Monday, April 29, 2013

Prowling In Shanghai for Lavie

Lavie is out with their new collection for this season and I was asked to style my favourites from their collection.While I still have to get my hands on a bag from this collection, I have created a look around my favourite - The Shanghai Shopper Bag.

Prowling in Shanghai


I have paired the bag with the trends raging at the moment, candy colours for summer and animal prints. Wear this to an afternoon of shopping and lunch with your besties or for early drinks. Either ways, have fun and stand out from the crowd!

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Trends 2013: Florals for Summer

Kiosha’s collaboration with Ri(t)ch Styles brings us to one more outfit post today :) I styled another look for them and this time I chose a floral dress since florals totally shout SUMMER! Those of you who follow me on my blog and most of my social media platforms, must have seen my unending love for florals with the start of summer and I can right at this moment picturise how many more posts are gonna have this trend in them.

Bright accessories predominantly in yellow, synced in perfectly with this dress and there I was raring to step out for a summer lunch with the girls.








Blue Floral Dress - Kiosha.com
Bag - H&M
Sunglasses - RayBan
Blue Studded Ballerinas - Forever New
Neckpiece - Ri(t)ch Styles
Colourful Bangles - Colaba Causeway & Linking Road

Summery isn't it? :) Well get your wardrobe loaded with florals whether a dress, a top, a belt, a bag or even shoes. You just need to have them!

Photo Credits: My Awesome Dad

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Fashion @ Kutch: Get to know where your embroideries come from

I'm really happy to announce that we are starting with a new series on the blog covering the ethnic and traditional aspects of Indian fashion and crafts. It will take us back to our rich cultural heritage from thousands of years ago and how the industry is doing in today's world. The first in the series is on the region of Kutch and our guest blogger is Shashank Shekhar who is a former journalist and who now writes about his travels on blog.travelyaari.com

I always knew that the vast and arid terrains of Kutch had a lot to offer to the adventure seeking junkies like me. Apart from the endless stretches of the great salt desert, Kutch is also home to 4 wildlife sanctuaries and a huge variety of migratory birds for birding enthusiasts. But it was while driving down to Bhuj from the village of Chorbadi (the epicenter of the massive 2001 Gujarat earthquake) that I came across this striking contradiction; of long stretches of freshly dyed yarn in bright hues of yellow, red, orange and blue sparkling in the dizziness of the bright sun but against the backdrop of a chapped grim and dusty brown earth. Ramji Meraya, my guide, then informed me that he was taking us to the artisan village of Bhujodi, home to weavers, tie-dye artists and block printers involved in textile handicraft production. 
 
Bhujodi is 8 kms from Bhuj and is actually a base for artisans from all over Kutch (over 200 villages) to display their wares. These men and women belong to the local tribes who have inhabited these barren lands for centuries. For example the ‘Vankars’ or weavers who’ve lived here for over six centuries and were originally from neighbouring Rajasthan. It was here that Narayanbhai Seju, a carpet weaver from the ‘Vankar’ community invited us for a cup of tea (it was literally milky white) while his son showed us the process of weaving carpets on their family heirloom. The one Narayanbhai had just completed was bound to be shipped to a client in Finland!

Narayanbhai Seju's family heirloom
Narayanbhai Seju's son working on their family heirloom
The carpet which will be off to Finland displayed here by Narayanbhai Seju's son

Another shop at Bhujodi that I’d like to mention is that of Shamji Bhai. Shamji Bhai comes from an illustrious family of weavers and is a national award winner for textile embroidery. Some of the shawls he makes take over six-months to complete and orders need to be placed in advance. Money is generally not a criterion for those who indulge in such fineries!


Shamji Bhai displaying one of his creations at his shop

Shrujan is an NGO venture that was started in 1969 by Chandaben Shroff who, who at that time, had gone as a volunteer to assist in a famine relief project. During her stay there, Chandaben realised the true potential of Kutchi art and handicraft and set up Shrujan. Among other things, it made the women of Kutch self reliant as profits from the sale of their handicraft was ploughed back into the society.


