Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Hina Rasim's Eid Extravanganza at The Landmark Hotel

You may have seen my previous posts over the last couple of years of Pakistani designer clothes vendor Hina Rasim's Eid Exhibitions (you can see my posts here and here), so I was looking forward to seeing the latest designs at her 5th-year anniversary which was held last weekend.

The event was held at the beautiful Landmark Hotel (which is a beautiful venue in itself, highly recommend a visit if you are around the area!) in the hotel's Drawing Room. As with the previous exhibitions, the room was beautifully decorated with flowers, candles and gorgeous bridal outfits.

There were quite a few different Pakistani designer outfits on display, which each designer on a rack - there were a lot of big names such as Suffuse by Sana Yasir, Elan and Farah Talib Aziz (as well as a lot more!).

There was also a good mix of heavy formals and casual kurtas, and fusion pieces which I liked. By the time my friends and I got to the venue, some of the collections had already sold out, so it was an idea of how busy it was!

These pieces below especially caught my friends' and my eye  - the first is Shehla Chatoor, which was a kimono piece with beautifully intricate work, the second is a Dr Haroon outfit which looked perfect for a traditional mehndi outfit, and the last one was a really pretty peplum piece by Elan Official, which was covered in pearls and embroidery for a pretty, summery look. These pieces all ranged from £950 - £1500, so not cheap but pretty much what you expect for a designer piece.

I didn't take too many pictures of the outfits this time round, mainly because I was requested to keep it minimal to protect the designers and their pieces, but here are a few of the snaps from Hina Rasim official instastory which I'm sure she won't mind me sharing!

I really liked this gorgeous wrap by Nida Azwar, which was covered all over in gold gota pieces, and came with a black plain jumpsuit to wear inside. I'm not sure I'd wear the jumpsuit (maybe in white?) but I loved the look of these jacket. Unfortunately it was outside my budget at £850, but it's nice to dream, eh?

The exhibition also showcased jewellery by Tanaya Couture, whose pieces I have come across before and looked amazing up close. These were pretty popular because of the bridal necklaces, and to be honest a few of them caught my eye too!

There was also another exhibitor, which were sunglasses by JiaElle - embellished and blingy statement pieces which were quite popular. I quite liked some of the sparkly pieces with stones on the front, but didn't get any - these ranged from about £60 upwards.

I think we all loved the flowers and decor by Essential Wedding Couture - it all looked very grand and beautifully done, and made amazing wedding decor inspiration.

I always like going to exhibitions which sell Indian and Pakistani designer outfits, because even though I don't always end up buying something, it's great to see the outfits up-close and judge for myself the quality. We don't always get to see whether an outfit is really what it appears from the catwalk or promotional photos, and I have been surprised in the past (or pleasantly surprised!) when a designer's collection looks different from my expectations in the past - which just goes to show that pictures can be misleading!

I'll be keeping an eye out for more exhibitions as Eid comes up, and will post more as I attend - it's a pity that some of the prices for Pakistani designer pieces are going up, but I'm on a hunt for affordable brands and will post when I do find them!

Friday, 12 May 2017


I thought I'd do something a little different this week and give a few shout-outs to bloggers whose work I admire, as well as blogs that I read myself. I know it can be difficult sometimes to find different content, and I always have loved that there are so many other bloggers out there who blog about different types of things which they are passionate about.

So here's a few to start off with, especially if you're looking for more reading material - and feel free to leave links of blogs that you read below for me to check out too!

Asian Fashion Blog
This is one of the first Asian fashion blogs that I found out there, since I first started blogging (and even before that!), and is one of the original bloggers from my early days who is still around and writing. What I love about this blog is Nazma, the writer, gives a fresh look on lots of different brands, has amazing catwalk pictures of the latest fashion shows, and excellent tips on where to find new things or how to style outfits.

Mulberry A La Mode
This is a blog I like not just because of the fashion tips, but because of the quirky anecdotes and stories behind a lot of her posts. I followed this blogger from her wedding story, her move from Glasgow to Dubai and many more, and there's a lot of beautiful outfit stylings (Pakistani and Western) to follow. She's also on Instagram and has some really pretty outfits, so check her out.

Hijabi in London
This is the blog of a friend I met online a couple of years ago, and we've been firm friends ever since! We both have the same interests in modest fashion in London, and she has worked with several British and international modest fashion brands. One of the things I've always liked about her pages is that she has an amazing eye for photography - some of her pictures are amazing, and I've always liked the fact that as someone who is a Malaysian living in London, she sees London in a different, fresh way. You can check out her YouTube channel here and her Instagram page as well.

