Pre Fashion Week Predictions

With Lakme Fashion Week beginning tomorrow it is only befitting that we publish this story that appeared in the DNA earlier this month on my trend predictions for this Autumn Festive showcase.

FASHION FORWARD

Want a sneak peak of the styles, fabrics and hues in store at the upcoming Winter/Festive 2013 Fashion Week? Radhika Dhawan predicts the trends from ramp to road.

The big four—Paris, Milan, New York and London—may have moved beyond the excitement of the Autumn-Winter 13/14 collections, but in India things are just heating up. Key themes that are likely to translate to the Indian catwalks include: 
Punk
The New York Metropolitian Museum of Art’s annual costume exhibition is always scrutinized and reinterpreted by designers. This year it celebrated punk with a ‘Chaos to Couture’ theme. The runways saw zips, chains, PVC, leather, tartan and studs. However, these were polished and not as scary as they could have been. Urban punk-chic was illustrated in collections by Versace, Fendi, Jean Paul Gaultier, Saint Laurent, Chanel and Moschino.

Punk interpreted by Versace 'Vunk'

Punk interpreted by Versace ‘Vunk’

Designer Nikhil Thampi is looking forward to seeing “Indian designers’ perception of punk”. With our diverse climatic conditions, going all out with fabrics like leather may not be optimal. However, it may be seen in tops, skirts or trims. “I’m mixing hard and soft, sheer with leather appliqués,” reveals Anushka Khanna.

Punk goes softer with a dark romance that’s both mystifying and lavish—think capes, high necks and toe-grazing hems, in opulent textures and grand silhouettes. Feminine, yet rocker-inspired, it dilutes tough elements like leather and hardware with flowing fabrics.

Sonam Kapoor in Shehla Khan

Sonam Kapoor in Shehla Khan

Think Meadham Kirchhoff, Christopher Kane, Givenchy. Key fabrics include lace and velvet. Gothic undertones are seen in prints and embroidery. Elements include studs, brocade and dark colours. “Opulent fabrics like ribbed satin, tulle, shimmer net, silk and organza offset edgy detailing (chainmail, crystals, leather applique) even as embroidered flowers and satin cords lend a romantic note,” says Ritika about her collection.

Velvet, never having fully disappeared from the Indian runways, emphasises dark romance.  Though not too appealing in large doses, designers like Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla and Rohit Bal often use it to signify opulence. Nishka Lulla concurs, “Velvet may translate well on the Indian catwalk, mixed with chiffon and lace.”

Retro resurfaces. Shehla Khan says, “This fall, my favourite trend is retro. I love how most of the international designer collections are based on the 60s, 70s and even the 40s!” Nipped-waist skirt suits, soft shouldered coats, sweetheart necklines–think Mad Men. Prada, Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Oscar De La Renta exemplify this all-encompassing trend.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

What’s His is Hers
The His for Her trend is still hot, though possibly approaching climax. Silhouettes will be less androgynous and more lady-like with sharp tailoring or drapes. Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackerman, and Dolce & Gabanna used traditional Savile Row plaids, hounds tooth, pinstripe and Prince of Wales checks and draped them with the ease of silk or had them embroidered. Shehla Khan says, “Internationally, structure is a common trend. Be it for outerwear such as jackets and coats or even blouses and dresses, every silhouette makes a statement. This trend can transfer to Indian wear in terms of separates, such as a sari with a jacket!”

