Passport Gujarati Movie – Style Decoded

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When one thinks of Gujarati movies from the yesteryears, the imagery that distinctly appears is of Naresh Kanodia in his shepherd kediyu and Snehlata in her ready-to-dance rental chaniya cholis. Typically set in the hinterlands of the state, the movies essentially had rustic aesthetics that were well accepted in the regional cinema. They were the trendsetters for Gujarati audience that waited for the movies with bated breath.The plot resonated with the rural population resulting in its popularity rising to the peak. However, with increased exposure to the Hindi & other regional cinema and changing lifestyles, the gap between the real life and reel life increased considerably.

The reel life was still stuck in the 80’s.

In 2012, the Gujarati movie industry witnessed a sea change in the way movies were being made. Suddenly the plots, characters and dialogues seemed real, as if carefully picked from our every day life experiences. Contemporary story lines depicting trials and tribulations of the new age youth, fresh faces and visually pleasing frames started dominating the Gujarati cinema. Directors started paying extra attention to visuals of the movie as the youth, their new audience, was heavily influenced by the aesthetic frames.

And with visuals, came fashion and styling.

Don’t we all remember Mumtaz’s look in ‘Aaj kal tere mere pyaar ke charche’, Madhuri’s look in ‘Hum aapke hain kaun’, Karisma Kapoor in ‘Dil toh Paagal Hai’, Deepika Padukone in ‘Cocktail’& ‘Piku’ ?

The looks became memorable as they were carefully thought through and styled by the stylists of the movie.

I got the opportunity to style one such contemporary Gujarati movie this year – Passport.

It definitely was a maiden effort to style the movie characters. Challenges were umpteen considering the overall fraternity is still at its nascent stage in terms of acceptance of better visuals as a need and my understanding of the functioning of this fraternity. However Passport’s Director and Director of Photography were keen and focused on exploring better visuals in each frame, that made my job easier.

Passport is directed by Rajesh Sharma and produced by Vinman Productions. Starring Malhar Thakar (hot favourite of Gujarati Cinema), Anna Ador, Lipi Goyal, Ujjval Dave, Ashish Vashi and Jayesh More, Passport is the story of an American student who comes to Ahmedabad to explore the culture through education and loses her passport. It is essentially a comedy of errors.

Each character was different and had to have a unique style of dressing.

The brief was to keep it as real as possible and still create a style quotient.

( Images are a mix of Look-test that we did before the final look was finalized and few from the film sets)

Anna Ador,playing the role of Anna, is an American student who has come to Ahmedabad in educational exchange programme to study art. She gets inspired from Aditi’s ( Lipi Goyal) style. Hence her initial style in the movie is understated and chic; comprising of neutral toned western wear like casual Tee-shirts and cargo pants.

As the movie progresses, her style gradually transforms with addition of Indian quintessential elements like silver jewellery, stoles, skirts, kurta and palazzos. Since she is a foreigner, her colour palatte was kept neutral initially and later progressed to bright colours in Indian ethnics.

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Malhar Thakar, the protagonist of the movie, plays the character of Kabir who is a happy-go-lucky person. He is street smart and rugged guy who is studying in creative field but also works as a house broker. His style needed to have easy and effortless feel wherein the character easily slips in and out from wearing trendy Tee-shirt and layered shirts to kurta and jeans. He looks every bit of a modern college going guy who likes to try his hand at different styles, albeit effortlessly.

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Lipi Goyal plays the role of Aditi, who is friends with Kabir and Shyam ( played by Ujjwal Dave). She belongs to an affluent family and is an arty character. She loves to talk and dresses well. Her style is the one that will resonate with most of the college going girls who are high on fashion quotient.

Her style involves everything from today’s fashion world – Jeans & Shirts to Kurta , patiyala, skirts and palazzos. Accentuated with silver jewellery and bindi, Lipi’s style serves as an inspiration to Anna in the later part of the movie.

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Ujjval Dave plays the role of Shyam; a guy who comes from small town who tries to fit in the big city culture. His dressing option was thus limited to only tee-shirts and jeans. The choice of his staid and just-about-there Tee-shirts was consciously made to make his character more real and relatable as a small town guy who is conscious to try different fashion trends.

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Ashish Vashi plays the role of ‘Don’ who is keen to send his daughter off to the foreign shores for a better prospect. He is characterized as a Don who has lost his glory but still loves to bask in it while his two extra men keep feeding his bruised ego. To give an eerie feeling of a Don who uses one liners to make his point, Ashish Vashi was styled in overall white look – Pathani and white shoes accessorized with gold junk jewellery – chain, bracelet, watch and finger rings. Intermittently glares were used to create the comical essence.

Jayesh More plays the role of ‘thief’ who loves to call himself a ‘con artist’. Since stealing is his art form, the pre-requisite for his styling was that he needed to merge in the crowd. His clothes had to be as simple as possible; the one’s that you may encounter while passing through the narrow lanes of old city markets. His clothes thus had neutral and staid tones to it.  To add effect to his overall character, accessories like hand scarf were given to him.

