Gingham glamazon

The classic English staple makes its presence felt on the Spring Summer 2017 runway


Carolina Herrera


Molly Goddard


Peter Pilotto

Gingham checks are a closet staple and never season-dependent. In an interface with’s Sarah Mower, designer Christopher Kane whose label who celebrate 10 years in business this month, shared, “My mum’s uniform at school was brilliant; it was gingham. Gingham can be put into completely different contexts, poor and rich. Our aunties were all strong, independent, funny people, and just really normal.” After Carolina Herrera presented two monochrome gingham off-shoulder dresses at New York Fashion Week, gingham was also aplenty at London Fashion Week too starting with House of Holland who used it on tiered, ruffled dresses, Molly Goddard who presented it in a sheer format and Peter Pilotto who peppered it with crocodile motifs.

Gown-gawking at Emmys 2016

The low-down on some of the most arresting gowns on the red carpet…
Emmys 2016 red carpet was a riot of colours – bright red, pale gold, forest green, highlighter yellow and muted ivory – some accented with dramatic ruffles, others with cut-out details. Most actresses played safe and opted for feminine silhouettes and decidedly pretty aesthetic. Ruffles, head-to-toe fully sequinned looks and applique embroidery were the three major recurring trends which emerged.
Ravishing in red

Priyanka Chopra rocked a draped red one-shoulder Jason Wu custom gown (“He designed it, and that was it!” she said) with cutouts at the shoulder and waist, plus a matching lip and dazzling Neil Lane earrings.

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra in Jason Wu

Glowing in gold
Emilia Clarke wears a corseted pale gold Atelier Versace chainmail gown with a draped bodice and delicate jewels.

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Emilia Clarke in Atelier Versace

Shimmer & shine
Claire Danes rocked a criss-cross shimmery golden Schiaparelli gown with Forevermark jewelry and bronzed skin.

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Claire Danes in Schiaparelli

Yellow fever
Taraji P Henson opted for a fitted highlighter-yellow custom Vera Wang Collection gown with Lorraine Schwartz jewels, an Edie Parker clutch and Jimmy Choo heels.

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Taraji P. Henson in Vera Wang

Playing Alice
Maisie Williams wore a high-neck dress with floral and bunny embroidery, plus butterfly-adorned shoes, a triangular clutch and her new BFF tattoo.

Actress Maisie WIlliams arrives at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California

Actress Maisie Williams 

Regal charm
Better known as Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, Michelle Dockery picked an Oscar de la Renta gown with tiered textured white ruffles trimmed in black piping, plus a black crystal belt, simple Stuart Weitzman heels and Harry Winston jewellery.


Actress Michelle Dockery 

Shine on!
Padma Lakshmi slayed in her long sleeve silver sequin Naeem Khan gown, topped with a bright pink lip.

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Padma Lakshmi in Naeem Khan

New York Fashion Week highlights

The low-down on Spring Summer 2017 style spectrum

The rough-and-tumble of the US elections has clearly impacted the ongoing New York Fashion Week in two ways — designers like Prabal Gurung made a political statement with their offerings (he’s one of the many designers, who created a t-shirt for Hillary Clinton’s campaign) and names like Altuzarra sort of mitigated the elections brouhaha with sweet, candied offerings.

While on one hand, there were a lot of masculine elements like striped shirts, gingham blazers and cargo jackets, on the other hand, one saw metallics, floral applique embroideries and asymmetrical ruffles. The ruffled bra seems to be the ‘it’ piece of the season and so are the prairie-like dresses seen across the board.

Diane von Furstenberg
Inspiration: DvF’s iconic 1974 wrap dress

Highlights: All eyes were set on the new chief creative officer Jonathan Saunders, who’s taken over the label and moved to New York from London. A pro at colours and digital prints, this collection was fresh, upbeat and playful. Asymmetry was at the core of this line, seen on bias-cut dresses, shirts cut with flirty sleeves on one side and a contrasting strap on the other. The line had everything for everyone: trench coats in cotton and leather accented with detachable faux fur collar ans clingy knits.

Alexander Wang
Inspiration: Athleticism

Highlight: Wang is a pro at combining masculine and feminine elements and presenting them with a sporty flourish. This time he took mannish stripes and played with them with knotted crop tops, strappy bralets, drawstring shorts and minis. The sporty pieces were layered and softened with lace accents and cover-ups. A pink sweatshirt with palm prints was paired with lace shorts and a slip crop top was paired with a grey check leggings with zippers. A strappy black bralet paired with a sequinned pastel sarong skirt seen on Kendall Jenner was the highlight of the show.

