Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Framed Traditions - Sari Art

This is a beautiful idea by American company Framed Traditions, which takes vintage clothes and recycling to a different leve. Taking parts of old saris which are transformed into works of art, each sari is carefully pleated and bound into frames which can be displayed on walls. What I also liked about the company is that they are willing to donate 10% of each sale towards funding children’s education in India. This is a great way to re-use traditional clothes which are too old or damaged to be worn again, especially, if they have been handed down by older generations and have a personal meanings attached.

All images belong to Framed Traditions

Monday, 28 November 2011


I'm not a huge Rekha fan, just because of personal preferences, although I do think she has had a significant input in shaping Bollywood cinema. This one is specifically for my older sister, simply because of her love for oversized sunglasses and dark red, dramatic lipstick, and it really did remind me of her! Rekha shows that you don't always need luxurious jewellery or glamorous outfits, as she shows off her glamour in a simple draped sari accessorised only with Raybans and a beautiful shade of red lipstick :)

 Image from sareedreams

Thursday, 24 November 2011

QUIRKY FASHION: Paperself Eyelashes

Paperself is a quirky little company, offering 'alternatives' to a range of objects from fashion accessories to furniture. What I love from their range is their delicately shaped paper eyelashes, which feature peacock feathers, birds, deers, seahorses as well as a whole other range of natural and pretty things. Available to buy online, this is a very interesting concept which probably looks great on the catwalk, and gives a very dramatic look to the wearer. From pretty flowers and peacock feathers, to zebras and under-sea landscapes, the creaters of these eyelashes have put a lot of their imagination into these pretty things. I think these would be a little too crazy to be worn practically (although I wouldn't mind giving them a try), and it'd be fun to flutter some eyes with these. I think the peacock feathers (at the top, right) and the peonies (bottom right) are my favourite, simply because they look pretty and don't look too heavy for the eye!

Images belong to Paperself

Although some may argue that they look too finely detailed to get a real idea of the images, so they will just look messy, or that they are not very practical, the purpose of these are to get attention, and I certainly think they do just that. It's still definitely a very interesting idea, and although I'm not sure how many people I would see wearing these, I still think that it successfuly creates new looks and pushes fashion boundaries in an innovative way :)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

LOVELY HIJAB: The Sparkly White Bridal Hijab

I have mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of white wedding outfits, yet every now and then I come across something which catches my eye and makes me second-think my views. This white bridal hijab look below is a beautiful example of a white bridal; it utilises the white veil idea very well, combining it with hijab without undermining the modesty aspect. I've seen hijabi brides who use embellished head-pieces with their scarves in order to glam up their hijab, which also makes up for not being able to wear as much jewellery, and I love how this look below optimises the headpiece to make it look so sparkly. I also like how it uses a white net veil with the hijab as well to give it more of a bridal look, without compromising the hijab and also without getting in the way of the bride's face. This is certainly a look I'd like to try out, although perhaps a toned down version to wear with my party dresses. Although there isn't currently a large availability on the high street for brides looking for hijab pieces like these, I think that there are still enough places to customise your own sparkly hijab pieces which can be matched to your outfit. I love the use of diamanted in the hijab piece below, and it really is something which works best with white rather than any other colour to make it look very pretty and feminine. Combined with white pearls, I think this would make a beautiful bridal look :)

Image taken from Viya Bridal magazine

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

MAKE-UP REVIEW: Monthly Make-Up Boxes

I recently heard about a monthly make-up boxes subscriptions, which you can sign up for to receive a mix of some of the latest make up products, samples and miniatures every month for a fixed fee. What I like about this concept is that it is a great opportunity for make-up lovers who like to try the latest thing, without ending having to spend a lot of money on buying each product seperately. It's also a nice way to get a surprise in your box every month, getting the latest products and trying and finding out about new brands that you  may not have know about before. It also is quite popular due to the high-end products which often appear in the boxes, giving buyer value for their money and giving them a good mix of products, and enabling them to try new products which may not yet be on the market yet.

There are a lot of users who have said that they are happy with the products they receive, although this is also something which is for make-up lovers looking for new things, rather than people who would like to stick to traditional favourite which they know works for them. I think this is a nice idea which can introduce those who don't know a lot about make up or what suits them, to new and popular products. Admittedly, some may not want to pay a lot for these products, and it is about consumer interest, and also about the surprise in not knowing what's in your next box.

