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.

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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.

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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?  

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.”

Masterclass with Masterji

Interview with Ishita Khanna, make-up artist and hair stylist

We all have that one man in our lives, the one we run to during the stressful wedding season, three days before a party or after we put on weight. He smiles patiently as we use the word ‘urgent’ for the 50th time, works his magic and makes the anarkali we need in a week or alters the blouse that fit just fine only six months ago. Some also like to call this bespoke, we are going to credit the man behind the spoke of the sewing machine and refer to him as what we have for years – Masterji.

White cotton dress with crystal detailing

White cotton dress with crystal detailing

OK so not all of us have this magic man, but all of us definitely want one. Twenty-two-year-old make-up artist and hair stylist Ishita Khanna found her man and could not be more thankful. Having trained with Fatmu, L’Oreal and Sapna Bhavnani, she started in the beauty industry as a 16-year-old and has so far worked with Diana Penty, Irrfan Khan, Nishka Lulla, Neeta Lulla and others. It is also around the same time she became a certified shopaholic. For her an invitation to a party is an occasion to go shopping. “And I don’t like repeating my clothes when I go out,” she says.

Made in 2012

Made in 2012

As someone who shops almost every day – “If I pass by a store I like or a mall, I have to go in and buy something” – sometimes what’s available off the rack isn’t good enough. So she’ll rip off a page from a magazine or sketch something and find her way to her Masterji. “He gets it right every time,” she says about his copying and tailoring skills. She also organises sale events a few times a year at a restaurant or a club. These are soirées for girls to party and shop and as the organiser she likes to be the best dressed. “For the last sale I didn’t know what to wear, so I went over to his shop for inspiration. There I saw this lovely white fabric and gave him a design. When I wore the dress people wouldn’t stop asking where I had bought it from!”

Number of times worn: 1

Number of times worn: 1

As good as she is with the shopping, Ishita is just the opposite at purging. She has a separate room for her clothes and accessories and manages to give away clothes only once in two years. “I love everything I buy. It’s too difficult to give anything away,” she pleads.

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She does manage to part with the white dress for Fuffabulous. While Ishita wore the dress with a pair of stilettos, but with a chambray shirt and boots we gave it a complete grungy twist. You like?

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

A closet under construction

Interview with Nishka Lulla, Fashion designer and stylist

Nude lace dress, Zara

Nude lace dress, Zara

As a young fashion designer, stylist and celebrity Nishka Lulla’s wardrobe cycle is like any of ours…. but on drugs. Occasion-wear is used no more than once or twice, clothes and accessories are purchased whenever there is a chance and then discarded ever so often – Nishka’s wardrobe is like under constant renovation. She is young enough to still be in the process of identifying her sense of style, and clothes are something to be played with than get attached to. “I used to like pink and girly styles earlier, but not any more,” she says.

As a stylist she is out scouring stores at least twice a week and so shopping for herself on the side is a temptation hard to resist. The advantage is that sometimes she can fish into her own wardrobe for her styling assignments. The extra clothes and accessories are, therefore, an occupational hazard. Nishka might be an impulsive buyer, but doesn’t  really regret her shopping decisions – when she gets bored or the outfits seem “out-of-style”, she gives them away to her friends or staff members.

Purchased in 2011; Number of times worn: 2

Purchased in 2011; Number of times worn: 2

For Nishka and her friends, there aren’t too many boundaries when it comes to their wardrobes and they swap clothes all the time. “I get bored really fast, so this works well for me,” she says. When I tell her about my project, without much thought, she “knows just the thing to give”. And it is love at first sight, the long nude lace dress she pulls out. She purchased the dress from Zara on a trip to Turkey. “I think it is extremely classy and feminine,” she says. Nishka wore the dress once for an evening out. It would have most likely never seen the light of day again, but for a friend who borrowed the dress before it went back into the darkness of her closet again. And now the gorgeous dress is with us to be fuffabulous!

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The dress is in perfect condition and fits a size 8. It has a beautiful back and because of its neutral colour, is very easy to wear.   

PHOTO CREDITS

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Photos and Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own