Monday, 28 September 2015

Eid-ul-Adha 2015...

This year's Eid celebration was a little low-key for us, we didn't invite too many people to my mum's house this year as she wanted to keep it intimate, which meant a relaxed and hassle-free atmosphere for us.

Of course, this didn't mean we wouldn't still dress up! I was on a seriously low budget for Eid outfits so ended up with this lovely peach outfit below - believe it or not it was unstitched material from a local shop that I managed to get tailored in time for Eid! Paired with nude heels this was a really comfy look which was pretty in-line with current Pakistani fashion trends.

This is how the outfit looked on me, it did feel a lot lighter after the last few years of maxi dresses and long hemlines, but it was very comfy and felt very chic. I also loved the colour - there were other pastel colours available in this fabric (pale blue, spring green and lilac) but I'm a sucker for nude pink and it's easy to wear a matching hijab with this shade.

And of course no Eid post is complete without a view of the shoes!

My sisters all bought locally this year as well, and they found some beautiful outfits in the shops. I've often found that a lot of the local stores have raised their prices over the last few years which I didn't think was always affordable - but surprisingly this Eid and last Eid we found some very reasonable prices and some lovely outfits. I love the range of colours between of of us sisters (and sister-in-law!) this Eid, we went for chic and comfort and loved what we found.

I completely forgot to take pictures of the food because we were all too busy eating it, but here's a (grainy!) shot of my niece's mehndi, which I thought was lovely.

We had a lovely Eid which carried over to the weekend (naturally) which we spent time with extended family (more on this later!), with good food and lots of posing. It was also lovely because it reminded me of my first Eid last year and how much things have changed since then in a good way - hubster and I have settled in a lot more and we're all a little happier, wiser and sillier!

How was your Eid celebrations? What did you wear?

Friday, 25 September 2015

Happy Eid 2015...!

Wishing you all a beautiful Eid celebration and Hajj Mubarak, and a blessed day with good food and good company!

Here's a peek at what I wore when we celebrated yesterday (although the celebrations are continuing into the weekend as well!)

Curly Fries xxx

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Amazon India Couture Week 2015: Opulence and Bollywood

One of the best things about the flourishing of social media, such as Instagram and Snapchat, is that it allows us to follow events around the globe as they happen and keep up to date a lot quicker. Where even a couple of years ago, I would have to look online for events after they happened, now I'm able to follow more fashion news and events in India and Pakistan, and of course in London without having to be there.

So naturally, I followed all of the beautiful outfits of Amazon India Couture Week last month, which was a very luxurious affair with plenty of Bollywood stars present; as well as PFDC L'OrĂ©al Paris Bridal Week 2015 which just took place a few days ago in Pakistan (which I'll also be posting about!)

Anju Modi
I loved how colourful and traditional this collection was - apparently this designer's line was inspired by upcoming epic movie Bajirao Mastani which certainly shoes in the gorgeous detail of these outfits. The style of these are meant to be more Persian, which I loved because of how regal these outfits look.

Gaurav Gupta
Conversely, this designer went for a gold palette in various shades, with focus on the cuts of the dresses in layers, and on embroidery. Gupta also collaborated with jewellery company Outhouse to create special earcuffs for the model, which I thought was a nice touch. The cocktail-style dresses in this collection were quite elegant, with a few sari-gowns hybrids thrown in as well.

Kalki Koechlin was the showtopper for this designer, and looked very much like a princess in her layered pink outfit, which I thought she looked lovely in.

Rahul Mishra
This collection leaned towards formals and bridal trousseu pieces, with inspiration from the 'Tree of Life' theme, present through plenty of floral and parrots embroidery. I loved the richness of the colours in these outfits, simple yet summery which worked well together.

This was another traditional collection which was inspired by the maharajas, which had plenty of colours, taking inspiration also from the classic 80s and 90s Bollywood colours  which looked vibrant together. I loved the rich colours and fabrics of this collection - idea as bridals or as party outfits!

This collection had two Bollywood stars as the show stoppers, Aditi Rao Hydari and Chitrangada Singh, both in different styles, showing a transition between old-style Bollywood through to the contemporary styles. 

