Monday, 19 October 2015

LOVELY HIJAB: The Sugar Scarf Fashion Show by Ilham Echenta

I recently attended a fashion show in East London, showcasing designs of scarf company Sugar Scarf by reknowned Malaysian deisgner Ilham Echenta, which I had seen promotions for so was quite interested to see. Happily enough, the fashion show was quite local for me, and it was nice to see so many other bloggers, vloggers and women interested in modesty-wear at this show.

We started off with appetisers and drinks before the show started, as well as being given some lovely little bracelet tags with the 'Sugarscarf' logo on it, as well as goody bags when being seated!

The hijab styling themselves were quite simple and focussed on the colours and embellishment of the scarves - most of the models wore black to accentuate the scarves. I loved some of the simple, well-tailored abayahs and maxi dresses some of the models wore, although I don't think all of the outfits worked - but they did work on making the hijabs stand out. There was also a good range of colours and styles to appeal to most hijab-wearers.

Among my favourites were the pastel-coloured scarves, softer designers with pretty flower and lace pieces one sections, which I thought were a really nice touch.

There were also darker shades with embellishment which I thought looked really lovely - perfect for a night out or for dressing up an outfit with a little bling.

There were also a lot of turban-style hijabs, varying in styles, embellished with beading, necklaces and wrapped in different ways. Even though I don't wear a turban hijab myself, this is certainly becoming a big trend in fashion so it was interesting to see this reflected.

There were also very heavily embellished scarves - I thought these were great as it's not often you find dressy scarves which you can wear for weddings, Eids or other special occasions. I also like the fact that they can be draped in different ways to show off the sparkle - makes a change from hijab-jewellery or hijab pins!

Overall, I think this show was pretty interesting and showcased a good range of colours and styles - in today's fashion circles the hijab is certainly becoming a big thing so it's nice to see this up-close.

The CEO of Ilham Echenta and the CEO of SugarScarf were also both present at the show, which was also lovely as it gave us an opportunity to meet them and speak to them.

We also got a generous goody bag to take home, with a beautiful cherry red liquid lip cream (I've worn it twice already!) and a beautiful satin black scarf from the collection. I thought this was pretty generous and a great way to promote the Sugarscarf brand - I'll certainly be styling my Sugarscarf and posting very soon!

As a hijabi blogger, I'm always looking out for new hijab and scarf brands, and different ways to incorporate modesty-wear into my day-to-day fashion as well as with my Asian outfits. I loved the different ideas from this show, and the fact that you don't always have to rely on jewellery bling if you want a simpler look, or even if you just want a different style. I'll be keeping an eye out from more from this brand, and I'd love to try out some of these styles (although they won't all suit me!), and it's nice to see hijab being shown in a more fashionable way.

What did you think of these? Would you wear any of them?

Monday, 5 October 2015

BOMBAY ISTYLE: Jazz and Glam in Bombay Velvet Niharika Khan

I recently watched Bombay Velvet, featuring Ranbir Kapoor as a mafia-wannabe and Anushka Sharma as a jazz singer, set in a fictionalised 60s' India where jazz music meets Prohibition, tommy guns and Bollywood jazz. Although there were scenes in the movie which weren't quite credible of Indian culture at this time, I loved this mish-mash of film-noir meets the ganster life and Roaring Twenties - basically a lot of themes I like!

Costumes designer by Niharika Khan took inspiration from the 40s, 50s and 60s for the outfits of this film, and it really shows - the pearls, feathers, elaborate headpieces and retro dresses are all beautifull made - such as the white pearl and feather dress below, whcih looks pretty fab.

The other outfit which was really striking is this emerald green maxi dress, which apparently weighed a staggering 35 kilos! Again, this is another outfit which reminds me of shimmering 60s dresses, jazz-lounge-singers-style, and Anushka pulls its off well.

Another outfit which struck my eye is this purple floral and ruffle dress, which has a lot of details and bolumous skirt - and completd by a matching floral head band.