I personally still feel, it is still a long way before Fashion Styling would become essential for Gujarati movies. Directors and Producers need to be sensitized for the need of better visuals in addition to strong content in the movie. Along with the need for better visuals comes the additional responsibility of hiring right talent for the work.

In case you have seen the movie, you might be able to share whether you liked the styling or not. In case you haven’t as yet, do watch it🙂

( A big thank you to Harsh Vasanani for trusting my skills and the Costume Department team – Aneri Nihalani, Mittal and Palak for managing the shoot schedules for garments so well. Shout out to Make up artist Akash and Hair Stylist Nik for bearing with my quirks of Do’s and Don’ts and creating perfect looks for the characters)

Free size Fashion – Guest Post

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Women are commonly made to believe by media and society that they can’t pull things off because of their body shapes. They are conditioned to believe that skinny and slim is beautiful whereas bigger sizes are not. To top it up, if you are a ‘plus size’ your options are limited. Fashion brands generally cater to standard S,M,L and XL sizes. Fashion shows, magazines and fashion bloggers – more often than not, all promote small sizes only.

Have you often heard these statements?

Don’t wear short dresses. You have thunder thighs.

Don’t wear sleeveless tops. You have chubby arms.

Fitted dresses are meant only for the skinny women, stay away.

Crop tops are for women with sculpted abs only.

You are ‘plus size’ please dress accordingly.

Do these voices pull you down?

We say shut out these noises!

At Store Untold, a unique platform for eclectic styles that are curated for all body types, we believe that there is something like having your own personal style amidst the chaos and clutter of ‘should’, do’s and dont’s.

We feel that trends are just a point of reference to use creatively and not THE thing to follow. If you like being on trend, hell yes, you have the right to try it; all you need to do is twist it with your own creativity.

Use trends to your advantage. Use them in a way that they highlight your best assets. Use colours, prints, chunk, embroidery, layers – whatever is on trend, on the leaner parts of your silhouette. It’s a simple rule!

We believe there are no standard norms of shapes for women. Hence at Store Untold,we try to sell a lot of fashion that is free size. Store Untold sells fashion in a way where there is something for everyone.

Here are some versatile options that are free in size and can be worn by many women.

(A lot of them are high on trend)

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Maiti Pistachio Asymmetrical Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Kirtika Marsala Cowl Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Kirtika Tribal Skirt

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Kirtika Ombre Blue White Tunic

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Mahodari Yellow Swing Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Mahodari Blue Chevron Dress

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Mahodari Indigo Tunic Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

SVAG Bug Shirt

We hope you embrace your kind of beauty – be it thunder thighs, chubby arms, apple shaped top or pear shaped bottom. Be your own kind of beautiful.

About Store Untold:
Rebellious. Wacky. Out-of-the-box. Off-the-wall. That’s Store Untold for you.
Driven by a long-standing desire to redefine the kind of cookie-cutter fashion options available today, Store Untold was founded by Ankita Mantri Lahoty and Srishti Nadhani in 2014. Today, it has become a source of eclectic and quirky fashion brands picked from across India, primarily chosen for their unique designs and wacky styles. Srishti has completed her Fashion Styling course partly from FAD International, Pune and partly from the London College of Style. Thereafter, she worked with a Lakme fashion Week label called QuirkBox. With her roots in business and love in fashion, Ankita has an eclectic taste in all things arty. Her skills lie in varied things, including graphic designing, styling and photography. 

Store Untold

( This was the first Guest Blog post on Appleblossom in our series of Posts that will be published soon)

Araaish in Ahmedabad

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Ahmedabad is getting glamorous and how? 

Just about few days back, the city witnessed show by Queenie Singh and Rhea Pillai. And today, Mana Shetty, Maheep Kapoor and Vikram Phadnis were in town for a glamorous exhibition that served the purpose of ‘Fashion with a cause’.

Araaish, one day exhibit, turned out to be a huge success at Hyatt, Ahmedabad. A fund raising arm of ‘Save the Children India’, an NGO started by Mrs Vipula Kadri back in 1988, is run by Mana Shetty. Suneil Shetty is the ambassador for the NGO. After having done 50 shows till now, they made their debut in Ahmedabad market today.

Celebrity jewellery designer Maheep Kapoor, Mana Shetty and ace fashion designer Vikram Phadnis were present at the exhibit today along with Araaish organizers Samia Alam Khan, Manzoor Alam Khan and Sharmilla Khanna. All for ‘Save the Children India’ charity.There were about 50 brands displaying at the exhibit including apparels, jewellery and home decor.

We (Team Ciceroni) got a chance to interview these celebrities and know more about their collection.

So the brands that I loved today are –

1) Vikram Phadnis

He started his journey as a choreographer but moved on to being a Fashion designer. Vikram Phadnis has been dressing up celebrities of the ilk of Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan and many more since last 25 years.

