Posts tagged ‘India’

October 9, 2014

Day 1 WIFW SS15: Tarun Tahiliani & The Singh Twins

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Tarun Tahiliani @ WIFW SS15

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Tarun Tahiliani @ WIFW SS15

One of India’s most coveted coutouriers, Tarun Tahiliani, collaborated with the Singh Twins for his ready to wear collection.  Tarun is known for his grand

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October 9, 2014

Countryside Chic: Day 1 Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week SS15

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Pero @ WIFW SS15

Aneeth Arora had the honour of the opening show for her still young fashion brand, pero, at WIFW SS15 igniting the buzz for the week ahead.

The catwalk was covered in faux grass and planted with real flowers that looked adorable. The gift for us in the media side included cute little herbs planted in teeny pots, I pinched a tulsi – thanks, Aneeth I’d been meaning to get one for ages!

Pero is a brand quite known for its cottons

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September 15, 2014

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm

A few weeks ago I had realised that there were no Hollywood in Bollywood films on the horizon. Could it be? Could the Slumdog Millionaire franchise actually fail to produce another saccharine feel-good Hollywood blockbuster? Are there no more Americans that need to travel to India and “find him/herself” and return a changed human being for the greater good?

And then just like buses, three films come at once. One I’ve forgotten about already. I couldn’t face the Helen Mirren cooking one. But the baseball one seemed palatable, not least because the hunk (haven’t said that for a while) from Mad Men was in it. Enter… Million Dollar Arm.

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August 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Indian Brides

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Manish Malhotra IICW 2014

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Manish Arora IICW 2014

A tale of two Indian brides and two very different Manish’s!

Indian designers, Manish Malhotra and Manish Arora have a cult global following for their distinctive designs, demonstrating the diversity of bridal fashion in India, a segment often overly saturated by lazy embellished designs.

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August 1, 2014

Highborns Inspire High Couture

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Monisha Jaising IICW 2014

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Monisha Jaising IICW 2014

Mumbai based designer, Monisha Jaising unveiled her  most recent couture collection with some gorgeous designs that stood out from the week’s shows.  The inspiration behind the collection was a little too broad and the result was a confusing to watch but nevertheless there were some real gems.

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July 31, 2014

Temples of Va Va Voom with Anju Modi

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Anju Modi Couture Collection 2014

Anju Modi’s couture collection for 2014 was inspired by Varanasi ghats, a city dedicated to the gods.  Bold embroidery motifs reminiscing the temple-laden skyline adorned heavy bridal lehengas in a beautifully balanced colour palette of royal blue through to cherry tones and frosty pastels.

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July 19, 2014

A Ticket To Ride with Sabyasachi

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Sabyasachi Mukherjee at India Couture Week 2014

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Sabyasachi Mukherjee at India Couture Week 2014

Top Indian couturier and tastemaker, Sabyasachi Mukherjee had the honour of opening India Couture Week 2014 (sponsored by Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers).  If there was ever an award for Most Creative Set, it would almost certainly always go to Sabyasachi.  The meticulous attention to detail entirely immerses one into the inspirational journey that the designer references each season and this year was no exception.  All aboard the turn-of-the-century Sabyasachi Express!

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June 30, 2014

The White Tiger

The White TigerTigers are synonymous with India to the point of boredom.  It is my irrational rejection of tiger references in literature that led me to ignore The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga for years.  Man Booker Prize winner? Meh, so what, I thought, it’s probably full of quaint stereotypes from cover to cover.

I’d forgotten about it entirely until a friend recently recommended it to me and then I happened to find a copy on my bookshelf (not by magic my sister must have bought it).  Well, quite simply: I loved it.  I loved the style of writing, the perspective it is written from, the observational humour is wicked and I loved reading about Delhi (currently my third home city). 

