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All eyes were set on the royal couple -Kate Middleton and Prince William as they touched down Mumbai on Sunday (10th April) to kick off a week-long trip to India and Bhutan as part of their royal duty. This is the pair's first royal visit together in two years.
Will and Kate, as the couple are lovingly called, are in India as the Queen's representative. So while the Duke of Cambridge made the speeches on behalf of grand-boss, Her Majesty. It was the Duchess of Cambridge who impressed many with her fashion diplomacy. Her's was the image that made to front pages back in the United Kingdom. Her sartorial choice of picking an Alexander McQueen dress with paisley print for her arrival look was a subtle nod to Indian art. But it was only when Kate changed into a boho maxi dress with Mughal-inspired print by Mumbai-based designer Anita Dongre that it became clear the Duchess means diplomacy! A move many praised to be "smart and stylish" of Kate to wear a local designer on day 1 itself which report says 'she's off the mark in her promise to promote Indian designers.'
Opting for a local designer and showcasing Indian print is not the first time the Duchess has used her outfits to pay respect to the host nation. She's done it before during her royal trip to New Zealand, Canada and the US; she knows it works and she is only proving her skills.
Royal engagements give Kate Middleton an opportunity to send out a diplomatic message of appreciation and good will. Looking every inch the modern princess. She packed 15 outfits carefully chosen to give a nod to her host's culture and local style. Here take a look at all the time Kate Middleton paid tribute to Indian fashion:
In Alexander McQueen pre-Fall 2016 collection
She may be flying the flag for British fashion in McQueen peplum dress but the paisley print and the red hue were a clear nod to the colour-rich culture of India. She accessorised her arrival look with a £165 clutch bag from Russell & Bromley and L.K Bennett shoes worth £175. The eye-catching peplum skirt suit was a nod to the Indian traditional print, a tear drop shaped design, which is very popular in the country, especially in Kashmir shawls, and saris.
Starting an upmarket clothing line for children is a gamble not many fashion designers take but for French designer Stéphanie Lemaire, it paid off.
Lemaire, the founder and CEO of Château desable, started by exhibiting her small, but growing collection at trade fairs in Singapore before opening her first shop at Tanglin Mall in 2001, in the heart of the city-state's shopping district.
After 15 years, Lemaire now owns four stores in Singapore and Paris and operates another 20 with franchise partners around the world. The company manufacturers approximately 300,000 pieces of clothing each year.
"There is a need in this market," Lemaire, told CNBC's "Managing Asia." "You can do so many things, from baby, girl, boy...it's really fun," she added.
Despite her success, the early days were tough.
"It was a tiny shop, like 65 square meters," she said, describing her first store. "I didn't want to invest too much but I wanted to do a shop." Exhibiting at fairs about four times a month was not enough to run a business.
On the first day at her shop, she made 3,200 Singapore dollars ($2,274.10) by selling around 100 pieces of clothing.
For the first two years, the designer made each piece of clothing on a sewing machine at her home, before finding her first manufacturer in Malaysia.
"It was difficult," said Lemaire for small brands to find manufacturers who were willing to produce low quantities of clothes.
Much of the creative process, in terms of designing the clothes, happen in Singapore but they are now made across China, India, Malaysia, and South Korea. Each country, said Lemaire, had something to offer that spurred her to pick them to set up her manufacturing bases for Château de sable.
"India, for example, is very good at sewing in small details because a lot of women...[have experience] in sewing," she said. China offers quality as many big brands have their manufacturing bases in the mainland.
A combination of labor costs, competition, and the exchange rate have added nearly 20 percent to her production costs in the last two years, said Lemaire. "We are trying to keep a very affordable price [for customers."
Continuing the family tradition
Lemaire is not new to the apparel business; her grandparents and parents were in the textile industry and Lemaire trained as a fashion designer.