Monisha Jaising
This was very much a modern, fusion collection - bridal meets sportswear and funky prints. I can't say I was a fan of all of these although I did like the quirky mix of prints and embroidery.

Showstopper Kriti Sanon completed this theme, with a gorgeously embellished lengha skirt mixed with a jersey top and embellished trainers! On the other hand, Pernia Qureshi was dressed in a simpler maxi dress with sparkles, which looked more contemporary.

Reynu Tandon
One of the things of the I really liked about this collection was the way gorgeous rich colours (I do love my maroons and aubergines!) and the way the dupatta was styles for each model, showing a traditional bridal look. I also liked the various flowy styles, although it was mostly lengha, there were a couple of shararas thrown in and dresses in a similar style.

Richa Chadda was the showstopper for this collection, looking like a Lucknow queen in a rich red and gold bridal, mixing rich prints and brocade with embellishment.

Rimple and Harpreet Narula
This was a collection which focused on a rich palette of golds, red and white, with plenty of intricate embroidery on beautiful A-line skirts and worked tops - very elegant and classic. The collection is apparently a homage to the days of the Raj, using fine craftmanship and royal insignias in the outfits.

Shilpa Shetty looked just as lovely in a gold lengha from the collection - I loved the gold-on-nude look of this outfit which worked well with the heavy embellishment.

Manav Gangwani
This is another collection which focused on vivid colour and florals, for a striking look. There were a lot of silhouette outfits, closely-fitted gowns to emphasise the figure and finished off with plenty of embellishment.

Kangana Ranaut was the showstopper for this designer, with plenty of sparkles in this sumptious gown. This was certainly for the modern bride who is looking for a little drama in their outfit, which Kangana certainly pulled off.

Rohit Bal
This collection mixed floral and animal motifs with Kashmiri inspiration, finished off with beautiful floral hairband. I love how unique these outfits looked, with each piece being a statement in itself, using rich colours and fabrics.

Varun Bahl
This was a lot more floral-based, with emphasis on the feminine in each outfit - appropriately called 'Song of the Flower'. The ramp itself was decorated with roses to add to this, and each outfit has beautiful flowers worked in. I really liked the pieces of this collection, which I thought were a lovely alternative to the usual gold embellishments you usually see on bridals.

This was one I was looking forward to seeing, and it is one of my favourite collections of AICW because of how rich the outfits looked, and how intricate the details looked. The designer collaboated with Louboutin to create a series of shoes for the catwalk, which were just as richly embellished, while outfits were mostly gold and black with a spot of red to signify the famous soles!

Manish Malhotra
The designer closed the show with a collection of rich flowers and colours to celebrate his 25th year in fashion. Entitled 'The Empress Story', featuring gowns which ranged from metallic silver and vintage gold to rich reds, rose pinks and chocolate browns. There wer also plenty of flower and bird motifs in embroidery, which finished off the looked in a unique way.

Aishwariya Rai Bachan finished off the finale in a gorgeous maroon and gold ensemble, looking stunning and chic and every inch the 'Empress' of the collection.

Images source

I really liked the range of colours and styles of this collections, and it was interesting to see how many designers were going back to the traditional, old-era looks as well. I loved the different interpretations of these, and it'll be interesting to see how many of these will filter down to the high street shops - especially as a lot of these will be available for the public to buy in coming months.

What did you think of these - which designer was your favourite?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

FOLLOWING TRENDS: Floral Maxi Dresses (again)

Over the last couple of years I've seen the floral trend burst into into Western and Eastern fashion, and over the last year or so I've seen this translated into various styles and designs which have seeped into the high street. I've already posted about these gorgeous floral maxi dresses from a local store which caught my eye, but they were above what I was looking to spend. I've still got a hankering for a floral dress or maxi skirt which I can wear as a lengha, and it's been great to see more variety in the shops.

