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Kiran Bahl

Hi all. Firstly, happy anniversary to Khaas Baat for three successful years in the running – Wishing you the best always!

Onward to fashion news. As the rainy season continues, it as always, running parallel with the monsoons in India. What’s the good news? We can mimic the same styles and patterns from the runways there to blend with our more Western looks here, following the same weather environment. Let’s look at the ‘new’ of Bollywood to freshen up our trends here.

Pretty nature-reminding saris still remain in much demand, but there’s a competitor that’s now in an equally high position now. The churidaar is creating waves all over the fashion industry in India, be it in the north, south, east or west! Ladies of absolutely any figure will look flattering in this combination of more fitted ‘legging’ salwars with a mid-length to long kameez.

Also, notice how all the old styles of 20, 30 and even 40 years ago are in rage now in 2007? Keep noticing. Risen sequin work, geometric patterns/prints, polka-dots and ruffles are what’s now. Even colors from yesteryear, such as bright reds, blues and peaches are displayed.

The Traditional Churidaar

The traditional churidaar has always remained a classic hit, with the kameez flowing almost past the knee, but with a few subtle changes to update it. For instance, sequin and bead work have replaced embroidery and khadai styles, making the style a bit flashier. Mirror work, too, has become a fashion staple welcoming the soon-to-come Navratri season.

The Frock Churidaar

Remember how popular the frock churidaar became in the ’60s/’70s? They consisted of the traditional look, but with a twist – the kameez was fitted around the bust and flaired out like a frock or dress all throughout the bottom. The look is back and better than ever. The bottom of the salwar this time around is decorated unlike before, with the kameez ruffling more on the bottom. Sleeves have become optional, but have mostly remained short or cap sleeved. What is a requirement, however, is colored sequin or risen sequin work radiating toward the neck and sleeves area to modernize the trend. The dupatta remains a soft, flowy chiffon fabric with little bhoti or embroidery trim throughout.

The Asymmetrical Churidaar

Cut, asymmetrical styles have been the rage in pantsuit, salwar and even sari styles, but churidaars have remained stable … until now. Designers have used the bold look of mismatched seams to create ultra-trendy looks in any type of churidaar, be it casual or formal. Pointed flag-front churidaars and layered winged fabric looks are the most prominent styles on the catwalk.

Colors in pastel shades still remain popular, but old-fashioned colors heat up the fashion scene. Vivid reds, blues and oranges/peaches are everywhere, reminding us of the soaring temperatures outside. Try a peach sari with blue and orange sequin work or a red sari with lime green embroidery. You’ll shine.

Send us your fashion questions and concerns. Follow the trend. E-mail us at, and we’ll answer any and all your fashion dilemmas. Here’s this month’s Fashion Drama Question of the month:

Q: I’m traveling for a wedding and don’t know where to even start packing. There are four functions and all require fancy wear. What do I take? - Priyanka, Tampa

A: Hi Priyanka. First, traveling for weddings can be hard, whether you’re packing for just yourself, or your husband and multiple children. For all functions, choose your outfit after reading up on the latest styles (here in Khaas Baat, of course!). Churidaars and salwars pack well for the less fancy functions, but for the wedding and reception, anticipate on wearing an elaborate churidaar or naturally, a sari. With a sari, of course, comes added work. Making certain your sari has a fall attached, finding a matching petticoat and making sure the blouse still fits (!) is always cause for tension. When outfit selection is complete, coordinate your jewelry. Costume jewelry is fine for most functions, even weddings now. The Victorian look is still in, so strive for intricate looks, dangling beads and long drop earrings to complete your ensemble. Bangles should be heavy on both wrists, as is the look lately, and sandals should remain high, platform, or wedge heeled (the taller, the better). Hope that helps and have fun.

Another important event coming up this month is India’s Independence Day, Aug.15 Be sure to show your Indian spirit and attend an event to celebrate our freedom, and don’t forget to wear our mother land’s colors, orange, green and white to further commemorate this special day. And as always, remember to gro with style!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, “An Indian Boutique,” 2035 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612, can be reached at (813) 843-9040 or (813) 903-8334.

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