Saturday, February 28, 2009

Inexplicable.

This lady in red was a guest at the Filmfare Awards. It looks like the bottom half of her dress got stuck in a car door and was unceremoniously ripped off. At the red carpet, and missing half of her dress, what was she to do? This plucky guest improvised with a pair of black cropped pants. That can be the only explanation for this get-up. Sort of like a mullet - this outfit is formal on top, casual on the bottom, and a disaster all around.Photo Credit: BCCL/Shriram Vernekar.

Mermaid Spotting!

*Update Below* The fabulous Preity Zinta attended the Filmfare Awards in classic black and white. The exaggerated mermaid-style gown is a difficult shape to pull off, but I think PZ does it elegantly. The detailing on the bodice is interesting if a tad busy. I do wish she'd gone with some color this go around. While she looks lovely, this gown is reminiscent of the black-white combo she wore to the Slumdog Millionaire Mumbai premiere. When she does color (remember Cannes '08), PZ looks a-mazing!Photo Credit: BCCL/Shriram Vernekar.
Update: Check out the emerald stunners PZ paired with her gown at the Filmfare Awards. Do these earrings look familiar? They should. PZ last wore them with a black sari and ug-o "blouse" at the Drona premiere. Celebs have fabulous jewelry, but even they have to recycle once in a while.(L) Photo Credit: BCCL/Shantanu Das. (R) Photo Source.
Genelia certainly redeemed herself after her too-blah outing at the Stardust Awards. She really couldn't go wrong in a black, well-fitting, satin mermaid-style gown. Her hair is chic and pulled back, allowing that killer smoky eye to be the focal point.
Photo Credit: Viral Bhayani.

Skanky Sarifest.

*Update Below* Payal Rohtagi had the skanky non-blouse blouse and the middle-of-the-girls pallu, plus the ultra low rise draping. What's missing from her skanky look? Ahh. Of course! She must call more attention to her overexposed middriff - what better way to do so than a jhummka! [Much sarcasm intended].Photo Credit: BCCL/Shriram Vernekar.
Mughda Godse tossed aside any good fashion sense she has been developing, by skanking up an otherwise unobjectionable, black chiffon sari. First, she opted for the pallu-down the middle where it is completely useless, and added a bra-errr-"blouse" so-shiny I think it could be plastic. Thanks, ladies. Way to ruin what is usually a beautiful event look.Photo Source.
Update: I really didn't think it was possible for Sabyasachi to look bad, but Bong babe Bips proved me wrong. No sari - I don't care who the designer is - looks good when the "blouse" closely resembles lingerie or swimwear. We've definitely seen more than a couple of Manish Malhotra creations ruined in a similar way. Bips, maybe you should take a look at La Rai to learn how to do Sabyasachi justice.Photo Source.

Green Done Right And Green Done So Very Wrong.

*Update Below* At the Filmfare Awards, Arjun chose an all black look, while his wife Mehr, provided the much needed pop of color in Moschino. Love the shade of green, love the detailing and love that Mehr didn't OD on accessories or makeup, and wore her hair in loose curls rather than in an overly structured look. With such a bold colored dress, Mehr kept everything else fresh and minimal.Divya Khosla Kumar accompanied her hubby, but all she provided was metallic green overload - there's the dress of course (is it made of vinyl?!), but she's also got green eyeshadow and is dripping with emeralds. Add to that the fact that she's got prom hair as usual - complete with sparkly butterfly clip. The dress is ug-o enough as is, but wait, it gets worse. Is that her flippin' black bra?! Girl, buy yourself a strapless - pawn off your necklace/cuff/ring if need be! Update: Divya's dress is a Dolce and Gabbana from an older collection. It appears that what I mistook for her bra, is actually part of the design. No matter though. Still hugely dislike this entire look.Photo Credit: Viral Bhayani.

Back In (Yawn) Black.

