Fun & Flirty!

What do you wear on a date night in summer? A pretty chiffon dress in a trendy color of the season. Pair a glamorous punk chic necklace to give the otherwise soft girly look an edge. Necklaces with crystals, spikes and tassels are fashionable right now. The trending colors for summer are pastels in all shades, whites , coral and turquoise. You can’t go wrong with this look. Or you could up the edgy quotient by wearing a pair of black ripped skinny jeans which are all the rage right now and a chiffon shirt with a stand out necklace. The number 1 rule to follow while wearing a statement neckpiece is to keep the earrings simple. Wear a pair of classic hoops or studs for that neat chic look.

Surukku Pai

Surukku pai is a small bag usually made out of fabric with drawstrings used as a closure. This could easily be one of the oldest accessories in the South of India. The surukku pai culture began in Madurai. Most of us will remember our grandmoms or their friends sporting a surukku paitucked into their sari at their waists. A vivid memory I have, is of the elderly ladies who were regulars at the Jaganatha Perumal temple, fiddling with their surukku pais. It was an accessory with a lot of utilitarian value. Usually the ladies would wear malli poo in their kondai and carry their Vethilai paaku and some money in their pais. Those were the good old days when cellphones didn’t exist and nobody carried their makeup around. So you didn’t need a huge bag. The surukku pai was a much more aesthetic and handy version of the manja pai.
Chenthamarai, a tailor in Papanaickenpalayam reminisces that he used to stitch the surukku pais from the left over bits of cloth given to stitch blouses at no extra charge. In more recent years the paati’s surukku pai has transformed into a more contemporary fashion accessory. The surukku pai has given way to the chic potlis or the batwas of today.  Younger women generally tend to pair a polti with a sari or a salwar kameez. The potlis come out in a rainbow of colors during the wedding season when they attend many a muhurtham. Designers have also made the batwa an accessory to own. My favourite designer duo of the batwa are Chamee & Palak. More widely known for their lehengas, their batwas are unique and ornate.
A temple border kancheepuram sari paired with a simple mangalagiri cotton potli for a morning function is elegance personified. On the contrary, carry a hand embroidered batwa made of benares silk fabric for a night out to feel luxurious and grand. The beauty of the modern surukku pai lies in the fact that you can use it to dress up or dress down as you deem fit for the occasion. The potli is also a good gift to give your family and friends. It is indeed a lovely piece of handcrafted art that represents our culture and heritage and therefore the most appropriate gift to give your friends from abroad. It shows them our diverse crafts and the variety of textiles our country has to offer. Be a fashionista and carry your surukku pai with pride!

ShriVyshnavi Annush for The Hindu MetroPlus


Frame a statement

Summer is the season to bring out your florals and whites and, of course, your collection of sunglasses. A great way to stay cool this summer is to wear shades. They come in a variety of colours and shapes. The four biggest sunglass trends seen on models and runways are the Lennons, the Aviators, the Oversized Cat Eye and the Mirrored sunglasses.

Made famous by music legend John Lennon of The Beatles, these sunglasses are round with a shell frame. It’s retro chic and is the trendiest shape to own and wear this summer. You can wear it all day to work and back with your pair of linen trousers and a cotton shirt to beat the heat.

A more fun and cool way to wear this trend is to pair the Lennons with a madras checks cotton dress. If you want to be bolder and experiment with being a Bohemian, wear the Lennons with a floral maxi and a floral wreath in your hair.

The aviators have been around for a long time now and make their way back to the top of the fashion list almost every summer. Synonymous with pilots, they are cool and hip to sport. They lend you that edgy chic like no other, whether you’re wearing them on your long mountain drives or to the beach. Ripped jeans, a white top and a pair of aviators are all you need to be a fashionable summer rebel.

The oversized cat eye is currently one of the biggest trends seen at European fashion weeks. The cat eye makes you feel like a diva at once. The popular Italian actress Sophia Lauren made it popular.

Wear them with a knee-length dress to hike up your glamour quotient. Coachella is a popular music and arts festival held in California every year and the fashion trends spotted there usually become a rage the world over. Mirrored sunglasses were a huge trend there this year. But they are definitely not for the faint hearted. You can pick them up in all colours of the rainbow. Stay stylish with a pair of mirrored shades worn with a long skirt in pastel pink and a white crop top.

If you have a round face, the oversized cat eyed pair of sunglasses or the mirrored one is the best shape for you. A square-shaped face can rock the aviators. If you have an oval face, consider yourself lucky because all shapes look awesome on you. For a heart-shaped face, pick the round Lennons for a perfect fit. Go own the pair that works for you.

The aviators have been around for a long time and make their way back to the top of the fashion list almost every summer.

– ShriVyshnavi Annush for the Hindu Metro Plus, 16th May 2015


Walk like a Bohemian Tribal!

What exactly is bohemian style ? It’s attributed to the gypsies of eastern Europe. Their style is long flowing skirts, floral tops and stacked accessories. The Bohemian trend is very hot this summer. Add to it a bit of tribal fashion be it a tribal printed skirt or a necklace and voila you’re insta fashionable! So to be a trendy diva on vacation this summer, stack the necklaces. You could wear a couple or even go up to 3 depending on how big a statement you want to make. Wear the layers with a bustier and long skirt like our model. Another way to own this Boho tribal look is to layer a few pendants. Choose earthy semi precious stone pendants to stay true to the look.

