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23lfw-aarti-vijaygupta5 Famous for her doodle prints last season, Aarti Vijay Gupta made quite a splash and a U turn in her career in that collection. While her debul collection may have caused ripples, for me its always the second outing to see how much one is able to sustain the momentum. With AVG I was not too impressed but was not disappointed either. Continuing her run of quirky prints, AVG presented a collection deeply rooted in patriotism. Maps, post stamps, indian tiger, space ships,  and gandhi images dominated most of her collection. While one couldnt help it compare it to Mary Katrantzou’s collection, when one looks near home, one tends to draw comparision with Munib Nawaz’s collection and Khaadi Khas’s ode to karachi collection. However the concept of print is where the similiarities end.

Taking on the trend of prints for summers, Gupta gives us a functional collection that is easy on the eyes. Using repeat patterns for colorful post-stamps, she cleverly combinied them in androgynous jackets. While some featured a mix of stamps while others used the same ones over and over again. There were shift dresses, jackets, saris, jumpsuit and jacket dresses wherein she brought in a cultural twist to the silhouettes, blended with textures such as lush raw silk and pure silk khadis.

My picks of the night was this jacket with a collage of array of stamps, a jumpsuit styled quirkily with similar matching specs and a jacket dress that looked sexy and cute at the same time.

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A simple and contemporary presentation, AVG succeeded to much effect into staying true to herself, yet for me personally, she had set the bar too high for herself with her previous collection, n did not reach just there. She finished off the show with Misti Mukherjee and Roni Roy as her showstoppers for the night.

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Gen Next…?

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Zovi-Gen-Next-at-Lakmé-Fashion-Week-Summer-Resort-2013-1 The Gen Next show on the first day was strictly okay affair. The six designers who presented their work, hardly anyone made an impact of sorts. The sway that Masaba or Aneeth Arora held seemed missing in the show, causing it to be a rather lackluster affair. Yes one needs to have their creative juices flowing, but one’s capsule collection needs to be mature and thought out, rather than university thesis work. One of the long cagey dress reminded me of Dev R Nil’s paper bag dress while one of the gold/beige jumpsuit too caught my eye. However even though it was a commendable effort, wish there was more I could say about it. Here is hoping one of them makes a mark next season.

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Banaras Postcards

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While the design house Satya Paul became younger, thanks to Masana, the house of Masaba matured. The collection Masaba sent down the literally clouded runway on first day of Lakme Fashion week, saw the designer at probably her very best. Titled ‘Postcards of Benaras’ the collection, as Masaba explains it, was “…an ode to the widows of Benaras. It is interesting and I saw that no one has picked up this idea before. My collection had predominantly white in it.” With Parineeti as the perfect embodying showstopper, Masaba’s collection, for me, was definitely a hit. This 24 year old young gun has managed, at a very young age, what many established designers dream of i.e. maintaining the signature aesthetics of the two different lines they are designing for two different fashion houses.

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As expected, Masaba came out on trumps with her prints. The ingenius table stand fan, which was my fav, for me sort of signified the lonely wait while the tulips and roses in black and white seemed to metaphor the once long gone happiness in a widows life. There was also prints of silhouettes of people. Maybe I am reading too much between the lines, but hey! don’t blame me, art is open to interpretation. Using an inanimate object like the fan, she turned it around into a fun print. Not using a solid color, except for in the people print, the rest of the prints were in shades of grey, unlike her previous outing. She definitely stepped up her game, telling everyone she means business. The prints were combined and in some cases layered with floral appliqued sheer fabrics.

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Black and white with accent and pops of color, Masaba totally worked it. Channelling her usual high end bohemian, gypsy vibe with an added dash of quirk, Masaba’s seperates were a definitely a go-t0 this season. Unlike playing with the print, like she did in Satya Paul, she let the print be and played with the silhouette creating a sort of marriage between the two. The collection consisted of printed dresses, jackets with embroidered culottes, high slit skirts, dhoti pants, and saris with net cover-ups among others. A kudos for her to involving Sari as a resort wear with the printed and plain sarees combined with sheer printed and plain coverups, giving it all a contemporary resort look. She worked with the silhouettes and let print deliberately take its natural course, yet controlling her look of the garment. The result was anything but boring.

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Finishing off with the gold jewellery, I was glad that she had not used any Benarsi fabric, but rather used Benarasi vintage jewellery to show the shiny effect. Thats how its inspired! designers are you listening. Using this jewellery created off a jarring effects of sorts, which was balanced quirky and fun. Am sure many women would be going through their mother’s treasures after this show.