For UK users, there are companies such as Glossybox and Carmine which send out monthly products.

For US users there is Birchbox which appears to be quite popular.

For Canadian users there is Loose Button which is one of several companies which use this idea.

Has anyone used this? How do you find your monthly boxes?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

FASHION'S PASSIONS & PATTERNS: Damask Patterns and Themes

I am ABSOLUTELY in love with all things damask, be they wallpaper, clothes or random ornaments and decorations. A quick search on the internet too, will show you the extent of damask things that are readily available, and the different ways they can be integrated into a look or a style. I especially like the combination of damask patterns with rich fabrics such as brocade and silk, as it adds a touch of luxury, and in terms of clothes they can really give a regal feel.

Here are a few examples of the pretty damask things in my wardrobes, these are mostly dresses and jackets for everyday wear, and I also have a few damask scarves as well.
 And of course I must include my damask patterned make-up bags in the mix:

I have always liked a splash of damask pattern in plain or simple outfits or decoration, and I definitely think this is a trend which is very classic, and therefore also very lasting. It is unlikely to be out of fashion as it has always been present somewhere in fashion for several years, having a timeless feel to it, and it really is a motif which can be applied to many different strands of decor.
When combined with Asian clothes then, I think this adds an extra regal glamour and looks quite beautiful, especially as there doesn't seem to be much of this in the asian fashion industry. While I have seen a several English-style wedding dresses which have incorporated the damask pattern, there are very few of its asian counterparts like this.
I have seen a few examples where it has been used quite cleverly, below is an example of a salwar kameez suit worn by a friend of mine, which was a mix of velvet, net and cotton, a combination that I found beautiful, I also love how the simplicity of the suit allowed the damask pattern to be showcased rather than overloading it with extra detail.

Looking at the Asian fashion industry, there are a few more examples of how this theme as been used, although not many - I have often found that designers tend to use a damask motif on their clothes rather than use it as the focus of the outfit. Although this idea still looks pretty, as it shows a splash of damask rather than looking too overodone, I'd also still like to see an outfit on the catwalk which uses the damask pattern as its focus.

I'm sure you have also, like myself, seen the damask motif incorporated into weddings, and used in many aspects of wedding decoration, from cakes, favours, table linen, candles and even as part of the wedding stages.

The damask theme is definitely a beautiful one, and it's certainly something I'd like to see more of (damask shoes, anyone?) to add that classical glamour to the fashion industry.
More damask outfits to come soon!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

COLOUR COMBINATION LOVES: Zainab Sajid's Jade & Red Dresses

I saw these beautiful outfits from Zainab Sajid's latest exhibition at the 2011 Rhythm of Asia Fashion Show in Manchester, which featured beautiful, flowing  dresses and richly embellished outfits. What struck me particularly about these outfits which appealed to me was the combination of colours, which looks so fresh, feminine and still luxurious at the same time, and I think that one colour which may be emerging in fashion trends are the mint greens, jades and light teals which look great with a splash of colour so that it stops it looking washed out. It is these colour theme which Zainab Sajid has successfully incorporated in her designs below, which I think were the highlight of her exhibition. The use of jade and crimson with beautiful gold work make a unique combination, and one that I think really works.

Images courtesy of Asian Fashion Blog

What these outfits and colour themes also immediately reminded me of was Madhubala's famously beautiful outfit in Mughal-e-Azam, in which the colours used are very similar. Although the style of the dresses and the general look is different to the one worn in the famous song, the use of the jade with the splash of red is very similar, and shows how designers are (consciously or unconsciously!) picking up from classic eras and re-interpreting them in their own designs.

Anyone else notice the colour resemblance? Both outfits are clear reflections of their era, and give such different looks, yet they are both very beautiful. 
Look out for more jade and mint coloured outfits, I say :)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

GLAMOROUS ACCESSORIES: Hand Cuffs as seen on Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger wore this pretty hand cuff (or hand bracelet) on one of the X Factor USA shows recently, and I thought it was an interesting idea for jewellery: a hand cuffs for your palm, rather than the usual traditional bracelets. The one Nicole has is made from diamonds in a pretty feathery shape, and looks quite dainty. Designed and created by sisters Katia and Sonia Gaydamak with their company Kabiri for their new collection Privee Jewellery, it is apparently a way to wear diamonds differently. Although this is actually not a new idea, having been drawn on from history such as the Mughal era, it's still a unique way of wearing jewellery which I've certainly not seen in fashion trends before.

