Archive for category: Uncategorized

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

August 12, 2017

Beauty is a combination of qualities that please the aesthetic senses.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – what one person finds beautiful or admirable may not appeal to another person.

Beauty differs in different cultures and our perception of beauty changes continually.  It is so easy to get caught up in the abundance of images that are thrown at us each day of what we are supposed to believe as ‘beauty’.  Beauty is how you feel about yourself, not what you are shown on television and not what you see in the mirror.  Don’t try to live up to what others perceive to be beautiful.  Be your own kind of beautiful.

Photo: courtesy of Canva

Beauty to me is something natural, unaffected and in a pristine and fresh condition, for example, an untouched stretch of beach or a wild and tropical rainforest full of fantastic smells, sights and sounds.  Things of nature are the most beautiful things in the world in my eyes.

To others, these things are abhorrent – beaches – yuk – hot, sweaty, sandy and salty.  Rainforests – humid,  itchy, bitey and dark.

I feel beautiful when I am happy.  Many things combine to make us feel beautiful.  Maybe it’s your strength and confidence. Maybe it’s your positivity, your compassion and kindness or your willingness to love. Maybe it’s your family and friends. It could be your love of colour, both to wear and in the world around you. It could be your smile and sparkling eyes, your hair or your teeth. It could be your success, your honesty and dependability, your acceptance of others, your humour or your energy. It could be when you feel passionate about something.

In this Photo:  Coral Beach Short Kaftan

If you feel beautiful on the inside, that beauty radiates from every pore of your body.  It affects the way you hold yourself, the way you walk and the way you interact with others.  This then affects the way people see you and interact with you.

It is not always easy to feel beautiful, sometimes things get us down, leaving us feeling quite the opposite of beautiful.  When these situations occur, take a step back, mentally throw away those thoughts or the situation that is causing your angst, concentrate on yourself and transport yourself to the place that makes you feel alive and happy and your beautiful self will return.  Shake off those negative thoughts and people.

Photo:  courtesy of Canva

We are all special in our own way, and feeling beautiful goes a long way towards making you feel special.  The biggest lie that can creep into your head is the thought that you are not special and you are not beautiful.  Evict that thought immediately!! it is not true and it is not helpful to your well being.

I am beautiful…..say it out loud…..and keep saying it.  Self-acceptance is the first step to achieve true beauty.

In this Photo:  Secret Garden Short Kaftan

Whilst researching the word ‘beautiful’ I came across a YouTube video by ‘For Your Life’ called ‘True Meaning of Beauty’ – how women across the world are feeling beautiful in their skin.  The video shows a large store with 2 doors.  There is a sign over one door that says ‘average’, over the other door the sign says ‘beautiful’.  It is very interesting to see how many women choose the average door and how many choose the ‘beautiful’ door, and why they made their choice.

Click for the link to the video

Which door would you choose?

 

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Shop Now, Pay in Instalments!

July 29, 2017

At Laloom, we understand that our customers want flexibility and simplicity in how you pay for your purchases and that is why we have partnered with afterpay, a Sydney based Australian company offering simple interest-free instalment plans, available instantly.  Afterpay is currently being offered by hundreds of Australian businesses, both large and small.

Here are the nuts and bolts of how it all works!!  It’s pretty simple really…….

Afterpay splits your payments over 4 fortnightly equal instalments with the first instalment due immediately.  You nominate the debit/credit card you wish to use and afterpay will automatically schedule the payments for you.
Approval is given instantly and you will then be redirected back to the Laloom website.
An order confirmation is sent to you from afterpay, plus you will receive the usual order confirmation from Laloom.

Here is a brief overview of how it will look:

Firstly, choose afterpay as your method of payment, where you will be asked your email address. Afterpay uses your email address to recognise if you are a new or existing customer of afterpay.
Existing afterpay customers will need to enter their password to continue.

New afterpay customers will be asked their mobile phone number and a verification code will be sent to your mobile phone. Once you enter the verification code you will then be asked for your billing address. When you enter those details, your Afterpay account has been created.

Next, you will be shown a summary page where you enter your card details to complete your order.  The summary page shows the total order amount, plus the 4 equal fortnightly instalments, the first instalment due immediately.

So, there you have it…..that’s about all there is to it….easy, peasy!!

Any questions?  Contact us here

 

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Necklines and Necklaces

July 15, 2017

Necklines – Sweetheart, Square, Turtleneck, Strapless, V-Neck, Round Neck, Halter, Off the Shoulder, One Shoulder, Boat, Scoop and Jewel – and that’s not even all of them!!.  Each neckline can be flattering, or not, to different body shapes and sizes, shoulders, bust and neck sizes.  It can get confusing and tricky to select a neckline that not only flatters your body but also your face and jaw shape as well.