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My picks… well though I was unhappy since Masaba does some fun Menswear too, there were definitely many looks that were my favorite. The border printed sari worn with printed sheer top, Masaba takes on the sheer and print on print trend together. The tulip print wrap dress with a sheer longer overlay. The high waisted coral pants paired with a fitted top. The jacket worn by Parineeti was an absoulte steal, while another tulip printed ensemble, channelling  a fifties vibe with its top, had just the right amout of exposed midriff. The figurine overlay paired with a coral and white sari was an absolute delight. On the other hand completed with gold cuff and rose print, a thigh high slit skirt displayed a perfect diva moment on the runway. The print on print trend saw another fun ensemble. A fan print shirt dress with a longer floral appliqued jacket was the perfect look to hit the beach in. Annother fan printed shirt paired up with plain black pants, showcased how business can be mixed with fun.

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*Images from stylemeindia.com

A lesson in Bollywood Fashion History

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And he is back to his comfort zone. Presenting a collection that is right up his alley, Manish Malhotra paid a tribute to the 100 years of cinema concluding the first day of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013. This year, which marks 100 years of Indian Cinema, has 4 filmakers namely, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Dibankar Bannerjee and Zoya Akhtar coming together for a film titled Bombay Talkies in honor of 100 years of Indian Cinemas. With the bollywood brigade behind him, Manish’s collection presented the same spirit through fashion.The show started with four filmmakers of “Bombay Talkies”, followed by occassional appearances of bollywood stars, obviously, namely Priyanka Chopra, Kajol, Karishma Kapoor, Asha Bhosle, Bhanu Athaiya, Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan.

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The show started off with the black n white era of 40s comprising mostly of lehngas and kurtas with styling done to compliment them strutting down the runway. This was followed by the burst of colours with anarkalis and fitted shalwars and churidaars made popular by the actresses like Sadhna, Madhubala and Meena Kumai. Then came in the the era of  polka dots and the flower power and wrap saris popularized by Mumtaz, and checkered jackets of Rishi Kapoor, followed by modern apparel. The designer went all out and brought the bollywood glamour to the fashion show, in his theatrical presentation. Though not flashy, his clothes had that theatrical appeal, which was needed for this kind of presentation. You need drama when you are showcasing Bollywood, so why hold back. OTT, Bollywood glam and theatrical are the labels that are usually associated with the designer and he wears those labels out and proud.

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A far cry from his Phulkari collection (which was a pleasant surprise), this collection was sort of what we have come to expect from Manish, given the theme. Though not much of a fan of Mr. Manish’s glam designs, one has to give him credit to bringing and revolutionizing the fashion in Bollywood by dressing characters. Having said that, the did show some good pieces which I think deserve mention. My picks had to be neon sari sported by Priyanka, A black and white sari with embroidered border and blouse, The light coral jacket worn by Siddharth, the brown sari with bling border and the gold double layered jacket. Also not to forget, the bandhgala sported by Anurag Kashyap with its graduating details.

P.S. we did get a hint of the phulkari collection he did on Karishma Kapoor.

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*Images from stylemeindia.com

Fashionably Out: Fierce men who know style

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A Wonderful piece on Menswear that I came across

by CHRISTIAN BAEZ – SDGLN CONTRIBUTOR
March 14th, 2013

Boys, allow me to introduce you to a group of guys who should be in your fashion book for inspiration … and lust.

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It doesn’t hurt that he has piercing blue eyes and a cutting jaw line, but this actor genuinely understands the rules of a sartorial gentleman. Like something pulled out of a GQ magazine, this dapper dons the American preppy look in dark and pinstriped suits, plaid collared shirts and leather jackets.

What’s interesting about his style is it doesn’t come off as “I spent the whole morning coordinating a tie for this shirt so I had to miss brunch and now I feel uncomfortable in something I can’t even move in.” His style choices give a strong appearance through his picks in tailored suits, giving him that timeless and sharp look most professionals look for.

How to bring some Matt Bomer into your style: Think “Wall Street: The Musical.” Pulling a conservative look doesn’t have to be boring. Implement a bright or fun tie to your everyday work suit, pair a plaid dress shirt for “Casual Fridays,” or opt for a monochromatic look by pairing a suit jacket over a simple crew neck shirt for the weekend!

Chris Colfer
Small in stature and body build, this young lad manifests a subtle individuality through his urbanist look. Despite the character he portrays in “Glee,” Colfer and his off-screen personal style separates him far from Kurt Hummel.