The company currently is selling a similar design to the public which also has diamond stones and a delicate filigree design - although like Nicole's version, it doesn't come cheap, selling at over £8,000 (Nicole's version sells for £11,000 as well).

 Jewellery images belong to Privee Jewellery collection

I'm not sure how popular this idea will be though, some have argued that it is easier and more sensible to wear a ring to create the same effect, and others have said that the hand-cuff just looks like a large knuckle-duster. I'm also not sure how quickly this trend will catch on; although some celebrities have already been seen wearing it, I can't really see this entering mainstream fashion in the same way  (and the cost doesn't help!) as I'm not sure whether it is the sort of thing which people may find practical. Either way, it's still an interesting way to bring some sparkle to your look :)

Monday, 14 November 2011

BOLLYWOOD ISHTYLE: Priyanka's Seven Styles in 7 Khoon Maaf

7 Khoon Maaf revolves around Susanna (played by Priyanka Chopra) and her search for love, which leads to her having a total seven husbands, as well as showing the circumstances in which she is widowed by each husband. I found it interesting that as Susanna gets older and ends up with a different man, her physical style also subtley adapts to reflect this change as well as her relationship with her husband. It is appropriate then that as she has seven husbands, she has seven different styles to show these different periods of her life. (ALERT: Contains spoilers, so apologies in advance for the long post, and don't read this if you want to watch the film without any foreknowledge!)

The First Husband
Requested by her late father to marry an Anglo-Indian Army Major Neil Nitin Mukesh, Susanna has a youthful, flowy look, with pretty dresses, long hair and a choppy fringe to make her look younger. Poor Susanna does not have a loving relationship however, as her husband is possessive and jealous, resenting her love for dancing and drinking.

The Second Husband
Played by good old John Abraham, Susanna marries a budding rockstar in a whirlwind marriage, with her Christian wedding ceremony marked by a pretty white lace dress, spring flowers and natural make-up. What Susanna doesn't know, however, is that guitar-riffing John has an addiction to something other than our Susie which is bound to end in tears.

The Third Husband
Susannah finds her poetic and romantic side, expressing it with traditional, light-coloured salwar kameezes, lovely jewellery and draped scarves and dupattas, finding a new husband in poet Irfan Khan in the snowy backdrop of the Kashmir. All is not romance and giggles here for long though and Susannah (or Sulthana as she briefly names herself) soon changes her guise.

The Fourth Husband
We can see here where the clothes designers (and the storywriters) got creative here, as Susannah acquires a Russian husband. Doesn't end well with this one either, stories with spies never have happy endings really, do they? The sari which Priyanka wears here is lovely, although I think the hats used are a little bit of a stereotype. But hey-ho.

The Fifth Husband
There's not a lot of commentary for this one, Susannah is emotionally blackmailed into marrying a police-officer investigating the Russian hubby's death, which of course does not bide well. Susannah is shown in a slight comfort zone here, showing that she is aging; wearing glasses, greying hair and a slightly plumped out figure.

The Sixth Husband
This is another interesting twist in style, where Susannah marries Dr Naseeruddin Shah in a traditional Bengali ceremony. It follows on the look being carried, in which she is comfortable and more mature, with a slight mum-sy look.

The Seventh Husband
I shall leave the seventh husband as a mystery to you, but what I will point out is the difference in Priyanka's flowing locks in the first pictures, compared to the short, grey hairs she sports at the end of the film. Also, there is a differene in how relaxed her character look, becoming less tense and wearing more modest, flowy clothes.