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June 13, 2014

Strange Fruit in Uttar Pradesh

Sexual assault against women in India, particularly Uttar Pradesh, seems to be taking turn for the worst as rapists become emboldened by the lack of police investigation and political sympathy in favour of the criminal.   In the last fortnight four women have been raped and hung from trees by their own dupatta (scarf) or sari.

These crimes are outrageous enough but even more so are the continuous foot-in-mouth statements from the chief minister of the state, his father and a growing chorus of male chief ministers from other states.   I watched a TV discussion on NDTV (channel 511 on Sky) where a representative of the UP government repeatedly stated ‘what about men who are wrongly accused?’

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May 24, 2014

My New Seven Year Itch

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Relationships…dontcha love ’em??  However, the relationship I’m about to ponder isn’t one with a guy…it’s with a country: India.  I first travelled to India at the end of 2006 and it’s been a rough and ready ride.  I travel there for my business and it just doesn’t seem to be getting easier or more pleasant even though I’ve had the most amazing time there.  How does that contradiction work? Well….

I’ve travelled and explored India and my interests have take me to wonderful cities and villages where I have met weavers and wonderful organisations helping creative artisans.  I base myself in Delhi and have an apartment there in  a lush, quiet, tropical paradise and have created a lovely bubble around myself and yet I am often incredibly lonely there while I get on with my incredibly stressful work.

I hate moaners and expats that arrive in Delhi wanting it to have the

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May 17, 2014

A New Saffron Dawn in Indian Politics

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‘The world’s largest democracy’ cast more than 500 million votes over five weeks to decide who would win and take India roaring into the future and Narendra Modi came out on top with a huge majority.  India has spoken. Decisively.

For the first time in 30 years Indian voters helped create a majority government blasting the incumbents to an insignificant minority.  Right wing and Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) had long been tipped to win the election but most Delhiites I spoke to last month were sure that they wouldn’t have an outright majority and would inevitably have to form a coalition of sorts.  My goodness was everyone shocked, it was time for a new generation.  Even former MPs that had held on to their safe seats for 15 years or more were ousted for the first time. 

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April 1, 2014

Grand Finale WIFW: Namrata Joshipura

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Oh the pressure! The opening and closing shows for Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week are usually the most anticipated and highest profile.  This year, the grand finale honour was granted to designer Namrata Joshipura whose signature silhouettes include red carpet gowns as well as barely there bodysuits.

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Namrata Joshipura Grand Finale WIFW AW 2014

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April 1, 2014

WIFW Photo Diary AW 2014

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Mandira Wirk WIFW AW 2014

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Mandira Wirk WIFW AW 2014

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April 1, 2014

Austria Is Trending

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Pero by Aneeth Arora WIFW AW 2014

‘You’re in next season’ I told my friend. ‘Whaaattt?’ Was my confused friend’s reply as she’s never in or on trend or bothered.

My friend is an Austrian chef living in Delhi.  We were out looking for check fabric a couple of weeks ago for her company branding so I was pleasantly surprised to see checks were in two shows at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week AW14.  And that too in both the prints we selected, blue checks and red checks.

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April 1, 2014

Pankaj & Nidhi Play Cards

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Pankaj & Nidhi WIFW AW 2014

Pankaj & Nidhi’s show was sponsored by Fiama Di Wills so it was a rather slick production, albeit with a fashionably late start.  Pankaj & Nidhi’s signature looks is placement embroideries and graphics in bold combinations.

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Pankaj & Nidhi WIFW AW 2014

The collection notes referenced the history of playing cards linking their origin from ancient China to their appearance in Spain and Portugal.  So far so good, especially in the graphics department.  Then the designers also took inspiration from matadors in a bullring.  I think this was too much for me. 

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March 31, 2014

WIFW: Cool Kashmir

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Zubair Kirmani WIFW AW 2014

Two designers were inspired by Kashmir for AW 2014/15: Zubair Kirmani and Mrilnalini. It was great to see how the same inspiration can produce such different results. Zubair’s collection was feminine indulgence and prettiness whereas Mrilnalini had a utilitarian approach.

