Futuristic Lover

Amato By Furne One - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015Amato by Furne One was the closing act for Fashion Forward season 5, and for all the right reasons. The Filipino designer, who comes across as a shy and utterly demure person, pushed all boundaries to put on a fantastic, impressing and headline-generating show.

He is an established haute couturier and had dressed many a-list celebrities. His reputation for meticulously made garments, handmade accessories, homemade textiles and embroideries has taken him to the runways and red carpets of New York, Paris, London and back to Dubai.

His collection for Fashion forward’s season 5’s runway was inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s tragic 1877 novel Anna Karenina. There was an underline depression, decorated with high fashion charcoal grey, acid-­washed blue denim and russet reds.

As the 40-strong collection haunted catwalk of gravel mounds and decayed tree for the show, we saw some of the most covetable skirts we’ve seen in a long time: denim skirts belted with a bow or knee-length with frills at the back. There were also washed-out denim flare pants that can take you from day to night, and, as usual, heavily beaded lace bodices and red-carpet worthy numbers. Continue Reading

Take 5 with Ranji Kelekar

RANJI-GOA2Cherry Cross spoke Ranji Kelekar, the designer behind the RANJI-GOA, as he prepares to showcase his SS15 collection for the very first time in Dubai, to find out more about the mysterious aura of the brand, inspiration for SS15 and future plans.

1. What’s your background and how did you get into fashion designing?

I am a self-taught designer. I learned to cut from an old seamstress who had studied at the Paris school of seamstresses back in the 1960s. I always loved the idea of dressing-up and was very interested in the way regular people put things together to create their distinct look.

Also, being a creative person, I always wanted to either make clothes or food. I got rejected by the catering school, so the only option left was to make clothes.

2. Tell us about your SS15 collection – inspiration, silhouette, fabrics, embellishments and price range?

My main inspiration is minimalistic design with an emphasis on colour — a neutral palette which is timeless. I have been inspired by the Pathan men who wear floor length shirts with wide pyjamas. So I have taken that as my main shallot and transformed it in feminine silhouette with floral slips and graphic pyjamas. The main fabrics of this collection are voiles, satins and cotton prints, which are detailed with tribal tie-details of running stitch and crochet flowers made by local women in Goa. Continue Reading

Crimson Runway by Ezra at FFWD

Ezra - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015One of the headline designers for Fashion Forward Dubai Season 5, Ezra Santos set the ramp on fire with his crimson collection. Predominantly pastel pink and fiery red palette, the collection was equal amounts of feminine, seductive and dreamy.

Commenting on the inspiration for the collection Santos said: “My inspiration is the old Manila in the 1930’s and the beauty of the older days, the gorgeous mestizas clad in their finest Maria Clara and the days of the Spanish occupancy in our country that has had a major influence in the Philippine fashion.”

Ezra - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015He further added that he worked with Piña (Pineapple Fibre), a fibre made from the leaves of a pineapple plant mixed with silk to create a textile and therefore very organic. It is commonly used in the Philippines for formal wears like our famous Barong Tagalog, Maria Clara and wedding dresses. It’s a hand-woven fabric made by weavers and is very precious and scarce.

He also used inabel, another organic fabric from the Philippines and the rest are tulle, jacquard, crepe silk and neoprene.

I loved the flowy-silhouette, the edgy laser cut floral patterns, camouflaging embellishments and above all the indiscreet gold accents – be it fingerless gloves or skinny belts.

Ezra - Runway - Dubai FFWD April 2015Also, he is one of the few designers in the region who understands the importance of drama on the runway and bedazzled the audience with a romantic symphony of love, fashion and timeless elegance.

Here are some of the images from Ezra’s fashion show at Fashion Forward (courtesy of Getty Images): Continue Reading

Let’s go Bananas!

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I would have to hand it to those chicas at Al Tayer for hosting an amazing launch event. It had the right amount of curiosity, funk and playfulness, which resonates with Banana Republic’s SS’15 collection.

This season’s collection is inspired by the palette and texture of the desert, with influences of its new creative director, Marissa Webb’s sense of style and personal mantra, “You don’t always have to know where you’re going, just enjoy the journey.”

Inspired by a life full of exploration, the summer collection is imbued with softly worn, well-loved fabrics in hues of olive, golden orchid and soft and indigo blues – perfect whether you are indulging your summer wanderlust by travelling, or by enjoying local experiences, it’s all about journey. Continue Reading

And the winner is…

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I love hosting giveaways and sharing the love with you all.

While hosting is fun, validating and picking a winner sucks a sizable chunk of pleasure out of the process. You can already tell how well do I fare with numbers and tech, right?

Anywho. So we do have a winner – drumrolls please – and the lucky person to walk away with 16 items is: Continue Reading

Online Shopping with Lifestyle

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News flash for all my shopaholic cherries – Lifestyle store is now online!

Yes, that means you can get a range of bags, makeup, accessories, fragrances and home décor essentials in a few click. No more trolling around the mall and carrying god awfully heavy bags. Click click and you are done.