‘It wasn’t planned. It all fell in place organically. I wanted to create fashion for masses. I did not want fashion to be inaccessible. My label is very modestly priced. My collection at Araaish today starts from 12000 onwards and goes on maximum of till 30000‘ says Vikram Phadnis in an exclusive interaction at the exhibit.

He had a display of sharara sets, ready to wear saree, saree & blouse sets in his festive collection.Indeed his collection was worth a dekko and buy.

2) ‘Save the children India’

Mana Shetty’s NGO ‘ Save the Children India’ had organized this fundraising event Araaish. A part of their NGO supports and empowers destitutes by teaching them sewing and making them self sufficient for their livelihood.

Mana Shetty had designed the special collection of Tie & Dye tunics and Skirt & kurta sets. Besides these, there were table runners, gift bags and tissue holders that were lovingly made by the girls from ‘Save the Children India’.

Price -Tunics – 4000
Skirt sets – 6500

Gift bags – 350

3) Rose tree
A label by the mother daughter duo – Rani Kamini Singh and Princess Chandni Singh from Seohara , Rosetree is all about organic fabrics and natural colours. Aditi Jain, curator from Ahmedabad, presented Rose tree at Araaish today. The label was displaying beautiful and elegant sharara sets in rose colour, ivory, electric blue, grey and sombre yellow.The designs reminded one of the royal era indeed..

Price – Sharara sets – 16000 – 20000
Kurta – 10000

4) By Aditi Amin

By Aditi Amin is a four year old high end jewellery brand started by an investment banker Aditi Amin. Her label is ‘style statement’ centric and had avante garde vibes. She makes bracelets, chandbalis, chokers and neck pieces with eccentric sensibilities.

By Aditi Amin has a pret collection priced moderately from 1000 to 3000 whereas her signature couture collection starts from 2000 to 10000. She displayed a dreamy pret range of pearls & semi precious gems jewellery line at Araaish besides her signature bracelets and neckpieces.

5) Seams Pret and Couture

Sajeda Lehry, a SNDT graduate from Mumbai has been designing since last 12 years, but she started her label ‘Seams Pret & Couture’ only in 2012 along with partner Yunus Rajkotwala. Primarily a resort wear range, her collection was a surreal poetry studded with pearls in  pastel shades. Vintage was the theme of her collection displayed at Araaish. One could spot laces, pearls, floral and pastels in her line.

Price – Tunics & Dresses – 6500 -17000
Lehenga- 25000 – 75000

6) Nay- ked

Garima Chawla, the designer of Nay-Ked, believes in creating modern contemporary silhouettes in pure fabrics like Georgette, crepe, satin silks. Her label is effortlessly chic, current and always for fun garments. It is a young label that caters to resort wear & evening cocktail parties. She had an interesting collection of dresses in grecian drapes. To top it up, it was affordable luxury for the urban woman.

Price – 5000 – 8000

7) Azuli

Nikki Merani, the designer of Azuli, has been designing since 8 years now. Her label Azuli is inspired from princess Azuli of 18th century. Her design thus involves elegant drapes that personify feminity. Her collection had an essence of nets, laces and pastel shades. She brought in interesting off shouldered festive capes that can be teamed with pants or skirts. She also had sulwar sets, anarkali dresses besides long dresses.

Price – 8000 – 35000

8) Sk’n
Sakshi Kandya Nowlakha was the most refreshing label at the exhibit today. Based out of Bangalore, Sk’n focuses on bringing collection that breaks the norms of dressing. Each piece is separate-  tunic, pants, cape. The colour palette is perennially neutral because she feels colours & trends will come and go, what will remain classic is neutrals.

They work only on handloom fabrics. It’s just a 13 month old brand and we say watch out for it fashionistas.
Price – 3500 – 20000

9) Maheep Kapoor for Satyani Fine Jewels

At the exhibit today, Maheep Kapoor was displaying her trademark  chand bali range along with others like neckpieces and finger rings as a part of her designs for Satyani Fine Jewels. Being a luxury jewellery brand in diamond and gold jewellery, her travellers range came as a pleasant surprise for the working class. Priced modestly from 15000 to 100000, Maheep Kapoor creates fine jewellery in yellow, white and rose gold set with pearls, precious stones, semi-precious gems and gem materials.

10) Studio Bhavik Shah

Started by Bhavik Shah, a Fine Arts graduate from MSU Baroda and NIFT Gandhinagar, Studio Bhavik Shah is known for its mix and match sensibilities. For his current collection, he created motifs from Persian architecture and Moghul buildings and translated them in contemporary ethnic wear. The routine Marodi and gota Patti work is done in innovative style to make it attractive for the youth.He displayed jackets , sulwar suits, anarkali and sharara sets at Araaish today.

