Sunday, 7 December 2008

Henna Magazine...a different one!



Another magazine called Henna? Yep, You may remember I reviewed a newly launched magazine called Henna back in June (see here to refresh your memory) and then yesterday in WH Smith I came across another magazine called Henna, with the tagline "asian and beyond".

If the two mags weren't so different it could get very confusing! Here's my review of the other Henna magazine.

Front Cover
Henna went for a big name on the front cover of their "supermodel issue", none other than Yasmin Le Bon. The cover makes a bold statement with white text on a dark background, and instead of sticking an advert on the back they've designed the back cover too and opted for a striking black and white shot:



Articles
The team behind this issue of the magazine include former Asiana editor Poorna Shetty, model/actress/journalist Veronica Webb and Gerry DeVeaux (the judge from Britain's Next Top Model).
The magazine splits it's articles into separate sections - People, Culture, Bollywood, Fashion, Mens, Beauty, Food and Travel. You might think these are all pretty standard things to find in an asian magazine, but something about this magazine makes it truly stand out compared to all the other alternatives out there.
There are no "filler" articles which are just put in for the sake of it, no stupid quizzes, no problem pages. I have a feeling this magazine won't appeal to everyone, mainly because the ratio of words to pictures is a lot higher than most other asian mags! In fact I haven't even had a chance to read through every article yet - I like a good quarterly magazine that I can put down and pick up a again a week later and still have something new to read.

Fashion and Beauty
Well, as always this blog isn't here just to review magazines, it's here to review fashion! There's definitely a fashion focus in this issue, "the supermodel issue". There's an interview with the front cover star Yasmin Le Bon, and a piece on back cover star Masood "Moose" Ali Khan.
When it comes to the fashion editorials, there's not one single item in here that I could afford! Everything is designer with a captial D! but the images are beautiful probably thanks to the styling/production by Gerry DeVeaux. There's also some western designerwear mixed in with the HSY, Libas, Azara, Tarun Tahiliana and Manish Malhotra pieces.
Another thing I like about the fashion editorials is that the majority of them feature a range of different designers. With the likes of Asiana etc. you'll see 6 pages in a row of outfits by one designer or boutique, mix it up sometimes!

Overall
I really like this mag, and with a cover price of £4.50 it's the same price as most of the other quarterly asian magazines out there. As I said before, I don't think it will appeal to everyone though - do you like to read thought provoking articles? or do you like your magazines to be more of a shopping catalogue full of asian outfits in an array of colours and styles?
Personally I like both...which may explain why I always end up buying both types of magazine!

Anyways, back to Henna, you can see highlights of the magazine online at the Henna Magazine website, or can purchase a copy from WH Smiths and Borders.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Mela at the Mall fashion show

Photographer Shahid Malik recently posted some photos from the Mela at the Mall fashion show (held in Ilford Exchange shopping centre) to his facebook page.
The show featured outfits by Mongas, Rang and RDC. Here's a selection of photos from the show:

RDC showcased some anarkali style churidar suits, which just goes to show this trend isn't dead yet! The pieces they had on the catwalk were in more subtle autumn shades compared to the bright colours worn in the summer.





Rang had some brighter colours on show, including this lightly embroidered blue outfit:






I'm loving the colour combination on this green dress below, but not sure I like the bottom of the dress where it flares out. If you got rid of the puffy-out part of this outfit, it would make a great mini-dress!





Mongas had these genie-style outfits on the catwalk for their section of the show. They look fun, but I can't quite imagine wearing something like this to a party or event! Have you ever worn one of these?





Mongas did have some long flowing skirt suits too though :)



Check out the Shahid Malik facebook group for more of Shahid's photo shoots.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Focus on menswear - The Sherwani Company

Menswear is not something that has been covered very much on Asian Fashion Blog. I wrote about the RCS collection on at the Asiana Bridal Show at the start of the year, but since then there hasn't been a sherwani in sight!

If I'm being completely honest, menswear doesn't really interest me! There was one occassion when I went with my other half to buy an asian outfit from Burooj in Manchester, but aside from that menswear doesn't hold my attention the same way that womenswear does.