*Update Below* Sush attended the Filmfare Awards with her signature smokin' hot hair and makeup, but she was swimming in black ... again, which put a total damper on her look. Sushmita has such beautiful, Bengali looks, a fantastic body and she is so youthful that her addiction to black is inexplicable. Typically, you find this phenomenon among women desperate to hide some perceived body flaw. When you look like Sushmita though, you have to wonder ... WHY? Photo Credit: Viral Bhayani.
Update: 'Anu' made a very interesting comment about wearing black to blend into the background and not necessarily to hide anything. It got me thinking. Black is such a versatile and safe color - it's very difficult to go wrong with it, and it's usually quite flattering. In my own wardrobe I often gravitate toward black pieces, particularly on days where I just want to pass unnoticed, or days when I'm pressed for time, I know I can't go wrong with black. However, (you knew there had to be a however), I hammer Sush for her oh-so-boring choices, not because I hate black, but because the very nature of being a celebrity attending glamorous events, is that people are going to be looking at you. For us non-starlets, on the other hand, we are certainly entitled to our black, blend-in days! Lucky us, eh? Thanks for the comment, 'Anu'!

Bachchan Brigade.

The younger Bachchans have had a rather hectic couple of weeks - what with La Rai touring for Pink Panther 2 promotions, Abhi setting records while promoting Delhi 6, and La Rai filming for Mani Ratnam's Ravaana in Kolkatta. Abhi-baby looks sharp as he's been looking of late. Wifey Aishwarya is positively glowing - looks like she brought a little Bengali flavor back with her to Mumbai - in her Sabyasachi creation. I love that Aishwarya opted for a sleek, low chignon as opposed her usual loose hair. Also, I am a fan of her batua that "goes with" her sari though it doesn't match it. Bollywood starlets often forget that accessories need only go with the look, not matchy match it.
AB Senior appears to have traded in velvet for satin. The man loves his shiny fabrics doesn't he?Photo Credit: BCCL/Shriram Vernekar.

Slumdog @ 54th Idea Filmfare Awards.

What a year for A.R. Rahman! Not only does the music maestro rack up not one but two Oscars for the Slumdog Millionaire score, but a mere week later, he's onstage again. This time, he's accepting a Filmfare award from fellow legend Asha Bhosle, for best score for the film Jodhaa Akbar.The Slumdog baacha company has become international sweethearts since attending the Oscars. In between, the got to hang out at Disneyland and were welcomed home joyfully upon their return from the States. Now they take the stage again at the Filmfare awards and got to be congratulated by King Khan himself. Such cuties!Photo Credit: BCCL/Shriram Vernekar.

Bluefly Private Sale.

Stock up on some goodies, here. Names like Bottega Veneta, Cole Haan, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Prada, and Vera Wang.

Grace Under Yards Of Chiffon.

Update: designer Wendell Rodericks was responsible for this pseudo-maternity look. Lisa Ray launched the Rado store at Cr2 Mall in Churchgate in an extremely floaty+drapey - verging on maternity - style dress. With her eyes, that color is exquisite. But the point of this post is that with her natural grace, Lisa makes this dress - which IMHO is otherwise rather unflattering - work. I think she specifically, and not so much the dress itself, looks great. Better put, I think she looks fab inspite of the shortcomings of that dress. You'll see, the top picture outdoors is only ok. But when she gets inside and strikes a pose, wow. And those peep toes in grey are a nice touch! So glad she didn't go all matchy with the shoes.Photo Credit: Viral Bhayani.

Luxe Overload.

At the Myrah Spa Women's Day Celebration in Juhu, Kahkashan Patel arrived in a color palette that was totally acceptable for a day event. My question for her is why would you pair a classic Chanel tweed jacket with tattered light denims? Don't you think the tatters undermine the luxeness of the jacket and her overall appearance? Oh, and that piece of serious hardware she's toting is a Versace "Madonna" bag.
Photo Credit: BCCL/Sachin Gokhale.

Plain And Simple.

Karisma attended Sandip Soparkar's afternoon dance show in very appropriate attire. She wore a pair of nice, blue "day time" denims paired with cork wedges and a very Sonali-esque paisley shirt. A crisp botton down as opposed to an ol' tee classes up any day look.I love that Karisma reserves the heavy duty makeup looks for when she's on set and not in real life. At this afternoon event, Karisma kept all of her makeup super minimal - i.e. sheer foundation + nude lipstick only. She's such a makeup chameleon!Photo Source.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Rare Miss.

