Celebrating a Journey of New Beginnings

A new beginning in a country like India is always considered as an auspicious occasion. It’s a joyous moment every person looks forward to irrespective of social class and demographics. It continues to inspire Indians across the world to leave back worries of the past and confidently turn on a new leaf of life. To celebrate it people start their day early, take a bath, perform their prayer rituals and put on new, traditional clothes to keep the feel-good factor alive. Moreover, wearing traditional Indian clothes also sends positive vibes and maintains the sanctity of the occasion in a grand way.

Many festivals in India celebrate the joy of new beginnings. The prominent ones include Ganesh Chaturthi, Gudi Padwa, Akshaya Tritiya, Ugadi, Vishu, Baisakhi and Diwali. All the above festivals celebrate new beginnings in their own peculiar ways. Bringing alive the good-old charm of unshakable Indian values, ancients traditions and customs. It’s also that time of the year when people buy new clothes, new gadgets, new properties and other desired luxuries of life.

In India, the Kurta has always been the fine ambassador of new beginnings. This simple yet elegant men’s attire has everything it takes to make a new beginning worth remembering. This collarless style statement is destined to make heads turn and jaws drop with its dignified presence. A well-designed Kurta can not only give the boring black suit a run for its money but also impress the onlookers at any occasion. Another advantage of wearing a Kurta is that it makes you more presentable without having to put in too much effort. Perhaps that’s the reason why Indian Daily Soaps overdo kurta-studded celebration scenes. Wearing a Kurta also means a thumbs-up from the elders in the family, a sure shot way to get into their good books while reviving the traditions.

Fashion accessories also play a vital role in glorifying the signature look of the Kurta wearer. Value additions like Bajubandhs, designer dupattas, scarfs, intricately designed mojdis and brooches can be used as per desired permutations and combinations to glam-up the festive look. The Kurta is also a star player in the kids’ couture. Boys Kurtas have already claimed the must-have status in the junior wardrobe. Parents today don’t have to force their kids to wear a Kurta on special occasions. It’s already there in the young one’s consideration set. The Indo-western Kurta is one of most preferred option in the category as it gives the traditional attire an all-new contemporary outlook.

The rise of online shopping and to some extent demonetization has contributed to the rising demand of Boys Kurta and boys traditional wear brands in the virtual marketplace. This traditional attire is also being exported to countries across the world where Indians have made migrated especially in the U.K., the U.S. and the Middle East.

Night Suit Shopping For Kids

In a world where fashion dictates the order of the day, it’s but natural to expect something radically different from the contemporary crafters of trend. Whether you are going to office, a special event or just going to bed after a hard day’s work, Fashionistas across the world are stepping up notches to create something stunning and out-of-the-box, keeping the wearer in mind. Fashion continues to inspire every age group. It has created style icons and stellar brands across segments based on true merit and universal acceptance. The challenge becomes steeper for those eyeing the kid’s turf. These tiny customers are born with big expectations and convincing them requires a lot of patience and perseverance.  Even their night suits are becoming fashionable and flaunt-worthy as their older counterparts.

Night suits for kids are no more pinks for girls and blues for boys. These standard norms have been forgotten long ago and designers the world over, are working hard to redefine them with proactive thinking and extensive colour palettes. With the advent of online night suit shopping, things have changed for the better and kids now have more to choose from, across the world.

The best way to choose a night suit for your toddler is to step into his shoes. The better you understand his routine and preferences, the closer you are to the goal of choosing an ideal sleepwear outfit for him. Another way of looking at this challenge is to capture a child’s fanciful imagination. The clothes you choose should inspire him to live the fairytale he’s used to hearing and enable him to relate with it. The rage of quirky colours and unusual prints are also gracing kids night time wardrobes. Cartoon characters have also played influencers over the years. True-to-life digital prints and colour changing prints are also a huge draw for these tiny toddlers.  Kids love wearing fashion concepts revolving round their favourite animated characters and love to show off their prized catch. The concept of unisex night suits is also catching up and is on the verge of becoming a hot seller across online shopping portals as they serve as a good option for parents as well as people looking for kid’s gifting options.  Even materials used in Kid’s Nightwear have evolved over the years. Lycra treated fabrics have replaced pure cotton ones and stain repellant fabrics are preferred to ordinary ones. Some night suit manufacturers also offer crease-free clothing to smoothly fit into rush hour routines in addition to a gamut of options to suit every style and budget preferences.