Fabric –  Mulberry silk, raw silk, cotton, Chiffon

Price – Regular range 3000 – 8000

Festive range – 14000 – 18000

11) Maayera Jaipur

A 2.5 years old label catering to footwear and apparels, Maayera Jaipur is all about hand block prints and organic fabrics. Ajrakh cotton kurta, tunic and dresses were available in organic cottons, mainly in shades of whites and pastels. They also had fabric jootis available.

Price – Jootis – 2000 to 4000
Dresses – 3500 to 7500

It was a must visit exhibit for the ones who look for new labels in luxury segment. Some brands were really worth the money. All I am excited about is that Ahmedabad is witnessing a glamour wave, I hope it stays and changes the way people dress!

( PS – Excuse the quality of images. Since the review is done on spot, we make do with mobile camera always)

Until Next Blog…

How to host an Afternoon Tea Party

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Did the magical world of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte and Lewis Carol ever transport you to the Victorian charm of opulent vintage gowns and gloves, carriage rides across the green pastures of the countryside and the oh-so-meticulously planned afternoon tea parties?

Did you ever wish to recreate the perfect world of Bertie Wooster where Jeeves would be planning an elaborate soiree for his master?

If your answer is yes, then we suggest you take a cup of tea, park yourself in the coziest spot of your house and get ready to prepare for an ‘Afternoon Tea Party’.

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”

Henry James

The tradition of afternoon tea party started in 1800 in England.

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Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford

Afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.

This break for tea became a fashionable social event. During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.

Since then, we have been reading about ‘Afternoon tea parties’ not only in cultural magazines but also as a part of lifestyle in classic books.

So how will you host an afternoon Tea Party?

Let’s get the basics right first, shall we?

  1. Venue

 If the atmosphere is pleasant enough, opt for garden or a terrace party rather than sticking to indoors. However the choice is totally dependent on your comfort and weather. Do pay attention to the decor and associated paraphernalia in any sort of setting that you decide to opt for.

Quaint setting in the balcony or an elaborate setup in the drawing room – Take a pick.

 

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Garden Tea Party

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Indoor Tea Party Setting

2. Decor Ideas

Table, chairs, runner, cake stand, doilies, table-mats, centre-piece, china-ware, tea-pots and strainer are the key essentials for the afternoon tea party decor.

The silver and the chinaware lend the tea-party an imperial touch reminiscent of the colonial era. Noritake is the brand to check out for the luxury china ware. Those looking to try some mix and match can opt for quirky tea-coffee ware from brands like Good earth, Jaypore, Cyahi and India Circus.

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As far as the table runners go, one could opt for the chintz fabric from the local market or get ready made table cloths in different prints and fabrics. You can customize the table cloth as per the mood of the decor – Indian fabrics like block prints and Tie and dye, Victorian designs like floral prints, Parsi traditional checkered prints or classic linens in colours. Add doilies, an interesting British element, to perk up the decor of the table.

 

A two tiered cake-stand forms the perfect centre piece for serving the savouries and sweets. Alternatively, you can decorate the table with a floral centre-piece and serve the savouries and cakes in serving plates.

The idea is to use your imagination to mix and match the entire set-up, be it completely vintage or with a hint of rustic Indian charm

3. Teas

Once you have decided the venue and figured out the decor, you need to focus on the teas. What good an afternoon tea party is without an enviable selection of teas?

Choose from wide variety of tea options that are now available in market- Earl Grey, Peppermint, Chamomile, Green herbal tea, Tisanes and of course classic English Breakfast Tea to serve at your afternoon tea party.

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Keep the sugar cubes and milk/ creamer ready in separate pots along with few lemon slices on the side for those who like their tea a little weak. Though it’s a tea party, do keep an option of coffee pot as well for the ones who love their coffee.

For the best teas in Ahmedabad, try out The Kettlery and Tea Lab . In case you are ready to order online, do check out TeaBox.

4. Savouries & Sweets

 Afternoon tea is all about bite sized sweet and savoury treats. You might like to serve your baked goodies on a three-tiered tea platter. A classic afternoon tea contains a layer of sandwiches, cakes, scones and teacakes. However to add to some razzle dazzle at the party, you could add pastries and biscuits.

The lower platter is perfect for placing small sandwiches and savoury bits and pieces, the middle platter is ideal for scones, pastries and biscuits and the high platter fits fresh fruits and sweets.

Classic scones with jam and clotted cream, orange and coriander drizzle cake, Moroccan orange & cardamom cake, banana custard éclairs, summer sandwiches, lemon cheese cake, marble cake, carrot & raisin cake are few of the delectable options to add to your afternoon tea party menu.

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afternoon-tea-recipes

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Once you are set with venue, decor, teas and savouries all you need is some music to keep the conversations going on. In case you are wondering on where to buy the crockery, tea ware, linen and cake stands from, do have a look at the latest range from Good Earth, Nicobar, The Summer House, The Label Life and Cyahi for a contemporary chic range whereas check Jaypore and Gaatha Handicrafts for a traditional rustic Indian feel.

So when are you hosting your Afternoon Tea party ?

