What Kate Middleton wore in India and Bhutan. Till now.

So Kata Middleton’s in India and all journalists, magazines, blogs, websites, fashionistas, wannabe fashionistas, critics and Shobha De, who is considered “an authority on popular culture” are going berserk about her clothes.

Including me. Yeah. That woman!

So, let me follow the norm, and take you through the Duchess’s wardrobe. Personally, I love how she’s carried off dresses with full sleeves and modest necklines so gracefully. And I think, all of us who love wearing dresses but are unsure of the “area” we are travelling to or the “crowd”, can borrow from Kate’s delightful take on the quintessential frock.

A red Alexander McQueen creation worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge at her first appearance in her India trip with the Duke.
Day 1 | Mumbai | For her first appearance in India, Kate chose an Alexander McQueen creation.

 

Kate Middleton beautifully pulls off this gorgeous peach and pale green midi dress by Anita Dongre.
Day 1 | Mumbai | Kata chose an Anita Dongre creation to play cricket with street children at the Oval Maidan. Even Sachin Tendulkar was there. Wow.
Kate Middleton's outfit for the gala at Taj Palace. Aishwarya was there. Shahrukh was there. Madhuri was there. But Kate, of course stole the show. She is a duchess after all.
Day 1 | Mumbai | Kate wore a royal blue Jenny Packham gown, embellished in India for a Bollywoood charity gala, on her first evening here.
This white Emilia Wickstead midi was worn by Kate Middleton on Day 2 of her trip to India. Love the collar and pocket details.
Day 2 | New Delhi |  This white Emilia Wickstead wool crepe midi is the dress-version of a formal white shirt. Actually, no. It’s way cooler. Kate wore this to a meeting with young entrepreneurs, India Gate and the Gandhi Smriti Museum.

Check out more from Emilia Wickstead here

Kate Middleton chose an off-white and black gown to a party honouring the Queen's 90th birthday.
Day 2 | New Delhi | For a party honouring the Queen’s 90th birthday, Kate chose an off-white and black skirt and top by Alice Temperley.
Kate Middleton wore a red and navy maxi dress on Day 3. The dress had full sleeves, a modest neckline and a front tie-up. I would love to wear this. Doesn't it look so comfy?
Day 3 |  New Delhi | Kate Middleton wore a red and navy maxi dress to visit the Salaam Balak Trust and a shelter that benefits from it. This NGO works to help vulnerable children from the streets of Delhi.

In fact, this red dress can  even be pre-ordered. Just click here. 😉

Kate Middleton in India | Green Alice Temperly Dress | Day 3 | New Delhi | Meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Alice Temperly
Day 3 | New Delhi | Kate then changed into a powder green Alice Temperly Midi for a meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The royal couple then met with Women’s Rights advocates. You can read more about that here.
Kate Middleton in India | Kaziranga | Day 3 | Anna Sui | Blue Green Maxi Dress | Bihu | Assamese Festival
Day 3 | Kaziranga | The royal couple flew to Guwahati and then travelled to Kaziranga. In the evening, Kate changed into an Anna Sui maxi dress to celebrate Bihu around a campfire with local Assamese villagers.

 

Kate Middleton in India | Kaziranga National Park
Day 4 | Kaziranga National Park | The royal couple visited the national park to learn about the challenges the park is facing. And then they met with the rangers who are protecting the park’s wildlife and natural habitat.
Kate Middleton in India | Kaziranga | Topshop dress | Panbari village
Day 4 | Kaziranga | Kate changes into a Topshop dress for a visit to the neighbouring Panbari village and the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation & Conservation.
Kate Middleton in Bhutan | Pale Gold Dress | Paro
Day 5 | Bhutan | What Kate Middleton wore as she touched down in Paro – A pale gold Emilia Wickstead dress.
Kate Middleton in Bhutan | Traditional Bhutanese outfit | Kelzang Wangmo | Kira
Day 5 | Bhutan | On reaching Thimphu, Kate changed into a traditional Bhutanese dress for a meeting with the King and Queen of Bhutan and an archery event among other things.

The skirt is called ‘Kira’ and the jacket ‘Tego’. The fabric of the skirt was handwoven by Mrs. Kelzang Wangmo, also believed to have created the wedding outfits for the King and Queen of Bhutan. The embroidered woollen cape is by Paul an Joe.

Kate Middleton | Tony Burch Dress | Royal Dinner | Bhutan | Thimphu
Day 5 | In the evening, Kate changes into a Tory Burch dress for dinner with the King and Queen of Bhutan.