Girls Ghagra Choli: Stylish and Effortless Kids Ethnic Wear

Indian ethnic wear has always been the cynosure of all eyes due to its extraordinary patterns, colours and design. The traditional girls ghagra choli is one such exquisite fashion creation. This easy-to-wear fashionable attire never fails to woo females who wish to experiment with their looks and make a statement wherever they go. The good thing about ghagra choli is that it gives you the finesse and flamboyance of wearing sari-like attire without the complexities of tucking up. It can be worn in minutes and lends an elegant look to the person who wears it. The feel goodness of ghagra choli doesn’t end here. This ethnic Indian fashion marvel comes in an array of fabrics, textures, complimenting color combos, designer motifs and contemporary neck patterns, virtually giving you endless possibilities to choose from.

Another interesting take on the ghagra choli is that it has impressed the glamour girls of Bollywood as well has Hollywood with equal aplomb. The visual brilliance of this eye-catching attire has been soulfully captured in many movies and been appreciated and admired across countries. The attire has influenced many designers both at national and international circuit to showcase their talents and bring out the best in them. When it comes to taking Indian Fashion to the world, the ghagra choli has stood out sensationally in the competitive fashion landscape and has earned several accolades in the past. The virtue of offering something new every time has made this traditional outfit a must-have in every girl’s wardrobe.

Girls’ Fashion has come out of age and has seen several value additions with each coming season and the ghagra choli hasn’t been an exception till date. The attire has seen several traditional and indo-western influences with designers pushing the envelope further to create something distinctively new. Right from traditional mirror work from Gujarat, bright Rajasthani colours, hand woven Silk from the south to elegant Moghul designer concepts, Kashmiri art and many more, the attire has continuously won hearts with its multiple design variations. Bollywood replicas have also been a rage in this circuit, as girls love to look like Bollywood stars and mimic them. Festive occasions have seen a steep rise in demand of this ethnic outfit as it effortlessly stands out in the crowd and add to the festive feel with its grand presence. Buying this exquisite piece of fashion is easy too! Several online shopping stores as well as retail outlets showcase a wide array of girls ghagra choli at exciting prices. All you need to do is compare and make the right choice.

 

SILKEN STORY

Silk has a deep and rich heritage in India, one that dates back not just decades but centuries. India has been an exporter of silk since ancient times. The infamous “silk route” was based entirely on a passage through the orient, including the subcontinent. In ancient times, silk was a symbol of prosperity. This shimmering fabric traces its roots of origin and existence way back to the Indus Valley Civilization. However, countries like China also showcased the essence of this fibre during 2570 BC, but Asian countries did trace out archaeological discoveries of this unique fabric. This civilization believed to have invested their efforts and harvested majorly on these silken cocoons and traded vast amount of raw silk.

Today, India is the second largest exporter of silk in the world, with China bagging the first position. Silk still holds its position as a symbol of prosperity and wealth. All over India, different cultures have interpreted the material differently. Varied designs and ways of cutting, stitching and draping the material into various garments have arisen. The silk sari is synonymous with Indian weddings and festivals. However the colours and draping varies.

Now a popular variation, is the raw silk Kurta both for men and women. Also, expensive and heavily embroidered sherwanis are a staple at north Indian weddings. the silk sherwanis is the uniform of the Indian groom in most parts. There are many brands today that create new and unique designs using silk for weddings. Though silk is not as malleable as some other materials, its aesthetic appeal is far greater. The silver threads woven into the material give it this effect. The way it gleams in the Indian sun, is unparalleled. Though not the best material for the heat, it is a wonderful material for winter weddings. It’s use of course is not limited to the bride and groom. It can be fashioned into lehengas for girls, kurtas for boys and older men, saris for women and girls ghagra cholis.

Silk has also been a national symbol for as long as anyone can remember. The world identifies it with India even though china is a greater exporter of the material. Silk is a rich fabric with a rich heritage, not to be forgotten in the wheels of time.

Convenience is the New Cool

How convenience oriented is today’s world? Any professional will advocate the opinion that there is very little time for everyday chores. With the majority of the 24 hours in a day spent working, where does one find the time to shop for groceries, clothes, household appliances and furniture? How does one find time to pursue their hobbies be it reading, painting, writing or even pottery?

Enter the convenience of online shopping. If there is not time to go to a store to buy a book or a set of paints, it can be easily procured at an arm’s length. The Smartphone is the megastore!

Here examined, are a few things one can now easily shop online, in the comfort of their homes and pyjamas.