All images belong to directors/producers of 7 Khoon Maaf

There's not a lot of  overdone glamour and sparkle in this film, but the idea of a changing, evolving character being reflected in her physical appearance is an interesting one. I think my favourite 'look' has to be the romantic one in the banks of the Kashmir, although its the oversized sunglasses which really won me over :)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: Karma's Aladin Blue Dress

I've seen this outfit a few times recently, originally created by Pakistani designer Atelier Karma, apparently called the 'Aladin' outfit. I've seen a few different versions of this outfit (most of them quite pretty!), but I love the overall ombre-blue-shaded look here. I've seen this design as a long gown (as seen in the first pic below) and more recently, as a jumpsuit (second pic, which is the more recent design). I like the fact that this looks so good as a jumpsuit, which is a style becoming more popular among Asian fashion designers as they have started to incorporate the idea of jumpsuits into their designs. The combination of the rich embellishment and the pretty blue and aqua hues makes this a really glamorous outfit, which I've seen dressed up for some bridal outfits, or dressed down slightly to make pretty evening and party wear. Admittedly it will not come cheap, but it's a beautiful outfit and has very flattering colours :)

Images belong to Karma

Thursday, 10 November 2011

GLAMOROUS ACCESSORIES: Architectural Rings by Philippe Tournaire

How beautiful are these rings, designed and created by French custom jeweller Philippe Tournaire? I love the wonderful craftsmanship, the colours and most of the all the idea of these city-shaped rings. Surprisingly though, he is not the first person to draw on the idea of 'architecture rings', explaining that they were first discovered to be used, in fact, during the Merovingian age (which was early Europe around 500 to 752 AD) and often worn by aristocratic women. Tounaire has drawn on this idea to create his own designs from precious metals like platinum, golds and silvers, as well as precious stones and enamel to make these mini-urban masterpieces to wear on your hand.

My favourite has to be this beautiful spired one below (I'm guessing inspired by Russia's beautiful St Basil's Cathedral), which is prettily coloured and designed to look like a miniature landmark which makes for very pretty artwork as well as jewellery.

I think this may be a little chunky for some people's delicate fingers, but I do love how well-crafted these rings are, and the detail which has gone into these.
Here's just a few more of his wonderful designs based on different cities and styles from around the world in various colours and sizes:

Below shows the process which is used to help create these rings, and the planning which goes into it (okay it's been simplified here I know, but it still gives an idea!):

Images belong to Philippe Tournaire

Unfortunately, these rings don't come cheap, which is to be expected with expensive metals and stones, but I think it can be agreed that these really do reflect the fact that they are bespoke pieces - and it'll be hard to find anything like these anywhere else! Anyone want to buy me one of these?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Our Eid Outfits!

Eid Mubarak everyone! Hope you all had a glammed up and food-filled day (isn't it always that way?) and got plenty of presents/rich food/blackmail money throughout the day. I think everyone's now wishing for a day off to rest from all the tiring festivities! ;)

This is the outfit that I ended up with finally, it was bought from a local shop called RDC, and although a little pricey compared to what I was expecting, I was very happy with it. My mum managed to convince me into buying it with "well, Eid's not coming for another year so you might as well just splash out." Haha, thanks, Mum :)
Anyways here's a few pictures of what I ended up buying, it was a long, royal purple kameez with velvet and satin hem and a velvet embellished neckline, with churidar worn underneath, as is the current fashion with some kameezes (excuse the grainy pictures, dodgy bed spread and odd flat shoes, I'd taken my heels off by that point!)

What I LOVE about this outfit is its rich, deep colours (with a splash of hot pink and olive), plus I'm a sucker for velvet as it adds a little elegance to an outfit. I also liked the fact that the work one neckline was quite well done and made it look quite solid, so that there was a nice sparkly effect which wasn't covered up by my hijab. I also liked how flattering the shape of the kameez was, it flowed very nicely and fell in a slightly draped way because of its long length. It's also not to heavy, so very wearable to a lot of other occaisons which I may need it form and very comfy.

And of course here are some of the outfits the girls in my family wore (as well as what some of the boys wore here!), there was a lovely mix of colours and styles (and pretty shoes!) of outfits which had been bought from all over the place (both London and Pakistan).


(I love making my sisters pose like clueless bunnies, you have no idea how long I made them stand there for!)

All in all, a rainbow-fied Eid collection and a lot of giggly (and sniggering) girls (young and old!), as well as a lot of food to stuff ourselves with, and plenty of washing up afterwards!