All posts by V

Spend your Winnings…

We know we are a little late with our August wishlist, but better late than never 🙂

Read on for our picks for August.

1. Kenneth Jay Lane EarringsKJL EarringsThese resin earrings provide just the right amount of pizazz to just about any outfit. The would work marvellously in transforming your office outfit into something appropriate for a night on the town. They would also work with a tee and a pair of denims for a dressed up brunch look.

2. Black and White Embellished Top
AK Top

We love all things monochrome. This top by Aanchal Kohli would be flattering on anyone irrespective of body shape. We love the high low hem and the embellishment on the neckline. A pair of sky high heels and you would be ready to paint the town red.

3. Powder Blue and Pastel Clutch

Aiyana Clutch

Shopping is good for the soul – always. It’s even better when it does good for the community and looks absolutely gorgeous. One look at this clutch under the brand name of Aiyana by the Umeed Foundation and you know exactly why you absolutely need to have one in your closet.

4. Marc Jacobs BraceletMJ ClutchThis MJ bracelet will add the pefect amount of shine to your day outfit. It won’t detract from your o-so-important presentation and will make you look polished and pulled together.

5. Krishna Mehta Top

Krishna Mehta Top

Krishna Mehta is known for her extensive use of Indian handloom fabrics and to die for ethnic wear. We love adding the so called Indian touch to any outfit. This Chanderi silk top would look amazing on a pair of skinny black jeans and you wouldn’t need much else to complete that outfit.

Happy Shopping!!!

PS: You can buy all of the goodies above quite easily if you win our birthday giveaway. What are you waiting for? Enter and get ready to shop!!

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An Excuse to Shop

Has anyone asked you why you splurged on a bag or a pair of shoes? Or asked you to justify that outfit you bought for your next night out? We certainly have. And we have justified ourselves time and again. To answer those questions once and for all and to give you the perfect list of excuses, we have compiled a list of our top excuses.

1. Quality is expensive
Let’s face it, in today’s time of wear and throw fashion from H&M, Zara and Forever 21, we have forgotten to cherish that one special purchase. We have forgotten how long a good bag lasts and how timeless the classic bags are. You cannot dispute how comfortable a pair of Louboutins are when compared to a pair from Dorothy Perkins.

Quality


2. Inflation
Everything has gone up in price. That includes milk and bread. So how then does someone expect you to lust after a bag and save up only for it to go up in price and now you have to spend hundreds of pounds more than you initially planned on. It hurts your head, your heart and your wallet. But the questions that follow are just annoying.

inflation3. Resale value
I have a Mulberry bag that I use every day. The prices at outlet shops have doubled. So if I sell it now I actually would make 100£ on it after having used it extensively for more than 4 years. Now ask your interrogator to name one item they have used for more than a 1000 days and can still be sold for at least a 20% profit?

Profit

4. The Feel-Good factor
It is a proven fact that shopping and exercise uplift your mood. It has also been proven that buying something timeless and invaluable to you can put you in the right frame of mind for not just hours, but weeks. And the feeling and happiness flood through each time you use the item as well. Apart from wine, I don’t think there is anything else that can have the same effect! Exercise just hurts your muscles after a point as well doesn’t it?
Shopping hobby
5. The Impression
You could be wearing an outfit from the sale rack at Primark, but carrying an expensive accessory makes everyone around you think your outfit is worth a whole lot of moolah more. Your interrogator will be the last one to deny that they live on the opinions of others and will walk away rather than waiting to find out what you think of them.
Impression
6. Everyone has an Expensive Hobby
Some people buy watches, others buy jewellery, there are still others who buy nice cars or fine wine – we buy bags and shoes. That’s our thing. I am sure if you look at your interrogator and ask them about those sparkly diamond earrings, they will read this list right back to you.
Hobby
7. The Feeling of Belonging to an Exclusive Club
While there are expensive bags and shoes in almost all prices ranges, they are still not cheap as chips. The prices for some bags and shoes are still high enough to prevent everyone from owning one and making the product mass market. So the chances of seeing another person with the same accessory as you down to colour and material is highly unlikely (unless of course you live in a really really nice area).
Secret Club
8. Because it’s your Money
You work hard to earn your rmoney and you make sure your bills and rent are paid. So why should anyone bother about what you do with the remaining moolah in your account? How is it their business anyway? You haven’t asked them for their retirement plans and size of their pension pots so it isn’t their business to worry about your spending habits now, is it?
My Money
What are your top reasons for splurging? We would love to add to our list 🙂