 

‘Baby’s Day out’ by Jaina Lalbhai

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Having attended & reviewed more than 65 exhibitions in last 40 days, an invitation to review one more exhibition doesn’t get you as excited, especially if it’s a ‘Baby’ centric- exhibition. But for the love of all finer things in life and with the belief that Jaina Lalbhai’s curated event can never be missed, I went to attend the much-awaited ‘Baby’s Day out – 5th edition’ exhibition.

I will be honest; maybe baby’s clothing isn’t my thing as yet and hence didn’t really pay much attention to the event promos. But my interest piqued when I saw few Fashion designers also participating in the exhibit to cater to the ‘Mommy’ segment.  The brands that I saw and liked at ‘Baby’s Day Out’ are – Chambray & Co, Soham Dave, Chirag Nainani, Lotus Sutr and Anmol Kakkad.

It is quite interesting to notice that there are such impressive labels from Ahmedabad that cater to niche understated elegance which otherwise are never heard about in mass market. Jaina, I have realised, is an expert at finding such labels that bring in easy style to daily life.

So let’s have a look at my favourites from the exhibit today:

  1. Soham Dave

A sustainable lifestyle label that offers a contemporary range of lifestyle products for the conscious urban consumer with emphasis on biodegradable fabrics and hand- crafted items – this is what defines ‘Soham Dave’ label.

Started six years back by Soham Dave,an engineer who later went to NIFT and also was a lead designer at SEWA, this label focuses primarily on promoting sustainable fashion. Their entire process of garment construction that starts from fabric weaving, dyeing, designing to creating final product and tagging is all handcrafted. Their design sensibility leans towards clean urban cuts created with handwoven textiles.

At ‘Baby’s Day Out’, they were showcasing a mix of their Kora and The Clamp Story collection that included dresses and tunics in chanderi, khadi and silk from Bengal. While he uses Ajrakh technique for the printing, his designs are contemporary and suitable for a global buyer.

 

What I loved was the simplicity of each design and the soft feel of the fabric.

Segment: Affordable Luxury

Price: 4500 – 10500

  1. Chambray & Co

Chambray & Co. is a fashion label working towards creating truly contemporary garments using the best hand-crafted fabrics, says Esha Agarwal, founder of Chambray and Co.  Having worked earlier with the most sought after designers of the country of the likes of Rohit Bal, Manish Aarora and Shyamal & Bhumika, Esha started this brand in 2015 to carry forward her exploratory journey in designing.

With her strong expertise in silhouette innovation and draping techniques, she has used Itajime dyeing technique, a Japanese technique, in her latest collection exhibited at ‘Baby’s Day Out’. With the autumnal colours like red and burnt sienna , indigo and grey ruling her current collection, Chambray & Co explores cold shoulders with easy silhouettes for a relaxed vibe.

What I loved the most were their long dresses with cut out shoulders and tops in chequered patterns.  Pick their pieces for an easy boho style.

Segment: Affordable

Price: Dresses: 4000

Tops: 2000

  1. Chirag Nainani

A two year old label based out of Jaipur, Chirag Nainani is a label for the ones who love a little bit of gothic vibes in their wardrobe. Grungy style fused in clean cuts defines Chirag Nainani’s collection. Having graduated from Pearl Academy, Jaipur, Chirag had earlier worked with Harita Kapoor from Ahmedabad and Samant Chauhan before he began his own entrepreneurial journey in 2014.

In a span of two years, he has already displayed at Lakme Fashion Week and retails across the country’s major designer outlets. His collection at ‘Baby’s Day Out’ was a curious mix of stone-wash and tie & dye techniques on cotton, linen and sustainable cotton fabrics. Dresses, capes, tunics and tops were his thing at the exhibit.

 

What I loved was the stone wash effect on dresses. It rendered a rock chic look indeed.

Segment: Affordable Luxury

Price : 3500 – 15000

  1. Lotus Sutr

Lotus Sutr was established in 2010 by Karishma Jamwal, a design graduate from SNDT Mumbai.  She loves working with drapes and silhouettes which also happens to the style statement of Lotus Sutr. The silhouettes are such that they would flatter all kind of body shapes. Lotus Sutr is known for its bright tones paired with earthy hues, unique layering and cuts in the garments.

At Baby’s Day Out, Karishma displayed a range of Indo-western festive outfits that would be perfect for a brunch, pool party or a resort evening party. She has used sustainable and hand-woven organic textiles with surface detailing for her festive collection.

 

What I loved was the glamorous resort wear vibes in the collection of dresses, tunics and jumpsuits.

Segment : Affordable Luxury

Price : 5000 – 15000

Do check out these brands today at ‘Baby’s Day Out’ exhibition hosted by Jaina Lalbhai in its 5th edition at Rajpath Club.

For the baby clothes and games, do let me know what you loved the most at the exhibit.

Until next review.

