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.

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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:

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Amy Adams – Oscars 2013

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Taylor Swift – MET Gala 2014

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Anne Hathaway – Tony Awards 2009

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Jennifer Lawrence – Screen Actors Guild Awards, 2011

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Jennifer Garner – Oscars 2014

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Nina Dobrev – Instyle Golden Globe Awards After Party, 2013

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

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Cameron Diaz – Oscars 2010

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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.

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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.

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