Sunday, 30 December 2012

BRIDE COUTURE: Karma's Mustard, Red and Blue 'Dulhan Bridal'

I saw this latest bridal outfit by Pakistani designer Karma and thought the colour combination was just lovely, it makes a really traditional looking bridal (the almost-mustardy yellow adds a really lovely rich tone to the deep blue, rich red and pretty teal accents). I love wedding dresses which aren't just one plain colour, as I think that it's a lot more fun to mix more colours in without overloading with too much colour or detail - and I think this look has it balanced well. The work on this looks intricate but not too heavy, and the colours look great together, without drowning each other colours out.

I thought this was a really pretty look - I can even imagine this as a mehndi outfit if the colours were changed (and if you were looking for a heavier mehndi outfit). What do you think of this outfit? I love it!

 Image from Karma Facebook page

Saturday, 29 December 2012

GLAMOROUS ACCESSORIES: The Disney Butterfly Louboutins

Saw these Disney-inspired heels by Louboutines in Selfridges yesterday, but was unsure about whether or not they are the sort of thing I would look at twice, mostly because they look so, well, girly. While I think it's a very funky design (and the heel size is adventurously high!), the jury's still out for me about whether these would be something I'd want in my wardrobe! What do you think of them? Are you in favour of Disney-inspired clothes?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: Mint Green and Hot Pink Maxi by Tena Durani

I've come across this designer courtesy of that wonderful forum at the ever-useful Gupshup website, which had a picture of this outfit, which I thought was just lovely, by Pakistan based designer Tena Durrani. What I like about this design is how elegant and feminine it looks, it's embellished yet doesn't look heavy, and the colour combination used here is pretty. I've never been a fan of mixing blues with pink (I've seen some horrible examples from the 90s and Noughties which put me off), but here it looks fresh, simple and pretty.

What I also like is how, like other pieces from the designer's collection, the use of pastel colours is nice (I have always found pastels to be unflattering on Asian skin, particularly mine), but here the light blues, mint greens and pale oranges are tempered with flashes of bright colours and beautiful embroidery work.

There's a couple of other pieces which I find refreshing too (like this peach one, or this mint and hot pink one which for some reason, reminds me of the 1920s due to the model's make-up and hair). On the whole, I think these pieces are lovely, I can imagine a spring theme for them as well as a tea-party theme. Definitely a designer to keep an eye out for :)

Images from Tena Durrani Facebook group

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

QUIRKY FASHION: Hot Air Balloon Earrings

Maybe it's just me that finds these adorable, but I thought these were just cute (not enough for me to buy them because I'd never get to wear them due to my hijab) but this kind of miniature art is right up my street. Found in New Look, these are quirky and cute - what do you think of them? And I might not get to wear the earrings much, but might go for this though!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Bollywood Ishtyle: Deepika in 'Chennai Express'

Here's a first look at new film 'Chennai Express' which is due to release next year, with Deepika and Shahrukh being paired after the very successful 'Om Shanti Om'. Just wanted to quickly look at Deepika's colourful outfit, which I though was very pretty, the colours are traditional and wouldn't look out of place at a mehndi affair (or an old-style, 90s movie). I like how the costume appeals to our simpler tastes, accessorised with a simple plait and colourful bangles. What do you think of the outfit?

Image from Pinkvilla

Sunday, 23 December 2012

OUTFIT Of The Day: Green and Gold Brocade

Thought I'd post about an outfit I wore a few weeks ago, which was slightly different because these days I tend to go for long, glowy dresses, and this was slightly a little more 'traditional' in that it was a plain kameez with tapered trousers. I bought this outfit from RDC London a while back (yayyy for random sales!) because I loved the colours and the flattering shape of the kameez. I wore it to a friend's wedding day, which it was perfect for because it was so sparkly, and really comfortable.

Here's the outfit, and what I put it together with - I didn't really accessorise much because I though the kameez was blingy enough, and I also had a slightly worked hijab too (not to mention the metallic trousers!)

I paired the outfit with a blingy ring and some golden strappy heels, and that was enough for me (I actually forgot to look for some bangles to match, but I think I didn't need them in the end!). My favourite part of the outfit is the neckline, which is beautifully embroidered with dabka (metal) work and crystals. The trousers also had some small embroidered motifs at the ankle.

Kameez outfit - RDC London
Shoes - Kurt Geiger
Ring - Ramsha, Ilford Lane (see here)
Clutch Bag - Indian Hanger

 And this is me wearing it all together, you can't tell properly but I'm also wearing a slightly worked hijab (actually from another outfit) which I used instead of wearing a blingy hijab pin.

