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Kiran Bahl






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

Onwards to fashion news. As the rainy, hot season continues, it as always, is 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, following the same weather environment. Let’s look at the ‘new’ of Bollywood to freshen up our trends.  

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/salwar kameez 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 great in this combination of more fitted ‘legging’ salwars with kameez and flowy dupatta. Even better news? The kameezes are made in longer-lengths, reminiscent of older times. Very flattering indeed! 

Also, notice how all the old styles of 20, 30 and even 40 years ago are the rage in 2010? 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 greens are displayed.

The traditional churidaar

The traditional churidaar has always remained a classic hit, with the kameez flowing past the knee to mid-calf, but with a few subtle changes to update it. For instance, too much sequin and bead work has been replaced by embroidery and khadai styles, making the style a little less flashy. Small, delicate mirror work, too, has become a fashion staple, welcoming the upcoming Navratri season. 

The gharara/farshi gharara

Remember how popular the gharara became in the 1960s/1970s? They consisted of the traditional look, but with a twist – the kameez was fitted throughout the top. The bottom part consisted of ‘pants,’ fitted throughout the hip and thigh, then flared out with tons of pleats from the knee down. This created a lengha/skirt look when walking or sitting. Very chic.   They’re back in full flair (pun intended). Also, the farshi gharara is making a comeback. The concept is the same as a regular gharara, but the kameez is longer, knee to mid-calf.  The pants could be fitted then flaired, but mostly, they consist of super extra wide bell-bottoms. 

The asymmetrical churidaar

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

Colors in pastel shades such as baby pinks and sea greens still remain popular, but old-fashioned colors heat up the fashion scene. Vivid reds, blues and greens are everywhere, reminding us of the soaring temperatures outside. Try a red sari with icy silver tones or an emerald green churidaar with cool blue shades. All will cool the temperatures down and keep you standing out above the rest. 

Send us your fashion questions and concerns. Follow the trend!  E-mail us at kiran@grostyles.com, 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 difficult, 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! 

An important event coming up this month is India’s Independence Day, August 15. Be sure to show your Indian spirit and attend an event to celebrate our freedom, and don’t forget to wear our flag’s colors, orange, green and white to 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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