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Aug 29, 2014 / 1 note

British Asian Fashion News - July 2014

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British Asian Fashion News (#BAF News) for this July includes the Eid fashion, review of July’s Asian fashion events and more about how two social media influencers created astonishing buzz with a DKNY fashion campaign. 

London School of Styling Event

I attended London School of Styling with Ex-Elle Fashion Editor Bonnie Rakhit and British Fashion Stylist Carly Brook who has worked on projects for Karl Lagerfeld, Britain’s Next Top Model, Italian and French Vogue.

The workshop was a fantastic insight into the fashion industry and what is actually takes to be successful in a highly competitive industry. I wanted to gain knowledge in the industry to help people in fashion and meet the hosts who were very helpful and told us their career journey and secrets.

It was perfect for students and individuals who want to change their route and look into going into fashion. Especially hearing it from the experts within the British fashion industry.

To book a space on the next workshop or more information can be found on the London School of Styling website. 

Eid Shopping Events

We were all out in full swing with our late Eid shopping; I visited Southall during Chaand Raat and it was heaving with serious shoppers with no room to move, let alone breath. Although it was great to see the Eid buzz and get my last minutes accessories, jewellery and mendi. Big Eid l will have to pop to Green Street so see the fashion on offer. 

Birmingham city centre held a late night shopping event where House of Fraser will be teaming up with Asian Bride Magazine to hold in store beauty demonstrations throughout the evening by make-up artist Ruhena Begum. Selfridges launched a special Shisha lounge in store. Where as, Boots hosted to a photo shoot with Asian Bride magazine. Where individuals could get their picture on the cover of the magazine to tag on social media. And Harvey Nichols’ had complimentary Henna artist and Asian DJ to get shoppers in the mood for Eid.

Imani Studio were in town; they came over all the way from Manchester to offer their Eid collections to us even before they hit their website. I popped by to Hilton Hotel on Edgware Road where they were exclusively showing us their collection. Read the blog here >

Raishma Couture opened up a pop-up shop in Shoredtich for one week only. All her collection was out another exclusive where l not only took a look at the Eid Collection but Spring/Summer casual and party wear. Read the blog here >

DKNY Ramadan collection

All the modest fashion fanatics and bloggers around the world were buzzing on social media about the DKNY Ramadan collection officially known as DKNY’s Capsulate Collection. The global American brand launched a collection in the Middle East specifically for Muslim women who want to look fashionable yet be modest. Perfect timing considering the growing market for Islamic wear. What made it extra special was we rarely see Islamic fashion on what became a global platform when it was only Middle Eastern focused. This was mainly due to the collection being styled by the two Middle Eastern and social media influencers. The images and collection excitement grew like wild fire and soon DKNY reaped the rewards - reports showed a 33% increase to sales in the Middle East. Read the blog here >

Aug 26, 2014 / 1 note

The Best of Day 4 at Lakme Fashion Week

The day 4 line-up of Lakme Fashion Week was full of show stopping luxury Indian lenghas and gowns. And seen as Sara K blog is all about everyday Asian fashion l’ve include some dazzling evening wear you could wear to a special occasions or dinner parties. 

Nupur Kanoi & Payal Singhal

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Nupur Kanoi & Payal used nude, peach and copper shades in their ready-to-wear (Pret) collection which is unusual but that’s what we love to see - fashion designers offering something different and new to the Asian fashion scene. I particularly loved the plated detailing throughout the garments - it’s subtle yet it spices the look and transforms the piece from everyday wear to evening wear (above, image 1 and 3.)

The designs were perfect for modest Islamic fashion lovers and individuals who love simple free flowing garments yet love fashion. The designers used simple fabrics to create modern everyday fashion. 

The secret is to use quality, fabrics such as silk and chiffon in nude or cooper and use bronze pipping to add a unique detailing to the garment. 

One of the designers (below, image 1) focused on fabric fashion movement and emphasis on use of fabric, colour contract and how the fabric moves. It just goes to show if done well, even the simple casual garments can make an impact and look great. 

DRVV & HUEMN & JADE  

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DRVV & HUEMN & JADE adopted a more innovative approach to their traditional inspired collection. The gown detailing was dazzling, l loved the way they produced a contemporary Asian fashion garment by bringing together the Indian lengha and western gown. In addition, it seemed as if the models were wearing palazzo trousers under the lengha which gave the gowns extra volume.

