Sunday, 4 December 2016

DESIGNER DUPLICATES: Sabyasachi vs Ayesha Aejaz

I know we've all done it - copied a designer to make an affordable replica (I'm just as guilty, you can see a few of my copies here!) It's understandable for us customers - we can't always afford the price tage of a designer so compromise to the design we want. There's a huge industry of fashion vendors and shops who will willingly copy designs for us, whether on the high street or all over Facebook and Instagram.

Don't get me wrong - I am not in any way trying to discourage or disparage anyone who chooses to do this. But it seems a little cheeky when designer labels do the same thing, especially when it tries to take the credit for a design which isn't theirs (at least when I copy an outfit, I admit it!)

Here's something that struck my eye recently - a white and gold lengha design from Sabysachi's summer wedding collection, and Ayesha Aejaz's design showcased at Pakistan Fashion Week London last weekend. Both outfits seem pretty similar, although Sabyasachi's version seems a bit more superior.

While the top is pretty different, the border on the lengha skirt is pretty much the same - although I think I prefer the Sabyasachi version.even the dupatta scarves seem similar - both with a scattering of gold sequins and mukesh all over with a border around the edges. The colours of white and gold isn't a big deal - there's plenty of bridals in these colours but its hard to ignore how similar these are!

I'll be keeping an eye out for more obvious copies like these - let me know what you think of these!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

RE-INVENT YOUR WARDROBE#3: Altering hemlines

I'm sure you've noticed over the past couple of years, that hemlines of kameezes in Pakistani fashion have gotten shorter, which means all those gorgeous long dresses and kameezes we've got suddenly feel a little outdated! While I have updated my wardrobe with some pretty new outfits in the last year or so, I haven't been going too crazy with it - especially when it seems like such a pity to throw out some serious beautiful outfits.

I'm sure you've noticed I've been leaning towards more DIY and mixing-and-matching of outfits these days, and the same thing applies here - rather than replace my whole wardrobe I've been altering someof the pieces. One of the things which I've decided to do is alter the hemlines of my kameezes - shortening them to make them more fashionable and wearable by today's trends.

I thought I'd quickly show one of the outfits I've altered, to show just how easy this is - this is a kameez that I shortened recently by literally measuring and cutting along the bottom - I started with a a simple one in my wardrobe so that it would be easier to do (and I'd be less upset if I ruined the outfit!). I also used a light, plain outfit which would be easy to work with because there would be no embellishment or laces in the way.

The main process of this was pretty easy - it literally involved cutting the bottom and them hemning it over, while neatening the stitches and tidying/cutting the loose threads. In the past I've usually gotten my mum to do my alterations, especially since I don't have a sewing machine myself so I can't operate one property but this one I did myself as my mum's hands aren't what they used to be as she gets older.

In this case I used a sharp pair of scissors to cut and loosely hemmed with some needle and thread at the bottom, before going over it again with smaller and stronger stitched. Took me a while but I managed to do it!

This is the end product - I was quite please with how straightforward this ended up being, and it helped that the material of the outfit was easy to work with, and it was quite easy to sew with as well.

This is me wearing the outfit, which perfect for a sunny weekend! The outfit itself already had straight trousers with it which added to the 70s look it ended up with (the 70s look wasn't intentional but it worked!)

I also wanted to show examples of other kameezes I have shortened in the same way to make them wearable - this Sana Safinaz Eid outfit and also this Agha Noor kurta, which I got my mum to shorten for me. Some of them involved more work because I had to remove the borders on the hem, cut the kameez shorter then re-sew the borders and laces back on and neaten it up, but overall it was fairly easy to do. It's also amazing how different the outfits look when they are shorted, they look and feel more playful and slightly more casual.

Outfits from left to right: Sana Safinaz, Agha Noor, Khaadi

The alterations wer faily easy to do, and it's amazing how much a kameez can be transformed once you alter it, not to mention the savings it made on my purse to alter my outfits rather than get rid of them and buy new ones.

