MAY 2014
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Kiran Bahl


Spring has fully sprung, Mother’s Day is this month on the 11th, and the IIFA Awards have officially come and gone. Yes, the big day was fabulous, but the most glamorous of them all was the IIFA Rocks night, an exclusive VIP ‘party’ of Indian fashion and music.

Top designers exhibited their latest works, Bollywood stars walked the ramp, and Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan displayed his amazing voice – what a lifetime treat to remember and cherish! Let’s recap this special night of fashion as well as overview Indian fashion at this year’s IIFA!

Manish Malhotra/Mijwan Fashion

Manish Malhotra is already infamous for his contributions to Indian fashion and cinema. From his romantic flowy ensembles to his soft muted color palettes, his looks are anticipated and revered from women globally. Collaborating with the graceful Shabana Azmi’s Mijwan fashion house is what propels this show to an even higher level of elegance.

The embroidery and textures meshed beautifully at the IIFA Rocks ramp. Color combinations of pinks and peaches with whites and creams together looked dreamy. Shots of mint green and yellow shades added more vision and an unexpected show of navy blue with stark white threadwork shone bright.

Manish Malhotra/Mijwan Fashion and His Models Lineup

Something to note was Manish’s lesser use of the churidaar. Anarkalis have become such a mainstay, with the salwar look taking a backseat. Manish, as well as other designers now, have decided to initiate a welcome change with palazzo/wide-leg salwar ‘trousers’, almost sharara style. Also, the Anarkali style is beginning to narrow and lengthen just a bit to begin showing signs of straight churidaar/salwar looks to come.

Showstoppers Sonakshi Sinha and Siddharth Malhotra walked the ramp, added oomph to the already wow event. Sonakshi looked like a doll in a mint, pale pink and silvery cream lengha!

Manish Malhotra and Shabana Azmi each distribute grace, but together, they created royalty!

Showstopper Sonakshi Sinha

Amita Bal

Amita Bal is a relatively new name in the Indian fashion front. Based in California, she designs for today’s woman combining Indian tradition and American streamline.

Surprisingly, Amita’s collection used the same pink and white palette as Manish’s, but with more shimmer, gold and sparkle! Fabrics such as chiffon and foil molded together were brilliant. Twists of strappier and daring backless choli looks, cross ruffle styles and east-meets-west gown visions proved accepting.

Amita Bal’s Fusion Wear

Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri was Amita’s showstopper and shone no less than any celebrity!

Vikram Phadnis

Vikram Phadnis proved to be quite a surprise to all. He is known to mix Indian tradition in his fashions with a hint of folk, a hint of village. This time around he didn’t disappoint either. His Anarkalis were beautiful and his saris were phenomenal.

Vikram went a bit darker than Manish and Amita’s looks. Yes, he used my personal favorite tones of watermelon (reds, oranges and pinks) shades with creams and beiges, but also, looks of true Indian reds, blacks and golds sparked a renewed interest and love for tradition!

Every one of Vikram’s saris displayed a vintage feel with his blend of color and patterns. His overuse of lace and polka dots actually proved to be an asset, wanting women to go back to the classics. Also, using modern showstoppers Malaika Arora Khan and Yami Gautam in sleek customary wear proved anyone could go back to original Indian roots and still look very now!

Vikram Phadnis’ Saris – Mystical, Magical

Lastly, let’s cover overall IIFA fashion. Fashion wise, I expected an almost even blend of east and west, a mix of saris and gowns, a blend of Jodhpuris and tuxedos. I was a bit disappointed, however. I wanted to see more ‘Indian’ in our celebrities and guests alike! From IIFA Stomp through the IIFA event, not including the fashion IIFA Rocks event of course, most dressed in eastern attire. Cocktail dresses and evening gowns draped on ladies, tuxedos and bowties on gents.

There are, of course, two extreme perspectives we can imagine the stars were thinking. On one hand, they could’ve been theorizing that the event is in America, so why not dress the way we normally would, to let’s say the Oscars or the Grammys. But oppositely, couldn’t they think of wearing Indian fashions to encourage and show with pride our culture and elegance too? This thinking spread to most IIFA guests as well.

Bollywood celebrities that looked just right? Deepika Padukone in a golden Sabyasachi Indian gown and Dia Mirza in a Sabyasachi ombre Indian gown made me proud! Disappointing looks were displayed by Parineeti Chopra and Richa Chadda, their choices of western wear proved quite futile!

Tampa Bay hosting IIFA 2014 this year was an incredible effort for all involved. Our beautiful city is now even more appreciated internationally, and some Bollywood celebrities were even heard wanting to return! Stars will always shine, but we sometimes forget, we are all stars and the world is our sky. Sparkle always, and remember to ‘gro with style’!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, “An Indian Boutique” in Tampa, Orlando and Sunrise, can be reached at (813) 843-9040, e-mail or visit

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