Runway Leads to India: Marchesa Spring 2013

Designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman launched Marchesa only in 2004 and today they are one of the top choices for the red carpet. They use delicate, sheer fabrics, flowy silhouettes, a wide array of colors and often global inspired designs that give their dresses a boho touch.

Did you know that Marchesa was launched on the red carpet by Renee Z during the London premier of Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason in 2004. This dress used Indian silks in the typical maroon-red color and was embellished heavily with golden threads and beads.


Not a fan of this dress but hats off to Renee for choosing it and carrying it so well

Some other stars who wore Indian inspired gowns on the red carpet:


Mary J Blige at Cannes, 2008. I really like this one.


Diane Kruger at the Golden Globes, 2005. This is SO perfect for a Bollywood item song!

For their Spring 2013 runway collection, they looked at India for inspiration again. And they sure did an amazing job.

They used characteristic Indian colors like Maroon, Gold, Orange, Fuchsia and Deep Blue. They used silhouettes that remind you of the epic Indian sari with lots of embellishment, of course. There were also simpler, but elegant outfits that comprised of a tunic top and cropped pants, much similar to our Salwar/Churidar-Kameez.

I find the collection very wearable. If you look at the cuts, fabrics, colors and embellishments, you will be amazed to see how smoothly Indian embroidery and silhouettes have been conjured to create an overall non-Indian look. By using fabrics like brocade and silk and by incorporating embroidery and embellishments that are very typical of traditional Indian outfits, they pretty much covered what Indian fashion stands for.

I would love to see more of such pieces on the Red Carpet in the coming years.











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(This is the first of the ‘India Inspired Designer Collection’ series).

Spring Lipsticks For Indian / Olive Skin

I LOVE lipsticks. If not for some self-control and discipline, I would own 200 by now. Even though I have lip allergies and my lips are extremely dry and flaky, I don’t give up! I keep trying to find those perfect lipsticks.

I am also a fuss-free person – I do not own or apply primers and other kinds of bases. Hence, the lipsticks I choose to wear must be pigmented enough (and yet moist) to take care of my dark (and dry) lips.

I usually go for pinks, corals and nudes and I wear them in every season but the following are really apt for Spring / Summer and suit my warm olive Indian skin perfectly.

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick – Tea Rose

The perfect beige-pink. This is a warm shade of pink, which is rare to find. Most light pink shades have a blue tinge. This one has a tinge of peach in it. Nyx Round lipsticks are extremely creamy and soft. They glide really well on dry lips and moisturize. The span of their range and price is amazing too.

nyx tea rose.

Revlon Moondrops Lipstick – Blaze Apricot

The perfect coral! I must have bought (and returned) so many lipsticks because I wouldn’t find the perfect coral. Well, this is it. The search is over. This shade is a perfect mix of coral and pink. It is not lopsided towards tangerine or bubble-gum pink. Will suit fair skin equally well.

Revlon blaze apricot.

Mac – Chatterbox (Amplified Crème)

The perfect neon pink. This was my first Mac lipstick. It is a real pretty pink. Sometimes appears neon and sometimes, soft pink. It looks good even when I get tanned in Summer. I like to apply decent amount of lip balm before I use this because by the end of the day, my lips get dry and start burning. I often take it off before I leave work and apply lip balm to soothe. But the shade is so pretty!

Mac chatterbox.

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick – Haute Melon

The perfect neon orange. This lipstick is a traffic stopper! It is really bright, opaque orange with no tinge of red or pink. In indoor or low light, it shows hints of pink but in daylight, it is quite neon-ish. It is a bold color but because orange generally looks good on brown skin, it looks great. Great texture and price, too.

Nyx haute melon.

Maybelline – Make Me Pink

The perfect snowy pink. It is hard to find a light pink shade that will look good on warm medium tones skin. Well, here it is! Also, I find that Maybelline lipsticks are best for my dry lips. They are extremely moisturizing without going and settling into the crease lines. They actually feel as light as balm.


Rimmel London – Lets Get Naked

The perfect peach. Again, a very hard-to-find shade. It is definitely challenging to make the color peach look good on medium skin. This one does! Rimmel lipsticks are soft and creamy. They have a strong fragrance but that’s a small thing compared to their great quality, variety of shades and wonderful pricing. I own 3 Rimmel lipsticks and am very happy with them.

Rimmel lets get naked.

Nyx Butter Lipstick – Fizzies

The perfect neon fuchsia. After I used this lipstick (bought it only a couple of weeks ago), I became a fan of Nyx (if I wasn’t already). This lipstick really feels like butter. It glides smoothly and keeps my lips well moisturized. It is very pigmented and has great staying power. What’s not to love?! I would buy more of their shades. If only CVS had the entire range, not just 6-7 selected ones!

