2016 was easily the year of many fashion revelations. If you’re a true fashionista, then you know exactly what we’re talking about—yup, the major comeback of the choker (and it seems like it’s here to stay); the chunky, almost platform-type, sandals that actually had us channeling our inner Spice Girls this summer; and what about the most recent pajama trend that had everyone feeling comfortable even outside the bedroom?
T-shirt dresses, cardigans, jackets, and over-coats—basically, doesn’t everything oversized just look absolutely remarkable? Any oversized piece can be used to layer and give that extra dramatic effect to your outfit. And if you’re wearing an oversized tee, chances are you can easily pass it on as a dress and wear it with a cute pair of sneakers for a casual lunch, or spice it up with a bold pair of heels for an evening look. 2016 was all about accentuating drama in anything and everything oversized.
[An oversized dress shirt or coat with dramatic lapels? Why not both? BG Aishwarya shows us how to rock the most trendiest look of the year. But wait, she’s a step ahead—did you catch the sneakers and knee-highs? Photos via Instagram: @ash_ravi.]
2. A ‘bomb’ bomber jacket:
This jacket became a wardrobe staple in 2016. A simply constructed design, available in various colors with embellishments, a bomber jacket can really amp your streetwear look and make you look extra chic from every angle. It’s not too late to get your hands on one of these babies and step into 2017 with style.
More commonly known as the “off-the-shoulder” trend, dresses and tops that bared the shoulders were a summer must-have! Seriously what top didn’t come with a bit of the off-the-shoulder look? This summer ‘16 trend was a happy medium between classy and edgy, and you can’t go wrong with that!
[The off-the-shoulder look comes in so many styles and BG Kamana wears two different variations above. Her looks are perfect for any spring/summer day. Won’t you agree? Photos via Instagram: @socialandstyle.]
And if these styles weren’t enough to get you through your shopping spree, add these tops to your basket:
The iconic bodysuit, perfect to pair with a skirt, high-waisted pants, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
The go-to jumper—top and bottom all-in-one. Convenient and trendy, don’t you think?
A vented top, ideal for pairing with leggings and jeans; or even with a cutesy short!
The Not-So-Basic Bottoms
1. Distressed Denim:
When it came to pants, this trend easily stole the show. Fashionistas around the world were so inspired by the distressed denim, that there are now thousands of DIY tutorials on how to rip your own pair of jeans! Distressed denims are definitely NOT a faux-pas, so go ahead and be a damsel in distress-ed jeans!
[BG Payal definitely inspires us to be damsels in distress-ed jeans with this look which is exclusively styled by @picturepayal. Photo via Instagram: @payalmua.]
2016 fashion trends saw an array of spiffy skirts. They ranged from the classic midis to puffy a-lines—but these were all trends of the past. So what new was introduced this year you ask? Do the accordion and slit skirts sound familiar? I bet they do because this spring and summer every fashionista was geared up to rock one or the other.
[Accordion skirts and ones with slits were all for the win in 2016 and check out how Kamana styled hers throughout the year. Photo via Instagram: @socialandstyle.]
Shoes, shoes, shoes
1. The Over-the-Knee Boot:
Did you think Kylie Jenner was the only one who could rock this 2016-fav with verve? Think again, because here’s our very own BG Priya giving us some serious fall/winter boot inspo.
[Over-the-knee boots can be worn in different ways, but BG Priya shows us the classic way of rocking the “it” boot this season. Photo via Instagram: @priyamooky.]
2. The Staple Sneaker:
This trend seriously picked up a lot of steam in 2016—it has literally been worn with EVERYTHING. Gone are the days when a pair of white sneakers were only worn with tracks. This year highlighted the versatility of every pair of sneakers and heightened demand! Wear them with a dress, jeans, or skirt—actually how about with your lehenga the next time you dress traditionally? We dare you!
[We can’t get enough of the signature white sneakers and neither should you. Trust us. Photo via Instagram: L: @ash_ravi; R: @socialandstyle.]
3. That Open-Toe Doe:
Need we say more?
[Fresh pedis are uber important for this fashion statement. And oh, try socks with it while you’re at it and you’ll definitely make an entrance! Photo via Instagram: @ash_ravi; @socialandstyle.]
