Wednesday, 31 December 2014

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: Getting ready for New Year's Eve

I thought I'd do a quick post to show what I'm wearing this New Year's Eve, a quick splash of teal, black and gold. I'm keeping my look pretty simple, but thought I'd jazz it up with purple lipstick and gloss!

What do you plan to do for your New Year? What are you plans for 2015?

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Telenor Bridal Couture Week 2014

I followed some designs from Telenor Bridal Couture Week 2014, which took place in Lahore, Pakistan just over a fortnight ago, so thought I would post some of my favourite designers, and re-cap some of the other big names whose outfits I liked.

The collections are too big for me to re-post all of them here, so here are a few of my favourites, there's a lot of designers I recognised this year, and I loved the extravagance that some of them had. I noticed that longer hem-lines are still being showcased, although I also saw more shorter hemlines creeping in - as well as the fact that a lot of these designs were very heavy, making them perfect for bridal inspiration!

Faraz Manan - Bridal Collection

Ali Xeeshan - Mugal-e-Azam Collection

Mehdi - Bridal Collection

Umar Sayeed

Tena Durrani - Perenia Progressive Collection

Hajra Hayat - Empress Collection

Fahad Hussayn - Nautanki Rani Collection

Maria B. - La Roseraie / The Rose Garden

Mini Bindra - Rubaaiyat-e-Khayyam collection

Sahar Atif - The Sultanate Collection

You can also see more pictures of the different designers and their collections here and here.

My favourite collection was probably Maria B's Rose Garden collection, which seems light, whimsical and  very pretty. I can see a lot of influences - Great Gatsby, Renaissance and even some 90s and 80s designs, which make for a very pretty floral collection. I loved the pieces in this collection and thought it was very wearable, although a few other collection such as Umar Sayeed's colourful finale also looked beautiful, with some amazing pieces for a mehndi bridal!

What did you think of this collection? Which collection did you like best?

Monday, 22 December 2014

GLAMOROUS ACCESSORIES: The Double Ring from the Bees Aariya Collection

I recently had the chance to go to the wonderful Bees store a few days ago, and thought I'd check out their newest jewellery collection, a 'lifestyle collection' entitled Aariya. I thought this collection was doubly special because the pieces have been promoted by my beautiful friends at The Twindividual Diaries, who styled and did a photo shoot for this collection (and whose photo shoot currently is displayed at the store as well!)

The unique thing about this collection is that it's more carefree, light-weight and less traditional - the style is more Western and easier to combine with Asian and Western outfits. Rather than the usual heavy bling which comes with kundan jewellery and bridal sets, this is more casual and easier to wear, and more in-line with current fashion trends.

I thought I'd check this collection out (and introduce myself to some of the Bees staff!) while I was browsing, and really liked the variety that was available - most of the jewellery pieces were available in silver and gold colours with a flower-motif running through each piece.

I decided to buy one of the double-chain rings from the collection, which made a nice change from all of the giant rings that I have! This one was very easy to wear and felt very pretty on, without feeling fussy.

I wore this to work the day after I bought the ring (I like to wear my new things straightaway!) and got a lot of compliments for it, it certainly caught my colleague's eyes and my sisters and sister-in-law also loved the ring. It took me a while to get used to the chains dangling on my hand, but it felt very feminine wearing it, and added a little sparkle to my hands. I also liked the fact that I could wear the rings on different fingers, and vary the look of it.

I'll be sure to check out some more pieces from this collection, the matha-patti, for example looked gorgeous but I didn't think I would get to wear it anytime soon (unless I style it over my hijab) so I thought I would wait before I pick one.

What do you think of this collection? What piece would you choose?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

KAPRAY SHAPRAY: An Icy Display by Phulkari London

I walked past this pretty display by Phulkari London yesterday, and thought it was appropriate, icy blues for cold winter season! I didn't get the chance to find out which designer created these pieces (I'll try to find out though), but I loved the 1930s feel of these outfits, they're a perfect fusion of vintage glamour and Indian couture. I love the third dress the most, the patterns running along the front are beautiful and I love high round-neckline.

