Saturday, December 31, 2011

L'Officiel, January 2012

Sonakshi is in Dior Resort 2012. See our picks here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Flashback: Nargis at MOMA

In honor of the Raj Kapoor tribute playing at MOMA next month, I wanted to post some pictures of his leading lady Nargis. Although Raj Kapoor was married, everyone knew of his fixation with Nargis and so began one of Bollywood's most romantic and forbidden love affairs. Nargis starred in 16 films opposite Raj Kapoor, before leaving the industry to marry Sunil Dutt. The mother of actor Sunjay Dutt, Nargis was diagnosed with cancer and treated in New York but sadly passed away in 1981 at age 51.  If you ask me, her elegance is still unmatched in Indian cinema today.

Raj Kapoor's grandson Ranbir Kapoor recreates a famous Bollywood moment (above) and coincidentally her name is Nargis too. Hmmmm....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

WWD Reports On India's Resort Fashion Week

Designers to watch: Shivan & Narresh

GOA, India
[Edited by BBA; full article at]  Resortwear has become a buzzword in Indian fashion this year. And Indian companies are putting their money where their mouths are, with a new resort fashion week here earlier this month that is giving the category a major push.

Among those showing collections during the week were designers James Ferreira, Narendra Kumar, Manish Malhotra and Shantanu & Nikhil. Kumar observed, “What most Indian women wear in cities is really resortwear — loose and more comfortable styles with breathable fabric — so the fashion week of this theme is really catering to women in our cities. More people are going for resort holidays, and they are looking for stylish options. What better place to showcase them?”

“I came to take a look at what was going on,” said Marwa Zamaray, a European buyer based in the Netherlands who attended the event. “But I changed my mind. I’m looking at it as real business now and am talking to designers to see who can deliver the numbers we need.”

“We have 163 shop-in-shops, and our online store is very big in Europe,” said Zamaray. “For me, the designs here were all about out-of-the box thinking. Europe is very creative, but a lot of the designs look the same. It’s important to step out of our comfort zone, and we’re looking at India for the sheer variety. India is getting much better than China in terms of both style and quality.”

Shivan & Narresh, Delhi-based designers who focus on premium swimwear and whose label is a little more than three years old, were a highlight of the event. As Shivan Bhatiya explained, “We cater to tastes that are specific; for example, the North Indian woman does not like the kind of bikini cuts sold in the West; they like to be more covered. We plan for that. Also, the buyers from Delhi like to show more of their back, while those from Bombay are okay with normal bikinis.”

The last two shows, on a ramp set up at the beach, were Shantanu & Nikhil and Manish Malhotra, who created a sense of grandeur, swirl and movement at the grand finale with sheer long dresses with bikini tops and cropped pants and a variety of unusual cuts for trousers and jackets for men.

Designer Tarun Tahiliani, who did not show at the event, nonetheless expressed the climate for resortwear succinctly. “As Indians, we already have a natural affinity for clothes with color and draping, and these elements naturally lend themselves to what the Western world classifies as ‘resort,’ ” he said. He made the same point as Kumar, which is that the tropical climate in India is such that “people usually stick to resort or summer clothing year-round,” and in both resort areas and major cities.

Grazia India, January 2012

What do you think of the cover?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BBA Resort 2012: Elie Tahari

Now, for me, a turban doesn't make it 'brown'. But Elie Tahari's Resort is pure old school glamour, with such a carefully crafted minimalistic look, that I had to let out a little gasp when I came across it. Granted, it might be something you've seen before.. but I honestly didn't mind seeing it done again- Tahari's way. I can see women across the Middle East rocking every look here.

Tell us what you think below. To view the entire collection, click here.

BBA Style Profile: Rachel Roy

Designer Rachel Roy is a regular on the NYC fashion circuit and has had some questionable moments on the red carpet (remember the PJ debacle where she actually wore her pajamas on the red carpet? smh). Usually wearing her own designs, she does like to be a risky and stand out among her celeb peers but her recent fashion choices hasn't gained her much fashion press. While I've hardly ever been wow'd by her either, she has managed to put together some interesting fall/winter looks during the last few months in New York, starting with the Iron Lady premiere last night..

New York premiere of "The Iron Lady"

Madonna's 'W.E.' in New York City

Museum of Modern Art's 4th Annual Film benefit "A Tribute to Pedro Almodovar"

2011 Lucky Shops VIP Charity shopping party at the Highline Stages

The 8th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards at Skylight SOHO

Vogue India, January 2012

Mehr Rampal, Arjun Rampal's wife & former Miss India, for Vogue India. What do you think of the cover?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Malaika From The Block

If I had to describe Malaika to someone who had never heard of her, I would say she is India's Jennifer Lopez. And in fact, her new shoot for Cosmopolitan India reminded me a lot of J.Lo's Tous campaign. Check it out and let me know if you agree:

Here are the rest of the pics from Malaika's shoot for Cosmo. I'm not sure about the styling but Malaika makes almost anything look good!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

BBA Supermodel Alert: Kelly Gale

This has to be one of the most exciting new faces I've seen in a long time! The model is Kelly Gale, a half-Australian and half-Indian teen, who is living in Sweden. This was shot for Sweden's Elle magazine, Dec 2011. 