However, when I got an email telling me about The Sherwani Company I decided to take a closer look and here's what I found!

The Sherwani Company are based in London, with their main aim being to give todays' Asian grooms the same choice that their brides have when it comes to choosing their wedding outfits.
A quick look through the gallery on their website shows rich fabrics, detailed embroidery, bold colours and unique designs, all of which can be customised to match or compliment a chosen theme or even the bride's outfit.
Here's a selection of what they have to offer:





These next two outfits stood out to me cause I like the detailing at the top where they fasten. Yes all the outfits look amazing on the models in the photos, but in reality I think the little details in the designs are more than just to make the clothes look pretty - they serve a purpose too? For example certain designs suit certain body shapes and I'd bet the Sherwani Company could advise most men on what to wear to look their best...and hide the rest (cause men have body hang-ups too!)




The next outfit is my favourite. I love how the colour in the outfit is so subtle - just a hint of blue in the embroidery with a matching blue scarf. If I was looking for a mens outfit to match one of my own, I'd probably pick something like this.


What do you think of these outfits? Would you kit your groom out in a customised sherwani?


For more info on the Sherwani Company check out The Sherwani Company website, which has contact info and a gallery full of photos!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Asiana Magazine Week mini catwalk show

I managed to find some snaps of the Asiana "magazine week" catwalk show that was held in Borders bookstore last month, and the photographer Nardip Singh has very kindly let me post some of them here (you can see some more on the Nardip Singh photography facebook group).

This free fashion show featured designs by Rina Dhaka and Vinita Pittie (both of which are available in the UK from the stockist Maaha) with hair, make-up and henna being provided by Joshiv Beauty.

Here are 3 of my favourite outfits from the show:







I really like the richness in the colours of these outfits. Sometimes with such bold colours it's difficult to add details without making it look too over the top, but I think the designer has reached the right balance to make these outfits stand out for the right reasons.


I thought I'd include a shot of Joshiv, from Joshiv Beauty doing a mehndi design. Joshiv advertises her services very heavily in Asiana magazine so I suppose it made for a perfect collaboration on this show. Did you notice the first two models were wearing necklaces in their hair? :)

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Fusian Magazine


FUSIAN magazine launched this month, promising to be "the magazine made for the British Asian woman of today". I got my copy the day after it launched and here's my review!

Front Cover
There's just 4 colours used on the front cover, and the combination of red, white, black and grey makes for a very bold looking image.

Articles/Features
This mag isn't all about the pictures, it's full of articles. These aren't the usual articles you'd find in the other Asian magazines on the market, in fact they're the type of thing you're more accustomed to seeing in a mainstream/English magazine (but with a twist for the British Asian woman obviously!)
A lot of the articles have a focus on relationships, such as:

- how to make him run a mile
- the guys you have to date before you meet Mr. Right
- how to tell he's cheating on you
- datng deal breakers
- is he the one?
- signs he's really into you

As a settled married woman, these articles were a bit lost on me, but I know for a fact there are plenty of single/dating asian girls out there who will probably get a good read out of these.

In addition to those, there's bits and pieces on Bollywood, entertainment, careers...and of course fashion and beauty!

Fashion and Beauty
Fusian's ethos is to have less of a "catalogue" feel and not be full of ads, but there's no way it was going to be completely ad-free! However I think they managed to get the right balance, so that fashion lovers will still get their kicks from this mag too.
Aside from the ads, the fashion section mainly features 3 designers/boutiques - Mimi, Coconut and Sharon's Couture. What I like about their fashion editorials is that they mix up their designers' outfits with high street pieces so you can recreate the looks yourself. They also have 4 pages of "best buys" from £50-£200 which I think is a fab feature, one of my criticisms of the other Asian mags is that they don't feature enough affordable clothes, that's not the case with Fusian.

The Final Verdict
Are there too many Asian magazines out there now? Do we really need another one? Well I think it's great that there's more of a choice for Asian women when it comes to magazines. Fusian really does offer something different, it's not just the way it looks but it's the way it's written. Unlike all the other London-based Asian mags, Fusian is based in Birmingham and that makes them more accessible to designers outside of London, and all the beautiful aspiring models who aren't in London too! It's also worth mentioning that with a cover price of £2.50 Fusian is slightly cheaper than the quarterly mags.