An Attractive Accessory
1. Choker necklaces:
We know everyone from the 90s had these tucked away somewhere, all in hopes that one day this style statement would make a comeback! Well, ladies, we didn’t wait in vain because the choker necklace was 2016’s most sought-after neck piece and here’s how some of our very own BGs styled it this year:
[Chokers don’t have to be just for your western gear. Check out the ways in which these BGs have styled this iconic accessory. Photo via Instagram: @payalmua (photo in middle (left)- styling by @navedacouture; @priyamooky.]
2. Basking in bags:
Everything from backpacks to cross-bodies is fair game! Backpacks became go-to for every BG who was traveling long-haul; and a fun, glamorous crossbody is just kinda-sorta a must-have for every diva! (A special shout out to our sponsor Simitri Bags for giving us some serious fashion bag goals.)
[How do you feel about these beautiful bags? We sure love ‘em! Designer bags are courtesy of @simriti_bags. Photo via Instagram: @payalmua.]
Tune in below to see how shades just made their style statement a bit more stronger this year—pictures really speak louder than words, ladies.
[Who wants some shade when they’ve got the hottest accessory in town, shades. Photo via Instagram: @payalmua; @socialandstyle.]
As 2016 comes to an end, one thing we can assure is these fashion trends will be must-haves for the new year. But not to worry, if you missed those boxing day sales or pre-Christmas Day specials, a bit of splurging never hurt nobody. Happy New Year, fashionistas! XO
Sandeep Panesar is a legal editor, and freelance writer, based out of Toronto. She enjoys everything from the holiday season to the cold weather, and the warm beverages available in the winter months- a true Canadian, eh? When she’s not binge-watching her favorite Bollywood movies, or sipping on tea and gorging on pakoras (or Timbits), she’s keen on highlighting the pulse of community issues through her writing assignments. Sandeep is driven by her passion for fashion and writing, and uses both as catalysts to express her individuality; she’s an avid believer in the power of the word.
Making conscious decisions can, and should, go hand in hand with wearing fashionable pieces of clothing. Fortunately, South Asian fashion is making huge strides in the sustainable fashion department, and ace fashion designer Anita Dongre is at the forefront of this change; she’s so dedicated to making environmentally friendly choices in her collections.
Brown Girl Magazine has previously had the honor of featuring her Grassroots Collection; today, we sat down with Dongre to chat about her new vegan luxury line.
Her love for animals is parallel to her love for fashion and she does not sacrifice one or the other. From handcrafted purses to belts, the new collection is made of recycled materials and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
What inspired you to “go vegan” both personally and product-wise?
I have always loved animals. When I was 13 my best friend talked me into being vegetarian and there was no looking back – Sangita and I continued to work together and since then we have both also turned vegan. When I started my business, I wanted the brand to be an extension of my personal philosophies so being a vegan brand was a forgone conclusion. My personal philosophy is to live a mindful life with kindness. This philosophy extends to respecting all life [so] we have chosen not to use leather for our line of accessories. For years I have wanted to create a vegan line of accessories that was high on quality, fashion, and kindness, and technology has only recently caught up with that desire.
Women have always expressed themselves through what they wear. In today’s time, carrying a bag that reflects their core personality is the default, and yet until recently, there hasn’t been a leather replacement that is cruelty-free and kind to the environment. With material sciences finally having the answer it was imperative to design an accessory line that women, like myself who care both about fashion and a world of kindness, could carry with pride.
What material is used in this new line? Why did you choose it?
With MIRUM® we found a partner who creates this beautiful, plastic-free material that mimics the touch, feel, and age of leather without cruelty. The line also features bags made out of recycled glass beads. We’re careful about delivering high quality [products] and both these materials deliver to that benchmark while being plastic-free.
How many pieces does this new line have and what is the importance of the animal symbols of each?
