Saturday, 30 July 2016

EYE CANDY WISH LIST: Embellished Khussay

A little wedding inspiration for you guys this weekend - khussay with pretty gems, kundan stones and pearls to bling up your outfit. I know khussay have been around for years and years - they're a pretty traditonal accessory from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and I'm sure we've all worn one at one point or another!

I've even seen pretty printed khussay, beaded ones and sequinned pieces, but some manufacturers have upped their game by adding a little more bling for a luxury look.

I've seen these over the last few months, and love how great they look - they easily match jewellery pieces and add some beauty to our feet, making a great alternative to dressy high heels. And I love that there's a variety of colours and stones out there, as well as styles to suit every occasion.

I had a look around online to see where I could buy one of these myself, as I had my eye on these and wanted to see if they were worth buying. So far I've managed to find a few vendors but they seem to be based in Pakistan mainly - I'm sure if I was able to go shopping in Lahore I'd find plenty of these, and cheap bargains too!

Here's a few examples of sellers I found - I haven't ordered from these myself but I have read good reviews and they ship overseas, which is a plus point.

These pretty beaded gems by Eastern Dresses - based in Pakistan but seems reliable and have read good reviews, although I haven't ordered from them myself/

These embellished pairs by Allechant, a much more established brand in Pakistan. Slightly pricier but again, excellent reviews on service and fast delivery. You can also follow this company on Instagram and Snapchat for daily update.

Lastly is another Pakistani brand, Turbooz Shop, who have many quirky and very reasonably priced accessories, from khussay to jewellery and clutch bags. Perfect for the summer season, and I can also see a lot of these being worn for mehndi parties too - they also have some beautiful painted and embroidered pieces. I'm pretty sure they ship overseas, but I'm not 100% sure so check first!

I've seen a couple of these in local shops as well, although admittedly the quality aren't as nice as some of the ones I've seen online or based in Pakistan. I have seen a few in shoe shops in east London such as local shops on Green Street, and I also know that some stores in Southall carry shoes like this.

I'll be keeping an eye out for these in London, and will be sure to post if I manage to buy any khussay like these!

What do you think of these? Would you wear them?

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Make-It-Yourself-Fashion: DIY Lace Trousers

I'm sure you may have seen over the last few months one of the latest trends in the ever-changing Pakistani fashion industry - embroidered and lace cuffs. I love that there's a variety of styles available rather than just the usual tapered pants - tulip trousers, brocade trousers, palazzos and straight trousers with cut-outs and lace inserts.cuffs

For Eid, I wanted to go for something quite contemporary - I had a beautiful worked kameez from my Pakistan which I loved but wanted to mix-and-match with some more trendy trousers. I had a look around the local shops - first wondering whether to get a brocade/jamawar print trousers to match, then looking for embroidered or lace trousers. Unfortunately I had no luck - the turquoise colour of the outfit is quite a specific one to match (although I did consider a contrasting look in light grey or pink), but in the end I gave up - the closest I found were trousers which were plain an had simple buttons on the cuff.

I decided then to try my hand at customising the pants I already had for the outfit instead - this way I'd get the look I was going for, and it would be a little more unique. I got a family friend of mine to alter the trousers so they would be more tapered (they were quite wide to start off with), and then looked around the shops and markets for some lace I'd like to add.

It took me a while but I finally managed to found some lace I liked, in a tiny shop near my mum's house, which was about the size of a walk-in closet and crammed wall-to-wall with lace, ribbons, buttons and sew-on patches.

This is the lace below - it's a silvery colour but for some reason it looks white! I got luck with this - it only cost £5 for a yard, and the woman who sold it confirmed that this was the kind of lace you can sew on trousers. Surprisingly, this was the only shop to have decent lace - a lot of the bigger shops and markets had very old-fashioned lace or just the wrong shape and size, suited more for kameez hems than anything else.

I also bought some pearl buttons (I couldn't decide whether to go for just buttons on the cuff, or lace, then opted for both!) - I couldn't find pure white ones but found some very pretty ones from Queens Market in a very pale mint blue shade which went perfectly.

