All posts by Ally

Cooking In: Tomato & Spinach, Goat Cheese Pasta

Happy Easter everyone!

We hope you are having a great time with your family and loved ones and of-course gorging on some delicious foood!! In today’s post I wanted to share one of my all time favourite pasta recipes. It’s quick, simple and really flavourful!

This time when we re-started the blog, we wanted to share more than just on the usual topics we talk about – fashion, beauty and fitness. For those of you who know us, know that we’re big time foodies, and I think especially as we’ve gotten older we’ve really started to enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes. V makes a mean pad-thai and Indo-Chinese fried rice and manchurian – of-course, I keep saying this to her time and again so that I always get to eat it 😛 hehhee! We want to share some of the recipes we enjoy and experiment with as well as do restaurant reviews.

So now coming to my recipe, you know there are some days you want to eat something comforting, yummy and carb-by. This pasta is one of those dishes for me. To be honest, I love cooking and I’m usually one of those people who takes whatever ingredients that she finds and will make something out of it and I don’t really measure stuff either. I go buy instinct, smell and taste of-course. I’ve tried to give you a pretty accurate measurement and included some pictures as well as a rough guideline – excuse my photography skills, I’m still pretty new to this :D. The good thing about this recipe is that its got veggies packed into it so good for the kids too! Happy cooking :)..

Here’s my Tomato & Spinach, Goat cheese Pasta
Ingredients
 1 brown onion (medium) – sliced
 2 tomatoes (medium – large) – roughly chopped
4-5 mushrooms – sliced
1 bunch spinach – roughly chopped
3-4 cloves garlic – sliced
100 gms goat cheese (chevre)
80-90 gms spagetti or pasta of your choice
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp garlic granules (optional)
1- 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Parmesan for garnish (optional)
Salt to taste
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Main ingredients. I haven’t included the pasta here and there’s some spinach missing from the board!
Instructions
Boil pasta according to packet instructions. In another skillet, heat olive oil, chilli flakes (optional) and add onions on medium heat. Fry for a few minutes and add the sliced garlic. Once the onions are cooked through after 5-6 mins, add the mushrooms and saute’ further. Here you can add the garlic granules, black pepper and salt. After 3-4 mins, add the tomatoes, once that had cooked through, add the spinach. Drain the pasta and add a little bit of butter or oil as as not to dry or stick.
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All the veggies in!
Once the spinach has cooked through and wilted, add the cheese and let it melt to become a sauce. After tasting, add salt to taste.
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Just added in the cheese
Add the pasta and mix well! Voila, done! Garnish with a little bit of Parmesan cheese and ground pepper if you like
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Dig in and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this recipe if you do try it out, let me know how it comes out! Feel free to message us if you have any further questions :-).
Also, in terms of cheese, you can swap with feta or buffalo mozzarella. My personal favourite is Chevre’ and I would highly recommend trying this! It is a mild, flavourful French cheese made from goat’s milk, any brand is fine – I used some of the cheese I bought from my recent trip to Paris.
Bon Apetit!
Love,
Aly
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WTH – What the ha-aair?!?

Having grown up in Dubai, the water you have access to is hard water and really, really bad for your hair. Unfortunately, it seems I took my bad water with me everywhere I went because I had the same issue in UK and in Bahrain :(!!! To add to my woes, I am one of those people who is anyway not blessed with good hair (why?! Indian genes, why???). I have really thin hair coupled with other hair issues (both hereditary and hormonal!). But for the last two years, I’ve seen my hair take a good beating and I know my friends have had the same issue. We’ve together tried and tested some different techniques to reduce our hair-fall, improve the texture and keep it more healthy. Here’s some of the tips we’ve tried and wanted to share it you all!

1. Scalp Oil Massage

Being Indian, we’ve grown up with a good old tel-maalish (head massage in hindi). Nothing really beats a good head massage from your grandmom or mom followed by a lovely afternoon siesta!. I think that’s the best way to keep your hair healthy and growing. It has numerous benefits, some of them are that it helps with blood circulation, hair growth, moisturizing the scalp and controlling frizziness! Coconut oil is one of the best oils you can use for your hair, almond oil and olive oil are other good oils too. Sometime’s you can even mix all 3 and make your own concoction along with some essential oils such as lavender or sandalwood.