For more info on Fusian, check out the Fusian Facebook Group

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Manish Arora teams up with MAC


I'm signed up to the MAC mailing list and when this email landed in my inbox I just knew I had to post it on here!

Indian designer Manish Arora has a limited edition of MAC cosmetics now available in the UK from the MAC website and Harrods in London. I'm not sure about availability worldwide, but all products are sold out on the US MAC site.

The collection consists of 4 items - an eyeshadow compact, lipstick (2 colours available), lipgloss (2 colours available) and powder blush (again 2 available in 2 colours).

I've not seen these in person, and I'm not taking the colours of the make-up itself into consideration when I say this, but from the pictures/packaging this limited edition set just doesn't appeal to me. When you buy premium make-up, most of your cash goes on the packaging and I don't like this packaging - I know it's supposed to have an "indian" look cause the collection is in collaboration with an Indian designer but I think this looks a bit cheap! Maybe it's different in person??

Check out the MAC website for more info.

What do you think? Would you be proud to pull one of these out of your handbag?

Monday, 29 September 2008

calling all asian fashion fans in Leicester!

The bookshop Borders is having a "magazine week" and as part of their instore promotions, they're hosting a free Asiana Magazine fashion show in their Leicester store next week - Thursday 2nd October.



I only just spotted this on the Asiana website, and I'm surprised it hasn't been advertised a bit more (although I'm not based in Leicester so it's probably been advertised locally). The Asiana website only has the info on the banner above, so I dug around on the Borders website to find the following info:


MAGAZINE WEEK!
'Asiana' Mini Catwalk Showcase 12:00 pm, Thu 2nd Oct 2008
Come along on Thursday, 2nd October from 12pm when Asiana magazine will be holding a mini fashion show, showcasing the best of Indian designers. The editor of Asiana will also be instore to answer any questions you might have, and we will have the industries top mendhi artist present on the day. In celebration of our Magazine Week, when all magazines will be on a Buy One Get One Half Price offer.



I wish I was going! If anyone does go along, let me know how it was :)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Couture Week in India

Masala.com recently posted photos from a series of shows which took place in India featuring 11 designers including Manish Malhotra, Rohit Bal and Ashish Soni.

Fellow blogger Indian Rose Fashionista has given her view on some on the shows, so check out her blog posts here (you have to click on each post title to read the full post!)

In the meantime, here are some of the outfits that caught my eye for one reason or another!


A maternity dress??! from Rohit Bal.
View the rest of the Rohit Bal show photos


Heavy accessorising on the Manish Malhotra catwalk.
View the rest of the Manish Malhotra show

Shilpa Shetty modelling for Tarun Tahiliani.
View the rest of the Tarun Tahiliani show

Another famous face on the catwalk - Sonam Kapoor wearing Anamika Khanna.
View the rest of the Anamika Khanna show


All the models at the Pallavi Jaikishan show wore flowers in their hair, loving this outfit by the way!
View the rest of the Pallavi Jaikishan show



Red and white at the Manav Gangwani show
View the rest of the Manav Gangwani show


Floral prints and an enchanted forest at the Suneet Verma show
View the rest of the Suneet Verma show


What do you think of these outfits? Don't forget to check out the rest of the pics and designers on masala.com, and read the reviews by Indian Rose Fashionista

Friday, 26 September 2008

online asian bridal/wedding magazine - Mantra Weddings



I first received a leaflet about this online wedding magazine at a bridal exhibition early this year. The site wasn't live then, so I forgot all about it til I came across some amazing photos on facebook and thought WOW! which magazines are these from??

I eventually found myself on the Mantra Weddings site, and for a "free" magazine I was very impressed! The blue belles photoshoot wasn't the only good thing about this mag. There's also fashion tips, beauty tips, mens fashion and most other things you'd find in an asian bridal magazine.

The whole look of this online mag overall is very professional, even the adverts look high-quality.

It's definitely worth a visit for the fashion and beauty even if you're not a bride-to-be, and best of all it's FREE :)

Visit the Mantra Weddings site or check out the Mantra Weddings facebook group.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Different ways to accessorise: Wear your necklace in your hair!