 

Phew. That’s all for now.

So many outfits. So many events. It’s difficult to keep up.

Let’s see what she’s going to wear today.

Stay tuned for more. Because soon I’m going to be featuring a designer who creates contemporary skirts from traditional Bhutanese material. Yes. She’s even got mini skirts. Don’t go anywhere.

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Images have been sourced from harpersbazaar.com, http://www.vanityfair.com, dailymail.co.uk, and http://fashion.hellomagazine.com/

Read the Harpers Bazaar article here, Vanity Fair article here and Hello Fashion article here.

Content sourced from @KensingtonRoyal. Follow to be up-to-date with what the royal couple’s doing.

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The 10 best dressed everyday showstoppers

If you follow Chai High on Facebook, you’d know about this. For others, Everyday Showstoppers is an album I created on Facebook. An album populated with pictures of the best dressed men and women.

This post will compile the 10 best pictures of Everyday Showstoppers, Season I.

Those of you who haven’t been featured yet, don’t worry, Season II will be happening soon. 😉

 

  1. Me. Of course 😉 me2. Naina | Read the full article on Naina’s style herenaina3. Reemareema4. Azra
  2. azra_daily_style5. VedantVedant6. Sangeetasangeeta_daily_style

7. ShivendraShiv

8. Sarahsarah9. Rebeccarebecca

10. DipikaDipika

Well, with that we come to the end of the 10 best everyday showstoppers on Chai High.

Stay tuned for Season II.

🙂

 

 

From the real world

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If you’ve been reading my blog, chances are you’re wondering why I seem to be obsessed with “craft” and “creativity” in daily dressing.

And honestly, I don’t blame you. Apart from attaching a couple of links to some great labels and designers, I haven’t really shown you any real examples of women who dress well. Who put some thought into what they wear. And yet emerge looking effortless.

While “thoughtful-effortless fashion” may seem a tad oxymoronish, there’s a very strong difference between effort-fashion and thoughtful-fashion. The judge being the end result.

You could be wearing jeans and a tee and it could seem as though you put in a lot of effort and someone else could be dressed in a dress and tons of jewellery and still look effortless.

It all has to do with how you pull off what you’re wearing. If you pull it off, like its your second skin, you will look effortless.

One of my favourites quotes is “It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.”

I wrote it on one of those days in 2014 when the amount of effort people were putting in their fashion (and still failing) was getting to me. (yeah, yeah, I get dramatic sometimes.)

Enough of the jargon, let’s see how Naina effortlessly pulls off this beautiful look.

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What I love about her is that she has combined contrasting elements and made it work so well. She’s borrowed a belt from a kurta and matched it to these lovely handcrafted beads and sandals. Her face is scrubbed clean, her hair tied back, and her bubbly personality – all the makeup she needs.

And the result is this well put-together outfit that’s effortless, breezy and oh-so-summery.

Girls, I am going to give you more examples of creativity in daily dressing, soon. Till then, get inspired from this lovely lady.

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Love,

Shivani

 

 

 

 

5 fashion labels to watch out for.

1. Jodi | Anything goes

So I was just scrolling through my news feed the other day, and this label caught my eye. Right from its distinct, minimalist logo in a gorgeous monochrome rendition, to the label’s clothing, a stark opposite with its vivid interplay of vibrant colours, I was enamoured.

So I found the link to their website, and in between my day job, took more than a couple of minutes off, to check this fascinating label’s work.

Well. I was impressed.

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Check  out their entire collection here

My personal favourite? This gorgeous choli top with a front tie. Buy it here

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The best thing is that the prints are all hand-block printed. So if you buy their products, you’re wearing something that encourages the craftsman to hone his or her skill. So, in other words, you’re supporting India’s fabulous heritage.

2. THREE | Borrowing Papa’s wardrobe

This label is for all the minimalists out there. Boxy silhouettes, unexpected cuts in patterns and a straight-out-of-prison or daddy’s-nightsuit chic sensibility. Oversized, comfortable and breezy, this collection is designed for all the no-nonsense, comfort-seekers out there.

Here’s a sneak-peak from their SS16 collection.

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Follow them here on Facebook.

My personal favourite is this gorgeous charcoal grey skirt.

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Available at Second Floor Studio, Khan Market, New Delhi.

