Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Old Hollywood Glamor

Archana Kochhar's glamorous collection infused both old Hollywood style with Indian work and silhouettes. Kochhar's collection was showcased in mid April at Gitanjali Lifestyle fashion show.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Topaze, Saphires and Rubies Oh My!

Lahore fashion designer Sonia Azhar was all set to play with gems and stones. She presented a rich, dreamy collection in Pakistan that not only dazzled the models but literally the outfits themselves. Heavily encrusted with rubies, emeralds and tourmaline these shimmering dresses sparkled the night.

According to Sonia, her collection was entirely jewelery inspired. There collection commenced with an Opal inspiration, followed by a turquoise and sapphire line. All the precious stones were sewn onto the dresses where the tones complemented the dresses and the fabric used.

Just check out the detailing in her work. It's amazing. All her outfits have semi precious stones and intricate embellishments.

Lakme Fashion Week Disappoints

Lakme is a cosmetic company and can be compared to as the L'Oreal of the east. Twice a year Lakme holds a fashion week known as LFW for fall/winter and spring/summer which are perhaps the most highly profiled fashion events of India and Pakistan.

LFW normally includes Indian designers, however, Pakistani designers have been invited on a few occasions to show their collections.

LFW has been conceived and created with a vision to "Integrate India into the global fashion world and redefine the future of fashion".

Lakme Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2008 was held on March 29th to April 2, 2008 at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai.

Dozens of Indian designers showcased their Fall/Winter collections with celebrities of the Indian film industry, Bollywood, cheering them on.

Click here to see exclusive video of LFW

Some of my favorite designers included Manish Malhotra (although his Fall/Winter collection was a bit too western), Neeta Lulla, and Abdul Halder for men.

I was fairly disappointed with the collections with the exception of Abdul Halder.

Abdul Halder started his fashion career designing for none other than the king of pop, Micheal Jackson in 2002.

His current collection was chic and very Indo-Euro with tapered safari suits, embroidered sleeves, shoulder pads and toped off with traditional Indian sandals.

I can see a hint of MJ in this one with the shoulder pads and embelishments.

Not so sure I like the copper spray paint look on this suit, although the suit itself is nice.

Manish Malhotra opens the Fall/Winter collection with shades of pastels and pinks. Extremely feminine but a bit too western for my taste in Indian fashion. I feel like I've seen this dress at Zara for years. I guess India is still behind in some things.

I love the color and material of Manish's pink halter dress but not crazy about the style.

What is going on here??? I've seen this top in cheap Lycra at Le Chateau, Sirens and Limite dozens of times. But I like the skirt with pouch pockets at the sides.

This dress is the winner for Manish Malhotra's Fall/Winter collection. The silhouette and cascading backdrop makes this evening gown illuminating and extremely sexy.

Neeta Lulla needs to stick to traditional wear. Her collection at LFW was unimpressive compared to her usually breathtaking creations.

This baby doll dress with embellishments under bust is deja-vu. The only thing I like about this outfit is the bolero.

I don't even want to comment on this one. It looks like the under attire of a Marie Antoinette gown mixed with Erika Badou.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sheer Embrace

Rohit Bal's collection at Wills's fashion show was stunning. It was the perfect combination of material and patterns.

The rose sari has a Spanish flavor to it with the velvet petal shaped bloused and sheer sleeves. I have seen a lot of different styles of sari blouses but this one has got to be one of the most original designs.

This princess style gown is both exotic and regal. Rohit Bal fuses royalty from both worlds, the Elizabethan style of gown with the exotic materials and and shadow work motifs of an Indian Queen.

Vanilla Sky

Buckle Me Up

Eastern Goddess

Elegance is Golden

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Indian Fashion Event of the Year

Wills Lifestyle fashion week WIFW was held in Delhi last week bringing together over 10 action packed days, 83 designers, 40 shows, 82 stalls, 56 models, 4 teams of show directors and make up and hair artists.

Indian designers were on edge trying to create the perfect styles and designs to capture the western market.

This year many foreign buyers came to get a peak at the Indian collections . The U.S. recession, is said to benefit India's fashion industry due to the low production cost of Indian designs.

view video for more

Some of the featured designers included Tarun Tahiliani, Suneet Verma, and Rohit Bal.

Tarun Tahiliani's collection was inspired by Dior with cascading gowns and regal coats but the elaborate eastern set made a Indian impact.

Suneet Verma added a special touch to his collection with oriental designs and embroidered socks as the focus. Watch the video for Suneet's take on his collection

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The New Age of Indian and Pakistani Fashion

Here is a mini video that I have put together. It is compilation of Indian and Pakistani fashion shows with my commentary and pictures of some of my favorite designers and their creations.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Iman Ali on the Ramp

Probably known today as the Pakistani Claudia Schieffer, Iman Ali has emerged as Pakistan's top model. She carries herself with poise and elegance. In this video she struts her stuff for a fashion show in Karachi.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where to Shop...Bargello

BARGELLO is an online shopping store where you can buy virtually any Pakistani or Indian designer outfit made to your measurements and taste.

Last summer I saw this sari by Atelier Karma and had to have it but I didn't know where to buy it from since I live in Montreal and the showrooms are thousands of miles away in Pakistan. When I tried to order it through Karma's site, there were so may delays in responding.

Then I discovered Bargello.
They were fast in responding, their prices were reasonable and they could modify anything you wanted. The way Bargello works is that it is a distribution company that takes the orders that you make and replicates them according to the designers styles. Most of the designers do not have the time to take online orders but Bargello specializes in oversea orders.