Nyx Butter lipstick fizzies

Chambor – Orange Plus

The perfect tangerine. By now I know that I like orange more than red as a lipstick shade. This one by Chambor (costed me a bomb back then) comes with a Jojoba centre. Probably, that’s why the texture is so light and moisturizing, not to mention, long-stay and highly pigmented. Being a lovely tangerine color, it is perfect for warm skin tones. It gives you a bold lip, yet blends well with the skin shade.

chambor orange plus

so, here was my 2-cents. Do share yours!

Oversized Block Print Shirt

I cannot believe Fall is here already! Daylight Saving Time ends on 2nd Nov; that is a painful reminder that good days are over.

Each time of the day, including peak afternoons, is accompanied by cold winds; the sun is hiding behind clouds.

Gosh, summer is really over!

This whole week, I have been layering and covering myself completely because not just outside, inside of my workplace is freezing too. Well, not exactly freezing, but that’s how it has been feeling.

Of course Fall dressing can be fun – plaids, infinity scarves and boots. But it also makes me sloppy and immobile. I also dislike wearing jeans the whole day. I crave the freedom summer provides.

Summer is 5 months away and I am already longing for it. Not good!

Here is my outfit post from 2 weeks ago. Even though mornings were nippy, afternoons were scorching hot. I bought this Ann Taylor shirt recently and even though it is one or two sizes bigger, I enjoy wearing it. Oversized shirts look great tucked-in into pants or skirts. I also like the fact that it is block printed. A wonderful ethnic touch to a casual Californian look.






Shirt: Ann Taylor

Shorts: Gifted (from Bangkok)

Necklace: The Basic Closet

Shoes: Catwalk

Navratri This Year

I do love fashion but I am a very practical person too (I am a typical Arien that way). And we all know fashion is not always practical.

I do not wear high heels most times because of the practical difficulties they pose.

Changing handbags? That is not even an option for me. I have been using the same handbag since ages. I do not change it even when going out for movies or dinner. I mean, what if I forget important things like wallet or Vaseline or home keys in the ‘dressy’ purse when I change back to the regular bag?

Nope. I am not taking that risk.

So when I was getting dressed for garba lately, I decided to keep it real simple. When you are dancing continuously for hours on catchy music, you move a lot and sweat a lot. Sometimes, you slam into other people or your hand smashes into someone else’s. I have seen (and been through) broken nails, broken bangles and skin cuts.

So, wearing bangles was out of question. In fact, the kada I wore last year lost a few stones after 4 hours of garba. Sob. My favourite kada!

With all the sweat, a necklace is out of question too.

The hair I leave open also goes up in a hair-tie after an hour of dancing.

This time, I chose cotton dupattas and lehengas and sleeveless brocade blouses. They made the garba experience more relaxed, fuss-free and enjoyable. Instead, I chose to adorn myself heavily with a nose ring, large bindi, bright lipstick, lots of color and large earrings. I think the look worked.

Garba 1

Garba 2

Garba 3

Oscar De La Renta–Favorite Red Carpet Dresses

Oscar De La Renta has been a favourite for Red Carpet goers. He was known for his glorious, feminine dresses that have gorgeous textures, soft colors, delicate fall and of course, those pretty ruffles. This Dominican designer has dressed famous celebrities, including Jackie Kennedy, Sarah Jessica Parker and Tina Fey. His evening dresses and red carpet gowns are an easy choice.

His death due to cancer is dismaying. This legend is leaving behind a big black hole in the high fashion and couture industry.

Looking back at Red Carpet sightings, it is amazing to see how many of the best looks have been Oscar De La Renta.

Here are some of my favorite looks.


Amy Adams – Oscars 2013


Taylor Swift – MET Gala 2014

anna-hathaway oscar de la renta

Anne Hathaway – Tony Awards 2009


Jennifer Lawrence – Screen Actors Guild Awards, 2011

Jennifer-Garner-Oscar-de-la-Renta-Oscars-2014-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Jennifer Garner – Oscars 2014


Nina Dobrev – Instyle Golden Globe Awards After Party, 2013

Oscar de la Renta2

Emma Watson – Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows Part 2 World Premiere, 2011


Cameron Diaz – Oscars 2010


Sarah Jessica Parker – MET Gala 2014

All pictures from Internet

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Houndstooth Is The Pattern of the Season

Houndstooth has often been the trend for Fall seasons. It goes and comes but it never goes away forever. Houndstooth is classy and eternal.