At Laloom we tend to stick with the v neckline and round neckline, and there are some very good reasons we do this.  Both the v neckline and the round neckline flatter your figure and are perfect for women of many different shapes and sizes.

Necklaces –  Your necklace should be flattering to your features and suit you and your kaftan.  Delicate necklaces are ideal for the delicate fabrics of our kaftans, and our embellished kaftans are the perfect match for your sparkling jewelled necklaces.  Your necklace can emphasise a particular colour in your kaftan or you can match your necklace with your other accessories.

Let’s take a closer look at the v and round necklines, and the necklaces to complement them.

V Neckline – plunges from the shoulder to a point in the middle of the chest area.  This neckline draws the eye in and up with its shape and is flattering to all figures.  It is the perfect neckline if you have broad shoulders, or a short or wide neck as the v neckline elongates the body creating a taller and leaner silhouette.  Your neck and face appear to be thinner, your broad shoulders appear more narrow, and your bust can appear higher.

In this photo: Coast Short Kaftan

Necklaces for V Necklines –  Longer necklaces lengthen your neckline.  Your necklace should match the neckline of your kaftan.  The length of your necklace is important, you don’t want it to sit on the neckline of your kaftan.  Choose a necklace that sits a little above the neckline or one that drops to just under your bustline.  For those of us who are not blessed with height, your necklace should not fall any longer than just under your bustline.  Chokers are not a good option as they shorten your neckline and work against the lengthening effect of the v neckline.

In this photo: Atlas Tunic

Round Neckline – much the same as the v neckline, a round neckline elongates your neck and is suitable for many body types.  It is an open neckline and shows off an attractive neck area. It is important to pay attention to the depth of the scoop.  A higher scoop decreases the amount of exposed skin and can make your neckline look shorter and thicker.  A deeper scoop is flattering if you have a short neck.  Women with a large bust should pay attention to the scoop, a deep scoop can make your chest look wider.

In this photo:  Tropicana Short Kaftan

Necklaces for Round Necklines –  A necklace that copies the round shape of the round neckline is perfect.  Much the same as the v neckline, if you have a shorter neck, then a longer necklace is ideal.

In this photo:  Sunday Shirt

Laloom also has a range of kaftans with lace-up necklines and y necklines.

In this photo:  Swazi Short Kaftan

The lace-up and y necklines give a less formal look to the kaftan and are easily dressed up for an evening outing.  Simple necklaces are perfect for these more elaborate necklines.

In this photo: Cortez Short Kaftan

Fashion can be extremely difficult.  Back your judgement, embrace your style and revel in your individuality, and you will always look confident and stunning.

 

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Fashion Myth Busters

June 24, 2017

Fashion trends come and go, fashion rules come and go.  At Laloom our rules are pretty simple…. be proud of the body you’ve got, accentuate your assets, camouflage your flaws, embrace who you are and how you feel and stride confidently through life.  In this blog, we are busting some pesky fashion myths….Sandals and socks??? NO, NO, NO – this is one fashion rule that can stay firmly in place!!!

Large chest – can’t wear prints? UNTRUE – Prints are great at concealing a large bust.  Eyes will be drawn to the print, not your bust.  Big, bold prints are best.

Large chest – can’t wear a button up shirt?  UNTRUE – I for one can attest to that.  So many times in the past I have avoided wearing button up shirts because of the way the shirt gaped open between the buttons.  Yuk, not a great look.  Solution – safety pins.  Simply use a safety pin between the buttons to close the gap and no more flashing.  Perfect.

Short women can’t wear long dresses? UNTRUE – Long dresses can flatter a petite figure.  Choose a light fabric to avoid bulk and wear with a pair of wedge heels.  This will create a long line, lengthening your figure.  Never let the dress trail on the ground,  have the hem taken up if need be.

Too tall for heels?  NEVER!!  Women of all heights look fantastic in heels, you just need some confidence to pull it off.  In all honesty, we shorties are envious of your height.  Walk tall ladies!!

laloom, kaftan dresses, maxi dresses, summer dresses, Christmas gifts, online shopping, gifts for her, Aussie Christmas, Summer christmas

 

In this photo:  Cobalt Long Satin Kaftan

High heels versus flats? Most of us tend to think of high heels as more sophisticated than flats.  This is simply not the case.  There are plenty of extremely unsophisticated high heel shoes out there!!  Basically, it all boils down to the way you walk.  Walk tall, correct your posture, head and chin up, chest out, shoulders back – suddenly you’re a confident and sophisticated woman, regardless of what is on your feet.

