September 26, 2012

Blender's Pride Fashion Tour 2012 - Kolkata (Day 1)

by , in, this has been an unexpectedly 'fashionable' month so far....

So many fashion events happening in my city - back to back - and I'm being invited to all of them as a blogger! Well....doesn't happen everyday! And definitely not to me!!! :D for the past two weekends, I have been hopping from fashion show to fashion show and updating you guys about the wonderful creative talents of Indian fashion designers. After Signature Premier Fashion Week Kolkata, it was time for the Blender's Pride Fashion Tour 2012 (Kolkata edition) on 22-23 Sept. A last minute invite by the PR people and numerous phone calls to & from the other city bloggers confirmed my date with yet another fashion-filled evening on the 22nd at the ITC Sonar Bangla hotel.

Right from the start, we got a sense of what a grand event BPFT was! The discipline, the organisation, the guest list, the arrangements were all perfect & befitting such a fashion event. The list of designers showing were some of the most renowned names of the Indian fashion industry and a few even had worldwide acclaim! There were two shows - two designers showing in each -  that were slotted for 8pm & 9pm. Though the shows started a bit late, but the amazing execution of the shows made it worth the wait.

Here's a low-down on the shows for all of you. I absolutely enjoyed the shows of all the four designers and thought that their pieces were not only garments, but works of art!

Nida Mahmood 

This quirky designer's collection was titled 'Bombay Bun Maska' (which is the colloquial name for buttered buns in Bombay). Inspired by the urban, boho chic, free-spirited youth of today, her collection was fun, vibrant & full of spunk! Splashes of bright colors filled the runway as models swayed down the ramp in dresses, kaftans, tunics, pants & sarees. Flowy silhouettes in crepes & georgettes cascaded down the long & lean bodies of the girls in falls of vibrant beauty. The quirkiest pieces of the collection were the sarees worn with itsy-bitsy choli blouses, with denim-ed legs sticking out from one side.
She even had a line of shirts, tees & pants for the smart & suave metro-sexual man of today. Ombre dyed shirts in un-men-like hues of reds, oranges, pinks & yellows were worn with smart trousers & trendy scarves.
Nida's collection was a play of contrasts with colors, textures & silhouettes vying with each other for attention. But Nida made sure that the audience's attention was where she wanted it to be - on her clothes! :)

Unfortunately, due to some unavoidable circumstances, I couldn't take any pictures during Nida's show. But I had to share some with you guys!! And of course, our dear friend Google helped me out with that! ;)


Nida with show-stopper Raima Sen



Shantanu & Nikhil 

The dapper duo of Shatanu Mehra & Nikhil Mehra dazzled us with their magnificent & gorgeous bridal collection. The show started with the men entering the ramp in a group flaunting their well-toned physiques in impeccable silk brocade & velvet sherwanis with stoles attached to them. The ladies followed soon in layers of opulent grandeur. Shimmering, regal lehengas gave way to luxurious & elegant gowns. Embroidery, embellishments & textures created drama on the cascading layers of rich fabrics. A muted color palette was splattered at places with jewel hues of red, blue & black. Pleats, gathers, frills & flares filled the ramp as full skirts, voluminous gowns & billowing layers grabbed eyeballs.
All in all, Shantanu & Nikhil's grandiose pieces are absolute must-haves for the fashionable bride's trousseau!

Asmita Marwa

This designer, from Hyderabad, paid homage to one of her all-time favorite eras, 'The Era of Woodstock', in this collection. Inspired by the 60s & 70s - the peace, freedom of expression & music - this collection was aimed at bringing about happiness & hope through a kaleidoscope of colors & prints presented with a hippie chic twist!
The models came in their free-spirited avatars with headbands, oversized rose-tinted glasses, dream-catchers & a care-free attitude that perfectly complemented the dresses, kaftans, tunics, loose pants & sarees. Smart, yet comfortable silhouettes mingled with loose drapes & flowy layers to give a relaxed vibe to the collection. The one-shouldered pattern seemed to be the designer's current favourite as was the batik prints, while the feather trims added a fun touch.
A fun, vibrant & wearable collection, Asmita's pieces screamed laid-back chic. In fact, Asmita had so wonderfully created a retro feel, that for a while, I thought I was watching a ramp version of 'That 70s Show'!