"When I was 11 years old, I said to my parents for my birthday can I have a sewing machine?" she said. While sewing was a skill she picked up quickly, stitching a business together was a completely new ball game for her.
After spending time working in the fashion industry in Paris, Lemaire moved to Singapore at the turn of the century.
Singapore was the right place to start the company because of its location in the region and its ease of doing business, according to Lemaire.
She initially invested 50,000 Singapore dollars to start the company and has since put in around 400,000 Singapore dollars into the business.
Château de sable today makes around 9 million Singapore dollars in sales per year, despite the subdued retail environment around the world. "I'm quite happy we're growing like this, slowly but surely."
Setting sights on China
While Lemaire insists Singapore is a good place to start a business, she has set her sights in one of the biggest consumer markets in the world - China.
"China is a bit scary," she said, referring to its vast size and also the perennial problem gripping brands big and small alike - counterfeit products.
"We have already been copied, which is a good sign, meaning the company is doing some good things," she said. "We took a lot of time to find the right partner [in China]."
She plans to open 10 to 15 stores in China, have tie in with department stores, and tap into the country's growing e-commerce space.
Lemaire reckoned the timing was right despite the ongoing economic slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
Late last year, the Chinese government eased its family planning restrictions to allow couples to have two children, after decades of upholding a strict one-child policy, in an effort to stem the growing problem of aging population in the mainland.
"Chinese people now can have two kids instead of one, which is very good for the business," said Lemaire.
"They love to pamper their babies and their kids."
Lifestyle and fashion television channel Fashion TV, which has lent its names to bars and residential projects in the country, is launching salons in India.
The first two F Salons are being opened in New Delhi and plans are afoot to roll them out to other cities.
Rajan Madhu, President, Fashion TV India, said: “For us, these two salons in Delhi will be crucial as we are trying to understand the market in India compared to the model that is followed in the Western world. We believe it will be prudent to first establish these two salons. We will take three-six months to study consumer reaction before we take them to other locations.”
Madhu said the company believes there is potential to open 40-60 F Salons in India in the next three-four years. “We believe that the Indian consumers are exposed to the latest in beauty and wellness but are looking for quality. We are positioned in the affordable luxury segment and we will bring in the expertise of international and Indian beauty experts,” he added.
Each of these salons could see investments in the range of Rs.70 lakh- Rs.2 crore.
The company will initially be looking at expanding F Salons in North India and tap into other markets such as Chandigarh, Lucknow and Jaipur.
It will gradually roll it out to other key metros such as Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
“Right now, we are following the franchise-owned-company-operated model for the first two salons, as we want to maintain the quality levels. But we are in talks to pick up equity, besides managing these salons,” Madhu added.
Madhu runs Trinity Fashions, which currently holds the master licensing rights for Fashion TV and the brand “F” for India.
It currently runs four F Bars in the country. “We are opening F Bar in Indore and Jaipur, besides looking to take them to Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata this year. We hope to have 8-10 F Bar outlets by the end of this year,” he added.
The company is also working on launching F Accessories, which will include categories such as semi-precious jewellery, handbags and shoes.
The company hopes to launch them in 2017.
In total, 101 designers — on the runway and stall area — are taking part in the event, which will begin from March 16 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Lodhi Road, here.
The organising Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) announced the schedule of shows lined up and the list of participating designers on Thursday via a statement.
FDCI president Sunil Sethi noted that the edition will highlight talent of the fashion industry.
“As the latest edition of the Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2016 is set to begin, we are delighted to announce the schedule of the best talent pool, who with their inventive ideas will make it a riveting ride,” Sethi said.
Susan Saideman, vice president global vendor management, Amazon, said: “AIFW has emphasised on colour, silhouette direction and most importantly has given a huge impetus to the brilliant craftsmanship of designers who can now reach customers throughout the country and across the globe through our platform.”
Varun Bahl, who is known for the generous use of exotic motifs and his luxurious hybrid styles where he mixes an antique template with contemporary touches in keeping with his chic aesthetic, will open the fashion gala.
