Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Your Darzi London - online shop review


This month, I was invited to try out a new online asian store, Your Darzi London.
Even though I have access to whole host of Asian fashion retailers where I live in Manchester, shopping online for asian outfits has always had a certain appeal - like the convenience of being able to browse the outfits at your own leisure and upfront pricing information.

Your Darzi London's aim is to be different to other online asian fashion websites, by offering Free Delivery and Free Returns to UK customers (a first in the UK online asian apparel industry) and providing not just photos of the outfits but catwalk videos too!


When I was browsing the website, I was impressed with not only the videos, but the number of photos provided and the quality of the photos. I think the more information provided the better - I've come across online stores which expect you to buy an outfit based on just a single photo! Other information included on the product page to help you make sure the outfit is right for you and to help you pick the right size includes what size the model is wearing and the garment specifications.

Shahina Khan, CEO of Your Darzi London told me:
"We want to change the perception of online shopping for asian outfits, as typically, the fitting of asian outfits can be hit or miss. So why should a customer buy and then have to foot the return bill?"

Shahina very kindly offered to send me an outfit to review and write about on Asian Fashion Blog, as wedding season is very much in full swing the timing was perfect. With a budget of up to £150 I had these three outfits on my shortlist:

The first outfit (on the left), Fawn Kali with Black Resham at £85 reminded me a lot of this outfit by Umar Sayeed.
It was the long flowing elegance of the second outfit (in the middle), Cream Gown with Green Satin at £139, and the third outfit "Blue Collar Gown" at £139.99 appealed to me.

Deciding I had too many light coloured outfits in my wardrobe already I went for the "Blue collar gown", which as the picture shows, is more of a purple colour.

Outfit chosen, I had intended to send my measurements to have my dress "custom fit" although I didn't have time to get measured up and decided to take my chances with a size 8/34.

A few days later my outfit arrived...
This is the first asian clothing retailer I've used who sent a garment bag like this, and it came in really handy for the next wedding I was attending which included an overnight trip.

The dress was well put together and I didn't have any concerns about the stitching coming apart or anything like that (unlike the last dressy asian outfit I bought!).

I usually like to have a zip in my outfits to make them easier to get on and off, and even though this outfit didn't have a zip, there was no struggling when it came to changing in and out of it.

Here's how it looked on me...these aren't the best photos, the sun was in my eyes and the wind was blowing all over the place (I'd make a terrible model!)

My bad posing aside, I really like how the outfit looks in these non-posed photos taken whilst playing around with my niece!


Overall, Your Darzi London gets a big "thumbs up" from me in terms of the online shopping experience and the quality of the outfits themselves. Their product range starts with casual outfits from just £27 to the more heavily embroidered outfits at £369.

Visit the Your Darzi London website here and check out their Facebook page for updates.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Gul Ahmed at PFW4 London

Continuing with my coverage of Pakistan Fashion Week 4 in London, here's the collection from Gul Ahmed which featured lots of print inspiration (printspiration?)

The first few outfits stuck to a black, white and gold colour theme. I usually find black outfits a bit boring, but the mix of fabrics and prints really made these stand out.
I love the houndstooth design on the trousers with this outfit, that print is quite unexpected beneath such an elegant looking gown. I'm not so keen on the sheer panel at the back though.

When I was going through the photos for this show, I had to double check it was the same dress as the front and back are so different. I think I like the design on the back better, the vertical stripes at the front are just a little too bold for my tastes.




Amongst the long flowing elegant trouser suits, they also showcased this jumpsuit below - what do you think of the look? I like it on the model, but I'm not sure it's something I'd wear personally, it's maybe a bit too voluminious.

The show wouldn't be complete without a pop of colour and Gul Ahmed showcased blues, oranges and a showstopper in lime green/yellow.


The blue dress above left was showcased on the catwalk at PFW 3 in orange, take a look here.



This was the finale outfit in a very bold colour with lots of fabric for the model to swish around. I really love the bright colours but the neckline ruins the overall look for me.

This was the team behind Pakistan Fashion Week 4:
Event produced by: Riwayat LTD London
Head stylist: Huma Tahir
Make up by Tanya Khan
Hair by Reena & Sonya
Photography by Shahid Malik

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Eid / Late Summer 2013 Fashion Trends

This week I was invited to make my radio debut on the BBC Asian Network to talk about Eid fashion trends. You can hear the show via this link on Friday 2nd August, I'll be on some time between 3.30 - 4pm.

Here's some photo inspiration to go with my top asian fashion trends right now!

Power Prints

Patterns and prints are very on trend at the moment - just look at the printed outfits on the UK high street for inspiration!

Printed Chiffon suit from Ranis Bradford

They're also a great way to make a statement without your outfits having to be too heavy.

Printed kaftan-style top from Bombay Stores

When it comes to choosing your prints, I personally think the bolder the better, whether it's the print that's shouting out or the colour choice like in this sari below:
Tulip print sari by Masaba at Pernia's Pop-up Shop


Long, flowing and voluminous styles

Long flowing gowns, dresses and anarkali suits are a popular choice. Pick a full-sleeved dress for a more formal look, or go sleeveless for more "fun" feel.

Long gown by Your Darzi London

Some designers have made their gowns in light colours and sheer fabrics for anyone who's less conservative when it comes to showing their legs:

Long gowns by Rizwan Ahmed

To put a different spin on the long flowing look, you could try a jumpsuit style outfit - the key with these is that the trousers should have enough volume to almost look like it's a dress.

Zainab Chottani
Jumpsuit by Karma Pink

Super Separates

If you want an Eid outfit which is versatile and which you can wear in different ways, look for separate pieces, like kurta tops.

Kurta tops by Rubina Khan

The kurta tops above are quite long, but pick a shorter style and you could wear it with a long skirt, patiala shalwar or even with printed harem pants:

Outfit by Karma Pink

Rose Print Shift Dress by Sonia Jetleey, available from Exclusively.in

Light brights, pastel colours and metallics

Regardless of what style you choose - bright colours are the way to go! I'm personally loving lime green, orange, coral and hot pink colours right now.

Lengha by Manish Malhotra

Anarkali style suit by Aneesh Agarwaal, available from Exclusively.in

If you don't want to go really bright then look for pastel shades. I really like the colours in the photoshoot below for designer Saiqa Majeed.

Pastel colour inspiration from Saiqa Majeed

Also look out for light metallic colours like this gold outfit below:
Boho Gold Tunic from Fuzah.com

Statement Accessories

Hair jewellery is one way to give that something extra to your outfit, from full on matha pattis, necklaces worn as hair accessories, Great Gatsby style jewelled headbands or more tradition items like jhoomers and tikkas, there will be something to suit your outfit and hairstyle.

Jewelled hair piece from Chanel Pre-Fall 2012 Show
Malaika Arora Khan wearing a jhoomer at Marrakech International Film Festival

If you've "been there/done that" when it comes to hair accessories and you really want to stand out from the crowd then your accessory of choice has to be a nose ring! Sonam Kapoor wore one on the Cannes red carpet this year and I'm seeing big nose rings worn on the asian fashion catwalks a lot too - and not just on bridal looks.

Sonam Kapoor at Cannes film festival 2013

Model on the catwalk from Pakistan Fashion Week 4 in London

Model from Sabyasachi's 2013 Delhi Couture Week Show

What will you be wearing this Eid and for late summer weddings and parties?

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