Month: April 2015

Indian cotton and silk fabrics

India has a myriad of fabrics and weaves to offer from every nook and corner of the land. There is a mention of the art of weaving in the Rig Veda. The oldest Indian fabric can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilization. History shows us that Indian cotton and silk fabrics have been sought after by foreign countries for centuries. And there is a wealth fabric for us to choose from.

To deal with the heat and humidity of Indian summers what better than the cottons and linens of our nation? My favourite summer picks are the Ikats and Madras checks and as for the fabrics, the Chanderis and linen.

The Ikat is primarily from Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The Sambalpuris from Orissa, the Pochampally from Andhra and the Patolas of Gujarat are the most popular Ikat varieties. From the runways of Missoni to Anita Dongre, the Ikat has been widely used across the world. A few high street brands like JCrew and Aldo also have collections inspired by the Ikat weave. Jonathan Adler designer crockery and Steven Elmer wallpapers also proudly bear the Ikat design.

The Madras Checks is a lightweight cotton fabric that has a woven plaid pattern. It comes in a variety of bright colours and is another trend that has taken the world by storm. Every summer the runways go berserk with Madras Checks and its no different this time. Be seen in a bold Madras Check saree to stay fashionable during this season! Paul Smith and Gant, popular men’s clothing brands have also incorporated the Madras Checks in their summer collections. So now even the men have reason to stay trendy.

Chanderi is a village in Madhya Pradesh, well known for its lightweight cotton and silk fabrics. The Chanderi dates back to the Vedic period. It is born out of a special art of weaving with fine textured cotton and silk yarn and embellished with zari borders. It has always been patronised by royalty. The Chanderis hold a special place in my heart for their sheer texture. It is by far the most comfortable fabric to wear for our summer season. The luxury of the transparent Chanderi is like no other.

It has come a long way from its traditional floral and peacock motifs. The more modern versions feature tie and dye, geometrical patterns and moustache prints. My favourite Chanderis are from Vishal Kapur.

Linens are always associated with crisp shirts and leave you with a sense of austerity. Handwoven linen sarees are soft and feel wonderful to wear during summer.

Anavila makes the most luxurious linen sarees in a range colors. You’ll find pastels, all shades of beige, charcoal and black too. She has indeed given the otherwise plain linen saree a contemporary edge and made it fashionable to be seen in.

So promise yourself to experiment this summer and stay trendy with the traditional fabrics of India. Let us be proud Indians.

– Shrivyshnavi Annush for the Hindu Metroplus, 25th April, 2015
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/ikat-and-chanderi-cool/article7139066.ece

She sells sea shells on the sea shore!

Going on a beach vacay or to a pool party? Wear a statement necklace with shorts and a crop top and you’re all set. Don’t forget the sunscreen, funky flip flops, funky shades and a hat! Of course bring your inner mermaid along! We at Pookaari believe that if you accessorize right you’ll be an instant fashion diva. You can also wear a statement necklace with a printed maxi dress or a plain white or ivory tired linen knee length day dress. The shades that are trending at Pookaari this summer are the round ones with our without a shell frame.

Shoe love is true love!

Shoes! The very word gives me a feeling of unexplainable elation. I’m yet to meet a woman who has enough shoes in her closet. According to me, there are two types of women, one who openly admits and talks about her addiction to buying shoes and more shoes and also revels in this very fact. The other kind of woman is secretly obsessed with shoes but dare not admit it, lest people around her end up judging her as being frivolous. Nevetheless, every woman loves buying and owning shoes. Every single time I walk into a shoe store my heart beats a wee bit faster. The aisles of wedges, sandals, ballet flats, stilettos, pumps, sling backs, loafers, boots, espadrilles and even sneakers transport me instantly to shoe heaven. My earliest memory of associating shoes with being a stylish and elegant accessory is from when I was 8 years old. It was at a Christmas party in the Coimbatore club that Mohini aunty, my mom’s friend was wearing a pair of beautiful glittering stilettos and I remember thinking that she looked so very pretty. Every little girl will secretly try out her mom’s pair of sandals and can’t wait to grow up in order to fit into them.  I was that girl too. I realize that its come full circle when I see both my daughters doing it now. A shoe is the perfect accessory to dress up an outfit. Its almost synonymous with the perfect partner in crime but in this case the crime is to be a diva. Some of the famous iconic shoe brands to own are Loboutins, Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos. They are the most coveted by women all around the world. While Loboutins are recognizable by their red soles, Manolos are known for their ever fashionable pumps, and Jimmy Choos make you think of shiny sandals that every woman dreams of owning. Start your day with a pair of comfortable pumps or a pair of nice looking flat strappy sandals. For an occasion you can always fall back on the ever faithful pair of stilettos that wont let you down. When you’re wearing a sari, pair it with a pair of gold wedges embellished with stone crytsals and hand embroidery to look grand. For this season, its important to own and flaunt a pair of boots. They look best worn with jeans and a shirt. If its going to be your first pair, then buy a black one so that  you can wear it through the day and also at night. Fashion is about being versatile and knowing what makes you look good. Its not only about following trends. Luckily with online shopping, we are spoilt for choice. For shoe shopping, check out www.myntra.com and www.jabong.com. They offer a range of styles to choose from  and their size charts are easy to follow. I’m sure that you will agree with me that whenever you wear heels you feel a little more confident. They make you feel like you can take on the whole world and make it work, don’t you?

– Shrivyshnavi Annush for the MetroPlus, November 2014

 

Be a spring summer fairy with these looks!