Prabal Gurung
Inspiration: Gloria Steinem

Highlights: The US elections clearly weighed heavily on Prabal’s mind. He sent out a delicious bias-cut silk number, which had quotes from prominent women printed in black ink. There were also statement tees which came embroidered in the style of the artist Tracey Emin; Susan B. Anthony’s line, “they threw things at me then but they were not roses.”
Besides the politics, there was enough to keep his sex dialogue flowing with metallic one-shoulder dresses, cut-at-the-shoulder  numbers with metallic applique embroideries. The show ended with three pantsuits – another reference to the democratic candidate’s sartorial pick.

Inspiration: David Lynch’s film Wild At Heart

Highlights: This was Altuzarra’s sweetest collection till date. A lemon stitched denim python jacket opened the show which was followed by cherry prints, candy stripes and florals. He extrapolated stripes, micro gingham checks and florals to create ruffled dresses slashed at the thigh, and slip dresses belted at the waist with cutesy sashes. He also added cargo jackets, ruffled bra tops and knit dresses.

Jason Wu
Inspiration: Works of artist Ugo Rondinone

Highlights: Foil-like metallic shine and vibrant neons made this line bold and arresting. Tulle dresses with three-dimensional embroideries of fluorescent flowers will be the red carpet favourite coming awards season. The show opened with a double breasted pleated coat dress with metallic accent, followed by metallic shifts, floral jacket-skirt combos and sheer blue dresses which had neon orange piping.

‘My vibe is not about the LBD or diamonds’: Tina Tahiliani Parikh

As Ensemble’s Kala Ghoda outlet relaunches this month, the store’s Executive Director Tina Tahiliani Parikh opens up on her three major design discoveries, personal style and if she’d ever start her own fashion line…

Tina Tahiliani Parikh, Executive Director Ensemble

How do you interpret your personal style?
I have a few basic rules. It has to be comfortable. It has to breathe. I love drapes and saris. I like white, beige and black but now I’ve started wearing a lot more colour. I love to mix and match. It has to feel right. Your style has to be a reflection of who you’re inside. This waistcoat (I have on) is literally from three years ago. I don’t think it’s about keeping up with the trends. It’s about finding pieces we love and mixing and matching old and new. Maybe with a ZARA t-shirt or a bracelet you pick on the street. My vibe is not about the LBD or diamonds.

Who are are your three favourite design discoveries in the last decade? 

My discoveries in the last decade is designer Anamika Khanna for her experimental Indo-Western silhouettes – capes, draped saris, etc. and Tarun Tahiliani for his digital prints with enhanced threadwork. Also, I love the re-interpretation of textiles and handlooms by designers like Sanjay Garg and Payal Khandwala.

Anamika Khanna and Tina Tahiliani - Parikh at the all new Ensemble Lions Gate Store

…With Anamika Khanna

How is the Delhi customer different from the Mumbai one?       
Both are very strong markets but Delhi is a city, where people have more space to show off, it’s a slight refugee mentality because the capital has been spoilt and rebuilt so many times. The whole of North India is more into flaunting but make no mistakes, old part of the city have exquisite tastes and they’re not really dying to flash designer brands. In Bombay, we have a cool buyers – they walk into our stores in chappals, but they’ll buy the highest quality. Often I feel our Bandra store is more like our Delhi store, South Bombay is like a place nowhere else in India. Bandra is much dynamic than South Mumbai. Because SoBo-ites are members of clubs and are not dying to meet new people. They can go to clubs and meets those 30 people they grew up with. In Bandra, people are dynamic and maybe that’s happening in Delhi too.

How come you never thought of starting your own label?
People have told me to. Let’s see, what the future has to offer.  At this point, it’s not on my radar.

Besides fashion, what are your other interests? 
I love music. Music can completely change my mood. I like theatre, I love tarvelling. I like to read. In the morning, I take a walk in the Hanging Gardens and I see those stunning trees, it makes my heart lift. I am very affected by my environment. As a family, we do a lot of nature holidays, in the beginning, I always wanted to do cities and my husband wanted to visit nature spots. However, that has changed today. We’ve done Everest base camp and Annapurna base camp. I also love Sri Lanka and Bali.