We're so used to Twinkle delivering fashionable hit after hit, that a rare misstep is jarring. Aussie pop star joined the Khanna-Kumars for a lunch date. For the occasion, Twinkle appears to have bathed in gold. At last count, she's got a gold blouse, gold watch, gold belt, and gold shoes. Add to that, her Native American-inspired statement necklace (which big as it is, gets lost in all the gold), and her chocolate brown Birkin, well it's all too overwhelming. If she'd kept her color palette neutral and toned down, and her other accessories (i.e. bag, shoes, watch, belt) more minimalist, I think the necklace would have made the statement she intended it to make. As it stands, I think Twinkle overthought this one.Kylie's currently in Mumbai to (what else?) record a music video for the forthcoming film, Blue, starring (who else?) Akki. She was a delight in her summery polka dot dress - instead of going demure in black and white, she kicked it up to rockstar style with electric blue. I love her fierce gladiator-esque sandals.Akki looks great in a crisp white shirt and denims. Those are some bright yellow loafers he's got on though. I love yellow and all, but egg yolk yellow on shoes makes it look likes he's got duck feet. I much prefered the silver Louis Vuitton "Monte Carlo" loafers he wore to the Levi's 501 launch last year. On that note, ladies, enjoy this bit of man candy to kickstart your weekend! Happy Friday.Photo Source.

Sometimes It Is Just Black or White.

Piggy Chops inaugurated Studio Aesthetic at JVPD Scheme, and in keeping with the apparent black and white theme, PC wore a floaty black and white top, with cigarette pants which have a straight-leg, ankle-length silhouette and sit just below her waist. The ciggie pants are a difficult look to pull off for most women, but PC is blessed with a long and lean frame. I am a little concerned by the wrinkliness of the pants which makes me question whether she's got the right size or maybe it's a material issue. The problem with her look as a whole is that she's got too many competing textures in black. Her top is either cotton or jersey, while her pants are probably a cotton-satin blend (hence the sheen), and her sandals have either a black patent leather strap or a shiny sequined strap (it's hard to tell from the pic) - but either way, they're super shiny. The incongrouance is more noticeable when you're working with one color (here: black). If she just had a matte top with a satin finish bottom, that wouldn't be too terrible, but the mega watt shoes put it over the edge.Photo Source.
Sunita Gowariker and Neeta Lulla also complied with the black and white dress code. Being a designer, you always expect something a little unusual from Neeta. While there is way too much going on with her blouse for my taste, she carries it off as her personal style statement. Sunita, on the other hand, sorely disappoints. Her top is even less inspired than PC's top which was safe-to-the-point-of-being-boring. And that bag. Now I'm no expert, but I think there's a strong chance it's a knockoff. That's the rub though isn't it? If you dress cheaply, no one is going to believe that you are toting around a $2000 handbag.

Despite the looks of things, there is a chance the bag is legit. In which case, all I have to say is that it is hideous and cannot justify blowing a grand or more. Hell, it's so ugly, I wouldn't even waste my time looking at it. In truth, Fendi has lately come up with some real monstrosities. Anyone recall the "To You" bag (pictured below)? Here comes my rant. Luxe handbag or not, I am not a fan of bags covered in monograms/logos and I hate patchwork (particularly of the animal skin variety). My theory is that the savvy designers have figured out that people with cash to burn will buy just about anything if you slap on a label and a $1000+ price tag; it's like these people go into label shock and cease being able to comprehend ugliness. From a purely business perspective, I think the designers may have a point: if people will shell out tons of cash for ugly, why not sell ugly? Or, it's possible that it's the world's biggest inside joke - I can totally picture high end designers competing amongst themselves on which label can sell the ugliest handbag. That would certainly explain the "To You" wouldn't it?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

So Hot And So Not.

