I'm sorry to have slacked off in the posting department of late. Please note that this blog will officially be on hiatus until mid-summer as I prepare to pack my family up and move cross-country. Though I won't be posting, do keep emailing your ideas, comments, and suggestions. Seriously. I can't get enough of them! Also, Twitter and my Facebook page are good ways to get in touch with me.
Sigh. So many gala events, so little time! Freida cut an elegant figure in a bespoke cut-out (haha) Thakoon gown. In addition to the fabulous silhouette, the gown's shimmery, champagne with blush undertones lit up Freida's flawless complexion with a candlelit glow. Gorgeous!
It's another Naeem Khan spotting! This time, the lucky lady is Elaina Watley. Her monochromatic sweetheart gown had Elaina verging on the part of the ingénue. She looks youthful and fresh-faced anyway, so I'd say this gown was a good choice for her (sans those clear strap heels - seriously, the raised hem was just begging for a strappy, embellished sandal confection!). And for the uninitiated, her arm candy is the NFL's resident Salsa King, the so-cute-I-could-pinch-him, Victor Cruz.
Fresh off that semi-disastrous East-meets-West outing (you know, the one where what she assiduously referred to her low slung maxi skirt as a ghagra in an attempt at playing the desi card to stave off sartorial snark), Padma dazzled in a Naeem Khan shift that resembled liquid gold.
Together with Rouble Nagi, Sushmita and her I Am Foundation co-hosted a women's luncheon. While the aims of the duo were admirable, Sush's attire was, shall we say, uninspired. I can live with the plain khaki pencil skirt and those feisty heels, but that grungy plaid vest killed the look.
The new face of The Body Shop in India, Jacqueline wore a pencil skirt and crop top separates dotted with floral appliques. She capped off her look with utterly inoffensive nude sandals. Perfect for springtime!
Just in time for Mother's Day, Riddhima and Neetu grace the cover of "Hello!". As with last time, this edition featured a mummy-beti duo we don't often see in the limelight. Both look lovely. Riddhima's frosty hair, and ice princess anarkali contrast nicely with her mum's rich hued sari. Riddhima's excessive blonde highlights always strike me as a bit jarring. Perhaps Neetu could talk some hair color sense into her.
Neha D. recently attended an event in a Payal Singhal lehenga characterized by eye-catching Banarasi beige and antique gold work. I'm not sure how she fared in the summer heat, but I love her long-sleeved, richly hued blouse. Its simplicity offsets all that heavy silk embroidery. Neha finished off the look with her hair center parted, and easily pulled back, a pair of Anmol jhumkas, and her dupatta jauntily wrapped around her neck. This would be an excellent look for guests of fall and winter weddings.
I'm glad to see Bollywood stars drawing from a increasingly broad range of international designers for their major event looks. But I would be lying if I didn't admit that I still particularly love to see which desi designs make red carpet appearances. For this #TBT, La Dixit attended IIFA Rocks 2013 in Macau in one of her go-to designers: Manish Malhotra. She chose a light blue anarkali kameez with gold embroidery, and a peach contrast border with coordinating net dupatta. The light blue net overlay added a dimension to this floor-length anarkali, a frequent silhouette for La Dixit.
Kangana wore an Anju Modi creation right off the LFW 2014 runway. The long, ivory tunic with a keyhole neckline, all-over print, and floral embellishment was worn over a powder-blue tulle skirt. I love her neutral makeup and hair delicately pinned up. However, I do wish she'd lose that giant satchel. For a screening of her own film, I doubt she needed to sneak in her own snacks. Am I right?
With all the green carpet events, a gown recap is a must! Holy plunging neckline, Bebo! Selecting another Armani design, Mrs. Pataudi ensured this one was memorable. I love this smokey eye + nude lip combo, but I do wish she'd worn a pair of sparklers - especially since her hair is pulled back.
Sri was a vision in de la Renta. This gown suited her perfectly. Elegant, age appropriate, and seemingly effortless. Golfclaps!
MAK was in her standard uniform of skin tight with cut-outs aplenty. Yawn. Kudos to Sonakshi for daring to be different in her mermaid-style gown. I didn't love it, but I also didn't hate it. Gauhar chose another structured gown for her final appearance. I quite liked the subtly shimmery, two-toned color of the gown, but not so much the bodice.
