Payal Singhal cushion covers and Anita Dongre table runners? Soon!

We at Fuffabulous love initiatives like ours that acknowledge fashion waste and do something creative with it. Mana Shetty has already been doing great things with the non-profit organisation Save the Children India. This also includes vocational training programs for women, and for one of the projects under this program women and girls are trained to create products for retail some of which are then sold at Araaish, a multi-designer fashion exhibition organised by Mana.

IMG_1854

This year, along with IMG Reliance and Lakme Fashion Week, Mana introduced the Fashion Upcycled initiative that will source excess raw materials from fashion designers to make products such as batwas, cushion covers, trays, table runners etc. The proceeds from the sale of these products will be used to work with underprivileged women and children.

IMG_1914

We met Mana at Araaish last week and she told us how most designers she has spoken to are happy to participate in this project. “I can even take small pieces of cloth or extra borders etc, which usually just get thrown away and use them to make beautiful products,” she says. Before launching this initiative Mana had to buy the fabrics from stores.

Mana Shetty

Mana Shetty

At the moment designers such as Anita Dongre, Nishka Lulla and Payal Singhal have agreed to support the cause and many more big names are expected to participate. “We can even name the collection after the designers. Being Sunil’s wife is a passport into this world, and I am using it to do the right things!”

We think so too. And really, who wouldn’t like a piece of Sabya or Payal Singhal in the drawing rooms?  

Advertisements

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.”

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.

080113-h-m-e-commerce-340

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

Is Indo-Western a dated term now? My story in Mint Lounge

Indian summer

Rachana Nakra

‘Indo-Western’ stands challenged as local identities dominate Western silhouettes in Ikat jumpsuits and Chanderi gowns

The umbrella term “Indian wear” remains exciting work-in-progress—defying a predictable rotation within traditional options. At the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 in Mumbai, it was hardly about bling—a variety of kurtislehngas or anarkalis to be worn at Indian weddings or celebratory occasions. The runway was a blossoming of ideas and options in the realm of Indian: Silk shorts, lycra saris,mulmul skirts, Chanderi gowns, Ikat shirts, and jumpsuits with prints inspired by Indian history.

“Earlier, we gave a Western touch to Indian garments, such as a spaghetti-strap blouse with a sari. Now, designers are finding ways to give a Western silhouette a traditional Indian appearance,” says designer Payal Singhal, who presented shorts in embroidered velvet and net. To cater to an international clientele and make local heritage accessible to youth, this look, which presents a distinct Indian identity but in a wide choice of silhouettes, is the fashion aesthetic of choice.
A handwoven Assamese paat dress inspired by the mekhla.

A handwoven Assamese paat dress inspired by the mekhla chadar.

“Indo-Western” might now seem a dated, even limited, term to describe the unique twists these style makers are bringing to fashion. Gaurav Jai Gupta of Akaaro, who showed a collection of dresses, skirts, tops, trousers and jackets in handwoven fabrics such as Chanderi and Ikat, refuses to use that term. “My collection is Indian, global, practical and easy,” he says.
The influences are varied. Daniel Syiem used Jainsem and Jainkyrshah, the traditional garb of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, as inspiration to present a relaxed and trendy line of togas, dresses and wrap blouses in fabric sourced from the North-East. Hyderabad-based Asmita Marwa repurposed vintage Indian mirror-work garments, using motifs by artist Thota Vaikuntam, and embroidered her garments with the Telugu script, while Kolkata’s Rimi Nayak used Bengali typography on ensembles comprising gowns, kaftans and shirt dresses. “The importance of the language is declining and we are forgetting the rich heritage of Bengali literature,” says the designer.
At first sight, all these clothes look strongly Indian; only later do you realize this it is not an extension of the old story of saris and salwar-kurtas. Something else is happening here.
A silk jumpsuit with old Indian postal stamp print.

A silk jumpsuit with old Indian postal stamp print.

A growing love and pride for India’s textile heritage is the primary but not sole reason for designers experimenting with a sartorial mashup. The duo Shivan and Narresh—well-known for their edgy bikinis, maillots and accessories—showed a holiday line of swimwear and cover-ups peppered with saris. To cater to Indian sensibilities of their clients while keeping in mind today’s easy-to-wear fashion aesthetic, they included pre-tailored saris in linen and lycra that require no pleating, draping or dry-cleaning. “Many Indian women are not too comfortable with swimwear and look out of place in a holiday setting. We wanted to provide a familiar silhouette that is user-friendly to the Indian woman travelling abroad,” says BanarsiNarresh.
Those who, quite literally, like to wear their Indian identity on their sleeve, could pick from Singhal’s collection. Cropped anarkalis with palazzo pants, a Banarasi georgette gown and tulle embroidered shorts paired with a cotton kurta—ensembles that will fetch notice at a New Delhi party or double up as stunning separates for a holiday in Hawaii.
A cream silk mulmul and Katarva cotton high-low tunic with jaali work, with embroidered velvet and net shorts.

A cream silk mulmul and Katarva cotton high-low tunic with jaali work, with embroidered velvet and net shorts.

Read more at http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/dLZP2Srr7fDJq7FJDDDeeJ/Trend-Tracker–Indian-summer.html

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.

vogue1

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

vogue2

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