 

3. Anavila | The democratic saree

So, with everyone trying to fit into the signature black Zara leggings/tights/jeggings (yeah you know what I’m talking about), here’s a designer whose broken out of the mould by doing the seemingly obvious. It’s so simple yet so glorious that you can’t help but wish you’d done it first. She’s created the first linen saree. A saree that shatters your perception of the, well, saree.

No longer is it the dreaded 6-metre-long fabric threatening a wardrobe-malfunction, should you choose to trip or fall or get caught in a nail.

She’s made the saree low-maintenance, no-nonsense and oh-so comfortable, you wouldn’t want to wear anything else. Yes, she’s made the saree compete with lazy boy pyjamas and the LBD together. Like it was even possible. “Ek teer se do nishaana”, if you may.

Ladies, say hello to this fabulous innovation. Handwoven by men and women in rural India, sustainably manufactured and beautiful to look at, you’d want to ditch your favourite blue denims for these.

Do take a look at some of her fabulous work.

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My personal favourite? The second saree from the left. Isn’t it just dreamy?

She also does amazing blouses. Like this.

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I love everything about her collection. I mean who would’ve though, sarees could look so comfy? And could be worn with something other than a tiny blouse? A blouse that you need to prep days in advance for?

By teaming sarees with loose-fitting kurtis, she’s definitely brought the whole 6 yards back into daily dressing.

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P.S: I love her kurta-pyjama combos too.

To get in touch with her, click here

To shop for Anavila, click here for Ogaan, and here for Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop

4. Mogra | SID or the Sexy Indian Dress

By this time, you must have a clear idea of my aesthetic sensibilities. It’s natural fibres all the way. So, before you yawn or snort or turn up your nose at this edit, take a look at yet another designer who’s making waves with her seemingly-simple yet beautiful approach to design. Sheena Roy of Mogra.

She takes your traditional handwoven sarees and indigenous Indian textiles, and makes gorgeous dresses out of them. Dresses you can wear on and off duty.

Her boho-chic aesthetic coupled with sharp western silhouettes brings in the surprise to every creation. Take a peek.

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To see more from Mogra, click here

5. Jappi | The Kitsch-Kitsch Jacket

Last but not the least, is Jappi. The brainchild of Parineta Borah, this label brings together a kitsch sensibility with a distinct urbane touch. From sarees to mekhlas to beautifully bizarre jackets, this label is not for the faint hearted.

Parineta experiments with embroideries and traditional Assamese silks to create outfits suited for India’s burgeoning audience. Think eye-popping hues, contrasting textures topped with a swag, only a true desi can pull off.

 

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Check out the rest of her collection here

To follow Jappi on Facebook, click here

Well, that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed reading this post. And do spend the rest of the week checking out these very talented designers and their very-covetable clothes.

Love,

Shivani

‘Effortless’ style and how to get to it.

Ok. So a lot of people comment on my “unique” sense of style. They say it’s distinct. A lot have even used the word “fashionable”. And of course, there are others who turn up their noses and coax me into wearing something more “normal”. Normal meaning tighter pants, asset-enhancing dresses and shinier Indian-wear.

That’s not “me”. My standard reply. And of course, people don’t get that. After all, how can a material thing be you? Come on Shivani, aren’t you “deeper” than that? How can your outfit be “you”… is what they’re probably thinking as they roll their eyes and smile disdainfully within.

1912032_10152177620796878_1524289218_oI’m wearing Skirt: Forever 21 | Jacket: Pret, GK-I | Boots: An exhibition at DLF mall, Vasant Kunj | Neckpiece: Lifestyle | Camisole: Lifestyle

Buying an outfit is an action. You pay money. Money that exchanges hands. That goes from the retailer right down to the dexterous eye that picked the fabric amongst hundreds of swatches.

The act of picking and choosing an outfit is literally paying homage to the designer who visualised the outfit, pattern-master who used his years of perfected skill to draft the pattern, the craftsman who laboured for hours on his sewing machine, no thought to trends or design, food for his family being the only motivation, and the smiling sales lady determined to not sit at home and be just a “wife”.

And yes, you could say that applies to every other thing we consume.

Maybe being a fashion student opened my eyes to the hard work that goes behind every glittering red carpet appearance that people so easily dub as “shallow”. The hours spent draping and re-draping an outfit, months before a Sonam Kapoor wears it to Cannes. The long hours spent by junior designers for a meagre salary, all justified because of their passion for fabrics, embroideries, craft and art. The multiple sampling and redo’s, the search for the right colour combination, fit and finish…

There is a story behind every outfit, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

Which is why, what you wear could be an expression of you. It could be your way to show your support towards a certain striving group of talented professionals toiling to create a piece of art, that you’re going to strut around in.