*Update* Aditi wore a lux Payal Singhal lehenga to this event. This designer is fast becoming one of my favorites. She just does not disappoint. Here we've got the peekaboo midriff in an utterly classy design. Note to Padma: it's so much better when the ghagra is not worn with a low-rise! And the mega-watt Curio Cottage necklace added the right amount of sparkle to balance the embroidery on the ghagra and create visual interest up top. Per the designer, that gorgeous embroidery decorating the bottom of the ghagra is Moroccan jaali work.
Vaani opted for classic black-and-white and handily avoided the dreaded cater-waiter lookalike trap. How did she manage this feat? Well, for starters, her tuxedo pants were high-waisted and had a tapered leg. But let's be honest. She got all the glam she needed from that plunging neckline in front and back.
Piggy Chops was the belle of her own ball at her NYC music video launch. She wore a fun, fringy, eye-catching Tamara Mellon dress. The dress is alright (not one of PC's best by any stretch), but it serves its purpose as it's flirty and fun. Her hair's a little wonky - not quite sure what her team was going for, but it sort of looks like a style go awry and ending in it being piled rather unceremoniously on her head.
Listen, Parineeti. I get that you are the young, fresh face of Bollywood. But this ensemble is a massive disappointment. Instead of rising to the occasion as some of your colleagues have admirably done, you just fell flat. The net and pleather accents cheapen rather than elevate the look. I do not like. At all.
After careful consideration, I must declare that my absolute favorite gown was Priyanka's gorgeous Monique Lhullier. I was absolutely hooked by the delicate champagne embellishment layered over a blush base. Stylistic 10 out of 10 for sure!
IIFA showcased a pair of dueling divas, battling it out in a peach hue. I've gotta side with Dia's gown on this one. Pleats are so in right now! Y'all know how I feel about nude mesh paneling (off the ice, natch). I'm just not digging La Dixit's Sonaakshi Raj design. It puts me in my of a stage costume. And seeing as how she's posing on the green carpet and not twirling around on stage, it gets a thumbs down from me.
What strikes me post about Bipasha's appearance at this IIFA event was not so much the sari (though it was lovely and unobjectionable), as it was the Amrapali earrings that perfectly accented the detail of her corset-style blouse.
I am just not loving Sonakshi's choice of attire for this event. This design is a cross between a dress coat and a lab coat. Yuck. I think Ms. Sinha occasionally jumps out of her comfort zone (kudos), but sometimes the risk is just not worth it. I do want to point out that sympathy headaches aside, the sleek top knot works on Sonakshi's facial structure. Totally flattering here. Less so for Bebo IMHO.
Kareena Kapoor Khan (aka Mrs. Pataudi) was totes elegant in Armani. As you'll see in another post, she wore two ensembles by the same designer, but the overall looks were markedly different. I would have preferred a red lip to that orange, and I felt her top knot was a little too severe. Just looking at the tightly pulled back 'do is giving me a sympathy headache. Face-framing tendrils and perhaps a little volume up top would have been helpful.
I wasn't a fan of Bips's IIFA Rocks styling - I took particular issue with the choice of hair style. But she was sleek on her next outting. Her slinky Rocky S gown was edgy, and her blow-out accentuated her look perfectly.
Deepika's Sabyasachi ensemble was my favorite desi look from all of IIFA. Yes. I love it that much. But I have to say that Dia's ombre pink version was a very close #2 . I wish I could say as much about the haywire curls though.
DPads was in her element, basking in fan praise and racking up the awards at IIFA. She wore a red Zuhair Murad lace gown that managed to walk the line between daring and risque. I'm not a fan of the net panels on the bottom portion of the gown, but all in all, Deepika carries it off well (though a pair of earrings would have been nice).
My personal favorite of Deepika's IIFA looks was definitely her gold Sabyasachi gown. Gorgeous, and befitting a megastar. The amount of detail on this dress is breathtaking. Love it.
Sonam gracefully added a bit of star power to this event in a black-and-white sari that was both "out there" and classic, at the same time. While not a huge fan of the shredded detail (it's a little too reminiscent of '80s grunge tees), it does come together nicely here. I'm also not normally a fan of this style of sari drape, but I suppose in this case, it's necessary to showcase the shredded detailing. The very Sonam braided up-do was a nice touch as loose, flowy hair would have been far too distracting.
IIFA 2014 in Tampa Bay (what what, FL!) kicked off with the IIFA Rocks bash. Celebs sported a wide variety of looks for the event. Gauhar brought her A game in a floor length, muddy yellow Gauri and Nainika gown. While she certainly was sleek and pulled together, her overall look struck me as a little too structured and stiff for this particular event.