I’m currently using the Japapatti hair oil from Forrest Essentials (check previous post!) and it’s actually been really good so far. I bought this particular oil to help with reducing my hair fall, thickening and regrowth, I’ve seen a considerable difference within just a few days of use. You can take 2-3 tbs or more of your preferred oil, depending on the length of your hair, heat it for about 15 seconds and with a cotton ball massage it on to your scalp. Leave it for about 15-20 mins but if you have some more time, leave it on for longer, really helps!

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Japapatti Ayurvedic Head Massage Oil – Forrest Essentials

2. Hair Masks

With hair masks, there are so many different ones available in the market today. You can either make your own or use a regular product. Hair masks are usually thicker in texture and packed with moisture and nutrients for the hair. Try to use it once a week if you can, especially if you have dry or damaged hair, and if you have normal hair then at-least once a month. As a general thumb rule, its good to buy more products with more natural ingredients such a nut oils, etc and to also check that they are paraben and sulphate free. The hair mask I’ve been using for the last few years is the one from REDKEN, it is the ‘All Soft -heavy cream’. I use it more as a deep conditioning once a week. It really helps to bring in the moisture and keep my hair hydrated

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REDKEN – all soft – heavy cream

3. Supplements

We all have really busy and hectic lifestyles and the added stress we go through doesn’t help. I’ve noticed that whenever I am really stressed out, I have a lot of hair fall which is really upsetting to someone like me who already has hair issues. A good go-to are taking supplements as this brings in the added nutrients we don’t get from our food. I’ve been told my many of my girlfriends to start taking Biotin, I bought a higher dose (10,000 mcg) this time because my hair was so weak and there was too much of hairfall. Once I’m done with this bottle, I’ll bring a lower dosage. Check with your pharmacist or doctor which is the best recommended dosage. Omega 3 is another supplement which greatly helps with your hair, skin and nails. I’ve noticed a huge difference and barely have any hairfall.

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Biotin Supplement (the dose and brand I use) – Solgar

4. Treatment Oils

Who doesn’t love their hair to be smooth and lustrous hair? Treatment oils are perfect to keep the frizz at bay (screw you humidity!!), moisture locked in and protection when styling. I’ve seen so many great products in the market at different price points. Argan oil is the rage, I personally use Agadir Argan Oil Hair Treatment. This oil is light, non-greasy and it doesn’t make your hair fall flat. A little goes a long way. you just need a drop or two depending on the length of your hair. I have the travel size bottle, which is both perfect for travel and easier on the wallet. I’ve also used their ‘Hair Shield’ range, which is great to use for blowouts as it protects your hair when using heat. Moroccanoil is another really famous brand. I haven’t personally used it, other than their shampoo but it has really good reviews!

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Argan Oil Hair Treatment – Agadir

 

5. Shower Head Filters

This is a really good product to invest in if you live in an area which has hard water. As we know hard water is really not good for your skin and hair. Installing a shower-head filter is easy and helps purify the water which helps prevent having dry skin/hair. If you invest in this, you may not even need to buy too many of those extra products to maintain your hair/skin. I used to have one in Dubai but just make to sure to check how long it can used and to get it cleaned or replaced depending on time period!

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Shower Head Filter

These are some of the few external things I do, to keep my hair healthy. It’s also really important to stay hydrated and eat well-balanced meals and not go too crazy on using a lot of heat on your hair!

I also found these two articles which may be interesting to read as well :

Article 1 – How to Repair Damaged Hair and Items You Already Have at Home

Article 2 – 6 Reasons Your Hair is Dry and Brittle

We hope you have a great week ahead :)!

Love,
Aly

My Indian loot….

Hey everyone,

I hope everyone’s been having an awesome week so far! From what I can see there’s been some really crazy weather news over the last few days. My friends from UK sending me pictures of the snow, rain in Dubai and well, I experienced Bombay getting HOT! I just returned from my trip to India. I seem to be a bit of a nomad these days – while figuring out where my next journey takes me.