No party look is complete without a matching hair accessory, you can get them everywhere even the high street shops like Claire's Accessories have feathered fascinators and jewelled hair slides. If you're trying to match your hair accessory to an asian outfit then it's often difficult to find the right coloured accessory. The cheaper, more affordable, hair accessories tend to only come in basic colours and you might end up settling for something which doesn't quite match.

Here's an idea for you, wear a necklace in your hair! It may sound like a crazy idea, but if worn correctly a necklace can complete your look in a subtle way.

Not sure what I mean? Well here are two examples I came across:

wearing your necklace across your forehead:


Wearing it to the side:



Ok so it looks fine on the models in the magazines, but how do you get away with it in real life?? Personally I've not tried this yet, but having thought very carefully about it, I came up with the following points to consider before trying this out!

Points to consider

1) The necklace itself.
You can't just go and stick any old necklace in your hair, even if it matches in colour perfectly! Is it going to rip half of your hair out with it when you're finished? For example, a choker would be a bad necklace for your hair: this choker would look beautiful on your neck but not so good in your hair! This delicate necklace would probably do the trick, simple but the beads make it striking.

2) Where to wear
Do you want it on your forehead? Or perhaps on the side of your hair? Howabout on the top of your head worn like a tiara?

3) Technical details - how to keep it in place
Use hair grips that match your hair colour to hold it in place, and if you're rubbish at styling your own hair (like me) get someone else to help.

4) YOU
It's all about you and your own look, got delicate features? Then don't go for something too big and striking - it'll drown you. Short hair? long hair? hair up? hair down? Are you wearing a necklace on your neck too? How big are your earrings?


I don't think there is a general formular for this, after all necklaces weren't made to be worn in your hair, but you never know it could look fabulous, so give it a try and let me know the results!!!




Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Shop Review - Kyles London (part two) the online shop

After purchasing my bridal jewellery from Kyles Collection in store ( click here if you missed my review) I decided that some of the smaller pieces from the Kyles Collection would make great gifts.
Unfortunately I couldn't justify another trip to London, and didn't fancy visiting any of their stockists either, so my next port of call was the Kyles website:



The site itself is easy to navigate with their collections categorised into the following: Bridal, Evening, Occassion, Couture, Casual and their Tableware & Giftware. I did wonder to myself, what the difference was between "evening", "occassion", and "couture" and actually some of the products appear in multiple categories.

I decided to browse through everything to they had cause see what caught my eye. Once you've clicked through to an item you like, you're given the option to choose a colour for the stones, and a plating for the metal.

Now this I found a little difficult, some of the stones look the same and you don't get to preview your piece in the your chosen colour. You can also only choose one colour, even though a lot of the pieces have different coloured stones in them.

I chose what I thought was the closest coloured stone to the photo on the site, and went through to make my order. The ordering process was easy and I went away quite happy.


A few days later I received a phone call from one of the sales assistants at Kyles. He went through my order with me, checking what colours I wanted and giving me some recommendations. I told him how I wanted it packaged (I'd bought various items for 3 different people and wanted them to be packed separately) and he told me what date I would expect to receive my items.

Sure enough my order arrived when he said it would, packaged as I'd asked. All the items were beautiful and when I eventually gave them as gifts the recipients loved them!


Overall, I was pleased with the whole ordering process and my items. Even though the system wasn't perfect when it came to choosing colours and plating. I'd definitely order online again if I was buying something small, but for a larger purchase I'd prefer to go instore to see the pieces for myself.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Shop Review - Kyles London (part one)

For my first post-wedding blog I thought I'd give you a shop review of the Kyles Collection store in London. After seeing their collections at both Asiana Wedding exhibitions earlier on in the year, and getting a chance to speak to the owner herself, they were my first choice when it came to picking my own bridal jewellery!

Kyles on the catwalk at the Asiana Wedding show in birmingham

Kyles have a number of stockists around the UK, and internationally (in Canada, South Africa and Spain) but I wanted to go straight to the source so visited their main showroom in London. I rang up a few days before to make an appointment for a bridal consultation and off I went.

