When we were invited for the making of the look book for designer Charu Parashar's Autumn Winter 2013 collection by our friend Ananya Abrol, a talented lifestyle and fashion photographer ..... little did we know about the journey we were about to embark on ...... It is one thing to view a runway collection and write insipid details with ones limited perspective of the designers creative process .... It is truly wonderful and magical when one has the chance to understand the conception and execution of a collection with a commentary by someone as passionate and intelligent as Charu .... We at Delhi Style Blog invite you to take a journey of a story starting with the Theban Necropolis of ancient Egypt ...... to the Arabesque art of Islamic architecture of the 9th century ...... to the Renaissance art movement of the fag end of the 16th century in France and Italy ....... to the soundtrack of Max Kestner's movie "Copenhagen Dreams" by Johann Johannsson, an Icelandic music composer who tells the story of a lonely city, the melancholy of its inhabitant's fragile life, and the sadness of passing life ...... Are you with us yet ? Hahahaha .... You would be wondering .... its just a bunch of clothes .... whats up with the elongated history lesson ? ..... But have you ever wondered why high couture garments are so "wonderfully" priced ? .... Why are certain Fashion Designers so coveted ? ..... Why should a frivolous confection of couture fashion even matter ..... in a world of recession, economic stress and general apathy of a busy life ? ..... The answer dear readers is literally blowing in the wind ..... High end Fashion Designers are essentially dreamers of beauty and everything that is beautiful in this ephemeral world .... They weave the stories of events past into collections where you are reminded of the golden years of human achievement ..... and you connect with history, heritage, art and culture in a single piece of garment pregnant with all these motifs !!

Charu Parashar Autumn Winter 2013 by Ananya Abrol

Day 4 at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2013 started so early that we bet most of us peeps covering it would be dreaming of nothing else but a good night's sleep tonight in preparation for the last day tomorrow ..... However we are indefatigable warriors of the thread .... Hahaha and report the ondits ... we must !!!! So here is a super quick post on the early birds today, Rina Dhaka and Sanchita Ajjampur ... Enjoy :)

Rina Dhaka

Rina Dhaka Autumn Winter 2013 collection deftly illustrates the contemporary trend of Digi prints. The design cultivation delved into ancestral Indian textiles for ingenuity which were scanned to create digital prints for the fabrics with cultivated patterns. The ensembles feature straight shifts and drop waist silhouettes, the popular empire and a line dresses with black as the reigning color. The chiffons, georgettes, organzas and stretch fabrics are festooned with prints of monochrome paisley, red and yellow ikat, tweed and honeycomb. Upfront, edgy and modern with nineties vibe, very resonant with the classic pizzazz and oomph that celebrates classic Rina Dhaka style, this collection evolves with every costume. The contemporary dresses with a puff organza sleeves, reminiscent of the nineties, the use of subtle colour blends of gray, maroon, black and white, it’s a season of looking back as much as the now. - Press Release

Manish Malhotra's show on Day 3 of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2013, was as grand and star studded as a finale event with model/ actors Jaqueline Fernandez, Esha Gupta and Siddarth Malhotra gracing the ramp ..... It was a show in typical Manish style .... The reigning God of Bollywood fashion and master craftsman showcased another brilliant traditional heritage art .... Phulkari and Bagh .... in his collection titled "Threads of Emotion" ...... A very apt title considering the art of Phulkari embroidery ( more about its history below) is a symbol of maternal love and faith .... usually passed on from mother to daughter as an ancestral tradition !! ... Montages of old Punjab in sepia prints flashed on screen segueing into beautiful embroidery pieces ....... Phulkari, a rural tradition of handmade embroidery, literally meaning “flower work” is an auspicious, head cover (odhni), embroidered by the versatile fingers of Punjabi women .... Embroidering on a Phulkari reveals a lot of ground cloth .... A variety of characters, forms and designs are scattered and embroidered on a Phulkari ..... With time Phulkari became increasingly elaborate and decorative which led to the evolution of a special ceremonial, Bagh Phulkari ...... Bagh literally means “garden of flowers”, and the term distinguishes the flowered Phulkari in that the embroidery is so profuse that the ground colour is no longer visible thus the embroidery becomes the fabric itself ..... Unlike Phulkari, Bagh demands more time and patience and more material, thereby increasing the expense ..... Thus Bagh set out to be a status symbol !! ..... Manish being Manish reinterpreted this ancient art form for the modern generation with his classic structure and superb detailing, which he is so famous for, especially among the Red Carpet crowd !!

Manish Malhotra winking as Esha Kapoor applauds Wills India Fashion Week AW 2013

Fashion Designer Anju Modi ..... she is soft spoken, elegant, ladylike, humble, gracious and has the most sweetest beaming innocent smile .... When she speaks, you can sense the deep knowledge and passion she has for her craft .... you can see the effervescence in her lit up eyes as she expounds on her favourite topic .... shy, but not retiring, deeply pleased within herself .... she exudes such an air of contentment and sweetness, that you would want to hug her right away ..... but at the same time anyone who knows her would first express respect, because this petite lovely lady is one of India's most precious knowledge resource of indigenous textile and weaves ..... A revered couturier, she has been working tirelessly with master artisans across the country to revive age old Indian techniques in weaving, vegetable dyeing, block printing and traditional embroidery ..... She is equally adept at keeping up with global trends and the younger market .... And her collection which she showcased to a standing ovation in the ongoing Wills India Fashion Week 2013 was a masterclass in how to feature a global style trend .... in this case, military .... in a desi contemporary avataar which makes you sit up and go WOW collectively .... A true blue Steel Magnolia is our Anju Modi .... total respect from Delhi Style Blog Ma'am :)

