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Kiran Bahl

Happy Holidays. Ready for the swarms of holiday gatherings and parties all over? Besides Christmas/Hanukkah events, New Yearís parties will be a major spotlight, too. Letís prepare to razzle and dazzle our crowds this year and ring in 2008 with ultimate style and class.

To all the ladies: Be bold! For every black-tie event you are invited to, swear to wear anything but black, and youíll be in the now. Jewel tones are still very much in, so opt for emerald greens, sapphire blues, amethyst purples and ruby reds. Another pair of stone colors sure to sparkle all season long? Silver and gold Ö These diamond and amber hues reflect light completely, guaranteeing all eyes on you. Just be sure to remember when wearing silver and gold looks, to keep your accessories to a minimum, or youíll look similar to a disco ball (a major fashion donít).

For home or intimate restaurant gatherings, opt for an elegant salwar kameez. To be super-trendy, wear a simple print sari, with lots of shiny jewels. The look this time around is to wear a sophisticated, almost simplistic outfit, with head-to-toe jewelry (including glossy hairclips and heels!). So even a solid-colored simple salwar kameez adorned with a heavy jewelry set, bangles and extra long bindi will surpass a fancier look with normal accessories.

To transform into the star of a major party or function (even weddings now are being held during the holidays), high-class, high-gloss glamour is in. A red sari with crushed gold sequins throughout finished with a gold set with dropped rubies or a purple sari with white stones scattered around and iced with diamond studs can blend you all together, making you flow with your look. The gelling of clothing and accessories together is quite beautiful and harmonious, but save this almost mono-chromatic style for the party of the year, as it will be most memorable to one and all.

Gentlemen, jodhpuris are the tuxedo-replacement look of winter. From neutrals such as whites, creams, and beiges to bolder tones in blues, red and purples, all jodhpuris are good jodhpuris. Black ones, however, must be used with caution, as spring predicts blackís comebacks on the runways (save them for next season!). This outfit, complete with blazer and slacks normally in silk, look much dressier in the new darker hues, particularly ornamented with gold embroidery and beadwork. An eggplant colored jodhpuri will stand out 10 times more than an average cream colored one. Itís all in the deeper end of the color spectrum. If sporting a trendier shade, though, donít overdo things and become too matchy-matchy. Shoes, watches and belts should be a neutral brown or black, and jewelry a minimum.

Send us your fashion questions and concerns. Follow the trend! E-mail us at, and weíll answer any and all your fashion dilemmas! Hereís this monthís Fashion Drama Question of the month:

Q: Are gold sets still in fashion? Iím newly married and got lots of gold sets, but whenever I attend parties, even weddings, nobody is wearing it. Should I just wear my costume jewelry like everybody else? -- Manju, Sarasota

A: Hi Manju, and happy holidays. Smart question. When ordering bridal outfits, weíve been ordering matching kundan costume jewelry (meaning, fake) sets too. So, weíve been wondering the same thing. After research, though, we discovered that gold is golden, but in smaller amounts. An average gold set, especially the types you get at your wedding, Diwali, Karvachauth, etc., would be too much, but a simpler one would be sufficient (for example, a gold pendant on a gold rope with smaller earrings). Try a lighter gold look, and youíll be sure to shine!

Once again, happy holidays to one and all. When attending your tons of parties, be sure to have fun, but be cautious, too. If drinking, be sure to have a designated driver at all times. Please be safe, be healthy and above all, be happy. And as always, remember to gro with style!

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

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