luxe

Films in Fashion – 2016 – Bollywood edition

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It is that time of the year that we look back on the past year to see who made an impact on fashion, who set trends and who aced it in terms of costumes in movies in Bollywood. From fabulously styled to chameleon character looks transforming the actors, this year Bollywood dabbled in both regional and contemporary themes with its costumes within movies. From looking fab to getting down and dirty, the hindi movies explored it all in a range of movies. While there were many like Neerja and Dangal where the costume meshed so well with the character that you hardly notice it (the best thing a costume designer Read the rest of this entry »

PSFW 2014 Day 3

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While Day 3 is usually touted to be the best day of the fashion week, there were quite a few surprises in store for me as the collections walked down the ramp.  Some hits, some pleasant surprises and some misses, but it was a quite the satisfying day.

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Fashion Pakistan Week Day 3

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Can only do so much
High street brand like Levis while introducing its products does not veer away from what it is. Even bringing on stylists like Rana and Ayaz, who can only do so much, Introducing yet another denim, Levis kept the look and feel of the show their usual self. Read the rest of this entry »

Sculpt

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A good designer knows how to push boundaries and veteran like Anamika Khanna knows exactly that, the reason she is in Sonam Kapoor’s closet. Not defining her clothes within a certain eastern-western debate category, she attempts to explore what is at her disposal. The clothes that were to be showcased at a museum sadly had to have the change of venue. But all is not lost for good design and good clothes will and are good no matter where they are shown and that is what happened with Anamika Khanna.

With her love for Ivory and black, Khanna’s love for embroidered work was evident within the collection. Her usual attempt to blur the lines between couture and luxury pret are always interesting within her showcase that display such a variety and range that you cannot be but overwhelmed with the sheer sight of it. The silhouettes predominantly featured her signature style of hybrid silhouettes and shapes along with a few traditional ones thrown in for good measure. Jackets, boleros, dhoti pants, saris, shararas all and more was present at the showing that concluded the fashion week. Her love for draped silhouettes combined with embroidered details led to quite an interesting weight shifting effect, one that she plays off as her strength masterfully. Loved the contemporary jewellery pieces on some of the white dresses and particulary what was impressive was the collection had such a range even with a simple color palette.

Easy and versatile pieces, Khanna explores the roles of surface treatement by combining contemporary silhouettes with the use of traditional embroidery techniques – a signature that she is now more notoriously famous for. Cutting, deconstructing and re-constructing, Khanna had fun with fashion and it showed.

Such a sheer delight!!

*Images by Sagar Ahuja

Swan Song

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Maheen Khan’s swan song show warranted atleast a post of its own. The doyenne of pakistani fashion, while will remain head of Gulabo, presented the last collection from her eponymous label (all the more sad moment for me coz I wasn’t present there). To Karachi with love was her inspiration and ode to the women of Karachi from the sixties and seventies and how the city was back then. The finale collection was an ode to Karachi with hopes of it reverting back as glorious as its past.

The collection started off with a cloaked model who revealed a hand woven liquid matte gold sari worn over shalwars to Hira Tareen’s mix starting off with Baby shot me down. The contemporary take of the weavers from banarasi colony is an initiative taken up by Maheen and to no surprise she included the luxurious hand woven silks within her collection. The silhouettes were simple, sleek and chic with understated glamour and form quintessentially Maheen that is sans any crutches of unnecessary dramatic surface treatment. It was about form, refinement and the simple and clean faultless details that are usually overlooked within the drama. Maheen however thrives on perfecting those and bringing them forth establishing ground rules need to be stronger to build up anything. Her silhouettes were fluid but not drowning the female form of the models. She showcased saris worn over shalwars, kurtas, capes, layered ensembles and some fun shalwars. Maheen has always been an advocate of the shalwar kameez and how it can be altered within changing times with contemporary versions and twists. She certainly showcased that in her collection that was contemporary and fresh with her draped and structured forms, so chic that I would not be surprised if she would present this anywhere in the world and it would not strike a chord, that is how barrier breaking her approach is. With sheer and silk fabrics, her seams were faultless and the ensembles luxe without being overbearing under embellishments. There were woven organzas, golds and rich tones of silks that she worked with in a collection that was classic in taste, contemporary in approach and nothing but Pakistani in its vibe. The veteran showed off why she is with some brilliant finishes (one very few people can boast of) with no threads and her control over fabrics. They moved as if every move was choreographed and Maheen knew exactly how it would react when walked in. I for one loved the striped gold fabric which was draped in a sari.

