SS16 Must have belts and eyewear

It's been a while since I posted on Accessories like belts or eyewear on this blog and as my recent trend reports were treated quite favourably, here is another trend report, based on the WGSN SS16 forecast on "Must have accessories (belts & eyewear) in Spring-summer 2016" and how you can wear them.

With warmer approaching, (rather hot weather here, I should say) the focus of the fashion world shifts to accessories to keep one's look stylish and up to date. This year, the approach of fashion brands will be to create Belts, scarves, hats and eyewear as true accessories to seasonal ensembles, rather than standalone statement pieces. The overall look will be classic with subtle shape changes or embellishments. Stylish accessories will no longer be the prerogative of a privileged few, but will be economic and widely available owing to either mass production or mass customisation. Let me offer more clarity on the individual categories.

SS16 Must have belts
1. Big & Bold - Forecasters claim that Wider waist belt designs with structured unfussy buckles will be the most popular choice for designers this season.
2. Feminine fantasy -  On taking a closer  as the runway shows we also find that the look becomes more feminine with extended leather bands or fabric bands wrapped and tied around the waist to draw in diaphanous, feminine looks or to add shape to layered outerwear. Fabric-bow and Obi-style wide belts offer a softer alternative to structured leather versions.
3. Sport Luxe - The elasticated retro sports belt emerges as an original item that perfectly embodies the Sport Luxe theme
4. Chain belts and dangles - The chain belt emerges as a key item, with rhinestone or crystal focals and dangling tassles tying in accessories as jewelry trend.
5. Materials & Finishes - Matt finishes for buckles are an addition along with plastic or leather covered buckles.

My picks
Belts trends this season are a bit disappointing for me as they are meant to flatter women who are thin, petite or/and have tiny waistlines. The broad belts are also partial to women who have a cylindrical or hourglass body types - but only when they are thin. So my question here is "What about all the average sized women out there, and what about large or plus sizes? Shouldn't we all get to wear the latest trends too? Being a medium cylinder (with regard to my body type), my personal pick from this trend list, starts and ends with the materials. I like the idea of clean styles, matt finish buckles and could be persuaded to try out acrylic buckles too. From a purely business (professional) standpoint  the charm belts are my favourite as it provides a lot of scope for a designer to experiment. 
So what are your picks, my dear ladies?


 SS16 Must have Eyewear
1. Round or Square - go Bold - Squared face frames and Round silhouettes return in force, in both minimalist, refined silhouettes and more flamboyant oversized profiles bringing back the vintage appeal
2. Feminine fantasy -  Classic feminine cat's-eye frames evolve to create more exaggerated angular styles that add a good dose of playfulness to the bold look.
3. Sport Luxe - Classic aviators return along with shield-style sunglasses offering the Sport Luxe look. While a number of designers were seen pushing the sports inspiration with Classic wire frame construction and subtly tinted lenses, it can also be expressed by using statement powder-coated frames and experimenting with cutout lenses.
4. Embellishment - Gems and floral motifs adorn toplines and emphasise winged cat's-eye profiles. Cluster application is key, creating a 3D embellishment look in multicolour and tonal matched colours.
5.  Materials: Along with a bold use of colour there is a rising new importance for synthetic materials; plastic is no longer longer considered cheap

My eyewear picks
When it comes to buying eyewear we must always consider three things- your face shape (your glasses shape must suit your face shape), the coverage you require ( just your eyes or browline or upper cheeks as well) and finally your budget. Only then comes your style factor. Whether you like vintage, sports, modern or feminine shape, this season's key eyewear items are driven by a real sense of playful statement looks.
My personal favourites from this season's trends are the classic aviators and the browline glasses. Having lived in a hot and humid country all my life, I always tend to pick up glasses that cover my brow to shield my eyes from the blinding sun light, so the browline shades are perfect for me. Ofcourse Aviators are classic and you can never go wrong with them. The embellished glass also seem fun provided you have an ocassion to wear them to, so that is a no from me. Plastic frames in powdery finish with glass tints like blue gray and purple gray picks are my - what are your favourites?
WGSN is a subscription based forecast service that discusses fashion, textiles, lifestyle and interiors. Find WGSN trend reports on accessories and jewelry here.  

