‘Rescue Mission Series’: How I Transformed an Old Saree into a ‘Designer Saree’ for £15

The ‘Rescue Mission Series’ is one of my favourite series on the blog and one that is underpinned by a concept I firmly believe in and promote constantly; reimagine, restyle and reuse. This is a series where I update old Indian clothes in my wardrobe and give them a new lease on life, in keeping with current trends.

The inspiration for this ‘rescue mission’ started when I saw a Bollywood celebrity on the internet wearing a beautiful floral printed saree edged with matching feathers on the pallu. I liked the concept of the design and how the florals and feathers worked together in unison to create a chic style statement. When I dissected the makeup of the saree, I realized it was a simple combination of a pretty floral saree and a feather trimming on the pallu. Subsequently, I decided to try creating this with a floral saree already in my wardrobe.

This chiffon saree with a gorgeous blue floral pattern belongs to my mother and is at least 35 years old.  It was gifted to her by an aunt for the birth of her nephew (I love the Indian tradition of gifting clothes when a child is born – it cements a happy memory in your head forever). I decided that I would look for a feather trim in that virtual shop on the internet that probably sells everything one can ever dream of – Amazon.  As expected, the ‘shop of all things ever’ did not disappoint; I found this ostrich feather fringe trim (fake of course) for £7.69 per meter in a dazzling amount of shades. Not knowing which shade would work – I ordered two different shades of blue and decided I would combine them to get a better overall colour balance.  The total price for my trim was £15.38 (OK I fibbed a little – the total was a bit more than £15).

The one-meter trim was not enough to go end-to-end on the pallu so one side got a bit more of each blue and the middle has both colours combined – you can hardly tell.  I have to say that I loved the result and the vivid blues gave the saree an instant update and provided me with an ‘on-trend feather saree’ that was very close to the one I saw the celebrity wearing.  I took it on holiday recently to show my mother and I think she was really pleased with my ‘rescue mission’ on her lovely chiffon saree.  I even altered her blouse as I did not have one that would have work with the finished product.

The beautiful blue set I am wearing is by Heritage  Jewellery by Ridhi and it could not have matched the saree more perfectly.  The jewellery worked wonders in helping me achieve the sophisticated look I was after.

I hope you enjoyed my endeavour to create a ‘designer look’ with an old chiffon saree and some new fake feather fringe trimming. As always, thank you for reading my blog and supporting my creativity. If you enjoy my fashion and interior posts then please follow Isha’s Verdict on Instagram @ishasverdict.  Have a great week ahead!

Accessories:

Jewellery – Heritage Jewellery by Ridhi (tel:07734 806481), @heritagejewellerybyridhi 

Feather Border –  Amazon (Ostrich Feather Trimming fringe for Millinery in Midnight Blue and Peacock Blue, Sold by: Amaharryzon

Forever Sarees: Are We Becoming ‘One Trick Pony’ Sari Wearers?

Hello everyone!  This weekend I felt the first hint of a cold undertone in the weather and realized that our summer is slowly coming to an end.  I know we had a few very hot days in London but they were nowhere near enough for me to get my fix of wearing one of my favourite kind of sarees – summer sarees in beautifully light fabrics that are unique in their weaving and cultural significance.

I have always loved Indian summer sarees and I have a hard time passing on ethnic cotton sarees as the colours are so beautiful and the variety is literally endless.  I am really going to show my age here but sometimes I wonder if these beautiful cotton sarees are popular with the younger generation (especially outside India) or is their exposure to them so limited that they are not even in their line of vision?  Often, when we go somewhere, we see a lot of ladies wearing lovely ‘Bollywood inspired’ trendy sarees, which of course are lovely in their own right. However, sometimes it does strike me that everyone is wearing a copy of a similar theme and the sarees are beautiful versions of the same style statement.  When this happens, I do miss seeing a variety in the styles of sarees on display and it is always lovely to see someone wearing a traditional weave or an ultra-modern drape to brighten up the visual landscape of sarees.

I am definitely a ‘vacation shopper’ and I can’t imagine coming back from holiday without some clothing or interiors purchase that is special to the land or country I am visiting.  I guess this is just another form of a shopping addiction and one I admit to wholeheartedly. I bought this beautiful Kasavu saree on a holiday in Kochi a few years ago.  It was excruciating making a decision on the border colour but any combination with cream and black just makes me weak in the knees. I bought my mother a cream with gold/peach border one and I am hoping to ‘borrow’ it in the near future.