The models sashayed down with a simple styling, red lips and chiffon masks over their eyes. Powerful and evocative, laced with subtle yet strong symbolism.The Maheen Khan woman is a self assured understated glam chick. Iraj, Frieha Altaf and Attiya Khan were showstoppers for the last outing of one of the most senior designer of the country. Do yourselves a favor just play the music above and go through the collection…

 

*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team

 

FPW A/W’14 Day3 Part II

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Where the wild things are
With a match made in fashion heaven of outhouse jewelry and Mohsin Ali for Sana Safinaz, the collection that was about all wild things and translated into luxury pret ensembles. Mohsin brought in a certain sense of bravery within this offering from the house of Sana Safinaz flexing his muscles into a well established brand. While a few Haider Ackerman moments ensued, Mohsin pretty  much nailed the collection with interesting drapes, some deliciously dark and luxe color palette and unusual embellishments. Barring any usual evening wear outing, he went for boxy silhouettes, oversized boyfriend shirts, suits and tops that could easily be seperated or synced in together. Inspired by wild jungle, the prints in greens and browns accented off with unexpected purples and lapiz blues and bright oranges were a perfect delicacy for the winters. The collection had quite a few wrapped shrugs and tops, fuller printed skirts and the power suits, esp the printed one meant that this woman meant some serious fashion business. The fierce collection was complimented by equally fiery accessory pieces by Outhouse jewelry. The quirky pieces added a lot of character and depth to an already fun ensembles and were a perfect match that added onto the look. The evocative, sensuous and delectable collection was one of the major highlights of the fashion week.

 

 

Bang Bang Tang
The only Lahore designer Faraz Manan to showcase at the fashion week, Faraz’s collection had me over the fence whether to completely like it or not. While it had some interesting pieces, the shanghai-ness seemed to be missing. He played with quite a few sheer, distressed and his favorite pretty bling details in tops dresses, seperates, jackets, crop tops and skirts. While he was in his usual luxe element, the pieces esp the ones paired with distressed denim could have been styled much better. There were quite a few moment that I did feel that I have seen so much better work from him. With some brilliant highs, there were a few basic (pun intended) lows that just could not match up to the peaks in the presentation. However all was not lost in the process. The chevron gunmetal wrap dress was completely lust worthy. He picked the right shade and the perfect pattern. The gunmetal bandhgala was another winner. Not many people do pink jacket well, he for one did it, one that makes me want to own one just because his was soo well made (could have been styled better though).

 

 

Modern Regalia
What has Nauman Arfeen not shown in menswear that he has not showcased before. Known for his classic approach towards eastern menswear, Arfeen remained true to his element this time in tones of browns and blacks presenting a modern yet traditionally rooted nawabi collection. While I partly expected him to go much more contemporary after his last showing of blues and browns, he did remain in his zone for the most part of his presentation while experimenting withing that arena. . While I was ok with the black ones, one of the pieces was odd with a fringe arm band detail, and another one without an inner to the sherwani (that exposed shalwar pants was not a good idea) and the some of the embroidered pieces needed to be toned down heavily from their nineties-ness.The browns and bronzes fared better showing quite a bit range in graded printed jackets and print on print suit that were an absolute favorite and almost a perfect compliment to Sabyasachi’s modern maharani gayatri devi interpretation (here). I would definitely like the designer to step out a bit more even though it is fair enough considering the desi man is not that experimental, but unless he is offered something, how would he know unless he tries.

*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team.

P.S. A shoutout to Latitude PR for keeping things running smoothly and remarkably on time breaking myths of shows not being able to end before 11pm.. not a mean feat.

FPW A/W’14 Day3 Part I

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Noir et blanc
Kicking off things on the last day, Sadaf Malatere opened up the day with a chic collection that was sans any unnecessary drama. The fourth monochromatic collection during the fashion week was still a-fresh due to its minimal and sleek approach in design. Accompanied along with controlled pretty chinoiserie cherry blossom details that just hinted and teased at points rather than going OTT over the garment. The pretty collection started off with clean lines it successfully evolved into fringed accented ensembles that broke the whole linear monotony but without looking out of place. The effortlessly chic collection had a range of fun basics, dresses, separates as well as some fun fringed pieces. The collection was restrained and well made (shouldn’t we stop mentioning it since it is the basic pre-requisite). The collection with its part french part jazz references scored majorly due to its control that it exercised. Tres chic.

 

 

Bringing back Surprises
Maheen Karim’s latest offering was luxe, glam and more. While the collection was not without its share of uh-oh moments, the vibe surely was high and the designer managed to deliver what she is known for. While a shaky start with a heavly embellished ensemble in blush pink… the things progressed for the better. A few DVF references in matt golds were hard to miss…A departure of sorts,not totally, from her usual serving of prints, Karim focused more on embellished details in moderation and some of her signature laid back luxe and resort vibe.  Though I expected the sole print she presented to be much more brighter in print, but nevertheless suited the winter season for which the collection was presented. The front short-back long tunic with glitter hot pants was rather an odd inclusion in the presentation. The presentation did manage to spring back some surprises (pun intended) and peaked most at the red jumpsuit with a deep cross over back, the black gown with gilded filigree detail that continued on the a fun cutout back that was unusual and sensuously luxe. Another one that stood out in the collection was a wrap drape that gathered up front. A good showing.