 

 

 

 

Queenie Singh & Rhea Pillai in Ahmedabad

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‘A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away’

Antoine De Saint – Exupery

It is quite a paradox when one realizes that their design choices are on the far end of the spectrum, mostly minimalist & casual but occasionally eccentric and bold. So it becomes a design lovers delight to spot two celebrity designers with absolutely different sensibilities collaborating together to exhibit their product range in the city.

Sans, the multidesigner studio by Sanskruti Patel, showcased an exclusive preview of precious stones jewellery by Queenie Singh and exquisite Chikankari Georgette & Temple Kanjeevarams by Rhea Pillai yesterday in Ahmedabad. The one of its kind of preview was hosted by Priti Shah & Smita Dani in an attempt to bring celebrity designers to the city that is witnessing a sea-change in the buying patterns now.

Queenie Singh, former Miss India, celebrity jewellery designer and a socialite, is definitely a name to reckon with when one thinks of statement jewellery. Be it Hollywood or Bollywood, her designs have many takers, mostly the ones who appreciate bold & eccentric style statement. But what was more amusing was that Rhea Pillai, a former model known to endorse the latest designer wear by famous designers of the country, is now creating her own label ‘Temple House’.

In an exclusive interview with us on a rainy Thursday morning in the city, Queenie and Rhea had to share this with us:

Queenie Singh

What influences ‘Jewels by Queenie’s design thought process?

Queenie Singh: The design thought process is very instinctive for me. I like to create a line that personifies the inner primal being in me. Its bold and unconventional. Each of my pieces has my element in it, which makes it very unique. I create conventional designs only to cater to the traditionalists who fear making bold choices. However, my label is being worn by many Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities for the spunk that it lends to their overall look.

It will be interesting to note that international celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Chelsea Clinton, Hilary Clinton, the Queen of Morocco, Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell wear Queenie’s jewellery whereas on the home ground, Bollywood divas such as Kangana Ranaut, Katrina Kaif and Shilpa Shetty swear by her line

How has ‘Jewels by Queenie’ evolved in the last decade?

Queenie Singh: We all evolve as individuals as the time passes. This evolution leads to the change in thought processes too. My designs are a reflection of my changing persona in the last decade. The creative passion peaks for many during transitional phases of life. I have seen my work change with me, though the quintessential ‘Queenie’ element never goes missing.

Which is your favourite gem in the glamorous world of precious gems jewellery?

Queenie Singh: Emerald is my favourite gem. The rich green colour blends in with all colours and yet manages to stand out.

Do you see any change in buying patterns in different markets like Mumbai, Dubai, Delhi, Bangalore and Ahmedabad?

Queenie Singh: I have always seen that when a woman loves any piece of jewellery, she just buys it. Yes, she will look at the price, but if she is convinced of the uniqueness of the design and the pattern, she will not think twice. It is a universal phenomenon.

As for Ahmedabad, I have realised that the elder women in the house call the shots. If they come for shopping, they decide instantly. They are the decision makers for commodities like jewellery which in places like Ahmedabad is not treated as an expense but as an investment.

Are there any emerging trends that one can watch out for before making a jewellery purchase?

Queenie Singh: Buying jewellery is an expensive affair. The piece is here to stay with you forever. In such cases, trends do not affect the buying pattern. People stick to the conventional choices as their primary buy and then indulge in statement pieces for luxury.

She designs jewellery in almost all kinds of precious gems including diamonds, emerald, ruby & sapphire.The luxury collection displayed at Sans had glamorous  neck pieces, chokers, cocktail rings, hand cuffs in all sizes & lengths to be picked from. A soon to be bride’s haven is how we would describe the collection. For the socialite party hoppers, there was an interesting quirky collection that could serve as the conversation starter.

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Rhea PiIlai

Firstly, how come Rhea Pillai is designing apparels? Share the story with us

Rhea Pillai: I have been a model earlier in my career, so clothes & style came naturally to me. On a routine basis, I would be wearing Chikankari work, be it going to school to teach or be it attending satsang. I have been actively involved in ‘The art of living’. Thus my style sensibilities would veer towards understated and minimalist looks. My dear friend Queenie had been pushing me to start something of my own since a year. After lot of contemplation, I came up with the idea of starting a label that would be synonymous to me and my style statement.

My daughter coined the name ‘Temple House’ for the label and thus began the journey about six months back. This is my fifth exhibition only.

 

What is ‘Temple House’ displaying today at Sans in Ahmedabad?

Rhea Pillai: We have brought two different varieties of crafts today in Ahmedabad. The first collection is Chikankari work from Lucknow. Each apparel fabric has been painstakingly woven with Mukaish work by the weavers of Lucknow. Available in the shades of ivory and beige, this collection exudes elegance and understated charm of the Nawabi gharanas. They can be worn anywhere, be it Pooja or a festive occasion.

The second craft that I have worked with is Temple saree from Kancheepuram. Considering that the festive season is just round the corner, I chose bright colours for the sarees. Available in scarlet red, mango yellow, navy blue, fuchsia and more, these sarees are to stay with you forever serving as the heirloom pieces for the family. It takes a weaver not less than 6 months to weave one saree for this line. So for the ones looking for traditional South Indian look, these sarees are the must-haves.