I'd love to wear something like this to an office party this month - what do you think of these?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Curly Fry's Shopping Therapy! My Inglot Haul

I went shopping in Westfield Stratford, and was delighted to see that a new Inglot store has opened up. I've heard a lot about this European brand and haven't had the chance to use much of their products, and have read a lot of positive reviews - so naturally I bought a few things from there to try out.

As you can see below, a "few things" turned out to be a little more, but I was quite pleased with the fact that prices for a lot of Inglot's product were quite reasonable, and there were a huge range of colours in lipsticks, eyeshadows and pencils to pick from. I've read more praise for Inglot's eye-makeup range so bought a few gel and liquid liners, pencil liners and eyeshadows to try, although they also have a wide range of lipstick, eyeshadow and concealer pans which can be mixed and matched in palettes, which I may try next time!

I'm most excited about this product below, which was a very pretty illuminator that I thought would look very glowy on my skin - it's liquid but doesn't feel heavy, and has a pretty rose tint to it. There were also a few other shades that I loved, but I thought I would try one first before coming back for more.

The second product I'm excited to try is this, which is called Duraline - a clear liquid that can be mixed with any make-up powder to make a waterproof eyeliner, which I think would be useful for trying out unusual colours!

I was also lucky enough to get a free liquid eyeliner from Inglot as I was leaving, to celebrate the opening of the store, I'm not sure if they're still giving away free stuff but have a look!

Have you tried Inglot before? What is your favourite product of theirs?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

THE WEDDING POSTS: My Mehndi Outfit - The Breakdown

A lot of people have contacted me to ask about my mehndi and wedding outfits, so I thought I'd write a more detailed post about each one, including my design ideas and the ordering process. I spent a lot of time trying to design my outfits, but truthfully, once I had an idea of colours and design, it all came together very quickly.

I had spent a couple of months at the beginning of this year contacting various Pakistani designers and online vendors for ideas of prices and designs, and spent a lot of time confused about what to go for. I  narrowed down my choices to Karma, whose bridal dresses were more affordable for me, or spending the same amount for a non-designer and get more work added onto the dress. I didn't really feel the need to go to Pakistan and do my shopping there (although it may have helped me a lot more to see the designs up close) as I didn't want to spend too much money on flight tickets and didn't have the time to take off from work, and I was also fairly confident that I would be able to order online as I had done so many orders through vendors before.

In the end I decided not to go for a 'designer' outfit, it would have cost too much and I kept feeling that I would have to compromise and go for a lighter version of the outfit I wanted in order to fit my budget. I ended up getting my bridal and my mehndi outfit from someone who I have used several times before, and 
I got my outfit from Ayesha from Kapray Shapray, who was a huge help with designing and finalising my outfit, and ideas for my bridal jewellery.

Here is my mehndi outfit again, you can also see more pictures from my mehndi here. I was very keen on a yellow bridal, wanting the traditional Pakistani look, but didn't want it to be too blocky in colour so added some coral pink, light orange and lime green accents to make it look more funky and break up the design a little. I chose light gold metal work all over, and lots of silk jamawar material in the skirt to finish it off.

The colours
One of my biggest problems when designing my outfit was narrowing down colours, especially ones which would compliment yellow without overpowering it, and which would be flattering on my skin tone. I spent a lot of time looking at colour wheels, looking at existing mehndi outfits and putting together colours on art and drawing programmes to see for myself what worked.

Below are a few ideas for colour combinations, I really liked the first one but found it difficult to incorporate off white with yellow and lime in a way that I liked. I also thought about not using yellow at all and looking at blues, greens and purples, but it didn't appeal to me as much as a yellow bridal did. In the end, I decided to go with a yellow outfit with coral pink, light orange and lime green (which reminded me a little of Starbursts!) which I was quite happy with.

The designs
A few of my friends and I joke about having folders of bridal pictures and ideas for our weddings, and in truth, having a folder of things I liked meant I didn't have to keep finding it online and it gave me a good pattern of things I liked. Having said that, I also felt a little overwhelmed because I liked TOO many things, there were so many designs which couldn't be merged together and meant I had to be brutal and pick a style I liked.