I hope you found it interesting
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7 Easy hacks to clean silver jewelry

If you love your silver jewellery, the chances are you’ve spent a lot of time trying to find out how to clean them. Thankfully there are plenty of great products out there to help you do this – as well as a few “unusual” alternatives.  

Have You Heard About These Weird and Wonderful Ways to Clean Silver Jewellery?  

  #1 Polishes and Plates
Traditional jewellery cleaners include polishes and plates. These are specially designed to remove dirt and marks from your jewellery and leave them looking as good as new. Make sure the products you choose are intended to clean silver jewellery and always follow the instructions to avoid damage. If your jewellery has beads, charms, jewels or embellishments then you should take extra care as metal cleaners and polishes may be too harsh for these delicate parts.

#2 Toothpaste
Making your silver look good as new is almost as simple as a spit-and-polish. Simply squeeze out a normal amount of toothpaste (the tartar-removing kind works best), rub it in all over the item you’re cleaning. When the toothpaste has turned black, rinse it off and dry your item with a kitchen towel or microfiber cloth. If you’re cleaning something like a chain, or your jewellery has some kind of twist in its design, you could gently rub the toothpaste away with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be careful if your jewellery has a darker design etched into it, though – this method could remove the colour.

#3 Ketchup
 This one’s just as simple as toothpaste. Pour some ketchup into a bowl. Submerge your silver and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, before rinsing it with hot water and buffing it dry with a rag or microfiber cloth. Be sure to rinse it well – even if you do love ketchup, you don’t want any smell or residue hanging around.

#4 Aluminium Foil
If the question of how to clean silver has been on your mind for a while, here’s one of the cheapest tricks of all. Aluminium tarnishes much more easily than silver does, so when you soak the two of them in water together, the aluminium will pick up the tarnish from the silver, leaving your jewellery looking bright, shiny, and good as new. To get the fastest results, line a bowl with aluminium foil (shiny side up) and place your jewellery inside the bowl with boiling water and a normal amount of laundry detergent, baking soda, or even just salt. These will act as a catalyst, speeding up the chemical reaction that removes the dark coating. Leave it to stand for a few minutes, then remove your jewellery from the bowl (carefully – you don’t want to burn yourself!) and wipe it down with a rag.

#5 Olive Oil and Lemon Juice
Mix ½ cup of lemon juice with a teaspoon of olive oil. Dip a soft cloth in the mixture and buff your jewellery with it, then rinse and dry. A quick and easy way to achieve a beautiful shine.

#6 Vodka
Vodka has plenty of uses around the house, so it’s hardly a surprise that a quick dip in your drink could leave your jewellery sparkling. A word of caution, though – only use vodka on plain silver jewellery as otherwise you risk damaging the finish of your jewels. Don’t drink the vodka afterwards either, if you don’t want that gunk on your jewellery then you won’t want it in your belly. Soap If your jewellery is just slightly discoloured or filmy, a solution of mild dish soap or shampoo should get it back up to its former glory in no time. This method is particularly great with delicate pearls, which can dull and wear away with some of the harsher methods listed here.

#7 Wear it More Often
There’s no need to wait for someone to tell you how to clean silver before you show off your jewellery – just wearing it could work wonders. The natural oils in your skin will “clean” your silver and help to prevent further tarnishing.

These tips are simple, cheap, and very effective – the perfect way for you and your jewellery to shine on!

This post with a lot of useful tips has been written by John Brasington who is a veteran of unsavoury household arrangements and learned to clean in the trenches of student living. Now he writes about cleaning and whatever else takes his fancy.
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Tuberose jewellery for haldi

Coming next in the series of floral bridal jewellery sets, is a set created using rose and tuberose flowers. Originally meant to be a jasmine set, the design for this set was changed so many times that I have lost track of them.

Often costumes and jewellery used in hit movies make a huge impact on the minds of the people, prompting them to look for identical fashions, when it comes to styling themselves. This "self designer" phenomena happens not only when a movie releases but also after it gets aired on popular TV channels. One such movie that brought flower jewellery into focus is Bahubali - A Tamil/Telugu a blockbuster fictional historic movie of epic proportions) where the female lead (Tamannah) wears an elaborate set in a romantic dream sequence duet song "Pachai thee neeyadha" (see video below). Another song from this movie that is worth watching in the jewelry context is Manohari which has brought back silver ethnic jewelry in a big way.