But this time, I am seeing it in a new way. It is everywhere. And by that I mean, really everywhere. On shoes, jackets (obviously), shopping bags, base of shoes (??). You go to a mall and everything is directing you to buy houndtsooth. Anything. It could even be a bed sheet or a coffee mug!

I have had this silk enlarged-houndstooth print Iora top since ages. It is very versatile and easy to wear. I throw it on when I do not know what else to wear. It just makes my life simple.

I added a pop of color to it this time. I obtained this blue-green silk scarf recently and am in total love with it. Its texture is so amazing. I like tying long scarves into a knot on the side of my neck. I think it looks really cute and sophisticated. Try it sometime, ladies.






When I Went For A Movie Alone

I would never want to watch a movie alone. I mean, what fun? Movies are for dressing up, break coffees and discussion throughout the movie. As I mentioned here too, I enjoy going to movies not just for the movie, but for the whole experience you go through when you go to a movie theatre with company you enjoy.

But I challenged myself to do it – to watch a movie alone.

So when I was in India a few months back, working on my designs, I gave myself that chance. I was living with friends who would be away at work everyday. I had to pass time somehow during the day and my friend suggested that I go for a movie. I dared myself to.

Was my experience good? No. Not at all!

To start with, the crowd was low in the beginning given the fact that it was a weekday afternoon. There were just some guys around and they kept staring at me. I was so conscious. And embarrassed. I know. For no reason. Later on, crowd added up and the hall was pretty full but I remained stressed. It felt like I was in the wrong; that I was committing a crime!

Needless to say, I am never going alone for a movie.

I just don’t enjoy it. There is no point forcing myself to change my philosophies. Movie watching is not a task for me; it is a fun activity that I want to do with people I like.

Talking about movies, I watched Haider the other day. I loved the acting and cinematography and music but on the downside, the movie was really slow, predictable to some extent and very, very depressing! Did they really need all those gross scenes and detailed violent proceedings? I am sure they could be done with.

Anyway, I think Summer ended yesterday. It was cloudy, cold and windy today and is going to remain so for the whole week. I am so sad!

I wore this yesterday to literally celebrate the last day of warmth. And in the spirit of the festive season, of course. I find harem pants the most comfortable thing on earth. and of course, I love adding an Indian touch to everything.







Make-up & Jewellery Organization

Here are a few things I have learnt about make-up and accessories organization:

· Make-up and jewellery looks pretty. So they need to be displayed, not hidden away in drawers and cabinets.

· They also need to be displayed because you need to see your entire collection every time you dress up. If you are a shopaholic like me, which you probably are if you are dealing with storage problems, you won’t even remember what all you own. So, it is important that everything you own is laid out in front of you, so you can choose justly.

· Innovative storage solutions can act as decor! Baskets, cute boxes, vintage chests, DIY storage – wonderfully satisfying ways of organizing things make your room artsy and add that personal touch.









After years of dealing with broken, lost, tangled up jewellery and cosmetics, I decided to bring them all out. I love baskets and when I saw so many cute baskets at the Dollar Store, I decided to change the way I did things. And I am so happy! I have everything organized and laid out in front of me. I do not repeat things and give other items ‘a chance’. That also gives me the satisfaction that I am using all the stuff I have and have not merely wasted money on things I am never able to use.

What are your storage problems? And ideas?


History and Fashion

If you look back into history, really back into history, you will find interesting styles – hairstyles, dressing styles and concepts. What is even more interesting is to see why people dressed the way they did. There were rules, hierarchies, obnoxious beliefs and interesting stories. History is a very interesting topic. It is so fascinating to know how people lived in olden times. And just think of it, there was a time when there were kings-queens, not a world of normal, working adults. How did the queens live? They wore elaborate dresses and actually had helpers help them sit and stand because their dresses were so heavy. What did the Kings do whole day? Address courts and fight on horses? How did man survive when he did not have a safe place to live and had to wander through forests having experimental food and fighting for life every day? How did he really invent shoes?

For me, all of it is really fascinating. And magical, to some extent.

We can trace back clothing and accessories way back to 3100 BC to Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. Ancient Greek, Rome, Early and Late Middle Ages, Northern Renaissance – all of these eras are superbly charming. Clothing gets richer, more elaborate and ornate.

But guess what, history repeats. And how! Designers have taken inspiration regularly from olden time’s art and costumes. Some influences are blatant, while some are subtle. I like both of them. For my first assignment in the History of Fashion class, I was allotted Medieval Ages (300 – 1500 BC); so the costumes are not ornate. Just interesting.

Here are the old pictures and their modern day influences.

Wimple: A garment worn around the neck and chin, and which usually covers the head.


