Thursday, April 14, 2016

Begum Style

After that last lackluster outing, Kareena turned things around quickly with two rather smashing appearances. Traditional lehenga with mega-watt embroidery, or a sharp, head-to-toe neutrals look, Bebo shows us she can gracefully handle it all, and that a bold red lip can anchor any look.
Photos: @elleindiasabya

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Meet Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan

The young, beautiful, and fashionable Queen of Bhutan, a country secluded from the world's limelight due to its remoteness, has already been generating a stir ever since her marriage to the King and her rise to the position of Queen Consort. She is a powerhouse in her own right, and much loved by the Bhutanese people. However, on a fun and superficial level, she has also drawn favorable comparisons to the Duchess of Cambridge, so much so, that she is sometimes referred to as the "Kate Middleton of the Himalayas".
So who is this Himalayan Queen? At 25-years-old, she is the youngest Queen Consort in the world. Like Kate, she was a commoner (though with an aristocratic lineage) and the daughter of a pilot. She is fashionable, athletic, and holds a university arts background. Additionally, she herself is a brand new mum, having recently given birth to a baby boy.
As with Wills and Kate, the King and Queen of Bhutan have always shown great respect for their country's culture and traditions, all while clearly carving a path for themselves. While the Cambridges gave the strict royal custom of Royals-only Christmases at Sandringham a tweak, by either inviting Kate's family to Anmer Hall, or even spending the day with the Middletons, TRM of Bhutan have also made small changes such as their love marriage (rather than an arranged marriage), or their occasional very chaste PDA in a nation that traditionally avoids it in public. Additionally, the Queen share interests in causes such as conservation, children's issues, and fulfilling the potential of children with disabilities.

From a fashion perspective, HRM wears traditional Bhutanese attire while at home. I am so very partial to the vibrancy of traditional Bhutanese attire - that's the color-loving desi in me. But she does wear western clothes while traveling abroad.
The Queen of Bhutan is pictured at Delhi Couture Week alongside Farah Ali Khan.
With the impending arrival of the Cambridges and the media circus that follows them, the spotlight is going to shine brightly on Bhutan for the next couple of days. I'm excited to learn more about the country, its people, its customs, and of course TRM, the King and Queen of Bhutan. It's said to be the happiest place in the world!
Photos: jetsun pema facebook page/india today - getty/hm king jigme khesar namgyel wangchuck

Royal Tour India: Day 4

Despite a minor shakeup courtesy of earthquake tremors, Day 4 was yet another successful day of positive public relations on behalf of HM. The Cambridges started the day off early with a jeep safari at Kaziranga National Park. As a personal aside, while I saw plenty of gorgeous tigers on one occasion at Bandipur, I also took an early morning safari at Ranthambore and saw nary a tiger. The objective of the Cambridges excursion was to see rhinos, and that mission was successfully accomplished; which is a relief because in these wild preserves one never knows if the animals will be out and about or not! Kate wisely went High Street with Zara jeans, and also brought out her trusty Sebago Balas (which many of you will recall from their debut on TRH Canada tour).
Photos: daily mail/daily express/anuwar hazarika-barcroftindia/getty/reuters

HRH later changed from her safari outfit into a printed midi dress by Topshop. Her print game has certainly been strong on this tour! The dress is described as "boho-chic" which is a term often applied to fabrics and designs with a vaguely Indian quality about them. In this case that would be courtesy of the embroidery. I think you could  even get away with adding a pair of chudidaar pants with this kameez-like dress. It's all about the options, right?
Photo: @chrisjack_getty

TRH put the finishing touches on an elephant for the Elephant Family's elephant parade project. They also had the opportunity to feed animals at the Panbari Reserve (awwww!!). I don't know enough about the issue, so we won't get into the controversy of the Royal Family's fondness for hunting and their environmental conservation efforts.
Photos: @kensingtonroyal/PA/@elliotwagland
The day's scheduled activities also included a leisurely stroll through tea gardens and opportunities for the Cambridges to meet enthusiastic locals. The HRH Duchess Kate blog has some excellent photos of the Duchess interacting with local residents.
Photo: daily mail

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Padma Shri for PC

Piggy Chops jetted off for a quick trip home in order to receive the prestigious Padma Shri award for her contributions to Indian cinema and her advocacy for girls' education. There's a whole lot of yellow going on with her net sari, but I think she carries it well. On the whole, I prefer Piggy's lemony look to that of La Rai and La Dixit at their respective Padma Shri ceremonies. The green tikka is a nice touch, and I like the simple hair and makeup too. Rashtrapati Bhavan is not the place for tricked-out smokey eyes, or glittery, glam doll, makeup. Save that for da club.
Photos: pinvilla/bazaarbridein

Royal Tour India: Bihu festival

As the focus of this portion of the Tour will be conservation efforts, TRH enjoyed an evening outdoors at Kaziranga, enjoying the Bihu harvest festival, watching traditional dance performances, and meeting local residents. HRH's elegant silk-chiffon maxi dress (identified literally in 2.5 seconds by @foodfashfit) was by Ann Sui. Along with the Anita Dongre dress from Day 1, this is a second designer that is new to Kate's wardrobe. The lovely, lightweight fabric of the Sui and the Glamorous dress from this morning, were well chosen to help the Duchess cope with the heat and humidity while maintaining elegance appropriate to her role as a senior royal. My only quibble for the day was we didn't get a chance to see TRH shake a leg as they gamely did in Fiji. Well, the tour's not over yet - there's still hope, people. Stay strong!
Photos: @queenvicmirror/@sperrypeoplemag/@kensingtonroyal
And a couple of hi-resolution shots to really capture the vibrancy of Kate's dress:
Photos: chris jackson/getty

Royal Tour India: Arrival in Assam

Fresh off a meeting with the PM and women's rights advocates, TRH jetted off to Assam. HRH's hair and dress withstood all the hustle remarkably well! The handwoven Assamese stoles even complemented her dress rather nicely. TRH were greeted upon arrival in Assam with a traditional welcome which included local dance performances.
Photos: @kensingtonpalace/@ukinindia

UPDATED Royal Tour India: Meeting with PM Modi

After a morning clearly enjoyed by TRH and the children at the Salaam Baalak center, TRH made a quick change for lunch at Hyderabad House with PM Modi. After a fantastic sartorial selection in the morning, HRH made another exquisite choice with a jade Temperley London midi-dress. The beautiful lace and the high neck lend this outfit an almost Victorian quality along with her hair in an elegant up-do. I love everything about this!
In keeping with what I said earlier about the personal interests of TRH really shining through on this tour, Victoria Murphy of the "Mirror" provides further anecdotal evidence. Per Ms. Murphy, Wills specifically requested a meeting with Indian women who work to help other women in order to better understand challenges faced by girls and women in India. To that end, TRH had a private meeting with women's rights advocates. The @stopacidattacks campaign was specifically discussed alongside Ms. Laxmi Agarwal who we've discussed here. Laxmi is a survivor of a brutal acid attack, and has turned into a powerful voice, victim advocate, fashion model, spokesperson....in short, she has leapt well beyond the category of "victim".
Photos: @RE_dailymail/@indiatoday/@narendramodi/@britishroyals