Gauri Nainika: The Timeless Collection

Gauri & Nainika Karan launched their label Gauri & Nainika in January 2002 in New Delhi. An evening-wear brand with styles ranging from cocktail dresses to elaborate bespoke gowns, the label offers glamorous, elegant and chic clothing for women. With a design philosophy that is distinctly feminine and European, their collections are being retailed at exclusive boutiques in India and the Middle East.

Inspired by European fashion history, art, music, books, personalities, theatre, old Hollywood, red carpet glamour and pictures of their mother from the 70s, the brand has always had an extremely feminine and romantic design philosophy with styles that are luxurious yet understated. With a strong emphasis on fabric, cut and color, the designs focus on shape and flattering silhouettes. By combining tailoring with drapery, the garments are meticulously crafted and have a timeless appeal where old world charm, fantasy and elegance are brought bang up to date. Femininity forms the essence of the label where the paradoxical combination of drama and subtlety can be seen in even its simplest styles.

The label caters to those who like to dress with a sense of occasion. The styles are for a self-determining woman who is sophisticated, elegant and embraces femininity in fashion.

Gauri & Nainika Karan grew up in New Delhi. Though originally students of Economics, they were always inclined towards fashion and the creative arts. After studying at The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT, New Delhi), they launched their ready-to-wear label Gauri & Nainika. They grew up inspired by the classics and the romantic look of old Hollywood heroines such as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly whose timeless elegance has been incorporated in their designs.

Words by Indu S Nair
Photographs from Gauri&Nainika, Various Internet Sources

 

The Silver Lining

Sreelakshmi was not raised in a world where fashion was in the forefront. It was post marriage that she started to “dress up” and received compliments for the same. Initially, she wanted to start her own clothing line. But fate took its turn when her mother went to Delhi and brought back a wholesale kilo of heavy and chunky jewelry. Then she launched a Facebook page titled ‘Saatrangi’ to try and sell them.

The page consolidated her arrival and she had orders coming in, after celebrities like Rima Kallingal and Kavya Madhavan fashioned and leveraged the jhumkas. She met a supplier sometime later and came to the realization that there was a market for silver. After that epiphany, Saatrangi Silver Studio was up and running with growing customers and suppliers.

One of the hurdles she had to overcome was how other sites had endorsements from celebrities. So in order for her page to get an ascending linear graph, she kept a negligible margin which others found suspicious and skeptical. But Sreelakshmi knew her logistics and stuck to it. And even when it comes to infrastructure, her head was on her shoulders. She was aware of the South’s love for gold. So, she created a quintessential digital page. And that would also negate the overhead charges. But she didn’t rule out sales in a store completely.  She has a shop in Sreekaryam, Trivandrum.

All her strategies are extremely customer-based and customer-inclusive. She considers them family as do they. She admitted that she would expect the same from any other business as well. That value of trust is the largest currency in her pocket. This rings true as her customers are scattered all around the globe (North India, UK, and Italy to name a few). Her price range is kept affordable for the masses. Her work has hit the limelight with Rimi Tomy and Manju Pillai booking orders.

Sreelakshmi doesn’t stop there. She does customized designs too, from time to time. Not in silver, but who’s complaining?! Her clients share her belief that silver has a muted elegance.

Compiled by Indu S Nair, Rekha Joly
Photographs by Saatrangi

Travel in Style

Comfort is the primary concern when you go places, but that’s no reason to ignore style. Looking your best in simple yet classy outfits, well accessorized with a shade or scarf is the smart way to go. We have picked a few select pieces to make your ordinary outing stylish.

Aviators: A classic accessory, aviators are not only stylish but shade your eyes from piercing rays. They’re a must for a stroll around seaside towns or streets in Europe.

Biker’s Jacket: They’re comfy, classy, and will turn heads. A good fitting leather jacket is an investment every biker must make.

Scarf: They come in cheques, prints, and solids. Always handy while travelling, scarves serve multipurpose – a wrap around the head, a muffler around the neck, or a mask from dust.

Boots: Nothing is more stylish than a pair of chic boots. They’re practical, go with almost every outfit, and keep your lovely feet covered. Do get the right fit (remember Monica’s boots?) or they’ll eat your feet.