Here are a few ideas I looked at for inspiration, I'm sure you can see that there are a lot of long shirts and maxi dresses, lots of yellows, olives and pinks, and lots of sparky with dramatic duppattas. I didn't picky any one design out of these but rather took the styles of these - a mix of a few of my favourite designers like Bunto Kazmi, Nomi Ansari, Faiza Samee and Karma, all who make amazing mehndi outfits.

I decided to go for a knee-length kameez rather than an ankle length maxi or dress, as I found this easier to walk around in, and I also picked heavier work on the kameez and dupatta rather than the skirt. Ayesha (the designer who made my outfits) was a big help with her suggestions in colours and design, and sent me several examples of existing bridals she had made so I had an idea what to expect.

I also spent a short time looking around my local shops, so that I could see myself what worked welled and what colours looked good together. I'm lucky enough to have a whole street of boutiques and Asian wear shops around the area, so I was able to look at a whole range of designs.

One style which had really appealed to me was the angrakha or wrap style dress, which I didn't go for in the end because it wouldn't go with the work I wanted in the neckline - although I made up for this with one of my dholki outfits!

In the end I kept it simple. I wanted a kameez with a winding, flowery design across it and lots of small motifs, which was replicated on my scarf. The style was similar to a couple of Bunto Kazmi bridals I had seen and loved, and I added a panel of colours at the hem to make it more colourful and break up the design a little.

The process of ordering - swatches, samples, pictures and materials
Throughout my order, Ayesha kept me updated with pictures of the outfit as it progressed, sending me a colour swatch book and material swatches to make sure I knew the exact colours and types of silks I wanted. I had to fill out a very detailed measurements form which measured every aspect of the outfit requirements, and made sure there was a lot less room for mistakes. We got to a point where we emailed, whatsapped and texted nearly every day so that each aspect of the outfit was looked at thoroughly, and with each decision made, Ayesha would double check decisions and send pictures to confirm what I wanted.

I also emailed Ayesha detailed description of each part of the outfit, which was broken down by colours, types of work and designs I wanted. Below is an example of what I wanted on the skirt, for example (although this was adjusted around as the outfit was finally being made).

The outfit took me over two months to design, and I was constantly on my computer finalising my mehndi and wedding outfit to a design that I was happy with. Once I finalised and checked everything, I paid a 50% deposit and left Ayesha to make the outfit. She made sure she sent me pictures as it was being stitched, and continued to confirm colours and designs before they were implemented, making sure I felt very involved in the process.

Final result
Eventually the outfits were made, the process of making took about 3 and half months, and Ayesha sent pictures of the whole outfit before it was posted. Admittedly, the design and ordering process took me longer than I thought, it was a little frustrating constantly looking at bridal designs (I remember feeling that I was going crazy!) and it was a relief to finally pay the deposit and stop looking at my designs!

The outfit was fast-tracked and couriered to me, and reached me about 3 days after posting, which was a huge relief because I didn't have to wait long. At the time, I was feeling stressed out about a lot of the wedding detail and the rest of the mehndi look like the hair, make-up and jewellery, so it felt good to get my outfit and use it to match everything else to. The best thing was that the outfit fit perfectly, and the design looked better in person than it had in pictures, it was really, really sparkly and felt amazing when I tried it on.

I've tried to include as much detail of my order as I can, and I'm sure I've missed a lot out; there is a lot to consider when dress-designing a bridal outfit and it can feel a little overwhelming - but try not to worry! If you have any questions please do leave a comment and I will reply as best as I can.

Overall I was really happy with my mehndi outfit and received a lot of compliments for it (a comments which made me smile were my married friends and sisters saying that they wanted to get married again just to wear the same outfit!) and the best part of the outfit was how bridal and yet very comfortable it felt, ). I'm aiming to get some coral coloured silk trousers made so I can wear the kameez again in future (hopefully it will still fit!), but in the meantime the outfit is wrapped up and has been put away!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: The Grey, Blue & Emerald Nida Azwer Outfit

I thought I'd post one of the more recent outfits I wore to a party not too long ago, especially because I wore an outfit that has become one of my (many!) favourites. I had ordered a Nida Azwer semi-formal party outfit before I was married as part of my jahez collection (my wedding trousseau), which cost a bit more than some of my other outfits, but which I loved because it was such an elegant outfit. I didn't buy many new outfits for my trousseau because I already had so many and didn't want to be lumbered with outfits I couldn't wear, so I stuck to a few and picked carefully.

