Sunday, 19 January 2014

Are you about FASHION or STYLE?

Guest blog by Narola.C.Jamir, Fashion Stylist and Consultant | New Delhi

Fashion & Style – One word. Very trendy and very common. But what do you make of each when they separate and become individuals? What is it that really defines a person in terms of Fashion AND Style? 

Fashionable or Stylish?
Fashionable or Stylish?
If you look around, you’d probably notice that these days, most people are amply clad from head to toe either in their glad rags or in their rugged old pair of jeans.

In this mix crowd, there are the devotees - the ones who religiously follow fashion : All dressed up according to the dictates of the trend report – that dress, that pair of shoe, the right accessories. . . name it and they own it. Every purchase is a steal (as they would call it), acquired either from the high-ends or the thrift shops and the flea markets. They are most updated about the latest scoops from the runways to street wear. 
They can go on about the who‘s who, the what is, and why wear! Fashion magazines are their Bible and fashion moguls are their God. No doubt they are rightly in fashion, but then again, they are all dressed and look the same - even walk and talk the same! A big bunch of this crowd tend to become fashion victims.
The fashion victim
Too much fashion killing you?
Quoted from Wiki, "Fashion victims, by their characteristic inability to recognize boundaries, may aspire to the extreme end of what is available, seeking expensive products (or copies of these products), believing that the outward display of such items will create admiration in proportion to their actual or apparent cost. Because of this, the term 'fashion victim' became the ultimate insult to the aspirational."
fashion victim
Do I look trendy enough?

In continuation to my observation,the other crowd consists of those who loves dressing up but are not 'necessarily fashionable.' They don’t do fashion nor follow it. They have this flamboyant uniqueness about them, which is distinctively expressed by the way they dress and That - happens to be their only dress code.
They dress creatively and not accordingly. They are effortlessly chic either eccentric or ordinary. They dress for their own comforts in their own style which makes them unique.
The thing about fashion is that it keeps on changing from season to season and I  think Fashion is quite moody. Because today, you are fashionably ‘In’ and tomorrow you are not-so-fashionably ‘Out’! On the other hand, Style is timeless and personal.

I admit I like the Stylish lot far more than the Fashionable lot. Some style Icons I admire are Iris Apfel, Madonna and Gwen Stefani. They have the power to inspire with their unique styles.

Iris Apfel
The Stylish Iris Apfel
Gwen Stefani
Rocker Chic: Gwen Stefani

Growing up in the '90s, I was always fascinated by Madonna- her music and style evolution. Everytime a new music video comes out on MTV, she never ceases to surprise and amaze me! She is never boring and has always brought life to Fashion with her Style.

Madonna - The Queen of Style

             'Fashions fade, Style is eternal.' - Yves Saint Laurent

Say hello to me HERE for any fashion related assistance – from styling
to personal shopping to designing bespoke costumes just about anything.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Why I love Kate Middleton and Zara.

Kate and ZARA dress
Kate Middleton wearing a ZARA dress
As Individuals. . 

ZARA and Kate - both in total comfort with themselves that whatever they do, they just make perfect sense. 

Zara may have been slammed for replicating catwalk designs and selling them at a much lower price but what it ultimately strives for, is to be fashionably relevant , which they undoubtedly achieve. They do it by taking it beyond the runway - to the streets, where it actually matters. And then we have Kate - another fashion powerhouse who has huge mass appeal despite the fact that she is a royal. She can pick up any dress from high street to high fashion, and next thing we know - we have a top seller and already sold out.

As a Team. .

So when these two giant trendsetters come together, expect nothing less than 'mass appreciation'. Don't get me wrong. Kate would never do a paid advert for ZARA. I'm in fact referring to those times, when Kate would pick up a ZARA something, and give it the treatment it deserves - the royal kind. One such occasion was last night , when Kate wore a £19.99 (~ Rs. 2000) ZARA necklace to the UK premier of Mandela: Long walk to Freedom. She looked dazzling. Who cares about the fake crystals! I'm sure the necklace is out of stock by now. 

Check out her look. What do you guys think?

Kate wearing ZARA necklace
 Kate wearing ZARA necklace

Kate wearing ZARA necklace
Kate and her ZARA necklace - Dec 2013

I did go online <>  to check..but no luck. No surprises there! Nevertheless, I found some really gorgeous accessories. Here is a look at what you can get at ZARA - India.

Zara necklace
Also spotted:

British food writer Mary Berry 78, wore the same necklace on the Graham Norton Show. 
The necklace is sold out..unsurprisingly.
Mary Berry and Kate with same Zara necklace

After several weeks - look what i spotted in a Zara store in Mumbai! :)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Single Brand Retail FDI : Brands I am excited about!

FDI in retail in India
With all the noise around FDI in single-brand retail and the line up of exciting (and excited) brands entering the Indian market, I admit I am quite thrilled! But before I share my favourites, let me give you a list of the brands that have applied for entry so far (Yummy list!)

FDI in retail in India
Coming to the brands that I am most excited about, I would say H&M tops my list.On my recent visit to Kuala Lumpur, I finally got to shop from H&M and I was amazed at their endless collection of all things trendy! But the real deal was the price - super reasonable! I would say H&M hits the sweet spot between Zara and Forever21- Affordable price and fair quality.

Some of the things I purchased :
H &M bag -
Bag : RM (Malaysian Ringgit) 79.90 ~ INR 1500
H&M Shoe
Shoe : RM  110 ~ INR 2000
H&M Skirt
Maxi skirt with high slit : RM 79.90 ~ INR 1500
My next fav has got to be Topshop which I discovered way back in 2007 when the very vogue Kate Moss did an exclusive collection for the brand. So I was super excited when I spotted the store in KL. I bought a skirt and a vest from there : Pics below.
Topshop skirt
Grey Marl Dip Maxi SkirtRM 110 ~ INR 2000
Another brand that I am really curious about is Massimo Dutti of Inditex (parent company of ZARA).What I hear about the brand is that, it is more high-end and "..offers basic, contemporary styles in next-generation fabrics ". It would be refreshing  to buy a really nice dress that is still affordable. But I have no clue how much they would actually cost here in India. Hmn.Let's wait and watch.
Long Halter Neck Dress: Massimo Dutti
And how about a few from the very fashion forward Japan! I did hear some murmur from the Japanese fast fashion retailer Uniqlo . So when I spotted the store in Kuala Lumpur, I had to take a peek (I didn't buy anything from the store). It mainly focuses on mass producing affordable basics in dozens of colors. As their founder puts it, "UNIQLO clothes are MADE FOR ALL– highly finished elements of style in clothes that suit your values wherever you live. This unique concept of clothes sets us apart from apparel companies whose sole purpose is the pursuit of fashion trends”
Uniqlo: Is India ready for some colors?
So I predict that if you are addicted to all things trendy and affordable like Zara and H&M, you may get addicted to Uniqlo for all things basic yet Uniquely stylish. In short, they will co-exist beautifully... in your wardrobe.
So which brands are you excited about?  
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