The store itself has a main showroom in addition to a more private "bridal lounge" downstairs, although on the day I attended it got a little crowded as there were quite a few brides + their entourages picking out jewellery.


The owner, Nisha was very friendly and we had a little chat about which pieces I liked before trying some on with my the top of my wedding outfit. The first thing I told her was that I wanted a shingar patti (see hairpiece in photo below), which I'd seen on the catwalk and fallen in love with.

The first time I saw a shingar patti and decided I wanted one!

After choosing the shingar patti, Nisha worked her way down suggesting which earrings and necklace would complement the look. Once those were sorted I got a bit carried away and started to pick up all other kinds of jewellery pieces they had...at which point Nisha suggested 4 pieces would be enough (shingar patti, necklace, earrings, bracelet) - otherwise with my petite features I'd drown in it all!
I listened to her suggestion and stopped there, happy in the knowledge that this wasn't the kind of shop where they'll sell you everything they possibly can even if it doesn't look right :)

With all the designs chosen, colours and plating were next on the agenda. Nisha went through each piece noting down the colours I wanted each stone to be. I was very impressed with how thorough and professional the whole process was, it gave me a lot of confidence in that I'd be getting exactly what I had picked in store.

If all of that wasn't enough to put a smile on my face, there were two more little things that made Kyles stand out from your average jewellery store.
1) I got a matching hair-slide for free because I had bought a 3-piece set. It wasn't intended to be worn on the wedding, but it was something I could wear with the jewellery when I wore it again afterwards.
2) The shingar patti was made in such a way that if I took it back to the store after the wedding, it could be turned into a necklace and a tikka.


It took about 3 weeks for my order to be ready, and I was very pleased with what I received!

Now for anybody who's a bit curious...here's a lil photo of my set - necklace and earrings in the box, armband on the left, hair slide on the right and shingar patti in the middle.



I definitely didn't go for the traditional bridal look, and this should give you a clue about my wedding outfit!

Kyles do have pieces that suit brides who want to go for a heavier more traditional look with their jewellery and the service you receive instore is exceptional!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Another upcoming Asian Magazine on the lookout for models!

Fusian, the latest up-and-coming magazine aimed at asian women in the UK will be launching in September this year, and they're on the lookout for models!
Here are the details:

FUSIAN MAGAZINE MODEL CASTING

Fusian Magazine requires male & female Models for forthcoming fashion & editorial photoshoots. If you think you have what it takes to become a Fusian Model please send in 2 pictures (a headshot pic and a full length pic) to models@fusianmag.com

The closing date for applications is July 25th and successful applicants will be notified by July 31st and invited to a casting.


REQUIREMENTS:

Female:
5ft 6 and above (shorter girls accepted for beauty and editorial)
Dress size 6-12

Male:
5ft 10 and above

PLEASE NOTE: You must be able to attend shoots in Birmingham



The closing date for entries is next friday, so get your photos in and good luck! For more information on Fusian magazine, take a look at the Fusian magazine facebook group

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Monochrome ideas from the Samar Mehdi 2008 Summer Collection

When most people think of spring/summer fashion, they think bright, bold and outrageous colours. I was browsing through some photos of Pakistani designer Samar Mehdi's Summer 2008 Collection and even though there were bright colours, it was actually the monochrome outfits that stood out to me.

The right combination of black and white can create a sophisticated summer look.
Organza Designs, a UK based stockist of the Samar Mehdi collection has kindly let me use photos from the show to share with you:




I really like these two outfits, often catwalk outfits are over the top and not very practical for everyday, but I can definitely imagine seeing these outfits out on the streets.
I think the one thing that makes these outfits look that extra bit special is the detailing on the fabric, such as the stripes on the trousers in the first pic and the ruffling on the top in the second pic - they stop the outfits from looking like flat blocks of colour.



These two outfits use layering to create a more floaty monochrome look.

The collection also included some eveningwear:





What do you think? Will you be putting together some monochrome outfits this summer?

For more info on the designs shown above, visit the Organza Designs facebook group. They stock other Indian and Pakistani designers and are hosting a fashion event on Sunday 17th August in London click here for more details.

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