What are the future plans for ‘Temple House’?

Rhea Pillai : I want to go with the flow. I will keep working with different craft & textile forms to bring new collection every season. Maybe I will add accessories and events also under the ‘Temple House’ label, but let’s see. For now, I am learning every day about this new business. It’s exciting to know that people appreciate what you have created.

Rhea Pillai is the grand-daughter of actress Zubeida, the actress of first Indian Talkie film Alam Ara and Maharaj Narsingir Dhanrajgir Gyan Bahadur of Hyderabad. Incidentally, Zubeida was the princess of ‘Sachin’ state of Gujarat. No wonder, her poise and elegance is genetically manifested in her.

It’s quite heartening to know that Ahmedabad city is opening its doors for celebrity designers and luxury products. Known to be a market that holds its purse too tightly, Ahmedabad indeed is welcoming new entrants in the segment. With designers of the ilk of Queenie Singh and Rhea Pillai coming to Ahmedabad, we have more options to look forward to in Ahmedabad for sure.

 

 

 

Your Guide to Style Twist in Navratri

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Known as the world’s longest dance festival, Navratri is a festival that everyone looks forward to, especially in Gujarat. While some fast during these nine days to worship goddess Amba to seek her divine blessings, most are excited about the garba and dandiya nights that follow the elaborate puja. Dance enthusiasts from across the globe fly back to their roots in Gujarat to be a part of this nine nights of revelry. Traditionally, Sharad Navratri or Mahanavrtri falls in the month of September-October. This festival is celebrated in different states in different forms; as an ode to goddess Durga in West Bengal and to Goddess Amba in Gujarat.  If a city was ever known by its festivities, Kolkatta would be known for its Pujo celebrations and Pandal hopping whereas Ahmedabad would be known for its Raas-garba nights during the Navratri. The city is illuminated in fairy lights to mark the beginning of festivities. One can find garba venue every 500 metre in the city.

Navratri in Gujarat is no longer just a festival restricted to religious rites but has become synonymous with nine nights of raas garba, dressing up in the latest trends of ghaghra-choli and relishing the ubiquitous Khichu (a dish made up of rice flour,cumin, green chillies, oil and red pepper). One could safely say that this festival is an extravaganza for dancers, fashionistas and foodies alike.

Did you love Deepika Padukone’s kalidaar ghaghra in ‘’Ram Leela”? Did you like Aishwarya Rai’s look in ‘Dholi Taro Dhol’ or did you fancy Madhuri’s lehenga in ‘Ladke Ore ladke’from ‘Ye jawani Hai Deewani’? If you have been the one that loves watching these emerging fashion trends and is looking forward to experiment, if you are the one who has already Google searched ’10 best trends to follow in Navratri’, you absolutely need to read this as we are about to dispense some stellar fashion hacks for you to indulge in.

Before we begin with our fashion advice to make your ensemble trendy and stylish, we suggest doing a wardrobe cleaning of the existent collection.

  • Do hold on to your solid coloured ghaghra and embroidered backless cholis. They are here to stay much like Audrey Hepburn’s classic white pearls.
  • Keep your colourful dupatta intact. An ethnic dupatta can never go out of style.
  • Take out the handloom skirts from your daily wardrobe and get ready for our fashion tips to mix and match
  • Collected a couple of crop tops last season? Lets give them a fresh twist

Once you have taken a stock of what you already have, you can now make a list of things to buy for this Navratri. You could go for the classic looks which are tried and tested to play the classic dress up.

Classic lehenga choli - Dhara Goenka

Classic lehenga choli – Dhara Goenka 

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Alter Ego

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Alter Ego

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DOT by DaizyTanwar & Tapushi

 

But if you want to perk up your existent collection, we have cherry picked a few other essentials to add some zing to this years outfits.

  • Angarkha

 

Navratri style Trends, ahmedabad Fashion blogger, Top 10 fashion bloggers India, Ahmedabad fashion blogger, Falguni Patel, Stylist, Navratri trend 2016, angarkha

Kinche Angarkha

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Namaste NYC Kediyu Top

Historically, angarkha has been a garment that is worn by men in the Indian subcontinent. However, as fashion evolved, angarkha style has since then been used by many designers in women’s kurta and tops. One can say it is our desi version of androgynous fashion.

This Navratri you can opt for a silk based short angarkha top instead of a traditional backless choli. Team it up with mul dhoti bottom and get ready to rock this uber chic androgynous look with your individual style statement.

