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Kiran Bahl

Spring has arrived. What does this have to do with fashion, many of you are thinking? Lots. To begin with, all designers can finally take their runway show designs to the public. Lighter, more playful colors, textures, and patterns are acceptable to wear. And finally, new trends in unique places can crop up out of nowhere.

Ladies, remember all those fashion weeks in Bollywood that have been displaying churidaars in frock styles! Also recall movies such as “Saawariya,” “Om Shanti Om” and our current “Jodhaa Akbar,” in which this style, also known as the Anarkali churidaar, keeps repeating itself. It’s the latest trend, so flaunt it. The Anarkali churidaar consists of a churidaar/pajami bottom (tight, pleated leggings). With it, is a long, flowy (almost to the ankle, even) kameez, normally empire-waisted for more effect, and the quintessential dupatta. Sleeves are generally three-quarter to full sleeved, but as the heat rises, so will sleeve lines. Short-sleeves, cap-sleeves and even sleeveless styles work, too. Every texture from chiffon to georgette, and crepe to brocade, have entered the churidaar race, so choose your favorite. But remember, the stiffer the fabric, the fluffier your look, which is never a good thing!

Colors on the other hand are just lively. Mono-chromatic styles are still the rage, as are two-tone contrasting looks, but steer clear of tie-dye looks, as they will make your outfit look messy than sexy. Unique colors such as teal or steel-blue, or distinct two-tone combinations like fuchsia with powder blue or black with copper, can truly make you the trendiest of them all.

Patterns are quite prevalent this season, too. From traditional brocade and foil prints and polka-dots, to trendy geometric designs and abstract striping, designs have come a long way from being just a look; they’ve become forms of art. Try a white eyelet cotton salwar kameez, with dupatta and salwar covered in leopard print. Or, perhaps for the more conservative, a neutral-striped salwar kameez, with pale yellow dupatta and salwar. Less can be more, but always make certain less does not equal none creativity at all.

Finally, the most unusual accessories are taking top spots in jewelry fashion. Arm bands, also called baajubands, are never thought of as a jewelry or accessory piece. Honestly, we always think they’re too ‘filmy’ or more for the stage-performance oriented types. But peak into Bollywood and notice the storm the arm band has created. From Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan, to Preity Zinta and Hrithik Roshan, all these stars have been sporting such trinkets at events, openings and functions. Some even swear by them for health reasons, citing the stones they’ve encased in them heal them from certain ailments as long as the stones remain in contact with their skin. For fashion purposes, however, what a beautiful time for the arm band to make its appearance. With the warmer weather approaching, it’s just the right time to wear a sleeveless or cap-sleeved look and don a baajuband.

Another set of accessories that have become must-haves are foot charms. Anklets and toe rings have become as important as the stilettos your feet are decorated into, so make sure to embellish beautifully!

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 know churidaars are too popular this year, but I’m a plus-size woman, and they just do not suit my body type. Any alternatives? – Talat, Orlando

A: Hi Talat. We get this question asked a lot at the boutiques, and there are definitely alternatives. I personally agree that the Anarkali churidaar may look unproportional on larger women, but that also depends highly on the cut of the churidaar. For example, if you take the churidaar-frock style but lose the empire-waist fitting, then the focus will be removed from just your waist and will concentrate more on your bust/neckline. Another hint is to loosen the churidaar/pajami, opening the legs slightly more than normal to proportion things a bit more. Lastly, all churidaars are in vogue these next few seasons, so opt for a shorter kameez churidaar. It’ll look more like a salwar kameez, and the focus will be more on top than bottom!

Try out different looks, trends and fads always. However, I guarantee 100 percent that if you add your own character and flavor to your wardrobe, you will lead the top of the fashion crazes, and not just follow them. Being yourself and unique, and showcasing this for the entire world to see will make you most memorable. And as always, remember to gro with style!

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