You know I’ve noticed that in the last 2.5 years while I was away from blogging,  a lot has changed. There’s mostly vlogging through Instagram and YouTube! However, I still kind of like the whole concept of writing and talking to you guys; I mean that is how we started Divaly isn’t it? I am thinking of maybe interspersing some videos and including recipes and restaurant reviews as well, to keep up with the times ;).

In this post, I thought I’d share some of the new products I picked up on this trip to India. I tried to keep my shopping to the minimum but for anyone who knows me, THAT almost seems impossible. I mean I don’t even really even need to be buying clothes or make up, it could even be like random tea bags and coffee for all I know!

Sooo I’m going to share some of the things I’ve been wanting to checkout whenever I went to India and I’ll do seperate product reviews on some of them in another post.

  1. Nykaa

I believe this is India’s answer to getting all those ‘foreign’ cosmetic products but at good prices and all under one roof! They also have their own product line, so from blushes, highlighters to lipsticks, nail shades and even shower gel! They have a pretty nice range of products with a decent price point too! I’ve been seeing their ads and products all over social media and naturally, but of course, I had to go check it out! Here’s a couple (not all) of the products I picked up.

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Glow Getter – Highlighting & Illuminating Duo in Glitterati 02 & POUTPerfect in You Make Me Blush
Now this is another brand I personally hadn’t heard of until I saw an instagram post of Masaba Gupta’s (an Indian fashion designer) about the rose spray! Face and body mist sprays are great, especially when you have more hot and humid climates, really refreshes and hydrates the skin. I was advised to buy a pack of three different face sprays for a great introductory offer of Rs 625. The fragrances were lavender, mogra and rose! The brand seems to be similar to Forrest Essentials, and I am keen to explore their products more.
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Face and body mist sprays – Rose, Mogra and Lavender
Now what can I say about this brand and it’s products? I absolutely love, love, loooove this brand and all they offer. I am so fascinated by their natural, exotic ingredients and all the fancy concoctions they come out with! I was good this time, I bought only one product, a head massage oil. With all my travelling, bad water and stress, my hair’s taken a little bit of a beating. I’ve been told good this about this, so hopefully it works!
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Ayurvedic herb enriched head massage oil Japapatti
Since most of these products are new for me, I’m going to use and test them for a little while and then do product reviews on each! I hope you have a wonderful week and stay tuned for more!
Love,
Aly

We’re back and we missed you!

Hello, Helloo everyone!

Firstly, a Happy, happy 2018 to everyone! Guess who’s back?? Well duhhhhh, we are :)!!

We know it’s been a really, really long time since our last post. In-fact, we weren’t even sure if and when we would post again. There’s so much that has happened in the last 2.5 years, mostly personal commitments that had kept us away, BUT its safe to say that Divaly never really left us, and we never stopped talking about how we could have shared our hits and misses with everyone. We really missed celebrating our festival of fashion and more – we missed the writing, the talking and most of all getting to talk to all you guys. Well, before we get on to our usual kind of posts’, that we have at Divaly which is covering our love for fashion, beauty, food and fitness!

I wanted to give you a little update on what the both of us have been upto in the time that we were away. So starting with V, she has just been crushing it. I am so, so proud of her. In 2015, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She’s been a total superwoman, killing it at work, home, being a mommy and if all that wasn’t enough for her to conquer; she co-started Chic Cult – a venture where they sell luxury goods at great prices! (We’ll do a separate post where we will dish out all the deets). And as for moi (Aly), in 2016, I got to go and pursue one of my life-long dreams of going to business school – I went to study Strategic Marketing at Cranfield University in the UK. In 2015, however, my dad had gone through a bout of ill health, which is why between the both of us, we had to take some time off. But, do you know the coolest thing of all? V and I, got to be 15 mins away from each other. There was no way, we would have ever imagined, that my school would be a stone’s throw away from her (just to let you know, Cranfield is in the middle of nowhere!!!!) and I couldn’t be more lucky!

I am hoping that our readers are still around and we are going to work to build that connection again. I know when we had started out, we were called the Divaly girls and had so many messages asking us why we weren’t continuing. We’re sorry we were away for so long and we are so glad to be back!

Here’s a little photo of V and I when she took me around London city….

