Month: July 2015

These Celebrities Show You How to Rock Your Accessories

I personally believe that accessories can actually make or break a look. Fashion accessories fall into 4 major categories – Jewellery, Bags, Scarves and other fun stuff like hats, sunglasses, ipad sleeves, belts et all. The best way to learn anything is to observe the well dressed women around us and take a leaf from their trend books. In today’s age of social media, this is very easy to do. There are so many celebrities out there from whom you can draw inspiration to stay fashionable.The celebrities who have had a huge impact on me as far as the way they accessorize are concerned, are  Olivia Palermo and Sonam Kapoor.

Olivia is by far the goddess of accessorizing. She has a distinct style and a very classic and modern character to the way she dresses and pairs her accessories. She would most likely wear a simple and elegant plain black dress. But what would make it look stunning is the way she wore a pair of tasseled shoulder grazing earrings with it and carried a stunning clutch. The entire outfit is complete with these two accessories – the statement earrings and the beautiful clutch. For casual day wear you would most likely find Olivia in a pair of trendy ripped jeans and a white shirt with a vivid scarf wrapped stylishly around her neck. What I particularly love about Olivia is her attention to detail. She would finish her casual look with a pair of a canary yellow loafers to lend the look some quirky edge. This is precisely why she stands out with her style and is so different.
I absolutely love Sonam for her fearlessness when it comes to fashion. I almost envy her for the way she experiments with different styles and looks. One moment she is wearing a traditional Anamika Khanna outfit with a bold statement necklace and at the other moment she is flaunting a dramatic couture evening gown by  Elie Saab. She is a fashion chameleon and this is what I admire about her style. There is never a dull and boring moment in Sonam Kapoor’s fashion life. I specifically like the fact that she has a penchant for accessorizing diffrerently. She is always almost seen in very edgy accessories even when she is wearing something traditional and conservative. She completely owns her looks. She wore a McQueen style dress at Cannes last year with a kundan nath which was truly original and bold. She is truly an inspiration for anyone who follows fashion and likes to keep up with trends.

Another cool thing about accessories is that you can safely experiment with different looks. If you’re aiming to try out a rocker chic look, you dont have to immediately dress in ripped jeans and biker jackets. You can instead shop for necklaces or earrings with spikes on them and wear with your pair of jeans and a shirt. This will give you an instant and yet subtle makeover. When you experiment with fashion you’ll learn what makes you look good and what doesn’t. This is the only way to really learn.

ShriVyshnavi Annush for Fashion101

Jhumkas are perfect for the monsoon!

Jhumkas are perfect for the monsoon! There is a lot of history around this beautiful piece of jewellery. Jhumkas can be traced back to the era of the scriptures. If there ever was a piece of jewellery that can be called romantic and whimsical it most definitely is the jhumka.
There are myriad options to choose from. Pick from the different semi precious stoned jhumkas or the simpler two toned gold silver jhumkas. Wear a semi precious jhumkas in jade and crimson colors with an ethnic angharka. Another trendy way to style yourself is to wear a two toned jhumka with a simple solid colored burnt orange colored dress.  Sonam Kapoor the trendsetter seems to agree too! Have fun with beautiful traditional jhumkas during the monsoons!

Traditional Jewellery of Tamilnadu

 

Jewellery has always enjoyed a prominent mention in ancient Tamil literature. The five great Tamil epics of the Sangam period (3rd to 4th century BC ) mention the different types of traditional jewellery of Tamilnadu. It is indeed a pleasant surprise that most of the ornaments that have been mentioned in the ancient epics are still in existence today after many centuries. It is a clear sign that the women of Tamilnadu have had a lasting love affair with their jewellery and therefore managed to preserve most of the styles of the Sangam era. An important reason could be the dance of our state, Bharathanatyam, through which these precious styles of jewellery have been showcased and therefore have still managed to be around. Another reason for this could be that these timeless ornaments were handed over the generations and that is why they have stood the test of time. I think its a bit of both!
Chettinadu is a region in the Sivagangai district of southern Tamilnadu famous for its jewellery. The adigai is a very typical South Indian piece of jewellery typical of the Chettinadu region. It is  is a necklace that is worn close to the neck accentuating it. It is made of gold and red rubies otherwise known as kempu stones. Another common style of the adigai is the single stone diamond adigai. An adigai worn with your kancheevarams is the ultimate regal fashion statement. If you’re a South Indian woman worth her salt you definitely must own an adigai.
Contemporary fine jewellery from designer houses like Chopard and Bulgari are inspired by Mother Nature. The maangamalai and the kizhikaasu malai were no different. The mango fruit symbolizes fertility and the maangamalai was a must have piece of jewellery in Tamil families. It is a long necklace made of small gold mangoes threaded together on a chain with nagasau work on them. Nagasu work is a special form of intricate craftsmanship on gold jewellery found only in the south of India. The South Indian nagasu craftsmen are sought after by jewellery retailers from all over India for their beautiful handiwork on gold jewellery.
The kizhikaasu malai is an authentic Chettinadu necklace. It is a statement piece made with gold coins and a parrot on top of each of the coins. In the olden days, the women of the erstwhile families of Chettinadu had the goddess Lakshmi embossed on the front side of the coins. It was considered auspicious to wear the goddess of wealth and the popular belief still continues. Their family emblem, usually their fort, was embossed on the reverse side of the coins. One can order a kizhikaasu malai with the jewellery craftsmen of Chettinadu and you will find that even today an illustration of a fort is embossed on the reverse of the coins.
The odiyanam or the hip belt is a beautiful ornament that flatters the woman wearing it. It is made of gold and usually has goddess Lakshmi, parrots, peacocks and serpents (nagar) carved on it using the nagasu technique. Today in more modern designs you can find diamonds embellishing the front part of the hip belt called the mogapu. Personally I favour the old fashioned nagasu odiyanam. It is definitely a thing of beauty to treasure and hand it down to your daughters.
Popular earrings of Tamilnadu are the jimikis and the magara kuzhai. The jimikis are still favourites of the women of the South. You can choose between the big gundu gold jimiki or the diamond studded one. The magara kuzhai is a fish shaped earring studded with red rubies and pearls. Mookuthi and Besari are nose studs. They are usually studded with rubies and pearls or diamonds. You’ll find the women in the southern parts of Tamilnadu still wearing them on a regular basis.
The craftsmen of Chettinadu still hand make these precious pieces of jewellery. Since they are handcrafted there are bound to be imperfections. These imperfections are what makes these ornaments special, since no two pieces of jewellery can be the exact same. This is exactly why these pieces of jewellery are a pleasure to covet and own. Cherish and enjoy wearing these vintage treasures that have been handed down to you with your kancheevaram sarees.

