Wednesday, 30 April 2014

THE WEDDING POSTS: Picking an Online Designer to fit your budget

A lot of people email and ask me about where I get my clothes from, and more specifically, which online designers and vendors I would recommend. I've been doing a lot of research and looking at a lot of pictures over the last few months as I have been trying to order my bridal outfit. As much as I would LOVE to order a designer bridal outfit (specifically, a Bunto Kazmi outfit, my favourite designer), I don't have the money for it and I'm also trying to be sensible. There are a lot of 'Facebook sellers' and 'designers' out there, some good and some bad, and it can be difficult to sift through them and see who will do good work.

Here's some of the research I found while deciding on my own bridal outfit (although it is definitely not all encompassing and I would definitely recommend that you do your own research as well to make sure you are satisfied.) These are some on-line vendors who I have used, and who I would recommend, they're pretty affordable and most do bridals as well as formal/party outfits. I didn't want to post too many because it can be overwhelming to look through too many, and these were some of the more reliable sellers I found.


Kapray Shapray
Note: I have ordered from her before, she does very nice bridal and heavy kameez outfits, her designs are good and prices are reasonable. She's pretty quick to reply and does a good job with outfits, although be mindful that she gets busy some season (eg. Eid and wedding seasons) so sometimes stops taking orders for a little while. A positive is that she has pictures of her real work so you know what to expect.

Like the above seller, she does bridals and heavy kameezes, I haven't used her for a custom made outfit (I've only ordered a ready-made outfit from her before) before but she seems to be good and her prices are quite similar to the above. Like the above seller, she posts pictures of her real work so you know what to expect.

Saima Mohd
Does replica outfits and heavy outfits, I have read excellent reviews about this one. I am also aware that my fellow fashion blogger SuperSummer has ordered from this vendor and has nothing but good things to say!

Enchanted clothing
I have ordered from her before and have blogged about my positive experience here; she is not as cheap as above, but is very quick and I love her work. I think she is definitely worth a look too, particularly as she is able to get the details of her designs done pretty well, and is also able to copy designer outfits quite well.

M K Designs
I have used this vendor before, and the kaam (or work) used is excellent quality. The person who runs this website lives in the UK, which makes her easy to talk to, and she is very thorough so she is able to go through every detail with you. One outfit I've ordered before is this one, which I ordered a couple of years ago, and which I was very happy with.

My other advice would be to always email the vendor and tell them your budget and what you like, then they can tell you what they can make for you, even if they reduce the kaam or alter it slightly to accommodate your budget. Make sure you also look at their pictures of finished outfits so you know what to expect, as it's no good looking at pictures from the catwalk and expecting it to look exactly the same.

It's also up to you whether you want to order online or not, or whether you choose to look in the shops in your local area. If you don't order from the shops around you and decide to purchase online, I still recommend a visit to your local shops to see in real life and up close which colours suit you, the style of work you prefer and what shapes suit you. I'll be sure to post more online designers that I come across and the ones I find reliable as well, and please do leave comments for other online designers/tailors you would recommend.

I'll also be posting another post for those of you who want to use a recognised brand designers (although I'm no expert on these!), and will post my experiences with them very soon.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: Sophisticated Blues and Greys at Seasons

Here's some eye candy this weekend, something I saw in a shop window recently. I love the colour combination of grey with deep blue, and this window display by Seasons by Nabila Fayyaz, in Ilford East London is spot on with the different styles that are compiled together here. My favourite is the first design on the left (although it's a little heavy for me to wear to a lot of places!) because of how pretty the work is and the little accents of blue. I can definitely imagine this being a beautiful colour theme for a wedding or reception, and think it makes a nice difference from some more feminine colours I've seen lately.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

GLAMOROUS ACCESSORIES: Zara's Pretty Necklaces

I feel like I haven't really paid attention to necklaces in the last few years, particularly as I started wearing a scarf and stopped wearing things which would be hidden under the scarf folds. I've started to notice necklaces more these days, because there's so many beautiful designs out there, some of which can easily be mixed with Western and Asian wear.

I've noticed that Zara has been following the trend of beautiful statement piece necklaces which have surged into fashion, such as the collar-style necklaces and huge flower necklaces, which can dress up an outfit easily without looking too OTT.

There's two particular necklaces which have caught my eye, both of which I have been tracking down via Amazon, eBay and Faecbook (since the Zara website has long sold out!), both which I think look lovely.

The first necklace is this round, layered crystal one with white stones - made very popular when Kate Middleton wore it last December time. I love the chic-ness of this necklace, it's a pretty good price for something that cost just over £20.00, and it reminds me of kundan-style stones. I've got my eye on this one because it's so easy to wear and can really dress up an outfit - I can imagine it worn with a beautiful silk sari or a plain anarkali.