I've seen these lovelies in several shops over the last week or so in Green Street, Ilford and Whitechapel (all East London hot spots for Asian clothes!) - all for pretty bargain prices from as low as £69 in some shops to £120 for the embellished ones in others. All in all, these are a pretty good buy for someone looking for something floral and they're perfect for a summery look (I know summer is more or less over but it's still nice to see colour!)

I've been contemplating these for a future wedding, or even Eid, the styles are simple yet pretty and there's a lot of colours and styles available, not to mention being such a good bargain.

What do you think of these? Would you buy one?

Monday, 7 September 2015

THE WEDDING POST: Mehndi Memories!

Can you believe that it's been a year since my wedding?! I really can't, it seems like only a few weeks ago that I got married and moved away from my parents, and yet I'm so settled and comfortable in my married life that weirdly enough, it feels like I've always been married!

So this time last year, on this day, I had my mehndi night. which was surprisingly an emotional day but a lovely one, surrounded by friends and family. There's a lot of things which I stressed about at the time but on that day, walking in under a curtain of flowers and looking at all of my friends, a lot of that stress and anxiety melted away (to the music of Ali Zafar's Jhoom, if anyone wanted to know!)

I thought I'd do a series of memories posts this week - what I remember from my events, including my mehndi day, the good, the bad and the funny, especially as it's amazing what sticks out in your mind afterwards!

So here's a few random things I remember from my mehndi night, in no particular order, although I'll try not to complain too much! I do remember wanting to do a hundred and one things and stressing about it, and I'm only mentioning them now because a year later looking back, I really don't know why I worried as much as I did.

Getting ready
I'm lucky enough to know a lot of make-up artists and henna artists, so naturally I got my sister-in-law to spend do my makeup, which I loved. We even managed to spend a little free time in the the day where she took me out for brunch before we got ready, which helped relax me a lot. She got the look even better than I thought, I wanted simple and glowy and she managed both without making my face look too heavy or busy, and I loved the result.

It made me happy that I was able to save so much money by booking a makeup artist for my main wedding day, as it can really add up with the more functions you have. I was also glad that it looked the way I wanted without having to compromise - I've met so many women who have opted to do their own makeup or ask a friend to do it, for one or more of their wedding functions and they've looked great, so I'd definitely encourage that options for brides who are thinking about it.

My hair and the mess at the end of the day!
My jasmine flowers (which were such a headache to buy, because I wanted fresh ones!) came loose half-way through the mehndi and basically looked a mess by the end of the day - you can see them unravelling in pictures below, and the before/after of the flowers! This isn't to criticise the hair-stylist at all - I got my hair and dupatta setting done by Shamalah Hairstylist and LOVED what she did, the flowers themselves just wilted and were bound to fall down after a lot of dancing and moving around! The hair looks not so bad in the second picture, but by the time I got home the flowers had dried and my hair was all over the place!

Also, if any Londoners wants to know where I got the flowers, Vallis in East Ham, East London do them at an amazing price of £1 per string meter and they smell beautiful! A tip for any brides using flowers though, keeping them in the fridge really helped me in keeping them fresh overnight.

Even worse, when I got home, it took me ages to undo my hair and get my hair sorted out. It was actually more painful than my wedding hair was because there was a lot more extensions and back-combing involved, and worse for me because I didn't realise it would be this difficult! 

A few of my friends didn’t turn up to the mehndi, which I was a little upset about at the time, although I did get over it 15 minutes into the mehndi, once the dancing started! I only mentioned this because it's inevitable that someone can't make it, or something can happen which can be really annoying - try not to let it get to you too much. A friend of mine who got married around the same time I did told me that she was pretty upset that a some of her friends and family didn't make it to her mehndi, enough that when she went home she was upset and even cried a little. You're bound to be emotional but don't let these be the last and defining moments of your Big Days, the last thing you would want to remember about your events is being upset for the wrong reasons.

It's also easy to get annoyed at the little things like these, when it's so much better to appreciate people who DID turn up and make the effort, which can really make a difference on the night! It's fair to say all of the right people turned up and it was really warming to see that they made the effort, not to mention all of the hard work from my mum, sisters and sister-in-law!