April Payday Treats

Spring has set in and it is almost that time of year when we can start wearing white, but it isn’t considered acceptable (not till Memorial Day at least). Our picks for this month’s pay day treats and splurges have a distinct shine to them – bidding goodbye to dull and dreary winters with some sparkle.
1. This dress is infinitely versatile. It can fit seamlessly into your work wardrobe and add a statement necklace and shoes and you have a gorgeous party ready outfit. At this price point, it is also a steal
Michael Kors
        Michael Kors
2. There’s something about sparkly things in a little blue box – it makes the heart flutter and brightens up your day instantly. If your other half doesn’t get the message, this Elsa Peretti ring is is perfect to go out and spoil yourself with.
Elsa Peretti
                            Elsa Peretti
3. Silver, shimmery, shiny, sparkly things make us feel like princesses. This dress is not too tweensy and not too grown up. It is perfect for a night out or a special dinner and motivation to follow those summer diet tips all at the same time 🙂
Varun Bahl
        Varun Bahl
4.We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t advise you to invest your money now would we? This McQueen clutch is a timeless piece. The iconic skull from the House of McQueen isn’t going anywhere and this clutch is enough to glam up any outfit in a heartbeat
Alexander McQueen
            Alexander McQueen
5. There is a reason Cinderella is lucky. No forget about the prince, I’m talking about the shoes. These gorgeous, to die for, will rob a bank for shoes are what the wildest shoe fantasy dreams are made of.
Jimmy Choo
                          Jimmy Choo
Happy shopping!!!

Baby Louis

As we are trying to be healthy this month, it’s only fair that we round off the last few days of the month talking about our other ‘healthy’ endeavours.

My first start at my bag collection was a lot simpler than Aly’s – a trip to Paris. I knew that I wanted to indulge myself and build a collection that I could baby and love for years to come. And obviously a trip to Paris a few months after I started working meant there was no better place to kick off my collection. I didn’t know which brand or which bag I wanted though. After having researched prices for a while I narrowed it down to Louis Vuitton and Gucci as both brands had (at the time) iconic bags under the £500 price point.

We spent the first 2 days of our trip in Paris frolicking around town, taking in the sites. We covered off everything from the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower (lights and all) to a walk through the Jardines des Tuileries and a view of the city from the Sacré-Cœur. We stayed in a small chain hotel close to the Arc and used the metro to travel everywhere. We of course paid homage to the Mona Lisa and the designers on Avenue George V.

Paris
                      Paris

On the last day, it was just my husband and me. We popped into Gucci, Dior and Louis Vuitton and I was completely confused about which bag I wanted. So we decided to take a break and do what couples in Paris do – walk around town. We sat down to have some lunch at a delightful café and then walked some more to get us some crème brulee. Having suitably stuffed myself, we walked back to Louis Vuitton . Being stuffed to the brim helped narrow the decision to go the closest store which was Louis Vuitton.

The shop on Avenue George V was unbelievably crowded. People were walking in and out with huge shopping bags. We wandered around the store and I narrowed down the choice to a Blue Epi PM Alma and a Speedy 25 in Damier Ebene. A delightful SA called – yep, Pierre came around and showed me both bags. I twirled around with both in my arm hoping the mirror would make my decision easier.  After uhm-ing and ah-ing over both, I settled on the Speedy 25.

LV Alma PM
              LV Alma PM

It is the perfect size to run about town in and holds a lot more stuff than one can imagine. It’s absolutely perfect for the rainy UK weather as this is the one bag I don’t have to be excessively careful about. While I now have a few more bags, I still love my Speedy the most.

LV Speedy 25
              LV Speedy 25

A Fruity Affair

Welcome to the New Year! It’s that time of year when we all make resolutions and break them quicker than we made them. It is also the time of year when a lot of companies start pushing diet plans. Healthy eating is apparently the most common resolution. I can vouch that it is the easiest one to break. I still haven’t said no to a raspberry and white chocolate cookie. I also think I chose the sofas for the house based on the fact that the store had freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies in store.

But I have tried my fair share of diets. After a fair bout of bad skin and breakouts, I decided enough was enough and that I needed to do something from inside as nothing on the outside had changed. After looking around, I thought I would give the liquid cleanse a try. Even though there are a multitude of cleanses available, the juice cleanse was an easy choice to make – I didn’t have Queen Bey’s entourage to help me on a master cleanse which involves drinking only lemonade and I definitely did not fancy drinking only green stuff for three days.

The cheapest juice cleanse in the UK costs around £250. This gets your juices for the day delivered to your door in cute 500ml bottles. Not wanting to spend that amount of money, I decided to make my own juices and hunted around for the most common recipes and cut out the exotic ingredients like spirulina.

The juice meal plan was to have 3 greens juices a day, and a choice of two from spicy lemonade, pineapple-cucumber juice and CABG juice a day and yummy cashew milk to finish off the day. Before I even go into the recipes, I have to admit cashew milk is AMAZING!

Each recipe makes about 500ml.