Ashika Pratt for Benetton

I'm fond of Ashika for a number of reasons. We both have Ash in our first names and she is half Fiji-Indian and half English. Fiji-Indians are small in number, mostly in Australia and New Zealand, so it's  nice to see one of us fly! Here is the Ashika in her Benetton campaign:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

BBA 2011: Woman of the Year + more..

So, this one is a hard one to choose only because I wasn't sure if the throne should go to celebrity or an activist. However, in my mind, there is only one woman who owned 2011 and, while carving a niche for herself in Hollywood, she has inspired millions of South Asian girls around the world: Freida Pinto

While 2010 was truly the breakout year for Freida, in 2011 we saw her become a bonafide  Hollywood star - the first Indian female to do so. She had four releases this year: Miral, Trishna, Rise of the Planet Apes, & Immortals. The latter were box-office hits and silenced the critics who deemed her a 'one hit wonder'. The other two smaller films also helped seal her fate as a serious actress.

Along with her movies, Freida worked hard on the publicity circuit, strengthening her relationship with Chanel, and releasing numerous Lo'real ads. She graced the covers of magazines around the world including Instyle in the U.K. and Glamour in the U.S. She then travelled to India, where naysayers attempted to call her out on her 'average non-Bollywood glamour' but it didn't stop Freida. Hell, she toasted to it! 

The fact is Freida's success is a slap on the face for Bollywood which is still stuck in it's fraternity of star kids and fair-skin-is-best mentality. Freida, much like her breakout film Slumdog Millionaire, provides  hope for Indian girls to dream bigger... bigger than Bollywood. 

Freida ended the year with a $7 million dollar endorsement deal for an apparel brand in India; the highest for any celebrity in India. The work and strategic thinking Freida put into her career in 2010 has truly  paid off for her in 2011. We can't wait to follow the next few years in Freida's career and see who else follows her into Hollywood. 

Other mentions:

BBA Changemaker of the Year: Jayshree Satpute

Thanks to Shivani Singh for recommending this on the BBA Facebook page. Jayshree's work is no doubt made even harder in a country that truly lacks humanity and hope. Many people have said to me the situation of India is hopeless, and not to worry about the poor. But then woman like Jayshree rise, and the respect they gain from other nations, strengthen their work in India. As someone who is passionate about the empowerment of Indian women, I urge you to read more on Jayshree's story.

BBA Designer of the Year: Falguni & Shane Peacock

Obviously this was a hard choice for me! It was a great year for South Asian designers across the world, from Prabal Gurung in New York to Sabyasachi in India. But the reason this goes to Falguni & Shane Peacock is because, unlike other designers who broke out in their homelands, it is rare to see Indian-based designers  breakout out on the world stage. While Manish Arora had a spectacular year, he is based in Paris and focuses on western fashion. Falguni & Shane Peacock managed to wow audiences and celebrities in both the east and west. Not to mention, their designs were versatile enough for any woman. Their urban edge saw a host of young celebs rock their designs from Kelly Rowland to Kim Kardashian. 

Fergie wearing Falguni & Shane Peacock 

BBA Movie of the Year: Dirty Picture

If you read my post on Silk and Marilyn, you'll know I looooved this movie. Aside from the fact that is a well-scripted and well-directed Bollywood movie (say whaaat? lol), the movie showed the many sides to a woman, specifically Silk, without judgement. It was sexual, open, revealing and.. brilliant. Dirty Picture proved that you could entertain mass Indian audiences and still be true to a female character. A must-see!

Producer Ekta and leading lady Vidya celebrating Dirty Picture's success

Friday, December 23, 2011

BBA Pics: Paris-India-Paris 2

Madame Gres, a French haute couture fashion house from the 40's-60's, was particularly influenced by Indian and Oriental culture.  Gres was known for her spiral drapery seen in sarees.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

BBA Beauty Picks For 2012

I wear make-up everyday. Yes, every-friggin-day. The only natural part about it is that I naturally take an intrerest on what I wear on my face. My routine consists of not having one, and I love to change up my skincare and make-up brands *shrug*. However, I do have some favourites and new beauty items to share.... starting with Chanel ofcourse!

I can't wait for the entire Paris-Bombay collection to hit stores (this bag gave me goose bumps) but if we can focus on the nails for a minute, it's a new color called 'Diwali' or 'Divali' and it's a rustic gold that is to-die-for.

Chanel's other new release is the Knightsbridge Collection and this pink color pallette is something I can't wait to try:

Alot of people ask me what foundation I use. You can't go wrong with NARS Sheer Glow. The name says it all! It comes in some great yellow-based shades (BTW you should know your skin color - yellow or red) like this one called 'Punjab'.

So, I went to Bergdorf's to try the new Tom Ford beauty collection (finally). Didn't like it one bit. While I adore his coral lipstick - and it looks DIVINE on brown skin - but the rest was a little too overpriced and the color pallette was limiting. Not to mention the make-up consultant gave me colors that made me look like a 60-yr-old. See for yourself:

Coral is definitely not going anywhere in 2012!

One of the most exciting things for me is seeing the 2012 designer collections feature so many orange shades in their beauty lines. Orange is to Brown skin what Red is to white skin. It's our ooh-la-la shade. And thankfully Pantone has named it Color of the Year for 2012 (Tangerine Tango):

Rumour has it Pantone will be working with Sephora on a beauty line inspired by this color.

 Got any beauty tips for 2012? Share them with us and comment below!