In this photo:  Fleur Satin Tunic

Mixing bright colours? I, for one, love colour and the more of it the better.  Mixing colour is now fashionable, most of the rules have flown out of the window and bright colours are modern and stylish.  Keep accessories and make up low key and let the colour do the talking.  Take a look at Claires’ Wedding photo (my sister), a great example of how to make a statement with colour.

Embellishments can only be worn in the evening?  UNTRUE – We agree, embellishments are most certainly fabulous to wear in the evening.  However, we do not agree that they can only be worn in the evening!!  A beautifully embellished kaftan looks equally fabulous during the day.  The shimmering of the stones in the sunlight is mesmerising, and can, and should, be worn at any time of day and night.

 

In this photo:  Sea Dream Polyester Short Kaftan

Afraid to wear white pants?  Hands up if you mainly wear black pants because you think they make you look slimmer?  You’re right of course, black pants are slimming.  HOWEVER, white pants can be just as slimming if you choose the RIGHT white pants.  We all come in different shapes and sizes, and so do pants.  Go to a good store and get fitted for a nice pair of white pants in a cut that will flatter your shape.  All of a sudden, your wardrobe choices have doubled.Colourful silk chiffon kaftan for summer with tie neck

In this photo:  Kandy Silk Short Kaftan

Matching your purse with your shoes and belt?  Not any longer!!  The rules have changed and now you can mix and match your purses, shoes and belts to your little hearts’ desire.  Hallelujah.  Be as low key or as high key as you like mixing colours and fabrics.  Not only can you get creative with your look, you also get more use out of your purses, shoes and belts.  Win, win!!

Is your waist too round to wear a belt?  A common misconception that is frankly not true….wearing a wide belt at the smallest part of your waistline, highlights your waistline and gives you shape.

So, there you go, we’ve busted a few fashion myths here.

Everyone has their own style, and we think that is a great thing.  Don’t listen to the naysayers, make your own decisions.  Be confident with who you are and how you look and you will always look fabulous because YOU believe you are fabulous.

I’d love to see some photos of your latest kick-ass outfit……….

 

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Perfume

May 28, 2017

Choosing your perfume is equally important as choosing your outfit, shoes, and jewellery every time you head out the door.  The decision on which fragrance you wear depends on many different factors.  What outfit you have planned, where you are going, who you are going with, what you will be doing, and your mood.  All of these things will make a difference in your choice of perfume, and as long as the end result is one YOU are happy with, then you have succeeded in making the right choice.

 

Perfume Strengths
Let’s look at the different strengths of perfume – each one having a different percentage of perfume oil in their make up.

Perfume – is the most concentrated and expensive of your options, containing up to 30% or 40% of the perfume oil.  Generally available in the “stopper bottles”, these fragrances are slightly more oily and will last for hours.  Perfect for a special evening out.

Eau de Parfum – is almost as concentrated as the first option, generally containing between 12% to 30% of the perfume oil.  Eau de Parfum is a little lighter in scent, and will not last as long as the more concentrated Perfume.  However, it is less expensive than Perfume and is available in spray bottles and normal bottles.  Perfect for social gatherings, both day and night.

Eau de Cologne/Eau de Toilette – are the least concentrated options containing 1% to 3% perfume oil for the Cologne and 4% to 18% for the Toilette.  These options are usually light, fresh and fruity and will last for just a few hours – perfect for everyday use.

Feeling sexy and provocative – pair Kas Long Kaftan with a fragrance from the Wood family

Types of Perfume
Florals – Probably the most popular perfume amongst women.  Who doesn’t love the smell of beautiful fresh flowers?  Think roses, jasmine, frangipani.  Makes you feel pretty, happy and maybe even a little flirty.  Perfect for shopping,  lunch with friends and informal gatherings.

Fresh – Clean, light, zesty and sporty – think lemons, the ocean, and the rainforest.  If you love life, then these are the fragrances for you.  Perfect for summer holidays and cocktails by the river.

Orientals – Exotic, spicy and sensual – think musk, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.  If you are adventurous and worldly then these could be the fragrances for you.  Perfect for when you’re feeling dangerously confident.

Woods – Earthy, warm and sexy – think sandalwood, cedarwood, leather and moss – these fragrances are heady and provocative.  Perfect for your next romantic dinner.

 

Feeling fresh and sporty – pair your Sunday shirt with a fragrance from the Fresh family

Storing your perfume
Opt for a cool, dry place, away from a window, such as your wardrobe.  Don’t store your perfume in a damp, warm place as this will break your fragrance down and alter the scent.