However, I have recently noticed that a lot of designer sites are improving their online order applications, making it easier to buy outfits online.

Some of the styles they have made themselves but most of them are replications of Pakistani and Indian designers. I had my sari made exactly like the original image I saw and delivered to my doorstep.

The actual sari is a halter blouse that is fully worked. The work is a combination of encrusted pearls, crystals and bead work that essentially makes up the floral design on the blouse.

The sari is a sarong style sari meaning that it does not have the traditional eight pleats rather it follows a Grecian look where material is gathered at the waist and falls reassembling a cascade.

The sarong is made of pure silk and has scattered pearls and crystals throughout the entire fabric.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sultry Saris

I love saris. They are sexy, they are elegant, they are flattering, they are versatile, they are exotic...

Silk saris are the best. Many times I don't feel like showing off my mi drift to the entire population and silk saris hide that while still giving a sexy and elegant look. Of course Iman Ali can wear any sari without that worry but for those who are uncomfortable but still want to wear saris these types of saris work best.

This blue and purple Tye-n-dye sari is stunning. The blouse has detailed floral embroidery and is intricately cut. This sari is part of Durnave's Khayaal featured in Visage Magazine issue 51.

When I first bought outfits by Bareeze they were mainly cotton embroidered shalwar chemises. Now Bareeze has opened their market to saris and a variety of different fabrics.

Initially Bareeze market was mainly in Lahore but now it can be found all over Pakistan and even in Dubai and lahore and is doing extremely well. Combining simplicity and light fabrics and creating saris that embrace the feminine body.

This "pretty in pink" chiffon sari is perfect for a summer soiree. The work on the blouse are tiny tone on tone beads and ribbons. Very pretty.
This sari by Bareeze is hot and steamy with its embroidered blouse and crystal embellishments. I love a flashy colors in south Asian fashion.
Another classic sari design by Bareeze. Bareeze saris are so simple yet the fabric and cuts make them wearable at any formal occasion.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Designing for Royalty

Pakistani designer Farah Leghari has made a huge name in the U.K designing outfits for Prince Charles and Camilla and British celebrities like Elizabeth Hurley. Her styles are a backdrop of east meets west.

Instep magazine has a great article on this talented up and coming Pakistani designer.

Here is a great fashion show of Farah Leghari's debut collection where Elizabeth Hurley is the chief guest. 

Pakistani Fashion's Modern Movement

Five Pakistani designers showcased a sleek and modern style at a fashion show inspired by Giorgio Armani last month in Lahore, Pakistan. The fashion show was at the launch of the glamorous Giorgio Armani Samsung mobile phone. The designers included HSY, Saadia Mirza, Maheen Karim, Khaadi Khaas and Ammar Belal.

Here were some of my favorites...

Model Fia walks the ramp in a sexy HSY sheer frill peek-a-boo collared tunic and black embossed patterned low waist pants. 

Nadia models a Maria B. cream colored dress with sequenced bead work and ribbon patterns along the waist and hips.

Mehreen glides across the catwalk like an eastern goddess in this Saadia Mirza silver bouffant gown with hand crafted flowers along the bust line, ruched bodice and crinoline bottom.

Fia wears a heavily worked cream and gold tube top and sheer bolero with fringe work by Saadia Mirza.

This halter dress by Saadia Mirza incorporates tribal with elegance. The neckline is embroidered with gold thread and beads.

This sleek and sophisticated pinafore dress by Maheen Karim has princess seams that create a form fitting outfit that is royal and regal in a contemporary way.

I love flapper dresses but to think that a Pakistani designer could perfect a french style so eloquently as this is surprising. But Khaadi Khass does with this retro red flapper dress. 

This gold skirt suit by Khaadi Khaas with a high waisted knee length skirt, sleeveless xylophone chemise accompanied by a giant fringe clutch purse is also very retro.

Model Neha struts down the ramp for HSY in this back bustier and white satin high-waisted pencil skirt with horizontal seams. Again HSY combines sex appeal with sophistication and of course a pearly choker adds the finishing touch.

This jewel neck black cocktail dress by Khaadi Khaas is exquisite. The dress' wave-like black bead and ribbon work add an eastern feel to this modern little black dress.

Ammar Belal does the menswear for the show and goes away from his usual over the top designs. With Armani as his inspiration, this double breasted mandarin collared blazer is very Giorgio.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Indian Prince

The White Shalwar Chemise

Pakistan Goes GQ

My personal pick for the top designers for menswear are Amir Adnan and Hassan Shehryar Yasin (HSY Studio).

Here HSY showcases an everyday look for men that is trendy and classic at the same time. This model walks the ramp wearing tailored white pants and safari style jacket. Beige and white is a great color combination and great shades for spring and summer. HSY's Spring collection reveals that classy and sleek dominate.

This satin blend tailored suit with a loose linen shirt is my favorite. The long fitted blazer is great for men that are tall. It elongates the torso and adds a masculine edge to any suit.

Amir Adnan is the master guru for menswear when it comes to traditional pakistani outfits. Now with his new line, Diffusion, Amir Adnan has opened his market to a more mainstream audience. This gray chinese collared blazer is very "GQ."

What gives this blazer a uniqueness versus others is the white splash work on the front and zig-zag design on the arms. Normally, I would find this design tacky but Amir Adnan makes it work mainly due to the subtlety of the work and his choice of colors and fabrics.