Skirt Suits—a trend that emerged from the streets— are easier to wear than dress or trouser suits and can easily transition from work or daywear to the evening, by switching up accessories. Pencil skirts and belted jackets are essentials as seen at Prada, Marc Jacobs or skater skirts like Stella Mccartney. The new skirt, is longer at mid-calf length, with a slight flare at the knee, as shown by Hermes, Prada, Jil Sander and Celine. Nishka finds “the midi length very flattering on the Indian body type”. Mullet skirts like those of Jean Paul Gaultier are also expected to transition to Indian runways.
Monochrome continues to reign. You may spot these colours individually too. Black is black, so a liberal use of it would not be uncommon, especially in the Winter/Festive season. Be prepared to see a lot of white and not just as a day colour. On the Big 4 runways, head-to-toe winter white made strong impressions on Derek Lam and Proenza Schouler. My personal favourite was Celine’s use of all white for their ensembles. Shehla who loves white said, “This season my palette consists of deeper and bolder colours along with off white, which for me is always ethereal.” While monochrome might still rule, the palette on international runways encapsulated much of the spectrum from red to blue. Ritika agrees, “The colour palette ranges from dusky pink to a purple haze (a blue-tinted purple), crimson and black.”

Gold rules. As Thampi says about his upcoming collection, “Gold being a festive favourite, will definitely be a large part of the collection, but there would be a burst of different colours as well.”

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Beauty-cool Product Pick – Know your Bs & Cs

So, I know Rachana is the in house beauty expert but here is a piece of my beauty wisdom.

Unless you’ve been away in the Antarctic saving penguins (which btw, if you have then we would love to meet you!) you have definitely seen the huge hoardings and numerous ads and even used the alphabet creams in the last few months. I’m here to help break them down for you. What is the difference between the BB, CC and now DD (yes, DD) creams? Are they the same or do they serve different purposes? And the big question – what do these alphabets stand for??

BB Creams

BB creams were the biggest beauty trend about a year and a half ago. They originated in Korea and stand for ‘Blemish Balm’ (or Blemish Base).

What they do: BB creams provide coverage and are lighter than foundation. They also have added skin protection and benefits (think SPF, antioxidants and healthy ingredients). They’re a bit heavier than a tinted moisturizer and give a more even complexion.

Who should use them: Anyone who cringes at the sight of a heavy foundation (like me!) should try a BB cream. It’s ideal for someone with sensitive skin who wants to hide blemishes, while still providing ingredients to help clear up problem areas and ensure healthy skin in the future.

Bobbi Brown BB Cream

Bobbi Brown BB Cream

CC Creams

CC Cream (a.k.a. color or complexion correction cream), like its predecessor, were popularized in Asia as well.

What they do: Since CC stands for “colour correcting” it’s quite self explanatory. They’re meant to even out redness and illuminate your complexion. They’re even lighter on your skin than a BB cream and often have a super light, whipped consistency. It is all-in-one makeup and skincare formula packed with SPF, moisturizer, and anti-aging properties.

Who should use them: If you don’t need a lot of coverage, but find your skin looking a little blotchy or dull, a CC cream will provide a perfect sheer base. Also, due to the anti aging properties they are better suited for an older audience.

Chanel CC Cream

Chanel CC Cream

 DD Creams 

And now get ready for the latest beauty wonderkid – DD creams. Soon to release with a few cosmetic  companies the “Dynamic Do-All” (yes, that’s what it stands for) cream will be what it sounds like –  a BB/CC hybrid. We will get to this confusion when it comes to India.

Julep DD Cream

Julep DD Cream

Well, I tried the Bourjois BB cream and I must say I LOVE it. Traditionally my make up routine involves the No.7 tinted moisturiser followed by the YSL Touche Eclat luminizing pen to conceal those tell tales of so many late nights – dark circles. Then I usually cover it up with the MAC Studio Fix. Foundation makes me cringe especially in the Bombay humidity.

Bourjois BB Cream

Bourjois BB Cream

Also I have highly sensitive and hypo allergic skin which is always a bother. But when I used the BB cream I noticed I didn’t feel the need to for the tinted moisturizer and concealer. It was a good base for makeup like a primer, evened out my complexion like a tinted moisturiser, covered minor imperfections and hydrates my skin.

IN THE KNOW WITH RADHIKA – VOL 7

Hello August! This marks the beginning of fashion week season in India. The Couture Week in Delhi is already in progress and I must say Anju Modi & Sabyasachi ensembles have left me speechless. Also the full list of participating designers in the Lakme Fashion Week happening later this month is revealed.