Desi Beauty Blog
This is a pretty well-known blog which was founded by makeup-artist Nilo Haq and Pakistani supermodel Mehreen Syed, and has some pretty big names on the writing staff list, including a few Pakistani designers like HSY and Ali Xeeshan, bloggers, stylists and makeup-artists from the West, as well as a lot of interviews and articles on both Bollywood and the Pakistani film, fashion and media industry. I'm sure a lot of you may have come across this blog before, and have seen the variety of topics, but it's a good place to have a look for makeup tips!

Monday, 8 May 2017

#STYLE ICON: Queen Rania

I thought I'd do a series of posts of real women who I see as style icons, and who inspire me through their amazing outfits and style. It's always great

I've always been a fan of Jordanian royalty, Queen Rania - she's a wonderful dresser, a beautiful woman, and has always managed to maintain modesty wear with elegance. I also really like the fact that she's not just royalty, but has worked hard to establish educational initiatives, women's rights and community empowerment in her country (and apparently she's Victoria Beckham's style icon too!)

Here are a few of my favourite ensembles worn by the queen from the last year or so which has caught my eye. A lot of these are outfits at formal events, but I love how well put-together these are, and elegant they look.

I also liked these two outfits below - one traditional and one more Western. I like how classic both of these are, and can imagine them both being worn for a variety of events.

I also really liked these two smarter outfits, which would make perfect smart-wear for work, and could easily be modified with a longer shirt or a smart jacket on top as well.

Queen Rania is quite well-known for her outfits over the years, and has a few iconic looks from her earlier years which I love. Here are a few of my favourites she's been seen wearing in the past which I've loved, again most of these are evening dresses, but I love how elegant they all look.

I also really liked these two outfits below, the one on the left if by Elie Saab (although I'm not sure who the embroidered pink one is by on the right). One of the things I really like about the Queen's dress sense is that a lot of her outfits have been seen on the catwalk and look more revealing, but have been subtly altered when worn by Queen Rania so that her shoulders and chest are more covered and gives a a more modest look.

I also love the fact that the Queen has worn her coronation outfit more than one - re-wearing outfits and still looking great!

I could post hundreds more of Queen Rania's outfits, but I'll let you search for them yourself soy ou can see her style as well. I'll be posting more of my style inspirations in the future - let me know what you thought of this one!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Afternoon Tea at Laduree

I recently went for afternoon tea with some friends, who are also food bloggers (cue a thousand food and outfit pictures!) at Laduree in Harrods. Laduree's always been on my list to go for afternoon tea, and the desserts did not disapppoint - doesn't everything look pretty?

We all opted for the standard afternoon tea which was very reasonably priced (£30 for two people), and sat back to enjoy the tea. One of the things I really liked was how pretty the cutlery and plates looked - it always makes a tea feel more luxurious when the plates are pretty!

I'll be honest, the mains for this afternoon tea didn't blow me away, but the desserts did - how beautiful does the raspberry fancy look below? I opted for a hazelnut and chocolate slice (being the self-confessed chocoholic that I am) and it was pretty amazing.

And of course we all stopped by at the counter to take home some goodies too - I'd like to say I took some home for my husband, but really, they were for me!

All picture were taken by the lovely The London Haloodie (who, may I say, is amazing at taking food pictures. NONE of my food pictures came out this nice!)

And of course, I can't post a blogger meet without our outfit pictures! It was a mish-mash  of pastels and dark colours, but I loved all of our looks (although I did feel like I was wearing the English equivalent of a lengha!)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: The Mint, Pearls & Gota Dress

Now that spring is here in full force, and it's slowly getting warmer, my wardrobe is rejoicing - I'm finally getting to pull out some of my prettier, lighter outfits. I recently got the chance to wear this outfit below, a mint-coloured dress with gota work (gold pieces of cloth sew onto the fabric_, pearls and metal work all over - sounds like a heavy outfit but it wasn't!

I bought this outfit a few years ago before I was married from Pakistan via a Facebook group (which is no longer active, sorry guys!) for a very reasonably price, and then forgot I had it. I managed to find it again last year after some wardrobe-clearing, and put it aside for the warmer weather.

