Desi Girl

Fashion, hyderabad, indian fashion blog, Indian wear, Look of the Day, Styling
Every once in a while I tend to come back to my Indian roots and desi dressing. In fact I would say it’s quite often! As much as I enjoy the comfort of a jeans and a tshirt or the feminine and flirty look of a lace dress, I would always always say that there is nothing as elegant and graceful as Indian wear. More than half the Indian population still dresses in a traditional attire so I never understand why as fashion bloggers we rarely feature Indian clothes on our blogs. As an Indian fashion blogger, I make it a point to include Indian wear as part of every day dressing and not just as festive wear or special occasion wear as most project it to be. Having grown up in a comparatively conservative city like Hyderabad, all of my college years were spent in churidars. My working years too were mostly in Indian formals, as that was the most obvious choice for the sweltering heat in the city!

When online shopping became a buzz a few years back, the options for western wear and International brands kept multiplying and soon you didn’t have to look beyond your laptop to have the latest trends and styles delivered to your doorstep. Up until then I was still going to my favorite local shops, buying vibrant prints of materials, mixing and matching prints, designing my own kurtas and blouses and trusting my local tailor to deliver the best stitched suits for everyday wear and festive wear. But with the new surge of online shopping sites for Indian wear that stock up on every kind of design, shopping for Indian wear has taken a whole new direction. Whether you are living abroad or living in India, getting your hands on sarees, lehengas and kurtas has never been easier. One such website that offers a great selection of designs along with customization options is CBazaar.

For this particular look, I wanted to play with different Indian accents that could be worn on an everyday basis. White is always an artist’s favorite color as it provides the perfect canvas to throw on splashes of color. Bandhani (tie-dye) dupattas need no introduction at all. The crinkled fabrics with vivid dramatic colors come in so many playful patterns. There is a whole lot of meticulous process involved in creating them and each pattern has a given name and is usually worn for a specific occasion. I had picked this pair of mojaris while street shopping in Pune, and although this is the first instance that I am wearing them I already have tons of ideas for remixing them with both Indian and Western wear. Finished my look with a pair of sliver jhumkas, a few bangles and a printed cloth bag for an evening spent walking around stalls, satiating my visual appetite and getting inspired with all the crafts, colors and designs around me.

So the next time you reach out to wear your pencil skirt or your skinny jeans, give it a miss at least once in a while and instead go the desi route. Don’t restrict yourself to wearing it only for festivals or weddings. We have a riot of colorful options that can look just as classy and trendy as a western outfit, so go exploit them to the fullest and be proud of wearing Indian attire! And in case you need a serious wardrobe update, don’t forget to check out Cbazaar for their various options!

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Dress: Stitched by local tailor | Bag: Shilparamam | Earrings and Mojaris: FC road Pune

Photography: Divya Medikonda

#LikeABoss

Fashion, Look of the Day, stalkbuylove, Styling
Hello #GirlBoss! Yes, you reading this sentence right now. You are a #GirlBoss aren’t you? Have you read Sophia Amoruso’s book #GirlBoss? It’s been one of the most talked about books in recent times so you must have. Even if you haven’t there must have been a couple of selfies here and there with the book strategically placed to be in the frame. Or next to your drink on the beach. Because that’s what real girl bosses do. Go to the beach, chill out with a drink in hand and read books that inspire you to build multimillion dollar companies. I admit I’ve been guilty of the same! So the book has been ripped apart from every angle by critics, some saying the hashtag tells its own sad story of being a ‘Girl Boss’ instead of a ‘Boss’, others showering praises over the fun, self-deprecating and self-aware author. Keeping all that aside, the essence of #GirlBoss still hits you strong. No I’m not claiming it will transform you overnight or that brilliant ideas will strike you at midnight or that you will somehow build yourself a multimillion dollar empire. But you will teach yourself to do stuff you don’t know instead of hiring someone to do it for you. You will stand up for your beliefs even if the whole world is against you. You will realize there is nothing wrong in asking for a helping hand. You will start to feel like a #GirlBoss and then then soon enough, start acting like one.

I was trying to channel my inner #GirlBoss (or just #Boss if its pleases you!) with this look and styling. Confident, independent, knows what she wants from life and is not afraid to go get it. Yes, we all falter, we have our moments of curling up in bed with a bag of potato chips, favorite tv show and refusing to get up until the universe gives up on plotting against us. But once a #GirlBoss always a #GirlBoss and eventually we bounce back.