  1. Clothes for the whole family – Gone are the days of struggling to pack the whole family into a car and trek to the nearest clothes mart for festival clothes shopping. Honestly, nobody enjoyed those forced excursions that almost always were an exercise in futility. Now it is possible for anyone, from moms to teens to go online night suit shopping to buying designer wear, everything can be done in a click.
  2. Second hand everything – from used books to used electronics, everything can be bought online. Yes there is a certain romance in scouring through the shelves of a second hand bookstore. However, if time is not a convenience that one can afford, this certainly is.
  3. Groceries – sometimes, shopping for the weekly groceries can be a real drag. Lugging a loaded cart around a crowded shop isn’t exactly what one wants to do with free time. But it is now possible to do this from the comfort of home. Various apps have taken up the idea of delivering groceries. With quality guarantees and return policies, this is definitely a viable option.
  4. Gifts – can’t think of what to buy for someone you barely know? The internet, as always has the answer. Online stores that specialise in gifting are now an option. Personalised or generalised, these gifts aim to please. Put together by product designers and graphic artists, these amazing gift ideas and products are the new way of conveying gratitude.
  5. Hobby items – From stamp collecting to decoupage, if there’s no time to go hunting for little things have no fear. It is all available online. From art and craft supplies, to woodwork and pottery tools, it is now possible to procure precisely what you need for a price.

 

The Graceful Art of Chikankari Embroidery

An embroidery style that has graced the wardrobes of the royals – Chikankari, is a loved and sought after traditional embroidery art , not only in India but internationally too. Lucknow the hub for Chikankari embroidery is said to have been presented this art by Nur Jehan, the wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir. This is not the only story circulating on the origin of this art in India. Delicacy best describes and characterises this embroidery. In the early years of its discovery, fine, intricate patterns were developed on muslin cloth using a white thread. Fashion has evolved and so has this art. Now chikankari embroidery is not just limited to the white hue and muslin fabric. One can find this embroidery in any shade of their preference – from pretty pastel, pink blue, green and grey to vibrant red and purple and on fabrics like khadi , georgette, net, silk, any soft material.

 

Each chikankari outfit goes through the manual process of pattern definition, cutting, stitching, print making, embroidery, washing and finishing. One of the most noticeable attributes of chikankari are the floral motifs that serve the purpose of royal signage. The dainty work of needle and thread is carefully woven to form the patterns of floral motifs that make the entire piece of cloth look ravishing. Any chikankari outfit will have round about 36 stitches or at least ten most widely used embroidery flat stitches of the 36. For every process – right from cutting to stitching there are artisans who specialise only in that particular task. In fact, artisans in India, make a living, knowing and largely practicing only one of the 36 stitches of the embroidery as well. Chikankari embroidery is popularly found in apparels for adults as well as kids. From boys kurtas, to little girls lehengas, kurta pajama for boys to sarees for women. Over the years, this work has also made its way on to newer silhouettes and fusion wear that rightly encompass the richness of this art with contemporary trends.

 

Each outfit goes through the process of silhouette definition where the fabric is cut in to the preferred style i.e. kurta, lehenga, dress etc. Thereafter block printing is done on the outfit where basic embroidery work is done for the printer to get a know how on print definition. At this point the fabric is sewn in to a semi stitched garment and detailed chikankari embroidery in steps commences. Once the outfit is completely embroidered, it goes through quality and pattern checking. Any errors found are rectified afterwhich washing takes place and the outfit once dry is starched to give the required stiffness basis the type of fabric. With the likes of Madonna, Julia Roberts, Judy Dench strutting this graceful art internationally the demand and popularity for Chikankari embroidery, world over has only risen over time and continues to do so.

Ethnic Fashion Evolution

In the eighties, western trends dominated the Indian fashion scene big time and soared high on the charts of popularity. Ethnic wear was then considered to be old-fashioned and a native dress code. Traditional Indian attires like Sarees, Salwar Kameez Sets, Patialas, Sherwanis and Kurta-Pajama Sets were intentionally overlooked for western options as they promised the wearer the much-needed modern outlook. Gradually, western outfits started replacing ethnic fashion unceremoniously, both in men and women’s wardrobes. But they were not eliminated completely. Ethnic wear still found its rightful presence during major festivals and occasions where traditional attires were considered compulsory and that too on insistence of elders in the family.

 

The nineties saw the rise of Indian designers and their eminent contributions to world fashion. Indian Ethnic Wear was back with a bang. Fashionistas worldwide appreciated and admired the new, evolved avatar of Indian Ethnic Wear and the ripples it created in runways across the world. Designer motifs, vibrant colour combinations, embroidery work, subtle style variations, designer necklines, Indo-western influences and premium dress materials made heads turn and inspired people to adopt the new trend. Meanwhile Bollywood also saw a significant upgrade in fashion design as stars reinvented their looks with the magic of designer ethnic wear. All thanks to YRF and KJO movies! The meteoric rise of ethnic wear also saw its desired repercussions in the kids ethnic wear segment.