Be a spring summer fairy with these looks! Think flowers, butterflies and all things summer. For the summer champagne brunch wear a simple A line linen dress in ivory and flaunt a statement necklace to go with it. All things statement are trending this summer! The looks that you see here are very mid summer night’s dream! Whimsical and quirky charms adorn this Quirk Box necklace designed especially for Pookaari.
If you want to keep it simple on a summer holiday wear a blue shift dress with a long necklace. Seen here is a House of Hula necklace curated by Pookaari. Blue is the hottest color trend for this season. It reminds you of blue skies and the sea! Pair quirky charmed accessories with simple dresses all through summer to stay on trend!

Khadar – Then & Now!

Khadi or Khadar is a hand spun and handwoven fabric primarily made out of cotton. Khadi can be traced back to the 6th century AD. The Romans were our main customers during those times. It is a versatile fabric that keeps the wearer cool in summers and warm in winters.
Khadi is a revolutionary fabric that we as Indians, will always associate with Gandhiji , Swaraj and the Swadeshi movement. The mere mention of Khadi conjures up an image of the Mahatma sitting at a charkha(the spinning wheel) and spinning Khadi. The truth is that, it is as relevant today as it was during the Independence movement, especially since the “Make in India” campaign is top most in all our minds. It is a fabric that will forever be intertwined with India’s past, present and future. Khaddar is no longer the redundant fabric that only our politicians wear. Once  thought of as a simple man’s garb, it has now been reinvented in so many different avatars. The credit goes to a handful of our fashion designers who have made Khadi trendy. Their creativity has given birth to more contemporary and stylish versions of the fabric, the we can relate to and wear proudly.
The trendsetting designers of the modern Khadi movement are Ritu Kumar and Rahul Mishra. While Ritu Kumar’s creations are more traditional, Rahul Mishra is a master couturier known for his minimalistic silhouettes. A handful of emerging designers who work with Khadi are Neeru Kumar and  Shashikant Naidu. Neeru Kumar’s “khadiwear” comes in both vibrant and sombre colors depending on the season. At Lakme Fashion week this year, Shashikant Naidu’s khadi creations were very elaborate and luxurious. A chat with him revealed that his pin tucked khadi tunics consumed 12 meters of khadi. They were the most sought after occasion wear. These designers have indeed played a key role in the West viewing Khadi as a fabric that lends itself to being young, modern and fashionable.
A starched khadi shirt slightly crushed at the elbows has more character than a shirt in any other modern fabric. On the other hand, soft khadi is luxurious and drapes like a dream. It is in a way a sublime fabric! Flaunt a Khadi sari or a khadi tunic with palazzos and you’re sure to stand out in a crowd.

-As written by ShriVyshnavi Annush for The Hindu Metroplus, in October 2014

Let’s party like its the 1970s!

Tie-dye is one of the trend forerunners of the Spring Summer 2015. Featured by a number of designers at the Milan Spring 2015 fashion week, including Gucci, Alexander Wang and Prada, the free spirited hippie look has taken over the fashion world with a storm. Maxi dresses, kaftans, bell bottomed pants and flowy skirts should replace your denims this summer, for the 70’s was all about freedom and independence. Pair these up with bohemian style neck pieces, or large agate pendants to add to the bold colours.

Psychedelic patterns in bright neon colours are now trending on accessories as well! Tie n dye clutches by Arancia, now on www.pookaari.com, are the best carry-ons for any occasion for this season.

The Hindu MetroPlus – The trends of the festive season!

An article by ShriVyshnavi Annush, written for the Hindu MetroPlus in September, 2014 talking about the trends of the festive season!

Pooja Chic!
Navarathri, Durga Pooja, Dussehra are some of the names given for the 9 days of celebrating the feminine form of the divine. The poojas are all about festivities and spiritual indulgence in different parts of our country. And what better occasion to play dress up than during Navarathri? The best part of living in India is that trends change depending on the festival that is being celebrated, rather than something as mundane as just the weather.
The full length skirt is the chicest trend to sport during the pooja season. Its fun,charming and embodies femininity and therefore very apt for this season. The skirt comes in a myriad of hues and fabrics. Orange, Fuchsia and Tangerine are the colors to be seen in for the pooja season. Pick the crinkled silk ones or the printed cotton ones to wear. Be adventurous and wear the skirt in its trendiest avatar, with a long tunic in a contrasting color and a dupatta. There is something about the skirt that allows you to relive memories of your childhood when you twirled around in your paavadai until you became dizzy or until one of the elders in the family chided you to stop.
When it comes to the accessories that you can pair the skirt with, you are spoiled for choice. Haath phool which literally means “ hand flower” dates back to the Mughal era. Traditionally worn by the bride on her wedding day, haath phools or hand harnesses designed with a contemporary twist, worn on one hand are all the rage now.  Potlis made of hand embroidered nets in various colors with traditional gota work are another hot trend this season. So, the phone that we cant live without, a lipstick and a key bunch can all fit into the versatile potli, our very own Indian version of the little evening bag. Last but not the least, pair the skirt with silver anklets. Ornate or simple, the anklets complete the ensemble. In the end, its much more fun to visit golus and play the gharba with the tinkling and auspicious sound of the anklets.

Tassels and Fringes are trending on all runways this season

Tassels and Fringes are trending on all runways this season. Manish Malhotra opened LFW Summer Resort with a beautiful collection featuring tassels. AIFW (Amazon India Fashion Week) had designers Hemant & Nandita and Nikasha Tawadey showcasing the trend beautifully with their clothes. The sway and freedom of tassels is always liberating. Stay trendy this summer by experimenting with your accessories. A handwoven linen scarf with tassels on the ends can be worn on a pastel colored tunic or even on a kurta. Another way to accessorize is to wear jewellery with tassels. A funky tasseled earring curated by Pookaari with a simple white cotton top and a bright colored skirt is what you need to wear this season!