Warm up to the ‘it’ blouse of the moment

Designers across the board at the recently concluded India Couture Week couldn’t resist the allure of the embellished crop top with exposed shoulders. Manish Malhotra dressed his showstopper Deepika Padukone in one and Manav Gangwani‘s muse Kangana Ranaut too was seen rocking another one. Gaurav Gupta presented several crop tops with the off-shoulder style. Not that it’s a new trend (it’s been around for quite sometime on runways and racks) but looks like the fall weddings will be replete with this ‘it’ piece sightings.


Deepika Padukone in Manish Malhotra


Kangana Ranaut in Manav Gangwani


An off-shoulder look from Gaurav Gupta


An off-shoulder look from Gaurav Gupta

India Couture Week highlights

Designers Manish Malhotra and Rimple and Harpreet Narula were inspired by Persian architectural influences while Rahul Mishra, Gaurav Gupta, Varun Bahl and Manav Gangwani flirted with an array of bird and floral motifs. A panoply of peacocks and parrots preened on beds of roses, hibiscuses and lotuses across the style spectrum. Ornate headgears made quite an impact at Varun Bahl and Rohit Bal while the sexy, come-hither off-shoulder blouse emerged to be the ultimate ‘it’ piece seen on Deepika Padukone, who walked for Manish Malhotra and Kangana Ranaut, who played a muse to Manav Gangwani.

Anamika Khanna

Inspiration: Lewis Carol’s saying, “How long is forever? Sometimes just one second”





Viewing any Anamika Khanna show is a meditative process, an exercise in tuning into the sharp currents streaming though her sensibilities. Looking at the rich cultural past and recontextualising it and making it ‘of-the-moment’ has always been her forte. Easily one of the most riveting collections of the couture week, this time, she was extrapolated the traditional kalamkari and dori techniques creating powerful embroideries. There were 3 D petals in organza, traditional zardozi employed with the daintiest of pearls. She modernised the traditional shararas and her signature sari pants and capes made the same impact as they did when she first showcased them years ago. The beading and surface texturing was so strong that one could barely see the fabric and the inside of the garment was as beautiful as the outside. The statement-making Amrapali jewellery accented the ornate ensembles beautifully giving it another dimension.

Rahul Mishra

Inspiration: German biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur (art forms of nature, 1989).




In a couture landscape inundated with blinding sequins, hyperventilating mirror works and cascading ruffles, it’s heartwarming to see a designer resensitise our minds to the first tranquil drops of rains falling on the parched earth and the mellifluous sonata of floral and fauna. This seminal line titled, Monsoon Diaries opened with a hand embroidered Kedia blouse and indigo khadi lehenga which set the mood for the rest of the show – a poetic flurry of Maheshwari silk dresses, silk chanderi jackets, bombers and cut-work Benarasi dresses. The multi-toned silk georgette sari paired with an embroidered jacket was one of the high-points of the show. The Rahul Mishra bride is firmly rooted to the past and yet tuned to the present. She’s not looking at arriving in life or trying to proving a point. She’s just timeless as she owns every room she walks into!

Varun Bahl

Inspiration: Vintage garden





Romantic florals, soft rococo pastels and a play of sheer and texture have always been the Varun Bahl insignia. This time a delectable creamy palette of ivory, pistachio, duck-egg blue, and pale pink to the bold tones of burgundy and midnight blue – evoked a melt-in-your-mouth sensation. A snapshot of an eccentric English high tea party serving macaroons and cakes instantly comes to mind.
There was a canny mix of luxe-lit baroque influences and tropical motifs. The line gloried thanks to strong embroidery and silken thread work. Nifty menswear pieces were the talking points of the show – from the heavily embroidered shawls accenting the sherwanis to tone-on-tone, head-to-toe-layering to vibrant kurtas paired with churidaars. The Varun Bahl groom and his entourage of groom’s men are the ultimate dandies and certainly not coy about going that extra mile when it comes to dressing up!

The Spring Summer 2017 staple

Bleach-patterned denims are trending

DSquared2 paired a skin-right with exaggerated lace-up boots, Gucci presented a cropped pair with a souvenir bomber jacket while exposing the socks. Miharayasuhiro showcased a head-to-toe bleached look layered over a striped t-shirt, Diesel Black Gold presented theirs with a black leather jacket. Palm Angels clubbed a pair with a zipper denim shirt. Looks like this trend will soon filter down to the high street labels like ZARA and H&M as well.