Naturally I got a lot of queries to make such sets but I couldnt make them, simply because I just didnt know how (Believe me I am planning to remedy this by learning it very soon). But this one person wouldnt take no for an answer. She wanted a white and red set, preferably with jasmine for her soon to be sister-in-law and we brainstormed so many different way in which we could do it weeks ahead of the function. Then it rained.

There was hardly any good jasmine available for weeks and what was available was extremely expensive. To add to that, the designs we discussed required the flowers remain as buds but the damn jasmine kept blooming everytime I tried experimenting with it. Here is one such experiment, my instagram followers would have seen it way back in December


Compared to the ones worn in the video this naturally sucked and after contacting a few learned folks I realised that the flower used is not Jasmine (Malli poo) but Wax flower (moon beam flower) also know as Nandiavattai in tamil or Chandini in Hindi. Having grown up, caring for these Nandiyavattai plants (or rather trees) till I was 18, and seeing the flower bloom endlessly I felt like a fool; how could I not have recognised it? Was there a big portion of my past that I had forgotton to help me transition into city life?  The even bigger question (at that moment) was where do I find it in Chennai?
 I was told that it was unavailable in Chennai, had to come from Erode, had a minimum order quantity and costs almost as much as jasmine :( I was super frustrated for I remember these flowers always blooming in excess and we not knowing what to do with it. They were never worn by women and was only used as an offering to the Gods. The idea of using the buds of the flower never even struck us then.

As I was talking about all this to an expert from the field, she suggested that I try using Tuberose or Sampanghi (also called Rajnigandha) which is generally used to create scents or temple garlands. With time running out, I pitched a new look and a different design idea to the bride who thankfully accepted it and this is what I made - a set with tuberose and red rose buds consisting of a necklace, earrings, maang tikka and a haath phool.
My parents kept looking at me in a weird way while I was making the set. I guess I must have made quite a scene sitting in my couch, needle and thread in hand, surrounded by bags of tuberose, looking intently, experimenting with patterns, checking them out in the mirror every few minutes and talking to myself in the process - the things we do in the name of design!!

The last picture is the result of applying makeup at midnight (yes, the very same tiring night I made the set and after many hours of teaching) and trying to take a selfie with the jewelry so you guys could actually see how it looks on a person. Not the greatest picture of mine, but here it is.

Whew, I have finally completed typing this post after letting it languish in my dashboard for weeks. There are days when I am just unable to write - my brain is too tired to put words into sentences and January has had far too many of such days. I just hope that I get my writing mojo back.
I hope you found it interesting
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Chunky Ethnic jewelry

I know of designers who would make the most complicated designs for themselves - pieces that are elaborate, extremely well made and luxurious. I also folks who would make something really simple and easy to make when it comes pieces they create for themselves. I belong to the second category. Call me lazy or business minded, I somehow choose to take the easiest, fastest route when I design my own jewelry. Also when I make something for myself, it is because I either need it urgently or that I have seen the trend/style over and over again at different avenues and it somehow teases me to make one for myself.
A couple of years back, when I was working on my Dhathu collection, I bought a white metal pendant for myself with an idea to color it using Patina inks. To be fair to myself, I even painted it. But then it got lost (figuratively) in my stash as I didnt have any beads to go with it. I took it out and put it back umpteen times in the last two years until october 2015 when it came back to life and this is a rambling post on how exactly it happened.

I want that momma!!
One of my Friday evening/Saturday evening rituals is to read the weekly account of Caprilicious jewellery by Neena. I literally "window shop" and drool over her pieces before I sit down and tackle blogging/social media issues that I have neglected during the week. Over the last yeat I saw a lot of Afghani pendants being used in her work. Then in October 2015, while at Dastakaari Haat (an artisan market) shopping with my mom I got this urge to buy a silk thread necklace with a Yemeni/afghan style pendant - well why I saw it on a "blog" and want one. (I can like that sometimes!!) I found a lot of it in the haat but found all available choices too expensive and I was broke at that point after having bought some clear quartz earrings and a labradite chain that I later refashioned. My mom very sweetly said she would buy one for me, but the designer in me, couldnt take it and I said "I will make one for myself".

