Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Inayah Collection's Sample Sale

I'm a big fan of modesty wear which caters to customers looking to be modest and yet stylish. Although the bigger brands in the high street and Western catwalk are beginning to expand to provide modest clothing, it can still be a hassle for those of us looking for something which covers us, whether it is a pretty abayah or just a modest dress or skirt.

Inayah Collection is one of the bigger brands which I follow, which primarily focuses on simplicity with modesty, and has a large following which is popular with a lot of young women looking for stylish hijab outfits. I've posted about this company before, and my opinion hasn't changed - I love how this brand has evolved with the fashion trends and has compromised in their styles.

I recently saw notifications on the Inayah Instagram page which was advertising a sample sale week during the holidays for their products, which I thought was great as their products are only sold online. I emailed the company for a time slot to visit, and went down today with a friend to see what was on offer.

There was surprisingly a huge range of outfits, scarves and abayahs available - most of these are on the websites at full price still - but at the sample sale a lot of these were about half price or less - I loved this maxi dress which was reduced in price by quite a lot and was tempted to buy it (but didn't in the end because I couldn't find my size!)

This is what I bought, a few dresses and scarves at amazing prices (the scarves were only £3 and £5 each!) and which I know I'll be getting wear out of!

If you're looking to attend the sample sale with Inayah, and you're around London area in the next day or two, email and you should hopefully be given an appointment slot - I highly recommend a look - it's the Christmas sales after all!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Meet and Greet Blogger's Session with Ather Shahzad

I was lucky enough to get invited to a blogger's meeting last weekend, to meet the legendary fashion duo Ather Shazad, who are one of Pakistan's biggest stars in the fashion industry. The meeting was over tea and cake at The Tea Rooms in Fleming Manor, in central London, so it was an ideal place to be!

They are known for the seamless services which provide everything many fashion shoots, brides and fashion campaign require, being responsible for makeup, styling, selecting the model (which is mainly dealt with by Shazah Raza) as well as the actual photography (taken care of by business partner Ather). They're also known for their bridal services (which is where I initially have heard of them a good few years ago, as I have a few friends who have used him for their wedding days!).

Duo Shahzad and Ather
The event was mainly a sneak preview of Shahzad's make-up and styling skills (Ather is pretty shy so hid a little!), with a Q&A session and tips from the makeup artist himself, in advance of his Masterclasses which will be taking place in London, Edinburgh and Manchester in January 2016.

We discussed Shahzads' love for makeup and his history - he was 17 when he started doing makeup on others (and was doing photography initially with his friend Ather at the same time!) and began to get clients because of his talent. He's worked not just in Pakistan but for several designers for fashion campaigns, for the Western stars and for Bollywood, and has a variety of makeup styles - although these days he prefers soft, warm colours like peaches and golds, particularly when it comes to doing bridals.

We then were able to see Shahzad's talent on a model - he showed us one of his makeup looks and stylings on model Siarah who looked stunning. I really liked the fact that nothing looked OTT - everything looked very naturally, the foundation looked natural (no cakeyness!) and the whole look fused well with the outfit and jewellery.

Shahzad then took us through his steps - what he did and how to achieve the look - nothing was heavy or complex, and it looked very well done.

Tips from Shahzad:
  • Less is more! Too many girls use too much contour, too much foundation, too much heavy makeup - do what suits you and keep it more subtle.
  • Focus on one feature to emphasis - smokey eyes with a soft lip, or dramatic lips with lighter eyes. Sounds obvious but it's a classic rule for Shahzad when it comes to makeup.
  • Experiment, play around with colours and styles!
  • Lighting is EVERYTHING. You can have bad makeup and still take a good photo, but if the lighting is bad, no matter how great the makeup is, the photos can still come out badly.
  • For hot weather - use a water-based foundation - Shahzad sometimes uses a old-fashion method of Kryolan pancake foundation mixed with water for a very thin base.
  • Use a good cleanser for your skin - recommends the Creme de la Mer skin range and also Mac cleansers.
  • Don't over highlight, and make sure you apply on the cheekbones and not underneath on the cheek area.
We were then given our goody bags (yay!) which had a new range of makeup which is being released by Ather Shahzad for a brand called Luscious - it is already on sale in Pakistan and will soon be sold online in Sephora and Beauty Bay, which make for excellent accessibility for American and UK customers. This is the first makeup range from a Pakistani makeup artist and it is also the duo's first business venture in the UK, which I think will certainly be a hit amongst the make-up lovers in this country!

We were given quite a lot of makeup to try out - a lipstick palette, a lipgloss palette, an eyeshadow palette and blushers - which were in a beautiful range of colours and in matte and shimmery.

The lipsticks and lipglosses all have names which are named after famous models that the duo have worked with - such as Mehreen (syed) Iman, Cybil (Chowdry) and so on - which I thought was a lovely touch. I loved the blushers as well, beautiful tones which work well on darker skin - Shahzad explained that it was not just for Asian skin tones but black skin tones as well. Being one of the first makeup artists in Pakistan to work with black models as well, he understood the need for colours which suited darker skin tones as well.

You can see my haul below - I'll be posting swatches and reviews in a separate post but from my initial try-outs I love the beautiful colours and pigmentation!

It was really lovely to hear about Shahzad's experience in the industry - having seen his fashion campaigns with various labels in the last ten years (or more, as I've seen a lot of his pictures in magazines as a child as well!) it was pretty amazing to hear his inspirations.