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V and I being silly!

And for those new readers, here’s the link on who we are and how we started!

Thank you for reading and we hope to hear from you all :)!

Lots of love,

Aly and V

Birthday Giveaway Winner!!

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Thank you to all who participated in our ‘Birthday Giveaway’!! We’re finally ready to announce who the winner is….*drumrolll please*….and the winner is Kaily Baute!!!! Congratulations!! 🙂

Please email us on divaly.net@gmail.com with your contact details and we will send you your gift voucher. You have to let us know what you plan to buy :)!!

P.S – We already announced the winner on Facebook but we wanted to make it official here too!!

Thank you so much for the love!

Aly & V

Birthday Giveaway – Divaly turns 1!!!!

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Well we can’t believe we’re saying this but time’s really flown by and we’ve already turned one :D!!! This has been a fantastic year and we’ve truly enjoyed being on this journey with you! What a birthday without presents?  As you know Vasudha and I love presents and what we love even more is to give them!! As a small thank you and to also celebrate in style, we’re giving away a USD 50/-  giftcard from either Net-a-Porter OR Pernias Pop-Up Shop! The choice is yours!!! How awesome is that?

And plus since we’re feeling extra generous, we’re going to throw in a surprise present as well! So go on girls, all you need to do is :

  1. Like ‘Divaly’ on Facebook
  2. Click the “Follow” button on our blog
  3. Leave a comment on this post

P.S – If you have liked/followed us on any one of the platforms, please make sure to do so on both. If you have already liked and followed us, just drop in your name :). This giveaway is opened worldwide and ends on September 20, 2015.

Now that’s really simple! We look forward to celebrating with you!

4 Totally Cool Girlfriend Getaways

We’re still celebrating our birthday month, and as promised we have something fun planned for all the girls. Wouldn’t we all love to take a trip just with our girls? So much shopping, eating, traveling, gossiping and making loads of memories. It’s always something else when it’s just the girls – twice the fun!!

This post we are excited to have Natasha Amar, who I have known for years, she was my classmate and we used to be partners and share the same bench. How sweet is that?

Natasha is a Dubai-based traveler and writer experiencing the world in cultures, cuisines and hiking trails. Follow her adventures to the far corners of the planet on her blog TheBohoChica.com and Instagram.

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Hope you’ve got your travel bags ready girls and are all set to take off on holiday of a lifetime :)! Read on for more..

Who says girlfriend getaways have to be only about shopping, spas and luxury holidays? We girls can be classy, cool, adventurous, glamorous, sporty and unabashedly self-indulgent, effortlessly slipping from one role into another or magically whipping them into a winning combination all at once. Whether it’s a raging adventure that gets your girls excited or a yoga retreat on a remote island, here are four totally cool ideas for your next girls only vacation.

City Lovin’ in Istanbul, Turkey

Bosphorus Cruise, Istanbul
Bosphorus Cruise, Istanbul

A girls’ getaway in the city that boasts one of the most dramatic skylines in the world (the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque in one picture-perfect frame- hard to beat) translates into a healthy dose of vibrant culture, delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and tapping into Istanbul’s undeniably cool vibe.

By day, visit the heritage sights such as the Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace, and take in the gorgeous views of the city onboard a Bosphorus cruise. Begin your evening at one of the edgy bars that spill out on the street in hipster Beyoglu and later, move the party to one of Istanbul’s posh nightclubs.

Oh and while you’re there, don’t forget to head to a traditional hammam for a thorough scrub session- you’ll feel clean and relaxed like never before.

Whether it’s the stars of Istanbul’s historical extravaganza that sweep your girl gang off their feet or the incredibly handsome men who look like they’ve stepped out of Zara commercials, an escape to the city promises a great girls’ vacation.

Don’t forget to pack: Good walking shoes and high-heels.

Don’t miss: Trendy boutiques in Beyoglu and the local alcoholic drink Raki.

Exploring Off-The-Beaten-Path in Sapa, Vietnam

Cat Cat Trek, Sapa
Cat Cat Trek, Sapa

I know, I know, a holiday to Vietnam is the last thing you’d expect as a girlfriend getaway suggestion, but it’s not for nothing that this one’s called ‘off-the-beaten-path’. If your girls and you fancy yourselves an active vacation that involves spectacular views, and hikes that are both challenging and rewarding, then consider a trip to the mountainous region of Sapa in northern Vietnam.