Shrujan buys handicraft from the locals here and mostly exports them. There is a nice showroom here as well which is a few kilimeters from Bhujodi. It's mostly for the dollar paying crowd.
Tourists at Shrujan
A well decorated display area at Shrujan
Shrujan
A handicraft shop run by a local in the Shrujan compound

Apart from shawls and carpets, there are emporiums cum shops that sell furniture with minute wooden carvings and just about two kilometers away is the Hiralaxmi Memorial Craft Park, built especially for the artisans to display their wares free of cost to the visitors. Here the goodies on display are affordable and depending on your luck you can even stumble upon some really cool handmade swords and daggers crafted by the artisans from Anjar (traditional knives and sword makers)!

Hiralaxmi Memorial Craft Park
Knives and daggers at display at the Hiralaxmi Memorial Craft Park

My explorations further took me to a village called Dhamkada not very far away from Bhujodi. Here we stopped by at the residence cum workshop of Abdulrazzaq Mohammadbhai Khatri whose family has been practicing the craft of traditional Ajrakh block printing using natural dyes for over 10 generations! Natural dye refers to producing colours using natural materials instead of synthetic ones. Like producing rust colour by mixing some chana dal (split Bengal gram) and gur (jaggery) in water with a submerged iron block. Ferment it for about three days and there you have your naturally produced rust colour ready! Abdulrazzaq has thousands of such tricks up his sleeve. The secrets passed over from one generation to another. His workshop is also a frequent haunt of fashion design students from NID & NIFTs.


Abdulrazzaq Mohammadbhai Khatri at his  workshop
The process of Ajrakh Block Printing at Abdulrazzaq Mohammadbhai Khatri's workshop

Kutchi embroidery patterns are made up of innumerable microscopic designs that use a variety of geometrical shapes and figures using very fine needlework with utmost precision. It is these designs that actually find their way to the timeless Ghagra Cholis, Bandini sarees and Salwar Kurtas that sell like hotcakes in designer showrooms.

Kutchi embroideries and handicraft flourished in the erstwhile State of Cutch prior to independence when it received state patronage from the Maharajas. And it was the women from the various tribes of Kutch who would produce useful articles while the men reared cattle. The profoundly ingrained tradition of gifting daughters embroidered articles for dowries also contributed to the flourish. The different communities also have their own distinct style of embroideries.

A tribal woman
A tribal woman displaying her creation
Tribal woman displaying her embroidered piece

Like the Ari embroidery largely practiced by the mochi (shoe maker) community which uses bold motifs of stylized flowers or dancing peacocks. Over here, the Ari craftswomen have improvised upon the usage of the awl which is plied from the top and a thread is fed from below. These patterns can be found on skirts, saree borders etc.  Similarly, the embroidery practiced by women from the Ahir and Rabari communities seem alike but the Ahir embroidery focuses on only round mirrors used with multi-coloured threads.  Other tribes include the Jats, Mutavas, Harijans and the Lohanas and are also engaged in the production of traditional handicraft. 

Rabari women
Ahir embroidery

I do realise my incompetency when it comes to forecasting fashion and the colours for the next season etc. But experiencing Kutchi handicraft has been a rewarding experience as via that I learnt so much about the habits and history of Kutch’s indigenous folks. And if you’re one of those who has it on your fingertips what a Jennifer Lawrence wore on the red carpet at the Oscars this year or precisely how will you differentiate between a Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Ritu Kumar and a Tarun Tahiliani creation then perhaps this is a story for you…Godspeed!!


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Boho Sunday!

Summer is all about experimenting with clothes, and finding the styles that you are comfortable with as well as can beat the heat in! I am definitely identifying with loose clothing like palazzo pants(which I wore here) and floaty skirts/maxi skirts as they are nice and airy.

This Sunday for lunch at my parents place, I decided on a boho influenced look and wore my new black maxi skirt from Chicnova, pairing it with a nice floral tunic that I tucked in as a top, bright colourful bangles, my favourite fringe bag and gold gladiator flats. A really really relaxed, simple to put together yet boho chic look :)




Pleat Maxi Black Dress Skirt - Chicnova
Floral Tunic - MAX
Fringe Studded Bag - Chicnova 
(last seen here
Gold Gladiator Flats - Charles & Keith
Bangles - Linking Road, Bandra





I love these!!!