I am being drawn to everything black and white these days. Probably because they form the perfect canvas to add a bit of color and sparkle. A tiny pop of orange made all the difference in the world to this monochrome look. Sometimes you just want a hassle free, no-nonsense outfit with no chunky necklaces or earrings or bracelets. Body chains are the perfect alternative for such occasions – you have jewelry on, but it really doesn’t get in your way! I just added my favorite pair of heels and a printed bag to complete the look and am ready to conquer the world #LikeABoss!

p.s – This post has been submitted for the “A style of my own” contest hosted by Women’s Web and Trishla emart

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Jumpsuit, Bag: StalkBuyLove | Body chain: Forever21 | Shoes: SteveMadden | Blazer: Gifted
Photography by: Divya Medikonda

Maandna

collaboration, Fashion, indian fashion blog, Look of the Day, maandna, new year, Styling
January always reminds me of spring and bright colors. Being in South India is equivalent to having practically no winters at all, except for a short span of a month or two. This month is definitely my favorite as it still retains a bit of chill factor and lovely foggy mornings, without the numbing, uncomfortable cold of December. Light layering, bright colors, iced drinks in the afternoons and hot drinks in the evenings is what January is made of! And of course the new year, the fresh start, new plans and all that excitement associated with it (which of course lasts a very short while when we quickly realize that this year is no better or worse than the previous one!).

In keeping with my mood, I decided to wear this bright and cheerful tunic, with tassels in the front,  from Maandna. It’s a recently launched brand on Flipkart, with very comfortable silhouettes and peppy warm colors. I’ve never been into over the top clothing whether for casual wear or festivities, and Maandna with it’s pure cotton & gold khadi print tunics, fits the bill perfectly! I specially loved this and this for the carefully crafted mirror work and embroidery. All their embroidery work is done by desert artisans of Bikaner. Although their collection is limited in number, they have made up for it by making sure that every single piece from their collection is something you would want to buy. I would any day prefer that than to search through a hundred pieces and narrow down on one!

I wanted to make this a cheerful post and what better way to spread cheer than through flowers! And since I am still hungover last month’s get-togethers and celebrations, it just made sense to prolong the holiday mood by adding a bit of sparkle with these copper toned heels and a fancy box clutch.

p.s – Welcome on board for another year of fashion, travel and style inspiration! This first post is dedicated to YOU guys (clearly the below picture indicates!)

Tunic: Maandna | Trousers: c/o Lifestyle | Earrings: oasap.com | Box clutch: Local boutique | 
Heels: Dorothy Perkins via jabong.com

The labour colony

Fashion, grunge, indian fashion blog, leather vest, Look of the Day, max fashion, Styling
I’ve always maintained that fashion & styling for me, are like a blank canvas waiting to be filled up with your vivid imagination and wild ideas. You can tell any story you want, become any character you desire, and look like a million bucks without actually spending much. Last week I was invited to the Max fashion store at Hyderabad, to pick and style a few pieces from their recently launched Winter Collection. The store has been surprising me with every visit with their International trends at affordable prices and the rate at which new products are being churned out every few weeks.

My style has always leaned towards the ‘casual and laid back’ side, but this time after browsing through the collection I wanted to do something very different. As a blogger and an artist I have a constant stream of visual story telling ideas buzzing through my mind, and sometimes the outfit, the backdrop, the styling, the theme and the photography – it all falls into place like a perfectly written story.

A pair of printed pants and a stunning faux leather vest formed the base for this outfit. Once the base is sorted, you are free to mold, sculpt and shape your look to perfection in any way you please. After browsing through my accessory collection, and a brainstorming session with my photographer, we decided to do a tough grunge look while still retaining a bit of femininity and grace, with the color black, being the main focus. I personally find it fascinating how dressing a certain way can bring out certain traits and characteristics in your behavior, that are associated with that particular look. The texture of the vest, the sharp angles of the necklace adding a toughness to the look and the skinny printed pants, the casual ease of sunglasses on your head providing the much needed feminine balance!

Leather jackets/vests make a statement no matter how you wear them. I am strictly against pure leather, but here are some tips on styling a faux leather vest:

  • Make it an all black or shades of grey/black look like the one am wearing
  • Style it over maxi dresses to toughen up the look a bit
  • Try a different shade of faux leather like burgundy or dark blue instead of black
  • Wear it on white or any light colored tops & dresses for a contrast

Visual story telling is an art, and I think we’ve achieved more than what we could hope for while styling and shooting for this look. Waking up at 5am for this was totally worth it! 