I have paired it with one of my favourite black sari blouses (that I have worn with many a saree) and this stunning jewellery set from Heritage Jewellery by Ridhi.  I love the idea of this magnificent jewellery with a traditional cotton handloom saree.  This is a statement necklace that packs a punch and I thoroughly enjoyed wearing the two together for this lookbook.

I hope to fit in a few more summer sarees in the coming month before it is time to pack them away for next year.  I hope you enjoyed this post and as always, thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict. I would love to see pictures of your favourite summer sarees as well! Have a great week ahead.

Please follow me on Instagram @ishasverdict

Clothes and Accessories:

All jewellery – Heritage Jewellery by Ridhi (tel:07734 806481), @heritagejewellerybyridhi 

A 1971 Wedding Story Part 2: Told Through the Wardrobe that Featured

As I mentioned in the first post of this series “A 1971 Wedding Story: Told Through the Wedding Wardrobe that Featured”,  my parents had an arranged marriage in Punjab, India in 1971. As both the families of the betrothed lived in Ludhiana, this was referred to as a ‘local wedding’. Back in the day, especially with local matches, long engagements were frowned upon as heaven forbid the couple get cold feet or a key family member have a change of heart (or discover some shady information about each other I assume). In order to ensure that such a calamity did not arise, the generally accepted wisdom dictated a  ‘chat mangani phat vya’ (quick engagement and immediate wedding).  My parents had a year old long engagement that was almost unheard of at the time.  Favourably, as my father was in the merchant navy and was due back at sea soon (and lucky for my grandparents sailing waters are quite a distance from Ludhiana and their daughter) the long engagement was given the go-ahead by all involved.

A year-long engagement had some advantages; it gave my mother ample time to shop for her wedding trousseau. What that meant, in reality, was multiple trips to ‘Chowra bazaar’, the main shopping destination in town (which contrary to its name is amazingly narrow) with both her own family and her soon to be inlaws. My mother fondly remembers that she would go with her mother and pick out a few sarees at Fakirchand (the happening saree shop in town in 1971) and leave them there on hold as they couldn’t decide on which ones to buy, with a promise to return the next day with some decisions.  When they would return the next day to purchase the final selection, the sarees would be gone. It turns out that my Dadi would also happen to go shopping there later in the day and of course, the saree man would inform her that her future daughter-in-law was in there earlier and chose a few sarees. My grandmother would then proceed to purchase those for her and instruct the salesman to tell her to choose some other ones for her maternal trousseau when she came in next. I think there was a certain charm to this kind of personalized shopping that will be lost forever in coming generations and with our preference for online shopping.

My mother says that she asked Mr. Fakirchand (I assume that was his name) that she really wanted a black evening benarsi tissue saree as part of her wedding trousseau.  He told her that he did not have one, but he would definitely get her one in the coming months. True to his word, this is the saree he sourced for her; the cost of the saree in 1971 was 250Rs.

That sounds ridiculously cheap by today’s standards but that was the standard cost of this kind of saree back then.  My mother informs me that the most money that was spent on a wedding outfit for her in 1971 was 2,500Rs. This was spent by my Dadi on her reception lehenga and her grandmother was utterly horrified at the expense (more on this when I lookbook the lehenga in question).

Once again, I love everything about this saree.  For one, this is a ‘loud and proud’ garment that announces your presence in a room. The abundance of colourful flowers on black, paired with the checkered border, is a wonderful combination of florals and checks done right on a saree.  There is something thoroughly modern about this 48-year-old saree that one could easily believe that it was purchased yesterday.  I couldn’t help but pair it with my green leather jacket; the combination of the old and new has a certain appeal that fits perfectly with my personal style sensibilities.

The tissue of this saree is now starting to fray a little and it saddens me to think that this saree will not survive much longer. I will take solance in the fact that I have documented it in this blog and shared it with you all so that we can all admire the beautiful weave and intricate handiwork that is this tissue saree.

I hope you have enjoyed this lookbook and have a great weekend ahead.  Thank you so much for reading and its lovely to be blogging again.  A special thanks to those lovely women who checked up on me to see if everything was ok as they had not seen a blog post recently. I have been exceptionally busy but its good to be back talking about fashion and sarees.