This collection is inspired by nature, my eternal muse. The Swan mini grab bag draws from a swan’s graceful silhouettes; the birds of a feather cross body bag borrow bird motifs that you see across my collections; the haathi belt uses my favorite — the Indian elephant, [which] is a symbol of strength and humility — every piece in this line of accessories is an elegant statement in conscious luxury living. The Anita Dongre brand has stood for elegance, timeless classics, and sustainability. We have always stood for handcrafted luxury while being mindful of the purpose it serves. These same principles extend into this collection of conscious, plastic-free, vegan accessories. While the shapes of these bags are distinctive, they are also functional – a design approach that extends across all Anita Dongre products.
How to promote sustainability in India versus let’s say New York City:
India’s lived culture is based on the practice of sustainability. From clothes that would be passed down to siblings and then cousins to eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, our practices until recently have always defaulted to conscious consumption. It’s exciting to see the rest of the world adapt to that way of living and [it’s] a good reminder for us Indians to go back to the way we were raised.
Anita Dongre allows her consumers to choose ethically-sourced pieces while letting them embrace sustainability as a part of luxury fashion. Soon enough, such cruelty-free products will be synonymous with India’s (and the world’s) top fashion couture brands. This is definitely not a step, but a huge leap forward.
Photos in the featured image are courtesy of Anita Dongre.
From humble beginnings, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna joined forces to create the worldwide fashion design brand Rohit + Rahul. Based in one of India’s fashion capitals, Delhi, the two take an eccentric approach to designing by utilizing geometry and modern art to build their design lines. This is commonly seen in some of their more recent design lines such as the ‘Fibonacci’ line. Also, the founding members of the brand Fashion Design Council of India, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna insert new meaning into fashion by telling a story to the younger generation. With their bold pieces, Rohit and Rahul want consumers to feel empowered and individualized.
Tell us about your journey and where it all started.
We began our design journey in 1997. We saw a significant gap in the global market between Western and Indian couture segments and [so] amalgamated our personal style statements to merge it with our conviction to cater to this deficit, and launched our brand. The brand stands for contemporary designs and embodies an aesthetic of understated red carpet creations. As designers, we believe in curating garments that are timeless and decorous. Also, we have entered our 25th year of creative partnership as an established designer brand.
Ten years from now we see our company with corporate backing, more evolved with exponential growth.
Which client are you most looking forward to working with?
The client we most look forward to working with is the youth of today. The younger audience is experimental and bold; they don’t shy away from trying new trends. We look forward to dressing clients who are ahead of their time, love to explore the world and understand our structure and silhouettes.
What was one of your favorite showcases? What was different about this showcase compared to the others you have had?
We embroidered our surface textures and did a presentation with masks which was quite unusual. Another interesting project we did was inspired by art which is the ethos of the brand. It’s our sublime passion for art that reflects in the thoughtful craftsmanship of our brand.
What was it like having a partner?
Two is a team and it is great fun working together. We take various aspects from each other’s lives and put those thoughts into our design process. We both are different personalities and critics of each other which helps us understand things better. The journey so far has been exhilarating and challenging too; we were a two-man army. Back then from managing designing to marketing, merchandising, and sales, all of it was managed by the two of us. Now, we have a team working alongside us which makes us feel we have come a long way.
What interests do you have outside of fashion?
Outside of fashion design, our interest lies in art. Our design inspiration is derived from art and architecture. The heritage and the vintage lineage of the city of New Delhi where we are based are what instill our passion for finesse and immaculate grandeur in the minutest of details. We have been successfully running our art gallery, Palette, which houses modern contemporary artworks of young and established minds alike.
Where did the idea for the Fibonacci show come from? What’s one of your favorite looks?
‘Fibonacci’ at its heart, is a nod to craft — both structural and artistic — where every piece is a study in precision. The collection brings together this iconic designer duo’s dedication to the study of structure in art and architecture, transferring these learnings to design. The idea of the Fibonacci show was inspired by the artist named Zaha Hadid, who is known for her liberated architectural geometry. Our favorite look is a mosaic sherwani which was recently worn by Indian megastar Ranveer Singh.
The Astral Gala line is inspired by stars and galaxies. It is a reflection of our love for the cosmic universe which is surreal. The line is inspired by the old-age divas from the retro era fused with new modern techniques of boning and construction.
What is your favorite type of clothing piece to design? Which clothing pieces do you find most challenging to design?