The launch was announced at a media event held at Andreas, Habtoor Grand Resort – Autograph Collection, last week.

Commenting on the launch of online store, Lifestyle CEO Sachin Mundhwa said: “For the last 17 years, Lifestyle has been at the forefront offering customers with exclusive value-for-money home furnishing, décor, beauty and fashion accessories from leading brands for our MENA customers.

“The opening of our online store starting with UAE, solidifies our commitment to our customers in offering convenience, quality and service at their fingertips amidst a superior shopping experience through multiple touch points.”

Customers have the option of paying by credit card or cash-on-delivery; also, the website offers ‘returns via store’ facility to further build on customer convenience and leverage the concept’s store network.  Continue Reading

All the shoes you will ever need…

Michael Kors. Jet Set Six_Collection ImageMichael Kors has launched the Michael Kors Jet Set 6 Shoe Collection in Spring 2015, which includes six essential pairs that are designed for busy jetsetters who need practical yet glamorous shoes to fit their on-the-go lifestyles.

The capsule collection includes shoes ideal for any occasion and any location. The Spring 2015 edit features: Irving sneakers, Odessa platform sandals, Kristen mid-heel sandals, jelly sandals, Somerly wedges and Walton ankle boots all in multiple colors. A luxe croc-embossed suitcase designed to house the collection will be available for sale at select stores.

“Every woman I know is shoe-obsessed,” said Michael Kors. “The Jet Set Six Collection makes it easy to take the season’s six must-have pairs everywhere you need to go, from St. Barths to Shanghai.”

The collection will debut at Michael Kors stores, MichaelKors.com as well as wholesale stores in the US, Asia, Europe and South America in Spring 2015. A new edit of the Jet Set 6 collection will be released in the following fall and spring seasons.

To know more, stay tuned to the hashtag #JetSetGo.

Here’s a closeup of all the shoes inside Michael Kors Jet Set 6 Shoe Collection Continue Reading

TAKE 5 with Jaya Misra

Jaya Misra - Cherry Cross

Jaya Misra’s bridal collection.

I had the pleasure of meeting the designer behind the eponymous label Jaya Misra last evening at the launch of her summer bridal and resort 2015 collection at an intimate gathering. Hailing from Kolkota, India, she currently stocks at Aara Fashion Boutique, Dubai, while producing back home in Bengal.

Misra quickly gave me an overview of the collection, inspirations and all that’s in between. Buzz words from our conversation about the bridal collection were light fabrics, flowy silhouette, equal love for bright and pastels. She has mostly used zardozi and sequences for embellishment, and experimented with contemporary cuts.

Amongst the racks of beautifully tailored dresses, cocktail saree was my absolute favourite. It combines the seductiveness of a cocktail dress with the elegance of a traditional saree, and the result is a gorgeous, 21st-century-appropriate ensemble. It’s not novel but it still seems to tickle my fancy.

Jaya Misra's resort collection.

Jaya Misra’s resort collection.

Misra’s resort collection is themed ‘Go Candy’, with obvious pop of neon here and there. Moreover, she continues to use light fabrics (mostly Georgette and chiffon) in view of the blazing summers ahead.

Lastly, Misra’s top three tips for brides-to-be are: Continue Reading

Hate Mail: H&H Salon

Hair Makeover

What hair style and colour should I go for next?

It took me a long time to convince myself to write this post. Earlier, I thought to keep my experience to myself, but then I reminded myself that the whole idea of Cherry Cross is to voice my opinions and share my experiences – good and bad both.

So here it is.

I bought a voucher for hair colour and protein treatment at H&H Salon from Groupon. I had never heard of this salon before and my only reason to buy it was the close proximity. It is located in JLT (cluster W, Tiffany Towers), and is a mere 5 minutes’ drive from my office.

I finally made an appointment and arrived at the salon. A man (who I later found out was the hair stylist) was at the reception and made absolutely no attempt to greet or serve. Next to the reception was a nail station and I told the Filipino lady there that I have a hair colour appointment. She called another girl to escort me to the hair wash station.

I tried to strike a conversation with the lady, and she told me that the salon has been running for almost a year and is owned by a Sudanese woman. After a little bit of burn with the hot water (she didn’t know it would get so hot) and a session of tug of war, I was finally done with the first step. Can you tell I am already anxious?

Looking back, I can only say that I was certainly possessed when I decided to get a haircut as well while I was at a salon. I told the disinterested gentleman, who I had a not-so-impressive encounter at the reception, that I want a haircut, followed by change of colour to absolute black.

He picked up his scissors and got to work. And guess what? They couldn’t cut worth a dime. He was struggling to cut through my tresses, and then nonchalantly asked for a replacement. Obviously nobody gave two hoots and he continued with his mission to give me split ends with a paper-cutting pair of scissors.

Then came the colour. My only brief was about the colour — that it needs to be black for I wanted to overwrite the remains of ombre. The usual process followed, colouring and washing, and then the blow dry. Continue Reading