I can barely conceal my excitement over some of the other happenings in the world of global fashion. My personal favourite and most revered fashion business icon forays back after a sabbatical, H&M launches e-commerce FINALLY, Rihanna slams Topshop in a lawsuit (good for her) and of course the BEST news for us here in India (well, I speak for myself at least) Michael Kors launches in Delhi!!

Michael Kors in India – YAY!

Okay, so I don’t know the entire deal here yet but late last evening the Michael Kors facebook page posted the below picture signifying they have, at long last, opened their first store here in India! As an ardent fan I have just one word to express my glee – Wooohooo!

 Michael Kors India

Will keep you’ll posted as soon as I come across more details.

H&M goes online

Does this mean more over ASOS? Well either way, I am overjoyed for the US customers of the Swedish retailer who already offered online shopping for Austria, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and, of course, Sweden.

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This day has been in the works for months and it was worth the wait for you guys in the US. The Swedish retailer has options for women, men, plus-size and kids at fingertips the site is a one-stop shop for quick, affordable fashion delivered right to your doorstep.The site also showcases items exclusively available online, like H&M’s first home collection, which was part of the online debut yesterday.

ALSO, the entire Isabel Marant collaboration will be available as will other future collaborations. Say goodbye to those overcrowded dressing rooms.  Excited yet? Then head to hm.com — it’s time to start shopping.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/shop-hm-online_n_3687871.html?utm_hp_ref=business&ir=Business

Tamara Mellon to launch lifestyle brand

Anyone else wondered what Tamara Mellon was up to for the last 2 years? Well, speculate no more.

Mellon has been one of my biggest inspirations for the last decade now. After having sold Jimmy Choo to Labelux in 2011 and departing from the company herself shortly after, she pretty much went underground without any further professional plans.

Tamara Mellon

Tamara Mellon

Recently, she gave American Vogue the first look at her eponymous lifestyle brand set to hit Tamaramellon.com in November. There will be ready-to-wear, handbags, and (duh!) shoes. Priced at from $295 for a cashmere tee to $4,500 for a ponyskin leopard-print trench coat, this label has Tamara Mellon written all over it.

Read more: http://fashionista.com/2013/07/tamara-mellon-set-to-launch-new-lifestyle-brand-with-sales-plan-that-bucks-industry-standards/

Rihanna wins lawsuit against Topshop

Unlike Miley Cyrus’ Tshirt for Marc Jacobs which she endorsed and even posed (naked!) for, Topshop was selling the ‘Rihanna Tank’ which was never permitted by the Umbrella singer.

The singer accused the fashion chain of failing to seek approval from her before going ahead with printing their stock. At a hearing in London, Judge Mr Justice Birss ruled in the 25-year-old’s favour, asserting that the British retailer was guilty of “passing off”. Passing off is a common law tort which can be used to enforce unregistered trademark rights.

Riri

The Topshop tank shows Rihanna wearing a dungaree-strap bra top – the same outfit that she wore, as one of the numerous outfits, in the video for We Found Love.  The photograph was taken unofficially during the shoot in Northern Ireland.

(See it here at 2:56 seconds)

The judge ruled in Riri’s favour due to the fact that a “substantial number” of buyers were likely to have been deceived into purchasing the product on “false belief” that it had been authorised by the singer. As a result, he said this was damaging to Rihanna’s “goodwill” and represented a loss of control over her reputation in the “fashion sphere” and has sued the British retailer’s parent company, Arcadia, for damages of $5m (£3.3m).

Methinks her designing a second clothing line for River Island could also be a conflict of interest, no?

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23514738

In other news

This week seems to have been super eventful. Few more news worthy stories

Manish Malhotra – Lakme Fashion Week curtain raiser

Alexander Wang’s first bag for Balenciaga

Hillary Clinton Scoops Up Another Major Fashion Endorsement

Take this Quiz: How hip are you? – Tell us your score and maybe we’ll reveal ours as well 😉

IN THE KNOW – WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST VOL. 3

The news in the fashion world seems to be following themes every week. This week besides the squabble between the two artists – Kidult & Marc Jacobs, all the news looks financial and top management related.