The other extravagant piece which was made for this film is this one for Raveena Tandon in her cameo song as a sultry jazz singer. This is a very extravagant outfit, and one which must have taken the designer a while to create, as it's painstakingly made with peacock feathers and beading on a sumptious gown which really looks dramatic. Raveena really made this look her own, with her sultry poses and deep red lipstick!

I also really liked this black and white stripey dress worn by Anushka to the races in one scene, it's very 'Ascot' in its own way and very striking. There's also an echo of an Audrey Hepburn style to it, complete with the big sunglasses, which I quite liked!

There's also this outfit, a red and white floral dress which is a lot more girly and feels inspired from a later era - while I didn't love the dress, I liked the red floral hair piece!

I also noticed this beaded burgundy dress, which is not as extravagant as the feathered-and-pearls outfits from before but still works because it gives a very sultry style.

I also liked some of Rosie's more day-to-day outfits,which are a lot less glamorous but a little more sweeter, from the polka-dot flats and floral headband to the floral earrings, something I've seen from the 60s and looks very sweet on Anushka.

Another more casual piece was this outfit, I couldn't get a picture of the dress but it's a polka dot halter neck dress with a matching hairband, which Anushka finishes off with a classic beehive hairstyle and eyeliner flicks!

I thought this was a really adventurous take on the jazz-life and 60s India, with plenty of inspiration taken from different places. I also like the fact that the detail is so well done, with outfits not just limited to the women but tailored to the male characters, with double-breasted suits and broad lapels, as well as the costumes of those around them.

It's also really great to see a film which attempts to fuse Indian fashion with an older era, and for me a lot of it works because it's so well done - especially down to minor characters such as these two ladies below!

What did you think of the outfits in this film?

Images belong to producers/directors/distributors of Bombay Velvet

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Drama and Opulence at PLBW 2015

I followed the beautiful outfits and designs at PDFC L'Oreal Paris Bridal Week about a couple of weeks ago, and loved the glamorous outfits on show. There was certainly a lot of beautiful designs and styles which were a little more interesting than some of the previous shows I've followed, since you could see the change in trends and how these were being reflected.

It's also interesting to see the contrast and similarities in styles and designers between the Pakistani designers on show at PLBW and the Indian designers at AICW previously, which probably had just as much glitz and drama but slightly different trends.

Ammara Khan
I really liked variation of styles from this designer, I've seen some of her work before at exhibitions so it was really nice to see that she's explored more colours, styles and hem lengths. Having said that I could still see some of her signature details on a lot of her pieces!

Fahad Hussayn
I've always been a fan of this designer, mainly for the rich colours and detail and the truly regal look that his outfits have - and this collection entitled 'Matam' was no different. I loved all of these pieces for the vintage-y, old-era Royal style it had ans I thought that it all went together wonderfully, some seriously beautiful bridal pieces here.

Ali Xeeshan
Ali Xeeshan's signature style is always something to look out for, whether it's the elaborate headpieces, the dramatic skirts or the beautiful mix of colour - all of these were strongly present here, and. This designer's pieces had a lot of heavy work on most of them, making funky bridals with a twist (not to mention a little dance between Mickey and Minnie during the show, dressed in the designer's clothes, complete with jewellery!)

House of Kamiar Rokni
I thought this collection was quite interesting, it was a good mix of heavy and lighter pieces, with plenty of layering which actually worked well together. I love how these were all pulled together with red lipstick and bright colours in the outfit, which looked great together.

Misha Lakhani
This is a fairly newer designer in the market, and with a lot of soft colours it was a pretty dreamy collection - lots of flowing, feminine skirts and dresses and delicate work. As much as I liked some of the pieces of this collection (the first outfit in jade and mint really appealed to me), it wasn't as dramatic as the other collections - but it probably wasn't meant to be.

Sana Safinaz
I've become a little bored of this designer over the years, mainly because I've seen too many bridals which look the same and have the similar colour schemes going on. I was really glad to see a difference in this collection - with rich, darker colours mixed with bronzes and gold, which were a lot more beautiful. There were still soft, classical pieces, but it was the richly embroidered, darker pieces which won the audience.

