Bollywood Fashion Making A Mark

It’s not just the song and dance sequences in Bollywood, the nickname given to the Indian film industry, that is attracting attention but also the fashion.

One of the most famous costume designers, and now a fashion designer, Manish Malhotra has said that on screen Indian fashion has finally bounced back and consciousness and stylish clothes are being seen more and more on the silver screen.

In the 90’s it was all about being as loud and garish as you can get. The trend started shifting soon after a very popular film that virtually catapulted everyone who was involved with it to stardom overnight. From the director, to the actress Urmila Matondkar to the costume designer who was none other than Manish himself. He has since designed for a bevy of actors and actresses.

Indian fashion itself is slowly becoming of age. Having been there myself for 2 years working in it I have seen a huge shift in it. A lot of fusion ideas are happening with foreign companies coming in, which is leading the local companies and designers to innovate faster to keep their customers.

Look for more glitz from the subcontinent in the near future.

The Kurti – India’s Contribution to Fashion

The cycle of fashion keeps repeating itself every now and then but few style statements keep repeating themselves, the Kurti {tunic} is definitely one of those classics that have stood the test of time and repeats itself.

The Kurti is India’s contribution to the world of fashion. From one corner of the world to another stores are filled with them, and other trinkets inspired by the subcontinent. Many celebrities are slipping into them as well.

Some people believe that the kurti is dead; this is a little like saying that the tshirt is dead! The kurti style tunic has been around for years in Asia and the Orient and nothing beats the coolness of a cotton kurti.

The construction of the kurti gives a lot of room to the wearer as it often features long sleeves and is mostly made to fall up to and even below hip level.  However modern trends have seen the hem go up to the waist, at times even exposing the belly.  What sets it apart from other tops is often the embroidery. Zardozi, traditional gold and silver wire embroidery, has been superseded by plain thread embroidery to give the under-stated, yet elegant look for the daytime. Zardozi embroidery originates from South India but it’s appeal is worldwide.

One of the other more interesting embroidery used is chikankari which is very unique. The use of flat stitches, delicate and subtle lying closely to the surface of the fabric, give it a distinctive textural appearance. This embroidery is usually done on sheer type of cotton fabrics and it is originally from Northern India with great demand both within and outside India. The adaptability of the design makes it perfect for your work or casual wear.


(chikankari embroidery)

Any Indian woman will tell you about the universal appeal of the white kurti, which is a classic. Apart from making you appear unruffled and cool on the outside, the white kurti can be worn with practically anything. You can wear it anytime of the year, seasons and trends don’t affect it here.

The Indian Kurti is unlikely to die. Trends may change, traditional work methods may be superseded by modern ones and the style may push the boundaries with different ways to wear a kurti, but when it comes to comfort, style, and sheer wearability there is little to beat the humble Indian Kurti.

Kaneesha - women's clothing for special occasions

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OOVOO Handbags

Something really exclusive can come out of something that totally happens by chance. Oovoo Handbags is one such example of a chance meeting between two women gone as far as being featured on Time Magazine.

The owner/all-in-one bag boss is Pauline Lewis. She left the corporate world three years ago and traveled back to Asia. She was inspired by the women she met along the way and started to work with one Vietnamese designer in particular: Ms. Le Thi Hong Tu, better known as Hong Tu. Hong Tu’s designs, combined with Pauline’s vision and direction, are the cornerstone of oovoo design.

The bags they produce have so much character they can carry themselves out of the door — every bag is a unique personality! Today over 120 full time employees along with 500 part time embroiderers churn out these distinct bags for the women that buy them.

Pauline says she started oovoo because of her love for all things handcrafted and a desire to build a business model based on positive working relationships, especially among women.

That’s inspiration, she gets my applause.

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Siwy Denim

Siwy is a label that was launched in the Spring of 2005 in downtown NYC. The concept behind the line is merging the traditional ideas of classic American denim with the styling of familiar shapes. The combination of a tailored fit, expert construction and superb wash detail, Individual taste and style are satisfied through the array of fine washes and silhouettes developed at America’s best wash and sewing facilities.

Siwy uses only the best, high quality American denim. The aesthetic is vintage and familiar, clean and classic. The long and lean shape is softened by strategically placed, quilted pockets that lift and shape, which carefully follow the curve of all seams. A shortened back hem curve avoids dragging on the floor when worn with sneakers or heels while maintaining a very long and lean illusion for women of all sizes.

Every pair of Siwy denim is adorned with a hand-crafted label made out of vintage feedsacks. This ensures the owner that they are not only getting a piece of American history but a unique label that the owner can really feel is special.

For their Autumn 2006 collection, Various lengths offer style options to enhance the wardrobe of any fashionista. Denim shorts take on a fresh, new style when paired with knit tights and low ankle booties. The signature slim crop style, is an easy, transitional jean that slides into tall boots or can be dressed up with round toe heels. Wash detail takes on a darker cast as our mood changes to embrace cooler climates. Deep shades of indigo and gray are personalized with vintage notes that are familiar.

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iPod Jeans from Levi’s

Levi’s is joining the digital revolution with their latest take on jeans. They are called the RedWire DLXs.

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Levi’s has designed RedWire jeans for men and women seamlessly incorporating fashion, function and technology by combining stylish denim and the iconic iPod.

By fall these hi-tech denims are going to be at a mall and levi’s outlet near you. They come with a built-in docking cradle for iPod and retractable headphones.

Initial reaction has been met with ho – hum and at times even complete dissatisfaction

The RedWire DLX Jeans will have an iPod remote control and docking station fitted in its pockets, and comes complete with attached headphones.

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Levi Strauss is not the first to produce iPod-compatible clothing, but it is believed to be the first to do so for trousers or jeans. The company is continuing to turn around its fortunes after falling sales and higher costs hit its results in recent years.

To cut costs, the US firm has shut its last remaining American factories and moved all production overseas.

Images from www.bright.nl

Rag Bags

Rag Bag Logo

A long time favourtie accessory ‘the bag’ is constantly being reinvented. But this time the reinvent has caught the imagination of whoever comes across it.

Rag Bag

RagBag is a Netherlands company that is making waves with environmentalists and fashion conscious youth at the same time. How is this possible? Well, the bags known as Ragbags are fashionable products made from recycled plastic bags collected by ‘ragpickers’ in the slums of New Delhi, India.

Plastic rags are collected, washed, dried, and separated by colour. The plastic bags then go into a machine, which presses them into thicker and more durable sheets. Dye and Ink free about 60 plastic bags are required to make one sheet.

After that cutting, lining, stitching and moulding are done to the raw product to be crafted into various products.

Rag Wallet

So far, about 50 ragpickers and growing everyday have gotten jobs thanks to this project. A very nice idea to make a cleaner and greener world for everybody and provide livelihoods to people and increasing their standard of living.

Check out the site, they also have an online store. www.ragbag.nl