 

Kids are a choosy lot. They follow their heart in everything they do. Pleasing them isn’t easy as they come with great expectations. The only pre-requisite is that they want to wear something new and exciting for every occasion. Unlike adults, logic doesn’t impress them much. But yes, they will go out of the way to choose a design if they can relate with it whole-heartedly. However, the good thing is that today’s kids are open to making a statement with ethnic wear as they come in rich colours and designer looks; and are extremely comfortable to wear. The ethnic design concept offers exciting variations for both boys and girls. Every season you have something new to look forward to as the colour and design permutations and combinations are almost unlimited. The best thing about kids ethnic wear is that it connects children to our rich culture and tradition. It will never go out of fashion as designers across India are continuously creating new expressions based on their respective talents to please this demanding lot of little customers.

ARTIST’S BLOCK

The art of Indian block print textiles has survived and grown from ancient times to the present because of the beauty of the handmade products that are a result of labourious process. Dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization, cloth shreds found in the ruins of Mohenjo Daro, an ancient city are testament to the block printing practice being as old as the 3000 BCE. Under the aegis of the royalties, the art flourished in the 12th century. The 17th century saw a revitalization of the art. And still, here in the 21st century, block printing of fabric by hand is an art practiced by Indian artisans. Like most art forms that take birth in india, block printing has taken various forms in various parts of the country.

In Gujarat, this form of hand printing has been practiced by the Paithapur families. They make intricate blocks, and print their textiles using the mud resist-printing method. These prints are called Sodagiri (trader) prints. From Gujarat, the art of block printing spread to Rajasthan. Here colourful prints of birds, animals, human figures, gods and goddesses are popular. The important centres for this form of hand printing are Jaipur, Bangru, Sanganer, Pali and Barmer.

The block printing from Punjab is not as famous as its Rajasthani counterpart, but it is still note worthy. Their art was rooted on the art of Chhimba – a group of textile workers whose designs were mainly floral and geometrical in pattern. Today, traditional motifs and vegetable dyes have been replaced by chemical counterparts. The colours are muted and usually pastel. The motifs are usually mango patterns and peacocks.

In the eastern regions like the West Bengal, this art was introduced in the early times of the the twentieth century. As it was an art learnt over time, the Bengali block printing artists have grown on the conventional patterns and have also developed their own over time. In West Bengal, Serampur is the most popular centre of block printing. It is well-known for its bold and vibrant patterns.

In Andhra Pradesh, the block printing method is applied in the creation of the exquisite Kalamkari Painting. Kalam which means pen in hindi, is an artwork made using pen otherwise known as kalam in hindi. This art, beautifully combines hand painting and block printing and creates eye-catchy, appealing prints. This is unique to India amongst other things.

Block printed garments are unique in their aesthetic and traditional quality. The block printed material can be used to make a number of styles of clothing from boys kurta to tunics to women saris. Used widely in the area of fusion fashion, block printing is a definitely a traditional art that can fit modern trends.

ETHNIC COUTURE TRENDS FOR SUMMER

2017 has just begun and that means a whole new year of reinventing style. With people getting more and more conscious of their ethnic heritage, why not throw in a little tradition to embellish this summer’s look? It’s not just that Indian fabrics are better suited to the merciless Indian summer, but they also work better in terms of fit and cut. Fabrics like cotton, Khadi and muslin are perfect to kick of an ethnic revolution. When it comes to style, there are hundreds of ethnic variations to choose from.  Think of loose, cotton, women’s anarkali kurta to flowing, pastel, girls lehengas. Modern takes on these styles can really stylize what is shaping up to be a very comfortable summer wear indeed!

Ethnic wear for Everyday wear

Ethnic clothes can become  an effortless everyday wear. If not the traditional Kurta, there are a number of variants available in the market nowadays. Brands and designers that focus on fusion ethnic wear have created short sleeveless tunics and crop tops that can be paired with shorts or jeans. These tops are usually of thin cotton and printed in bright, earthy colours. With block prints or bandhani, these tops are easy to breathe, keeping the wearer cool through the day. Parallel to this, palazzos and flowy skirts are a wonderful option if tight jeans or shorts are not your preferred choices.

Ethnic choices for special occasions

A summer wedding is a perfect opportunity to show off skin while still looking demure in ethnic wear. The traditional, heavily embroidered sari can be swapped for a more modern crepe or cotton sari with graphic prints or minimal embroidery. Girls lehengas can also be reinvented in more minimalistic and simple styles. The colour palette is pastel. Muted pinks and yellows, earthy beiges and browns are the way to go. Nobody wants to be blinded by bright neon in the summer sun. A slightly understated colour palette makes sure the clothes blend in with the general ambience, but stand out in their uniqueness.

If it’s a party, there are plenty of cotton summer dresses to choose from, with bold ethnic prints. Otherwise a vest and palazzo do just as well in this setting. The summer nights are when the bright colours can come out of the closet. Whether it’s a poolside party or a gathering at home, the bright reds, yellows and pinks can be paired with muted colours or monochrome greys, whites and blacks to achieve a classy and refined look.