Tag Archives: how to wear a sari

Desi Dressing Guide for Curvy Gals

 

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Let’s face it: Indian clothing can be universally flattering when worn appropriately but that slinky cocktail sari or dangerously short choli isn’t for everyone. And while desi clothes are largely forgiving of those unwanted contours, there is still something to be said about body type. If picked smartly and wisely (read: with Luxemi’s help!), curvy gals can easily use traditional garb to their advantage. Not sure how? Read on.

Fit is everything

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Which means it shouldn’t be too loose or too fitted. The former will add unwanted bulk to your frame and the latter will end up putting your problem areas on display. A few strategic nips at the waist and shoulders by a trusted tailor will make all the difference and this goes for whatever size you are!

Pick the right silhouettes

Indian dressing for full bodied women

Know the cuts that flatter your body and stick to the them. Choose flared lehengas instead of fish cuts or A-lined ones. Short blouses make you self-conscious? Guess what, you can get away without baring your midriff. Simply opt for a long corset or jacket style blouse with short sleeves. If you do want to flaunt your midriff, turn to 3/4th sleeves to maintain a sense of balance. There are several new drapes and cuts in blouses that are immensely popular these days. Try them out. A full-length anarkali with a fitted bodice, an empire line kurta or a short flared tunic with straight pants also works well.

Know the fabrics that work

Indian dressing for full bodied women

Stiff fabrics such as organza or heavily embellished velvet will do you no favours. Free flowing ones, on the other hand, will. So we advise sticking to crepe, chiffon, net, and soft silk.

Colors and prints

Indian dressing for full bodied women

Colors and prints play an important role as well. Dark colors, as it is widely known, create a slimming effect so befriend them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play around with lighter hues. As long as you stick to one color from head-to-toe, you’re good to go. Avoid heavy embroidery, particularly on the bodice, as it leads to a bulky look. Turn to delicate thread or beadwork instead. If you like prints, make sure to choose those with flattering placements.

Create focus points

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Diverting attention from your problem areas and highlighting your assets is the oldest trick in the book. Use statement accessories to grab the limelight and make them the focus of your look. Hathphools, maang tikkas, head harnesses and layered necklaces are all on-point. But always maintain a sense of proportion. For instance, opt for an oversized clutch instead of a minaudière or a long necklace instead of a choker.

Did our tips help you? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Luxemi Talks To Designer Ragini Ahuja of Ikai


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There is no stopping Ragini Ahuja. The Delhi-based designer who debuted her label Ikai at the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 Gen-Next show has gone from being a newbie to fashion frat darling in no time at all. The testimonies to this are many, but consider this: she was the first runner up at the recently concluded Vogue Fashion Fund 2014, a prestigious win for the young designer indeed.

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Not your basic designer, Ahuja’s creations feature a touch of edge, an inherent uniqueness that sets them apart. Think unexpected mixing of textures, leather detailing, hand woven fabrics and prints that strike a balance between look-at-me and subtle. Her latest collection ‘Metal’ focuses on sheep nappa and brass strips ingeniously appliquéd in flora and fauna shapes while using feminine fabrics, sheer chanderi and cotton marbled in corrosive colours with a hint of oxblood and gold.

Luxemi: Tell us about your foray into fashion designing. Is this something you always wanted to do? 

Ragini Ahuja: I was more inclined towards illustrating and graphic art than fashion initially. But I ended up pursing my Bachelors in Fashion Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, which is how I got here. Though I do make boxy silhouettes that work as a canvas for my edgy illustrations and animated graphic details.

Who is the quintessential Ikai woman? Tell us more about the label.

The Ikai woman is real, curvaceous, fearless and confident. The label aims at creating highly wearable clothing by reinterpreting the traditional Indian aesthetic in a non-traditional way. So think boxy anti-fits are adorned with edgy artwork and animated details. The label has carved a niche with its unconventional use of leather and use of age-old techniques in the offbeat ways.

Shibori Leather Applique' yoke shirt SS14

Your creations always feature an offbeat element, with a lot of texture play. Is this a conscious move? What are some of the label’s signature styles?

Our design process starts with artworks, textures and mixing new with the old, traditional with the modern. The surfaces are then translated onto fabrics. The shibori box maxi (seen on actress Esha Gupta) with beautiful shibori stripes, appliqué leather belt details and leather roll up detailing at the hem is one of our hot sellers. It is big boxy, easy-to-wear and cinched beautifully at the waist.

Shibori Box MaxiOur big, boxy anti-fit shirts are also a signature style.

Antler Reverse Applique' Box Shirt FW14

What are the coolest/chicest ways to wear a sari according to you?

I love to pair traditionally hand-woven chanderi saris with leather bustiers, crop shirts and belted appliqué jackets.

What are the key traditional wear trends this year? What should be avoided at all costs?

Neon and anything that doesn’t flatter your body type should be completely avoided. As for Indians, wear classic saris, anarkalis and lehengas, as they never go out of style. For those who don’t mind experimenting, give our edgy leather floral applique and chanderi double layer reverse appliqué tunics and kurtas a go.