Feeling happy and a little flirty – pair Lazy River Short Kaftan with a fragrance from the Floral family

Applying your perfume
1.  The best way to achieve a long-lasting fragrance is by layering your fragrance. Use a perfumed soap/shower gel,  body lotion, and powder, then top it all off with your Perfume.  Of course, don’t confuse your fragrance by layering with different scents.

2.  Applying moisturiser before your perfume helps to lock in the scent.

3.  Heat helps diffuse the scent, so apply your perfume to a few (not all) “pulse points” on your body.  “Pulse points” are where your skin is warmer and has good blood circulation – i.e. nape of your neck, inside wrists, inside elbows, navel, small of your back, behind knees, calves, and ankles.  Remember, because fragrance rises, applying perfume to your ankles and calves allows it to rise throughout the day.

4.  Do not rub your wrists together after applying the perfume as this will bruise the notes and they will not develop as intended.

Feeling confident and mysterious – pair Tsonga Long Kaftan with a fragrance from the Oriental family

It is very difficult to find the ‘right’ fragrance.  What works for your friends, may not necessarily work for you.  Try the perfumes on by spraying lightly to your wrist, let it dry for a moment or two and then sniff.  Never try more than 3 perfumes at once, as your senses cannot cope and will become confused.

 

Personally, I prefer the lighter, fresher scents, although I do love the fragrance of sandalwood and Jasmine.  What are your favourite fragrances??

 

 

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Mothers Day Musing

May 13, 2017

Each year on the second Sunday in May we celebrate our mothers for Mothers Day.  This year we have asked our dearest and nearest to warm our hearts with musings about their mothers, grandmothers, and about being a mother.  Here is what we all had to say.

Alison – Laloom Head Honcho

Being a Mother – Wow, this is a subject I could talk about for days.  Before I had children, I was an independent, social, carefree young woman and not overly keen to give my lifestyle up.  However, give it up I did, and over a few years, became the mother of two gorgeous and loving boys.  My life changed forever, and I would not alter any of it.  I love being a mother, and it blows me away to this day how fiercely protective I am of my 2 children.  It is hard to describe the love a mother feels for her children.  The only way I could ever think to describe the feeling is that I am overflowing with love for them.  They will always be my ‘children’, and at 25 and 22 years of age, they are also now men.  They have grown into fantastic men – reliable, honest and trustworthy.  I am so proud of them both, they have made me a much different person to who I was 25 years ago. 

 

Graham – Laloom 2IC– is from a family of 7 children – and here is what he had to say about his mother.

In life, my mother bought every emotion to my world, both good and not so good.  In youth, Mum gave me guidance and in adulthood gave me love and support.  Since Mum’s passing my memories have become stronger, and I thank her for everything.

 

Cathie – Laloom Uber Model and mother of 2 gorgeous boys

I feel so incredibly blessed to be a Mum and raising my two very handsome young men Baylin (16 yrs) and Riley (13 yrs).
With Mother’s Day approaching, I love to reflect on the anticipation I felt bringing these miracle life forms into this World.  The intense and overwhelming emotions I felt greeting them were definitely the best two days of my life!
They both continue to be healthy, happy souls.  Nurturing them with unconditional love and guiding them through their lives has been my desired purpose.
I am so very proud of them.  They achieve well and want to please others.  They amaze me every day and grow every day too…I feel quite short now!
I am so grateful for each hug I receive as they lead more into their independence years.  I am in no rush for them to flee the nest but I am so very excited to see where their desires and ambitions lead them.
On Mother’s Day, they will make me feel special. I know Riley will be a barista for the morning and make me a lovely coffee, and Baylin will be happy to make me something delicious to eat. 

 

Rae – My blister (Sister) and Laloom Cheer Squad

Mabel Jessica Jennings (Jess)
My grandmother – Nana – was an accomplished seamstress. She was so good at it! All through our childhood, she made our overcoats, shorts, tops and dresses.
After I had left home and was studying to become a teacher, I was very poor. I had no money – ever- and so would go to spend some of my holidays with Nana and Pa. Nana would take me to Bingo to raise a little cash. Then we would go to the Op Shop and buy old clothes- choosing fabrics and patterns that we liked. Nana would carefully unpick each item. I would have an idea – something hip, something groovy that I desperately wanted. Nana would lay the unpicked clothing out, pick up the scissors and start cutting, holding pieces up against my body. Then the sewing machine would whirr. More scissor work, more holding pieces up, tacking and sewing. Soon, I would be wearing a new outfit – one that fitted, was up-to-the-minute stylish and in colours, patterns, and fabrics that I liked – and at a fraction of the cost!
Nana was my friend, I always felt that she liked me and understood me. In return, I loved and looked up to her, she was a role model for me. I still miss her terribly!