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(faux) leather vest & pant: Max fashions | Shoes: Catwalk | Sunglasses and necklace: Forever21
Photography by: Divya Medikonda’s Perspective

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The Purple Sack

bags online, collaboration, Fashion, Look of the Day, maxi dress, shopping, Styling, the purple sack
When it comes to shopping, I have always been a lone wolf. Albeit a happy one! I prefer going alone, and wrapping up my work quick. I usually am a fast shopper, and going with friends always means that I end up waiting for them to finish going through every single piece of clothing and turning the store upside down only to walk out with nothing. If given a chance, they would probably order new stock and reject that too. While I do love offering my opinion and helping them choose a perfect outfit, combining my own shopping agenda with theirs is a big no! Also in the list of big no-no’s while shopping are long queues at the trial room (standing for half an hour to try out one dress, which I know will never fit me is not the kind of retail therapy I look for), blaring announcements specially over the weekends, and the crowds! My best time for shopping has always been in the afternoons on weekdays, where I can be at peace and not have to feel like am trying to wade through a sea of people, all intent on stamping on my feet.

So we decided to turn the whole ‘going shopping’ experience into a shoot in itself. With online shopping taking over our my life so rapidly, it felt like a good old trip to the mall deserved it’s own post, with actual window shopping, a lot of walking and a bite to eat! I wore a comfortable blue maxi dress and added a statement clutch by thepurplesack. Their collection of sling bags and satchels is extensive and colorful! Not to mention their range of home decor items (totally crushing on their coasters and cushion covers). So while I re-acquaint myself with the charm of an empty shopping mall and sales assistants descending upon me like vultures on their prey, you guys enjoy a trip through the mall with these pretty pictures shot by my awesomesauce photographer!

 
Dress: jabong.com | Bag: thepurplesack.com | Shoes: donebynone.com  
Photography by: Divya Medikonda
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Styling with Limeroad.com – Look 4

collaboration, Fashion, Indian wear, limeroad, Look of the Day, saree, Styling

The last and final post from the series and also one of my favorites for the most obvious reason. It’s a saree! limeroad.com has an amazing collection of sarees and after wearing this one for a family get together at a resort, I can totally vouch for the quality.

When it comes to sarees, there are three things that I look for 1)The material – I mostly stick to light weight sarees in silk, silk+cotton mix and georgettes 2) Color – There are traditional color combinations specially in silk which are ‘must haves’, apart from that I try to not repeat buying the same color combinations 3) Prints – I have a Masaba streak in me, and I simply love quirky prints on sarees.

For this look I went with material and color. It’s a light weight georgette saree with a dual tone pallu. For some reason, I have a mental block against the color pink and I tried to break through that with this saree. I think I did pretty okay right? The color and the fall of this saree is perfect for daytime wear. Easy to carry, walk around and balance a plate of food along with multiple walks to the buffet table without tripping even once. Score!
 

 
 

 

Saree, clutch, shoes: limeroad.com

Hope you guys enjoyed all the looks I put together! You can see the other looks, which practically cover all your wardrobe needs, here – look1, look2, look3 

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Styling with Limeroad.com – Look3

collaboration, Fashion, limeroad, Look of the Day, Styling, work wear
Workwear in India has gone through a massive makeover and the options you have now, as compared to a few years back, are innumerable. There was a time, about five years back when I used to struggle to find well fitted formal clothing. Maybe I din’t know where to look or maybe it was my thin body shape, but they were all so ill-fitting and the shirts looked like they were thrown on a hanger. The first time that I found completely satisfying formal clothing was when I went to Europe. Yes, of all the places! The cut, the fabric, the colors and the fit – it was all perfect! I remember cribbing about the severe lack of choice in India. I almost felt like bringing back a truckload of them so that they would last me forever, and I kind-of did!

They were perfect for my formal corporate working environment, and with a combination of western formals and our very own comfortable Indian formals a.k.a kurtis, my work wear wardrobe was pretty much complete. As my work environment started to get a bit more relaxed, I began to experiment more with business-casuals. As much as I love the power packed punch that a crisp shirt-trouser-blazer combination provides, I have to say it’s really not weather appropriate, unless you are sitting in a freezing cold air conditioned office all day long.

For a mind with a creative bent, a routine with no fixed timings, and work that can quickly merge into a dinner, I prefer playing around with comfortable Indian clothing in different cuts and colors, that is at the same time office-appropriate. This printed asymmetrical kurta from limeroad.com is one such piece that can be easily transitioned from desk to dinner, with just the addition of a couple of accessories. Comfortable and bright – definitely cheers up the workspace right?! 

