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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rendezvous with fashion at NIFT, Hyderabad

It is that time of the year when the future Sabyasachis and Manish Malhotras display their works; when aspiring designers showcase their creations. This was Fashionova and Knitmoda 2015, the graduation fashion show of NIFT, Hyderabad. The graduating students' design inspirations were as diverse as time travel, cubism and Ganga Manthan to the Kitchen. Inspired from elements of Edwardian and Egyptian, wanderlust as well as futuristic cyberworld, students unleashed their creativity on stage as he models sashayed down the runway, twirling and pausing, eliciting murmurs of approval from those in the audience.

Tanushree Nath, whose collection was called 'Whimsical Canvas' says, "My work, inspired from Cubism, uses all season fabric like denim and leather, solid colours and geometric design. The clothes seem runway-like and a lot of chic women would want to wear it." Shrishti Arora derives inspiration from the element of wanderlust, while Payal aspires to make garments that are fashionable, yet simple, Elie Saab style. The parents of those passing out of the college, beamed with pride and applauded for their child till their hands grew sore.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mickey Mouse gets 'desi' fashion makeover

Disney’s loved character Mickey Mouse has been creatively translated into Indian fashion! Highlighted with Mickey elements, a ‘Disney by Anouk’ collection was unveiled here on Thursday. Anouk, Myntra’s ethnic fashion brand, has launched the collection, infused with fun elements in ethnic wear, in collaboration with Disney India.

“With ‘Disney by Anouk’ collection, Mickey will be seen in an all new avatar adding his unique charm to Indian women’s everyday wear,” said Abhishek Maheshwari, vice president and head, consumer products, Disney India. Available on Myntra, the range consists of fashion pieces like anarkali, long kurta, skirt, tunic, crop top and jumpsuit in bright colours such as yellow, blue, pink and orange in rayon fabric.

“Mickey Mouse is one of the most loved Disney characters. That’s why we chose to use it for the collection,” Ruchi Kelan, head designer at Anouk, told IANS when asked why only Mickey was used for the entire collection. Popular fashion designer, stylist and costume designer Aki Narula was also present at the collection’s launch to style the models and also judge a styling contest at the event.

“Mickey Mouse has been used with fun elements like with peacock prints. The Mickey buttons are also interesting,” Narula told reporters here. Speaking about ethnic wear, he said: “Indian silhouettes have gone global now. You can’t categorise them into ethnic wear or Indian anymore. For instance, an anarkali can be worn as a maxi dress or a tunic can be worn with different bottoms like palazzos or churidar.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cannes 2015: Aishwarya's shiny teal gown leaves fashion

Actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan went glittering green for her appearance at the Cannes Film Fest on Sunday.

The actor’s 14th red carpet outing at the fest has left fashion gurus divided. While some say that the teal Elie Saab gown with sheer panels and sequins wasn’t a great red carpet choice, others think it worked well for her.

“Aishwarya is a big star and she is so beautiful. However, I think this gown wasn’t a great pick for her,” says designer Manish Malhotra. Designer Nida Mahmood feels the same, “I’m not a fan of the dress. It’s certainly not the best from Elie Saab.”

However, some feel the gown suited her personality. “It’s a playful outfit which has a synergy of opaque and sheer. It’s a fun  choice, and suits her,” says designer Rahul Mishra. Designer Rina Dhaka also finds the look flattering, but says that the actor could have added some quirk to the look with her hair and makeup. “Teal is quite big globally. I guess it’s a good choice. Aishwarya is conscious of not being the perfect size, so she is sticking to what we call a safe bet. She could have experimented with her hair and makeup though. With that face, you can’t go wrong,” she says.

The critics may be undecided, but the 41-year-old surely wowed her fans as she gave away flying kisses, pouted for the shutterbugs and clicked selfies.

Lakme Fashion Week winter festive 2015 to begin August 26

The winter-festive 2015 edition of Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) will be held at the Palladium Hotel starting on August 26.

Celebrating 15 years of defining fashion in India, LFW Winter-Festive 2015 promises to have the best of India and the world.

“India’s premier fashion event, Lakmé Fashion Week continues to celebrate 15 Years in Fashion in the upcoming exciting edition – LFW WF 2015 – by showcasing the best in Indian fashion with leading designers, bright young talent and grand offsite shows,” read a statement from the organisers.