Other participating designers are Rajesh Pratap Singh, Anita Dongre, Gaurav Gupta, Namrata Joshipura, Samant Chauhan, Malini Ramani and Rina Dhaka.
The scintillating evening saw an electrifying performance by singer Usha Uthup, who got the energies rising. Actress Shibani Dandekar and ace choreographer Punit Pathak entertained the audience with their bollywood performances. Anusha Dandekar and Sachin Kumbhar was seen as the emcees for the evening who kept the audience and contestants entertained through the evening. The evening saw the finalists being introduced doing some glamourous dance moves, looking gorgeous in cocktail dresses by Komal Sood. The girls then walked the ramp in a beautiful choreography wearing collection by fbb, the title partner for the pageant.
The finalists' then sashayed the ramp in glamourous evening gowns also designed by ace designer Komal Sood. 14 Contestants, who were shortlisted from over 100 aspirants in the auditions, presented a fine display of charm, poise and determination, making it a difficult decision for the judges. The selection process for the contestants spanned over 4 days of intense grooming and meticulous training that the girls were conditioned to. Various sub contests like fbb Miss Fashion Icon, fbb Miss Talented, Ruparel Realty Miss Lifestyle and many more were held to give the contestants a taste of competition awaiting them at the finale. Swissotel, Kolkata was seen playing the perfect hospitality partner for the pageant and The Park, Kolkata played the venue partner for the auditions.
fbb is the title partner for the pageant and Ruparel Realty is the powered by partner. The pageant is in association with talent partner, Mobstar. This year, the fbb femina Miss India 2016 pageant traverses across 18 cities namely Hyderabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Ahmedabad, Goa, Nagpur, Pune, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal and Chennai, with three regional finals in Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. This all culminates into the final round of audition in Mumbai. Miss India Organization has not only lived up to its reputation of producing veterans but also has gone on to become a platform for launching young talent into the Indian glamour industry.
The grandeur of Miss India Organization is such that one doesn't necessarily need to be a winner to become famous. Not just films and television, these beautiful girls are also the face of many major lifestyle, fashion and luxury brands in our country. With a dynamic, holistic and rigorous training program for the finalists, the gratification the winners stand to gain runs into crores along with fame that transcends everything else. fbb Femina Miss India 2016 Kolkata e pageant proved to be a huge success with the ecstatic response from the vivacious city as always with the winner being fastracked to the grand finale of fbb Femina Miss India 2016.
And with each season that arrives, Victoria Beckham proves her worth as a fully-fledged fashion designer.
The mother-of-four, who had a tough time impressing the fickle world of fashion with her designs, works tirelessly every season to produce a collection that silences her naysayers.
And it seems that as New York Fashion Week gets closer, the pressure to impress on the runway is mounting.
We can always rely on Victoria Beckham to have her style on point.
The designer and former Spice Girl has impeccable taste and of course, with her entire collections at her fingertips can often be found rocking her own creations. Well you would wouldn't you.
Especially if they are as gorgeous as this super cosy knit. From her AW15 line, this jumper is the perfect piece to keep you toasty throughout the chillier months and we love the high end edge VB gave it with those billowing sleeves.
Sadly the exact sweater has now sold out but click (right) to buy a similar one at Forward by Elyse Walker. Then style with jeans and ankle boots next week end or wear it to work with a leather midi skirt and heels.
If you love the look but not the A-list price tags of VB's designs then head to our edit below for more affordable options that will ensure you stay warm this winter.
Fashion had the unlikeliest of muses in 2015. It courted the ancient city of Benaras. Famous for its beautiful brocades, this seat of learning and culture has found itself in the forefront of news ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his Make in India campaign. It seemed almost a given that his constituency would be the launch pad for the textile revival movement. But the fervour with which the industry would embrace this trend was unprecedented. And unexpected. Indian design has clearly found its new black and it is rooted in craft and colour.