Portrait of a Young Woman in a Pinned Hat (1435) painted by Rogier van der Weyden


Modern day wimple. Shot by Mario Testino for Vogue UK Sept 2011

Bliaut: a women’s and also a men’s overgarment worn from the eleventh to the thirteenth century in Western Europe, featuring voluminous skirts and horizontal puckering or pleating across a snugly fitted under bust abdomen. The sleeves fit closely from the shoulder to approximately the elbow, and then widen from the elbow to drape to floor- or nearly floor-length.


Terence’s Comedies, St. Albans Abbey, mid 12th century, Folio 10 recto


Gareth Pugh Sprint 2013. May not be a perfect adaptation of the original concept but I just loved the ruffles and fall on this outfit!

Hennin: A headdress in the shape of a cone or “steeple”, or truncated cone worn in the late Middle Ages by European women of the nobility.

Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius (Paris, French, about 1460 – 1470) attributed to Coëtivy Master, in the Consolation of Philosophy


Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013/2014, Paris

Houppelande: An outer garment, with a long, full body and flaring sleeves, that was worn by both men and women in Europe in the late Middle Ages.


A panel painting, part of Ghent Altarpiece, Belgium


Dance Maestro Astad Deboo showcasing ‘Jade’ by Monica and Karishma at Lakme Fashion Week India 2014

Segmentae: Square or round decorative medallions that were placed in different areas of the tunic for decoration.


Mosaic of Archangel Michael from Church of Santa Maria dell Ammiraglio, Palermo, Italy


Anuj Sharma’s ‘Button Masala’ at Lakme Fashion Week India 2014

Clavi: Vertical stripes which decorate the front and back of a tunic.


A historic piece in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

539356494511e5fc567cea59eab40229     Chanel-detail

Chanel Pre-Fall 2011

And I can just go on and on. There are so many beautiful costumes and their modern day designs that it is really inspiring. Check out pictures of Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2013 collection on this lovely blog. Their collection, also inspired by medieval times, is mesmerizing. All their models look like Princesses.

If History, Art and Fashion interest you, check out Byzantine, Italian Renaissance, Medieval Times, Ancient Greek and Roman Empires costumes. You will be surprised with what you find.


This post features on Blogadda’s Spicy Saturday’s Picks (4th Oct ‘14)

Magic Potion For Diet

After organic skin care, I am back with yet another Health & Beauty post. This time, I will be talking about diet. Personally, I am not someone who can diet. I hate raw greens. I love food. I love cheese and chocolates. So pure dieting is out of option. But by changing a few habits in my lifestyle, I have been able to reduce my weight a bit and then maintain it.

The magic potion.

Honey water collage

I swear by it. It has worked for me in the past and still does. Right now, my routine consists of a good mix of exercising and balanced diet. But earlier, when I was not into exercising, this mix helped me reduce weight on its own.

So, the first thing this mixture does is assist in reduce weight. Or, expedite the process. I am sure it doesn’t do anything on its own. Exercise and diet control has to accompany it.

Honey, lemon and warm water – each have their own benefits. Imagine what happens when you mix them together? It is indeed magic.

Warm a glass / cup of water for 35 seconds in the microwave. Drop in 5-6 drops of lime juice and one to two teaspoons of honey. Mix well and drink it up while it is still warm. Never have it hot. Just warm.

Have this concoction the first thing in the morning.

It is excellent for blood purification and stomach performance.

You can also have warm green tea with honey. But if you want something quick, hassle-free and equally healthy, warm water + honey + lemon is good enough.

Here are some other small diet changes I will recommend. However small these practices may be, they go a long way in making you fitter.

– Milk is a difficult thing to digest. Do not have milk later than 4 pm. Assuming you even sleep at 10 pm, 6 hours is sufficient time for it to break down.

– Eat at regular intervals. Avoid large meals. Eat little every now and then.

– Be careful about what you eat between meals. Make sure it is healthy and fibrous. Good options are nuts, multigrain biscuits, dried berries / fruits, fruit or cereal. Farsan and namkeen are NOT healthy and fibrous!

– Put in a decent mix of butter, cheese also in your diet. Your body needs them!

– Ban deep fried items like samosas, pakodas, chips and kachori completely! Keep them for special occasions, festivals and social visits.

– Use not more than 1 tablespoon of oil for every dish you make. Use water or steam to mix spices and veggies, not more oil.

– While preparing dishes like Omlette, Upma, Khichdi and Pulao try to put in as many vegetables you can. For example, my omelette has onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves, grated carrot and capsicum. In Upma, I put in peas, potatoes, beans, carrots and sometimes, capsicum.

– If you exercise, eat not less than 3 hours before exercising. This way, your body will use up stored energy for exercising. And you will actually end up losing weight.

Do you have some easy tips for healthy diet and weight loss? Put down a comment!