 

 

Renaissance Affair
After two successful pret runs earlier this year, Nida presented a Renaissance inspired collection moving away from the whites and pastels of summer, in an attempt to score a hattrick. She did manage to get halfway there. There was no dearth of fun and innovative renaissance inspired prints at Nida’s show in deep rich tones coupled with handworked embroidery. However she faltered on many counts in terms of silhouette and how the print and embroidery were coupled together, as well as separates that were put together. The metallic jacket with gharara, the black shrug, top and the layered gharara with different levels had some odd print pairings and looked more gypsy and carried a bit Ram Leela dejavu. Same was the case with saris paired with jacket (nothing wrong with that, I for one love the combo) with the two separates, not being in sync, and I thought she almost got rid of that front open floor length layered anarkali. While she started off strong with some interesting pieces thing went for a bit of an off balance half way through, but managed to end well with a printed slouched dress. Loved the black self printed pants with laser cut top and a tunic over a sariesque gown. Also a short printed shrug belted over a mouse grey gown (not an easy color) were some of the highlights of the show. Some great prints (as expected) but I wished they were utilized better.

*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team

FPW A/W’14 Day2 Part I

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Fierce Fab Fitch
Shehla Chatoor’s Misaki ticked off most of the right notes with her signature luxury aesthetic coming into play within the collection that drew inspiration from japanese folding screens, murals and samurai. The collection though had a bit of a Balmain (another designer who needs to be left alone after DnG) deja vu in terms of similar rope techniques and was hard to ignore, Shehla brought more than that to the table in a collection that was fierce and definitely not for the faint hearted.

The collection apart from the rope twistings, heavily employed lasercut leather that was cut, twisted and woven into the garments, along with that she brought forth some chic ensembles incorporating japanese prints so well that it is safe to say she was actually better than reigning princess of print Sania Maskatiya’s Sakura outing earlier this year at Lakme fashion week. The digital prints were controlled and served up in some serious sultry luxe treatments that everyone would want to get a hold of one in their closet. Shehla Chatoor along with employing all these techniques never lost sight of her usual glam aesthetic that was omnipresent throughout the collection. Her silhouettes ranged from full length skirts, gowns, saris, jackets, seperates and jumpsuits. Loved the set of three different silhouettes all with a single leather slashed sleeve that she sent out in black. That woven top made in leather for that sari…epic..for someone who knows weaving and that technique… its not easy to pull off. The collection is sure to be picked up by celebs for red carpet as well as women who are her regular clientele. A minor gripe was the sporty ensemble that she sent out in black. In a collection that depended a lot of fierce femininity with a charm, that sporty ensemble stuck out… but just a minor gripe. I loved almost everything. My absolute favorites had to be the chic button down with printed skirt with a box clutch… was a perfect example of laid back fiery luxe ensemble, the leather top with one sleeve with black printed skirt and the opening number. Brownie points to the brave styling that complimented the clothes to a T.

 

 

State of Stagnant affair
Emraan Rajput’s take on military faltered on quite a few notes giving us a presentation that was hardly variable in terms of silhouettes or color. Staying withing browns and greens, the collection stayed within a limited structure that probably became its own undoing. I, for one, have seen some brilliant military interpretations and this one did not live upto that… not even his last denimology outing. The collection stayed within the parameters of jackets and bandhgalas alll paired with pants, heavy boots and cap (n no that did not give it its tough look). A couple of womenswear were also thrown it, structured and well made but on the whole everything lacked a certain charm even for taking a minimal approach. The only high points that probably came in the collection were a woven vest and a cross over jacket… the rest..sorry! nothing much to talk about there.

 

 

Classically Inclined
Sanam Chaudhri’s was one collection was one I was waiting for primarily because of the vintage techniques that it aimed to employ. What I feared was the trap that Sanam might fall into regarding silhouettes, as tending onto an era, designers tend to go costumey in an attempt to display drama on the ramp. However much of it was laid to rest since Sanam avoided such pitfalls from the word go. The vintage inspired collection BANO was demure and subtly nuanced attempt at contemporarizing (yayy new word) while harking onto traditions. This was probably full on desi-gone-luxury pret outing this year…first being Maheen Kardar’s (here), which was much more dramatic but this one was much more relaxed and calmer compared to the former. Think of this one as subtle Rani Mukerji and former one as Kajol (does that analogy even make sense..but I just had to put it)

Sanam’s collection while incorporating various adage surface treatement techniques, managed to give some fun silhouettes that could be broken down as separates  or built up as desired. What she gave us ranged from jackets and crop tops to koti vests, structured cholis and bolero (loved those strong shoulders specifically this one but wasn’t too keen on the gharara skirt that it was paired with) as well as some shalwars, tapered pants and capri izars (wasn’t too sure of those though) and a gorge sari. She managed to experiment with silhouettes of many of the shrugs, incorporating sheer elements too while the last statement piece with that fuller Afghani coat was the perfect build up end the presentation needed.. though the motif and embroidery are not alien to me, but again it is indeed one of the references that I know of. All were minimally styled with a mang tika or a simple earring sans any drama.  This was desi vintage done well. I picked up on some of the references of shorter kurtis, some vintage fabrics and embroideries that she showcased. My favorite ones had to be this white on white ensemble with this exteremely well tailored pants, the shorter black jacket with that crop top and the white sari. Net Saris are hard as it is to pull off and to her credit she actually managed to control it and give it pitch perfect pleating and styling without wanting to go OTT and just let it loose just to display the handwork.

*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team