 

Natalie – Laloom Make Up Artist Extraordinaire

I love Laloom kaftans so much that I actually bought one for my mum after I saw this particular one we did a photo shoot with – I thought this kaftan would suit mum, it looked so comfy, pretty & just her styling. When mum opened her gift she absolutely loved it as much as I had hoped she would & it is a gorgeous outfit. 

 

Sally – Laloom Customer & Super Supporter

My Mum!  Well it makes me smile just thinking about her, what a character she was.  She was very intelligent but could also be quite naive, she was also quite opinionated and had a great wit.  At fourteen as an only child she told her mother she wanted to go to boarding school, so she became quite independent from an early age.  If we hurt ourselves as children she would just tell us to get on with it, which wasn’t always a good thing because now as a 56-year old I am paying the price for that lack of empathy!  She always did cryptic crosswords which I could never conquer and I hate to say my brother could, however, that gave my brother and mother a lovely interest.  Her strength made us what we are today.  She was a great Mum and friend.  To be quite honest I don’t need a ‘day’ for Mother’s Day, because I think of her all the time and miss her dearly.

 

Claire – My blister (Sister) and Laloom Cheer Squad

Marge Joyce Heywood was my mum.  She was fun, feisty and rather short.  You only get one mum, and mine was there for me no matter what.  Anytime, anything, always.  A phone call away.  A witness to my life.  An open ear.  Even if she really wasn’t that interested, or didn’t approve, there she was.  She was my dear friend and I miss her terribly.  As I age I sometimes catch myself, my reflection, my voice, a certain way of moving my hands… and there she is.  Alive and kicking!  She lives in my bones, my skin, my DNA … and always, always, always in my heart.  

 

We really hope you have enjoyed this blog, and we welcome stories about your mothers, grandmothers, and children.

 

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Kaftans for Winter

April 28, 2017

 

Summer is gradually disappearing.  The sun is not quite so fierce and the nights are getting cooler as we slowly creep toward the winter months in Australia.

I found this quote by John Steinbeck (a Pulitzer prize-winning American Novelist) that in my opinion, pretty much sums it up…….. “what good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness”…

Whilst you love to wear your fabulous kaftans in summer, and why wouldn’t you?  Who doesn’t want to feel light, cool, breezy and comfortable in our stiflingly hot summer days?  It is such a shame to pack them away for the next few months until the warmer weather is upon us again.  So, as we begin the creep towards winter, it is time to put our minds to how we are going to wear our gorgeous kaftans during the winter months.

Fortunately, this is a very easy problem to solve – LAYER, LAYER, LAYER.

 

In summer, a kaftan is worn on its own, maybe with a slip underneath, teamed with shorts, a straight skirt or 3/4 or long pants, and is accessorised with jewellery and shoes.  During winter, you need to add extra layers to keep warm.  The trick is to add the layers and accessories without creating too much bulk (you do not want to look like the Hulk!).

What you wear underneath your kaftan is quite important.  Choose fabrics that are light in weight, but not bulky.  Cotton is not a good choice of fabric as it retains perspiration and can leave you feeling chilled.  Cashmere and Merino wools, and silks are great choices.  These fabrics will transport the perspiration away from your skin, dispersing it on the outer surface where it can evaporate.  There are many options using warmth retaining fabrics that do not make you sweat.  Your undergarments can be snug and contoured to your body, or they can be slightly looser.  The closer the garment is to your body, the warmer you will feel.

If you live in a cold climate, you definitely need a very warm coat or jacket to wear over your kaftan.  Choose a jacket that matches the rest of your outfit.  You can glam it up in a sexy leather or suede jacket to match your sexy leather or suede boots.    Wraps and Capes are perfect to wear for the not quite so cold climates.

 

Leggings and jeans make perfect sense when it comes to adding warmth.  Add denim jeans or leggings for a casual look,  or long pants for a more elegant look.  If the weather is particularly chilly, wear your leggings under your jeans/pants.

 

Don’t we all love our boots, I know I sure do!!!  Boots look fantastic with kaftans.  Super cute ankle boots or super sexy knee high boots, it matters not, they both serve a different purpose depending on the look you are trying to achieve and where you are heading out to.  Personally, I like ankle boots with a short kaftan and jeans during the day and high heel knee high boots with a long kaftan in the evening.  Don’t forget to pull on your cosy woollen socks if another level of warmth is needed.