Last year while studying in Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, I stayed at Connaught Hall, one of the University of London residences ...... The nearest Underground station was Russell Square and opposite that was the Brunswick Mall ..... British Telecom was marking the 25th anniversary of the charity, ChildLine with the launch of BT ArtBox, a vast, open-air art exhibition featuring its iconic Red Telephone Booth as an Art installation ........ On seeing Masaba's telephone booth prints i was instantly transported back to my idle evenings at Brunswick Mall where there was this Telephone Booth by UK based Indian origin artist Natasha Kumar, called Rangoli .... It had Lord Krishna in repeat motifs of Holi colours ..... I don't know if Masaba ever saw the collection of Telephone Booth installations strewn across London, ..... But to use the motif of such an enduring London icon has surely pulled the venerable house of Satya Paul into the funky global and very au current trend of "Fashion is Fun" for the young generation ..... And given that Fashion is the only medium that allows you to wear whatever age you feel like irrespective of your actual years on earth ..... Masaba Gupta has certainly pulled off a Super woman feat ..... taking charge of a garment with more than 5000 years of history and absolutely funking it up for a sartorially global tribe of Indian women who is up to date with the latest trends in the International Fash map and are equally fiercely proud of their heritage :) ..... The press release for Masaba's first venture as creative head of Satya Paul very dominantly asserts the emergence of The Satya Paul Girl ..... ( note, not Woman, the word deliberately used is Girl ) ..... Make no mistake, this young designer in her 20's means business and Satya Paul could not have made a more cunning choice of Creative Head to change the label's image of a Saree only player to someone who dresses the young girl about town or a quirky fashionista who carries matching luggage and totes ( Satya Paul also launched its by Masaba Luggage and Bag line, Trendy !!)

Manish Arora and Amrapali Jewels collaborated for the just concluded Paris Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2013 ready to wear collection presentation ..... This is the second time that India's most maverick international fashion designer joined hands with an equally world famous Indian jewellery brand often worn by the likes of Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez among others ..... If the aim was to showcase Indian design sensibility in a contemporary manner, they have no doubt succeeded .... because Paris seems stunned ... Even their most famed macaroons at Maison Laduree fails to rope in so many colours and flavours like Manish can ..... Its a heritage thing :) .... Even if your inspiration came from an Art gathering in the middle of a dried lake bed in the Nevada desert (look up Burning Man festival on google :) .... the skies of the desert would very much compare to the landscape of our Rajasthan ( Hasli jewellery from Rajasthan on ramp for Amrapali ) ..... and the effigy burning at Burning Man would surely remind Manish of our Ramlila Ravanas with their neon and psychedelic paint ..... As Indians, we at Delhi Style Blog are fascinated with the stories Manish weaved in this amazing collection which we will be privileged to see up close and personal on 17th March, 2013 at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week's grand finale !!

One of the colour trends that is continuing this year is blue in all its shades ... For over 20 years, Pantone, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of Fashion Weeks and beyond to bring you the season's most important color trends ..... and they have ear marked Monaco Blue as one of the hottest shades of Spring/ Summer 2013 .... Pantone's executive director Leatrice Eiseman said, "It speaks to the practicality that we are seeing in society" ..... There is still a concern about the state of the global economy and recession and it seems like its the fashion industry's nod to economics ... But we whose passion lies in fashion and frivolously fritter our time watching fashion shows around the globe like a hawk .... have been filing this colour that falls somewhere between navy and cobalt blue, for sometime now .... and experimented around town as part of our daily wear !! .... We have joyously found out, that its just so right for the Indian skin tone and the colours we love in our culture and heritage ..... after all our handsomest Gods in the land of a million Gods have always been depicted in blue ...... Neelkanth aka Lord Shiva and Ghanashyam aka Lord Krishna :) ..... Apart from Fashion Week trend forecasts and mythology .... The colour in its brighter avatar of the azure seas of tiny Monaco ( its a country to the south of France and famous for its Grand Prix, Princess Grace and as the playground of the rich and beautiful) ...... was also seen on the red carpet of the most famous show on earth - the Oscars 2013 :) .... We shot S's favourite guinea pig - D in a Zara blue dress accessorised with different colour combinations and happily state that this is one colour that can be repeatedly married to different colours to create unending conjugal bliss !!! Lol .... Heheheh ... See how a blue dupatta made S do a surprise lil jig of spring ..... read on :D

This is our first post based on reader queries ..... When we did the fashion review for Skyfall, we did not anticipate the amount of interest in the sartorial preferences of the world's most famous spy ... aka James Bond ... aka Daniel Craig, the latest Bond ! ..... Though we tried to be as exhaustive as possible in our James Bond style file .... we didnot address the style of his tie knot .... A tiny oversight on our part we thought .... But the queries kept coming and coming .... hence here it is .... Our step by step instruction of how to tie a tie knot Agent 007 style :)

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall in Four in Hand tie knot

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