This outfit was ordered online via email and was a ready-made outfit, it came pretty quickly and I didn't need to send many emails - you can see some of the designers I had been researching at the time here.

This is the outfit below, my favourite part of the outfit is the embellished high collar, with beautiful emerald coloured accents and stones, as well as green stones which made buttons along the front of the dress.The front has scattered mukesh (that small flat metal dotted around) and metalwork, and the hem and cuffs were made of thick printed silk and jacquard which made for a flowy look and didn't feel heavy at all. But my favourite bit is still the collar and the buttons!


This is how I accessorised the outfit, I wanted to keep the outfit simple, and I wasn't in the mood for a lot of jewellery which I thought would be a bit too much. I love the simplicity of the dress and thought I would play up the blue accents - which gave me a chance to re-use my wedding clutch, which matched perfectly.

This is me wearing the outfit (can you see my husband is getting a bit better at taking photos?), it was an all-girls event so I didn't wear a hijab, but if I had I probably would have worn a dark blue one to go with it. The outfit was very comfortable, and the shoes went with the look perfectly and completed the look, as did the clutch.


Outfit - Nida Azwer
Clutch - Lovetobag
Shoes - Kurt Geiger

I loved wearing this outfit and received a lot of compliments for it - it fits perfectly and felt very comfortable on. When I received this outfit in the post I was over the moon, it looked better than the pictures, and looked very elegant on. I'm waiting for the next chance to wear this again because it looked so lovely, perhaps trying to highlight the green accent this time for another look!

What do you think of this outfit - have you ordered from Nida Azwer before?

Thursday, 4 December 2014

BRIDE COUTURE: Dia Mirza's Beautiful Wedding

I've been wanting to post about this for a while, so I'm a little late to the party but I couldn't resist posting about this Bollywood beauty, who is also one of my favourite actresses. Dia Mirza married her long-time partner and business partner Sahil Sangha in October this year, and the beauty queen did not disappoint with her wedding outfits! I've always been a fan of Dia Mirza and it's rare that she ever looks bad, so naturally her wedding was a colourful extravaganza!

Kicking off with her mehndi was this beautiful Ritu Kumar anarkali, which was a beautiful buttery yellow with colourful accents. The picture on the right is actually from a photoshoot she has done in the past, and it's an amazing outfit, Dia pretty much had the same look and added a long necklace and some pretty jasmine flowers, which made her look really fresh and pretty.

Next after this was her sangeet, which was a bit more dressy for Diya, as she wore a beautifully heavy purple/blue lengha by Anita Dongre, which she accessorized with chunky jewellery and wavy hair. I love her makeup on this event as well, very soft and glowy (although this is pretty much her signature look!)

There were a lot of speculations as to who Dia would go with for her wedding outfit - and she went for a mughal-era inspired sharara by Ritu Kumar, wearing a champagne gold outfit with beautiful green and blue accents. I LOVE everything about this outfit, it's not too heavy so the greens and blue are striking, the jewellery is done beautifully, and the kiran (tinsly) fringe on the dupatta just completes the look beautifully.

I also really liked the fact that she had a fresh, dewy look for her wedding, rather than heavy, smokey eyes or heavy lips, and it really shows off her beauty well. Everything about this outfit shouts traditional, classical and regal, and it really makes for a lovely wedding outfit.

In contrast to this was her final, reception outfit, which was more of a modern lengha by Shantanu and Nikhi, in peach and bronze, with a sari-style net drap around the bodice.While the make-up (namely the eyes) are a bit heavier, her updo and beautiful emerald jewellery make a beautiful contrast for a very glamorous look.

Image source

I loved all of Dia's outfits and looks for each of her wedding functions, my favourites being her mehndi outfit (I love a good anarkali!) and her beautiful wedding outfit. I'm sure all of you have seen a few pictures of her wedding already, but which look did you like most?