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Kiran Bahl

Greetings everyone, and Happy Diwali! Diwali is a celebration of lights, a time to wish prosperity and success to one and all. Shouldn't we be celebrating the festivities with bright and vivid colors too?

Ladies, as discussed last month, runways are still following the famous-for-fall red/purple/blue/green four-color palette, but with a twist. Now, too, prints are being added to these dazzling hues to create works of art for any occasion, large or small. For the bold, try these jewel-toned colors and patterns tips to toes (it's extremely holiday!), but for the more subdued, just a hint of these colors and styles as just accessories can perfect your wardrobe.


A beautiful red sari with shimmering sequins or a maroon salwar kameez with pink threadwork is beautiful enough, but add batik or tapestry prints, and voila. Your look is instantly modernized. Another more subtle way to update your outfit is to find fabrics with bhuti work, in shapes of ambis (also called mango shapes), or mehndi patterns. These randomly placed pieces will stand out but not overwhelm the look.


Every complexion's favorite, purple, becomes even more dazzling with the help of foil work, especially in stripe patterns. Gold or silver foils are fine, but focus on where the placement of this shiny stuff lies. For example, if wearing a sari, foilwork should not be around the sari or blouse, but on the pallu only. If wearing a salwar kameez, don't overwork the pieces with this type of finish all over. Using a small amount of foil even just around the neckline and sleeves can be dramatic enough. Stripes also are becoming ever popular, but added with thinner stripes of sparkling foil within, you'll sport the hottest trend. This style trick has become an international runway favorite, and is being repeated for weeks now. Try it, the look will not disappoint.


Gotten into the greens of the season yet? If not, now's definitely the time. Repeat patterns are so easy to wear, and when paired with loud greens, it almost calms the color down. Imagine a black pantsuit with sage green polka dots. The 'repeat' polka-dot design can seem monotonous, but when played with the colors black and green, you've created the latest look. Inverted, take a sea green churidaar. Add columns or 'repeats' of multi-colored sequins down the front. Not only will the vertical stripes flatter you, but the contrast of sequins on green will shine. Try these trends and have everyone 'green with envy'!


Hand-painted saris are the craze now. From water-splashed and ferned-jungle looks to geometric swirl and diamond shape works, it's all about the paintbrush. These imperfect looks perfect your look without overdoing things. A turquoise sari dripping with water drops or a navy blue salwar kameez adorned with large swirls will have all eyes on you, guaranteed.

Ladies, winter's approaching. To get ahead on next season's trends, try mixing and matching the jewel tones above and the looks too. A red sari with foil stripes and ambis scattered about, or a purple salwar kameez with foil polka dots and painted diamond studs will have you on top of the fashion chains. Do remember though, when mixing up these looks, minimize completely on jewelry and accessories. If and when in doubt (if you think you're overdone), go with your instinct, it'll never steer you wrong.

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: You probably never get guys asking you questions, but all of us know one important question we never get an answer to - what shoes do you wear with jodhpuris and sherwanis with out looking like we just got off the boat? - Neel, Tampa

A: Hi Neel, and Happy Diwali! This is a question we get asked a lot at the boutique, so you're right, you're not the only one! For Sherwanis, Kurta Pajamas or Gadar Suits (fancy kurta pajamas), opt for the traditional chappal look (authentic!). For a modern twist? Try pairing your look with mojhris (camel hide loafer look-alikes) or regular loafers (no crazy colors - brown or black only.) For jodhpuris, which resemble suits, dress shoes are your only options, besides shiny boot looks. Easy!

Happy Diwali to everybody again! We wish you all happiness, success and peace now and always. Party much, but party safe. Enjoy one another's presence, and always invite more positive company into your lives. And as you do all this and live life to the fullest, 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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