I ordered this dress from India, and tried not to change it too much, other than add full sleeves and make the dupatta heavier. Although I did like the jacket idea, I thought it would be simpler to have the design as one piece, due to the heavy work that was on the dress. I kept the colour of the dress in the same ruby red colour, and changed the design slightly to be a one-piece anarkali dress style with fitted churidar trousers. Below are the results of the dress that I ended up with:
The actual work on the dress making up the embellishments consisted of beadwork, stones, diamantes and a little metal dabka work, with the main material of the dress being made of georgette and the trousers being made from raw silk. Below is a close-up of the neckline, the hemline and the motif work on the dress.
The Good: The overall look of the dress was quite sparkly, there was a slightly traditional look to it due to the gold work, which worked a lot better than silver work may have done. The warmer tones of this, combined with the rich red was quite a flattering colour on my skin, and didn't look too bright or garish either. I also loved the fit of the sleeves, they were perfectly fitted and were kept quite simple so that it was easy to wear glammed up bangles with. I also am glad that I kept the dress a little loose for my shape, rather than making it a close fit to my body, which meant that the dress had a good swing to it and didn't feel uncomfortably tight.
The Bad: I wasn't too keen on the hem of the dress, as it looked a little cheap. Although it is apparently in fashion at the moment to have suits with a satin or bordered hem, I didn't think this hem suited the dress, and would have preferred a plain red one similar to the original design. However as this was a dull golden bronze colour, it didn't stand out too much, and rather gave a little flash of colour at the bottom of the dress and the border of the dupatta. I also think that the neckline of the dress was too heavy - although it worked for the original design, in my dress it looked like it was too much, as the motif design was all over the dress and would have been enough. This made the dress seem a little chaotic and lost the elegance a little.
The Ugly: It would have been nicer if the dress had been made from chiffon rather than georgette to give it a more delicate look. Although this may be more of a blessing really, as in my experience chiffon gets caught on the embellihed work easily and pulls the fabric, whereas in this case, because the material was thicker it did not catch at all.
OVERALL: I love how the dress flowed nicely despite the heavy work it carried, and that the actual designs and kaam didn't look too overdone, but rather had a sparkly effect. I also think that it was a good idea to change the design from the two-piece kameez and jacket design to the anarkali dress style, as this made the dress easier to move about in, and kept the dress much simpler. I also loved the colour of the dress, it was a rich red colour which didn't get overtaken by the glitter of the gold work. I would still make some changes to the dress, such as making the neckline embellishment lighter and perhaps changing the hem. The fact that the dress only came up to my mid-shin rather than being longer, as is the current fashion did not actually make the dress look bad, as it just gave an extra swish to the dress, and meant I wouldn't trip over the hem! I would say that I am quite happy with the dress, it is quite a classic design; red and gold is always going to flatter my skin tone and it is definitely a wearable piece.