Saturday 30 April 2011

Pakistani Designers Nickie Nina bring their 2011 PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week collection to Manchester

Manchester's Imani Studio, the go-to for Pakistani designer fashion in the UK, will be showcasing the latest collection from Nickie Nina in their newly-refurbished store next week. And even better for Pakistani fashion fans - they also have the design duo themselves, sisters Nickie and Nina, available for individual appointments.

Here are the details:

Imani Studio
15, Chatley Street
M3 1HU

Date: Friday 6th May 2011

Time: 3pm – 8pm

If you can’t make it on Friday 6th of May , you will have an other chance to visit and preview the collection on Saturday 7th May 2011 between 10am – 3pm.

For further info or appointment please Contact Mr. Sultan Asi
Tel: 0161 8343367 or

Here's a preview of their latest collection as showcased at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week Spring Summer 2011
Photo credits go to, click here to view more photos from this collection.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

The Asian Fashion Blog guide on how to become a model - part 2: the Make Up Artist's view

Following on from part one of my guide to modelling, here's another point of view on the subject from a make-up artist.
Dolz Make-Up in action on a photoshoot

North West based Make-up Artist Sofia runs Dolz Makeup and Hair and regularly uses models at wedding exhibitions and in photoshoots. Here are her top tips from a MUA's point of view on how to get started as a model:

1. You have to be thick skinned, to be able to deal with a lot of rejection. Don't take rejection personally. You are selling your looks. If your particular looks are not suitable for a certain theme, then it's just that. It doesn't mean that you are ugly.

2. Don't work with a male photographer, unless you know that they won't perv on you. Even then, take a friend or your mum with you to a shoot. If they wont let you, then steer clear.

3. Don't expect to be paid for the first year of your career. But you should get photos from a shoot that you do.

4. Do not get manipulated into taking off more clothes than you have agreed to initially. The photographer will tell you that it's beneficial to your career, and to stop being such a prude. It is NOT beneficial to your career, unless you are aiming for Page 3. It is just beneficial to the photographer, who will sell those pics to Zoo or Nuts magazines.

5. Drink plenty of water, and go for regular facials.

6. Read Vogue etc, and study model poses.

7. Always be punctual, and polite on shoots. No gossiping.

8. Do not pay to join an agency. They will take you on without a fee, if they honestly think that you have any serious potential.

9. Do not sign any contracts with makeup artists, giving them exclusive rights to you ie. stopping you from working with any other mua's. Unless they pay you handsomely. You should be free to work with whoever you wish, in order to build up a good portfolio.

10. Do not hound mua's, photographers constantly, begging for modelling opportunities. You will just annoy them. If they think that they want to work with you, asking once will be enough.
You're there to do a job, so do it well - don't be a diva drama queen

11. Always have a plan B. A backup plan. Don't rely on your looks to make you money forever. Don't give up your education, because unless you're the next Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell, you will have to find another source of income when your looks start to fade.

To find out more about Dolz Makeup and Hair visit the Dolz Makeup website or join their facebook fanpage.

Monday 18 April 2011

The Asian Fashion Blog guide on how to become a model - part 1: the fashion spectator's view

For some reason unknown to me, I've been receiving facebook messages and emails from both guys and girls who want to become models.

Firstly, for anyone who doesn't already know this, I'm not a model myself, I'm not a photographer, designer, make-up artist or in any profession that hires models. However, what I am is a spectator to the asian fashion scene in the UK, and from what I've seen here are my tips to help you get started!

1. Have you got it?
I don't want to shatter anybody's dreams here but let's be realistic - not everybody can be model. I think everyone can be beautiful in their own way, but anyone who's ever watched one of the modelling reality TV shows, like America's Next Top Model or Channel 4's The Modelling Agency, can tell you that modelling isn't just about being pretty. It's about how your look translates into a photo or on a catwalk and ultimately if your look can sell a product/service.
In my opinion some important things any potential model needs to possess are: clear skin, height, a good work ethic, and confidence.

2. Start Local
Dream big, but be realistic: My advice for where to get started and gain some experience is to firstly think local. Look for make-up artists, hair stylists, photographers and events in your local area which are looking for models.

It's worth noting that a lot of these positions are not paid - you might see the abbreviation TFP which stands for "time for photo" and essentially means your time is rewarded with the fact that you get to use the images in your portfolio rather than being paid with money. You need to use your own judgement when deciding whether to do a TFP job or event - for example if there are other models on the job who are being paid, why should you be working for free?

3. Network
So how do you actually find people to work with? Well there are a few places where I'm always seeing requests for models, the main one being facebook.

How to find make-up artists on facebook: One of the easiest ways to search for make-up artists is to type the term "MUA" into the facebook search box (for anyone who doesn't know, MUA stands for Make Up Artist) and a lot of MUAs include the term in their facebook names. Don't automatically assume people will accept your friend request, but any who use facebook for networking will, then all you have to do is keep an eye out for any of their model requests. One thing you *shouldn't* do on facebook is constantly message people looking for opportunities, showing perseverance is one thing but if you are too full on this will just irritate them!