Which is why, when I pick an outfit, I make an experience out of it. I touch the fabric, feel it, try it on… It’s not as easy as going to Hill Road and picking up a zillion tops just because they’re ‘cheap’. Though, I can’t deny there’s a charm in getting something stylish for less, but it should be driven by a quest for art rather than a mad scramble for a bargain. Or, that’s just how I feel. And I bet, others who you think have a “unique” sense of style feel.

We make an event out of our fashion. It’s something to be cherished. Which is why, owning a saree from your mother’s trousseau is so special. There’s a story to it. A legacy. Which is why, the dress you wore on a special date always holds a dear place in your heart. Which is why you never part with certain old t-shirts and warm mittens.

They’re special. And they deserve more than just a cursory glance. Which is why, each time you buy an outfit, you need to really feel it. To be it. Until you and the dress are one. United in that brief moment of passion. And not every store or boutique has the power to make you really connect with a dress, a top or a scarf.

11751878_10153380165531878_706715836365228757_nI’m wearing Maxi dress: Cottons Jaipur | Bag: New Market, Calcutta | Neckpiece: Lifestyle

I personally love plaids, loose silhouettes and natural fibres. I love clothes I can breathe in and float about. I like contrasting styles, textures and breaking mental blocks in daily dressing. I like glamming up a ‘sack’ of a dress with bright beads or giving it some seriousness by pairing it with brogues. I love baggy denims, oversized boots and ultimately breaking its androgyny with a fluttery chiffon top. I like playing with my outfits. I love walking into the big fat Indian wedding wearing a cotton backless choli with a Nagaland hand-woven skirt and a Kalimpang fabric as dupatta. And to arrive to raised eyebrows as everyone has piled on more glitter than they can handle! Ha Ha!

There’s beauty in fashion, no denying that. But there’s more beauty in being creative on your own. By carefully handpicking pieces that connect to you. And then putting it all together in a flawless display of art.

So enough of the jargon. Should we get down to business? Here are a few designers, brands and stores that I love. I have covered all price ranges and all kinds of looks for a holistic approach to dressing. Don’t claim you’ll find your “The One” here but no harm in looking. Right?


SHOPPING GUIDE

Cherry Fig | assorted

This Mumbai brand sources outfits from all over. Slashed labels, minor defects, Global brand redo’s… you get the drift. But, and I am serious, if you really look, you will find some adorable clothes. I got myself a faded plaid ‘Vero Moda’ dress, some quintessential ripped denim shorts and an embroidered mini dress. Needless to say, I am very happy with Cherry Fig.

Addresses:

Dr BR Ambedkar Rd, Pali Village, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050


Khara Kapas | for dresses and contemporary Indian wear

If you love cotton and long flowing silhouettes, this is the place to shop from. I haven’t bought anything yet (I am on a budget), but if you have money to spare and a style sense to create, here’s where you should go. I absolutely love everything on display.

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Khara kapas

To shop Khara Kapas, click here

Mohh | for jewellery

Wedding or no wedding, festival or no festival, this collection of Indian-heritage inspired silver jewellery is going to leave you gasping for air. Yes, it’s that good. And I think Khara Kapas and Mohh are two brands that go well together. So, the next time you’re looking to give yourself a new look, you know what to do.

mohh

To shop Mohh, click here

Forever 21 | dresses and basics

Well well. It’s a cliché and you’re already probably shopping from here. But, I couldn’t help myself as I absolutely adore this brand. From basics to not-so-basics, their dresses and ganjis are just fabulous. The piles of clothing and jam-packed aisles may be a deterrent, but if you can muster up some courage and grab a bottle of cold water to keep dehydration in check, you will love what you get. In fact, even if something seems too blah at first, once you’ve got it, you will end up wearing your Forever 21 dress more often than any other dress. Just make sure you buy something simple and wearable rather than an over-short number that you’ll wear just once.

For instance, don’t you just love these plaid numbers?

forever 21

To shop Forever 21, click here

SSS OR Street Style Store | for shoes

Whether you’re on a budget or not, this is the place for shoes. I got myself a nude pair of Oxfords and they are extremely comfortable. And I paid just 700 bucks! It may take time to arrive and you may need to call them up a dozen times, but rest assured when it does come, it’ll all be worth it.

sss

To shop SSS, click here

Well, that’s all for now. Happy shopping. 🙂