Sunday, 3 March 2013

COPYCAT DESIGNS & DRESSES #10: The White Manish Malhotra Maxi Dress as worn by Shilpa Shetty

I've admired this dress for a while in the past, which is a design by Manish Malhotra at the Mijwan Fashion Show back in 2011, which was worn by Shilpa Shetty on the ramp. My favourite this about this dress is the full volume of it, which isn't 'puffy' but more A-Line and flowy, which shows that it has a really good cut. I also like the intricate work on the sleeves, and the simple but striking colour combination of off-white and royal blue with gold, which can't go wrong in my opinion. I'm a big fan of maxi dresses anyway, so anything with a good flow and some decent volume to it is always going to be a good thing!

This is my version of the dress, which I got made from Sai Fashions, a boutique in Manchester, a couple of months ago. I chose to keep the colours the same because I thought that white and blue would be a different  for me to wear, and it would make a change to go for a light colour rather the usual deep colours I tend to go for.

I got the dress made as a full-skirted maxi dress, with an embroidered dupatta and plain white churidar. I also opted not to go for the see-through waist panels in the original design, and has slightly less work on the sleeves, with the cuffs edged in velvet. The bulk of the dress is made from panels (there's about ten in the front, and ten in the back) which were sewn together, and has a layer of georgette underneath to make it more fuller.

I also went for the work to be in gold and silver under the advice of the people who worked at Sai Fashion, to give it an extra sparkly look: the silver would blend in with the white fabric and the gold would look more striking, and I also added deep blue crystal stones along with the white ones. The dupatta is a lot more simpler, since it had a simple gold and silver embroidered motif, which made it very light and easier to wear, although I could also opt to go without it as well if I wanted.

This is the dress when I wore it, which I had to wear with very high heels because the dress was very long. It's not easy to see the layers of fabric under the skirt which makes it quite full, but there's a slight 'tail' at the back because of how the dress sat, which was quite flattering.It was quite an easy dress to accessorise because it didn't need much, and I think it was quite a striking outfit.

THE GOOD: The dress was quite fun to walk around in because it was so swishy, and it definitely had a glam-factor to it. The designers at Sai Fashions boutique were very helpful when I was buying the outfit, I didn't design it myself, obviously, but it was easy to see the quality of it when it was done. I really liked the deep blue crystals which added a nice touch to the dress, because it's subtle yet very pretty. The finishing of the dress was quite good, the hem at the bottom was immaculately done and the velvet use was very good quality.

THE BAD: The dress was slightly long, so it took getting used to in order to walk around in it - I've only worn it once and I had to make sure I didn't trip over it! It's also a little difficult making sure that the dressed doesn't get bunched up when sitting down, but it is easy to drape to avoid this. My main issue with this outfit was that the fabric for the sleeves was quite thin, so the dabka (metal) work stones on the sleeves and bodice kept catching on it and caused a few pulls and was slightly uncomfortable. This has been the case for a lot of outfits I have made of chiffon and silk, and in hindsight, I would use a thicker material like georgette which doesn't pull as much.

THE UGLY: Walking up stairs, I had to pick my dress up like a medieval princess each time. And coming down the stairs in huge heels was just as bad!

OVERALL: I think this is a pretty outfit, and I definitely think that the work on the sleeves and neckline was of a high quality. The dress also had enough panels to give it the volume that I like without making it too puffy, and it also draped beautifully when worn. I would perhaps try this dress as a shorter, less fuller outfit to see the difference, but I doubt it would have had as striking an effect in the same way a maxi dress does.

 The only thing about this outfit which I'm still undecided on is really the colour, while I do like white dresses and off-white, I'm not sure whether it's a flattering colour on me. I like trying out new colours and designs and I think this was quite different for me, and it was an outfit I liked. On the other hand, now that I have a white dress, I'm not sure whether I would go for another one. I tend to gravitate towards warmer and richer colours, and while I like soft colours like coral pinks and off whites, they're not always my first choice.

All in all, I was quite happy with this outfit, it wasn't cheap to make but it was fun to wear, and it's something which feels classic to me because I can imagine getting wear out of it. I also think something like this would make a pretty registry outfit for brides-to-be, perhaps just as it is or slightly heavier, and it's certainly got that 'fusion' look to it which is quite popular in London.

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