Karma Red
This is another designer who I'm a fan of, and who showed in their collection that rather than focus only on bridals, went for formals which can be part of the bridal trousseau. There was a lot of red outfits, mixed with formals of brighter colours which could be worn for other occasions, some of which looked very beautiful.

This is a newer designer who showcased at PLBW, with a wide range of styles and colours. While all of these didn't appeal to me, I did like the fact that the designer played around with the outfits so that there's something for everyone.

Elan is another designer that I was waiting to see something different from, and their collection 'Jasmine Court' certainly gave something a little different. I've seen too many pastel-coloured bridals from this designer so it was nice to see their beautiful work and details on other colours - rich red and emerald greens combined with soft golds.

Asifa and Nabeel
These designers went very chic and floral, which resulted in funky hemlines and a mix od prints and lace. While I liked these designs, I think a lot of them would have worked better on their own, which would make them more wearable - but still an interesting collection to see!

This collection was another one which focused on formals, rich embellishments and floral work, which gave very trendy designs. I can imagine we'll be seeing some of these in the social networks over the next year, and not surprisingly either, they're very striking and chic.

Nickie n Nina
This collection was another which showed different styles and hemlines, with a lot of looser kameezes mixed with fitted pants, flowy lenghas and saris. While this might not appeal to everyone, I did like the colour palette and thought it was a well-crafted collection.

Shamaeel Ansari
The first thing I noticed about this collection, called 'Absolutely Oriental', is the use of rich fabrics, which really draws the eye. There's a lot of velvet, rich silks and embroidery in this collection and it made for an interesting collection, mixing kimonos and patiala pants for a fusion look.

Zarmisha Dar
Another debut collection, this designer kept it simple and wearable with lots of light embroidery and colours. While it's not that adventurous, I liked the consistency of the styles, and can imagine these would look a lot more prettier up close.

Saira Shakira
I liked the details of some of these outfits, and the funky styling - jackets over dresses and belts over tops, reminding me of some of the Western designer catwalks I've seen. While they might not be worn like this by actualy consumers or brides, it was a good take of pastel colours and silvers and golds.

Maheen Taseer
I've seen a lot of this designer's work in Instagram, so it was interesting to see her collection, called 'Valiant' on the catwalk. This was another designer who played around with colours, mixing rich black, reds and gold, as well as crystals and pastels. Again, this may not appeal to everyone but I liked the colour palette, even if some of the embellishment and work didn't always work.

Faiza Saqlain
I haven't heard of this designer before, as she is another newer one, but I loved the colour combinations in this collection. Apparently this was meant to be a translation of the Elizabethan era, but the high neckline and ruffles didn't appeal to me, although I did think the formals were pretty funky.

Sania Maskatiya
I'm a fan of this designer for the quirky prints and cuts, so it was interesting to see what would be shown on the catwalk. There was plenty of rich work, silks and velvets on display, with dresses and jumpsuits for a contemporary take on formals. I didn't love all of these outfits but I did like how this designer can do trendy and modern well without looking odd.

Hamza Bokhari
This was another new designer on the block whose gowns were striking and vibrant, which actually looked pretty good. Although a couple of these felt a little old fashioned, they were very chic and didn't look OTT at all.

This is another designer's whose work I've been seeing a lot of in social media, so it was interesting to see that they went for more classic cuts and colours - plenty of pastels and crustals. I loved the skirts of some of these dresses and lenghas but was less keen on the tops, which didn't really do it for me.

Nomi Ansari
This popular designer did not disappoint with his vibrant coloured outfits - while I'm not sure I'd go for a rainbow-coloured gown covered in work, I can see the appeal and he used the colours of them well. Definitely mehndi outfit options for the adventurous!

The King of Couture closed the show with a collection in a palette of greys and ice blues. I loved some of these pieces for how well made they looked and the balance of heavy work with flow of fabric. As much as his gowns and maxi dresses looked opulent, for me it was the kameezes and capes which really looked great.

Images Source

There was a good range of designers throughout the show and it was great to see the more established designers mixed with the newer ones. It was also interesting to see that while there was a good variation of colours and styles, they also showed current trends being interpreted in different ways by each designer.

What did you think of these collection? Which was your favourite?