Friday, 22 September 2017

FRIDAY FASHION LINKS...!

I'm not always able to blog, especially when full time work and random bursts of social events happen all in one go! So here's a few bloggers whose blogs I follow, all of whom have a style I love.

1. Zahra Rose Alazaibi
Apart from her very cool outfits, Zahra also posts about skin products, makeup, her travels to various parts of the world and yummy food recipes. She's a gorgeous part-Italian, part-Libyan blogger, and I love how she manages to put her finger on the pulse and write about the latest stuff.


2. Grewal Twins
These two are among my favourite bloggers (so I can't believe I didn't mention them before!). They're both friends of mine, and both have a very and both of whom are also both friends of mine, whose work I admire a lot, and who put a lot of effort into their photography, music, poetry and tons more.

Recently they stirred up a storm with a viral post about Sikh wedding ceremonies, and how they combated the sexist prejudice in this by having their mum perform the (traditionally-male) wedding rituals. I love that they have such a beautiful, meaningful story behind this, as well as so many more of their traditions and parts of their lives.

They also do a lot of photo series with a lot of cultural and historical significance behind them, and I love the stories behind each of them, which have a lot of designing, styling and curating behind it all!



3. Saira Hayat Khan
A Canadian-Pakistani blogger, this is a gorgeous blogger who writes about her life, fashion, motherhood and health. One of the things I really like about Saira is how down-to-earth and quirky she is, yet unbelievably stylish and beautiful.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

DESIGNER MODE: Baroque Official Pakistan

Baroque Official Pakistan is a label I've discovered in the last year, and whose collections I've been loving (and isn't the name lovely too?). One of the things I really like about their outfits is how pretty yet wearable their collection looks, and it seems pretty reasonably priced.

I've been checking out their latest collection - Chantelle Collection - which is full of pastel kameezes, embroidered designs and lovely floral designs which has been pretty popular so far. The collection goes live this Saturday, but is available to pre-order too.



I haven't seen a lot of their heavier designs, as they seem primarily focused on casual wear, lawn, digital prints and embroidered formal pieces, but most of their heavier embroidered pieces are nice enough for special occasions and weddings, which I love.


As with other brands, Baroque has a pretty, floral printed lawn collection as well, as I like how muted the colours are rather than flaring bright colours, with pretty florals which make these perfect for casual wear as well as dressing up.



I've got my eye on a few pieces from this brand (although in two minds about whether to order or not!), and think this kind of stuff is perfect for events like Eid or parties. I also like the fact that most of their pieces range from about £50 to £80 for a decent formal, which is probably about what it costs (or more!) in London.

Have you bought from Baroque before? What do you think of this collection?

Baroque Links:
Website (they ship worldwide)
Barque Instagram page
Baroque Facebook page

Thursday, 7 September 2017

My Online Shopping Experience: Hali Ldn

I haven't ordered a lot of outfits in the past year, partly because I've had less of a budget, and partly because I haven't had as much need to, as there's been less weddings and events to go to. I do still keep an eye out on the fashion trends though, and do love a new outfit every now and then!

Over the last couple of years, there has been a huge increase of Instagram sellers (remember when it used to be the Facebook sellers?), who have created a business online by selling replicas, designer outfits and budget-friendly outfits for people to buy. I find that Instagram has been much more successful for businesses that Facebook because it's more visual and accessible, and pretty easy for people to place and order and order and outfit.

I wanted to post about a brand that I found online recently whose service I loved, and who I ordered a outfit from for a wedding we had recently. The brand is Hali.Ldn, a UK vendor on Instagram who sell their own designs, which are pretty, trendy and quite wearable. I have seen their designs before, and was also recommended to them by a friend who had ordered and who had a good experience with them. The brand is actually not just Instagram-based - they have a website as well as a London-based stored which is in Tooting so London customers can easily go there and try on things before they buy.