Spotlight Series: Presenting ‘Kumkum’ Indian Attire

I often get asked a variation of the following question, “Where is the best place to buy Indian clothes such as sarees, suits, lehengas etc.?” Of course, the correct answer to this question is that there is a variety of establishments and designers in London/England to purchase a great Asian outfit, depending on your needs and tastes.

This line of enquiry prompted me to think that perhaps a ‘spotlight series’ on various retailers/vendors/brands who specialise in Asian clothes and jewellery would prove to be a useful feature for my readers. My aim to feature a variety of Asian clothes/jewellery retailers and present a  snapshot summary of their vision, the products they sell, as well as their customer service policies. This type of feature would provide readers with exposure to multiple vendors that they may not have encountered in the past.

The first company I am featuring in this series is KumKum:

I have looked booked three Kumkum outfits in this post and styled them in the way that I would enjoy wearing these lovely clothes:

Black ‘ready stitched’ embroidered saree: This is the quintessential ‘works anytime for anything’ black saree. The black embroidery is exquisite and the drape lovely.  It’s zippered on the side, so the total time to put it on was under 3 minutes  – this feat alone is exceptional and added to my appreciation of this saree. The saree needed nothing more than some big earrings, a statement ring and some red lipstick. Given that it is winter and wearing a saree always poses the ‘how to stay warm’ question – I have paired it with my black leather jacket. I love the idea of a black leather jacket with a striking black saree, and I think the single colour silhouette works exceptionally well here. My husband said I look like the Punjabi version of the Scottish Widows advert.

Pink lace ‘ready stitched’ saree: Wearing this delicate lace saree with small stone embellishments, I had visions of wafting along a gorgeous lawn attending a chic spring garden party – till the freezing weather brought me back to earth!  I have styled the saree with classic pearls that I think work perfectly with the onion pink lace. I love this embellished blouse, that is both stylish and neutral enough to compliment many an Indian outfit.  My favourite part of the styling is my vintage embroidered pearl handbag that used to belong to my grandmother.

Sky blue net lehenga: This gorgeous lehenga falls firmly in the camp of what I like to call ‘happy clothes’ – clothes that put a smile on your face once you have them on. I have paired it with the same embellished blouse from above (to demonstrate the flexibility of this blouse) and some lovely stone earrings.  I wore this lehenga with flat juttis, and I appreciated just how comfortable this ensemble was to move around in.

Below are details of Kumkum in their own words:

What is your collective vision behind Kumkum? Our vision at KumKum is to be a Design House in London for Indian bridal and occasionwear, known for its design aesthetics. The finish and quality of our garments are exemplary and it does not cost the earth! The customer must be happy and that’s when we rest.

In your opinion, what are your USP/differentiating factors that make Kumkum stand out from the crowd? KumKum brings a collection of affordable fashion that is on-trend with elegant design sensibilities. Superior quality reflects in each element of our designs – be the fabric, structure, embroidery or the finishing. We provide a bespoke service for all garments. We have our own design team in New Delhi to overlook all elements of production. We provide attention to detail and dedicated customer service.
What are the clothing items Kumkum specializes in? A wide range of trendy Indian occasion wear and bridal couture. We have Lehengas, Sharara, Anarkali, Tailored draped Saris, Hand woven sarees and Palazzo suits. Men’s wear includes kurta pyjama and bundi sets in silk. We also have a curated collection of fine costume jewellery to complete the ensemble. Our clients are women and men who love to dress well and enjoy wearing good quality silhouettes.
Can you please explain your customer service policy for my readers – including ordering, delivery and returns? At present, we operate out of Wimbledon and Teddington by appointment. We also host home events regularly at both locations. Every meeting with a new customer entails a walk through of designs as per their need and occasion. We encourage customers to try out clothes so that they also get a feel of colour and styles. For Bridal wear and other big occasions, we also work out mood boards which capture the look in the context of the setting of the wedding.
One can buy off the rack or order bespoke with additional customised changes. We book orders with 50 % advance on confirmation and settle the balance on delivery
As of present no returns are allowed once purchased, as all clothes are tried and seen prior to purchase (we are not yet online).
On bespoke orders, the garment is made to order and fitted to size.
Clothes purchased off the rack need to be altered by the customers.
Contact details:
+44 7983 863852
+44 7448030545
Facebook Page: Kumkum (click here)

A while ago, Kumkum got in touch to ask if I could provide some in-person personal styling tips at one of their open houses.  I found them to be very personable and I was highly impressed with the time they took with their customers to ensure that they understood the needs of the buyer and provided a product that would be exemplary. For the record, I also found their ready stitched sarees were cut and pleated beautifully – the drape was spot on! If you enjoy clothes that are constructed with attention to detail and a quality finish – these are your ladies.