I set about sewing the lace onto the bottom of the trousers by hand with white thread - which took me about two hours to do! This was mainly because I used small stitches to secure the lace legs properly (my husband kept offering to staple the lace on for me) and also because I kept checking the lace was in the right position and was straight - very fiddly work!

This is the final look of the trouser s- you can see the stitches a little but overall I was quite pleased with how the lace looked. My sisters told me that they wouldn't have realised I had sewn the lace on myself unless I told them, so I'll take that as a compliment!

I'd love to try more experiments with altering my own outfits and customising, and I had great fun searching in markets and shops for ribbons and laces, which gave me lots more creativity ideas. The only thing I wasn't happy about was that you can't see the pearl buttons on the trousers cuff, but seeing as the lace is such a statement piece of the trousers, this was bound to happen.

I'll be sharing more DIY projects soon - but let me know what you thought of this one!

Friday, 22 July 2016

BOLLYWOOD ISHTYLE; Anushka's Charming Colourful Outfits in Sultan

I recently watched Salman Khan's latest blockbuster Sultan, which made for an interesting watch, about a Haryana-based wrestler and his struggles, not least because the subject had a surprisingly decent plot.

One of the things I loved about the film was the beautiful set, and the attention to detail with the village and the use of beautiful colour, the landscapes and the buildings - it's grand and vivid yet still remains something which is easy to imagine as being in many parts of India, which I loved. (My husband loved a scene in the film where the boys are chasing cut-down guddis - kites which are flown and fought over by boys and then chased to be caught - it reminded him of his boyhood days!)

The first outfit which I loved was this ivory bridal worn by Anushka (sorry for any spoilers, but she gets married!), with traditional gold fringing on the dupatta, and delicate zari work all over. I've always been a fan of the very traditional look and this one harks back to the 1950s and 60s with the sharara bottoms - perfect for a down-to-earth nikkah event, and serious bridal inspo!

I also loved the jewellery worn by Anushka here - beautiful gold pieces with pearls and beading, which really gives a beautiful bridal look, as well as the pop of green from her bangles.

Apparently this is part of a collection called 'Lafz' by Diva'ni - which is a India's first cinema inspired brand and a collaborative venture of Yash Raj Films and KBSH. You can see the outfits below which are available to order which all have a gorgeous theme of ivory and golds, gold fringing and detailed work. I think the one Anushka is wearing is most like the first outfit, but the third one is also very similar.

Images from Elle

The second outfit which caught my eye was this vivid green affair, which was a lot more playful and colourful. While it did remind me of Anushka's royal blue outfit in Band Baaja Baraat (the style of the song too!) I think this is a lovely outfit and it certainly suited the character. While it's not something you may see on the catwalks, it's a classic Punjabi style (or should I say Haryana?) outfit which

I also thought I'd throw in a mention for the 440 Volt song in the film, which is basically just a fantasy song but has plenty of beautiful colour and funky outfits - there's a quick mix of traditional saris, a glamorous gold maxi dress and this flouncy skirt with a biker-studded style leather jacket - is that payals (anklets) I see on her boots?

I also loved the set on this song - neon lights, a night-time funfair and lots of gold gramaphone-style speakers - very artsy!

I've mentioned how much I loved the setting in this film - it doesn't feature grand palace-like buildings or exotic locations but more real settings - the big courtyards in someone's house, the local villages and the fields - all again something which can be easily recognisable in any part of India (or Pakistan!)

I loved the flowers in this wedding scene - the whole house is covered in marigold garlands and floral structures (including a huge flower peacock and there's a hanging aeroplane made of flowers somewhere too!)
I think I loved this scene because it reminded me of the traditional weddings in the village where my grandparents used to live - usually done in the house and in the huge courtyards with plenty of friends and family around, lots of food, lights and decor.

I also liked this nikkah scene - the decor is mainly white with red flowers for a lovely decor look - but the room is homely, filled with guests all squashed around the bride and groom!

Images belong to creators of Sultan

All in all, this is a colourful movie which aims for a very down-to-earth look, both in the setting and the outfits. While the outfits look gorgeous on Anushka, they're not too glitzy or over the top, and they definitely look like outfits you can easily get made. I'm sure you can guess that I loved the bridal outfit best - I've always been a fan of traditional ivory and gold with the vintage look, and it works well with the jewellery here.