At the launch of the Firaangi Paani restaurant in Bandra, Nina Manuel was garama garam in her bright coral mini accented with gold sandals and hoops. Rakshanda Khan, on the other hand, was OTT in her Forever 21-esque (read: cheap looking) spandex top complete with velvet peeking out, tucked into her light denims which were tucked into her knee-high boots. To make matters worse, the jeans themselves have glittery detailing at the pockets, which, in such close proximity to that silver belt, is just too much.Photo Source.

Sloppy Draping Ruins Any Look.

Manisha inaugurated an art exhibition at Kala Ghoda in Colaba. I love love love her blouse paired with the oxidized silver necklace. What I dislike is the sloppy bunching of her pallu - it totally dtracts from the otherwise elegant sari. With her hair severely pulled back a la Lilith Sternin, she at least could've added earrings ... ideally the pair from her necklace set. I'm not a huge fan of her makeup look which is otherwise minimal save for thick, harsh black liner. Her hair and makeup at this event do not do her any justice whatsoever.Photo Source.

Cover Story: Dev and Freida.

Fresh off their Oscars success, our fave budding stars grace the March cover of Entertainment Weekly along with eight little gold men. Freida is wearing the same sunny Roberto Cavalli number she tried on during the Access Hollywood segment she taped prior to the Oscars. Dev looks cutely disheveled ... I imagine his hair regularly looks like this. I like the natural-looking styling for both stars.Photo Credit: Just Jared.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

In the interest of full disclosure, and before I get any further reviewing this film, I must confess that I scare very easily. I picked up Bhool Bhulaiyaa because it was directed by Priyadarshan so I figured it'd be good for a few laughs. Well right off the bat, you should know that this film wasn't the rip roaring comedy you might expect from Priyadarshan. But given that the cast includes Paresh Rawal, Asrani and Rajpal Yadav, it's certainly not a humorless film!Bhool Bhulaiyaa is both a supernatural and psychological thriller aptly set in an old Rajasthani haveli. If you've ever visited an old Rajasthani quila or mahal, you'll connect with the eerie sensation of walking past long unused rooms and marvalling at the architecture and furnishings. The film is visually pleasing - this is a credit both to the cinematographer and to the city of Jaipur. The film excellently captures the haunting beauty of the city.Bhool Bhulaiyaa revolves around Siddharth Chaturvedi (Shiney Ahuja) and his wife Avni (Vidya Balan), a newlywed, highly scientific and rational minded couple. They desire to stay at Siddharth's ancestral haveli during their visit to his hometown, a Rajasthani village. The story that has deeply entrenched itself in the village's psyche is that the haveli is haunted by the bhootani of Manjulika, a courtesan in olden times who fell a victim of love and a raja's selfish ways. No where is the bhootani more feared than among Siddharth's own relatives who strongly oppose Sid and Avni's plans to occupy the haveli. Once they move in, inexplicable and dangerous accidents begin to happen. Sid calls on his psychiatrist buddy, Aditya Shrivastav (Akki) who is quirky to say the least, and sets about resolving the mystery.Music-wise, I wasn't super impressed by any of the tracks except for Mere Dholna with its heavy classical influence the alaap and thodé interspersed with lyrics are lovely and the rhythm, infectious for any dancer. The song is highly unexpected in the midst of a Bollywood masala film. The song is picturized on Vidya who didn't fail to impress with her bharatanatyam-inspired moves. She obviously practiced hard for this one and it really showed. Let's Rock Soniye was your average, peppy, obligatory sagaai/shaadi song - can't really have a Bolly flick without one! It was moderately catchy, but I've heard better. The choreography was ok, but the songs in this film were more used to advance the story rather than as dance fillers. The only dance filler song, Saakhiyan, was picturized on Amisha, but was cut from the film. I actually liked this track, as well as the choreography and visuals.In the middle of the film, the Allah Hafiz song - while a nice tune - seemed out of place and disruptive to the flow of the story. It was picturised on Akshay and while I can see where it was intended to advance the plot, I didn't feel it was all that helpful. I saw it as more of an unwelcome speedbump than anything else. The only jarring musical note was the remixed version of Bhool Bhulaiyaa that appears in the credits - I want to guess that Snoop had some influence here, this track reminded me of Singh Is Kinng. But while it fit right in with that movie, it didn't belong in Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

I enjoyed this movie, and while it wasn't your typical Priyadarshan flick, it was a nice foray into thriller territory, with just the right amount of laughs.
Photo Source.