Join relevant facebook groups and pages: Find the fanpages for your favourite asian magazines and other media outlets and you could get updates on any modelling opportunities, here are a few of my suggestions:
Asiana Magazine - Open model castings at Asiana Magazine are rare but if you want to talk to interact with the team there, this is one place you can do so.
Asian Woman Magazine - Again, open castings are rare but Asian Woman Magazine are holding three wedding exhibitions in the UK in January next year (London, Birmingham, Bradford) so they could be on the lookout for models local to those areas at some point.
The Models Portal - Lots of castings posted regularly on their page, I also spoke to the team at The Models Portal and you can read their modelling tips in an upcoming blog post.
Asian Style Magazine - Magazine which publishes regional editions.

As an alternative to facebook, another networking site you could try is ModelMayhem. I've not used it personally, so can't comment on the success rate for models finding work through it, but there are plenty of people in the modelling industry registered so it's one way to make connections.

4. Be Professional
Modelling isn't always glamourous and you might not always like the clothes or the styling, but it's your job to work the look required of you and not to cause a fuss just because you don't like it. If you do have any concerns or issues, for example if you're not happy with showing certain parts of your body - make sure the photographer (or designer/make-up artist/stylist) is aware of this beforehand.

Be respectful to everybody you work with, from the people who you might think have little importance to the people you want to impress. I know there will probably be people who aren't always nice to you, but if you're starting out and you want to be booked again then professionalism and being easy to work with are a big factor.

Look out for Parts 2 and 3 of this article where I'll be getting tips from a Make-Up Artists point of view and a creative agency point of view.

Monday 11 April 2011

More highlights from the Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2011

Here's a quick look at some of the other collections from the 2011 Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort which took place in India last month

Geek Chic at Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Babita Malkani
I love the styling of this collection - I'm definitely going to try and take inspiration from these looks into my summer wardrobe.

Manish Malhotra
I'd say Manish Malhotra was one of the most popular designers from this show, most likely due to his celebrity following. His collection of eveningwear lehngas and gowns had a very elegant look to them, all in light shimmery colours.

Gauri and Nainika
Gauri and Nainika were the grande finale for the 2011 Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort, and they certainly made a big impression with their "Fantasy" collection of fairytale evening gowns.

You can view more photos and videos from each designer show at the Lakme Fashion Week website.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Satya Paul's Jewels of the Sea collection at 2011 Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort

"Jewels of the sea" was the theme for Satya Paul's collection at the 2011 Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort, and out of all the designers at this event it was my favourite!

I loved the colour spectrum in this collection, starting with shades of blue (the Ultramarine line), then working into more tropical colours (the MultiMarine line) and finishing with some sophisticated black and white outfits (X-ray Marine).

The majority of outfits were saris but there were a few lehngas, maxis and mini-dresses in there too.
If you look a little closer at each outfit (click to get a larger view) you can see it's the details like the patterns on the fabric that really bring the theme to life. The sari above left reminds me a little bit of Dory from Finding Nemo with it's hint of yellow - and I mean this in a good way! Who'd have thought an outfit based on a tropical fish could look so beautiful!

I love the look of the silky purple and yellow sari above and again I can picture the tropical fish that inspired this colour choice.

The finale showstopper outfit was probably the outfit that most resembled a fish - with scale-like detail on the top half and a ruffled skirt. It definitely had that "wow" factor but personally I like some of the other outfits much more than this one!

Overall I loved the whole collection - I'm starting to become a big fan of Satya Paul and his creations. Sadly I don't own any of his beautiful designs yet but I'm working on that as I recently discovered a store in London called Phulkari that stocks his designs. I'm hoping to visit them next month to see what they have to offer, but in the meantime if you know of any other Satya Paul stockists in the UK let me know!

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Pria Kataaria Puri at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2011

I've not really covered any of the western-style outfits from the catwalk at the Summer Resort Lakme Fashion Week 2011 in India because I've wanted to keep the focus on asian fashion (this is Asian Fashion Blog after all!), but I just couldn't ignore this Moroccan-inspired collection from Pria Kataaria Puri.
There was much more to the collection than these maxi dresses, beach cover-ups and tunic tops, but these were my favourite part of her show.

The show ended with these two glamourous sparkly dresses. Both very pretty but I think they're a tiny bit out of place compared to the rest of the more relaxed, printed fabric looks.

Does this collection make anyone else feel liking booking a beach holiday immediately?!
To view more visit the Lakme Fashion Week website.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Preeti S Kapoor at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2011

Here's the Preeti S Kapoor collection showcased at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2011.

Compared to the other designers, this collection had one of the most ethnic looks with the choice of colours and fabrics used:

The tunic tops like the one below appealed to me the most

You can view more from this collection at the Lakme Fashion Week website.

Saturday 2 April 2011

Would you hire a sari, lehnga or other asian outfit rather than buying?

A company called "hire a sari" recently came to my attention, due to a comment left on another blog post. They were cited as a "cheaper alternative" to the designer Asian bridal dresses I'd written about in that post.

I don't think you can compare hiring an outfit with having a bespoke bridal dress made to your requirements, but for brides on a budget or those who aren't overly sentimental about keeping the dress I think this could be a really useful service. Then there's asian partywear outfits - hiring your outfits rather than buying is one way to ensure you've always got the latest looks each season.

Personally I've never tried a service like this before. I wouldn't say I'm overly sentimental about my clothes but I'd say I'm conservative when it comes to outfit choices - I tend to buy things that I know I will be able to wear multiple times. I'd perhaps consider hiring something very seasonal or a stunning designer piece that I'd never be able to afford to buy.

Would you hire an Asian outfit rather than buy? What about Asian bridalwear - would hiring ever be a consideration? Vote in the poll and share your view by leaving a comment below!

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