-ShriVyshnavi Annush

Shop now for beautiful jimkis (or jhumkas) by Deepa Sethi on www.pookaari.com

How to stay cool with these summer fabrics!

India is a country that has a myriad of fabrics and weaves to offer from every nook and corner. The art of weaving has been mentioned in the oldest veda, 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. Indian summers are famous for their heat and humidity. What better to wear than the light weight cottons and linens of our nation? My favorite weaves are the Ikats, Madras Checks and the Chanderis. Of course linen is a fabric perfect for the sweltering heat of the season.
The ikats are 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. Ikat has truly gone global and how! From the runways of Missoni to Anita Dongre the Ikat pattern has been widely used across the world. A few high street brands like JCrew and Aldo have also had collections inspired by the Ikat weave. Ikat has a certain exoticism in the West and now you can find the pattern on Jonathan Adler designer crockery and Steven Elmer wallpapers too.
The “Madras Checks” is named after our very own Madras city, now known as Chennai. It is a lightweight cotton fabric that has a woven plaid pattern. It comes in a variety of colors 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 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 patronized 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. However the handwoven linen sarees are so 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.
Promise yourself to experiment this summer and stay trendy with the traditional fabrics of India. Let us be proud Indians!

ShriVyshnavi Annush

The monsoon has set in and all the trees look lush and healthy.

The monsoon has set in and all the trees look lush and healthy. Hurrah! Actually we in Coimbatore, have nothing to complain about the weather since there was really no summer to speak of. Monsoon is special to the Indian subcontinent and there is something very romantic about it.

Fashion wise, the biggest monsoon trends are all about carrying tote bags, colourful umbrellas, fun wellingtons, jolly flipflops and nice big ethnic jewellery.

Tote bags

Forget the boring brown and pick bold printed totes. The tote bag is the best fashion invention because you can fit pretty much everything that you need for a day. A versatile tote will fit in your wallet, stationery, books, medicines and the mobile battery bank that you just cannot live without. For me, the tote is the quintessential fashion buy. Look for quirky prints or florals. The quirkier the bag the more eyes it will draw and who doesn’t want to be looked at?

Umbrellas

My first childhood memory of the monsoon is a green umbrella with cartoon elephants printed all over it, and of course, jumping in puddles which was strictly forbidden. Therefore, I can’t imagine not having a stylish umbrella to get me through the monsoon. Neon umbrellas are a big trend at the moment. You can also pick up the transparent ones to add to your style quotient. My personal favourite is the Alexander McQueen umbrella that comes with a skull handle. Tres chic .

Wellies

Wellies short for Wellington boots is the most practical fashion trend of the rainy season. They usually are made of rubber. Forget buying the boring black ones that will make you look like a construction worker. Look for neon wellies in pop colours like fuchsia and orange. They will most certainly brighten up your outfit in this weather. Also, you can actually go for a stroll anywhere in the city without stressing over getting your feet muddy in the puddles. Wellies look best when worn with a pair of skinny jeans tucked into the boots, and a shirt.

Ethnic Jewellery

Movies are a huge influence on fashion. So, flaunting Indian jewellery during the monsoon is a must. Bring out the jhumkas and big hoop earrings and wear them with your palazzos and tunics. Ghunghroos are also very fashionable during this season. They lend you a delicate look. Wear them in your anklets or earrings. Even a necklace with ghunghroos on an indigo saree will make a style statement. Make some noise and have fun with ghunghroos!

Flipflops

Last but definitely not the least, the flip flops are a must have. All of us grew up with the memory of the white and blue rubber chappals. It is indeed a relief that we now have access to more stylish looking flip flops. The choice is abundant. Havianas are my favourite because they offer all kinds of floral prints and pretty colors. Wear flip flops with a casual outfit. A major fashion faux pas is to wear them with a dressy outfit for a formal occasion. Stick to wearing them for casual brunches on your deck or pool parties no matter how pretty they are. Of course, you can wear flip flops to the kai vandis selling the delicious molaga bajjis that are so very tempting during the monsoon.

Experiment and have fun with fashion!

An article by Shrivyshnavi for The Hindu MetroPlus, on June 29th, 2015