Constructed jackets are our favorite piece of clothing; we pay a lot of attention to our finishing and construction. Constructed pieces are the most challenging to design but it also gives us more room for experimentation. Also, heavy ornamentation/surface textures make the garments difficult to mold and sculpt hence, we face challenges with those garments.
It would be Billy Porter for his unique fashion sense.
What do you hope to take away from this interview with Brown Girl Magazine?
It is inspiring to connect with a global community-building publication like Brown Girl Magazine which reaches out to a huge audience. One of the key takeaways from this conversation would definitely be the power of storytelling and narration as an individual from the creative industry and its influence on the upcoming generation of designers.
How has the power of storytelling influenced your past shows and how do you plan to utilize it in your future shows?
Storytelling is a key aspect and we utilize our runway sets to showcase our brand ethos and the inspiration behind the collection. We showcased the Fibonacci collection at Couture Week last season. The collection was inspired by the movement that marries precision with an architectural penchant for precision, guided by nature’s invisible rule — the Fibonacci wave. The intricate set for the show was built by artist Akon Mitra by combining thousands of origami pieces that arched over a ramp to depict a wave in perfect mathematical proportion. The set design reflected the beauty of patterns defined by Fibonacci’s irrational number, where every pattern is uniform and built with clear lines and divisions.
What do you want people to feel when they wear your designs?
Brides and grooms should be comfortable and feel true to themselves when they choose to wear us. We want our designs to empower their true personalities and shine through on their big day!
Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna have taken a unique approach to fashion design not only utilizing storytelling to define the identity of their goal consumer, but also modern art to shape their clothing lines. The brand has been featured in GQ, multiple fashion shows such as Amazon India Fashion Week, and dressed famous clients such as Aishwarya Rai, Deepika Padukone, and many more. Rohit and Rahul aren’t just two fashion designers that came together; Rohit + Rahul is a team that gives you an identity with their design work.
Indiaspopup.com — USA’s premier online destination for luxury Indian designer clothing and accessories — is a global platform for South Asian fashion. It curates inclusive, embracive, and conscious trends and styles from the heart of India to its global shoppers. Founded by Archana Yenna, the company honored South Asian women from various walks of life who are leading the path for future generations. The luxury retailer hosted a ‘Power Table’ dinner at Armani/Ristorante in New York City with South Asian women leading the change in fashion, entrepreneurship, media, entertainment, and journalism.
At Indiaspopup.com, we empower and celebrate women through authentic South Asian fashion and community contributions. As we celebrate Women’s Day, we remain committed to sharing inspiring stories of South Asian women achievers and changemakers. Our recent ‘Power Table’ dinner in New York City celebrated remarkable women — trailblazers of South Asian heritage, inspiring the next generation of female leaders to dream big and chase their aspirations.
Yenna honored these women for breaking stereotypes and spreading positivity on body sizes, health, confidence, and skin tone. Through her work with Indiaspopup.com, Yenna hopes to help women feel beautiful, confident, and feminine, and make progress toward positive change. In a series of photos shot in New York City’s Baccarat Hotel, dedicated to the quintessence of luxury and excellence, Indiaspopup.com produced a high tea-themed photoshoot to celebrate its honorees. The women wore avant-garde clothing donning some of India’s most prominent designers while sipping tea, dining on canapés, and enjoying one another’s company. Exemplifying Indian royalty, the women championed one another and the power of sisterhood, and shared what womanhood meant to each one of them.
During the two-day festivities, Indiaspopup.com announced their partnership with Sakhi for South Asian Women, an NGO that represents the South Asian diaspora in a survivor-centered movement for gender justice. Sakhi applies a trauma-informed, culturally responsive lens with a long-term commitment to mobilizing a future free from violence. Yenna pledged to donate a portion of sales from the month of March to the organization.
Sakhi for South Asian Women is grateful to Indiaspopup.com for uplifting and investing in our work with survivors of gender-based violence. Nationally, 48% of South Asian Americans experience gender based violence throughout their lifetime, and at Sakhi, we have seen a 65% increase in cases over one year. This support will help us address the overwhelming need in our community and continue our commitment toward a future of healing and justice.
— Kavita Mehra, Executive Director at Sakhi for South Asian Women
To learn more about Indiaspoup.com visit their website.