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March 31, 2014

Bohemian Travellers Spin The Fashion World Around

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Anita Dongre WIFW AW 2014

A few designers at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week were inspired by the concept of a free spirited bohemian, vintage loving traveller.

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Anita Dongre WIFW AW 2014

Anita Dongre’s Jaipur bride muse made Europe her playground for AW 2014.  Gorgeous tousled hair, peacock eyes and tassels were the continuing thread in an altogether beautiful collection.  The European reference didn’t come across as strong as the designer may have wanted as the prints and overall styling as very Indian ethnic.  Perhaps the Jaipur bride decided to park herself in Andalucia? 

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March 31, 2014

In A New York State Of Mind

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Hemant & Nandita WIFW AW 2014

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Hemant & Nandita WIFW AW 2014

‘Plush decoded’ was the title of designers Hemant & Nandita’s show but it could also easily have been New York decoded.  Luxurious sportswear inspired separates ensued down the catwalk with mesh park fences as the backdrop.

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March 30, 2014

Streets Are Cooler Than Runways

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Josh Goraya WIFW AW 2014

Upcoming and talented designer, Josh Goraya showcased his latest collection in a segment called Hi5 where five new designers pick ten looks each for a joint fashion show.

Designing for both men and women, it is the menswear that I was more drawn to simply because the looks were so cosmopolitan and had interesting design elements without losing any masculinity. This is important for lots of men when looking for new designs.

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March 29, 2014

Satya Paul, Icarus

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Satya Paul WIFW AW 2014

The latest Satya Paul collection designed by Masaba Gupta was a lighthearted take on print and was entitled ‘Icarus’. The show notes say that ‘Icarus’ is an effort to revel in the cheerful, suggest the alternative and slightly alter the envelope. When I googled it I found reference to Greek mythology so let’s stick with the Satya Paul meaning.

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Satya Paul WIFW AW 2014

Masaba is experimental and contemporary with her perspective on print and she is widely copied in the Indian export market. Her lipstick print last season and the water tap this season are fun and a welcome departure from flora and fauna inspired prints.

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March 29, 2014

Urban Shikar

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Abraham & Thakore WIFW AW 2014

Design duet, Abraham & Thakore’s collection was sponsored by Twinings, my favourite tea brand and a part of every morning of my life.

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Abraham & Thakore WIFW AW 2014

The collection was aimed at sleek uniform dressing for the city, touching on safari. Who is the hunter or the hunted? Up to you! I loved the wild silks left in their natural golden shade and I particularly loved the leopard print twosie with the trench coat, it is so sophisticated yet wild.

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March 29, 2014

Bibi, Lady of Leisure

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Nikasha WIFW AW 2014

Regular Chatterboxes know I am a real sucker for Sufi poetry and I was delighted to find that designer, Nikasha had a Rumi poem in her show notes:

In your light I learn how to love…
In your beauty how to make poems
You dance inside my chest where no one else sees you,
but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.

Wah wah, masha’allah! Ok, back to the collection.

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March 28, 2014

Blue Blood on the Red Carpet

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Charu Prashar WIFW AW 2014

Designer Charu Prashar’s collection was full of dramatic geometric patterns and body contouring silhouettes for confident women. Cobalt blue was the predominant shade paired with black for maximum drama.

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March 28, 2014

For The Bond Girl In You

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Amit GT WIFW AW 2014

Designer Amit GT showed a glamorous red carpet collection for slender leading ladies in their element in front of flashing lights.  Although not directly acknowledged the collection was heavily inspired by the last Bond movie, Skyfall.  Oriental baroque is the official inspiration, nevertheless, the instrumental of Adele’s theme tune kicked the show off.

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March 28, 2014

Rahul Mishra: Woolmark Prize Winner 2014

 

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Rahul Mishra WIFW AW 2014

The 2014 winner of the prize that launched 1,000 designers (okay well not quite) …the internationally coveted Woolmark prize was awarded this year to Indian designer, Rahul Mishra. The prize has been credited with turning previous winners such as Giorgio Armani into household names.