 

Last, but certainly not least, is a scarf  – What would we do without a scarf???  Scarves are essential and so versatile.  They can be worn around your neck in many different ways, worn as a wrap around your shoulders, or turban-like around your head.  Have a bunch of scarves on hand, in fabrics of silk, wool and cotton and you will never be caught out.  Match your scarf with the colours in your kaftan, and it will finish off your look beautifully.

 

So, don’t banish your kaftans to the back of the wardrobe until next summer, they can be worn all year around.  I would love to see or hear how you style your kaftans in the colder months…….

Start layering Ladies!!!

 

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Travel Diary of India

March 3, 2017

Earlier this year, I embarked on a sourcing trip to India, my first trip to this remarkable country.  The sights, the smells, the tastes…but I get ahead of myself.  In this blog post, as many of my friends and customers often ask about my journey, I wanted to share my experience of India and my first sourcing trip for Laloom.

Beauty in the chaos

I set off on my big adventure to Delhi, feeling as you can imagine, a little nervous and apprehensive.  It, being my first time to travel here, was a bit daunting.  Most of the stories I’ve heard of India were in a negative light – be careful what you eat and drink, don’t travel alone, etc.  All good advice but what I wasn’t told (or warned about) was how wonderful it would be and that I’d want to come back again!

Landing in Delhi wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.  Being as nervous as I was, I ended up lining up in the wrong arrivals queue several times until overhearing an airport staff member calling for ‘e-visa holders’ to queue in the last row.  Honestly, I was already feeling a bit out of my element!  But I didn’t let it ruffle me too much and continued on to find a taxi once I’d cleared arrivals.

Stepping out, I realised the chaos of India was exactly as described.  People everywhere and cars of every description making their way through, there was a lot of yelling and honking, but in the chaos of it all, was a sort of order, and I would soon grow to love this hustle and bustle.

I purchased a pre-paid taxi voucher and hopped into a “taxi”.  It was unlike any taxi I had ever been in before and looked like what I imagine to being a 1960s vintage car with old-fashioned roof racks on top. I was charmed as soon as I saw it.  The driver put my luggage atop, making sure it was secure with rope (noting my incredulous look) and assured me it would not fall down, and off we went.

As we drove along, I began to realise the driver had absolutely no idea where my hotel was located even after I had given him the address.  I was beginning to panic.  But soon enough, he phoned the hotel and they gave him directions.  I’ve since learned, that phoning ahead for directions is common practice in India.

Sourcing Dreams

The first couple of days in Delhi involved hour after hour of meticulously sorting through fabric rolls (roll after roll of fabrics) to find the fabrics I’d been dreaming of to complete Laloom’s current collection. I spent no less than six hours in each fabric store and took a ton of photographs of possible print selections.  With my head already spinning, I then spent the next three days at the International Garment Fair January 2017, where manufacturers show samples of their new season stock.

Getting Around

As you would travelling anywhere new, I needed local currency.  I found with the help of some friendly locals, a tiny little currency exchange place and I headed in to get some Indian Rupees.  I admit, it was the dodgiest little place I’ve ever been into and I was certain trouble was to follow.  But, thankfully it as all good and they were in fact, a proper currency exchange shop.  There were four men working in the shop and it took all four to help me change my money.  At first, they said my visa was not valid and that I should have already left the country.  I calmly and slowly explained that my visa actually said that I could not arrive before a certain date and that I could stay for no longer than 30 days.  They only saw the date as the 13th of January and believed that was the date I needed to have left India by, where in fact this was the date I entered India.  After signing several documents, a couple of calls later, it was all cleared through and I had Indian Rupees.

We had a lively conversation about Australia, which of course was started when they asked where I was from.  The men were adamant that New Zealand was in Australia, and after a bit of debate, Google finally settled it and sure enough, they saw that in fact, New Zealand was a country of its own.  It was very funny and I enjoyed the conversation very much.

Another side of India

After all initial business activities, I decided to take a day off and do something a bit touristy.  So I went to Agra, to see the Taj Mahal.  What a fantastic experience.  As we drove along the highway, I attempted to see what I could of the surrounding country, villages, and farms.  However, it was a very foggy and smoggy morning and I was limited to what I could see, impossible to see further than 50 metres.

A village we passed by in between Delhi and Agra

My driver was a wonderful man and kept me enthralled with tales of his family and the village he grew up in.  We also talked about Delhi, the Taj Mahal, farms and farming crops in the area, and of course, Australia. He was a very informative driver with a bubbly personality.  I learned about his background and found out he has a degree in English literature but decided to buy a taxi as he didn’t want to work for others.  He was very happy to be making enough money to feed and house his family, and that was all he wanted. I was touched by his humility and family values.