Marc Jacob and Kidult..the love story continues

Marc Jacobs faced a second act of vandalism by graffiti artist Kidult, this time covering his Paris store. French graffiti artist Kidult tagged the shop windows with “$686” in neon green paint. The numbers reference when the first run-in they had when Kidult tagged the brand’s SoHo store in May last year with the word “Art” in bright pink. Jacobs printed a photograph of the work onto a line of T-shirts and sold them for $686.

Marc Jacobs Paris store tagged by Kidult

Marc Jacobs Paris store tagged by Kidult

Kidult, who has previously tagged the storefronts of both Celine and Hermes, tweeted an image of his work writing, “680? 689?…686?! How much are you going to sell this for? #kidultarmyparis #thisisnotart.” 

Once again, Marc Jacobs responded to the graffiti artist’s attack with humor, tweeting to his followers: “Come by Paris Collection for the opening night installation of the new @therealkidult. We proudly support the arts.” Later that same day, Marc Jacobs tweeted images of new T-shirts screen printed with the above image, to be sold at the store for $686 “unsigned” and $430 “signed.”

Read more: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/columns/bibby-sowray/TMG10143151/Marc-Jacobs-turns-graffiti-vandalism-into-a-tidy-profit.html

Hired: Coach appoints Stuart Vevers as creative director

Stuart Vevers has been announced to be taking over the reins from Reed Krakoff, who leaves the company after 18 years at its creative helm to focus on his namesake brand. The newly to be appointed creative director revealed his plans to revive the 72-year-old brand which includes highlighting Coach’s heritage, introducing more offerings of apparel, footwear, and watches, and elevating the label to luxury standards.

Stuart Vevers

Stuart Vevers

Vevers will adopt a similar approach to Coach as that while creative director at Loewe – fusing the label’s history with a contemporary aesthetic. “My passion is for brands with heritage. Throughout my career, every brand I’ve been drawn to has a strong heritage,” Vevers said. “I think Coach is that kind of brand. My style is to take that heritage and to play it against modern references, youth culture, references that take things to a different place and make them relevant now. That’s what I’ve always been known for in my work.”

Read more:  http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130624-908680.html

CEO of Ted Baker sells 1.2 million shares at peak price

Ray Kelvin, founder and CEO of British beloved fashion brand Ted Baker, sold 1.2 million shares (ie. 2.8 percent stake) after the company’s shares touched an all time high this week. Reportedly selling the shares for “personal reasons”, at £17 a share Kelvin made approximately £20m by off loading these shares. This reduces his stake in the business from 38.9 percent to 36 percent.

Ted BAker Store at Regent Street, London

Ted Baker Store at Regent Street, London

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10144020/Ted-Baker-founder-sells-20m-of-shares.html

Sabyasachi to do Grand Finale

After all the critical attention garnered for dressing Vidya Balan at Cannes, this is good news for Sabyasachi fans. India’s favourite designer will showcase his collection at the show after a hiatus of five years. And there is no other way to do it except as the Grand Finale designer at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2013.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Sabya, as people fondly call him is a LFW discovery. He debuted his first collection all the way back in 2002 at LFW and in the same year was reckoned as the future of Indian fashion by Women’s Wear Daily. He has indeed proved to be just that. Renowned both in India and abroad, Sabya’s work has earned both accolades and critical acclaim.

Read more: http://www.vogue.in/content/sabyasachi-returns-ramp-lfw-finale

When shopping is an addiction (Fuffabulous is rehab)

Interview with Radhika Dhawan, fashion entrepreneur and consultant

Founding one of India’s first fashion e-commerce portals was a gift and a curse for Radhika Dhawan. As an entrepreneur it was a dream come true, as a shopaholic it was a nightmare (OK maybe also a dream) to have so much great fashion so easily accessible to her. She eventually became one of her own best customers.