Jumpsuits: They’ve been around for a while now and are perfect for beach vacations. Pair it with hat and shades and you’ve got a style that can’t be beat.

Mika Kreations: A pocket friendly shopping stop

Apparels create perfect expression of unique personality and style, and the right wrap will help you shine in and out. However, finding the most fashionable, well-fitting attire often makes shopping a dreaded task and heavy on pockets. Manjusha Radhakrishnan’s Mika Kreations offers you a one stop for all fashion problems. Here, fashion co-exists with art to offer a unique, handpicked collection.

Mika, a home based studio started in 2015, stocks hand painted exclusive sarees and materials in handloom, linens, and georgette. But Mika is not only about clothing but also about exquisite trendy and traditional handmade jewellery and other accessories. So it’s a one stop destination for all looking for a complete ensemble. For instance, you can pair the latest lotus motif double layered necklace with a simple handloom saree to standout in any crowd. All pieces are one of a kind and are available in german silver and semi-precious gemstones.

Manjusha Radhakrishnan

Usually, boutiques offer range of apparels that may seem unaffordable to middle class, but Mika stands different here too. Manjusha seeks to change the inaccessibility of high end boutiques through reasonable price tags. She sketches and then designs each item based on color tone, body type, and then size and customizes them to perfection.

 

Couple Gifts: Tokens of Love

There’s something about things in pairs, like salt & pepper shakers or his and hers towels. And when your two best friends get hitched, couple gifts are the right way to go. Here’s our handpicked list of premium twin trinkets, all personal and classy for your dearest friends.

Couple perfumes: Bottled fragrance of love

Fervor: Win hearts with the most exclusive fragrances of the world, which open with floral and fruity notes followed by the aroma of sandalwood, peach, amber, and musk. Intended for a glamorous and seductive couple.

Christian Dior: One of the oldest perfume houses, Dior offers you its wide variety of classic scents to make each moment more special and beautiful Choose from Midnight Poison, Jodore, Jules, and other flavours.

Davidoff: This Swiss tobacco giant also knows how to bottle magic. Fragrance of Davidoff makes each day more memorable. Their hits are Cool Water Night Dive, Summer Dive and Echo.

Giorgio Armani: Discover the unique collection of luxury fragrances by Giorgio Armani Beauty and inspire your moments with scents such as Armani Code, Eau Pour Homme, etc.

Couple Rings: To make the knot stronger

Rose gold rings: Fill your heart with the warm color of love by making the distinctive and beautiful choice of Rose Gold couple Rings, which is at once both modern and vintage.

White gold rings: The ethereal beauty of white gold offers a great mix of toughness and value making it a fantastic choice among the jewel lovers.

Platinum Rings: Platinum has been popular among couples for a long time owing to its symbol of purity and stunning beauty.

 

 

Couple Watches: Making memorable Time

Guess: The sharp, stylish, and striking style of the Guess pair watches will offer you a classy and modern look.

Timex: The timeless design, high performance and innovative style of Timex have created a cherished consumer brand with products in outdoor, sports and style categories for both men and women. 

Emporio Armani: Widely known for its high fashion game and wonderful iconic collection, Armani makes it a perfect gift for your special one.

Calvin Klein: The leader of the fashion world Calvin Klein brings a wide array of timeless style for both men and women, and is a premium choice for gifts and personal use.

Sunglasses: For the smart and stylish Couple

Ray-Ban: Top branded sunglasses are an unusual yet smart choice of gift for your newlywed friends. Ray-Ban retains its classic charm with their signature ‘Wayfarers’ and ‘Aviator’ Find the unique and stylish collections at Chemmanur Opticals, East Fort.

Oakley: To match with your active sporting spirit and fashion, Oakley offers a wide array of smart eyewear for both men and women, with hits like Flak and Holbrook.

Maui Jim: Maui Jim has a splendid collection of couple eyewear to combat intense glare while bringing brilliant colors to contour your vision. Top picks include Lighthouse, Baby Beach etc.

Accessories for added bliss!