I did play around with styles a tiny bit - the blue Khaadi outit above was like a hi-low style kameez, with the front being short while the back was still the same length, which I liked (and which I put on my instagram account and got a few positive comments about!)

I haven't tried it with a dress style outfit yet (like an anarkali) because I'm not sure it would work, but I definitely want to play around with more hemlines, and see how they look at the end. I've also been looking at whether I should take a few sewing courses (or Youtube lessons!) to make more of my sewing skills - and will let you know about this as I progress!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

A Food Review...Sweet, Mile End

I don't often post food reviews, but every now and then I find a new place in London which I love to share. I won't review it here, so hop on over to my other blog and read my review here - but here's a quick sneak of the food - doesn't that freak-shake look crazy?

Monday, 31 October 2016

BOLLYWOOD ISHTYLE: Anushka's Dreamy Nikah Outfit in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

I've been seeing some promos for this movie the last few weeks, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil which released a few days ago in time for Diwali celebrations. I'm a big fan of Ranbir Kapoor's movies for the quirky characters he plays, and also of Anushka's bubbly personality, so will be looking forward to this one!

One of the things everyone has been talking about (apart from the beautiful songs and their lyrics!) is Anushka and Ranbir's wedding scene, which features Anushka wearing a beautiful, regal red and gold outfit designed by Bollywood costume king Manish Malhotra.

This is the dress itself (posted in Manish Malhotra's instagram account!) - I love how regal and old-school this outfit looks, while still mixing in beautiful jewellery and modern trends. I think the jewellery for this works beautifully, and looks very Pakistani or traditionally Indian which is gorgeous.

This was the only image i was able to find of the trail of the dress (and it's not that clear, is it!), but it shoes the lovely A-line shape of the skirt.

The draping of this bridal look is what makes half of it (the jewellery too!) there's two dupattas being used here, the one on her head and the second one draped across the front of the outfit for a traditional look.

Over the years I've noticed that Bollywood brides in films tend to use very simple, light makeup (like this bridal, for example!) - for this scene Anushka has more of a smokey-eye look and soft pink lips, which I liked because it looked a lot more like brides I've seen in real life. Having said that, the eye makeup also makes Anushka look slightly ill - perhaps less pink around the eyes?

I haven't seen many other outfits from this film yet, but I did see these two sneak peeks below which I liked - the left is the mehndi outfit and the right is a glimpse of a pretty sparkly white outfit. I loved that Anushka's outfit on the left is a mix of embellished skirt and s kundan necklace with a off-white collar-shirt, very cool!

Apparently the bridal dress weighted 17kg and was a real struggle for Anushka - you can see her talking about it here.

 Images from @manishmalhotra and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil promos

I've also seen a lot of comparisons between Anushka's brida outfit from this film and the pretty white and gold bridal outfit she wears in Sultan - I personally love both!

What did you think of this bridal outfit?

Sunday, 30 October 2016

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: The Seasons Floral Maxi Dress

This is a while back, but remember these floral dresses? I finally managed to get hold of the floral print dress I wanted from Seasons ADW, a gorgeous cream dress with floral print all over and pink accents, and of course took the chance to wear this for an outdoor wedding hubster and I went to a while ago (this was acually in the summer when the weather was warmer, I've been lazy about posting this!)

The thing I loved about this dress was the amazing quality - it really reminded me of Ted Baker's floral dresses and shoes, which seems to be their trademark these last few years (especially with the little girl clothes!) and I loved how thick the material of this dress was - not flimsy at all.

This is the outfit and what I wore it with - I didn't want an overly blingy or heavily-accessorised look and loved the pop of pink, so opted for pink shoes and pink lips - and not much more. I didn't even need bangles (and I do love wearing my bangles) because the sleeves had velvet cuffs which I loved.

And of course, I couldn't resist taking a swirly pic in this dress! You can see how flowy the skirt of this is, and how nicely it hangs, which was really flattering the figure (not sure why some of these images look grainy, apologies!)

I really enjoyed wearing this (I'm sure you can tell!) and found it pretty comfortable - it's pretty hijab-friendly and I think it would be wearable without or without the pink dupatta. I can also see this being worn to a Western event or an English wedding too and fitting in nicely with a summery theme.