DSC_4541-1

Green crepe-silk shirt with neon and metal detailing by Rajat Tangri

“I think I have an actual shopping problem,” she acknowledges, laughing. Having sold off her company First Row a year ago, she doesn’t have as easy an access any more, but since she “almost lives” in Palladium, it isn’t too difficult either. As someone who first buys and then thinks about it, a conversation about her shopping habits is like Confessions of a Shopaholic. It doesn’t matter whether she needs it or not, if she will use it or not, if Radhika likes something it almost always ends up in her shopping bag.

SS'12 collection

SS’12 collection

“I used to be bad and then, I went to UK,” she says about her year away for a Masters where she bought clothes, accessories or shoes every day. Maintaining an exceptionally active social life only adds to her shopaholic ways. Today she owns 109 pairs of shoes, 13 plain white shirts and a wardrobe full of clothes and accessories that she may or may not have worn even once. It includes skirts and waistcoats passed on by her mum and nani, which she used to recycle in her college days.

Number of times worn: 0

Number of times worn: 0

A purging exercise that she undertakes every three months usually starts off well. But since she finds herself very emotionally attached to her things, “the next day when I re-asses the pile, I just end up keeping back most of the clothes”.

Metal and thread embroidery

Metal and thread embroidery around the collar and cuffs

A perfect candidate for the Fuffabulous project, Radhika detaches emotionally from a Rajat Tangri shirt that she bought off the runway last year while she attended the shows at Lakme Fashion Week. “If I don’t wear something I buy within a week, I don’t end up wearing it at all.” A year later, having gained a few inches it has become further impossible for her to use the shirt. The necklace is something she bought from her own merchandise at First Row. The Periwinkle neck piece, though gorgeous, has never been on any of her social outings. “Hopefully someone who loves fashion as much as me but will actually use these things will be able to buy the stuff.”

DSC_4674-1

Metal and bead necklace by Periwinkle

The fabric of the shirt is beautiful and colours striking. It is perfect for a UK size 8-10.

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location: Worli seaface; Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Radhika Dhawan and Rachana Nakra; Photographs: Karan Nevatia karan1981@outlook.com

H&M, finally! But will it mean more young people dressed alike?

Hennes & Mauritz plans to spend around 100 million euros ($130 million) on an initial 50 stores in India.

Read the full story here: http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/04/hm-prepares-130-million-drive-to-crack-indian-market.html

So what happened when Zara launched in India? Running into people wearing the same jackets, dresses etc became routine, you knew exactly the place everyone was shopping. Although fast fashion gives us access to cheaper and trendy clothes, it tends to take away individuality and uniqueness in dressing.

H&M flagship in New York, source NY Mag

H&M flagship in New York, source NY Mag

In countries like the UK you have a lot more brands on the high street, which is why even though people are shopping at the same places you can create an individual look with separates. Even so, last season when the camouflage print was popular, I often spotted at least five people on Oxford Street wearing the Zara camouflage studded shirt or the checkered studded shirts. Remember those?

But this is where vintage comes in. My friends in Europe, who don’t want to look like walking ads for Zara or H&M or River Island, scour vintage stores and markets for one-of-a-kind pieces (available at high street prices) and stand apart from the crowd. The most interestingly dressed folks were the ones mixing it up with vintage, high street and key luxury pieces. And like I keep talking about, vintage shopping is necessary to  help reduce wastage, an inevitable result of fast fashion.

PS: H&M has some really cool brands like Monki and Cos. Cannot wait for them to bring in Cos – with their impeccable tailoring and easy to wear, unique styles it is one of my favourite brands!

Cos collection

Cos collection

Cos collection

Cos collection

Pop, dots, and the secret to purging

Interview with Masoom Minawala, Founder Style Fiesta and Fashion Jobs India

“Have you read The Secret? It says till you don’t make space for the new, you will not get it,” 20-year-old Masoom Minawala tells me, in all sincerity and seriousness. We are not waxing philosophical about the world and our existence, we are clearing her wardrobe of things she hasn’t used. But then that’s the gravity with which many women relate to their life, loves, and wardrobes.