To all the women in this wedding season – brides, serial wedding attendees, and hostesses, the key to perfect ensemble is accessorizing your attire with appropriate jewelry, adding sparkle and glamour to your charm. We have listed here a collection of wide varieties of jewelry that is available at your disposal and will give you a classy and elegant look.

WOMEN’S CHOICE OF JEWELRY

Timeless Classics: These pieces are simple and elegant, always appropriate no matter where you are going. They add versatility to any ensemble and go well with traditional and western outfits.

Colored Gemstones: Colored gemstones can be tricky, but when matched perfectly, they steal the show.

Pearls: Subtle and elegant, pearls will make anyone classy even in a simple outfit and goes well with most dresses. A simple silk saree with chain of round pearls and dangling earrings will make you a guest of honor.

Platinum: You can always opt for platinum jewelry to make your special occasions and event memorable, as these are one of the most scintillating bridal jewelry.

Crystal: This piece of jewelry will look effortlessly beautiful and elegant with gown and ethic wears.

Lac: This special ornament is making itself popular among the ladies for its availability in various unique and elegant designs.

Meenakari: Meenakari is known for perfect embellishment of bright colors stones which enhances the look of the jewelry and of the wearer.

Jadua: The Rajasthani Judua is a fusion of different gems in one necklace, embedded in gold with Polki stone at centre.

PAIR OF EARRINGS TO LIGHT UP THE EVENT

Pom-pom&Tassel earringsThe longer these earrings are the more gorgeous you will look;light as feather tassel and furry pom-pom earrings are making bold fashion statements this season. It is one among the cool trends of jewelry lovers and is best matched with crop tops and long skirts or other contemporary dresses.

Dangling, Stud & Hoop EarringsDangling earrings look perfect for your night parties and Studs will make you look glamourous.

Pearl & Stone Earrings: Pearls and stones have been a kind of jewelry that is in every occasion and is best suited with Western and ethnic wears.

Ear Cuffs: A pair of ear cuffs will simply look alluring with fusion and traditional wears.

DIFFERENT BANGLES FOR EVERY WOMAN

Swag Bangles: For all the girls who love “swag”, these are a perfect combination for all of you. Try these with the contemporary outfits and show off your love for Swag.

Ring Chain Bracelet & Traditional Style Bangles: These types of bangles look elegant with ethnic & traditional wear like Saree, lehenga etc.

Silver & Stone Style Bangles: These trendy but classy bangles will look elegant with outfits like crop short and long skirts, sarees etc.

Wrap Up in Style!

Tied the knot in a perfect white gown? Took her as your wife in the crisp suit and boarded the ‘Just Married’ car? Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost! As newlyweds, you’ll now appear for the grand post-wedding reception, be invited for dinners, and wherever you go, you’ll be guests of honor! And you have to look as fabulous as you did on your big day.  The newly-wed glow should be well accented with smart, elegant outfits for nods of approval from family and friends! Traditional Indian or Western nicely paired could be the perfect wrap to the honeymoon phase.

Traditional Reception Outfits for Women

Fancy Indian Sarees, Lehengas, and Anarkalis are regular reception dresses retaining Indian charm. But the new trend on the block has added capes that cascade your figure. Capes paired with Lehenga, Churidar, Palazzo or Anarkalis can add an extra oomph to the traditional Indian reception outfits. Other outfits in the same line are long kurta with skirts, palazzos and shararasto elevate the style quotient.

Traditional Reception Outfits for Men

Men’s wear have classics that never go out of fashion, like black, grey or off-white sherwanis, achkans or bandgala jodhpuri suits paired with stylish dhotis or popular churidar pants. A Chinese collar can add much elegance to the traditional outfit.

Contemporary Reception Outfits for Women

Fusion wears have been on the rage for a while now, so we can’t leave it out! These contemporary outfits can be in the form of gowns which use Indian embroideries like gota work or mirror work, saree gown, crop topped lehenga and Chantilly lace sarees. These attires area simple and colorful blend of tradition.

Contemporary Reception Outfits for Men

Modern grooms typically like to experiment with geometric prints, floral patterns and even floral safas for their wedding, like the chequered pattern sherwani. Pastel shades in linen fabric also speak elegance for men.