5 Jewellery Pieces Every Girl Must Get Her Hands On

The key to going from drab to fab is picking the right accessories. Here are the hottest pieces this summer.

1. Statement Necklace – Every girl must own a couple of statement neckpieces. An important rule to follow is to keep the earrings simple while wearing a statement necklace. So wear a pair of minimal studs in the same colour as the necklace that you’re wearing. Bold necklaces are very fashionable at the moment. Make a statement in the boardroom with a statement necklace paired with a white cotton shirt and trousers. A funky alternative is to wear a statement necklace with a sari for work. It will make a serious statement for sure. You could also explore your punk side by wearing a necklace with spikes and stones. It’s edgy and very chic especially when worn with a linen dress for summer.

2. Layered Pendants – Layering pendants is a very bohemian trend. This trend has been spotted at all fashion weeks across the globe. Wear turquoise and citrine coloured pendants with a white cotton midi dress to be summer ready. Another way to be a gypsy goddess is to wear a few pendant necklaces with a pair of jeans and a casual shirt.

3. Tassel Earrings – Tassels are trending on all runways the world over. An easy and quick way to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe is to own a pair of tassel earrings. There are a few ways that you can flaunt tassel earrings. You can pair them with a pair of denim shorts and a funky tie and dye T-shirt to chill out at a pool party this summer. Another way to wear the tassel trend is to wear the earrings with a floral printed maxi dress for a summer party. Tassels for me mean freedom and summer is the perfect season to have fun with them.

4. Bold Blue Rings – Blue is the trendiest colour of the season. So why not buy a few bold rings in shades of blue? Turquoise, aqua and indigo are all fashionable colours right now. Wear a bold ring with a chikankari kurta and leggings for a day out with your family. Or wear these rings with a shift dress in navy or white for a movie date with your special someone.

5. Hand Harness – Besides rings, hand harnesses or haathphools are funky and fun. You’ll be insta-cool if spotted wearing a hand harness. There are a variety of haathphools that you can wear. A simple chain link hand harness worn with ripped jeans is a huge trend this season. An ethnic hand harness with a full-length skirt and a crop top will make you stand out in a crowd. Go out there and have fun experimenting with hand harnesses!

Remember to have fun while staying stylish!

ShriVyshnavi Annush for Fashion 101, 7th May 2015


Casually summer!

Look cool this summer with shades and cotton scarves. The trendiest sunglasses are the round shaped shell framed Lennons, named after the music legend John Lennon of The Beatles. Think hip, trendy and Coachella! Wrap a light and airy cotton scarf over your shorts and crop stop and be insta chic this summer. All shades of blue – Indigo, Aqua and turquoise are trending at the moment. Stay fashionable by picking a blue scarf!

Whats hot for the party season?

Its that time of the year when everyday there is a party to go to. Each one of us is in a celebratory mood, eager to meet our friends and family who have come home for the holidays from near and far.The hottest trends at the moment are fringes and shimmer. Shimmer is ubiquitous for dinner parties. Its glamorous and brings out the diva in you. A long gold lame maxi dress is sure to make you feel like a showstopper in a fashion show. Tall women look best in a maxi. If you’re the petite type of woman, the best type of dress to wear is a short one that reaches until just above your knees. Accessorize it with a gold colored belt at your waist and voila, you have upped your style quotient. To complete the look, wear a pair of glittering gold stilletos. It is the party season after all, so be bold and own your style.On the contrary, if you’re the kind of woman who likes to play it safe but would also like to be fashionable, carry a glittering metallic evening bag in gold or silver. For a more traditional occasion, one can always wear a chiffon sari and pair it with a sequinned blouse. The blouse lends instant character to the otherwise plain sari and will dress up the whole outfit.
Now lets talk about the other trend on the runway – the fringe. There is something about the fringe look that shouts casual luxury! The easiest way to own the fringe look is to flaunt it with accessories. A sling bag with fringe detail is the “in” thing and the easiest way to stay trendy. The brands that I really like are Zara and Rebecca Minkoff.
Another way to stay trendy, is to wear a pair of fringe gold colored earrings with your little black dress, popularly known as the LBD. Depending on the occassion, you could wear the earrings even with a lovely kancheepurarm sari. A mix of the traditional and contemporary will most definitely make people stop, take notice and compliment you. If you’d like to be a tad bit bolder, experiment with fringe detailed shoes. The exquisitely detailed and dramatic fringe detailing on your pair of stilettos is sure to draw all eyes to your feet. Schutz and Chloe are well known luxury brands for their fringed stilettos.Its okay once in a while to splurge on shoes. A word of caution, these stilettos are definitely not for the faint hearted.
My favourite way to flaunt the fringe look, is to wear a leather jacket with fringe trimmings over my favorite pair of blue denims and boots. It keeps me comfortable and stylish at the same time. A popular belief is that in order to keep up with the latest fashion trends one has to sacrifice comfort. I disagree! Its picking what works for you and your body type that makes you truly stylish.

ShriVyshnavi Annush for the Hindu MetroPlus, December 26th 2014


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

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