Asian Timings
I got to my mehndi venue really early, and was a bit annoyed that I turned up before the guests, particularly as it meant my brother, who was my chauffeur for the night, and I had to wait because I didn't want to talk into an empty hall. Thankfully, my photographer was already at the venue, and used this time for a quiet photo-shoot which I loved – some of my favourite pictures are from this shoot. I was also glad to be punctual because it meant I had some quiet time to myself beforehand.

Sweets and Favours
I barely saw the beautiful sweet table my sisters made and set up. I sure as heck didn’t get to eat anything from it. At least I had lots of photos of it afterwards! Similarly I had spent a lot of time with my sisters making up favour bags, sweet cones and decor boxes in a peacock print theme, which kind of got lost in the hall decor, but admittedly on the day, it didn't matter as much to me anyway.

We’d bought lots of jasmine strings to make into bracelets (ghagray) for some of the guests, and some of them got forgotten. Two of my friends ended up putting dolly-mixture sweet bracelets on my wrists to make up for it because we forgot to get my best friends to put the flowers on my wrist! I don't know why I look so serious in the photo below because I remember laughing about it all!

Our food got served late, which was very frustrating, as the caterers had been calling me all afternoon while I was getting ready to ask me about venue access and set-up. I actually got up from my stage at one point during a break when the guests managed to eat, to go into the kitchens and tell off the caterers. They learned their lesson and served the food on time on the wedding day though, so at least I told them off effectively!

Dancing the night away!
We managed to get some of the older ladies, the mums and aunties, up for a Beyonce dance which was fun, and it was even better when my sisters and friends joined in too. One of my friends is an amazing (and enthusiastic!) dancer so she stole the show with her moves and got me to join in as well, although I'll admit I was a lot more embarassed!

My niece and I doing twirls!
It feels pretty strange to look through some of these now and see myself all dressed up, especially because I looked pretty calm in a lot of photos and I know I was quite nervous!
A friend of mine got married a few days ago and told me she felt the same - I think it was that point after months of stressing that she walked in and decided to just enjoy herself rather than look for things that had gone wrong.

I know there were a lot of things which were missing, didn't look the way I thought or just general things I thought were needed - looking back I now know that as much as we brides love the little details. the beautiful decor, the amazing dances, it's more important to enjoy the night and being with your close ones. Above all, just sit back, relax and focus on looking good!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Things I've been doing: August Edition

July was been a little quiet for me (apart from Eid!) but I managed to keep myself busy in August! It also helped that my nieces and nephews were on summer holidays which meant we wanted to plan more stuff to do.

Had a tea party
I spent a good few weeks cutting out random things, decorating my living room and looking up random recipes for this, which meant being a lot quieter on the blogging front, but it all came together pretty well, and thankfully everyone loved it. You can see my post about this here, but the theme was the Mad Hatter's Tea Party (with added florals, pastels and book themes!) and there was a range of cakes and cold food, followed by lots of hot food (because we're Asians and it's just not a party without a few samosas!)

Been to a few weddings 
I've had a few weddings this Bank Holiday and a couple of weeks ago, which meant pulling out my pretties from my wardrobe - here's a look at some of things I wore. I'll be doing post on some of these soon, but it's nice to see lots of colours and styles together!

Went shopping!
If you've been reading this blog a while, you'll know I love my shopping and I can't resist a good bargain. I'm always on the look out for new styles and outfits, and I learned a lot from my last shopping experience looking for Eid outfits. I'm keeping an eye out for new outfits for upcoming weddings and Eids (don't worry, I've also been throwing out and selling my old outfits too!), and it's interesting to see how fast fashion is adapting.

Here's a few of the outfits I've seen in the last week or so, that I've been liking, there's a lot of pretty florals out there that I'm loving, so I'm hoping my next outfit will be a floral one!

Got a few gifts
Including a lovely keyring from Morrocco from a friend of my husband and mine - I picked the yellow drum because I thought it looked cute!

Mr Curly Fries and I have still got more things planned for the rest of this year - we have our first wedding anniversary in September (yaayy!), birthdays and we're also considering taking a holiday if possible - otherwise lots of days out!

What have you been up to?