This is the outfit below, I love this shade of mint and feel like I don't get to wear it enough - it's perfect for spring season and feels pretty girly on. I also like the fact that this outfit is nice and floaty, which felt great on! I really like the gota-work on the outfit, which gives the outfit a shimmery-look, without making it feel heavy. It's a really traditional, old-school style of work but I think it's also pretty classic, and it works well with the pearls on this outfit.

This is what I wore with the outfit, I slightly over-loaded it a little with the gold, but I do like the end effect. I wore my wedding necklace for a more blingy look, and a plain gold clutch and sparkly heels - can't go wrong gold accessories!

This is me wearing the outfit, which felt very girly and floaty on - I really like the colour, although it took me while to find a matching scarf! I also like the length of this outfit on me - even though it is a longer shape, it worked with the cut of the outfit.

Outfit - Facebook group
Necklace - Pakistan via KaprayShapray designer
Clutch bag - DKNY
Hijab - Queens Market

I'm looking forward to wearing some of my older pieces for summer again, especially as some of them have a pretty classic look to them so don't go out of style. I loved wearing this outfit because of how ideal it was for the warm weather, and it feels like I don't have enough outfits in this colour. I'm sure I'll get a chance to wear this again soon - maybe with bright red lips this time?

Monday, 17 April 2017

Haiqah comes to London

Haiqah is a UK-based store which sells abayahs, scarves and modest outfits for women, combining fashion with modesty. I've come across this company online before and have liked their designs, so when my sister told me about the brand opening it's first store in Ilford Lane, East London, I was pretty keen to check out the shop.

This is the shop below, which is beautifully decorated, and has a big range of outfits. My sister and I visited this store together and loved how well put together the decor was, with a mix of patterned walls, stylish furniture and stools, and and gorgeous rugs and flowers. We also loved how the outfits were grouped together around the shop - there's different style dresses and shirts, with lots of abayahs, kimonos and abayahs for different tastes.

I love that there's a good range of colours and styles, especially as the store's collection is pretty wide-ranged. There's plenty of jackets and dresses which can be layered, which I really like, and also had a classic feel to a them - ideal for a minimalist wardrobe, especially as it can be a little difficult to find modest outfits which can be worn as classic pieces.

I also really liked the entrance decor in the shop - there's outfits framed along the walls which are blocked by colour, and accessorised with jewellery and bags, which I thought was a great idea, especially for outfit inspiration.

I really liked a lot of the dresses in the store, such as the black and white design below, and the lace outfit. I can imagine wearing a lot of these in the summer, and mixing and matching with skinnies and a plain top, such as wearing an open abayah, or wearing a dress with jeans. I also liked the lace outfits below in brown and lilac, which would look great as Asian outfits for a wedding or special event, and look really comfortable and light to wear.

These two outfits caught my eye, and were probably my favourites in the store - the pearl-sleeved top came in grey and white, both of which I liked, while the lace outfit came in black and white, which I can imagine being worn as a shirt or even open as a light jacket.

I also liked these two outfits before, the one the left is smarter and something which could be worn to the office, while the one of the right is perfect for summer, pastels and florals which is right up my street!

There's also a good range of scarves in the store in chiffon, cotton and crepe, and which are very reasonably priced, starting at £5, which makes a big change from a lot of modest-clothes outfits I've seen online before.

I ended up buying two tunics I liked in the end, the white pearl midi dress and the lace textured tunic in white - both of which I can imagine getting a lot of wear out of this summer! I was initially going to buy just one but couldn't choose which I liked more, so ended up buying both! And I'd also like to point out how pretty the bag is too - I love it when companies make an effort with their packaging, and my mum also told me she thought the bag was pretty when I showed her my goods!

My sister also ended up buying a silky tunic from Haiqah as well, which was a pretty printed top with full sleeves. She said she liked how modest it was, and the fact that it wasn't sheer, had a low neckline and had full sleeves - something which can be harder to find than you'd think on the high street.

One of the things I really liked about this shop was how reasonably priced the outfits were - there was a 20% discount at the store's opening, but even without this, the outfits are really well-priced for the quality. I've had outfits from modest labels before which aren't always great, or don't have good finishing but I was really happy with the two pieces I bought from this label. I ended up speaking to the store's owner for a little while as well, who explained the brand's philosophy and ethics, and really liked the fact that they would rather keep prices affordable and help more women be modest, than drive prices up just to make a profit.

I'm sure I'll be stopping by this shop again to pick up a few pieces, and have already got plans to wear the things I've bought to a few tea parties. I've got my eye on this outfit as well, which I love because I really like the pop of yellow, and the fact it can be layered, so watch this space!