Overall, I really liked the kameez for this outfit (I was slightly less in love with the trousers, I love brocade but these made me look slightly like a modern-day MC Hammer) - and I got a lot of compliments for the beautiful colours. What I really liked was that the material was quite sturdy for the amount of work on it - I always find with chiffon outfits, they get torn and ruined very quickly if the work gets caught on it. Because this was georgette, it doesn't tend to catch as easily and holds the work better. As always, my clutch bag went perfectly (I've used it so many times and always got compliments!) and the outfit itself was very easy to accessorise. Definitely a piece to wear when you get sick of wearing long dresses!

Friday, 21 December 2012

LOVELY HIJAB: Inaayah Collection

Now here's a collection I'm in love with, hijabs, hijab pins and abayahs by Inayah, a UK based company which designs and sells beautiful abayahs, hijabs and hijab pins. It's not always easy to find hijabs and abayahs which are stylish without compromising on modesty, and the ones you do find sometimes are very expensive which aren't always convenient for our budget. Inayah is one of those company I've been admiring for a while because they don't quite break the bank, they give great style ideas and they seem to have the full package: abayahs, dresses, hijabs, hijab pins and even other jewellery.

I love the abayah designs of this company, although I don't wear abayahs myself, I can see the appeal of these cuts and colours, they retain the modesty required but add a big splash of funkyness. Have a look through their lookbook to see their styles, I really like a lot of the styles put together. I also like the fact that they also cater for buyers who may not wear abayahs but may still want to dress modestly, like putting together smart blouses with long skirts, and accessorising with beautiful scarves.

And of course the scarves are equally beautiful, mixing silky, beautiful materials with pretty shades of colour and prints. I find a lot of these colours flattering, and it's nice to see how practical they are, they're easy to match to outfits and they suit various skin tones. I especially like the scarves with the pearly-beaded trims, like the coral pink one below, which I think looks quite pretty, especially as the scarf still looks quite lightweight to wear, and doesn't look like it will drag down or get in the way (which I find with a lot of embellished scarves!).

And my favourite from the collection are the hijab pins! Here's just a sample of the different styles, sizes and colours they come in (that first one on the far left with the three spikes is certainly different, very funky!), but I love how beautifully made they look.

I can look at these all day, the glass beads and stones on most of Inayah's hijab pins look beautiful, and I really don't think I have a favourite either! Although these two below are amongst the ones I do love, the emerald one looks beautifully rich (and it's one of my favourite stones), and the vintage pearly one is something which looks really elegant, and adds a touch of class.

While some of the prices of items are slightly higher than you might expect (the average hijab pin is around £10 each, and the dressier hijabs are £100 plus), I think it's worth it to invest in a decent piece which will last you for ages. My eldest sister, who wears an abayah, has told me in the past that it's not always easy to find a good abayah that is made from good quality material without making you look frumpy, or being in the typical black. I think Inayah is one of those companies which takes these concerns into consideration, and try to combine modesty with style - and in my opinion, has succeeded.

I've ordered from Inayah once before, where I ordered a few hijab pins as a gift for a friend, and I was quite happy with the service - the pins came very quickly, were wrapped carefully, and even came in a nice box! So I would recommend the company if you do like some of their stuff - you can buy from their website or Facebook page - and please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

HIGH STREET DESIGNS: Joy Mitra's Colourful Combos

I'm really liking these colourful and very simple anarkalis and Punjabi-style salwar kameezes by Indian designer Joy Mitra, which I've been walking past for a few weeks now in London's Phulkari. I think these would look really amazing if worn at a mehndi, it would be really easy to put these together and the brighter the colours, the better! I also like how uncluttered these outfits are, and how effective they look together because it's such an easy, simple look. Less really can be more, sometimes.

Image from Phulkari London Facebook page

Monday, 17 December 2012

Vidya Balan Marries Siddharth Roy Kapur

Here's a something to start the week off, pictures of Bollywood's Vidya Balan's wedding to Siddarth Roy Kapur, which looked like an intimate event that was quite low key. My sisters and I have a theory that since Bollywood actresses have to dress up and play out wedding scenes a lot in films, they probably want something less OTT and extravagant in real life when they actually DO get married, rather than looking like tinsel-decorated dolls!

This is the couple's sangeet which took place days before the wedding - a lot of people have said that Vidya's sari isn't very flattering but I'm sure Vidya has heard comments like this before (and hasn't cared), and to be honest, her glowy smile is all that matters, right? The sari looks a quite bright and colourful (reminds me of a rainbow scarf I have), which is nice for a sangeet and makes a change from a lot of done-up dresses I've seen in the past.

And this is on Vidya's mehndi, wearing a yellow sari I quite liked. I'm a fan of jamawar motif prints on outfits (like this print on one of my kameezes) and I think it looks great on mehndis. I also love how Vidya kept it all simple and traditional with what looks like flowers in her hair, and simple mehndi on her hands, and I do think it looks quite elegant together.