Nothing established its status as a national treasure better than two of India's most prominent fashion events paying tribute to its traditions. Both Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) and Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) gave the city star billing in their latest seasons. LFW Winter/Festive 2015 themed its Indian Handloom and Textile Day 'Re-invent Benaras'. The lineup had younger designers showcasing their version of fine silks as jumpsuits and jackets. Sarees came in pop colours and lighter weaves. Bollywood celebrities made an appearance as show stoppers. But the headlining show of the day was by Ritu Kumar.
The grand dame of Indian fashion had the industry stand up and take notice with her white-on-white cutwork and brocade sarees. Her revivalist skills were clearly on display. And reiterated at an exhibition held at Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai, during the same time. Titled 'Woven Wonders of Varanasi', sarees by master craftsmen were displayed along with contemporary interpretations of the textile by marque names of Indian fashion like Krishna Mehta, Varun Bahl, Narendra Kumar Ahmed, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Payal Pratap, Gaurav Gupta, Rohit Bal, Raghavendra Rathore, Anita Dongre, Raw Mango By Sanjay Garg and Manish Malhotra, to name a few.
A few months later, Benaras stole the show again at Amazon India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 when 16 designers were asked to showcase their version of the craft for the finale. Against an elaborate backdrop of the Ganga ghats, the country's finest displayed three garments each. The span included the traditional mastery of Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Tarun Tahiliani, the exaggerated silhouettes of Alpana & Neeraj, Atsu's modernistic interpretation, Arjun Saluja's androgyny and A&T and Rajesh Pratap Singh's pared down sophistication.
This heavyweight display was perhaps one of the finest examples of the range and depth of Indian fashion's involvement with craft. If that was not enough the opening show for AIFW Spring/Summer 2016 was by fashion's It boy Sanjay Garg. His collection celebrated the made in Benaras ethos and while the silhouettes were simple, the workmanship created a wow moment with every single garment. Critical acclaim was there for everyone to witness with his front row which was packed with the intellect of heavyweights such as Deepti Naval and Konkona Sen Sharma. The final nod came when Masaba Gupta wore his clothes for her sangeet ceremony in November.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards kicked off on Saturday at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET in Los Angeles, and nominees and presenters from both television and film turned out to celebrate each other — in designer looks, of course. We are updating continuously as celebrities make their way to the red carpet. See Alicia Vikander, Claire Danes, Amy Poehler and many more stars...
The Oscars are exactly one month away, and there are just a few stops left on the red carpet circuit before Hollywood's biggest night of the year. On Saturday evening in Los Angeles, nominees and presenters from the worlds of television and film came together in celebration of the most stellar performances from the past 12 months, and, of course, celebrities really stepped it up when it came to getting dressed for the occasion.
On this particular night, we were fond of those who turned to insider-favorite designers (Christopher Kane, Erdem, Prabal Gurung) and who opted for unconventional awards season looks, like a jumpsuit or patchwork sequins.
Read on to see team Fashionista's picks for the best dressed ladies at the SAG Awards, and for more red carpet coverage..
Actress Kajal Aggarwal came in a Pink Swapnil Shinde gown with plenty of Cleavage show on the Red Carpet of Britannia 61st Filmfare Awards conducted January 2016. She looked very hot and sexy in The Pink Gown.
Kajal Agarwal looking her hottest and sexiest best at 61st Filmfare Awards 2016 Ceremony at Mumbai going on currently.
It’s that time of the year and several actors across industries made a beeline for the prestigious event Filmfare awards 2016.
The 61st Filmfare event has many look forward to programs but major attraction is Sharukh being the host and Salman to have a stage performance. From South, several actors found at red carpet however, Kajal Ararwal makes a dazzling entry dressed in a sharp pink dress scorching the red carpet. Perhaps this could be the first bold public attempt from the actress ever since she made an entry in to show biz.