Begin your adventure in Hanoi, a city that serves as a great introduction to the country with cool things to do such as shopping in the Old Quarter and watching a water puppets show. Then hop onboard an overnight express train to make your way to Sapa. Here you’ll find yourself hiking in lush green terraced fields, and lovely mountain villages such as Lao Chai and Cat Cat with colorfully dressed ethnic women from the local tribes. From Sapa, take a day trip to the Bac Ha market to buy beautiful handcrafted jewelry, hand-woven scarves and other textiles, and to try market style meals. After long days of hiking, spend your evenings at one of the cozy bars in town warming up with a cup of Irish coffee.

Don’t forget to pack: Hiking shoes, warm jacket and a daypack.

Don’t miss: Vietnamese filter coffee and Pho (traditional noodle soup).

Adventurin’ in Queenstown, New Zealand

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown
Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

If you’re not afraid to take the adventurin’ up a notch, then there’s no place better than Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island to get you girls your adventure fix. If there’s a place where you should head to face your fears and challenge yourselves, then Queenstown is it.

The surreal landscape of the town at the edge of Lake Wakatipu and flanked by the Remarkables range, and the wide choice of adventure activities makes Queenstown a haven for those who like to push the limits way further. Jump out of an airplane while skydiving at 15000ft. or warm up with a gentle paragliding session at G-Force Paragliding. From bungee jumping, zip lining, canyon swinging, and river surfing to hang gliding, there’s something exciting for even the most fearless of your girlfriends.
In the evenings, kick back and celebrate your feats with craft beer at one of the brewpubs scattered in the town center.

Don’t forget to pack: Your inner daredevil.

Don’t miss: Wine tastings right in the center of town at The Winery.

Coastal Charms in Tossa De Mar, Costa Brava, Spain

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Costa Brava, Spain

Just a 90-minutes’ drive from Barcelona, this charming little beach town on Spain’s gorgeous Costa Brava is the perfect place for a relaxed girls’ getaway that involves days of doing nothing but lying on the sand, wandering the narrow streets of the old town peppered with bars, cafés, gelaterias and restaurants, shopping for boho-style and vintage clothing and enjoying the delicious seafood that Costa Brava is famous for.

Unlike its infamous neighbors, the former fishing village of Tossa De Mar manages to retain its charm in spite of the number of resorts that now line its main promenade. When you’ve had enough of soaking in the sun on the town’s golden beach that’s overlooked by a 12th-century Roman fortress, sit down at one of the al fresco bars to enjoy glasses over wine over impressive sunsets.

Don’t forget to pack: Your most stylish swimwear, flip-flops and sunscreen.

Don’t miss: Tinto de verano (chilled red wine cocktail with soda and lemonade)

So are you ready to take that girls’ getaway yet? Hey, don’t waste time thinking about it and book those flight tickets already!

Amazon India Fashion Week 2015:  A Sneak Peek

We can’t believe Divaly is going to be 1 year old in almost a week!! Wow time sure flies! So to celebrate our one year birthday, we wanted to reach out to our fellow bloggers and friends to celebrate with us.

Today, we have the multi-talented Priyanka Bhansali from India, she was our very first guest blogger. Priyanka is a fashion stylist, personal shopper, content creator and social media manager! To find out more about her work click here!

We are excited to have her write for us again, where she is covering the Amazon India Fashion week, read on for the gorgeous show stoppers and designs :)!

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The Amazon India Fashion week got a dream kick start with Sabyasachi’s dreamy collection and joining him was the brilliant shoe maker Christian Louboutin, it sure seemed like a dream team. This was just a beginning to the fashion forward week and every designer left us mesmerized by their unique take on cuts, fabric and opulent craftsmanship. The cherry on the icing were our very own Bollywood divas, who completely stole the show.

Here’s a sneak peak.