Planned bi-annually, LFW is jointly organised by cosmetic brand Lakmé and IMG Reliance. It will be a five-day extravaganza.

The Men’s Medium Is Fashion at Frieze New York

The Frieze Art Fair began in London in 2003, introduced by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the publishers of the contemporary art magazine Frieze. Appropriately enough, this English import’s New York edition takes place each spring on Randalls Island, which served as a military post for British troops in the Colonial era.

This year was the fourth New York iteration of Frieze, which ran from Thursday to Sunday. Collectors, gadabouts and gallerists came by ferry and Uber to stroll through the quarter-mile-long tent filled with works represented by 198 commercial dealers and three nonprofit galleries.

“Better hurry: All the good art will be gone,” an editor said as the artists, art lovers and scenesters filed in. We met with some of the stylish first arrivals and asked them about their looks.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Neha Dhupia to up fashion ante at IIFA 2015

New Delhi: Actress Neha Dhupia is set to host the Fashion Extravaganza, an event dedicated to fashion, at the 16th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards in Kuala Lumpur in June.

The event will be held on June 6.

"In addition to films and music, there will be fashion too. It's an important part of everyone's lives. I am looking forward to it," Neha told reporters here.

Hosted by Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra, IIFA Rocks, an exclusive music extravaganza, will see a host of musical performances by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Mika, Ankit Tiwari, Kanika Kapoor, Javed Ali and the Nooran sisters.

Actresses Jacqueline Fernandez, Aditi Rao Hydari, Lisa Haydon and Lauren Gottlieb will also perform at IIFA Rocks on June 5.

Anil Kapoor-starrer "Dil Dhadakne Do", which brings together a talented ensemble of actors, including Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Shefali Shah, Farhan Akhtar and Anushka Sharma, will be screened here a day after its scheduled release on June 5.

"Together, we have created a gem and people will be proud that the film is from India. It will be the first screening of the film. We won't be having another screening for the film in Mumbai," said Anil, who has been in the industry for almost four decades.

Other stars, who will attend the gala, are Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor -- the hosts of IIFA Awards to be held on June 7.

World's largest Islamic clothing co to partner Snapdeal & set up store

MUMBAI: East Essence, an international clothing brand that blends Islamic modesty with cutting-edge design, now plans to turn India into a global centre of Islamic fashion.

The world's largest Islamic clothing company will make its India debut next month by opening an online store at e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal and plans to make the country a manufacturing hub for international markets.

 "The idea is to turn Islamic clothing from a drab black or white clothing mainly used to cloak the body into colourful fashionable attire while maintaining enough modesty," said Sunny Kilam, co-founder of East Essence, established in 2007 in the Silicon Valley of California.

The US firm has presence in 68 countries and has annual sales of $40 million, or about Rs 256 crore. Amit Maheshwari, vice-president for fashion at Snapdeal, said, "Their team has carefully chosen target market with niche product lines and we are supporting them. This is going to drive more consumers to our existing base."

India is the world's second largest Muslim-majority country, with the community representing 14.2% of total population. That's nearly 170 million potential consumers, completely catered by unorganised players at present.

"We wanted to become as fashionable as a Zara or Forever 21 but at an affordable pricing," said Kilam. "Most of the ethnic Muslim population in the US either got their clothes tailor-made or bulk purchased when they visited their home countries such as India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. We have changed this buying habit in most European and US markets and would replicate this in India as well," he added.

Stunning Images Show How Native American Fashion Looks

It's bigger than fashion.

That's the first thing to know about Bethany Yellowtail's work, a vibrant, elegant melding of classic style and the staples of her Native upbringing. Elk teeth line the sleeves of one gown, drawn with intricate floral beadwork, that drapes, glistening black, on the body of Jade Willoughby, an Ojibwe model from the Whitesands First Nation in Northern Ontario, Canada.

All of Yellowtail's collaborators are indigenous: Thosh Collins, the photographer, is Onk Akimel O'Odham, Wah-Zah-Zi and Haudenosaunee. Martin Sensmeier, another model, is Tlingit, Koyukon and Athabascan. Promotional video director and poet Tazbah Rose Chavez, is Nüümü and Diné.

And all have converged behind Yellowtail's vision, a fashion collection that bears the unmistakable mark of Native American influence and history, but with a twist — it's actually made by a Native American.