To be honest, while there are colourful song sequences and a couple of weddings thrown in, the bulk of this film involves the main characters in dusty vest tops and learning to wrestle. The outfits and decor of this film make up a smaller part of the story of this film, but it really contributes to the homely feel and the way that it seems to show small town life.

Have you seen this film? What do you think of it?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

My Eid - Day #2

Eid day two was a quieter affair, which was spent at my mum's house with the sisters and the nieces and nephews. My parents are currently getting work done to their house, so there wasn't much opportunity for anything fancy, but it was a nice opportunity to relax with the girls after a busy Eid and enjoy the gorgeous sun.

I opted for something comfortable to wear for this day, which was a comfy embroidered outfit by Sana Safinaz which I purchased a couple of years ago from Dubai, and which is in my favourite shade of purple. I kept the look simple with white flats and simple jewellery, with a plain white clutch.

This is how I wore the outfit, which felt quite pretty on. The kameez for this was originally a longer length, which I altered by cutting to a shorter length and moving the hem-piece higher - more about this in a separate post! 

My older niece and nephews were looking quite smart on the day too - my niece wore a pretty, flowy batwing dress with a sparkly statement necklace and bracelet, and the boys wore matching shirts and chinos whihc were perfect for the summer weather.

And of course the baby nieces wore pretty summer dresses which looked lovely - I loved the maxi dress on the older toddler, and the boho-chic summer print dress on the little one!

I didn't get to take pictures of the food, which were mainly the same from the day before (plus more cake and chocolate!) but it was a lovely day. We also got some very cool presents from each other - I think I agree with my sister that this one was the coolest one though, check her post out and let me know what you think of the candle idea!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

My Eid - Day #1

We had a fab Eid this last few days, which was spent with the close family – great food and good company! My eldest sister hosted at her house this year, which was a colourful affair, with lots of happy kids (and adults!) and a chance for us all to catch up and have a few laughs.

(Credits to my sister Everyphototunity for the pictures below, as I didn't get to take many myself!)

For this Eid's outfit, I opted to wear a pretty turquoise and silver outfit, which I thought was different from the usual soft colours I've been going for lately. The outfit itself came from Pakistan (although I did look in the local shops to see what was on offer as well!) which I accessorised with silver jewellery and a lilac-grey pair of shoes and hijab.

My sisters all wore pretty colourful outfits this year, which went well together. I think we're all leaning more and more towards comfortable, quality outfits, especially with more embroidery and lace, and less of the bling! I love that we all had different styles but they all looked great together.

I'm sure you've seen that the latest thing in Pakistani fashion is lace cuffs on trousers, which half of the girls in the family seemed to have ended up with - again, they looked great together with heels!

I also loved what all of the toddlers wore on Eid, all of these were outfits bought by my Mum from Pakistan a few weeks ago. The outfits were embroidered dresses with jackets sewn on top, which looked really pretty on the girls in various colours - as usual they managed to out-dress the adults!

Every year we always take Eid as a great opportunity to put on mehndi on our hands the night before Eid, which looked great on my sister and on the nieces. I wanted to put some on myself but was too tired to by the end of the night – but there’s always next Eid!

My sister picked a colourful decor theme this year, which reminded us of watermelons and pineapple fruits, fresh colours for the summer! Again, I forgot to take proper pictures of the decor, but here's a peek anyway!

And of course Eid wouldn’t be Eid without the scrumptious food, which was cooked by my eldest sister, and later by my aunt. We were all pretty stuffed by the end of the day (which is why I don’t have a lot of food pictures – we were all busy stuffing our faces.) It was also really nice to spend lunch and dinner with all of the family, after a month of quiet iftars between myself and my husband!

Lunch/dinner was followed by yummy treats - chocolatey cakes baked by one of my sisters, and sweet pots gifted to each of us by my elder sister.

We had a really fun Eid, which was pretty laid back (half of us took naps in the middle of the day before we went to dinner at my aunts!) and which was a great opportunity to spend with the family. My sister is still planning an Eid party for the women pretty soon as well, so it's not entirely over yet - I'll post pictures soon!