The second necklace I'm really liking isthis rainbow-flower necklace that Zara has, which is colourful, sparkly and funky. It seems to be a copy of a few colourful necklaces I've seen floating around, not least the Shourouk Apolonia Rainbow Necklace which is a pricier but beautiful necklace. The Zara version of this is very, very similar and also a lot more affordable (again out of stock but easy to find elsewhere!).

I think it also helped that these necklaces were popularised by TOWIE stars Sam Faiers (who apparently got her version from The Jewel Stack) and Jessica Wright who also wore the same design, It looks great on plain or white tops and has a pretty, girly look to it which means not much dressing up is needed elsewhere. 

I  have my eye on both of these necklaces, and want to buy at least one (although I probably won't get as much wear out of it as I want because of my scarf, so I'm still debating it!) I'll definitely post if I end up buying one of these, especially as I'm dying to know how it will look with my wardrobe.

What do you think of these - would you buy one?

Monday, 21 April 2014

Some good news...

"And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect."
[Al-Rum: 21]

"It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love)."
[AI-A`raf: 189]

I don't often post about personal things (I know that sounds odd considering I post about my wardrobe and my purchases all week long!), since this is something I'm quite reserved about, but I thought I'd share some good news.

I’m happy to say that I’m getting married at the end of this year, and would like your prayers over the next few months as I take a new step in my journey towards good things. It’s something which has kept me emotional and ecstatic in turns over the last few weeks, and  I’d like to share my news and ask you to keep me in your prayers and share your advice, blessings and of course any tips you find helpful as I look forward to the rest of the year :)

I also thought I'd post whatever advice, reviews and tips I find about any bride-to-bes out there, (I promise I'll try not to be a bridezilla and over post about weddings!) particularly those of you who will be on a budget like myself, and need ideas on where to look (although be warned, I'm quite London-centric!)

Here's to an inspirational next six months, (especially now I've booked the dates and the halls!), and some good times to come.

Curly Fries :)

Sunday, 20 April 2014


I'm sure you've seen a surge of kurtas hit the shops, which are more for casual wear, in the last year or two. I haven't really bought any kurtas so far (and the ones I've had in my childhood don't count!) because I don't tend to wear Asian clothes day-to-day as much as I used to, particularly as I work full time which means I mainly wear a lot of smart, Western wear.

I've seen a lot of people wearing various kurtas and long kameezes of all colours, prints, shapes and lengths, either with leggings or with trousers, and I think it makes a nice look for casual wear that can be dressed up as well.

I saw this kurta in Queen's Market, Green Street in a range of colours, which caught my eye because of the pretty coral colour and the shape of the kurta. I wanted to find something for the summer which would be comfortable, light and flattering, and this fit the bill exactly, so I decided to buy it and join the kurta-party. This is the one I bought, it's not amazing quality but the material feels gorgeous, the buttons look pretty, and best of all it only cost £10.

The best thing about this kurta is that it's an A-line dress shape with a lot of material, which is great as I've seen a lot of kurta designs which are not very flattering or which don't use a lot of fabric to keep the costs low. I loved the flow of this kurta, it was long, loose and still draped well, so I definitely think there was value for money. This is me wearing it for the first time with tapered black trousers, I was so pleased with it I kept it on all day and did little twirls around the house too!(excuse the random rubbish at the back, we were clearing the room out!)

It's not often I get a good bargain like this, and I'd definitely recommend you to have a look, especially if you're anywhere near Green Street and you want one of these (two of my sisters and a friend have already asked me to get them one!) The other great thing about this outfit is that it's very hijab-friendly, and doesn't feel too loose or fitted, so it's ideal for a lot of bodyshapes too. Definitely a staple for my wardrobe this summer, I'm sure it'll be very handy for any dholkis or BBQs too!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Curly Fries joins Instagram...!

I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon and give Instagram a go, especially seeing is it's something that I've been using for a while recently and am really liking. I've decided to give this a shot so I can post my daily doses of beautiful outfits, jewellery and make up - there's plenty of all of these on Instagram which I've been finding really inspiring (it's not quite Pinterest, but it's still pretty diverse and I love the personal touch of instagram).

So if you're on Instagram, please do look me up - look for curlyfrieskapray - and click on that follow button!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: Hot Pink & Black Lace Print Chinyere

I've mentioned before my adoration of the Chinyere brand, it's always been one of my favourites because their designs are affordable yet chic. This outfit is my latest addition to my collection, it was bought on a whim from Bareeze in Green Street, but I'm glad I bought it because I got to use it so quickly!