This is rarer than one might assume. Indigenous designers are scarce in this space, and for most of its existence, the mainstream fashion industry's relationship with Native peoples has been one of appropriation and — put bluntly — theft.

Today, this trend is apparent every time Pharrell Williams graces the cover of Elle magazine in a warbonnet or Heidi Klum arranges a Project Runway fashion shoot starring white models in face paint, feathers, headdresses and animal pelts.

"My brother is a chief, and those warbonnets are how we honor him," Yellowtail told Mic in an interview. "You don't just run around and parade in it."

Perhaps the most vivid example of appropriation from Yellowtail's own experience occurred at this year's Fashion Week in New York City. In a widely documented incident, London-based design label KTZ sent a model onto the runway wearing a dress that bore striking similarities to one Yellowtail herself had designed — including a multi-colored print bearing the distinctive hourglass pattern native to her Apsáalooke people.

"That design I did comes from a bag that my great-grandmother made," she told Mic. "I can't even describe that feeling — here I am, trying to reclaim our voice and represent myself, and this designer acts as if [Native women] are not alive, like we can't do this ourselves.

"It felt personal. It really lit a fire under me."

That personal element is what makes Yellowtail's work so rich. Raised on the Crow Nation and Northern Cheyenne Indian reservations in southeastern Montana, Yellowtail developed an interest in fashion in high school, where an art teacher saw the designer's potential from an early age.

"She said, 'You could be a fashion designer,'" Yellowtail explains. "And at the time there were no Native fashion designers. We don't see Natives like that in media, or in typical mainstream roles. My family is mostly ranchers. My dad runs a cattle ranch. With the kinds of challenges and poverty we face on the reservation, I never thought of this as an option."

After graduating from art school in Los Angeles, Yellowtail worked for various labels and designers before embarking on this latest project, her first clothing line under her own brand. She's named it the "Mighty Few," the name of the reservation district she's from.

Her inspiration, she says, is encapsulated in the vision board she created before designing the pieces — old black-and-white photographs of her grandfather, Hawk with the Yellowtail Feather, and of her aunt performing a rare women's warbonnet dance in the 1940s juxtaposed with her sister participating in the same ceremony a few years back.

"It's beautiful to see the continuity of our people from then to now," she told Mic. "I wanted to convey that with my collection — we're still here, we're still a reflection of our ancestors.

In fact, much of Yellowtail's mission — which drives her work and, in a sense, elevates it above the fashion economy's more commercial ambitions — revolves around fighting cultural erasure, the tendency to treat Native people like they're gone or disappearing.

"At this point, they're taking our voices and our designs from us," she says. "They don't acknowledge us as living people and nations. This is not just fashion, it's part of our tribal identities."

Her endgame is to create a space where Native designers thrive, and where support, appreciation and respect for their craftsmanship overtakes appropriative efforts to slap a few feathers and beads on an outfit and call it "Native-inspired." The richness and diversity of indigenous artisanship deserves to be seen, she says. Native artists deserve to have their own work bought, not appropriated without context or recognition of the original cultures from which it came.

For Yellowtail, it boils down to a simple truth: "We are the first designers of this nation. We are our own best resource."

With this new collection, she plans to prove just that.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Rolls-Royce's latest car includes a fashion shoot right on the factory

Following the Wraith Inspired by Film introduced earlier this year, Rolls-Royce is showing another take in its "inspiration" series: the Wraith Inspired by Fashion. And unlike film, it's pretty easy to see how the worlds of ultra-luxe automobiles and high fashion could intersect.

Although the car itself is basically a Wraith like any other, it's the details that count — welted silk on the door panels, for instance, a technique that Rolls-Royce says is a shout out to fine tailoring. The colorway includes two shades of white accented by the buyer's choice of "Jasmine," "Mugello Red," or "Tailored Purple." Overall, the car is overwhelmingly bright white, both inside and out.

No fashion-inspired car would be complete without a fashion shoot on the car's factory floor, which is exactly what Rolls-Royce did for this Wraith. There'll also be a big unveiling in partnership with Brooklyn's Pratt Institute at an event called "Women of Influence in the Business of Style," taking place later today.

The press release for the Wraith Inspired by Fashion notes that some 95 percent of Wraiths leave the factory with at least one bespoke element, so odds are good that if you're extraordinarily wealthy and order this one, you'll still end up customizing it in some way. (Keep the jasmine accents, they're a nice touch.