This skirt has already become my favourite and I have worn it quite a few times already! Soon I will wear it as a dress too so stay tuned to read more on it and how I style it in different ways :) Shopping our own closet is the best way to keep the fun alive in dressing up. Don't you agree? :)

Photo Credits: My Sweet Lil Bro

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fashion Leggings Giveaway from Romwe!


****Drumrolls once again for another giveaway from Romwe.com***


2 lucky winners will win a pair of leggings each :)


Enter the giveaway here!


Entries will be validated before the winners are declared. Giveaway open worldwide. Ends on 27th April 2013!

Extra coupon for all participants: legging10% when you shop on Romwe.com for leggings worth $30 or more

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Palazzo Pants for Summer

Palazzo pants from the Disco Era are back! Much needed and just in time for the hot summers that are already heating up this country, as they are a lot more cooler - utility wise and style quotient wise :) Palazzo pants are basically super wide leg trousers with a high waist which gives the illusion of longer legs thus making you look taller. They are perfect for people like me who lack height, plus they are made of lighter materials thus giving us dual valid reasons to wear them (by which I mean hoard them).

So when a few days ago Kiosha.com approached me to style some of their products, I was more than happy to collaborate with them as their latest collection has some awesome Palazzo pants, along with other cool clothing and accessories. What's important for a new clothing website, that is now competing with the zillion online shopping websites, is to offer its buyers that something different that makes them want to come back again and shop from you. Kiosha does that! While it doesn't offer you hundreds of products, what it offers you are specially selected chic and stylish pieces which come with very affordable price tags.

For my first outfit as a part of this collaboration, I styled these bright pink palazzo pants with an aztec print summery tank and a really pretty turquoise stone cuff. The classy diamanté clutch and the comfy wedges I borrowed from my mom, as I could totally visualise this outfit on her as how she would have worn it in the 70's :)




Pink Palazzo Pants - Kiosha
Aztec Print Tank - Kiosha
Turquoise Stone Cuff - Kiosha
Black Diamante Clutch and Black wedge heels - Borrowed from Mom



I'll also give you some styling tips for wearing Palazzo pants:
  1. Take care of the length. An ideal pair of Palazzos should skim the floor with heels on.
  2. Wear fitted tops or tuck your top in when wearing Palazzos as it gives the illusion of a taller you.
  3. Opt for solid colours so that the look doesn't break at too many places. Your tops can be colourful to balance the look.
  4. Wear wedges/block heels to add height.
  5. Accessorize with contrasting jewellery for jazzing up the outfit.
Now that you have all tips, get going girls to shop for some comfy Palazzo pants like the one I've worn and trust me, you are gonna thank me for the suggestion!

Photo Credits: My Awesome Dad

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Florals Meet Studs - How to mix 2 trends


Two trends to watch out for this year are florals and studs. While florals has been a fluctuating trend for years, studs on everything is a new one that has been ruling the scene from the past year and is going take up in a bigger way this year. Over the year, I too have incorporated a few key pieces into my wardrobe to reflect these trends :)

While the days are getting hotter, the evenings still have a chill to them at times, which I do enjoy once in a while when I visit my parents and relax on the huge open terrace that they have. This also gives me a chance to pull out my knits ;) So this weekend when visiting my parents, I mixed the two mentioned trends by pairing a floral knit and a studded denim which are both from Romwe

Floral Printed White Irregular knit - Romwe.com
Studded Pants - Romwe.com
Glitter Ballerinas - Linking Road, Bandra ( last worn here)







While florals don't need too much thinking, here are a few pointers for wearing studs:
  • The key to wearing studs is to wear them in moderation, and so it's ideal to wear one piece in your outfit that is studded or wear studded accessories - Basically, don't complicate your outfit!
  • While sequins are great for the night, studs are perfect for the day and also make you stand out
  • When in doubt about studs, just wear a studded bracelet or a studded hairband :)

Photo Credits: My Awesome Dad

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Romwe 2013 S/S Leggings Flash Sale

Romwe has announced a sudden 2013 S/S Leggings Flash Sale and I had to share it with you guys immediately!

Date: 3rd April 2013 to 5th April 2013 

Only 72 hours!  GO!



Like what you see here and want to connect with me, then follow Ri(t)ch Styles on FacebookBloglovin and Twitter for regular updates and personal interactions!
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