Kurti, clutch, necklace: limeroad.com

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Styling with Limeroad.com – Look2

collaboration, Fashion, Indian wear, limeroad, Look of the Day, Styling, wedding
My staple outfit for attending any wedding is always either a saree (if it’s a very close friend/relative’s wedding) or an anarkali (yawn!). I know anarkalis are here to stay forever and as much as we tell ourselves that the trend shall pass soon, it doesn’t. It’s what we see literally everywhere around us and it’s ultimately what we end up buying. But sometimes you do get vexed and crave for other options. Well that’s when I always turn to a saree. The only gripe I have against a saree is that it can’t be mixed and matched in a lot of ways. So after the slightly alarming rate at which my saree collection has been growing, I decided I can’t simply keep buying one for every occasion. You could say why not? and I don’t really have a good answer for that. Let’s just resist the temptation and spare our purse strings this one time shall we?

When I spotted this Mandarin collar black kurta at limeroad.com, I decided it would be the perfect piece to mix and match for a unique, stand out outfit. I completely stepped out of my comfort zone and paired it with the skirt part of one of my tailor made pattu langa (half-saree) and I quite liked how it turned out. A side braid, a sparkly clutch and drop earrings was all it took to finish the look! If you’ve got a winter wedding or any function to attend, this look would be perfect to make you stand out and keep you warm (no chilly breeze sneaking through your saree!)

Black kurta, clutch: limeroad.com | Lehenga/skirt: Tailor made | Accessories: My own
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Styling with Limeroad.com – Look1

Coffee, Fashion, limeroad, Look of the Day, Styling
The end of the year is approaching and the next two months are a busy time of the year for many, what with various festive holidays, christmas parties, weddings and new year get-togethers to attend. It’s also the onset of winter and the time we all heave a sigh of relief for getting a little respite from the heat. The hot chocolate drinks and cozy mornings under blankets are all well and good, but styling for tropical winters (which is my term for winters in Indian cities where it’s only chilly in the mornings and evenings) poses a slight challenge. You don’t want to don too many layers, because by mid-day you’ll want to start peeling them all off. At the same time you want to wear something warm and comfortable and look chic the entire day.

Am sure all of us have these specific online stores that we go to for specific items. Shoes from one brand, blazers that fit you great from another store. Frankly it sometimes annoys me to keep ten tabs open and check them all for new arrivals, items on sale, and I’m always wishing there was one store where I could find everything I needed – one store that has my back for all my activities ranging from coffee dates/meetings, work days followed by dinner, friend’s wedding to family functions and parties. And at the same time not compromise on quality or on my personal style. On my search for this utopian website, when I came across limeroad.com, it seemed to fulfill all these requirements, in theory at least. So I decided to test it out practically, and see if I could come up with an outfit, for all the occasions in my social calendar.

For my first look, I wanted something that would keep me put together the whole day, as I spent the morning working on my paintings, replying to blog emails, then running errands, and finally ending my evening at my favorite coffee shop. I wore a comfortable black printed kurta, paired with a pair of blue palazzos and cinched it at the waist with a chain belt. I always dress according to my mood and occasion. Since my dressing depends on my feelings and is very spontaneous, it can lead to all sorts of eclectic combinations. The bright blue palazzos only made me want to add a few more hues of blue to the outfit, and hence the blue earrings and sandals. All in all it was definitely the kind of laid back outfit I would have picked for an easy going day!

Kurta, shoes, earrings: limeroad.com | Palazzos: Biba
Photography by: Divya Medikonda
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Put a cape on it!

capes, Fashion, Look of the Day, oasap, Styling
Who says capes are only for superheros and magicians? Capes, long shirts and long cardigans are the new trends in town, making us feel like we are all superwomen! Although I don’t really follow trends, I’m totally loving capes and how dramatic they look on any simple outfit. They seem to be everywhere, right from the ramp at fashion week to high street retail brands. Personally I feel there are so many possible ways to style them, given the kind of variety you have in the lengths, fabric and silhouette. 
For this look I picked the most basic long cape/shirt dress. After a burst of colorful outfits on the blog, I wanted to keep it muted in black, grey and white with hints of gold. This can be styled as a shirt dress with a belt over it, under a printed maxi skirt, over shorts and a tee to name a few ideas. So show me how you would style a cape by tagging me on instagram (@thegirlatfirstavenue). Meanwhile I’m off to superwoman things!

Jeans: Recap | Tshirt: Splash | Shoes: Catwalk | Cuff: Forever21 | Cape & Spike earring: oasap(buy here and here)
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