SABYASACHI MUKHERJEE

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The opening act by leading couturier of India, Sabyasachi unveiled his bespoke tailoring and embroidery that was spell bounding and the gloomy design of the ramp was justified so as the luxurious garments in blacks, red and beige sparkled in the Goth atmosphere. Joining him was Christian Louboutin who created exclusive line that goes in sync with the collection for a royal bride that he is best known for.

RAHUL MISHRA

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The internationally acclaimed designer and winner of the Woolmark prize, Rahul Mishra’s collection was for the women of 21st century. Mishra’s vibrant line had intricate floral embroidery; sheer fabrics with sharp tailoring combined with handwork of subtle rural crafts gave us a glimpse of the bygone years.

GAURAV GUPTA

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With no surprise Kalki Koechlin was the showstopper for Gupta. Expect royal outfits exploring and celebrating the femininity in you. Shimmery outfits with a color palette of blue, silver, peach, nude and light gold casted a magical spell. Embellishments, cinched waist line, luscious draping added to the magic.

MONISHA JAISINGH

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Veteran fashion designer Monisha Jaisingh unveiled the glamorous collection calling it a ‘sailing bride’. We wonder, what would it be for a bride celebrating her perfect day on the yacht? The answer is not the typical; Monisha shows us the unusual with paneled skirts, pre drapped sarees, lehenga gowns, crossover brallets, voluminous gowns, embellished cigarette pants and structure jackets. Showstoppers Kriti Sanon showed a rebel side of the bride finishing the look with sneakers and fashion entrepreneur turned stylist turned actor Pernia Qureshi entered in a baby blue gown.

ROHIT BAL

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It was all floral for Rohit Bal, showcasing us red roses and marigold that had blossomed beautifully and were placed on floor sweeping lehengas, gowns and accessories. As expected the collection was luxurious and grand.  Rich velvets, royal silk embroidered with heavy zardozi looked opulent and seamless.

MANAV GANGWANI

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Models showcasing ethereal pieces accentuating in gold, vibrant colors in elegant Parisian style as to what was called as “Le’ Amoureuse” collection. Seen were new to the eye fabrics like sequined georgette, sheer tulle with shades of gunmetal, sensual purple, peachy coral and aqua. Kangana Ranaut, the reigning queen of bollywood looked spectacular in a purple gown as she discerned like a true diva on the runway.

VARUN BAHL

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The designer dedicated the show to the flower blooms which were seen in heavy embellishment in his bespoke collection. Weaved thickly and intricately on lehengas, dupatta’s and anarkali’s and for the men it was all ill fitted pants with structured jackets, and that is how a royal luxe collection concluded.

RIMPLE & HARPREET NARULA

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Shilpa Shetty showing off her envious curves (how does she do that??) in gold lehenga was absolutely resplendent and she looked ravishing like always. The entire collection oozed monarchial vibe with garments in fine woven embroidery, rich fabrics infused in colors of the royalty.

REYNU TANDON

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Reynu Tandon showcased a vibrant collection featuring the sartorial splendor of Persia. Seen were heavily embroidered lehenga’s and anarkali’s that gave us a sneak peak of Persian weaves. Showstopper Richa Chadda showed us what a Persian Princess looks like in a gold and red lehenga.

DEBARUN MUKHERJEE

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The show started with pretty girl Aditi Rao Hydari in a sepia toned cocktail lehenga which gave us a cue that the collection takes inspiration from various styles of bollywood glam right from the 1940’s to the current time.  We saw an interesting interplay of colors fused with fabrics and embroidery which added to the runway drama. Though shades like black, sepia, pastels and some romantic tones reflected the era back then, the modern silhouettes made it look modern and contemporary. Finishing the show was the dusky beauty Chitrangada Singh looking lovely in a bridal avatar.

MANISH MALHOTRA

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What started with a bang the end to the glitzy week was even better. The couturier brings a style soiree called the Empress Story and by the means of it, we knew what was coming. The old world charm, captivating drapes, stunning weaves and raw bold hues just added more than enough perfection. Behold now, the real Empress, the stunning and evergreen beauty Aishwarya Rai walks in his best and the end to the show couldn’t have been this grand.

We hope you enjoyed these, tell us your favourite looks?