Raghavendra Rathore

Hailing from the royal family of Jodhpur, this prince rules in the hearts of people worldwide with his creative talent. Internationally acclaimed for his menswear as well as womenswear collections, Raghavendra uses clothes as a medium of upholding the traditional heritage of India with modern aplomb. In this show, he showcased his line 'Club Jodhpur' for men & women, for the upcoming festive & wedding season. Men strutted on the ramp in stylish new avatars of the achkan, kurta, waistcoat, bandhgala & dhoti. Rich brocades, velvets & silks were used to create the required grandeur, while immaculate tailoring made the pieces classy & coveted. Gorgeous anakrkalis, salwars suits, kurtas, sarees & jackets on the women awed the audience with their magnificence & craftsmanship. Stunning hand embroidery & surface embellishments adorned both the men's & women's garments. The impeccable cuts & opulent silhouettes reflected the designer's royal sensibility, thus making his clothes top most of the classy ladies' lust list!


Raghavendra Rathore takes a bow with show-stopper Debi Datta

Photo credits: Anupriya DG
All pictures copyright to Chappals Vs Stilletoes
(Unless otherwise mentioned)

So...after consecutive weekends of fashion frenzy, I'm back to work in full swing!!! It's a crazy time right now as far as work is concerned.....what with the festive season coming up, new collections, orders blah blah!
But I'm not complaining!!
Coz I do what I love and I love what I do! :D

If you have not drawn the inference yet, let me enlighten you that so many fashion events mean that many outfits waiting to be posted about!!! So, I'll be back soon with loads of outfit posts and the rest of my Kerala series!

Keep watching this space......and have a happy week ahead people! :))

Lots of love,
Anupriya DG
September 17, 2012

Signature Premier Fashion Week Kolkata - Day 3

by , in after yet another fun-filled & exciting evening (though we also had our fair share of issues & disappointments!) of fashion & style on the third day of Kolkata Fashion Week at The Park, I'm back with the review. :)

It, being a Sunday, the shows were filled to capacity and the crowd was overwhelming. We literally had to fight with the Press for front row seats as we couldn't have managed to get good pictures from the 2nd or 3rd row. I would definitely have preferred it if the management would have made sure that we got good seats from where we could take good pictures (as we had been invited by them to cover the event)....but unfortunately, we were left to our own devices. Thankfully, one of my acquaintances from the fashion industry very sweetly gave up her front row seat for me, as she knew I had to take pictures.

The two shows I ended up attending yesterday were Sumit Dasgupta & Soumitra Mondal. Though I had REALLY wanted to catch Bibi Russell's show as got so late that I had to leave without seeing her show!


Sumit presented a bridal wear line that was high on opulence & bling! Traditional silhouettes, gorgeous fabrics & grand designs in myriad hues formed a collection that can easily be a part of a girl's dream trousseau. Flowing drapes, swirling skirts & cascading layers on the women made way to sharp silhouettes, elaborate embroidery & luxurious fabrics on the men. Net sarees & lehengas with brocade & embroidery turned heads as velvet juxtaposed with silks, chiffons & georgettes to create a magnificence that was unmatched. 

The layered skirts of the lehengas need a special mention as do the men's velvet sherwanis. The models swayed down the ramp in dark eyes, red lips & with big red paper bindis on the foreheads representing Sumit's women - bold, beautiful & confident.



The designer Sumit Dasgupta with his show-stoppers

Ok...I actually went yesterday to see Soumitra Mondal & Bibi Russell's shows only, since I admire both of their work greatly. Unfortunately, the shows were running late, hence, couldn't wait till the end to see Bibi Russell's eclectic designs, but I stayed long enough for Soumitra's show. And it was definitely worth the wait.  :)

Soumitra's theme "Bunon" (meaning 'weaving' in Bengali)  piqued my interest right from the start of the AV before the show. The designer used Jamdani - a type of handloom woven cotton that is a speciality of Bengal - to create a collection of beautiful sarees, kurtas, pants, tunics & dresses. The show started with creams & off-whites with hints of gold and slowly went on to subtle shades of beige & coral with a touch of olive. The textile used was light & fine, thus lending a simple elegance to the clothes. The patterns woven on the fabric were barely-there, yet stood out enough to make their presence felt. 

I loved the muted color palette; the soft, earthy music; the way the models sashayed in a slow, sexy shamble down the ramp and of course, the whole set-up of the stage with the bundles of yarn hanging overhead & huge brass plates flanking the ramp on both sides with shola (Indian cork) flowers on them. The make-up was light & nude and the models sported loose braids with strings of shola flowers in them which complimented the chic simplicity of the clothes. The pieces, that were extremely wearable and looked perfect for the Indian weather, would surely up your style quotient without your having to compromise on comfort!


The line-up - isn't the color combination oh-so-pretty?

A smiling Soumitra takes a bow

Photo credits: Anupriya DG
All pictures copyright to Chappals Vs Stilletoes

Another evening well spent, I must say! And you can see what a talented bunch of designers we have here in our city!!! :D

Fashion being my passion, such events always give me a high like nothing else much creativity & style at one place make me go crazy with inspiration & awe! My heartfelt thanks to Gingerclaps & Signature Premier once again for giving me this wonderful opportunity of covering this event as a blogger!