I hope that you have enjoyed getting to know more about Kumkum in my Spotlight Series.  Thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict and I look forward to featuring other brands in the months to come.

My Parenting Eureka Moment: and a Classic Wedding Saree

Hello everyone. I do not often talk about my children on this blog. As I have a teenager and a not teenager (but thinks he is one), I am conscious that while they are my children, they have their own semi-adult lives now and it may not be fair for me to be continually discussing them.  Hence, I generally refrain from it. Today, however, I am going to make an exception for the greater good.

A few days ago, I read an anonymous post by a young mother who shared that she was struggling with her two young children and allocating time for them and their activities, leaving her wondering if the time spent on hobbies/activities was worth it. Her post touched a cord in my heart as I think most adults have found themselves in a similar stretched situation.  Juggling various responsibilities in a finite amount of time is an exhausting task, even for the most organized of us (a club of which, unfortunately, I am not a member). I find that one of the biggest challenges of parenthood is dividing my time and attention to meet all the children’s needs and those of the adults that form part of my family and friends.

Often, when we are in a tricky situation it is normal to wonder if others face similar hurdles or if we are somehow specially blessed with unique trials and tribulations that seem to traumatize no one else. In times of parental anxiety, I have always found solace and a new perspective in reading about the experiences of others. In this spirit of sharing, I offer the following personal experience to the time stretched mothers and fathers who may be wondering what the results of time-consuming hobbies that small children pursue can be.

Our older son has had an aeroplane obsession for almost a decade now.  I believe that the fledgeling roots of his passion have their origin in him watching the planes fly overhead in his grandparents garden as a young child. In the beginning, he would observe planes everywhere, and he then started requesting models of airplanes. Frankly, this proved to be quite convenient as no in-depth thought was required to buy him a present – we just thought planes and came up with a smashing present every time. With time, his interest deepened and soon he would happily use his allocated computer time looking up planes and plane related facts and figures.

As his knowledge grew, so did his requirements. Soon, the obsession started getting quite expensive as now not just any plane model would do. His lovely little head only wanted die-cast models (not plastic) that had to be to 1:400 scale (my husband once made the mistake of buying a 1:600 model from Zurich airport that resulted in a big sulk). Then, one day he declared that he would like to go to the area around the airport and look at planes. So on a beautiful cold morning, my husband joined the ‘plane spotters’ brigade and took our son to look at planes. This is when the hobby took a drastic new turn.  Our son loved going to view planes and was up to ‘plane-spot’ at any time.

What happened next you ask? Dear son decided to take a picture with a phone camera of the planes he saw.  This monumental decision had a tremendous impact on his plane hobby and free time.  He wanted to take plane pictures all the time. Now, my husband happens to have a keen interest in photography and uses a great camera and some powerful lenses.  Soon enough, our offspring discovered that when daddy took a picture it had much more depth and form than his photographs.  His growing brain quickly deduced that better equipment often meant a better photograph. So next, he wanted to borrow his father’s camera and lenses. At this point, we objected and said no as he did not have the necessary know-how to use this sophisticated equipment.

Praise the Lord; it is truly amazing what children can teach themselves when they are really after something. Son went on the internet and with the wealth of knowledge available (youtube being a huge contributor) started to teach himself photography. Not only did he teach himself the basics – but he also taught himself lightroom and photoshop (but alas, he is still unable to fully figure out the intricate workings of our dishwasher).

We finally decided to take a big chance and let him loose with better photographic equipment.  He now photographs planes any chance he gets. We cannot book any trip without his input in terms of which airline, which plane and which airport we shall utilise.  Indirect flights are preferential as they offer more photography opportunities – sometimes I put my foot down when the proposition involves more than two changes. All our trips to any airport (foreign or domestic) require leaving early to build in time for photography. When we visit a new country, photography rules are researched well ahead of time and ‘plane spotting and photography’  is done at all times. This often means waking up at ungodly hours in the morning and then ubering or walking to locations that he has researched well ahead of time. We then have to stand for hours, often in rain and cold, to capture the perfect shot of a rare plane that is on its first or last journey.