Colfer likes to keep his fashion statements effortless and hip. Whether it be a dress shirt with his sleeves rolled up paired with jeans and combat boots, a vest thrown over a tee finished with a light scarf, or a cardigan coordinated with a shirt and tie, this kid takes all the negative connotations from the word hipster.

Be a triple threat like Chris Colfer: having all the basics is essential to pull off this look! Everything from plain dress shirts, ties, scarfs, cardigans, vests and a pair of nice combat boots will put you right under the spotlight! When putting your outfit together, think versatility and adaptability. Mix and match to add two to three layers to your outfit without making you look like a Christmas tree, and something that can easily transcend into nightwear.

frye company store opening 2 100911Jeremiah Brent
If his name doesn’t ring any wedding bells, shame on you. Former assistant to celebrity stylist and fashion designer Rachel Zoe, this (gorgeous) “Interior Designer” is more than just charming smiles and immaculate hair!

Of average height with a pretty delicious build, this man pleases himself by teasing us with his style executions – whether he knows it or not. Opting for chic and relaxed outfits that only reveal a bit of skin, Jeremiah puts the words homeless and lesbian together (something his mom takes credit for), creating a name for his own personal style! Everything from a preppy striped tee to rugged vintage clothing with holes, Brent does it all!

Try the “homeless lesbian” look like Jeremiah Brent. For this, think introverted artist in a slow-paced and liberal world. Neutral colors and light-fitted layers are your friends. Add an unbuttoned dress shirt on top of your deep crew or V-neck topped with a complementary blazer will get you there! If you’re pairing your new blue jeans with this look, pull them off now. Go for white or acid washed pants instead! Throw your favorite boots on, raise your hair up to Jesus, and out the door you go!

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If it weren’t for the major personal style transformation he went through in 2008, this petite hunk wouldn’t be featured here. Now known for his unique style choices, Jacobs man embodies delicate Bohemian aesthetics, giving us a breath of fresh air every time social media releases a new picture of him.

From dressing in kilts on any given day, to using his Birkin as a beach tote bag, to rocking a fur coat under a silk outfit, this man can easily intimidate any fashionista out there!

Embrace your being like Marc Jacobs: If you’re naturally ingenious, tap into your inhibitions and let them show through your style! There is no such thing as boundaries in your vocabulary, so add some whimsical clothes to your life! It can be as simple as leaving your work shirt unbuttoned enough to show some sternum, to carrying a wider tote bag for your personal use! Choose pieces that will leave people wondering what you’ll come up with tomorrow! Make this world your audience where you are the star of the show!

Mickey Boardman
Here’s a man who knows how to sparkle in head-to-toe glamor! His favorites include Lacoste polo shirts, printed and sequin cardigans, colorful and chunky necklaces, and of course, his recently purchased Prada glasses.

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What marks Boardman’s entertaining personal style is that nothing he wears clashes – everything makes sense in a 1960s Vegas showgirl way, as he likes to point out. His style is true to himself – giving an aura of wisdom and poise, making us want to be his best friend.

Oh, Mickey (Boardman) is so (sparkly) fine: your favorite color is sparkle and you are not afraid to make an entrance wherever you go! There are certain staple pieces that your friends know you by – your shirts, pants, glasses, accessories, whatever it may be, add more of those to your collection. Dress in a way that will encourage others to explore within their bubble and make them feel fierce!

You’re welcome.

Christian Baez is an aspiring stylist, born and raised in San Diego. For business inquiries, he can be reached via Twitter @mrchristianbaez.

the article can also be read at Fashionably Out: Fierce men who know style 

Nida Not-Qalandar Mahmood

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Quirky is what we have come to expect of Nida Mahmood, and that is what she delivered though in a much more ready to wear manner. The designer known for her quirky flair and dramatic creations, titled her this collection ‘ Adventures of Capt. Must Qalandar’. The collection in her words ‘the collection revolves around the traveler who travels through time and space on his time machine.’ She Added Capt. Must! Qalandar is a very interesting character, also the muse for the season. He is a motorised flying ant, who is the re-incarnation of an old vintage bike. The collection revolves around the adventures he has traveling around”

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Aiming to combine Indian textiles with steampunk, Nida used variety of indian textiles and traditional techniques in a contemporary fashion. Textiles from various regions of India. Weaves from Narayanpet in Andhra Pradesh, rich tussars from Bhagalpur, exotic silks and some modern fabrics formed the basis of these garments. Using techniques like Kantha from Bengal, Daboo printing from Rajasthan and some modern interpretations of these techniques, she garnished them with the usual Nida-Mahmood-quirks.