The damask pattern style embroidery in gold and silver must of took weeks! I just love these classic pieces. No shadow of a doubt you will look  and feel like a goddess in the gowns. Perfect to wear at your wedding!

The secret to buy buying the perfect Bridal outfit is - investing in a gold or silver detailed garment but don’t be afraid to wear non-traditional colours. Also why not try the heavily embroidered dress jacket (above, image 5).

Himalayan presents Shantanu & Nikhil

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The next of my favourite designers on day 4 was Shantanu & Nikhil - l loved the lavish gowns and frocks. It looks as if this is the new Indian high fashion looks and style we need to be investing money in. It’s similar middle-eastern and luxury fashion techniques used hundreds of years ago by Indian royalty. 

The designers use of traditional Indian fabrics combined with a more heavy detailed accessories such as neck pieces, bracelets and hair jewellery gave it that luxury fashion. Many of the frocks were similar to traditional western frocks but they still had a Indian look ora to them.

The secret is to buy or create big frocks - to give your frocks that extra umph you can add a organza skirt which will make the frock look bigger. 

The Grand Finale of Lakme Fashion Week (day 5) blog is one not to be missed tomorrow.

Aug 23, 2014

The Best of Day 3 - Lakme Fashion Week 

It was another day of fabulous fashion at this week’s Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014. I selected my favourite designers;

Aarti Vijay Gupta

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I love Aarti Vijay Gupta sexy office wear tailoring with art deco style illustrations on the blouses and jackets. And once again you can’t get away from the on trend creams and whites. 

The secret to this look is illustration on garments, specifically contrasting dark colours on whites and creams.

ILK by Shikha & Vinita 

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Another sportswear meets Asian casual combination on day 3 of Lakme Fashion Week. On this occasion the designers, ILK by Shikha & Vinita focused on using denim as their main fabric in through out their collection but instead of creating jeans they used it to create long kameez, jackets and midi dress tops.

The secret isn’t not rocket science with this one - rather rather wearing jeans use denim in other fashion garments :)

Munkee see Munkee doo 

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I loved the sophisticated looks by Munkee see Munkee doo and yes that is the name of the designer collection. I had to do a double take too :D The designer combines 3 colours with grey patterns is quite exquisite. It’s very difficult to pull off as you either do it well or if done wrong it can look dreadful rather than sleek. Munkee see Munkee doo did a fantastic job and l think we will have to give it ago - good luck to me :D

The secret with this collection is combining sleek tailored pieces in blacks, greys and reds. Add a jacket, blouse and a waist accessory.

SELVAGE by Chandani Mohan 

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As most of you know l love my jackets and outwear yet l love simplicity to ooze elegance. Well, I had to include SELVAGE by Chandani Mohan as my favourites of day 3 at Lakme. The jackets were simple yet beautifully tailored with a touch of class with the gold and silver zips.

The secret is to invest in a quality jacket which suits your body shape and won’t go out of fashion in 2/3 years. I would recommend purchasing a colour like black, which you will wear all year round and l’m sure like me you have a lot of clothes that will compliment the black :)

Aug 22, 2014

Day 2 Round-up of Lakme Fashion Week

l shared a round up of day one at Lakme Fashion Week yesterday with lots of fashion secrets and upcoming Asian fashion trends this Autumn which you all loved. Well, as promised here’s your second daily dosage of fabulous Asian fashion and trends even before they are in the magazines. You can’t say l don’t spoil you ;) enjoy fashionistas! 

Divya Seth

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Divya Seth bring together the long flowing frocks and seamlessly incorporates embroidered jackets. The peak of Autumn elegance wouldn’t you say? 

The secret of the Divya Seth look is starting with an Autumn toned jacket with detailing on the front. To spice it up like Divya just create a frock you can wear underneath or buy a printed viscose/linen piece with collars - Zara’s perfect for it and add a scarf or jacket that compliments the piece nicely. 

Pinnacle Shruti Sancheti

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Pinnacle Shruti Sancheti uses bright colours with a rich fabric which seems to looking as if it’s floating and gives it that umph you normally which you had in a party outfit. The quality of the fabric and colour fusion in Pinnacle Shruti Sancheti’s garments carry the bright Indian look and feel beautifully. 