I wore this outfit to a dholki (a pre-wedding event, which I'm sure many of you have been to!) a couple of days ago - it's a very light, chiffon dress-style kameez with simple black trousers and a slip (I've noticed a lot of Chinyere ready made outfits come with matching slips, which I quite like!) - in fact the only embellishment on this outfit was some very small amount of lace detailing on the duppatta and the sequin motif design on the front of the dress - the rest of it is print work which looks like lace.
This is the outfit and what I accessorised it with:

I decided to pair it with some simple black heels and a black sparkly cuff, mainly because  the dholki took place after work so I was too tired to go overboard with jewellery, and partly because I wanted a semi-casual look. I've worn these shoes plenty of times before, but I love the hot pink detailing at the bottom which I thought went nicely with the outfit!

And here's me wearing it, you can't see but I decided to wear a really bright, neon pink lipstick and a simple hairstyle which was a loose up-do. I think this went nicely with the look I was going for, and it was certainly more comfortable (I also added some small Accessorize earrings last-minute, I've forgotten to take pictures of those though!)

Outfit - Chinyere by Bareeze
Clutch - Barratts
Shoes - Love Label
Cuff Bracelet - Queens Market, Green Street
I loved wearing this outfit, it felt very floating and pretty, and it's perfect for the warm weather - I can certainly see myself getting wear out of it this summer because it's not too dressy so can be worn without a lot of fuss. I don't often wear bright pink like this, but I think the black in this outfit tones it down and because it's not very blingy, I was quite happy with it). While Chinyere outfits aren't super-cheap like some unbranded outfits, I still find their ready-made pret, particularly their semi-formals and casual outfits quite reasonable - I definitely think the quality of it makes it good value, particularly with the rising prices in the high street these days!

I'm keeping an eye outfit in the store on online for more Chinyere pieces, because I love their stuff - do you have any Chinyere designs? What do you think of the brand?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Curly Fry's Shopping Therapy! Lipsticks and Blushers Galore

So it's that time of the year when I stock up on various make-up that I've been reading reviews about, which means I get a bit make-up happy in the shopping department (both online and in actual shops!).

Here's the things I bought last week, some of which I've been really pleased with (some were just stock-ups on things I'd run out of!) which you can see are mostly lip stuff and blushers.  I'll be posting a few reviews on some of these products soon, after I've spent a few days wearing them all!

Monday, 7 April 2014

BRIDE COUTURE: A Bridal Picture by Humza Rasool Chaudhry

I saw this today and thought it was pretty - a photo shoot which featured the works of Pakistani designer Humza Rasool Chaudhry. The thing I liked most about this picture were the shawls - beautifully embellished, in rich shades and adding a fun pop of of colour in this luxurious scene. There's a fairly traditional look going on here, with rich wedding dresses and the long-style lenghas which I've seen a lot in the last few years, but it's those pretty shawls which really make the scene for me.

Image source

Saturday, 5 April 2014

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: Beautiful Creams, Golds and Blues by Muse

I've been looking at more simpler designs more and more, lately. Here's one reason why - these beautiful dresses and kurta shirts below by the wonderful Muse. I'm a big fan of off-white and light blue (what my mum calls ferozi) together, because it's such a lovely colour combination. 

The designs below have added some light-gold work as well, and I think it works well because it gives a pretty, fresh look which feels very in, without trying too hard. It's definitely inspired me for some looks in the summer-time, I've been looking for pretty designs like these which are all about a simple cut and pretty colours.

My favourite out of all of these is the first one, I can really imagine it being an idea outfit in the summer which needs no added glamour or embellishment, just throw on some pretty heels or sandals and you're done :)

All images from Muse Facebook group

Friday, 4 April 2014

DESIGNER MODE: The Sea Blue & Grey Sana Safinaz Bridal

Yep, another Sana Safinaz bridal! I saw this in the same shop that I saw the last Sana Safinaz bridal, and absolutely loved this one. I think the colours worked really well on this outfit - it's feminine and classic, and doesn't feel too heavy - I think this would make a perfect reception outfit. I love the white embroidery on top of the fresh sea-blue, and I think it works well with the brocadey-feel skirt.

I like the Sana Safinaz brand, but I don't always love it because of how overloaded some of the designs can be, which feels a bit too dressy (not to mention very expensive!) Sometimes less is more, and in my opinion it can be better to stick to a more visible, simple design than covering the whole outfit in work. Although this outfit is still quite heavy, the kameez/shirt of the outfit is balanced out by a simple dupatta and the toned-down skirt. I'm less keen on the pouch purse, but it still kind of goes with the outfit.

What do you think of this outfit - does it appeal to you or is it not quite striking enough for your tastes?