Thursday, 28 March 2013

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: Manish Malhotra's Retro Designs at WIFW Fashion Show 2013

Thought these were quite funky, especially the use of the 'harlequin' print on popular designer Manish Malhotra's outfits, which added a very retro, almost bohemian splash of colour to some interestingly designed outfits. And although some of the designs are a little different, I do like them (I live the jacket the best!) and it's nice to see something different from Malhotra's signature look such as the big skirts with heavily-embellished borders.

What do you think of this collection?
Image Source
You can see more images of the WIFW show here and here (which has even more funky designs!)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Pinky Cupcakes at My Niece's Aqeeqah

We had a family celebration over the weekend (which is where I wore my peachy Needlez outfit), which was basically for my niece's aqeeqah. The baby was the star of the evening, and of course, we had to have a suitable sweet bar to be as cute as she was.

And we did have a fabulous sweet bar, with some seriously amazing cupcakes made by my sister, and which we all ooh-ed and ahh-ed over, as well as some beautifully made cake-pops which got eaten up very quickly by the kids.

Here's a few snaps of the evening, although I really think they don't do justice to how much fun we had on the night and how great the cupcakes were!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: A Peachy Confection

We had a family event this weekend, which was a nice opportunity to see extended family, and also have some nice food and some seriously beautiful cupcakes made by my sister for the party we had.

I decided to wear this peach and brown embroidered kameez for the day, which was purchased from a store called Maria's Collection located in East London and specialises mainly in semi-formal outfits, embroidered kameezes and casual kurtas. It also sells pretty outfits from labels like Needlez, which is a Pakistani-based brand which does pretty embroidered and cut-work outfit, which was also the label that my outfit was from. This is the outfit below, which was fully embroidered front and back and had pink sequin panels too - I had to get a plain cotton kameez made as lining though because the Needlez kameez was slightly sheer.

I wore this with brown heels and pink bangles, as well as a handily-matching pink ring given to me by my sister. Because the outfit was quite busy, I didn't want to add too much detail to it, so wore a plain deep coral pink hijab and minimal jewellery, which felt quite comfy.

And this is me wearing the dress, which was very, very comfy and a very flattering colour (although I think the peach and brown was a bit full on because everything I accessorised with was also peach). The kameez was a little loose on me because of the long shape and the fact that there were a lot of panels, but I didn't mind this as it meant it flowed easily and felt easy to move around in. I also found the sleeves a little different as usually I go for fitted sleeves and this was more bell-shaped, which made the kameez look slightly different (my sister said it had a slightly Arab-abayah cut to it, which I could agree with) - although my favourite bit of this kameez was the teal embroidered hem at the bottom.

All in all, it was a really lovely night I really enjoyed wearing this outfit, I don't wear a lot of pink but I thought this was a really pretty, feminine colour and it was also quite summery too. I can imagine getting a lot of wear out of this outfit, and it's something which is quite versatile - Maria's Collection store has a lot of similar outfits to this one which was just as pretty, and are great for those in-betweeny type outfits you may need sometimes for special occasions. I think next time I wear it, I may pick out the blue detail of the outfit and try a different colour combination!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

HIGH STREET DESIGNS: Pink & Purple Long Anarkali by RDC London

Here's another design by the popular RDC London, which I quite like because of how well the pinky-puple shade goes with the deeper, velvet in purple. While there isn't anything drastically different about this design, I think it's very pretty, and more importantly, it works - it's wearable, it's colourful and it's easy to imagine wearing for a mehndi, wedding, Eid, Diwali or anything similar.

I'm not keen on the diamante for the neckline, as I prefer the gold dabka and beading, so the diamante looks slightly out of place, but it makes the outfit more sparkly, and I've seen a lot of outfits which manage to combine silver with gold quite well.

All in all, a very pretty outfit which I would love to have hanging in my wardrobe!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

QUIRKY FASHION: Film-Inspired Nails

I'm not a big nail-person, and haven't really been for years, but it is nice to see pretty coloured nails and different shades of nail varnishes. I thought these nails, by UK nail art buff and movie fan Kayleigh O'Connor are really funky, and I love the imagination that's gone into them. While I can't imagine that some of these nail shapes are comfy (or easy to draw!), they're certainly very inspiring, and very well drawn!



 Images from here

Monday, 18 March 2013

Bollywood Moments...

That awkward moment of running through an airport wearing this bridal outfit with a denim jacket, and dropping your keys at the same time.

Image taken from Anjaana Anjaani film

Saturday, 16 March 2013

On the Catwalk, On a Celebrity: Jacqueline Fernandez in Sabyasachi

Bollywood actress and model Jacqueline Fernandez wore a Sabyasachi sari to a Teacher's Achievement Awards ceremony, last week, which was quite a glamorous outfit (and the colour combination of beige, red and blacks was a bit different too).