The cherry on top is the wonderfully Indian patterned tailored jacket tops.

The statement pieces and secret of this outfit is the unique Indian fabric to create the jacket tops. With minimal detailing brown waist belts and two layered dangly necklaces to become the bell of the ball.

Rouka Shreejith Jeevan 

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Rouka Shreejith Jeevan magically transforms fabrics into Autumn/Winter fashion wants! Yes, in other words l want it! The designer has produced garments perfect for individuals who are not a fan of bright and garish colours. 

The floral patterns and autumn leaf art work strokes combined with innovative design gives it that high fashion luxury touch.

The secret is to be innovative with Autumn colour floral or leaf fabrics and try a fusion of creams, beiges, black and browns!

Sayantan Sarkar

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Sayantan Sarkar created more of a modern spin with traditional Indian colours however, fashion techniques used were different to as we have seen with other Lakme designers. For instance, Sayantan Sarkar had a consistent logo print through out the collection.

I admire the uniqueness of the garments; we wouldn’t necessarily find on the high street but not afraid to work with a more traditional palette and move it to the 21st century designs.

The secret here is not to forget your roots and even recycle your old fabrics or clothes from South Asia and transform into something you would wear today in Britain. 

Soumitra Mondal

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Soumitra Mondal graced the runway with a chic yet gorgeous cream, pale pink, peach and beige garments. The Indian designer used classic Asian styles as a silhouette added fine floral detailing and embroidery

The secret is creating timeless fashion garments in creams and peach. The detailing needs to be focused on one area of the garment e.g. trousers, sleeves, top half of kameez or neck area. Buy garments with mini panels and pleats to create the Soumitra Mondal runway look.

Sara K blog fashion takeaways
- Play with fabrics
- be subtle yet create a personal sense of style
- Use Autumn colours to create frocks and long kameez dress or jackets

Look, feel good and enjoy yourself!

Aug 21, 2014

Lakme Fashion Week AW14 - Day 1 Round-up

For all the latest fashion trends and most importantly the juicy South Asian designer secrets this Autumn/Winter - l’ve blogged about my top 10 collections featured in day 1 of Lakme Fashion Week. 

Arunima Majhi

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Arunima Majhi rocks the runway with one of my favourite fashions symmetrical patterns.  The Lakme fashion designer combines symmetrical patterns with plain skirts or trousers. And to look extra unique you can add a complimentary coloured blazer or waist coat. 

The secret is to take a good look at the patterned piece, pick a colour from it and use as the base of the outfit. In Arunima Majhi’s case it’s my on trend favourite’s this season navy and cream.

Karishma Shahani

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Karishma Shahani focused on layering with her casual Asian fashion collection. The designer used a fusion of tie and dye colours which are seen on scarf and skirt above. Then pair with a matching jacket to give it the trendy Karishma Shahani look.

The fashion secret is not to be afraid of being different - grab a saree and a matching blouse and play around with your clothing. 

Ujjawal Dubey

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Most people prefer to be comfortable than look fashionable second. If you agree like my sister, you’ll like Ujjawal Dubey women and menswear. The collection featured outfits you could wear everyday yet practical and very fashionable. The designer (above, far right) highlights you can still look stylish and comfortable this Autumn.

The menswear was simple, modern yet it emphasised a new style we have not seen before on the high street - very masculine and manly!

The secret to Ujjawal Dubey’s looks are using comfortable cotton jersey fabrics and again layering. Also the cut of the clothing should compliment your body shape.   

Outhouse

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Outhouse floored the runway with Egyptian goddess style. The dresses were one tone, architectural beauties with flawlessly tailoring of the garments gave that WOW effect.

The accessorising with stunning costume jewellery was the cherry on top. Whether its a kaftan cape (above, far left) or a long dress or sheer panelled, organza overcoat Outhouse takes the modern age Asian fashion accessorising to new heights.

The secret is accessorising - be different, be innovative but be futuristic! The high street or Asian fashion jewellery will not do. For the Egyptian look you need middle eastern jewellery. For the innovative look make your own Egyptian inspired costume jewellery by buying unusual statement jewellery pieces and experimenting by layering different lengths. Keep an eye out on the high street (River Island), vintage shops and online boutiques.