Greens Juice:

– 2 large handfuls of kale
– 2 large handfuls of spinach
– 1 average sized kiwi (peeled)
– 2 whole green apples (I used Granny Smith)
– 1 banana

Add all of the ingredients except the banana to the juicer. Blend the banana separately with the greens juice as it gets all mushy in the juicer.

You should be able to store this juice in the refrigerator for about 2 days.

Greens Juice
Greens Juice

Pineapple and Cucumber Juice:

– 1 half of a pineapple (I bought a ready pack of about 500gm fresh pineapple)
– 2 red apples (I used Royal Gala)
– 1 half of one large cucumber

Juice all ingredients in the juicer. And don’t leave this in the fridge for more than a day because it tastes GROSS on day 2.

CABG Juice:

– 1 medium beetroot (peeled)
– 1 large carrot (peeled, swap for 2 medium or 4 skinny Indian carrots)
– 2 red apples (I used Royal Gala)
– 1 inch piece of ginger (peeled)

Again, pop everything in the juicer and this time try not to finish it off as soon as it’s made. This one looks the prettiest of the lot.

CABG Juice
CABG Juice

Spicy Lemonade:

– 1 Large lemon (juice)
–  1tsp honey or agave nectar
– a pinch of cayenne pepper
– 475 mls filtered water

Add honey and cayenne pepper to your glass with hot water. Mix till both have dissolved. Then add the lemon juice and water. This one is best had soon after a greens juice and just before another greens juice if you have acidity issues.

Spicy Lemonade
Spicy Lemonade

Cashew Milk:

– 1 cup raw cashews (soak for 2 hours)
– 1 banana
– 1 cup water
– a pinch each of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend till the milk reaches the consistency of your choice. Add a little more water if you want it runnier.

Day  1 of the cleanse was hard come evening time. I really wanted to chew on something and I had a splitting headache. I chose the pineapple and cucumber juice and lemonade for Day 1. The lemonade gave me a lot of acidity leading to the headache, I only managed to get through 2 and a half bottles of the greens juice and half the cashew milk before I collapsed into bed.

Day 2 was much, much better. For some reason my skin was all glowy in the morning. I felt full of energy and didn’t for  once think I needed any caffeine to wake me up. I go through the day pretty easily and must confess – I haven’t had that much energy in a single day before or since.

I must confess, I only did the cleanse for 2 days. On midnight of day 2, my other half decided to surprise me with Pierre Herme macaroons. The cleanse did give me some self-control and I ate only 2 and made the box last 3 whole days which I think is a successful cleanse.

Go one give it a try and let me know how you get on. For me, my skin did clear up and it was purpose achieved! I also continued with having a greens juice every day morning instead of coffee or tea and it has kept me going longer than even matcha latte has.

Happy juicing!!

What’s a celebration without shoes?

You can’t have the perfect festive outfit without the perfect accessories to go with your outfit. Here’s our list of footwear to complement your outfit pick for this festive season.

First for the cash option. These cute as a button sandals by Pooja Duggal are as comfortable as shoes come. At $55, they are a bargain and can easily be worn with a pair of jeans once you retire that lehenga.

Pooja Duggal
          Pooja Duggal

Next we have some gorgeous glitter peep toes by Michael Kors for our debit option. True to the brand, these shoes are extremely comfortable and would jazz up your sari or salwar. They would work amazingly for a night out as well. At under $140, these shoes are a closet must have.

Michael Kors
                      Michael Kors

How can we talk shoes without mentioning Christian Louboutin? Picture this – red soled glitter peep toe sling backs, Manish Malhotra anarkali and some gorgeous chaand baalis.. need we say more? At $880, be sure to have your credit card ready.

Christian Louboutin
                 Christian Louboutin

Some wise guy said ‘Jimmy Choo ki nok par rakhi duniya saari hai’. Well, we couldn’t agree more. No wedding or festive wardrobe is complete without the perfect pair of Choos. This $1000+ pair of pointy pumps will look amazing with an anarkali and even more amazing for a cocktail night out with the girls. As far as investment pieces go though, you need to look no further.

Jimmy Choo
                   Jimmy Choo

As always, happy shopping!

Let’s prepare for the fun

We are all geared up for the festive season to start – First Diwali, then wedding season and then Christmas and New Year. Let’s kick off with some wardrobe planning shall we? Here are our 4 top outfit picks across different budgets. All are available to shop and ship internationally, so happy shopping!

Let’s call the first option the cash option. This gorgeous salwar suit by Monikaa’s Aura is the perfect outfit. The traditional fabric is cut in a modern pattern and is the perfect complement to the gorgeous bling you want to sport this festive season. At $89, it is the perfect price for a timeless outfit which will serve you well for a long time to come.

Monikaa's Aura
            Monikaa’s Aura

Get out your debit cards for my next pick by Shyam Narayan Prasad. This red, orange and gold sari is absolutely divine. It would go perfectly with Indian skin tones and no other colour combination screams festive more. At $190, this sari is easy to tie on and would be absolutely perfect for Diwali festivities and attending your friend’s wedding.