I really enjoyed the event, as it was not just an opportunity to meet the stylist but also fellow bloggers - there were a few beauty editors, Pakistani fashion bloggers and enthusiasts to speak, and it was really fun to talk to them about blogging and the fashion world. And of course, we all took the time for a selfie!

Photo credits - Shahid Malik

I would definitely recommend making the most of this makeup class, mainly as the makeup I saw was pretty well done and it's worth learning if you are interested in makeup, either for yourself or for a career as a makeup artist. Being one of the icons in Pakistani makeup, it's one to go for, particularly as these classes are one-off so won't be repeated after the New Year.

You can buy tickets here for the classes which are taking place in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Organisers: The Makeup Room
Makeup: Shahzad Raza
Hair: Shamalah Hairstylist 
Model: Sairah Khan
Wardrobe & Jewellery: O'nitaa London
Photography: Shahid Malik
Co-ordination:Zaf Shabbir
PR: Enigme Internationale

If you're not looking to attend the classes, check out the makeup line and let me know what you think - the prices are very reasonable and I'll be keeping an eye out for more!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Bride Couture: Colourful Bridal Displays at Texheeb London

I saw this lovely window display recently at designer store Texheeb London and loved the range of colour, which are ideal for weddings, receptions or even henna events for something a little different.

I find it interesting that the bridal trends are working slower than the formal trends - I have seen a few bridals which have the lengha-choli style outfits or just shorter shirts, but a lot of bridals both on the catwalks and in stores still have the longer-kameez-with-lengha trend, perhaps because thats the styles that brides are still going for.

I love how colourful these all look together, and as someone who loves the longer-hemline outfits, I'm glad these are still being showcased!

Monday, 7 December 2015

BOLLYWOOD ISHTYLE: Bajirao Mastani's Dazzling Mughal Dresses

Next week sees the awaited release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's latest luxury epic, 'Bajirao Mastani', featuring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra, which I'm looking forward to after his last feature, Ram-Leela (with the same trio!)

As always with SLB films, the outfits, jewellery, sets and dances look as amazing as expected, and there's plenty of anticipation for the two main actresses and how they'll play the two Queens in the movie. Set in the 1700s in the Maratha empire, the costumes, which designed by Indian designer Anju Modi, look amazing, and you can really see the designer's creativity.

While I'm not sure what to expect for the storyline of the film itself, I LOVE the costumes and style - there's a range of styles from lenghas, pishwas and nine-yard saris, complete with the luxurious jewellery and details.

One of the first outfits I've seen if from Deepika's song Deewani Mastani, where she is trying to impress the king with his first wife in audience - I loved the take on this outfit which looks elegant yet feminine - especially the turban cap she's wearing which is draped with jewellery.

(This song is apparently the director's tribute to classic movie Mughal-e-Azam's timeless song 'Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya', particularly in the way he emulated the mirrored tiles in the ceiling to show the dancing and swirling of the heroine!)

I love the jewellery she's wearing as well, it could be seen as some as too much jewellery but I think it works - it's balanced out with very simple makeup and hair and a a flowy outfit which balances it out, and it also adds a lot of elegance to the look.

The outfit itself is a 'pishwas' style outfit - a long flowy jacket and dress which is less like an anarkali and more fitted yet flowy - complete with sharara bottoms (two-legged flowy pants) which flow nicely with her dance. I think the colours were lovely too, although it does blend a little too much with the background details rather than standing out.

The other main song I've seen is the duet dance Pinga between the two actresses, which has been compared to Devdas' famous 'Dola re Dola', both which have iconic dance moves between the two actresses in the films. In this song, the women are wearing a traditionally-draped Marathan nine-yard sari, complete with jewellery and flowers in their hair, which looks very well done.

I have to admit though, I was a little less impressed with these outfits - while the style is lovely and suits them, they don't stand out that much and the colours are too similar to each other, there's no iconic styles to them which differentiate them or make them stand out.

I also though that the updo suited Priyanka's face than it suited Deepika, but again the jewellery works well with it and I love the contrast of green bangles added in.

I wasn't able to find many more pictures of the outfits in this film apart from the official images, but I'm sure we'll be able to expect a lot of beautiful pieces once the film is released - below are some of the ones I did manage to find!

I really liked this outfit which I also saw in the trailer worn by Deepika - there's something very regal about it, which also reminds me of the old-style, 'Begum' outfits of the past, which Deepika pulls of well. The outfit is mainly draped shawls and scarves but it looks great and not fussy at all.

Another few outfits I found worn by Deepika are below - again these are soft colours paired with luxurious jewellery and some seriously beautiful embroidery on the outfits - it's all about the detail here and you can see how carefully each look has been put together. I really like how Deepika's face is kept natural - no garish bright lipsticks or colours, just natural glow complimented with gold and pearl jewellery.

Similarly, Priyanka's character is just as ornate, but perhaps a little more sober and mature - she is meant to be the first Queen after all so her outfits are a little less ornate and playful than Deepika's, but the detail is still all there. With her outfits you can see the rich fabrics, the less heavy jewellery which balances her look and makes her look more Queen than bride (in Deepika's case).

I'm liking what I'm seeing so far from this movie, and I'm sure I'll find more - I'll reserve my comments about the actual film until I've seen it, but I'm sure that Bhansali's done an amazing job as always. My favourite outfit so far have been the one from Deepika's song Deewani Mastani purely because it's a funky take on a traditional outfits, but I do love a lot of the saris I've seen as well.

Are you looking forward to this film? Which outfits to you like?