If you love the Outhouse collection - you will love the Christian Dior's 2004 egyptian themed Haute Couture collection and recreating Chanel's Indian Empire blog post. 

Saniya Maskatiya

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I saw the Sania Maskatiya at Faisana Fashion Weekend in Mayfair a few months ago and l fell in love with the designers collection. You can imagine my excitement when l heard the designer would be at Lakme Fashion Week. 

One of the many reasons l love the Pakistani designer, Sania Maskatiya is because she combines beautiful printed silk fabrics which she creates dresses and jackets which look like canvas artwork. In addition, l love Sania Maskatiya for creating elegant yet practical fashion pieces you can wear casually, out with friends or with jewellery during Eid.

It’s hard to advise you the magical secret of the Sania Makatiya’s collections as the Pakistani designer produces garments with her personal sense of style and that Sania Maskatiya ora. For example, when l see her collection online, l can just tell it’s Sania’s collection - not because I’ve seen it before but she has a unique fashion theme which is presented through-out her fashion collections. 

If l had to give anything away, pick floral or autumn print silk dresses (leaves or bird printing.) In addition, l would say her secret is, creating your personal sense of style yet being modest. 

Urvashi Juneja

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Urvashi Juneja featured monochrome fashion and once again a designer adds plain fabric with the monochrome fabric. The plain fabric draws away and focuses on the print. To create an elegant and fashion week look - remember not to go over the top! 

The secret is to tailor a panelled dress with a mix of monochrome and plain fabric. And to give it that Urvashi Juneja touch add a silver waist belt. 

Anju Modi 

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Lakme Fashion Week is incomplete without our Indian party and bridal wear. Anju Modi dazzled us with cream, navy with gold detailing lengas, suit jackets and sarees.

The secret is to choose modern, classic Asian suits with no more than 2 to 3 tone colour in the suits.

As Anji Modi shows us don’t over do it with accessories on this occasion as the outfit should do all the talking ;)

Nitin Chawla

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It’s great to see another side to mens and women’s Asian fashion. We are used to seeing bridal and embroidered gowns but designers Nitin Chawla are bringing office/smart casual fashion to the forefront. 

My Dad wears similar fabrics Nitin Chawla uses in this collection - professionals in South Asia are known for wearing the safari suits fabric. However, it’s one of the first times l have seen it done well on the runway. I particularly like the new age smart/casual outfits and the cut of the clothing and simple detailing looks amazing. 

The designer popped out and it filled me with delight a man that knows how to dress and that’s always good to see (above, far right.) I’m not too sure about the bright trainers but hey atleast he’s being real - let’s face it bright trainers is how many young lads dress these days. I’d like to see him in classic black brogue boots ;) On the other hand, I’m far from a menswear expert and from what he’s produced he knows his fashion! I need myself a Nitin Chawla tailored jacket!

The secret; you could try tailored coats and jackets with tartan/check shirts and tan belt. 

Zara Shahjahan

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Zara Shahjahan used pastel colours and traditional Asian fabrics which we normally find in the back of our wardrobe from years ago. The designer transformed traditional Asian fashion with modern floral prints, light embroidery to produce a chic, afternoon tea look with the fashion garments. 

The secret is to get your old garments out and pick a statement piece to create a trendy blouse, jacket, skirt or trousers. Then for the other piece, tailor a simple top or trousers to compliment the embroidered piece. Ensure the plain fabric piece you buy matches and they cut suits your body shape.

Rajesh Pratap Singh

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And finally, last but not least Rajesh Pratap Singh showed off two of his collection - one was a pastel casual wear and other was a more sophisticated ensemble. The garments featured long black coats and midi dresses with shiny floral embossing. 

The secret is to use black as your base colour and it will be hard to find floral embossed fabric to alternatively you could add leather over tops and dress panel. You can find artificial leather fabric from most good fabric retailers and online :) 

Day 1 of Lakme Fashion Week was eventful as it has a wide array of fashion styles for all the different moods. Plus each designer had their own unique designer theme and technique we could all try in Autumn.  

More from Lakme Fashion Week to follow tomorrow…