Return of the Resort Rani

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No one combines luxury travel and high fashion like Monisha Jaising. From her interpretation of Soho’s wild party girl to capturing the mood of a destination bridesmaid vacationing in the heart of the romantic Notting Hill to her fitting tribute to the sailing bride in her last outing — Monisha has been penning a rich encyclopedia of jet-set glamour for years now. Champagne, canapes, carats, cruise and couture — all the Cs come together to unleash a glittery fury of oomph, easy chic style and red carpet glam slam. The shy and almost self-effacing designer shared, “It’s inspired by the Arabian sea and the evening lights. I’m hosting a sundowner by the harbour which captures the sunset light.”

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A luxury cruise liner docked at the serene Arabian Sea, champagne overflowing and the sunset orange icing the Mumbai skyline all formed the exotic backdrop of the resort czarina Monisha Jaising’s opening Lakme Fashion Week show. The line gloried thanks to all the MJ insignias – Baroque embroidery, mesh beaded blouses, feather accents, cowl drapes, liquid-like metallic shifts, sporty separates and denims.

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It was like the designer dug into her own rich archive of bejewelled saris, off-shoulder gowns with dramatic billowing trains and sequinned sheathed dresses and recontextualised them for the legion of her millennial fans. A pale blue sari with a beaded border paired with a burgundy blouse was the high point and so was a grey sari paired with a feather accented blouse. The opening look – a metallic shift layered with a sheer bomber set the tone of the line which was heavy on unapologetic shine-on pieces slashed at the thigh. She added totality to the evening-heavy line by incorporating easy chic pop-toned off-shoulder tops with bow accents pairing with denim shorts and layering va va voom bodysuits with printed skirts. Everything to charm her Pali Hill devotees.

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Showstopper: Sonakshi Sinha sashayed in an off-shoulder orange gown
with a dramatic train

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Front row: Shweta Bachchan Nanda, Prerna Goel, Haseena Jethmalani,
Shobhaa De, Rukshana Eisa and Rhea Pillai

Is Pink the new Camel?

The romantic hue of pink makes its romantic presence felt like never before in Prefall 2017. From dusty pink to pale versions – the colour is spelling mood exotica this prefall.

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Erdem Prefall 2017

J Mendel sent a statement-making fur jacket, Alessandro Michele at Gucci toyed with the shade in a more mitigated avatar in a tiered Victoriana-like gown.

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J Mendel Prefall 2017

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Gucci Prefall2017 

Prabal Gurung, on the other hand, sent out a salmon pink ruffled gown which is bound to have many takers come awards season. Temperley London has combined it with the classic black in their collared and pleated dresses and also presented it in a sequinned, sheathed, shine-on format in the form of a jumpsuit with exaggerated sleeves. Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel toyed with the hue by sending out a halter pocketed shimmery gown with a matching knit stoles wrapped around the neck. It’ll be a pink-heavy 2017 and we aren’t complaining!

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Prabal Gurung 2017

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Chanel Prefall 2017

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Temperley London Prefall 2017

5 best looks of 2016

Bollywood red carpet saw actresses moving out of their comfort zone and opting for gowns with risque slits and cut-work detailing. While the likes of Sonam Kapoor flirted with off-shoulder numbers from Proenza Schouler and Zimmermann, Deepika Padukone toyed with military chic in an olive green Monisha Jaising skirt and a sequinned bustier. Quantico beauty Priyanka Chopra slayed it in statement-making dresses from Prabal Gurung and Sachin and Babi while Alia Bhatt balanced her polished red carpet style with denim-heavy street looks. It was the year of clashing maximal with minimal, sublime with ridiculous and understated with edgy! Mix and match seemed to be the mantra for most B-Town stylists…

Princess diary: Sonam Kapoor 

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2016 totally belonged to stylist Sonam Kapoor who totally owned the red carpet at Cannes in this statement-making Delpozo and Ralph and Russo dresses. She ended the year with another coming-of-age look by opting for a bold and sheer Yanina couture lilac creation and completed her look with a headband.

Shine-on glamazon: Katrina Kaif

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Katrina Kaif knocks it out of the ballpark in this Khosla Jani off-shoulder gown. Kudos to the actress for moving out of her comfort zone and experimenting with a new look. She’s in excellent shape and the outfit brings out her sexier side.

Glam rock diva: Deepika Padukone

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Deepika Padukone opts for this edgy Monisha Jaising number in a sea of gowns and dresses. The military green skirt with a thigh-high cut adds to the femme fatale appeal. The fringed earrings add a touch of softness to the look.

Miss Metallica: Alia Bhatt 

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Alia Bhatt looks every bit the seductress supreme in this gold mini at designer Manish Malhotra’s 50th birthday bash. The slick centre-parted hair and smokey eyes add to the va va voom vibe.

