As I made my way through the marigold-clad black iron gate into the sprawling garden estate, I was transported into a poetic world of Lucknow’s Mughal courtyard. Billionaires H S Narula and wife Surina opened their lush green garden estate to support renowned South Asian dance company Akademi. The charity garden gala recreated the magic of Umrao Jaan – an Urdu classic, based on the famous Lucknow courtesan. It was Akademi’s first ever fundraising gala and their sheer dedication toward their passion was fully evident in the interactive Umrao Jaan narration. It was conceptualised by Mira Kaushik, Director, Akademi and brought to life by creative director Subhalaxmi Mukherjee.
Its been a while since I posted something on the blog. Life hasn’t been easy for me in the past few weeks. Initially I was recovering from a traumatic C-section and then trying to adjust to the routine of sleepless nights. Things have calmed down a bit but I am still trying to adjust to my new life. Hopefully I’ll get there in the end. I have been away from the blog so working on a new piece is like therapy for me. I am trying to come out of my shell and get back to a routine. Lately all I have been wanting to do is hide under my duvet and shy away from reality.
To be honest I did not want to do an outfit post as I was very conscious of my post natal body. I looked in my wardrobe and had a ‘I don’t have anything to wear’ moment pretty much everyday. I needed to get out of my pyjamas and being a stylist pushed me to wear clothes that suit my current body shape. So when I received this lovely Kaftan from Raishma couture, I just knew it would suit me. Today’s blog post is about brand Raishma and its lovely fusion fashion collection. Raishma Islam is the creative force behind the brand, designing couture bridal and evening gowns with a fusion twist that the label is so well known for. Raishma had a passion for fashion from a very young age. She was attracted to the glamour and style of the western fashion industry and fabrics from the Indian domain. That’s how her collection was born, with a focus on the fusion style of dressing. Raishma is very passionate about her work and wants to give women a taste of fusion fashion where they can mix their Indian and western wardrobes. Her collection is very versatile and aimed at both traditional and non- traditional customers. What I personally like is the collection of suits and dresses that can be worn as a suit for a traditional event or as a dress. The lovely ready to wear collection is available online at http://www.raishma.co.uk/ and the website is also quiet easy to use. Other than ready-to-wear style, Raishma also offers bespoke bridalwear. Given her flair for fusion fashion, her collection is very popular in mixed raced marriages and registry weddings. You can have a closer look at all the lovely outfits at Raishma’s new store in East Shopping Centre in Green Street.
Here is how I styled the Kaftan: I paired it up with black trousers and tan coloured court shoes. The accessories were in shade of gold to match the outfit – gold bangles, delicate rings and earrings completed my look. I managed to shoot these pictures for the blog in lovely Cotswolds during the bank holiday weekend. It was so fresh and refreshing to get out and do what I love doing. I loved how the Kaftan flattered my shaped. Raishma online offers a range of beautiful Kaftans for you to choose from. You can wear them with or without trousers and go from a day to evening look. I would say this kaftan is ideal for dinner parties or Asian events.
I hope you enjoyed reading the post. I know most women do not feel body confident after delivery but there is no point in hiding under the duvet like me. First step towards feeling body confident is to accept your current body shape and dress to suit your shape. Getting ready for this shoot gave me a lot of confidence to express myself once again through style. I know the journey to getting fitter is long and hard but there is no point in shoving the issue under the carpet. Do share your experiences with me. I look forward to hearing your stories.
Really excited to share this very special post with you all. Have to warn you that it is a long post but I had lots to share too! Last weekend I went to the most awaited Asian wedding show in London courtesy Aashni + Co. I think it’s probably the first time in London we had so many Indian fashion luminaries under one roof. I was in designer heaven – from top tier designers like Sabyasachi and Tarun Tahiliani to new emerging talent like Anushree Reddy and Arpita Mehta.
Todays’ post is another one in the series of maternity outfit posts that I intend to feature over the coming weeks. Maternity dressing needs to be comfy not frumpy. It took me a good few months to understand that. I will not deny the fact that dressing up has been very challenging, specially during the early months when you are neither here nor there. During these months I was totally dependent on my lovely cotton scarves. When you don’t want the world to know about your good news, then scarves are your go-to dressing option.
Visiting Diwali fairs to explore homeware and fashion designs used to be a highlight of my festive season back home in India. Living in London I miss that buzz, that noise, that smell which I experienced growing up. Everyone’s gearing up to the festivities. Local markets, shops and roads are all adorned with marigold flowers to celebrate the most auspicious day of the year – Diwali. However hard I try I don’t think I can replicate the same experience here but I can in my own way enjoy the festival and keep the tradition alive. With only a few weeks left before the festival there are a lot of things to organise and manage. I need to plan my main pooja decoration, Diwali outfit, lighting and finally what to cook for the main Diwali feast. In London you don’t have the luxury of your local market selling the traditional stuff. You have to plan and organise it. So I went to the Diwali Pop Up Shop by Faisana Studio. I went in to explore South Asian Fashion designers but was surprised to see homeware and kidswear as well. The exhibition was held at the luxurious Four Seasons, Mayfair. A range of designers were showcasing their creations at the event. I saw latest designs from Maheen Karim Sania Maskatiya Nida Azwer Zara Shahjahan and Rakesh Agarwal . Have a look at some of their latest designs here.
If you are looking for fitted tailored dresses for a special occasion then do explore Hybrid Fashion online. I recently came across this brand and it offers some great styles. As a stylist I am always on the lookout for inspiring online fashion brands and these days where there are plethora of them selling fast fashion, it can be quiet a daunting experience to find your perfect dress.
Hybrid fashion offers some great feminine style dresses to flatter your body shape. If you are bit body conscious then take support from shapewear which will help you look flawless and confident throughout. There is a great range of dresses available on Hybrid, right from workwear to eveningwear and even race day dresses. Choose from a range of bodycon dresses to accentuate your curves and create an ultra chic look for special occasions.
I have selected a few of my favorites from the collection. Checkout the dresses below and do read the styling tips. I hope they come in handy when you are creating your special look.
On Day 2 of our holiday in Puglia, in southern Italy, we drove down to Alberobello. The very reason we planned our holiday was to visit the ancient white cone roof houses called Trullis in Alberobello, a UNESCO world heritage site. What we didn’t realise that it’s a very popular tourist destination and even in the non-holiday season there are queues to get into the city. Arpit’s broken Italian came in very handy when asking for directions, as the GPS didn’t take us to the main parking area.
I am not young but I feel young. The day I feel old, I will go to bed and stay there. I feel that to live is a wonderful thing.
Hello everyone. Some new developments at our end so today’s post is to update you with the latest happenings at The Red Notebook.
The Red Notebook website is now revamped and has a new look. We also have a new logo. The website will now showcase my stylist portfolio and an online lookbook which is a collection of various looks I have styled on myself and others .
In the past few months I have worked with some established make-up artist and photographers over a range a styling projects. My final work is now online. You can review my full portfolio here.
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