On the Catwalk
This is the sari on the catwalk (with the model wearing geeky glasses), with a lacey red blouse and heavily embroidered sleeves. It's very similar to this green Sabyasachi maxi dress, which is no surprise as it was from the same collection in 2012, and has a similar feel to it of Spanish influence and Indian elegance.

On the Celeb
And here is the sari on Jacqueline, which I think looked great in some ways, along with her deep red lipstick. I think she went for a more traditional look than a 'fusion' look with this sari, as it looked less exotic on her than it did on the original model, although this may be because of the hair, make-up and accessories (and glasses!) as well. I also thought the back of this sari was pretty, because there isn't a lot of red on the rest of the sari, it also stands out more.

While I do like the sari, and the designer, I think this wouldn't be a sari I would go for, as the beige colour isn't as flattering as it could be, and the embellished neckline looks slightly out of place with the rest of the sari. All in all, though, a signature Sabyasachi sari!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: Sonam in Mint Green Anamika Khanna

I saw this outfit on the ever-stylish Sonam Kapoor, and though it was different, because it wasn't the usual 'dressy' maxi dress, and it wasn't quite the casual type either - I think the embroidered, almost-Spanish style bolero really adds to the outfit to make it look different. I also like Sonam's hair in this, looks easy and pretty, without looking too fussy, and it suits her well.

I also love the idea of being able to wear the bolero with a more casual Western outfit, which would look quite good too, and certainly wouldn't look out of place in today's trends!

Images from here

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

HIGH STREET DESIGNS: London Skyline Kameez

I've seen a lot of printed, quirky kameezes in the high street as well as the catwalk, which I think is cute for more casual, less formal fashion. This 'skyline' style kameez of London caught my eye, which I quite liked because of how quirky it was - not sure how likely I would be to wear it, but I did think it was very different!

I also thought the vase printed kameez next to it was quite adventurous, again not something I may wear because the colours are slightly too bold for me, but I have seen a lot of similar designs on kurtas, which are quite in fashion in Pakistan at the moment (along with fitted churidars or leggings).

What do you think of these?

Monday, 11 March 2013

Polki and Pearl Bangles for Mother's Day

Mother's Day was a nice affair at my house, with several bunches of flowers, cupcakes and little treats for all the mothers in the family. My mum, obviously, got the biggest bunch of flowers though! (You can see pictures here, here and here for what we all managed to get!)

We wanted to also buy something special for my mum (along with flowers), so we decided to get her some bangles which she could wear. My mum loves colourful, pretty jewellery (I share her tastes in that respect!) so it was quite easy to pick something out for her. I've had my eyes on these polki-stone bangles for some time, which was bought from a small jewellery shop called Diva on Ilford Lane, East London (the same place I bought these!) and picked out a set of four bangles. While these aren't real gold, they're gold-plated, and the price was very reasonable - and of course, my mum loved them.

Also similar were these gold-plated and pearly bangles, which we bought my sister's children thoughtfully picked out and bought for her as part of their Mother's Day gift for her. These were better suited for her because they would go with more of her outfits, and would be easy to match with her other bangles. She was quite happy with them too (especially since she didn't even expect anything!) and the kids were excited about them too! So all in all, a nice day spent with the family :)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.
- Abraham Lincoln

Friday, 8 March 2013

BRIDE COUTURE: Kareena Kapoor in Tarun Tahiliani and Gitanjali jewels

I thought this was quite pretty, since it looked quite traditional rather than the glamorous, over-extravagant photo-shoots I've seen recently. This was for an advert for Indian jewellery brand Gitanjali, a few months ago, and I love both the deep red of the wedding lengha, and the beautiful jewellery. 

I'm not sure whether every bride would like to go for this look, especially if they want to go for a more modern, 'fusion' look, but I think the jewellery here are beautiful statement pieces, and the outfit by Tarun Tahiliani is definitely a lovely one (full image of the outfit is here).

Images from Tarun Tahaliani Facebook group

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


I LOVE these rings, which have precious and semi-precious stones and are beautifully designed by Judith Ripka, a New York-based jewellery company which has been running for about 45 years. They're not cheap, but it's nice to dream!

Image Source

Monday, 4 March 2013

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: Deepika in Black & Gold by Abu Jani & Sandeep.

I really like this gold and black Abu Jani & Sandeep ensemble worn by Deepika at the beginning of this year, a gold and black embellished high neck kameez top with plain churidar bottoms, which is set off with very simple jewellery and make-up, and a very elegant hair-style. I'm not keen on outfits which are covered in bling all over, but this has been done very beautifully, and I'm a big fan of jacket-style outfits which look like sherwanis. I also think black and gold is a timeless and classic colour combination which can't go wrong, and certainly it has been well balanced out in this case.

I also noted that Pinkvilla had covered this same outfit, which was also worn by Aishwariya Rai but in a slightly different shape. While I think it looks nice on both actresses, I prefer the one worn by Deepika because the high neck and the updo hair-style makes it look more elegant, and I really like how the tiny splashes of orange are picked out by Deepika's red nails.

 Image Source

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.