak Uyan’s main man Srdjan Prodanovic, with the latest from the shoe maestro. These emails are filled with gorgeous pictures of footwear that take me to high heel heaven.  This Fall/Winter ’13-14 collection Uyan has out done himself.

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Keeping to his signature upright heel and exotic materials, it’s a collection that begs to be worn on the streets of Paris. Colours are lush with military browns, rich purples and moss greens, Plus a few shocking reds for that sex appeal. The collection also brought back the little black shoe, with accents of gold, a must for the fall season. Here are some of my picks from Uyan’s latest collection, be prepared to daydream all afternoon about these beauties. Continue reading

Shoe Bites: Obessed with the Transparent

Ever since I saw a pair of clear heeled Prada heels come down the runway, I’ve been obsessed with things that are clear. Transparent clutches, bags, watches, sunglasses, you name it, there is something about them that makes me want to buy in bulk. The pieces have a sense of purity and pristine cleanliness that somehow fits into my wanting to be the ultimate minimalist. If you don’t know what I’m going on about, I’ve put together some of my most wanted transparent pieces, to whet your appetite.

The Prada Heels

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Picture Courtesy Love Aesthetics

Transparent DIY Clutch (Have to try)

Transparent Clutch

Picture Courtesy A Pair and a Spare

Louise Ghost Chair by LexMod Philippe Stark

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Picture Courtesy Amazon.com

Emporio Armani Sunglasses

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Picture Courtesy Google Images

Jenny Packham Clutches

Jenny Packham Clutch

Picture Courtesy TheCelebrityCity.com

Michael Kors Watch

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Picture Courtesy Tiosamshop.com

Acrylic Diamond Shape Ring

Picture Courtesy Buyamt.com

Shoe Bites: Marc Cain’s Latest Spring Collection Hits Stores

Marc Cain has opted for two distinct looks for their spring summer collection; the white and black vs the fluorescent and floral. If you want to build a wardrobe of fashionable staples then this is the store to hit. I’ve rounded up my top three looks from the current in-store collection.

LOVE IT: This retro print biker jacket is a must, even though it’s hot outdoors, we’re never too far from an icy AC restaurant that gives us the chills.
WEAR WITH: Black razor back maxi dress and pink flip flops

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LOVE IT: Another must this season is the B&W stripe garment, Marc Cain offers this flirtatious dress that is perfect for those Sunday brunches.
WEAR WITH: Over sized sunglasses and coral lip gloss

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LOVE IT: This colour will look gorgeous on our dusky, sun-kissed skin tones, demand attention in this neon green, light knit cardigan.
WEAR WITH: Drape it over your shoulders with high waist shorts and a white tank.

Decoding the Runway: Diane and Donna Know How to Dress a Woman

When it comes to dressing every curve of a woman’s body Diane von Fürstenberg and Donna Karan know what’s best for this Spring/Summer. It was all about the sultry drape and cascading folds of fabric, that dictates the new sexy. We Indians are not blind to the allure of draped fabric, our very own sari is still as sensual today as it was back when our great grandmothers wore them. (Although these days a little more daring.) These are my top three picks from both DVF and DK, if you have the dough splurge on these drape essentials.

Accessory Alert: Dying to get my hands on the bold minimalist belt from DVF (image two) and the matte arm cuff (image one) from DK. My wishlists are at breaking point now with all the goodies I must have for the sultry summer months!

Diane von Fürstenberg

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DVF 3

DVF

Donna Karan

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DK

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Making Waves: Money. Money. MONEY (the Budget for us Fashion Dummies)

Put on the news today and it’s clear that money is definitely on the mind. Now the Budget is way beyond my comprehension, and all the reading I’m doing, just doesn’t seem to make it any clearer. However what I can sense is that, some (read most) of our rich Indians are going to feel the pinch and hence the fiery debate on TV, between prominent politicians and finance gurus (who let’s face it, have be evading that 30% tax for ages).

shoe budget

How does the budget effect me?