Sometimes, my patience cracks and I threaten no ‘plane-spotting’ on a vacation. My husband has proved to have far more patience than me and has woken up on many a freezing morning to accompany him on a shoot.  As he is still too young to be left alone in these situations- the whole family is now subjected to his plane pursuits. Both sets of grandparents in London and Los Angeles will take the time to take him plane-spotting for hours on end at various airports. Uncles and aunts will arrange tours of regional airports and wait in cars for hours so that he can indulge his passion.

The point of the above story is simply the following.  All our children will have interests that will span a gamut of activities.  Some interests will seem most useful, and others will seem quite useless.  Often, these interests will require a big chunk of a precious commodity – our time and their time. This requirement can cause frustration and often it is tempting to just say no. However, my personal experience has taught me this. When we as parents help cultivate a hobby, we may be providing the biggest gift of all. We are helping to develop a passion that will feed their creativity for a lifetime. We are also enabling them to learn another valuable life lesson; nothing in life is free. Excelling at any skill requires enormous amounts of time and dedication. In most cases, it will require hundreds of hours of practice and often giving up precious free time in order to spend developing that skill.  We are proceeding with the plan that if we can help him understand this basic life fact and excel at a skill, then we have partly succeded in our parenting duties.

What has been the result of this time investment? His knowledge about commercial aviation is second to none and he has become a rather good photographer to boot. He has a substantial Instagram following, an aviation blog and he has managed to get his pictures published on jetPhoto. I often joke with him that I could get him a job if child labour weren’t against the law.

Below are three of my favourite photographs that the 15-year-old in question has taken in the last few years:

That said, let’s get back to fashion. in this lookbook, I am wearing a silk saree that was part of the wedding clothes gifted to me by my mother-in-law.  I loved this saree the moment I set eyes on it – yet it has never been worn in the past 17 plus years that I have owned it. Perhaps the right event never arose or like many a woman before me – I kept saving it for the perfect occasion (which in my head was a winter wedding day event). I absolutely adore the rather unusual pale pink and green colour combination and the two-toned gold and silver floral motifs that grace the saree.  I think classic never goes out of style and this silk saree hits all the classical high notes.  I have paired it with a beautiful kundan stone set from Toraan design that I have also lookbooked in a previous blog (Handloom Sarees: What Makes a Great Indian Outfit – Money or Styling?).

I hope you enjoyed this lookbook as much as I enjoyed wearing this saree.  Have a great rest of the week and thank you for visiting Isha’s Verdict.

Handloom Love: Why this Gorgeous Saree is a Lovely Present

What makes a fabulous present? With age, one quickly learns that cost, size and name brands do not automatically a great present make. A great present is one that delights the recipient and brings an instant smile to the face and a warm glow to the heart. In my opinion, a heartfelt present demonstrates the givers understanding of my likes and dislikes and their intuitive ability to transform that knowledge into a present that will knock my socks off!

This stunning saree was the perfect present from a perfect lady who came to visit this summer. G, maybe my husband’s cousin but our mutual love of fashion makes us soul sisters.  The saree in this lookbook is a linen Jamdani saree hand-woven in a village called Phulia in Bengal. The talented weavers of Phulia are applying the Jamdani technique on linen fabric to stunning results.  Dola Mukherjee is the force behind these sarees – she is passionate about the weaving crafts of India and works directly with many clusters in India to preserve and promote their crafts.

My reaction to this present – I almost keeled over in delight when I saw this saree. The colours are exactly up my alley and I had no such saree in my wardrobe previously.  Furthermore, the saree was a delight to wear, the fabric moved with graceful ease and felt fabulous against the skin.  Here, I have paired it with my trusty Indian pink blouse to make the outfit pop (also because I love to mix and match from my wardobe) and these gorgeous gold and pearl earrings from Torran.

Thank you G for this thoughtful present – it has taken place of pride in my saree cupboard and I look forward to wearing it for years to come!

I hope you have a great weekend, perhaps receive a present or two and as always, thank you for reading my blog.

Accessories:

Earrings – Toraan 

 

Handloom Sarees: What Makes a Great Indian Outfit – Money or Styling?

Hello everyone – I hope you have all had a great weekend full of fun, frolic and fashion.