The Taj Mahal

Agra is a busy little town with a lot of tourists.  I was surprised to see that many of these tourists were Indian too, with only a few Caucasians amongst them.  The Taj Mahal is just as magnificent as others describe and I was engrossed with its story.  The building is made of white marble and is inset with beautiful stones (real gems, not coloured glass).  It was built in the 1600s and cost 32 million Indian Rupees to complete!

They are currently in the process of cleaning the outside of the building.  To do this, they are coating it with a mud pack and then washing it off by hand with filtered water.  They have finished all the surrounding towers, and it looks great, you can really notice the difference.  At the moment they’re working on the back of the building, so good thing the front wasn’t obscured with scaffolding and mud.

Back to Sourcing

The remainder of my time was spent meeting manufacturers, visiting their factories, talking to their friendly staff and basically being treated like a queen the whole time.  Every factory I visited I was greeted like I was the most important person in the world.  Lovely spreads of fruits, nuts, cake, biscuits, juices, water and tea awaited me wherever I went.  I was also given a gorgeous bunch of flowers with sparkles all over them. I was overwhelmed and to be honest, a little embarrassed.

I selected the manufacturer I wanted to work with. His name is Raj and he owns the factory with his cousin, Bharat. Raj means prince in Hindi and Bharat means India.  I named them the Prince and Mr India (as in Mr India muscle man).  They both seemed to really like their nicknames.  It was then time to get down to business.  I made more trips to the fabric stores, selected the fabrics I wanted to work with and the amount I would need.  Then more meetings with my manufacturer to discuss the ins and outs of the Laloom kaftans.  Finally, we had it all sorted.

Impressions

When I first planned my trip, I thought 2 weeks was a very long time, and that I’d spend most of it twiddling my thumbs with plenty of time to spare.  How far from the reality was I! In fact, I would have enjoyed a couple more days, as I was rushing the whole time and now realise that things don’t move very quickly India, but it sure keeps you busy!  Next year, I plan to go longer as there are plenty of places and things to do in Delhi alone that I’d love to visit.

Once you look past the obvious dirt, rubble, smog and the sad and confronting poverty, there is a beautiful country with a colourful culture, rich history, and a resilient people with so much kindness, humour and humility to truly inspire you, like it did me.

Senses of India

I loved the food (I didn’t get sick at all and have to say am a little proud of myself that I didn’t).  I loved the people.  I absolutely loved the crazy chaos that is India – there is no such thing as ‘personal space’ in India.  I loved the continual honking of horns on the roads and the diversity of what travelled on said roads.  From your ‘usual’ vehicles like trucks, buses, cars, motorbikes and bicycles to more ‘unusual’ vehicles like rickshaws to even more unexpected road-goers like people and cows.  Everyone flock together here. To cross the road is an achievement all its own.

Travel Lessons

Whilst in Delhi, I travelled by taxi, auto rickshaw and also on the metro.  The metro is so cheap and is a very good service.  The first time I travelled on it, I jumped onto a carriage that looked like there may be room for only one more person.  The next time I travelled on the metro, a lovely lady told me there is actually one carriage on each train for ladies only (it’s against the law for male passengers in said carriage) from then on I travelled in that carriage.

My favourite way to travel was the auto rickshaw.  They are so much fun and like everything in Delhi, I experienced good drivers and some really crazy drivers that had me holding on for dear life!  Already in the first couple of days I was involved in two car accidents but don’t worry, nothing major, just scrapes, and I was surprised they were only two I had the entire trip.

Local Conversations

They are very helpful and friendly people.  If I had a question, there were always many people to help and everyone within earshot wanted to be a part of answering my questions.  When in a cafe, not only were the staff helping me with selections, but so were the customers!

Ending the journey…for now

All I can say to sum it up is this – I absolutely loved every moment spent in Delhi and am very much looking to going back again!  I would recommend everyone to go there with an open mind and an open heart for there is much to celebrate in this beautiful country.  As I mentioned earlier you need to look past the initial culture shock and some of the “horrors” that present themselves in India.  The Indian people are very aware of their problems, and they are all very concerned about fixing those problems.