Image source:

India.com | Vogue.in | luxpresso.com

Neutral in Tone

Tee/Teestu – as I fondly call her, go way back. She is an old friend and classmate. We both moved to Pune, India for college, where we first met. If there was one word to describe Teesta, it would have to be fashionable. I have always loved her quirky, experimental yet elegant style.

Teesta likes to describe herself as a third culture kid. She was brought up in Oman and has spent time between India and London. She is currently based in Dubai and  works as a PR and Comms Consultant.

We are excited to have her share her opinion on style!! Read on for more…

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When asked by an old friend, fellow fashionista and founder of Divaly what determined my fashion choices, not only was I excited to share my thoughts on my haute couture choices (wow: I was being asked which means I probably don’t dress too shabbily), it made me take a step back and think about what did actually affect my decision to try and not look like a slob every day? And the answer is really simple – my mother.

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Teesta’s fashion icon, her Mum.

Back in 1958, my mother was born into a typical middle class, slightly unconventional Indian house hold where her parents defined the style and fashion choices of the bygone days. When I look back at Mum’s pictures, I am yet to find one where she doesn’t look chic, sexy, on point, fleek (yes, I went there) but always elegant. I started to wonder what was the elegance attributed to?

White on white on white. Black and white. Navy blue and white. Beige and white. In my opinion you can never go wrong with white. When in doubt for a casual look to sport, a simple white T, a fitted pair of jeans and heels or flats (depending what’s the occasion) can’t be amiss. I have perhaps stated the obvious but we seem to underestimate the power of the neutrals (the wanderer in me prefers to use the words “earth tones” puh-lease) – the main colors of this group include black, white, gray, brown and beige. I’m talking very Muji.

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Teesta in a simple, white striped t-shirt, with her grandmum.

High-waisted jeans, maxi dresses, crop tops, co-ords sets, peplum tops, bodycon, dungarees (oh lord, here we go again), every time I follow the latest fashion inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest there is a new look in town. Very much like a painting, using the neutral palette, irrespective of what the ‘style’ is, one can enhance ones best assets – skin, eye, body (hide, enhance, whatever be your personal choice).

It’s really simple – when in doubt, go back to the basics, and stay neutral. The one thing that is clear as Yves Saint Laurent and Hepburn summed it up in a punchier line that I can – be it summer, winter, spring or autumn, one look that is here to stay: elegance.

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Teesta and her mum Rupa, looking elegant in traditional Indian.

Divaly Recommends!

Everyone is on holiday, or at least is still in the holiday mood. And you know what means? A relaxed calm mind, indulging in whatever makes you happy, for us that’s food, pampering and how can we forget SHOPPING!!! This month, we wanted to share some of the cool things we’ve found and would love for you to try!

1. Highliner Gel Eye Crayon – Marc Jacobs
This has been one of my newest finds and I absolutely love this!!! I’ve been using my Maybelline pencil for the longest time and wanted to try something new. I came across this eye-pencil at Sephora. I’ve never used the Marc Jacobs beauty line before, other than for shoes. It’s really soft and easy to glide on. It doesn’t make my eye water and it stays on for quite long. I first bought the black, which is dark and pigmented and olive as it looks great with my brown eyes (it also stands out with hazel and green eyes). I now have the sapphire blue and silver, which I’m yet to use but they looked lovely! Girls, I really think you should give this a try, perfect for your smoky eyes!

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2. Pure Melt Cleansing Gel – Clarins
This is a pretty cool cleanser. It starts out as a gel that clings on to impurities and make-up, it then melts into a cleansing oil with the skin’s body heat. Only once you splash your face with water it turns into a gentle cleansing milk. Please remember you need to use this on dry skin, I made the mistake once of using it in the shower and it turned into the cleansing milk. This is really great for travel as it serves as a multi-purpose product. This product is suitable for all skin types and leaves your skin deeply cleansed, soft and soothed!

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3. Hangover Primer – Too Faced
This is like a refreshing cool drink but for your face! Whether its long work days at work or late nights. This primer is your cure, it hydrates, smoothens and brightens your skin for a healthy finish. It is also really light and comes in a tube with a pump which is again great to carry on for travel.

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We hope you enjoyed our new finds and tell us your favourites this summer!