LIFESTYLE - KASHMIRA Dahya, a registered chartered accountant, fashion designer and influencer, specialises in Eastern wear with a modern twist.
Her call to fame has been eco-friendly fashion and recycling old saris into modern daily wear.
THE POST asked Dahya for her tips on trends and budget-friendly fashion hacks for the festive season:
Q: What are the popular colours and prints this season?
A: When it comes to recycling or upcycling an old sari, anything goes. The prints that I love working with are the more traditional prints like bhandini, banaras and kutch work. These prints connect you to your roots and are infused with our culture. It makes a big fashion statement when worn in a western setting. Colours are limitless. I always say it depends on your personality and the occasion.
Q: What are your tips for pairing pieces of traditional Indian wear with modern wear?
A: Keep it simple! Traditional prints are bold, so stay away from pairing it with other bold patterns or textures. I really like dramatic, bold kimonos paired with jeans, a simple strappy top and killer heels. This lets the kimono be the showstopper, and it keeps your look elegant.
In South Africa, our festive season is in the middle of summer. This means a lot of pool parties. Use a sheer kimono as the perfect cover up.
When upcycling sarees, the things you can make are endless:
* Bomber jackets are such a statement, and they are extremely comfortable. You can wear this to the mall while doing your Christmas shopping.
* Jumpsuits with brocade prints are so dreamy. When worn, they are bound to turn heads due to its unique look.
* Convert a sari into a dress of your choice. A Grecian off the shoulder dress sparks elegance and will have you feeling like a Greek goddess.
*Silk saris can also be made into the most beautiful suits for work. Wearing a traditional print at work shows our beautiful culture in a formal setting. Take your power dressing to a whole new level.
Don’t forget you can upcycle lenghas too.
* Lenghas are perfect to cut into a cute short dress for summer.
* You can even turn them into wide-legged palazzo pants.
* Mum and daughter matching outfits are on-trend right now. It's the cutest thing, and we love gushing over these looks.
Q: What are some of the best pieces of traditional Indian jewellery that we could find in our mothers or grannies' jewellery boxes? And how are these best paired?
A: We are lucky to have such a diverse range of traditional jewellery.
* I love pairing chunky traditional necklaces with western wear to create a focal point and bring attention to the face. This is a simple way to add a fun element to any outfit. I would best pair it with a simple white T-shirt and jeans. If you want to take it to another level, then add an upcycled jacket or kimono.
* Nose Rings/Naaths are on-trend. Reuse your bridal naath to take your outfit from drab to fab in an instant. I would pair this with a more traditional print but western silhouette. Our upcycled jumpsuit would work really well when paired with a naath.
* Maangtikka or hair jewellery can be used as part of your belt to add a touch of glam to your garment. I would pair this with a little black dress on date night or add it to your jeans to give it that va va voom.
*For more tips and to see more upcycled outfits, vist Dahya’s Instagram page here.