Western Reception Outfits for Couple

Western attires will bring a refreshing change to post wedding looks, so gowns can be perfectly co-ordinated with western suits or classic tuxedo for men and matched up color dresses which will make you look like a couple made in heaven!

 

 

 

 

 

Rosanns: Trends in Threads

Women in Kerala seem to have found their calling in home-run retail clothing stores, popularly known as ‘boutiques’. In the past decade, the number of women entrepreneurs in Kerala has shot up, thanks to increased desire for designer outfits. Boutiques, unlike large retail stores, feature unique designs – a haven for those aspiring to be one of a kind. Here’s Aniliya George Mattathil and her designer workshop Rosanns.

When asked about her initiative, she says “I love to be an inspiration for women, especially homemakers whose potential remains unused. I want them to unveil their creativity by breaking the stereotypes that society has bestowed on them. When they recognize their real passions and explore them, there is a world of possibility waiting.” Mother of three, Aniliya has not limited herself to any genre of design. Instead, she specializes in a range of designs from traditional cotton and kasavu collections to modern comfort wear and fusion attire. Her Onam special collection Soubhagya flashes traditional kasavu sarees with a twist. Additionally, her bridal ensembles also attract customers with refined taste.

Gone are the days when fashionistas sought exquisite wears elsewhere in India. God’s own country has talent in bounty to meet the designer needs of brides and celebrities. All it takes, Aniliya says, is an unbeatable attitude. “First of all, one has to change the set ways of thinking. I started off with a small investment, a humble amount I got on a birthday. And when I ignited my passion, success followed. The main challenge one will face is gaining the trust of clients. And it can be gained only with complete dedication and sincerity. One must be thorough and confident before initiating thread/bead/mirror works etc. After all, trends change continuously and one must be updated”. She credits her family’s immense support to her success. With an elegant smile, Aniliya signs off to create dazzling trends.

Onam Fashion: Tradition meets Trend

The ten day festival of Onam, is not only about rituals and practices, but also about trend blending with tradition. The vibrant colors and contours of Pookalam are imbibed into fashion to dazzle the eyes of the beholder. Typically, women of Kerala wear ten different attires, where each highlight unique aspects of the festival.
Traditionally women don Kasavu sarees, beacon of elegance in white and gold weave, and sweeping Pattupavada accompanied by long necklaces and earrings in gold to match the kasavu. Long hair adorned with jasmine garlands complete the Onam chic. While fashionistas experiment with colors and styles, the white mundu combined with
kurta/shirt remain a timeless classic for men.

Here is a color and style chart you can spot for this Onam:

Day 1: Atham, the first day of the festivities begin with a traditional procession in ceremonial robes. The highlight of the first day can be reflected by donning a bright yellow lehenga to emphasize the significance of the day.

Day 2: Chithira, the second day can be marked by orange and cream-yellow colors. Sarees wrapped in orange and cream-yellow with a tinge of red makes the day brighter!

Day 3: Chothi, on this day five varieties of flowers are said to bloom. So the outfit can reflect five colors of red, yellow, orange, white and green.

Day 4: Vishakam, the day of harvest plenty can be celebrated with a beautiful lehenga or saree of green and yellow combination.

Day 5: Anizham, the fifth day may feature traditional set sarees or long skirts to highlight the simplicity of the tradition and to compliment the Vallam Kali (Snake Boat festival).

Day 6: On Thriketa, go for a splash of bright colors such as maroon, red, wine, green and orange on simple south silk or cotton sarees.

Day 7: Moolam, match the fireworks and rangolis with mangtikas and lehenga.

Day 8: Pooradam, the eighth day, the idols of Mahabali and Vamana are taken to rivers or lakes for a cleansing ritual. On this special day, cotton sarees are most suitable for pooja.

Day 9: Uthradom, the ninth day is celebrated as ‘First Onam’ when King Mahabali sets foot in Kerala. Mark the day with timeless red silk sarees with gold border or lehenga in the same combination. (Tip: Wear elegant gold jewellery and heads will turn!)

Day 10: On Thiruvonam, the culminating day, the beloved king is believed to return to the underworld. The traditional kasavu saree with simple gold jewellery would honor the departure of the king.

Accessorize with a dazzling smile and pleasant demeanor, you are good to go!