Fashion discussion of the past week:

A few days ago, my mother and I were having the following conversation. At some level, have we accepted that Indian clothes cost more than western clothes and find ourselves more willing to spend a sum total on an Indian outfit that we would never find ourselves spending on a dress, even a ‘going-out’ dress?  We both agreed that we have often heard the sentiment expressed that good Indian looks cost a fortune! Furthermore, it is ironic that we are willing to spend much more on an Indian outfit that may only get a small fraction of the wear that a western one would get and therefore, works out to be an even more expensive proposition with limited repeat wear options.

I am not quite sure where I stand on this issue.  Yes, I think Indian clothes can be expensive and I have to put my hands up and say that I am not sure how willing I would be to spend the kind of money on a dress (the first time I saw it) that I have spent on an Indian outfit.  On the other hand, we have to take into account that often Indian wear is reserved for special occasions where the presence of abundant family and friends makes us want to look our very best and therefore, we are willing to open our pockets that little bit more. Transport and logistics of getting that outfit to us must add to the cost  – a fact that cannot be ignored.

The one thing that I am sure about is that a good-looking Indian outfit does not have to cost a fortune.  I believe that the ‘styling quotient’ has the same effect on an Indian look that it has on a western look.  The skill of how items are put things together and the desire to experiment and push your personal fashion styling boundaries can produce a great look, regardless of the kind of clothes we are wearing.

As you may have noticed, I am a great lover of mixing and matching clothes that are already in our wardrobes and I have always championed this practice on the blog.  Here, I am wearing a gorgeous yellow (my favourite colour) handloom saree with a ready-made brocade blouse.  I bought this sari for less than Rs 5000 (approximately £54) at Delhi Haat in New Delhi and my friend N in Mumbai (who has fabulous taste) brought me this blouse from a little ready-made blouse in Mumbai that we would both frequent when I lived there. The blouse cost Rs 2000 (£22) and fitted like a glove as I gave my friend my ready-made blouse size (ladies you must always know your ready-made blouse size!). Even though the two items are not exactly colour matched, I loved the way they looked together once I put them on.  I think there is a synergy to the look, where the total looks better than the sum of the individual parts. I love handloom sarees and I am a great fan of the deliberate mismatch here as I think it draws attention to the beautiful individual components of the outfit and demonstrates some styling chops.

I love the necklace and earrings I am wearing from Toraan  – the pale green stones add a rich opulence to the look and pick up on the greens in the blouse perfectly.  Finally, a big bindi – bigger than my normal go-to size but loving the look all the same.

I hope you enjoyed this lookbook and I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes a great Indian outfit. As always, thank you for taking the time to visit Isha’s Verdict.

Jewellery:

Set – Toraan

 

‘Toraan’ Jewellery: Two Ways with a Saree and a Pleated Blouse

What’s not to love about Indian-inspired jewellery! From delicate filigree work to rich Kundan work – ethnic jewels are splendid and I am constantly amazed at the beautiful designs I come across. I am always keen to acquire Indian jewellery but it can be hard to find pieces that effectively balance quality, design, and craftsmanship with a price point that is not going to cripple your bank account.

It almost seems miraculous when you come across a company offering gorgeous designs at amazing prices – proving that ‘exclusivity of design shouldn’t come coupled with unaffordability’. This describes the essence of ‘Toraan’ – a jewellery and art store founded by the lovely Purti Bhatia. Toraan offers beautiful jewellery ranging from bridal sets to everyday wear that is not only gorgeous to look at but the quality of the pieces makes it a pleasure to add them to your jewellery box.

I love my Indian jewellery pieces and every time I wear them with Asian clothes, I am reminded that I must try harder to pair them with Western outfits.  I am a great fan of ethnic jewels paired with non-ethnic clothes and I think this combination creates a unique fashion statement that delivers the unexpected.  I have spoken to many of my friends about this and they all concur that we need to work harder on the above. This is why I decided to try something a bit different in this blog post. I have paired this beautiful green Kundan set from Toraan with a saree as well as with a pleated blouse and leather jacket.  I wanted this lookbook to deliver the message that Indian jewellery is exceedingly versatile and looks great with so many outfits.

I hope you enjoy this post and would love to hear how your thoughts on fusion pairings of jewellery and clothes. With summer approaching – I am planning to incorporate more of Toraan’s beautiful jewellery with my dresses so watch this space for more of her beautiful pieces.  You can view her range of jewellery and art at www.Toraan.com

As always, have a great day and thank you for reading my blog.