When it comes right down to it, girls like me, want to know just how this budget effects our lifestyle. I want to know what I will be paying less for and what I shall be paying an arm and a Prada for. This is where Tines Now really put things in perspective. On their ticker bar they had a section called Budget Impact: Your Pocket which simply states what is going to get cheaper and what’s going to get more expensive.

My Pocket
Branded Apparel  -> Cheaper
Eating Out -> Expensive
Leather Goods -> Cheaper
Luxury Cars -> Expensive
Silver Jewellery -> Expensive
GSM & PDA Phones -> Expensive
Imported Bikes -> Expensive
Cigarettes -> Expensive
SUVs  -> Expensive

It looks like lifestyle trends have gotten more expensive, or rather indulgences are getting pricey. The budget has definitely looked at things from a social phenomenon perspective. For Example: we’ve seen this whole SUV culture creep into India recently, and sure enough this year if you have to buy one it will be more expensive. Personally, I’m happy that Branded Apparel and Leather goods (shoes, bags) will be cheaper, because as a consumer of tons of clothes and high heels; India really is fleecing their customers (me). Simple example, I bought a Charles & Keith bag in the Philippines for 2,900 pesos (approx 3,200 rs), the same bag here in Pune (I checked) retailed at 6,800rs. Yikes.

I wanted to buy a new phone this year, but looks like I’ll have to look overseas to buy a decent yet reasonably priced phone. I’m secretly loving the fact that luxury cars will be more expensive. Of late it seems like every Tom, Dick and Hitesh have a BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Bentley, you name it, they got it. The thrill of seeing a truly spectacular car has lost it’s charm, lets hope this will bring some of it’s gloss back.

Eating out has gotten more expensive in general, so it’s a bit of a let down that it’s only going to get more expensive. Sorry boys, but those first dates that are usually on you will seem a bit steep, don’t worry though we women got your back (unless we’re in the 30% tax bracket).

Now for this Woman’s Bank Debate

An all woman bank, really? I didn’t think banks had a bias towards women, it’s money and numbers at the end of the day, why should it make a difference if a man or woman is handling it? The argument by P Chidambaram is:
“There is no bank that exclusively serves women. Can we have a bank that lends mostly to women and women-run businesses, that supports women SHGs and women’s livelihood, that employs predominantly women, and that addresses gender related aspects of empowerment and financial inclusion? I think we can. I therefore propose to set up India’s first women’s bank as a public sector bank,” (sited from business-standard.com). Personally, I have never approached a bank for investments or start up money, loans etc, and the women I know who have started their ventures haven’t spoken of difficulties they’ve faced as a women at a bank, so I don’t really have too much of an opinion on this. Sorry folks, you’re on your own here.

Phew! This budget stuff is exhausting. Hope some of what I wrote made sense, there is a whole lot more to this issue, but that’s all I’ve manage to grasp so far.

Shoe Bites: Like Sapphires in the Sky

I met these two ladies at fashion week last year and was amazed at how well put together they were, from head to toe you knew they loved fashion. Unlike the other girls though, Divya and Dipika Israni, aren’t fashion bloggers but rather store owners who love to bring affordable fashion to girls just like them. Their store Sapphire in Colaba, Mumbai, stocks everything from clothes to accessories.

The girls have sent me their latest range of jewellery and I’ve picked out my top 3 pieces you have to indulge in.

the any occasion bracelet

#1 – The Any Occasion Bracelet
Slip on a shift dress or a simple tee and jeans outfit with this chunky chain detail bracelet. It’s minimal with an industrial feel, a great piece in your jewellery box.

the geometric necklace

#2 – The Geometric NecklaceNecklaces have been getting a lot of face time of late, but I like to pick ones that aren’t just statement making, but rather one that you can wear many times. This one has all that.

the ultra glam necklace

#3 – The Ultra Glam Necklace
Every now and then you need a necklace that will make other girls go.. OHHH why didn’t I find that first. This one is exactly that, it’s got a bit of shimmer for those who like their bling. Plus a definite metal works edge, almost like parts from a garage were used to make it.

 

Shoe Bites: What women really want for Christmas

Let’s not kid ourselves, when it comes to Christmas, it’s all about those big, gift paper wrapped boxes with our names on them, hidden beneath the Christmas tree. While we may be happy with the thought behind some presents, what we really want, and I mean really want is some quality luxury. It’s that one time in the year where you splurge and work it off all of next year. Here is my top 5 list of what we women secretively desire.