Lastly is the wedding day itself. I have to admit, I was surprised that the couple dressed quite simply, although I think it is a reflection of how the couple wanted to keep things simple and humble. I like that she wore a rich red banarsi sari, and accessorised in a traditional gold jewellery look - making her look like a true wife!

I do like how Vidya continued her style of wearing saris on all three of her main events, it's something she looks comfortable in, and it's nice to see how happy the couple are!

Image sources here and here

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

MAKE-UP REVIEW: Bronzey Eyes and Smokey Eyes

God knows there's a lot of tutorials out there on how to do your make-up, so I won't overload you with any today! I did think this beautiful, bronzey eye-shadow look was amazingly well done, using the famous Urban Decay's Naked palette which, yes, I do have (review on that soon!). But I'm loving how beautifully rich these colours look when blended together, they would suit Asian skin tones very well and I can easily imagine this look can be darkened to make it dramatic or softened for a lighter, daytime look.

Image belongs to NAZMEEN A (MUA)

The make-up artist who did this is Nazmeen, a make-up artist who actually did my make-up on the day of my sister's wedding (and also my sister and my mum), and we were quite happy with the make-up she did. I asked for a lighter look for my mum, with a light wash of gold eyeshadow as well which my mum was very happy with (and she got plenty of compliments too) - although we did draw the line at false eyelashes (my mum was horrified at the thought!).

For myself I requested dramatic, smokey eyes with salmon-coloured, almost nude lips, which is what I ended up with. I do love how the make-up turned out, although it wasn't very 'me', as I usually tend to stick to simple eye make-up, with quite neutral shades. You can see the results below (sort of!):

Excuse the blurryness!
I do have to admit, that this is a flattering photo of the make-up, as there were a lot of pictures where the dark eyeshadow and the heavy false eyelashes didn't look so amazing, and I'm reluctant to do this look frequently because it had the effect of making my face look slightly older.

What I will say, is that the make-up WAS done brilliantly, it lasted all day and I got quite a good rate from Nazmeen herself because there was more than one person getting their make-up done! Have a look through her albums and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

GLAMOROUS ACCESSORIES: Blue Velvet Damask Clutch Bag

I may have mentioned before how much I love damask. So if I see something pretty (and practical!) with damask print on it, and it's not going to bankrupt me, I'll probably snap it up. Like this beautiful, velvet clutch bag which I fell in love with as soon as I saw it (funnily enough, one of my sisters bought it for another sister, and I wanted it so got the same for myself. Yes we could have shared but she's too far away for me to go and steal her bags now.)

I love how rich and blue this purse is (I already got compliments the first time I used it) but I also love how versatile it is, it's also a piece which wouldn't look out of place at an English wedding (I can easily imagine a theme of white dresses and blue accessories!) because of how easily this can be adapted per outfit and occasion.

So all in all, I pretty much love this thing. And it didn't even cost much either - sometimes the best things really don't cost much at all!

Clutch bought from New Look

Saturday, 8 December 2012


I've recently discovered the colourful, vibrant work of Pakistani designer Faiza Samee, which really appeals to me because of her use of beautiful colours and rich fabrics, which look both traditional as well as very funky and adventurous.

I also love how these designs are put together - each piece of the outfits, the top, skirts/trousers and the dupattas each are beautifully made and are statement pieces in their own rights. Usually this would mean the outfit is too overloaded and can look busy, but I think the resulting outfits actually look great, they compliment each other and combine to make some unique looking outfits. I'm pretty sure that with a lot of these designs, there's another 3 looks which can be made (like wearing a heavy dupatta with a plain suit,or wearing plain trousers with a kameez, and so on!)

These are just some of the outfits I loved, some of them are from recent shows this year, and some of them are a couple of years old, but the style is very much the same in terms of bright colours and beautiful design.

Out of all of her designs, I'm in love with these two the most, particularly because of the dupatta/scarves for both outfits, which look beautiful and which really are the statement pieces. I'm a big fan of peacock feathers, and although it's a theme which has been done several times, it's always nice to see it incorporated in clothes in new ways. I LOVED the print of the dupatta of this first outfit, for me, it is the one thing which really makes an outfit. 
The second outfit is the same in how I am in love with the richly embellished dupatta, it's something I could imagine wearing with a plain silk suit to set off the colours and work.

 All images from Faiza Samee Facebook group

I also really love these dupattas because I find that unless an outfit is a bridal one, sometimes the dupatta can get neglected and it just becomes a plain piece to go with an outfit, or it just mirrors the work of a dress/kameez to make it match. In these outfits, the focus is all on the dupatta, which is something quite adventurous (especially in a clothes industry where the focus can be on the cut or work on dresses).

I 've emailed the designer about these last two pieces, as I'm curious about costs, and I'm still awaiting a reply. I'm even considering getting something similar made to these dupattas which I can wear to  mehndi parties or even with plain suits, as it is something which feels effortless and would be easy to wear. What do you think about these designs?