So after being recommended to Hali Ldn, I messaged the company via the Instagram messaging system and asked the vendor to show me their latest stuff, as I wanted to see what they had as well as what was on their page. The vendor showed me a few things from their collections, as well as a few things which were on display in the store, like these pretty outfits below - I loved the colours of all of these and couldn't decide what I wanted!


Before I had a chance to pick, I saw a new design from Hali Ldn which had just come in, which was on the company's Instagram page - this pretty, mauve outfit with a gharara. Ghararas have become pretty fashionable and popular in the last few months, and I've been in two minds about them - I've never thought I suited them in the past, and I always get confused by shararas and ghararas! (Although now I know the difference, shararas are looser, flowy two-legged pants, and ghararas are very similar but have a band around the knee and more 'ghair' or excess material which flows out from the knee).


The vendor also showed me the other colours in this same style - a pretty lilac and golden-beige, both of which I loved. I almost picked the lilac but just loved the mauve so went for that. The seller was very quick to respond to my messages, and extremely thoughtful about a lot of things, like adding lining to sleeves of the outfit, as well as checking the measurements would fit me properly. I'm very conscious of outfits fitting me properly as well as outfits which are too sheer or short, and it was really sweet of the seller to consider this in regards to my order.


I paid for the outfit via bank transfer, and the seller confirmed that she had posted out the following morning. I was a little worried that I wouldn't get the outfit on time because the wedding I wanted it for was only a couple of days away, but the outfit literally arrived the day after.

This is the outfit I received - isn't the colour beautiful? I'm a big fan of dusky pinks and purples, and this is right up my street, a gorgeous colour for a formal - perfect for a wedding! The outfit is a 4-piece one - with the kameez coming with a full-sleeved slip for underneath, the pants and a beautifully embroidered dupatta.


I loved the detail of this outfit - the beautiful jamawar used for the gharara pants, the embroidery on the kameez and the beautiful pearl and embroidery detail on the border and hemline. I have had bad experience before with bad finishing, and even bad stitching, and in this case it wasn't an issue at all - there was nothing out of place or badly made, and I thought the quality of this was great.


I was really happy with how fast I got this outfit, and how lovely it looked - we've all had that experience of ordering an outfit which ended up looking nothing like the pictures! One of things which keeps me going back to the same sellers and designers that I've been happy with is the customer service I get, as well as the quality of the outfits - and in this case it was above and beyond my expectations. Ordering on Instagram has made a lot of people's lives easier (especially those who aren't near a lot of shops selling Asian outfits, like I am) and it's really nice to see a brand which takes their customers seriously, and gives not only beautiful outfits but customer care - from quick delivery, careful packaging and being on top of their messages.

I'll be posting the outfit as I wore it at the wedding soon (which I loved wearing!) so watch this space!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Our Eid...Day #2

We spent the second day of our Eid at my mum's house - no family celebration is complete without all of us converging at my mum's house and eating her food! Some of the family members weren't able to come on the Friday because they couldn't get time off work, so it was nice to see them all on the weekend.

For the second day of Eid I was going to go for a simple printed kurta but ended up buying something very different last minute! I wore this beautiful cream brocade maxi jacket from a Malaysian brand called Aatiya London, which I saw a few months ago but only bought recently because it went on sale. The jacket came with a matching cream skirt, but I thought the skirt was too much for Eid (it felt a little bridal!) so went for a plain silk cream camisole and trousers to match instead.


As always, the food at my mum's was delicious and there was lots of it, finished off with some kheer that my mum made along with some chocolate cake!


My nieces all got plenty of party dresses this Eid, and of course showed us up as usual in their pretty dresses and party shows - perfect for the warm weather!


I do have to apologise to you guys - I don't have any good pictures of the family outfits at all! We were all too busy wandering around eating, playing games and hanging out in the kitchen, and just didn't take proper photos! (Don't worry, I'll make an effort to next time!)