#1 Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120

Picture Courtesy Net-a-porter.com

You didn’t think my list would start with beauty products did you!? Every girl needs a pair of Christian Louboutins, and while there are many outrageously lust-worthy heels, his Pigalle pointed toe are a staple. Your very first pair of Loubis have to be a classic, these Pigalles (120 mm obviously) are the perfect pair to start with.
Price: Approx 40,000rs

#2 Mawi

Mawi Punk Rajah

Picture Courtesy Facebook Page – Mawi

Bring out your inner tribal punk with these chunky yet sublime pieces from Mawi. While I’m a ring junkie, when it comes to Mawi jewellery, I can’t get enough of their necklaces. My particular favourite is the Punk Rajah collection. Their spiked jewel gem necklaces will look great on a salwar kameez as well as a LBD. We’re talking ultra punk glam without being labeled into that category.
Price: Approx 49,000rs

#3 Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Picture Courtesy Net-a-porter.com

Part of the new classics, has to be an Alexander McQueen clutch. These knuckle-duster clutches with their iconic jeweled skulls drive even the most polished and sophisticated lady to her knees. They come in a range of exotic leather and in every colour to satisfy any style aesthetic. Go decadent with this brocade Swarovski embelished clutch that I found on net-a-porter.com
Price: Approx 1,70,000rs

#4 Sabyasachi Mukherjee

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Picture Courtesy Lakme Fashion Week W/F 2011

Talk about timeless and something you can pass down the generations and one thinks of Sabyasachi Mukherjee. While all his garments are exceptional, there is just something about his saris. Every girl feels like an Indian princess dressed in these contemporary and eternal saris. Christmas gift or not, this is one present that will truly be treasured.
Price: 50,000 onwards

#5 Viktor & Rolf

flowerbomb_magPicture Courtesy halfway-to-paradise.com

Now many of you won’t agree with this, but I feel perfume leaves a lasting impression. While the Chanel No.5 and Dior’s Miss Cherie are always on your dressing tables, I thought it would be nice to change it up this Christmas with a burst of something different. FlowerBomb by Viktor & Rolf not only looks gorgeous but isn’t all that floral, it has sweet and cozy notes that you’ll love to spray on this mild winter.Price: 4,000-5,500rs

Shoe bites: Got 15k? Would you buy Wendell Rodricks or FCUK?

Picture Courtesy Bharat Student & FCUK

‘Think before you buy’…This is a motto I’ve had to harshly consider, especially when it’s mid-month and your funds are rapidly depleting. However, if you really use some practical thought and a whole lot of common sense, you’ll see that your thinking will have you spending on the right things.

A good example of this is what I call the FCUK Wendell scenario. At Lakme Fashion Week winter/festive 2012, I saw the most beautiful minimalist dress from designer Wendell Rodricks. A dress that no matter how many times you wear it, will be appreciated and remain timeless. Having gone to the stall post show, I was pleasantly surprised by the price of the dress. The sales lady told me that it was approximately 14,900rs. 15,000rs and you can grab yourself a timeless Wendell creation. Money well invested.

A month from fashion week, browsing through Palladium mall, I find myself looking at a classic sequined dress, that I thought would be perfect for a friend’s post rokha cocktail party. Having seen it at FCUK, I presumed the dress would set me back about 5-7 thousand, boy was I wrong. Walking in I realized that I was staring at a price tag of exactly 14999rs. Unfathomable, even Zara has dresses for less.

You see my predicament, it’s a matter of value; what gives you more value. Considering FCUK is at every major mall in the country, there will be at least, 10 (or more) women who will have bought the same dress. Whereas only a handful of those Wendell dresses will be made, therefore making this a better purchase. I think both dresses are gorgeous in their own way, and if styled right can be worn numerous times. Yet, I’d put my money on real designer, real luxury, not a high street brand that in time will give way due to mass production. Not to mention that an adept tailor could probably make a version of the FCUK dress.

What’s your verdict?