Lucknow Longings: Chikankari Work

One of the greatest pleasures of shopping in India is the variety of Indian embroideries and handiwork that is readily available. My friends (you know who you are) and I, have spent many a day drooling from shop to shop wasting our time, infuriating our drivers and returning empty-handed because we couldn’t make a decision on which one to buy! Only to go back the next day and start again. I adore the versatility of this Lucknowi kurta – I have worn it with these white cotton palazzos,  jeans and to the beach! Thanks for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Kurta – Ahilaya, Bangles – Santa Cruz Market, Earrings – Silver Streak)

Sunday Blues: Cotton and Silver

It is Sunday today and there is a natural relaxation in the air (which will evaporate by this evening). To me, Sundays always signify casual comfort, as do so many Indian clothes that I enjoy wearing. A cotton kurta, paired with silver jewellery, is a look that never gets old in my book. It’s cheap, chic and comfortable – and it doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks for reading!

(Clothes and accessories: Kurta – Aneeth Arora for Zuba – Westside, Bag – Coccinelle, Bangles – Silver Streak)

Princess Pastels: Silver Lace and Pearls

Hello everyone! I wasn’t sure where or what to start with for my Indian lookbook but after watching ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’,  I was inspired by the idea of clothes that are modern yet timeless in their appeal. I bought this from a small shop on a side street in Bandra (Mumbai) that I passed by for a year before I finally went in one fine day. I  always enjoy wearing this outfit because it  has a “floaty” feminine shape with its lovely bell sleeves, but there is a simple sophistication to its design that lends itself to lunching with the Maharajas. I always end up pairing this with pearls, an elegant watch and my trusty silver juttis.  Thanks for reading!

(Accessories: Watch – Gucci, Sunglasses – Tom Ford)

‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ Fashion Review


When you decide to watch a movie like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (PRDP), you are expecting an abundant offering of vibrant Indian wear and the film does not disappoint on this front.

In the movie, Sonam Kapoor plays a conventional yet contemporary princess who delicately balances tradition and modernity on a daily basis. This duality of Princess Maithili’s existence extends to her wardrobe and she switches effortlessly between traditional Indian wear and western clothes. The princess has a penchant for pastels and for the most part sticks to this colour palette throughout the movie. Maithili’s “modern princess signature style” comprises of floaty chiffon sarees and lehengas, many of them with traditional gota patti work, as well as delicate anarkali suits and sophisticated dresses. These outfits are accompanied by spectacular jewellery which includes lovely kundan sets, large diamond solitaires and stunning jadau pieces.

Sonam’s grand entrance at the railway station in a pale pink saree with delicate silver embroidery and oversized sunglasses is elegance personified. She is “princess perfection” here – channeling a “modern Gayatri Devi” with the saree draped gently over her head and her pallu pulled loosely over her other shoulder. She then changes into a paneled pale pink and blue anarkali which is full sleeved, demure and a great prototype of the many similarly silhouetted outfits that follow. Next, she drapes a classic leheriya saree in hot pink worn with beautiful kundan earrings: a perfect example of simple yet sophisticated dressing that works a treat!

Let’s move on to the western outfits supported by Sonam’s character in the movie. An outfit that deserves a special mention is a pretty dress she wears with a large floral motif on it. It is a completely off the shoulder dress and yet surprisingly elegant because of its cut and length. It highlights the dressing decorum that the princess effortlessly maintains in all her western wear. By far my favorite western ensemble in the movie is a classy white blouse worn with elegant black pants and a gorgeous black bag (that I can’t ID!) The hairstyle and earrings worn here are a perfect example of how attention to detail in styling can take an outfit from” nice enough” to “sheer perfection”! The ethnic green earrings are a nod to her regal background and how to successfully wear Indian jewellery with western clothes.

In my opinion, the more ornate Indian outfits that Sonam wears in the movie, pale in comparison to her everyday wear. In the soccer song, she supports one of the heaviest outfits worn in the movie; a red and purple lehenga choli with a huge jewellery set complete with a full matha patti tikka! At first, I didn’t care for the outfit – but the more I saw of it – the more I liked it. Maithili gets extra points for the detailing on her bellybutton that matches her outfit and for keeping the makeup simple. Up next, is a white and gold lehenga that she wears to the coronation ceremony. The first thing that I noticed was the awful fit of the gold blouse in this outfit. Considering that this was the title song, I thought there should have been more attention paid to ensure a perfect fit. Overall, this particular outfit did nothing for me; it was like a lukewarm gulab jamun – one that I would still eat but grumble under my breath about the wasted calories the whole time!

I am not sure that I will always review men’s fashion, but in the case of PRDP it deserves a mention at the very least. Salman is a handsome man and his first princely look in the dark sherwani with matching turban works exceedingly well for him. To show the princess around, he dons a blue/purple bandi with a pink pocket square that I loved! Salman looks dapper in all his bandgalas and bandi’s and once you add some pearls – I‘m all “Premed” up! Next up is Neil Nitin Mukesh who plays the “brother from another mother” here. I have seen him coming out of a car at The Taj President in Mumbai once and I can say with some authority that he is a striking looking gentleman. Put him in a salwar – well hello Neil, I mean Nitin – I mean phwoar – what’s in a name anyways?

Coming back to the belle of the ball – what fashion choices didn’t work for Sonam’s character you ask? Surprisingly, her two worst outfits are at the beginning and the end of the movie. In her entry shot, she is climbing down a hanging ladder from a helicopter at a relief camp. She is wearing a white shirt, trousers and brown boots and is fully made up with an artfully constructed ponytail. She looks like she was enroute to a posh safari in Africa and decided to stop midway and shower some poor tragedy struck folk with glucose biscuits! The outfit that impressed me the least is the unimaginative red saree with beige/khaki border she wears at the end of the movie. It’s as if once she falls in love she suddenly becomes bereft of the innate fashion sense that has prevailed in her earlier life. At best, it makes her look like a mix between a police women and a karva chauth enthusiast!

Favorite Sonam outfit: I liked the white outfit she is wearing when her grandmother brings her to Prem in Ayodhya. It is a lovely, classic white kurta and duppata with silver work that embodies her character perfectly. I loved the pale green outfit with silver lace she wears in the scene when she catches him eating street food for the first time.

Worst Sonam outfit: The red saree in the last scene when she is buying vegetables – she wears it in the song “Aaj Unse Milne Hai “.

Isha’s Verdict: 7.5/10. Kudos to the stylists of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo for some lovely outfits that were character appropriate!