 

Clothes and Accessories:

All Jewellery by Toraan

www.toraan.com

Jewellery Set As Worn – Green Three Flower Kundan Choker with Earrings (£68 – also available in red) 

Pleated White Dress – Zara

Black Leather Jacket – Massimo Dutti (similar)

 

 

Yellow Sari Love: With a Blue Velvet Blouse and a Grand New Idea

Hello everyone! As I have mentioned many times before, my long held interest in fashion and styling is what gave birth to this blog. Perhaps the aspect that I love most about styling is that the creativity is boundless. There are endless end results to be had, all as unique as the individual who put them together. There are no limitations to the creative side of our brains and i am reminded of this every time I see a person on the street and think, “Wow what a great way to style that outfit – I would have never thought of pairing those items together.”

On this platform, I have always championed that one of the best ways to improve your personal fashion prowess and styling acumen is to observe what others are wearing. For two years now, I have lookbooked styles that I enjoy in my daily life and I have hoped that they have persuaded you to consider new and different styles along the way.

Now, I would love for myself and our other readers to benefit from all of your great styling moments.  I would like to start a section on this blog where we can see pictures of our fellow fashionista readers in outfits that they have styled for themselves.   We can call it the ‘Fabulous Fashionistas Daily Style Lookbook’ or something better. This is how I envisage it working:

  1. Take a picture of yourself in your fabulously styled outfit (all kind of outfits are welcome from casual to formal to ethnic – after all, inspiration comes in many forms)
  2. Please send it to contact@ishasverdict.com with two or so sentences explaining what you particularly liked about how you put the outfit together – the styling quotient (Feel free to include links to where you bought something  – especially if it is still available to buy).
  3. I will post it in the section and we can all draw inspiration and comment on what we liked about the outfit, the styling and other helpful input. It will be a constantly moving section with new pictures added as they are received.
  4. As all the comments will be moderated by me – no negative comments will be welcomed or published. The idea is to generate a positive and helpful forum at all times.
  5. I will not be sharing the pictures with any other entities.

So there you have it – my idea of a creative way for all of us to inspire each other, improve our styling game and look at fabulous clothes!  I truly believe applying a fashion focused lens to everyday life is the best way to become a better dresser and stylist and I hope this forum will help.

On a different note, I am lookbooking a yellow sari (my favourite colour) with a bling midnight blue velvet blouse with net sleeves.  The absolute truth is that I am not a fan of an overtly blingy look and did not particularly care for the blouse when it first came my way.  I was at a loss of what to wear with it till one fine day, I decided that I needed a sari that would let the blouse dominate but in a colour that could match the boldness of the blouse.  I subsequently paired it with this plain silk shaded yellow saree, and even though I am still not sure what to make of the entire outfit, there is no danger of me blending into the background in this number.

I hope you enjoyed this lookbook (as I almost froze into a popsicle trying to take the pictures) and thank you so much for reading.  I would love to get your feedback on the styling forum idea and even better, your lovely pictures.

Beautiful Jewellery and Vibrant Sarees: In Collaboration With Soignné (Part 2)

Hello everyone! Last week, I featured a beautiful saree and blouse combination, with stunning jewellery, from Soignné elegant range of clothes and accessories.  This week, I am proud to lookbook yet another gorgeous combination from Niru Keshwala’s offerings.

There are saree blouses and then there are saree blouses that stop you dead in your tracks! I absolutely adore this saree blouse with slim cut outs at the shoulders and contrasting sleeves.  It is stunning in design, vivid in colour and the organic handwoven Dhaka cotton fabric is what my ethnic fabric dreams are made of.  The versatility of this blouse is plain to see – it would go beautifully with so many different coloured sarees and would also work fabulously as a crop top in a boho inspired look.

I am wearing this saree with Soignné classic chandbali earrings and their beautifully intricate oversized kada.  This magnificent creation puts the statement in statement cuff and is made of oversized pearls, cubiczircon and kundan work that come together to make a stunning piece of jewellery in an antique gold finish.

All clothes and jewellery are from Soignné  – you can shop the range at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SoignnebyNiruKeshwala/

Instagram: @soignne

Email: soignne@yahoo.com

Have a fabulous rest of the week and thank you so much for visiting my blog.  A big thank you to Soignné for collaborating on this post.