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  CHANIYA-CHOLIS ARE THE LATEST CRAZE
By Kiran Bahl

Just when you thought it couldn’t get hotter, it did. And it will. September means sun, rain and lots of humidity. Fashion also gets hotter. From colors to styles, hot is the cool thing now!

Lenghas, also called chaniya-cholis, are the latest staple in fashion. Crepe silk lenghas have become the formal item to wear, and the colors and styles are breathtaking. From shell tops to spaghetti straps and corset-like backs, the normal, elongated “sari-blouse top” look is gone. And what colors: hot pinks, hot oranges, hot greens. Combined together, the colors enhance anyone’s collection with an intense and dramatic flair.

Ladies, the advantages to crepe silk, it seems, have just been discovered. It’s lightweight, yet can hold lots of heavy sequin and embroidery work. It conforms to the body, and never looks bulky. It also feels cool against the skin, something that seems almost magical and life-saving in this summer heat. Other lenghas, especially net ones, have gained popularity as well -- from informal get-togethers to full-blown wedding receptions.

Salwar kameezes and pantsuits are very much “in.” The twist? Having the bottom just as decorative as the top. Dupattas also are becoming more ornate, instead of the traditional long strip of plain cloth. Airy chiffons and georgettes have taken over cottons and satins, particularly among fancier designs.

After “Paheli,” “Parineeta” and now “Mangal Pandey,” we’re still in terms of jewelry. Elaborate bangles with swing-like extensions or jhumars, and heavy metal oxidized silver/gold kadas with jhumke, are popular. Large jeweled rings, bracelet and ring set combos, and even anklet and toe ring set combos are becoming more and more decked out – great for any occasion. About jewelry sets, try sticking with classic gold sets or extra-large costume jewelry sets; they’ll look striking on everybody.

Men, get those jodhpuris out. Churidaar-pajama looks have gone and left behind a need for crisper, more modern looks, but with a definitive Indian flair. Moghul designs, zardosi embroidery and zari work on these silk creations are elegant.

From clothing to jewels, everything is in a bright and vivid hue. These hot colors are perfect for our super-hot climate and environment. Experiment with colors, never fear them. Remember that every color is unique and beautiful in its own way, and when combined with another color or colors, can create absolute perfection to suit anyone’s style. Stay safe, stylish and as always, remember to gro with style!


Kiran Bahl
Gro Styles, "An Indian Boutique"
on Fowler Avenue in Tampa
(813) 903-8334 / (813) 843-9040

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