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Rahul Mishra WIFW AW 2014

The Woolmark body and awarding panel said of Rahul’s collection that one of the reasons his stood out amongst the other entrants were his innovative approach to wool as a Summer fibre was refreshing. They also admired his use of merino wool as a yarn for exquisitely detailed embroideries.

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March 28, 2014

The Silk Route’s Enduring Inspiration

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Ashima-Leena WIFW AW 2014

Ashima-Leena’s collection inspiration is the tried and tested journey down the old silk route. I say this not to criticise but to emphasise that it remains fertile ground and has provided centuries of ideas to creatives.

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March 28, 2014

Day 2 WIFW: Souk Souk, La Vie En Rose & Changing Perceptions

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Myoho WIFW AW 2014

The latest Myoho by Kiran & Meghna collection entitled ‘Souk Souk’ is inspired by Morocco but with yogic aesthetics and a rustic colour palette of Persian blue, slate black and sindoor red (this is the red powder Hindu brides traditionlly wear in their hair parting).

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March 28, 2014

Shantanu & Nikhil: The Shadows Within

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Shantanu & Nikhil WIFW AW 2014

Shantanu & Nikhil are incredibly talented designers with impeccable attention to detail.  Their latest collection was inspired by timeless vintage travel.  The powder, blush and antique rose and apricot hues reminisced British colonial times.  Lace was the dominant detail and it was especially striking on the fingerless gloves worn by all the models.

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March 28, 2014

Day 1 WIFW Photo Diary: Rock On, Structured Metallics & Selfies with Nokia

Raakesh Agarvwal showed a collection unlike any other (this was apparent even though it was still only day 1).  Leather,  audacious glamour and lots of skin meant this was a collection for younger women unaffected by silly things such as Winter.

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Raakesh Agarvwal WIFW AW 2014

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March 26, 2014

Day 1 WIFW: Loving Life And The Art of Seduction

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Vineet Bahl WIFW AW 2014

My fellow blogging buddies and I had to keep reminding ourselves that we were seeing AW collections as both Anupamaa and Vineet Bahl showed collections that could easily overlap the current Spring/Summer trends.  Shame we have to wait for the collections to hit stores!

Vineet Bahl used to be one of my favourite Indian designers due to his Western silhouettes which were gorgeous.  Over the last couple of years he has started specialising in India ethnic wear which I guess has more commercial sense for him but he was truly a refreshingly different designer for Western design.

His new AW14 is inspired by the celebration of every moment of life without prejudice and judgement.  The collection began with muted earthy handloom silks occasionally peppered with neon embellishment detail and pastel shades slowly crept in and made way for a myriad of vintage inspired colours and delicious combinations such as Prussian blue with peach. Want!!

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March 26, 2014

Tarun Tahiliani: Art & Ornament

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Tarun Tahiliani WIFW AW 2014

‘…Ornament as the principal embellishment is the glue that binds this collection together’ Tarun Tahiliani.

Setting the standard for the rest of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week with a stellar opening show veteran Indian designer, Tarun Tahiliani, did not disappoint. His AW14/15 ready to wear collection was an indulgent voyage in worldly ornamentation and clever layering. Precious jewellery provided the colour palette and inspiration for embroideries.

Ruby, emerald, onyx, sapphire, gold, turquoise…an Aladdin’s cave of rich inspirational colour. Textiles included silk brocades, draped into structured salwar trousers and other fine silks used in flowing kaftan inspired silhouettes or as a base for amazing kaleidoscope prints. I was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of the collection at the fittings prior to the shows and the fabrics and styles are even more gorgeous close up.

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March 25, 2014

Ghazal & Sufi with Sheeba Khan

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On Sunday evening I had the pleasure of attending a light classical music concert of ghazals and Sufi music in Gurgaon (near Delhi).  The singer, Sheeba Khan is a classically trained disciple of Jawaad Ali Khan and Mazhar Ali Khan.