Who are some of your favourite designers and why?

I love Alexander Wang and Abraham & Thakore.

A style advice that never fails?

Find what looks good on you and stop following trends blindly!

Which are your favorite pieces from Luxemi’s latest collection? 

The Rustic Gold Triangle Necklace with Black Ribbon and Gold Pinky Ring by Amrapali are my top picks!

Untitled-1 What’s your take on the designer’s work? Tell us in the comment box below! 

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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What to Wear for Diwali

Diwali Dressing Guide

This is indeed our favorite time of the year. There is an air of celebration all around and a glow of diyas and a crackle of sparklers really does cut a pretty picture. We feel it’s only fitting that you ring in the festivities like the bonafide desi fashionista that you are. So we present just the sartorial inspiration you need to turn heads this festive season. Are you ready for a diva-esque Diwali?

Festive Dinner Soiree

A Diwali dinner with friends means you can bring on your glam and experiment with something trendy. Save the traditional ensembles for family affairs or pujas. A jacket style anarkali instead of the same ’ol salwar is a good way to go. Give it an unexpected twist by pairing it with a boho chic head harness. Finish your look with winged eyes and dewy lips.

Diwali Dressing Guide

Luxemi Pick: Chiffon Jacket with Gold Embellishment by Kisneel and Gold Pendant and Pearl Headpiece

Poker Party

Play your best hand, sartorially too. If you plan on playing cards till the wee hours of the morning, you might as well wear something comfortable. Opt for a kurta that can be teamed with sharara pants or leggings. Tie your hair in a fishtail braid or messy bun so that it doesn’t interfere with you raking in the moolah!

Diwali Dressing Guide

Luxemi Pick: Hot Pink Silk Coat with Sequins and Sterling Silver Engraved Hanging Earrings

Diwali Puja

Why not bring out a lehenga for one our biggest festivals? Go all out traditional for the occasion and pick one in bright, festive hues. Play around with your dupatta drape to add a dash of fun to your repertoire. A polki set is bound to complement this look beautifully.

Diwali Dressing Guide

Luxemi Pick: Neon Lehenga with Gota Work by Laila Motwane and Gold Kundan Collar and Earrings

Family Get Together

A family get together demands you strike the perfect balance between customary and contemporary. If you ask us, a sari is your best bet. Add a dose of the unexpected by pairing it with an interesting blouse —a cape, a cropped sherwani and daring back cut-outs are the season’s trending choices. Head here for more sari styling tips.

Diwali Dressing Guide

Luxemi Pick: Red Screen Print with Gold Sequins by Satya Paul and Multicolor Enamel Peacock Bracelet

 So what will you be wearing this Diwali? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

 

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Luxemi Talks To Designer Ridhi Mehra

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Delhi-based designer Ridhi Mehra’s creations stand out in a sea of edgy and offbeat Indian wear owing to their demure chic vibe. The young designer, who has quickly catapulted into a name to reckon with makes sure that her ensembles are a happy marriage between European influences and Indian aesthetics…a throwback to an era gone by, if you will.

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Her elegant signature silhouettes have many fans especially Bollywood fashionistas (read everyone from Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Parineeti Chopra to Madhuri Dixit, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha) and India’s fashion blogger royalty.

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L to R: Ridhi Mehra with showstopper Lisa Haydon at Lakme Fashion Week WF ’14

Fresh from the success of her Lakme Fashion Week debut, the petite designer talks to us about her foray into designing, her signature styles, favorite Luxemi pieces and more!

Luxemi: Tell us about the launch of your label. Did you always want to be a fashion designer?

Ridhi Mehra: Designing is something that comes to naturally to me now but back in the day, I never really thought I’d pursue this career! Destiny has played a big role here. I started out as a business student and completed my education in management studies from The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. My mother and aunt were already established in the garments and retail industry in Delhi and I came back and joint their venture in the management department. That’s when I was drawn to designing. So I pursued a fashion design course at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in 2010 and launched my label in 2012.

Who is the quintessential Ridhi Mehra woman?

The Ridhi Mehra woman is one who believes in making a statement with simplicity. She is one who prefers her traditional wear to have a modern update, and that is my focus while designing too!

How would you describe your aesthetic and signature styles?

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Ridhi Mehra’s signature placements

My label is associated with strong European influences, intricate and meticulous handcrafted detailing and an emphasis on fine tailoring and cuts. Our draped dupattas as well as shoulder and waist patches are our atypical touches. My new collection continues to feature our side placements and retains the stitched dupattas but also boasts of newer placements. We are also experimenting with traditional and sharara jumpsuits, embroidered shorts, capes and dresses. In the end, it’s all about dark romance with a clear partiality for all things vintage.

What are Indian wear must-haves for this festive season?