Spotted: 1 Fashionista, 1 Repeat Offender.

Soniya Mehra attended Farah Khan's jewelry collection preview looking effortlessly chic as usual. The peach color is divine on her and the chunky cuff is a great accessory.Photo Source.
Farah Khan attended her jewelry preview wearing a candy apple red BCBGMAXAZRIA satin halter tiered dress that ... well... should look familiar to you all having been a staple in Twinkle Khanna's wardrobe (in black). A more serious issue is that Ms. Khan carted out a repeat from her closet for her own jewelry preview. We last saw her wear this same dress in October of 2008 at the Bombay Times 14th Anniversary Party. Honestly, it's a cute dress and shouldn't be a "one hit wonder." So while I certainly don't expect celebs to pull out a brand new, never-been-worn outfit for every public appearance, I take issue when it's their own flippin' function!Photo Source.Photo Credit: BCCL.

Cover Story: Freida Pinto.

Take a sneak peek at the cover of the March 2009 issue of Vogue India. Freida looks smashing pictured in a Spring 2009 LV mini dress. Update: That blingtastic necklace is an Iradj Moini creation. Moini was a couture designer for Oscar de la Renta.

More Oscars Pics!

I couldn't resist! Here's a look at the cast and crew of Slumdog Millionaire (heard of the film have you?) soaking it all up, enjoying their success and just plain mugging for the camera. Yenjoy!
Tiggerific Danny Boyles. Hoo hoo hoo hoo!
Photo Credit: Reuters.

"Kya baat hain!"
Photo Credit: Chris Carlson/AP.

Awwwww.
Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/AP.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Photo Credit: Amy Sancetta/AP.

Kajal Quest: Stila.

So, why did I pick Stila Kajal eye liner for my next kajal test? One reason really. Its name contains the term kajal which demonstrates some awareness on the part of Stila. So I thought "hey, it's trying to emulate kajal, so this just might be what I'm looking for!"

Here's what Stila's web site has to say about their Kajal eye liner:
Kajal eye liners are formulated to mimic the ultra-soft texture of the indian eye darkener of the same name. The luscious formula is silky smooth and glides on perfectly, without dragging across the most fragile skin around the eye area. Delivers bold, clear, true color that blends easily and beautifies.
Hmmm. So far so good. I purchased the liner (in onyx, natch) at Sephora for $18. I rushed home and unwrapped the pencil in a hurry to try it on. When I applied the pencil to my inner rim, I think I heard the Superficial Angels sing. The kajal went on like a dream - no tugging necessary! The application was smooth, and the color. Oh the color. Rich, dark and all that I ever wanted in a kajal pencil! I kid you not, I was in makeup heaven! I didn't have to rub the liner on my inner rims repeatedly - all it took was one light stroke and voila! A beautiful jet black line. I lined the inner rims of my lower lash lines, applied some mascara, and that was all I needed for a lovely, defined eye look suitable for daytime. Of course my head raced with the wild makeup ideas I had for night looks that would incorporate this wonderful kajal.

About an hour and a half later, my reverie was abruptly shattered when I chanced upon my reflection in the rear view mirror of my car. Noticeable smudges under both eyes. Eeep. I guess this was the price to pay for that rich pigmentation.

All was not lost (by all, I mean $18) and I didn't have to chuck the liner because of its smudgieness. I have found that if I apply primer or translucent powder under my lower lash line, and follow up the kajal application by dipping an angled brush in black eye shadow and applying this along my lower lash line, I increase the staying power of Stila Kajal by several hours. Of course lining the eyes with shadow takes the look out of daytime casual and into a high-drama night look, but at least the product is still usable! It's still worth it for that amazing pigmentation. It has become my go-to pencil any time I'm going out.

I recently learned, thanks to the January issue of InStyle, that Stila liner is what Courteney Cox Arquette prefers when she's going out. Check it out:Up next: MAC Technakohl Liner/Eye-Liner Kajal.