Ravising in red: Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra slayed it in this cut-work Prabal Gurung number on the red carpet. The slick side-parted hair and a bold red pout oozed confidence and sexiness.

‘Solitude is the biggest luxury’

Designer Prabal Gurung opens up on his love for the arts and Indian women 
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Prabal Gurung with Ceclia Morelli Parekh 

When a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25 last year, Prabal Gurung marshalled quickly, using his social media prowess to call for donations. Since then, about a million dollars have been raised for the quake’s victims by the Shikshya Foundation Nepal, on the board of which the designer sits. The foundation also aims to bring education to girls in Nepal, seeking to turn them into a critical mass of leaders.
“Whether you have an audience of one or a hundred or a million – it doesn’t matter, I just want to divert all the attention coming my way to be able to give it to someone, who really needs it. It makes what I do worthwhile. Doing everything for yourself or ego is just not enough. That has given me a new-found meaning and love for my work. Fashion, which is considered so frivolous, has allowed me to do it, I’m very happy about that,” says the designer, who makes his Indian retail foray by debuting his Spring Summer 2017 line exclusively at Le Mill store in Mumbai this month.
I meet him at the chic Colaba store and he apologises for being late because of the traffic. Warm, smiling and affable – he breaks the ice right off the bat, when he says, “I’m all yours!”
Art inclination 
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Laxman Shreshtha reimagined by Prabal in his SS 16 line

His Spring 2016 collection had its roots in Nepal. The work of artist Laxman Shreshtha, who Gurung said he grew up studying, became a jacquard on skin-baring evening separates, the orange and yellow Holi powder hues of which formed the show’s warm, lit-from-within palette.
He shares, “I am an avid art follower. I love contemporary arts in America and worldwide and I just love it. That’s one of the thing I hope to get to see. I was just passing by Jehangir Art Gallery and it reminded me of the time. It allowed me to really escape. I am a big art follower whenever I have time, New York is the best place to be when it comes to art.”

Stint at NIFT Mumbai
“How women dress here – this part of the world, it’s very graceful but there’s whole sensuality to it – what is hidden and what is not and what is revealed. There’s a certain ritualistic ceremonial aspect to dressing up which I love about it. Whether you’re dressing for yourself or dressing for others – there’s beauty to it and time taken to it and I love that. The colours, the textures, everything – it’s a big part of who I’m. It’s my heritage. I grew up in India. It’s a huge part of how I design and how I look at things. For my brand there’s always exoticism, mystery and grace, elegance of it with the practicality of New York – those are the two pillars of the brand which function for us. It has really shaped up who I’m.”
Mountain inspiration
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Himalayan landscape prints reimagined by Prabal

Time and again his collections have gloried thanks to his stunning re-imagining of the Himalayan landscape prints. “It’s my comfort place. where I find my place, for me solitude is the biggest luxury right now. I crave those. The best solitude that I find when I’m up in the mountains. It always takes me back home.”

Other interests
Nightlife is a big part of who Prabal is. “I enjoy to release my energy and letting it loose, chill, hang out and have fun. Nightlife is a big part of New York. I’m very selective about it now.” Besides, the partying he enjoys following art, working out and meditation.

Sheer magnitude

Transparency rules at Spring Summer 2017

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Alexander McQueen 

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Lanvin

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Louis Vuitton

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Valentino

Designers across the board sent out sheer concoctions – be it Louis Vuitton’s long, sheer-yet-discreet dresses or Valentino’s a magical series of handkerchief-hemmed, diaphanous dresses in pinks and sometimes also embroidered with patterns of birds. Bouchra Jarrar at Lanvin injected sexiness into her otherwise pretty and elegant line by punctuating it with sheer, gauzy lace-trimmed black dresses.

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Vidyut Jamwal in Pawan Sachdeva

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Aniket Satam

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Ilk

At the recently concluded Amazon India Fashion Week, designer Pawan Sachdeva showcased a sheer bomber seen on his showstopper Vidyut Jamwal, designer Aniket Satam flirted with transparency in one of his ensembles which he accented with a cutesy cat accent. Rina Dhaka, Ilk, Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan and Pankaj and Nidhi too showcased sheer concoctions in their Spring Summer 2016 lines.

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Pankaj and Nidhi

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Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan 

Be Miss Metallica this summer!