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Short anarkali with salwar

An Indian embroidered jacket is a must as it can be paired with everything from anarkalis and shararas to lehengas and pants. A short anarkali with salwars is a trendy break from its voluminous counterpart but a classic full-length anarkali is a must! A stitched concept saree, though a tricky option, looks incredibly chic. Our embroidered crop tops are extremely versatile and easy to mix and match too.

Ridhi Mehra crop tops

Ridhi Mehra crop tops

Who are your favorite celebrity stylistas?

Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone are my all time favorites; they carry everything with élan!

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A style advice that never fails?

 Never overdress! Ever.

Which are your favorite pieces from Luxemi’s latest collection? 

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The Mango Salwar with Gota Embroidery by Nikasha, Gold Plated Silver Elephant Bangle by Amrapali, Navy Blue and Magenta Embroidered Flower Clutch by 5 Elements and the Orange Salwar with Asymmetrical Hem by Nikasha are my top picks from Luxemi.

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What do you think of Ridhi Mehra’s creations? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

 

 

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Luxemi Talks to Designer Shubhika Davda of Papa Don’t Preach

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Are you bold and adventurous with an insatiable zest for life? Is your wardrobe replete with edgy choices that make passerbys do a double take? If you fit this bill to a T, then we bet a gota-patti sari will never cut it for you in a traditional set-up. Which is where Papa Don’t Preach, a Mumbai-based label launched by Shubhika Davda in 2010, comes in. The Indian high street brand stands out in a clutter of me-too desi wear brands, owing to the rebellious spin they give their pieces—making them edgy yet effortlessly easy-to-wear. We talked to the brand’s Chief Fashion Officer and founder, Shubhika Davda in a candid tete-a-tete.

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Luxemi: Tell us more about your label. Who is the quintessential Papa Don’t Preach woman?

Shubhika Davda: After completing my fashion design studies from London College of Fashion, I came back to India in 2010 and launched Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika (PDP) as a high street brand catering to 16-35 year-old fashion enthusiasts. With strong influences from the London high street culture, I was always clear that PDP would mature into a brand that would design street wear clothing along with shoes, bags and accessories—in order to give patrons a complete look. Due to a strong demand from a fiercely loyal clientele, we forayed into bridal couture and Indian wear in 2012.

The quintessential Papa Don’t Preach woman is a free spirited risk taker. She is someone who displays a fiercely urban sense of style and is constantly experimenting and redefining her fashion boundaries. Think someone who is adventurous and relies on her own style sensibilities to stand out. She is not trend conscious, hence is always on the lookout for something unique. Which is why I do a lot of separates—to give them freedom to mix and match!

Your creations always feature a distinct touch of edge. What would you say are some of your signature styles?

Unabashed use of color as well as adventurous hand embroidery and patchwork detailing is our forte. I always try to use them in newer contexts though. For instance, our recent collection boasts of military-inspired tabs on saris and anarkalis. We retain the Indianness of the garment but make it younger. So no sari gowns coming out of our atelier! We play with silhouettes like skirts with draped dupattas and paneled crop tops—something only we are doing right now. Or then there’s the dhoti skirt-cum-sari along with a gathered pallu featuring latkans.

papa dont preach interview

L to R: Dhoti sari with waist belt, shoulder accessory and gloves. Signature paneled blouse and hip embroidered sari

We focus a lot on accessories like body harnesses, waist belts, metallic busts, embellished shoulder rests and clutches too.

papa dont preach interview

Fall ’14 accessories

What are the coolest/chicest ways to wear a sari according to you?

It’s all about creating something interesting with what you already have. A lot of women these days have several net saris in their wardrobe. Just give it an unexpected spin by pairing it with an interesting panelled or printed petticoat.

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You can also ditch the same old blouse and experiment with high street crop tops (try one with a logo or statement!) or a knotted or tucked-in shirt. But if you still wish to keep the look relatively traditional, then simply add a belt or funky body harness and play around with the drape.

What are the key traditional wear trends this season?

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Long blouses with back detailing

I think the sexiest part about us Indian women is our tiny waist. So make the most of it with traditional wear featuring nipped in waists. Longer blouses, but with strategic skin show are also very big this season. Think sheer blouses with delicate embroidery or a big cut outs on the back. With winter setting in, it’s a great time to play with jackets as well. Buy an essentially Indian jacket featuring mirror work perhaps, and style it in different ways—with a salwar, sari or even jeans.

papa dont preach interview

Style a jacket in many ways

A style advice that never fails?

I am all for comfort, but if you want to be really stylish, then it’s ok to compromise on that front. Sometimes, a little sartorial discomfort can take your entire look a few notches higher. It’s the way to go if you’re one who likes to be the centre of attention at all times!

Which are your favorite pieces from Luxemi’s latest collection?

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The Georgette Mirror Work Sari by Satya Paul as we at PDP are very big on mirror work and The Tonal Chikan Work Sari by Nikasha because it’s young and traditional at the same time.

What do you think of Papa Don’t Preach’s signature, edgy style? Tell us in the comment box!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

 

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