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For me, however, the show mostly rested on the quirky styling, which I just loved. The clothes though were a different story. Though it was an interesting concept, Nida could not take it that much further. Yes the styling was good with fun hair and futuristic specs, however I have seen Nida do better. Much better. The collection did not veer away from her usual aesthetic and her famous sari paired with denim did make an appearance. Even the installation at the end did not help much. There is always a next time and am sure she will bounce back as there is little doubt that she is a good designer.

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Péro

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All eyes were on this, few seasons old designer’s show, ever since she showcased in Berlin Fashion Week last year around the same time and scored the Vogue Fashion Fund mid last year. Inspired by the Circus, Pero by Aneeth Arora, presented an organic collection that was far removed from Nomi Ansari’s circus or Karma’s Mad Hatter tea party. Sashaying down a striped runway, models seemed to have fun on the stage being in-character, which reminded me of Sabyasachi’s Parisian inspired show.

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For someone who had seen her last A/W show, where her play with indigoes with layers channelling bohemian vibe drew unanimous praise, I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation. Though Ms. Arora continued her run of channelling the bohemian vibe through her collection, she showed what a master art she was at layering. Fashionably comfortable was her word for the night. She conjoured up a collection that evoked the image of a carefree yet effortlessly fashionable girl. The collection rich in textiles yet contemporary in its outlook, featured checkered loose dresses in pashmina, balloon tops, loose trousers, shapeless tunics, wool jackets, striped and checkered cotton shorts, pinafores, pleated dresses, wool jumpsuits and hand knitted sweaters. These fun seperates are sure to fly off the racks once they hit the stores.

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Styled perfectly, the layered garments were finished off with colourful knee socks, striped and dotted bow ties, oversized bags and boots. Add to that top hats, balloons, cherry noses and juggling pins. For the first time probably, I saw Pero come out with a collection that played so much with the element of color and visual texture. The color palette comprised of  green, black, red, orange, maroon, mustard and white while the textile vocabulary was made with cashmere, wool, cotton, silk and pashmina as well as lots of central asian Ikats, stripes and checks.

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There are so many pieces I like from this collection that everytime I look at it, I would have a new set of favorites. A few of the favorites included a brown tunic look paired with a grey checkered lined jacket and colorful trimmed pants, a teal jumpsuit, a coral red top combined with a delish striped jacket and teal skirt. The list also includes, a striped onesie that slashes across the front, a teal and checkered tunic paired with fun ikat pants and my absolute fav was this delightful striped button down shirt with its sides taken up to reveal a checkered one underneath.

Take a bow Ms. Arora! your whimsical offering was well served.
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Dev R Nil

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892312_10151288159451607_2365417_o Before there was the wild Masaba, there were quirky Dev R Nil. A silent duo of designers from Kolkata, Dev R Nil have always managed to keep it simple, effective and yet up the garment with their quirky signature prints. Been around the block for a while now, it’s surprising they do not get the kind of press that Masaba would generate due to her fun work. Unfazed by all that, this duo of designers lets their work do all the talking. Of their past works, since I have been following them for quite a while now, many prints have made to my favorite list. It was actually them, who’s understated, quirky, organic and kitschy design sensibilities appealed to my own and their prints were such which, if they would not have done it, I would have made it for myself and worn it. Now that I am done saying that how much I drool over their stuff, and being an admirer of their work, I was excited as ever since they released a teaser for their show.

Aiming to go understated, the ‘in silence’ collection was just that. Picking up elements of Zen, the designers indicated a silent autumn/winter in a spiritual space. That explains the colour story too, lots of calming monotone, some pale blues and minty greens but not without a sudden splash of red. As described by their press release ‘The coldness of the icy blue, mint and the teal….The indifference of the grey, black and white are warmly hugged by the olive and the Red.  Merging of faiths in the fading of colors through Ombre.

Though I could not spot any menswear, the womenswear didnt disappoint either. Doing this for a very long time, the duo knows how to strike a balance between the prints and the silhouettes. Simple shirts, some dramatic onesies, some cool layered looks crafted in silk, wool, crepe and their “favourite” wispy organza, comprised off in the collection.

Maintaining their mainstay of prints, the duo “developed fern, bamboo and dried roses in screen printing. The theme is primarily monochromatic and we have tried to keep it simple yet different.” With a track record of fun quirky, this was a rather understated pleasant surprise coming from them (though i cant say the same for someone looking at their collection for the first time).Taking a calming outlook towards florals (which at occassions did seem like the cellular print they did last season), we also get fun fern patterns which look tribal, circular doiles . Heavy doses of ombre effect combined with sheer effects (looks like a trend), to create peek a boo, rounded off their looks. Bringing out the Japanese theme, the duo worked with beading, threaded textures, cutwork and applique techniques. The biggest challenge according to the designers was “to combine print with embroidery and make it look more evenings and dressy, to move away from the casual vibe a print is associated with.” I liked most of their looks, except for a few, as they were fuss free and simple. However I had to mention this kurta paper-bag silhouette which I found quite interesting to say the least with inverse sides of sorts in the fern print.