Looking forward to sharing such reviews with you guys in the future as well! :)

Will be coming back with outfit posts soon! Till then, keep it stylish!!!

Anupriya DG

P.S.: You can read the review of the KFW shows of the previous day (15th of Sept.) here.
September 16, 2012

Signature Premier Fashion Week Kolkata - Day 2

by , in
Kolkata Fashion Week started with a bang on the 14th of September at The Park, Kolkata. 

The main sponsors, Signature Premier, & Gingerclaps (the event management company) had invited all the Kolkata fashion & lifestyle bloggers to cover the event on all the 4 days. But I couldn't manage to make it to the event on the 14th, so headed that way on the 15th evening.

Needless to say, we all were pretty excited to be a part of one of the major fashion events of the city and that too, on invitation! :)
Being a fashion designer myself, I have attended numerous fashion shows in the past (in Kolkata and even out of town), but always as a part of the fashion fraternity, as a friend of whichever designer was showing or as a part of the fashion-conscious audience. For the first  time, I was attending fashion shows as a blogger to cover the event from a fashion writer's point of view! And I was pretty stoked at that, I must admit!! ;)

Needless to say, adding fuel to the fire of excitement & enthusiasm was the ID card the organizers had ready for me, complete with picture, name & free access to all areas & all shows. I felt like a part of the Press/Media (which is exactly the role I was playing...but found it hard to digest!).

Day 2 of the Kolkata Fashion Week saw shows by quite a few talented designers. I attended the last 2 shows of the day: Agnimitra Paul & Monapali.

Agnimitra Paul's show started on a boisterous note with typical Bhojpuri songs, remixed by the resident DJ, blaring out at full volume as the models entered the ramp dancing to the rhythmic beats. Madhubani paintings, being the theme of the show, the influence of Bihar, the place of origin of this art form, had to make its unmistakable presence felt all around - right from the bright orange vermilion smeared on the foreheads to the multicolored ribbons braided on to the plaits to the paan the cheeky models bit into as they sashayed on the ramp.

The collection was a contemporary take on the traditional art form of Madhubani paintings which Agnimitra used as prints on sarees, lehengas, kurtas, dresses, jumpsuits, jackets et all. There was the right balance of colors, prints & textures, while the various silhouettes were smart & quite wearable. Black, juxtaposed with bright splashes of red, turquoise, yellow, green, pink & purple presented a color story as diverse as the silhouettes. Frills, gathers, flares & layers created drama as the models jigged & swayed their ways on the ramp. All in all, a nice collection with a few noteworthy pieces which should make their presence felt in a fashionista's wardrobe!

Madhubani paintings consisted of the theme of the collection



The line-up

The show-stoppers for the evening - all renowned football players
Designer Agnimitra Paul takes a bow flanked by her show-stoppers!

The dynamic duo of Mona Lamba & Pali Sachdev presented a collection that was high on colors & textures. The dresses, sarees, lehengas, kurtas, cholis, pants, kaftans & capes all had the touch of the traditional in them. Exquisite hand embroidery work in vibrant colors embellished surfaces, while detailing like pleats, tucks, fringes, layers & gathers created interesting textures & patterns. The silhouettes being very flowy & loose, the fabrics draped & swirled around the models in cascades of elegance. 

Smokey eyes, nude lips & tied back hair made sure the focus was on the clothes. But the beauty coupé was the long swirly bindi inked on each forehead that was actually the name of the label written with calligraphic flair. And of course! I can just go on & on about those shoes!!! I have lusted after these unique pieces many an afternoon, standing in front of the window of the Monapali store on Loudon Street, where these shoes are displayed in all their kitschy glory. And seeing them on the feet of the models, perfectly complimenting the outfits just took them higher up on my lust list! These beautiful pairs were bold enough to stand out even from beneath the vibrant opulence of the clothes. I would love to own one of these quirky, cleverly crafted, embellished pairs of fabric shoes, not to wear them, but so that I can display them as drool-worthy pieces of art. 

The stage is set for the Monapali show



Embellished fabric footwear - the perfect accessories for the outfits!


Models had the brand name written on their forehead giving the look of designer bindis! 

The designer duo walk the ramp

The final line-up

Photo credits: Anupriya DG
All pictures copyright to Chappals Vs Stilletoes

All in all, I enjoyed both the shows, the front row celebrity sneak peeks, the glamour of the whole event and the awesome time I had gossiping & giggling with my blogger pals.

Absolutely looking forward to going back there tonight for some more shows & more fun!!! :))

Ok...I must rush now...or else, I'll be late...and you all won't like to miss out on the updates, will you??? ;)

Anupriya DG


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