And of course a sneak at my shoes - I love picking out bright colours in outfits and these pink shoes worked perfectly for me!

I've been lusting after this outfit for a while so I was glad to finally be able to wear this. The dress itself is fairly reasonable in price, and was made to measure by the store, hence the lovely fit. If I wasn't already married I'd love to wear something like this to a bridal shower or a registry - can you imagine the wedding theme for this dress!

It's gotten a little chilly these days so I think I've put this outfit away for now, and will be bringing out the velvets and dark red pieces, but I'm sure I'll get to wear this again soon!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

WEDDING INSPIRATION: Cakes from the Cake & Bake Show 2016

I went to the London Cake & Bake show this last weekend, and thought it was a treasure-trove of inspiration for brides to be, as well as those looking for cake displays for special events like baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays and even just girly tea parties.

I won't post all of the photos of the things I saw (there were just too many!), but wanted to show the variety of themes, styles and cakes out there for those who are looking for more inspiration.

I'll start with my favourite tables, the professionally-made dessert tables - these were beautifully made floral cakes grouped together, made by professional cake companies to showcase their skills. I love that each dessert table had cakes and biscuits to match the whole theme, which looked gorgeous together.

I loved that each dessert table had more than one cake (maybe that's just me being greedy) so that it made the table seem more luxurious and extravagant. I thought this was an interesting alternative to a lot of tables I have seen where the cake is the main showpiece and everything else is centred around the main cake.

I also really liked the colours and textures used for the cakes - lace, floral pieces, ribbons - not to mention some very cool looking mini cakes which looked a bit like bath bombs!

There were cakes on display all around the exhibition, which showed a variety of techniques, themes and colours so that brides aren't just stuck with the traditional plain white cake. I particularly liked the wooden-themed nature cakes below, and the beautiful pearl cakes!

I also loved this beautifully detailed cushion cake - probably took ages to make but doesn't it look beautiful?

The Cake show had a huge number of vendors selling tools to decorate and embellish cakes - there were lots of styles I hadn't seen before such as glittery lace, edible gem stones, detailed beading and beautifully worked icing in a variety of ways.

Macarons are the latest, fashionable edibles for wedding cakes, so naturally we also saw some of these - I loved the giant gold macaron cake below, although not sure how it'd taste!

Another thing that also gets neglected a lot in wedding tables are biscuits - and there were some amazing ones at the Cake and Bake shows. My favourite were these wedding-themed biscuits, such as the wedding dresses, proposal biscuits, floral bouquets and even biscuits for the bridesmaids! I thought this would be great for bridal showers as well as henna night and wedding dessert tables.

There were also some gorgeous cake stands available for those looking to display their own cakes, or even for weddings. I love that these weren't restricted by size or styles (we even saw a huge stand shaped like a horse-and-carriage!)

Another things which has become fairly fashionable recently are cupcake bouquets - they look cute and are fairly easy to make! I thought these looked so pretty, and would made a great centre-piece for a dessert table, or even as a hand-held bouquet!

I also saw some great cake ideas for mehndi events - such as these peacock cakes below. I liked these straightaway because it made me think of the peacock theme I had for my own mehndi - I would have loved to have these on display! I also liked the embellished biscuits below, which reminded me of  a lot of biscuits I've seen for mehndi parties which have a henna design on them.

Cake-pops and meringues are another pretty alternatives to cupcakes or cakes - they look colourful and cute, and would look amazing for a dessert table! My sister has made us cake-pops before and they have looked really pretty on dessert tables (or in our hands!) and I liked the variety of flavours and colours below. I'm less a fan of meringues but I LOVED the rainbows ones available at the cake show - you could have just these on the table and they'd look beautiful!

There were a huge amount of cakes at the show, and we spent a good few hours browsing, buying goodies and also looking at new techniques for cake and cupcake making. It's given me a lot of ideas for future tea-parties, as well as different treats to try out, so watch this space!

You can see more of  my pictures here, and also on my sister's blog here.