Bipasha wore a daring Gaurav Gupta gown. I think it was in keeping with the IIFA Rocks vibe. But I must say that I was utterly mystified by her curly faux bob with the flat ironed bangs. Why?!?!
I thought Piggy Chops's style was right on the money. No doubt about it. She struck the right balance between edgy and fresh in her Prabal Gurung design. Bold and colorful as it was, she rightly kept hair, makeup, and accessories to a minimum.
We're so used to seeing Ms. Padma as the host of TV's "Top Chef", it may slip our minds that she was first, and foremost, a model. Well, her appearance at the Ball jolted the memory of Padma's modeling days. Holy insanely tight abs!
Now as for her look, overall, it's not working. I'm digging the so-now crop tops with the longish sleeves. However, my personal preference is for the crop top to be paired with bottoms with a higher rise such that only a sliver of skin is exposed. Clearly, Padma subscribes to the "go big or go home" approach. She paired her crop top with a maxi skirt (also by Payal Singhal) slung ultra-low on her hips. This resulted in a maximum swath of super-fit-abs exposed. I get that she must be proud of her fit body. She's had a baby, so we know she's put in effort. However, this look is just way too overexposed IMHO.
At first blush, Soha looked chic at this event. A closely tailored dress in an on trend color? What's not to like, right? Wrong. She went all matchtastic with those suede pumps. Black accessories. Swap in black heels and a black box clutch, and this would've been a great look for Soha. Also, I get that it's probably crazy hot in Mumbai at this time of the year, but if you're going for a body-skimming dress in that heat, and in an unforgiving royal blue, then you better be toting dress shields in your clutch, because as Soha clearly demonstrates below, half-moons flatter no one.
La Shetty was uncharacteristically blah in her columnar style dress. Something is amiss with the bodice of the dress - a touch too Madonna circa-"Vogue" if you know what I mean. Which is a shame, because the embroidery and the color are really quite lovely.
I love Konkona's vast collection of handloom saris as much as the next person. But pairing this gorgeous sari with what appears to be a rashguard? Inventive? Yes. Best use of a rashguard? I don't think so. Save it for the pool, lady.
Meanwhile, I know we're all excited for the warmer weather, but come on, Sussanne. Attending the grand opening of the Pearl Academy's Mumbai campus in tennis whites? Honestly? I'm glad you hit the courts in the morning, but please do consider wearing an actual outfit next time you launch something or the other.
I believe the Vikram Phadnis designs worn by celebrities at this event were auctioned off in support of the Swades Foundation. Lucky us! There were many gorgeous pieces to ogle over. Best in Sari
Bips' sari is quite stunning. The midnight blue brocade and red blouse pairs nicely with the shimmery confection of a sari. You know how I adore booti work. Only issue I had was that the biggish curls distracted from the sari itself. A sleeker style, or an elegant chignon would've been much better. Ms. Vidya was elegant as ever in a mustard-navy blue combo. Her up-do with a few loose ringlets and coral lip accentuated the sari beautifully. Best of the Rest
Hands down, my fave was Neha's design. Possibly because it stood out the most from the other Phadnis creations in its black base color. I love her gold brocade blouse and the velvet trim on the flowy ghagra was a nice touch. The rest of the pack consisted of heavily net ghagras, with lots of gold and sequined embellishment. Mehr…
Elli Avram chose a brightly colored sharara for the event. I don't care for these colors together, but I do enjoy the occasional sharara-spotting. It seems starlets often shy away from it due to the modesty factor; can't very well overexpose oneself in a sharara.
No. Just no. The bejeweled corset, flouncy mini-skirt, two-tone pumps, shiny stockings, and belly button peeking out, are just not working for Madalasa. Here's hoping she uses her earnings from her first film to hire herself a stylist.
We've recently spotted Genelia and Sonakshi wearing iterations of what appears to be a favorite concept for Shantanu & Nikhil at the moment. That concept being head-to-toe burgundy. Dia sported a third look within this concept, and methinks hers is the most wearable and flattering of the three versions. Firstly, this look is fitted (while Genelia and Sonakshi were almost drowning in theirs), and the tea-length keeps it classy. The deal breakers for Ms. Mirza are that she opted to wear a burgundy lip and matching kitten heels. That's a whole lot of burgundy, I'd say!