I can make it!
One of my designer friends used to site a reason for why designers are almost always badly dressed - "we look at something and think that its too expensive and we can make it by ourselves"; but in reality we never do (lack of time being one of the many reasons) and resulting in not having it at the end of the day. I shamelessly admit that I fall prey to the "I can make it easily" syndrome  many times a year. But I wasn't going to let it get to me this time and quickly figured out a way in my head on how I can put together a chunky tribal necklace. I then, remember that pendant and I thought "now all I need are a couple of silk cords and some chain and I can make it". Fortunately for me a guy was selling these brightly striped silk cord anklets with ghungroos( mini cowbells) attached and was even willing to sell me individual pieces by breaking out two pairs. 

 Yes I made it!
My mom was skeptical on the drive home and I don't blame her; I have cupboards full of such UFO at my house. So the very next day I wire wrapped some chain and these cords along with the pendant, added a few charms and a clasp and viola a necklace was born. It was simple, efficient and painless, not to mention large, statement making and beautiful - just the way I like it! My mom was surprised that I got the project done apart from the labrodite refashion in a day.
Yes I wore it!
Did I mention that I am lazy before, sure right I did. Whenever I design a trend based/inspired piece for myself I hardly wear it. Somehow the making by itself becomes the goal and not the wearing so it is often months, sometimes even years before I wear a piece. This piece was originally planned for Diwali and I eventually wore it after Christmas.

I made it for a skirt - blouse ensemble in blue and hot pink and wore it for a movie/folk festival visit along with oxidised metal earrings from Ahmedabad. It was quite the head turner and I was so pleased. What do you think of it?
So tell me in the comments if you make jewelry for yourself and if so what sort of things influence you or how does your design - making process work.

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Green Silk thread bridal Jewellery

Throughout 2015, my evenings were filled with red roses and pearls in an attempt to make bridal jewelry. Though it was lucrative, it felt tiring after a point. I longed to try another technique or another color. Fortunately, A client believed in me to create using Silk thread and I made a pink and orange silk thread bridal jewelry set. Shortly after that, another bride to be from Canada asked me to create something in green -, particularly Emerald green.  I was elated as I realised that this was a great (read unique) opportunity for me. Hardly any (North) Indian and Bangladeshi brides pick green for their trousseau and the South Indian ones don't wear DIY/handmade jewelry for weddings.

 Green Silk thread bridal Jewellery
Silk thread bridal Jewellery

The bride was planning to wear a cream and gold lehengha and her mother's emerald stone earrings for her big day. So I suggested that we use a mix of rhinestones in green along with pearls and gold beads to do along with her clothes. We started with the bangles and, this time, they were made by Prakashini of Twilightcharms as I couldn't contact the artist who made them for me the first time around. I picked peacock green and bottle green to go along with emerald for the bangles. It was interesting to try the design in a monochromatic color scheme after making it first in an analogous scheme with orange, red and pink. She also wanted bangles for a little girl (presumably a flower girl) to match her baby pink and muted gold jacquard ghaghra. So I picked baby pink, muted gold, and darker pink for her bangles. We didn't want any embellishments on the bangles so I went for solids and stripes to keep it simple.

Silk thread bangles

Then two necklaces - a long Rani haar (literally translated as "Queen's necklace) and a short choker style cord were made with lots of rhinestones, beads, and silk thread.

pearl ranihaar

The next item on the list was a Passa, rather a half passa, something that could be worn on the left side of her head. After my Jhoomar struggle, I figured this out very easily. I used the same focals as in the necklace. For the uninitiated a half passa is worn by placing one focal at the center front forehead and the other focal diagonally over the ear on any side and is clipped tied or pinned. A lot of curious folks ask me how many of these items of Indian jewelry are worn so here is a quick illustration.

how to wear a passa

Now the only item lacking in the trousseau was earrings, so the bride wanted silk jhumkas to wear as a set after the wedding. So here is the full set - Green Silk thread Bridal full set - Rani haar, thread cord choker, jhumkas, passa, jhumka earrings and Bangles

Silk thread jhumkas

That brings us to the end of the set. I hope the bride had a wonderful wedding and I wish her a very happy married life. 
PS: The bride had sent me pictures and I was happy to see she wore the passa, the cord necklace, bangles and the jhumka earrings on her big day.