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March 23, 2014

Asia House Literature Festival 2014

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The Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival is back in May and what a programme they have in store! The Chatterjis Blog will cover the event as official bloggers for the festival which includes writers from over 17 different Asian countries.  In addition to a regular festival format a new series, Extra Words will introduce debut authors from Pakistan, Nepal and Thailand.

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The festival officially opens on 6th May with high profile writer, Hanif Kureishi who will talk about his new book The Last Word.  There are a few pre-festival events in April that sound fabulous too.  On 10th April there is an event called Separations discussing what happens when a country suffers from political divisions.  Featuring Korean writers Kyung-sook Shin (2011 Man Asia Prize winner) and Krys Lee and Pakistani writer Qaisra Shahraz whose work focuses on women and partition it should be a lively evening.  Why Do Indians Vote? Democracy in India is another pre-festival

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March 17, 2014

Colour Used As Punishment

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The Hindu festival of colour (Holi) was celebrated today and I was drawn to the story in the Indian Express of an NGO, Sulabh International,  that arranged for 1000 widows to celebrate Holi in the City of Widows, Vrindavan.  William Dalrymple dedicated a chapter in his book, The Age of Kali to this city and its unique population of cast out women.

In Hindu tradition, a woman is stripped of colour once she becomes a widow.  She can only wear white irrespective of whether

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March 14, 2014

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week AW 2014

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Design by Taurn Tahiliani

5 days, 31 shows and 119 designers… later this month I will bring you extensive coverage from Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2014.  The dates for your diaries or mobile phone reminders are 26-30 March so be sure to check the blog for all the latest shows and reviews.

The week will be opened by celebrated designer, Tarun Tahiliani. 

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November 24, 2013

All Creatures Great and Small

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During my most recent trip to Delhi I had the pleasure of accompanying a friend, Anjali Gopalan, to her newly formed dog shelter which expanded to include other animals that she and her team ended up rescuing.  Anjali is looking for volunteers so please read and pass this blog post on to friends or family that might like to join the fun.

Tucked away in the ancient Aravali Hills, the farm and dog shelter was all peace and quiet…until the dogs spotted me on the roof to photograph them!

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November 24, 2013

La Dolce Vita With Ashish N Soni

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Ashish N Soni SS14 Collection at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Grand Finale

With a live jazz band and a gigantic and glamorous tiered red carpet stage set for the grand finale show, designer Ashish N Soni‘s collection oozed old glamour with all the entrails.

Inspired by ‘La Dolce Vita’ the collection was characterised by understated simplicity, flawless lines, immaculate cuts

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October 30, 2013

Ornamental Adornments

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WIFW Pankaj & Nidhi SS14

Intricate adornments from Pompeii all the way to Medieval church facades…Indian designer duo, Panjak & Nidhi seemed to thoroughly enjoy researching the inspiration behind their Spring/Summer 2014 collection.  Hand cut fabrics appliqued to give a 3D effect and transparency were key looks.

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October 27, 2013

Candies For Grown Ups!

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Whilst not quite recovered from the fashion-frenzied hangover from all next season’s shows the flash bulbs went off once more across town for the launch of Sunglass Icon in Delhi’s luxury Emporio Mall.

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Baroque and gold leaf detail in the D & G range

Sunglass Icon is the posher big sister of Sunglass Hut…Ray Bans are the cheapest sunnies on offer in the product range.  With Brit Bad Girl Jade Jagger splashed over the front and advertisements sporting baroque D & G sunglasses the launch was certainly eye-catching.

I arrived at the event with fellow blogger, Nupur Dayal of Indian style blog Joos.  We became friends as our butt cheeks squeezed together at the crowded Delhi shows.

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October 21, 2013

WIFW SS14 Day 2: Photo Diary

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WIFW SS14: Gaurav Jai Gupta

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WIFW SS14: Gaurav Jai Gupta

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