P.S. this time around I layouted this post in this certain way because i felt this collection is much more enjoyable to see in continuity.

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Not-so-Manish Malhotra???

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mm1 mm2 mm3 1875_10151817695432785_212338582_n 65543_10151817696247785_696073584_n 69830_10151817695942785_701810388_nWhile this bollywood designer is known for his extravagant bling and anarkalis, Manish, surprisingly, brought more than that to the forefront in this show. Adorned with Phulkari and Bagh embroidery, Manish continued his run of being an advocate of promoting the Indian crafts on an international circuit through fashion. While his last few shows resided in zari work from kashmir and chikankari from UP, this time around he found his inspiration in Punjab.

Not veering away from his signautre silhouettes, Manish put up an impressive display of craft infused garments. Elongated silhouettes as well as loads of sheer play was incorporated along with the craft weaving it into an contemporary context. Jackets, kurtas and anarkalis for women while men sashayed in bandhgalas and kurtas. In bright and spunky colors, combined with rich mustard yellow, navy blue, deep rust, earthy olive and intense red. Apart from that he just had to have his signature bling in his show, though am glad this time it was toned down. Being a graduate in the discipline of textile design, I felt that craft intervention was commendable in commercializing the craft. Though its about time he has his fun with fashion and plays with a variety of silhouettes too.

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Loads of texturization on georgette, net and raw silk was done. However, what caught my eye were two phulkari embroidered shawls, A beige mustard bandhgala paired with a navy blue kurta and deep red turban, the black n white phulkari embroidered kurta (coz it stripped the phulkari off one of its basics i.e. the color), and the long jackets one in deep mustard and ochre tones and other the bright one worn by jacqualine fernandez.

And how could the show not have Bollywood presence. Siddharth Malhotra, Eesha Gupta and Jacqualine Fernandez graced the ramp.
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Mash-up Modi

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577909_10151815708162785_1288619192_n Anju-Modi-at-Wills-Lifestyle-India-Fashion-Week-Autumn-Winter-2013-12

Anju-Modi-at-Wills-Lifestyle-India-Fashion-Week-Autumn-Winter-2013-28   Replacing Sabyasachi in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film, Anju Modi’s show by some (read me) was something I wanted to see. Seeing her earlier works, Anju Modi comes across as a traditionalist yet with her contemporary quirks. Its a pity whatever one see of this designer on celebrities, which is usually the bling, one tends to associate it with the designer. Modi however proved she is far from that. The replacement however showed she had potential but hasn’t fallen far from who she replaced.

The collection was a heavy dose of creative patriotism. Titled ‘Steel Mangolia’, the collection was inspired by Indian Military and feminity. Though she did show a few menswear too including a fun elephant printed sherwani, her main focus was womenswear complete with accessories like caps, emblems and the ubiquitous aviator glasses. Though the collection at some occassions did feel like Yousuf Bashir Qureshi’s collection combined with one of Sabyasachi’s earlier shows, Anju Modi did seem to show her own voice as a designer as well.

Bringing on her detailings in the form of embroidery, Modi created embelms and badges over  pashmina, chanderi, cotton and Banarsi to show feminity and power in the same breath. Apart from that Modi used a lot of wool and silk too to complete the modern day soldier look, defying gender bias. The color palette comprised of a smooth coexistence of dark maroons, indigos and foliage green to light greys, beiges and ochre tones.

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The long jacket-style kurtas with detailing on the lapels and worn over full skirts, structured short jackets over flared woollen pants, the berets and Nehru topis reflected the ethos of the collection. A few looks that were my picks from the collection included an elegant navy  pleated embroidered khadi trenchcoat with printed khadi wide legs, a white on white look with a white long jacket paired over a white printed saree. The list also includes a foliage green check wool short jacket teamed with a printed shirt and woolen wide leg pants. From the menswear, a woolen sherwani-esque jacket in fierce maroon stripes paired with green khakis as well as a green check jacket paired with a plain shirt and grey slim trousers were my picks. A special mention to those corset blouses with boleros.

Her effort to give the structured military trend a fresh outlook for pret was commendable since she did it without moving away from feminine clientele and bring sexy to the androgynous.

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