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Kiran Bahl

Happy Independence Day to all! The pour of wedding events (besides the rain) gives us the perfect opportunity to flaunt the latest and best of Indian fashion trends. With Independence Day festivities nearing as well, we are sure to always want to exhibit what's "in," and put aside the "outs"- far, far aside! Here are some tips to stay sizzling this summer.

Ladies, yes, Anarkali churidars are still in fashion. Personally, this style does not suit very many women, especially the Anarkalis with much work around the neck/bust area. It almost makes any woman a size 2 and up looking and feeling pregnant, with the outfit's fitted bust, and flowing, pleated waistline (very floating, indeed!). Again, Anarkalis are here to stay until at least autumn, so to properly and appealingly show off this look, opt for this style with simpler, more spread-out work, as well as a straighter, dress-like shape, flowing slim from top to bottom.

And great news. Indian fashion is finally moving forward from the Anarkalis to the regular churidar, too. This outfit comprises of a mid to full length kameez, leggings (tight, pleated drawstring pants) and dupatta. The key to keep the look elegant and proportional is to ensure the kameez is always well-fitted. Being frumpy on top is a fashion don't, it will make your legs look like scrawny chicken legs, guaranteed. A streamlined look will flatter every figure and make sure to turn heads instead. Finish the outfit with a long pair of heels, and you'll be good to go.

Want to know another look that's been dying to make a comeback, and ultimately has returned? The lengha! This party perfect outfit is made up of a full-length skirt, choli blouse and dupatta. The latest lenghas flaunt cutwork patterns, dangling stone/beadwork, and completely contrasting cuts/color combinations. Lengha skirts are split in many directions, from left, center and right (sometimes multiple times). Double lengha layers also are becoming increasingly popular, in that when one layer is folded inside the skirt, or pulled up to your sides, the second layer underneath becomes prominent. Very trendy bridal! Colors are experimental too. Lime greens are mixed in with mauves, purplish colors, just as easily as teals are blended with rust orange shades. Stark white lenghas with one bold accent color, such as magenta or turquoise, is a look certain to follow suit as well.

Gentlemen, two hot trends are being sported in runways everywhere. The Sherwani with attached dupatta has become an instant hit, especially for the modern groom. A regular Sherwani is adorned even more with crystal and embroidery work atop a raw silk finish. A skinny, cutwork dupatta, fully decorated with matching work, is draped around the neck, with ends stitched to the front of the Sherwani on each side. Also, instead of those "Robin Hood" tights/pajamis, the newer Sherwanis are featuring salwar bottoms (wider, looser bottoms), thanks to popular demand from men everywhere.

And finally, the look that has everyone wanting more has no name. This glamorous look is inspired from the Moghuls of today, surpassing the overdone 'historical/period film' look. Consisting of regular slacks (but in raw silk texture), and Sherwani jacket (which remains open), this look's twist is in the fact that the jacket is only mid-thigh length, shorter than the normal Sherwani. Like the Jodhpuri, on the other hand, a vest in contrasting color, regular waist length, moves the eye upward, forming a striking combination. Duo colors such as maroon and beige, or black and gold. make for the perfect wedding reception attire!

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: My daughters insist on wearing orange, but I keep refusing them, as they are too fair-skinned to pull off this color. What should I do? - Elly, Tampa

A: Hello Elly. I understand what you mean, in that the color orange might make your daughters look even more washed out, being they're so fair. But, honestly, anyone can pull off any color, guaranteed… as long as they accessorize accordingly. For example, dress them in orange outfits, mixed with contrast colored embroidery or sequin work. If the outfits are all orange, then mix with sapphire blue, emerald green, or ruby red bangles and jewelry. The darker, deeper colors will pop against their skin, as well as keep the outfit's more subtle color to a minimum.

Once again, Happy Independence Day to all. Enjoy the festivities to the fullest, be safe, 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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