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Kiran Bahl

Greetings to All. Summer made its official debut on June 20, and we couldnít be more pleased. Fashion has sure been hard at work. Runways and catalogs have been displaying the lightest, prettiest, and most versatile looks, inspired by all forms of nature, particularly during this summer season. As we enjoy the ultra-hot weather, letís also indulge in the newest styles offered.

Ladies, remain slaves to the even more popular sari. Who knew how much of a craze one six-yard piece of fabric could bring? From little girls wearing readymade saris to grandmas sporting smarter cut blouse styles, saris have become the fashion staple for every desi wardrobe.

Specifically to join nature and people together, saris and other outfits remain fancy, but with a touch of carelessness and informality, making the look adaptable to all. To understand the trend completely, think of summer and its surroundings. Greenery, the ocean air, light rains and the scorching sun come to mind. Take colors associated with these frames and you cannot steer wrong.

Greens are in. Rare is green mentioned as a couture color, but pleasantly, green has shifted from being a dark, seasonal, holiday color to the hottest summer hue. From bright limes to vivid grass, all shades are in. Think the color is a bit loud or unusual? Mix the color with a neutral color, such as black or beige, and youíll have a look more comfortable for you. The ocean presents us with the popular turquoise shade we ladies absolutely adore right now, but also think sky, aqua, and royal blues. The slight change in shade will add to your palette of colors in wardrobe and will make lots of difference.

Rain may be a dull feeling to some, but to others, a light rain falling gently on a hot and sticky afternoon is fresh and beautiful. Bring these colors alive by wearing gray, white, and purple hues. A gray sari or white and lavender pantsuit will work well. Lastly, letís focus on the sun. Whatís summer without the sun shining bright all around? Reds, oranges and yellows have been a favorite as a result on runways everywhere. Do remember, though, when wearing the color red, to not limit your whole outfit to just that one color. Mix in another shade of color or sequin/embroidery work to avoid a too Ďbridalí look.

Want to be on the cutting edge of fashion? A bolder look being endorsed is to mix these summer shades into one, very vivid outfit. Saris are combining blues and whites together, and pantsuits are splashed with purples and yellows. The most colorful and beautiful creations, however, are in the form of lenghas. These skirt/choli sets are becoming a party-wear must-have, slowly catching up to the sari, and they couldnít look better. Using color-blocking techniques (Stripes or patches of different colors versus tie-dying, blending or using two-tone shades), these lenghas look brilliant and hot as summer itself! Imagine royal blue, red, orange, lime, and turquoise shades, all in one lengha. Sound loud? Maybe, but when worn, youíll be the life, beauty and light of any party, guaranteed.

And gentlemen, donít fear. Different colors are cropping up in your looks as well. Not stuck with just neutrals anymore, as mentioned previously, colors such as sky blues and baby pinks have become very popular and ultra-trendy, especially in sherwanis. In keeping with the summer theme, dupattas/scarves have completely changed, and offer a way to dramatically change your look without a full body color makeover. The dupatta has been a desi manís favorite accessory, in reel life (Our Bollywood actors canít get enough of the flowy look!) and real life (Been to a wedding or formal dinner party recently? Every guy has got one on!). But to spice things up a bit, designers have taken the womenís large color spectrum of fashion and copied it onto mensí dupatta color choices. Turquoise, lavender, and yellow dupattas decorated with gold or silver threading can completely brighten a beige or black kurta pajama. Try this small twist on color contrast, and you wonít be disappointed with the results.

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: Is a dupatta necessary anymore for women to wear? - Sofia, Cincinnati, Ohio

A: Hi Sofia. Firstly, thank you for writing to us from Ohio. We remember your short visit to the Tampa area and appreciate it much. For everyday wear, no, a dupatta is not necessary at all. Itís enough to go grocery shopping, work at an office, and run around the house after kids and chores. Why also add to our stresses with a dupatta constantly flying and tangling around our bodies? For more important events, such as a dinner party or get-together with friends, do opt for a dupatta, as it Ďcompletesí the look of a pantsuit, salwar kameez, or churidaar. A dupatta missing at one of these types of events would mean either you forgot it, you didnít have a matching one, or it got butchered somehow along the way. It will never look intentional and stylish, so donít go that route.

Happy summer to all. Aside from all the wonderful nature God has provided for us, think of the details we people add to make memories and fun times together. Love and laughter is what lifeís all about; keep these Ďdetailsí alive and not only will your summer, but everyday will be beautiful. 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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