I'm pretty sure you'll be able to see more pictures of our Eid on my sister's blogs here and here (when they write up their posts!) - we all had fun with the family and enjoyed a long weekend of food and a much-needed rest from work!


How was your Eid? What did you wear?

Our Eid...Day #1

Our Eid this weekend was a nice long weekend (just the way we like it!) so my family and I took full advantage by celebrating on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, getting dresses up and having dinners with family.

This is what I wore this Eid - a frilly sleeved short kameez with white culottes and a simple, summery hijab with bangles - simple, comfortable and very fun to wear! My sisters and I did our usual trek around the local shops and didn't see a lot of affordable outfits, so I decided to look online and see what was available. I've noticed that a lot of the local shops have increased their prices, or otherwise started stocking designer labels in order to compete with the online businesses which can afford to lower their prices, but unfortunately while I would like to support the high street, I can't always afford to!

I bought this outfit below from a local vendor in east London call Aisha's Boutique, who does online orders, and gets outfits made in Pakistan without raising the price too extravagantly. I placed my order with the vendor about 10 days before Eid, gave my measurements, colour samples and rough design of what I wanted based on a photo of an outfit I liked, and it arrived pretty quickly! The price was also extremely reasonable, at £50.00 for the kameez and trousers, including stitching and shipping - bargain!

I do have to admit that I didn't end up wearing the original pants on the day and picked culottes instead - the pants I did get were a chikan-style flared pants, which I didn't love so didn't wear.


We did our first day of Eid at my eldest sisters house, with a delicious lunch being cooked by her. One of the things my sister always does every year is have a decor theme to set the mood, and this year it was blues and greens, with beautiful Islamic tile backgrounds that we all loved.


As usual, we were all too busy eating to take many photos of the food, but here's a peep! I also loved my sister's home-made mojito which was a perfect refresher!


I didn't also get many chance to take pictures of my family's outfits, but here's some my sister took off my sister and sister-in-law - I loved the vibrant colours and how pretty the work was on both of these.


As usual my nieces looked like princesses in their dresses, and here they are standing with a tiny cousin of mine that they all love to play with!



Another thing my sister never forgets is treats - for the adults and the kids! We all have a terrible sweet-tooth, and it just isn't Eid without some sweets! My sister also received some seriously cool sweets/mithai from British fusion-food company Barfia, which had a very cool mix of Indian-and-British flavours, like red-velvet Ladoo and candy-floss mithai!


We had a really fun lunch with the family, and as always it's lovely to have a laugh with them, as well as get all dressed up and enjoy the day. It was a really nice start to the weekend, and the only thing I wish I could show you but didn't get a photo of, was that my husband finally listened to me and matched his t-shirt to me!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Eid Mubarak...!

Eid Mubarak all, and hope it's been a fab weekend! I've been loving all the outfits I've seen people wear on Facebook and Instagram, and can't wait to post my photos!

Hope you all had a lovely celebration, and wishing you all a wonderful weekend of food, family and fun this Eid!

Love, Curly Fries xx



Thursday, 17 August 2017

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: My Mother's Watermelon Shawl

I've always said that I get my fashion tastes from my mother, and sometimes I've gotten my outfit ideas from her too!

My mother has a much more amazing wardrobe than I do, and she's lucky enough to either have new clothes sent to her from family in Pakistan, or she brings back a few collections for herself on her yearly trips to Pakistan!

One of the other things she has that I love is her collection of beautiful shawls and scarves - they're bought from all over the places, whether it's from Pakistan or Saudi, or just high street stores like M&S and John Lewis.

I borrowed my mum's shawl not too long ago to complete my outfit - this beautiful watermelon print to go with my plain navy shirt dress and navy palazzo trousers. I love that the stripes and fruit/florals are very in right now - I've seen dresses in this kind of print on the high street and catwalks, and it's perfect for summer.