  • Dhoti
Anokhi Block printed Dhoti

Anokhi Block printed Dhoti

Navratri style Trends, ahmedabad Fashion blogger, Top 10 fashion bloggers India, Ahmedabad fashion blogger, Falguni Patel, Stylist, Navratri trend 2016, dhoti pants, evening wear, trendy wear, silk, Ginil & Disha

Ginil & Disha Silk Dhoti

So what if you have to steal it from your dad’s wardrobe? Opt for silk or mul fabric dhoti that can be wrapped around in different styles. In case the whole exercise becomes too cumbersome, then search for the Dhoti-pants available in different fabrics in the market. Many designers like Anamika Khanna and Anju Modi have revolutionized the ethnic fashion by showcasing this androgynous essential as the ‘next must-have’ in your wardrobe.

You could opt for rich jewel tones like emerald, sapphire, amethyst, citrine, turquoise, ruby and cobalt. For those of you who feel like notching up the style quotient, you can search for plaids in silk fabric or gamcha in silk and get your bespoke designer dhoti made.

Team it with floral crop top if you have solid coloured bottom and solid coloured crop tops if you have plaid bottoms. A classic black angarkha teamed with mul dhoti could pass off as your new-age LBD.

  • Long jacket
Different types of Long jacket/kurta teamed with skirt

Different types of Long jacket/kurta teamed with skirt

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Long slit tunics hit the market last season and most of the fashionista’s did flaunt their long tunic tops with jeggings. In the wedding fashion, long jackets have ruled the trousseau since quite some time now. Its long length lends a regal touch to the outfit.  How about trying these long jackets in Navratri?

You could opt for a long jacket in pastel coloured raw silk or Jaipuri cotton. For those who love some quirk and embellishments, go check out the markets for Kutchi embroidered long jackets.

Team it with a traditional ghaghra or pair it with raw silk pants to give a contemporary twist to the traditional navratri dressing. For those who want to keep it simple, try pairing it with your ajrakh or dabu print long skirts. The key to this quirky look is accessorizing it with boho chic accessories.

  • Cold-shoulder Tops
Off shoulder Top & Cold shouldered top

Off shoulder Top & Cold shouldered top

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Initially meant to raid the western wear, cold-shoulder trend has now entered the ethnic segment too. For those who believe in leading the fashion trends, you may raise your stylometer by opting for cold-shoulder tops.

The latest trend in Navratri, cold-shoulder tops can be customized in Tye and dye, Bandhani or leheriya fabrics to lend it a festive look. Glam up the style statement this season by pairing this trend with traditional ghaghra and contrasting dupatta. Want to go over the top? Try teaming the cold-shoulder top with embroidered jacket and long skirt. Let your creative imagination do a run and customize your cold-shoulder top in different handloom fabrics to give a classic look.

  • Dupatta
Phulkari, Kutchi work, Gota patti work Dupatta

Phulkari, Kutchi work, Gota patti work Dupatta

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The elegance of any ensemble is dependent on the final styling. Needless to say that dupatta is that final element of style in navratri fashion. Hoard them, store them and re-use them. Citrus bright coloured dupatta, leheriya and bandhani are the quintessential favourites.  Alternatively one may opt for dupatta with embroidery and gota-patti work.

The creative minds can go to city markets and buy their own laces to design and customize the ready-made dupatta. One could opt for rich textiles like phulkari as well to perk up the plain look. Try the colour theory of teaming colour block contrasts on few days and of monochromatic themes on other to keep your looks versatile every day.

  • Floral
Fab Alley Floral Skirt

Fab Alley Floral Skirt

Feminine floral trend is here to stay. Floral look transports one to a dreamy ethereal world of fashion. Moreover, floral trend is now not just restricted to summer fashion. Last season saw floral trend emerging as the winner in the Navratri fashion, and we bet it will stay this season too.

Be it in the form of crop top, cold shouldered blouse, ghaghra or dupatta, if you are the girl who loves floral motifs, go for it.  Dig up last year’s shopping haul to check if you already have it. Then go right ahead and buy one floral element to revamp this year’s Navratri outfit.

  • Accessories
Fashion Jewellery

Fashion Jewellery

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Do you remember the shopping loots at Rani no Hajiro in Ahmedabad or Nava Bazaar in Baroda? Each city in Gujarat has their old city market stacked up with the quintessential oxidized jewellery around the festive times of Navratri. The trends keep changing cyclically but every girl who loves fashion will definitely stock these classic bohemian neckpieces, danglers, bangles and cuffs in oxidized metal. However, this year layer those pieces with contemporary baubles in gun metal or brass.  Jewellery made in wood, beads, jute and paper quilling can also lend a unique style statement.

Do play around with accessories like Maangtika, kamarband, armlet, septum ring, ear cuffs, black choker, anklets, ankle cuffs, cocktail rings and silver hair pins to style the look. If you love fresh flowers, go for mogra or marigold flowers ‘veni’ to create a traditional look.

You can go for shopping once you have identified the looks that you want to try. Last but not the least, to make the Navratri festival hassle free; do not forget to buy safety pins and cycling shorts. You will need them the most.

You could be trendy and versatile or you could stick to the classic style. The choice is yours. Go glam, go stylish.

( This article was first published in The MUG magazine)