I hope you found it interesting
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Reinventing Vintage jewelry

This post with a lot of useful tips has been written by John Brasington who is a veteran of unsavoury household arrangements and learned to clean in the trenches of student living. Now he writes about cleaning and whatever else takes his fancy.

 Costume Jewellery is Back in Fashion: Can You Make Your Old Pieces Shine?
With vintage fashion still going strong, and bold, statement jewellery all the rage on high streets and catwalk alike, there’s never been a better time to open your old jewellery chests and dressing-up boxes and see what you can give a new lease of life. You’ll gain some great retro pieces that no one else will have – and it’s fun to enjoy wearing things you loved as a child, or your mum’s old favourites, all over again.
Sometimes, though, you’ll find that pieces have been damaged or lost their lustre, or that you’re not quite sure how to wear them with modern fashions. Don’t worry: from how to clean silver to working vintage pieces into new outfits, this guide will tell you everything you need to know to make your old jewellery shine again.

How to clean metal jewellery
Whether it’s heirloom solid sliver jewellery or cheap and cheerful brass sparkles, metal can tarnish or get discoloured over time. Luckily, though, it cleans up easily – and you don’t have to invest in special metal polishes, either.
These articles on how to clean silver and brass use inexpensive ingredients you’ll already have around the house, and they also tell you how to store and take care of metal so it stays lustrous for longer.

Upcycling and repurposing
Trickier than polishing your jewellery, salvaging it if it’s been damaged can be difficult for those new to this sort of activity. It’s so disappointing to rediscover a much loved earring only to find you’ve lost its partner, or break the clasp on a beautiful old necklace. But with a bit of imagination, you can repair things yourself and even create entirely new pieces.
A broken clasp can easily be replaced with a normal safety pin. Often, the chains on large, cheap costume necklaces turn dark and discoloured before the pendant does – but if you replace the chain with a chiffon scarf or a ribbon in a co-ordinating colour then you’ll give the whole piece a completely new, modern look.
And don’t forget that a jeweller can make small additions or alterations that are much cheaper than getting a whole new piece of jewellery. A lone earring can be turned into a pendant by filing off the back and adding a normal loop for a chain, while stones from broken necklaces and bracelets can be reset in smaller items like rings or brooches.

Working it!
So, you’ve got your vintage jewellery looking like new – but suddenly you’re worried you can’t pull it off. Especially with loud costume-style pieces, it can be difficult to match vintage jewellery with modern outfits.
Some people are very comfortable mixing clothes from different eras and piecing together entire retro outfits, but if that isn’t for you, you can still place isolated vintage pieces with your own clothes. If you’re new to costume jewellery, try pairing it with very simple modern clothes: a bold statement necklace with a white t-shirt and jeans, or an outsize sparkly brooch on a black jacket lapel. The contrast will really emphasise your vintage piece – after all, once you’ve made the effort to restore or repurpose it, you might as well show it off!

So there’s the full story on wearing vintage jewellery – from how to clean silver and brass to how to pair new and old pieces. With these tips and a little inspiration you’re all set to have a dig in your wardrobe and see what you can bring to life.

I hope you found it interesting
Images source: Pixabay

PS: Have you shopped at the Sayuri New year sale yet? If not, here is your last chance to grab some goodies before they all sell out. Hurry 10% flat off offer valid only till 15th January. 
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New year sale

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New year means celebration and to celebrate 2016, I have a huge sale at Sayuri.

"New year sale" offer from 02/01/2016 to 15/01/2016 where all products in the "New year sale album" will be Flat 10% off of the price mentioned on the pictures. To entice you, prices have already been marked down from their MRP. An extra 10% will be added for purchases above Rs.3000. Shipping will be extra. Payment through NEFT or cash (for Self pickup from Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai); Sorry no paypal as its a sale.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the products on sale. There are about 50+ products on sale and they are fast selling

 There are also surprise offers during the sale - it could be anything from complimentary earrings to free local shipping : ) :)

To order please mail the Style code and/or name of the piece along with your full address & phone no. to Products for sale at available at the New year sale album on facebook. Parcels will be mailed after Pongal holidays.  *Offer not valid on custom orders or products for resale

Awaiting your orders :)
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