Metallics rule at the recently concluded Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017

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Louis Vuitton

Balmain army shed its armour and became one of the SS17 highlights thanks to its chainmailva va voom dresses. Olivier Rousteing showed sequinned encrusted, graphic evening wear, which will be the toast of the caviar circle come awards season.
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Balmain

Alexandre Vauthier treated his black rock chick outfits with gold hardware accents and Haider Ackermann paired a crisp white shirt with a pair of two-toned metallic trousers. Elie Saab‘s gold tuxedo stood out and so did a racy, sports-inspired Mugler number.
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Elie Saab

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Haider Ackermann

Anthony Vaccarello at YSL struck a delicate balance in staying true to his core aesthetic, revisiting the label’s hallowed archive and taking forward his predecessor Hedi Slimane‘s glam rock sensibility. His array of shiny leather dresses, gold lame skirts and embellished one-shoulder tops worn with long fringed dangler earrings – screamed the quintessential femme fatale.

Milan highlights

Spring Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collections at Milan Fashion Week (MFW) bring back the much-needed decadence…

‘More is more’ was the mantra echoing across Milanese runways. Be it the eccentricity of Gucci’s dramatic pleated ruffles and rainbow dresses or the cinematic drama of Prada’s marabou feathers accenting the clutches, skirts and heels or Fendi’s floaty, glimmering aprons – designers didn’t shy away from the zeitgeist of daring-do. Given the state of economy and socio-political turmoil across continents – style mavens decided to focus on bringing the elegance back into our closets. Need proof? Have a look at Gucci’s fur coat which came with the label’s now-signature L’aveugle pour amour logo, which means blind for love. Dolce and Gabbana’s line was an ode to all things Italian – pasta, gelato and the all-pervading Catholic imagery. Their vibrant runway had girls with smiling, happy faces, who added allure to bejewelled, embellished jackets and skirts.
Gingham which was a major trend at New York and London fashion weeks also spilled into Milan seen at Au Jour Le Jour, who juxtaposed it with sequins and ruffles and Blumarine whose closing dress was a breezy number in soft grid prints. Another highlight was Giamba showcased at Palazzo Litta, a Baroque palace in Milan which dates back to 17th century. Valli’s lace and jacquard mini dresses and floor-length tiered numbers with sequin applique embroideries had a sensual undercurrent. Talking of sensuality, designer Philipp Plein’s line titled, Alice in Ghettoland had models sporting faded wash denims accented with gold chains and layered with track jackets, metallic croc suits. Here’s the low-down on collection which stood out…

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Vibe: A 70’s nightclub with boudoir-pink velvet banquettes and mirrors


Highlight: A magpie-at-heart, designer Alessandro Michele toyed with the thought of being well-dressed-yet-devastated. In fact, there was one tiered evening dress that had a giant red embroidered heart, pierced with a jewelled dagger on the front, and the numerals ‘XXV’. Knife-pleated ruffles were a recurring motif, sometimes accenting a one-shoulder dress and other times, adding whimsy to a metallic twin-set with a pussy-bow collar. A dark, crestfallen undertone could be sensed as words like ‘Cemetery’ came inscribed on the belts. The Gucci eccentrics completed their looks with oversized dramatic, three-cornered hats, 70s sequinned sunnies and headscarves. Michele is a true poet and a genius stylist and this potent cocktail of intellect and style makes the label quite the talking point it’s become over the last few seasons!

Fendi
Vibe: Utilitarian meets Baroque


Highlight: Trust Karl Lagerfeld to mix ideas and influences, decades and thought processes and present them like a soul-searing collage. Fendi show gloried thanks to the on-trend stripes and knitted sock booties. There were ribbon-tied aprons of elaborate gilded fabric over gathered pants; the artfully executed leather flower embroidery was extrapolated onto a khaki jacket and a trenchcoat, ’20s-style silk lingerie-like pieces had butterflies accents on their bodices. The most charming among them all were organza blouses with scalloped edges running around the shoulders and sleeves. The label’s hottest ticket – the guitar strap handbags were presented with floral accents.

Prada
Vibe: Art Deco prints meet marabou feathers


Highlight: Miuccia Prada may have lost her edge over the last few seasons but she bounced back with a vengeance. She referenced her on archive and brought back 20s and 30s Art Deco prints, which she had showcased in the mid-90s. The visionary designer, who’s always debated the very notion of beauty and the role of fashion and its anthropological relevance, presented an elegant collection embellished with marabou feathered skirts, knee-length box pleated kilts, fit and flared mini dresses and coats embellished with rhinestones. The envelope clutches which models held very close to their body brought to mind a chic scholar with a strong sense of identity.

Dolce & Gabbana
Vibe: Sicilian lifestyle


Highlights: Dolce and Gabbana clearly love their pasta and gelato as they printed both on their charming party dresses. The show opened with an embellished jacket skirt combo which had bejewelled buttons, cross earrings and floral pumps.  Tiaras, headscarves tied into a bow, chunky open-toe platforms added to the glitzy finish. There were prints galore from guitar and parachute  to Baroque florals which punctuated their signature black lace dresses. The label has always been about celebrating the Italian Good Life and this heartwarming line was an ode to that spirit.