Tag Archives: silk saree

Luxemi Interviews Payal Singhal for Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013

Headshot of Payal Singhal

Payal Singhal is making waves in Indian fashion circles

It’s a hard world for Indian fashion out there: you’re walking a tightrope between traditionally intricate motifs and embroidery with minimalistic Western lines and cuts. But Payal Singhal seems to have gotten the balance just perfectly, with industry insiders at Lakme Fashion Week excited about her take on modern Indian fashion.

A sample from Payal Singhal's recent Taj collection.

A dupatta from Payal Singhal's Taj collection showcases her focus on jaali work.

More jaali featured in Payal Singhal's collection.

This isn’t your standard saree shop collection, Luxe fans. We’re talking edgy takes on traditional salwars & anarkalis with tons of lehengas thrown in, all with a healthy dose of traditional “jaali” and filigree work (floral designs dating back to the Mughal empire) for bold global statements.

A yellow creation for Payal Singhal's most recent collection.

We’re totally digging the long-sleeve saree blouse (we wrote a how-to-wear guide here before) and Payal’s effortless way to make a saree everyday accessible with a tunic and statement jewelry, as seen below.

Citrus and silver is a disarmingly fresh color combination. A new age way to pull off a blouse, look ethnic, and be fashion forward all at once. Boom.

So what’s Payal’s thought process in making these effortlessly glam getups? Here’s what the designer had to say about the influences behind her most recent collection, tips for accessorizing outfits, and her uniform for hanging out in the city.

Bollywood star Aditi Rao Hydari walks the ramp for Payal Singhal's Taj collection.

Luxemi: Tell us about your inspiration for this year’s LFW collection and why you felt it was important to integrate swadeshi (locally made) textiles?
Payal: The inspiration started from a book I was referencing for work. It was a book on Islamic architecture where all the textures and patterns were inspired from monuments; the Taj Mahal is the epitome of that. We always use a lot of Indian textiles in our collections because the brand motto is to make Indian clothes with Indian textile, but in a global context.

Give the skirt/top combo an Indian twist with this Anarkali-inspired take.

Luxemi: Describe the Payal Singhal girl – Who is she? Where does she live? What’s her style?
Payal: The Payal Singhal girl can live anywhere, but she’s confident and not afraid to experiment with her style.

Luxemi: What do you think the trends will be for spring/summer wedding fashion this year?
Payal: I think minimalistic, earthy glamour is what will be in fashion this year for the summer brides: cool colors like sand, cream and grey with pops of warm colors like red and yellow and gold tones. It will be more about style than embroidery.

Payal Singhal's fresh take on umbrella pants is street chic and edgy with a nod to Indian sentiments.

Luxemi: You split your time in New York and Mumbai. What’s your go-to outfit for a night out on the town in New York? Do you change it up when you’re in Mumbai?
Payal: In New York, it’s easy. I usually put on leggings and  Frye boots and any wrinkle-free tunic from DVF (something that doesn’t need to be ironed!). I don’t do much different in Mumbai, except switch out the boots for some peep-toe pumps.

Luxemi: Your name is Payal, which refers to the Sanskrit word for “anklet.” What are your rules for accessorizing Indian outfits?
Payal: I always have one focal accessory and don’t over accessorize, so either a statement earring or necklace or ring – but never all 3 together.

Payal Singhal and Aditi Rao Hydari close out the Taj show at Lakme Fashion Week.

Looking to inject a little Payal playfulness in your weary wardrobe? Try pairing an ornate blouse with high-waisted pants. Or drape your salwar in pretty patterns that are elegant yet chic. Neutrals in black, gold and white are anything but boring when your inspiration is the Taj Mahal!

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Indian Fashion 101 – Banarasi Work Is Heavy on Luxury

Every girl should own a classic saree that can be dressed up for an evening out. But on that special night when you’re attending a Black Tie event, getting married, or walking the Red Carpet, it’s fun — and only fitting! — to wear something really spectacular. Luxe fans, meet the Banarasi work saree.

luxury special occasion sarees saris and lehengas

Meticulously hand-crafted by artisans in Varanasi (a city also called Benares), the Banarasi saree is the ultimate sign of luxury. The historic city became known for its fine silk sarees and opulent weaving in the Mughal period, when emperors with a penchant for rich textiles poured their money into the local weaving industry. Because of this, Varanasi artisans often incorporate intricate Persian and Mughal-inspired brocade designs into their garments.

Benares became known for its gorgeous silk work in the 1600s, when a famine in neighboring Gujarat caused many silk weavers to migrate to the city. Centuries later, Varanasi artists are still hand-crafting opulent sarees with floral motifs and stunning silk textiles.

How will you know a Banarasi saree when you see one? The first thing to look for is its signature floral patterns called kalga and bel, which are intricately hand-crafted using metallic zari thread. Banarasi artisans also typically line the border of their garments with gold or silver upright leaf shapes known as jhallar. This all-over threadwork makes Banarasi silk sarees heavy, another sign of luxury and high-quality work.

Although these zari motifs and borders may look like brocade, what sets Banarasi sarees apart is the extreme care that goes into each stitch. Artisans spend anywhere from 15 days to 6 months on a single saree, hand-crafting each motif with fine details that sets this technique apart from typical brocade.

designer luxury indian clothing fashion

Whether you’re getting married or attending a special ceremony, your Banarasi saree or salwar will let your grace and sophistication shine, while keeping the Banarasi artisan tradition alive. Luxemi loves the traditional Mughal floral motifs and rich silk work on this Black and Gold Benares Print Lehenga by Mallika Mathur.

luxury indian sarees saris

And we’re so excited to have this gorgeous gold Banarasi saree in our new collection. It features disk-shaped floral motifs and a chic double border that makes this saree perfect for any formal occasion.

Be sure to check back with the Luxe Report weekly for more Indian fashion 101, trend reports and East-meets-West fashion inspiration. And stay tuned for our new collection of sarees, salwars, Amrapali jewelry and accessories, all coming soon!

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