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Brown and black pleated dress, London

It is not a surprise that her book shelf is as packed as her wardrobe. One of the youngest fashion entrepreneurs in the city, Masoom started as a blogger on Style Fiesta. Four months ago she converted the blog into an e-commerce platform and recently also founded a website that works as an online job directory for those looking to work in the fashion industry. Yes, the girl is only 20.

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Neon pink sling bag, H&M, London

And like many her age, she loves pretty clothes and shopping for them. London is a favourite shopping destination, but as much as she buys Masoom also purges her wardrobe on a regular basis. The one thing, however, that she hasn’t been able to give away is the dotted dress she bought from her favourite boutique in Camden, London. “I love the dress, but it doesn’t fit me well,” she says. Every time she decides to give it away, she wonders if she might wear it some day. And back it goes into the wardrobe again. Until now, for Fuffabulous.

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Dress and bag purchased in 2012; Number of times used – 0

The neon pink sling bag was an impulse purchase from H&M in London that just continues to live in her wardrobe with price tags still on. “I just never get around to using it,” she says. She hopes that someone who loves fashion as much as her, enjoys pretty dresses and likes to experiment with pop colours will eventually end up with these.

photo (5)

PHOTO CREDITS

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location courtesy: Le 15 Patisserie, Bandra; Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own; Photographs: Morvarid K.

Beauty-cool: Product pick

Since I discovered this product, I haven’t stopped raving about it. As someone with wavy-curly hair living in Mumbai, frizz has been a lifelong frenemy. I have been duped of a lot of cash trying various products that promised to get frizz out of my life. Until one day, on a stroll down Oxford Street that led to an evening spent dipping into magical pots and tubes through the beauty level at the Liberty department store – that’s when I was introduced to Aveda and my life…. ok well, my hair was never the same again.

Presenting to all you girls who have to deal with high-maintenance curly hair in humid cities – you will write in thanking me for this.

aveda2

The Aveda ‘Be Curly’ range

I use the Style Prep and Curl Enhancer after washing my hair and the frizz is tamed almost completely while the curls get instant definition. I realised the impact when my friends immediately noticed the change.

Aveda1The products are not available in India yet, but take a look at the website to find out where you can purchase them on your next trip abroad www.aveda.com.

Warning: You will be sucked in for a while, so if you are at work, make sure your boss isn’t around.

Maheshwari silk Burberry trench anyone?

One of the highlights for me at Lakme Fashion Week this season were the designs from Vogue’s Project Renaissance that I got to see up, close and personal. A collaboration between Indian artisans and international fashion brands, the designs were revealed in January in celebration of the magazine’s fifth anniversary.

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Alberta Ferretti for Kanchipuram silk; Right: Burberry for Maheshwari silk; Photos: Business of Fashion

It was hard to pick a favourite!

You can read more about the collaboration in Bandana Tewari’s article here: http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/01/india-inc-following-the-thread-of-indias-artisans.html

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Left: Peter Pilotto for Orissa ikat; Right: Gucci for Gujarati patola; Photos: Business of Fashion

Link

If you haven’t already, get hold of this week’s Mint Lounge for a brilliant issue about vintage edited by Shefalee Vasudev.

Here are links to my articles in this issue:

From jutti wedges by Abraham and Thakore to lehenga gowns by Gaurav Gupta — On timeless styles that are perpetually in fashion.

From a vintage bath-tub couch (re-purposed with Italian red leather and ergonomics) to vintage Chanel pearls from Paris now available in Mumbai — A buyer’s guide to vintage shopping.

In the meanwhile I am spending some time at Lakme Fashion Week. Did I mention I got to watch Naeem Khan‘s wonderful show yesterday?!

Naeem Khan at LFW

Naeem Khan at LFW