This is the shawl I wore with my outfit (although looking at this picture, the shirt dress and palazzos remind me a little of a lacha!), the shawl made a beautiful statement piece and it's amazing how one piece can make a whole outfit!



Wednesday, 16 August 2017

BOLLYWOOD ISTYLE: Aishwariya's Mama-and-Daughter Pose!

I recently saw this on Manish Malhotra's Instagram account, featuring Aishwariya Rai and her daughter's Independence Day celebrations. I love how Aishwariya's outfit compliments her daughter's which looks seriously cute!


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Saverah Women Expo '17

I recently attended the Saverah Women Expo 2017 at the O2 Arena, which was a weekend featuring a collaboration of vendors selling scarves, modest and Asian outfits, jewellery, halal food, skin care products and makeup, and Islamic art and stationary. There was also a series of seminars and workshops, fashion shows to see the latest collections by different brands, and even a nasheed concert to enjoy.

I only managed to attend one day of the event, but I had a good browse at the shopping hall, caught a catwalk show and managed to speak to lots of other bloggers and vendors, which was a really fun-filed day!

I  managed to get a good look at the vendors who had outfits and scarves available - I often see a lot of outfits and modesty-wear from online websites or Facebook/Instagram groups, and it's nice to see some of these brands up close and see whether they are as nice as they look!

I managed to find a few vendors which I wanted to list, as I get asked a lot by readers about UK-based brands which are reliable, and I thought some of these had some really nice outfits!

First are Traditional Images London, who carry a lot of Pakistani designer pret wear, such as Khaadi, Maria B, Agha Noor, Sapphire, Gul Ahmed and Threads and Motifs (all brands that I LOVE!), which I was really pleased to find!

I also really liked the dresses by Amore Mio, a brand which sells dresses and modesty-wear which I thought were really pretty.


I also liked the abayas by Avyaana Abayah, which had some really chic pieces that caught my eye - I really like that these incorporate current trends like frills, bell sleeves and rich materials.


There were also pretty scarves available by Aidijuma, a Malaysian brand which had scarves for a very reasonable price (from £5.99 upwards), and beautiful dresses and abayahs from designer Jenny Tyayawati who also had her pieces on the catwalk as well.


Lastly were pieces by Haiqah UK, which was a range of dresses, abayahs and scarves, as well as some more luxurious pieces by Sana Zinga, whose pieces I thought were beautiful, with lovely fabrics uses and interesting cuts.


I'm a big fan of jewellery from Pakistan and India, but it has to be decent quality pieces, as there is also a lot of junk out there too! I also came across jewellery vendor Artisan Jewels, whose pieces were beautiful, and who I bought a few things from (post coming soon on that!).



We also came across a halal makeup brand FX Cosmetics, which was developed by two scientists to be properly wudu-friendly, which I thought was really interesting. I liked that there was a huge range of products available, and there were some seriously pigmented eyeshadows and highlighters which I loved!


Halal skin-care company Tamese & Jackson were also at the exhibition - have a read of my post to find out more about them!


I also found a really cute stationary and card company Islamic Moments, which had a range of products that caught my eye (and naturally I bought some cards and notebooks from them!)


I also managed to catch a fashion show with a few brands showcasing their collections, with a range of modesty brands and Asian fashion-wear. I loved the colours and styles of these pieces, although I would have liked to have seen some more dramatic pieces as well.


And of course here's what I wore, a kimono with off white separates (which were the comfiest pieces ever!), and accessorised with a colourful yellow bag!


It was also nice to catch up with the other fashion bloggers while I was at the exhibition - here I am with Modest Seamstress (here and here) and also Be.Hijabi, both of whose blogs and social media accounts I love!


The Saverah Women Expo was a pretty fun event, although I do feel that more could have been done to interact with customers and people who attended, as a it took a while to get busy (although this is also down to the bad weather that weekend as well!). I was really glad to find a lot of new designers, vendors and sellers, and managed to make my purse a bit emptier by spending on a few things too!