Shyam Narayan Prasad
        Shyam Narayan Prasad

What are India festivities without the mention of Manish Malhotra. If you like me enjoy the occasional healthy dose of Dharma and Yash Raj movies, you have definitely wanted some Manish Malhotra in your closet. This emerald green kalidar is opulent without being over the top. At $800, your credit card may need an outing.

Manish Malhotra
                 Manish Malhotra

http://www.manishmalhotra.in/emerald-green-embroidered-kalidar.html

And we can obviously not talk about Indian outfits and not talk about Sabyasachi. Pink, girly, flirty and extremely easy to wear, this pink lehenga saree by Sabyasachi is a dream outfit. Remember when Madhuri Dixit wore this on a TV show? The outfit costs $1,440 and you may need to rob a bank or sell a kidney for this investment piece.

Sabyasachi
              Sabyasachi

Adieu to Fashion Week

And it all comes to a close. It was a bittersweet final runway for Hermes – while they had the honour of closing Fashion Week, they also bid goodbye to Christophe Lemaire.

The Hermes runway oozed glamour in a very understated way. Instead of tailoring, the creative heads let the draping do the talking for them. Do you notice the sari inspired dresses? And the last outfit with the long top which seems inspired by a kurta. Check out collections from Joy Mitra, Payal Khandwala and Sougat Paul from a few seasons earlier, to pick up similar designs at a much more reasonable price point.

Hermes
                                                                 Hermes

The little sister brand of Prada – Miu Miu stuck true to its aesthetics and presented a fun and quirky collection. The bags reinvented the wheel and there was nothing new in terms of shape. The shoes were quite interesting, but I still feel their glitter heel shoes were much better.

Miu Miu
                                                               Miu Miu

And finally, the brand that brought Ally and me together. There was a new bag shape presented on the runway. It looked very inspired by the Mulberry Lily to me. And the black quilted bag looks like a feeble attempt to pay homage to the Miss Dior and the Chanel Flap. On the other hand, I love their outfits. The knit dresses are absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait for a high street version of these dresses (unless of course someone wants to buy me some of these outfits).

Louis Vuitton
                                                           Louis Vuitton

What was your favourite runway? I am torn between Oscar De La Renta and Elie Saab. Who gets your vote?

Whistling Away

Before you read today’s post, I would like you to take a minute and remember Tiger Shroff – yep the guy who looks like Kareena Kapoor. More specifically remember this…

British brand Alexander McQueen presented a stellar collection. If you haven’t ordered a pair yet, now is the time to actually go and buy a pair of calf length gladiator sandals. It is definitely the next big thing. Notice how the hemlines are balanced with the high footwear. I loved the nude top dress and can’t wait to see the outfit in real life.

Alexander McQueen
                                                       Alexander McQueen

Gladiator sandals made an appearance again on the Valentino runway. As always, there were some gorgeously embroidered dresses. What has completely thrown me though is the lack of light, bright, summery colours on the runway. I’m not complaining – when the designs are this good, anything goes.

Valentino
                                                              Valentino

And finally, why I thought of Tiger Shroff. The Chanel runway was inspired by protest, and featured a whistle on a chain as a feature accessory. While I understand the reason and thought process behind the runway, I don’t quite get the accessories. If you are going to drop close to £3,000 on a bag, I would still suggest going in for one of their classic designs.

Chanel
                                                                Chanel

Impeccable tailoring looks like this

We are nearly at the end. And what an end it is. From the material choices to impeccable tailoring, the best designers in the world today showed why they are the best in the business.

Stella McCartney presented some easy-breezy dresses on the runway. I absolutely love how she interspersed hard and soft by way of large buckles on the shoulders. The second dress on the second row is the perfect lesson is cut outs done right. And I know my mom and dad will definitely be happy with the fact that flats are most certainly in.

Stella McCartney
                                                         Stella McCartney

Hedi Slimane landed at YSL with a bang of epic proportions. While his changes didn’t go down too well with the fashion pack, I think this collection cements his place in the fashion books. He stuck to what the brand is known for – androgynous styles and presented them in a delightful manner. I would have liked to see more of the dresses but they were all covered up with some amazing jackets. A special mention for the first dress on the top row – it is absolutely stunning.

Saint Laurent
                                                          Saint Laurent

Elie Saab redefined tailoring and ready to wear. Each and every one of the pieces sent down the runway can be worn (of course only if you have the figure of a supermodel) without any alteration. Even under the harsh camera flashes, I am hard pressed to find a single tailoring or fit flaw which is very unusual for any runway show. I’m waiting for a real life spotting and if there is a genie somewhere listening to my wishes I would like to ask for the ombré black and white dress. Pretty please!

Elie Saab
                                                             Elie Saab