 

 

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Summer Fashion Do’s and Don’ts

December 22, 2016

One of the most exciting times of the year, when it comes to fashion, is summer. Here are some of our top summer fashion do’s and don’ts:

Do…Go for Flowy Dresses and Tops

Laloom Kaftans are so versatile and can be worn over swimwear or a slip, taking you from beach to bar in the blink of an eye and are designed to make you feel fabulous while staying light and cool.  The classic style kaftan suits most people, with a plunging neck, flowing sleeves, and draping fit.  With our other kaftan designs, you can show off different parts of the body to highlight and hide what you want.

 

In this photo:  Cayman Martinique Kaftan

Don’t…Stop Layering

Layering isn’t just a styling trick you can use during the colder months.  You can also do this during summer as well.  The secret to pulling this off successfully without sacrificing comfort is to choose lighter pieces to work with.  It’s also important to limit your layers to make sure your outfit remains cool and comfy.

 

full length silk chiffon kaftan in pink gemetric print

In this photo: Kas Long Kaftan V-Neck

Do…Accessorise

Like with any season when styling an outfit, accessories can make all the difference!  Style your summer fashion with some sexy but comfy wedges and chunky jewellery.  If you’re heading to the beach in a kaftan, then a huge, funky beach bag is a must.  Decorative sandals and eccentrically bold sunglasses can really dress up any outfit.

In this photo: Blue Pacific Kaftan Dress

Don’t…Wear Closed Shoes

Summer is the perfect time to let your feet breathe!  Wear open toe shoes whenever possible.

 

In this photo: Cayo Kaftan

Do…Pedicures

In connection with open-toed sandals, you have to have pedicures!  Not so much an extravagance as a common courtesy.  Pretty polish on your toes and you’ll be cool from the bottom up.

In this photo: Sun Dial Kaftan Dress

Don’t…Be afraid of fake tans

You don’t have to fully get into fake tans, opt for a tinted moisturiser from Johnson’s, Garnier or Dove.

In this photo: Purrfect Kaftan Dress

 

Do…Wear Brighter Colours More

Bright and vibrant colours are what fashionistas live for during the summer season!  If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to say goodbye to the dark and dull colours from the past seasons, there’s no better time than now.

In this photo: Hampton Kaftan

Florals Don’t…have to look dowdy

Our floral kaftans are the perfect way to channel a floral print without looking like an upholstered sofa. You can avoid the well-upholstered sofa trap by playing florals with a more subtle hand – hazy, watercolour prints.

In this photo: Serenity Kaftan Dress

Unsure…?

Is what you’re wearing really suitable?  Ask a girlfriend’s opinion.  We all have that bestie who says “yes that is awesome!” or “No way, I ain’t letting you go out like that”.  True friends don’t let girlfriend’s dress inappropriately.

What are some fashion do’s and don’ts you follow?

 

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Get Ready With Us: The Holidays

December 11, 2016

It’s already that time of year, whether you’re thinking of jetting away on a cruise or attending that Summer Christmas party in the garden, we’ve got you covered.  We’ve picked some of our favourite kaftans to show you how to accessorise them so you can get an overall picture (literally) of how it all comes together.

Ocean Blue

This look features the Blue Pacific Kaftan Dress, our model gives a look inspired for a day at the yacht club, in comfortable wedges and white khakis.  We take the same kaftan and come up with a more understated but just as beautiful look, pairing the kaftan dress as it is with black flats and some jewellery.

Romantic Getaway

This look features Long Chiffon Kaftan Salvia with wide round neck, at home we styled it with a pair of sandals, but you could also make it sexier, and go with a high & thicker heel (for more comfort). This pattern is romance inspired with hints of floral but not being super loud.   The subtle femininity of the print and the flattering cut makes it perfect date night material in the summer.

Garden Retreat

This look features Summer chiffon kaftan dress Botanica with Scoop neck and at knee length.  We can just imagine an afternoon sauntering in the garden feeling light and cool in this kaftan! Pair it with neutral heels, a black necklace, and bracelet and you’re good to go.Floral Kaftan dress on white background and V neck

Lazy Afternoons in the Sun

This look features the Layli Caribbean Kaftan Dress, and just like its name inspires, you are bringing the islands with you when you wear this kaftan!  The Sheer viscose Kaftan with round neckline is perfect over a swimsuit or bikini, and some neutral-toned flats and chunky accessories.

As you can see these are just a few of the gorgeous kaftans we have, they can be styled up or down, you can turn them from more casual attire to formal events with just a bit of accessorizing.  Their versatility means you don’t have to pack a lot in your luggage but still have a range of looks to choose from. Thinking of a great gift for your female loved one?  Be it your aunt, mother, sister, best friend, even grandma can rock them, or just to yourself – this is the ultimate gift for the holidays!  Contact us for ideas on how you could style your kaftan for the holidays.

 

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