Sunday, 15 May 2011

Maharini Resort Wear

London life seems to be full of lunches and dinners interspersed with exhibitions (for which read 'sale') for a variety of things, ranging from homewares, jewelry, shawls and clothing.  Invariably organised by ladies who lunch for other ladies who lunch, it's all too easy to get a little jaded by the onslaught of invitations for these 'exhibitions', but for some reason I was really excited to be asked to attend a ladies tea party held to introduce the new label, Maharini.  And with good cause, it turned out.

The buzz in the swish apartment in London's Mayfair as I walked in to the venue was nothing compared to the excitement generated by the clothes hanging nonchalantly on the rails.  This first collection by Jag Gill, ex-banker, raised so many ooh's and aaah's that you would think George Clooney had just walked into the room!

Little dresses with wrap around skirts in the finest of silks, graphic and digital prints on long flowing maxis, sequined kaftans just perfect for throwing on over a bikini in St Tropez and mad harem pants perfect for cocktail hour - it was all here.

Just a little something I couldn't resist.... 

There were queues to get into the changing room, queues to get a chance to try on clothes already being tried on and queues to speak to Jag.  For a first foray into designing a capsule collection, I think it's safe to say it was well received!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Yumi Press Day

Sometimes a day full of madness and frustration can have a little ray of light tucked away - you just have to look for it. 

At present, I've got my head full of preparations for my new TV show, a ten-part series all about beauty, which I'll write more about very soon! So the days are full of phone calls, emails, meetings and more phone calls. 

A quick meeting with my stylist Nasima found me at the Yumi press day for a fly-by visit where I saw lots of pretty, sixties-inspired dresses and cute cardies that I've now got my eye on. 

And as we left, the lovely PR handed me a great big bag with so many goodies in there that I just had to share them with you! (not literally, although you never know!)

Chocolates, skincare, soap-on-a-rope, more chocolate and soooooo much more...what's not to love?

It's all just so.... Cute! 

Monday, 9 May 2011

Are you offended by this swimsuit?

Photos: Getty

We've had the burning of the books in the streets when Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses was published, we've had the fatwas when the un-pc cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (saw) were published in the Danish newspaper and now we have the Australian flag being burnt in the streets of India.

Photo: Reuters

What is the cause of this outrage?

During Australian Fashion Week, models were sent down the catwalk wearing swimsuits and bikinis covered in pictures of of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi in front of an audience of hundreds.

Such was the outrage in India that demonstrators in Amritsar took to the streets and burned the Australian flag in protest along with photos of the clothing that they found offensive.

For those who don't know, Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity, fertility and courage - in other words, she is highly revered, not to be mocked and certainly not to the strewn all over a holiday swimsuit.

The Australian fashion house responsible, Lisa Blue Swimwear, has apologised and production of the particular line has been stopped, saying, "This range will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlets anywhere in the world.  We apologise to the Hindu no time would we ever have intended that the brand would cause offence".

This is not the first fashion faux pas made by the esoteric fashion world when it comes to Indian gods.....anyone remember the Ganesh Guess Tank tops or the Lord Rama Minelli shoes?

While I'm not Hindu myself,  I suppose I am a little offended by it.  I just don't see why any designer would take the risk of using any religious image on their garments.  Aren't there enough other images, visuals and prints that they could harness before risking the wrath of the world's great religions?  I'm not into curtailing freedom of speech, but where do we draw the line?

Or is it that all publicity is good publicity?  I''m sure I'd heard of Lisa Blue but it wasn't never top of my mind when I thought about swimwear, but now, even though this design will never see the light of day in retail stores, the name is definitely one I won't forget.

What do you think? Are you offended by this swimsuit?  Would you have worn it, if you had been given the chance?