Dior and Deidaa: Lessons Learnt

“We were leaving a period of war, of uniforms, of soldier women with shoulders like boxers”. “I turned them into flowers, with soft shoulders, blooming bosoms, waist slim… and skirts opening up like blossoms. ” Christian Dior, thus summarised his ‘New Look’. Continue reading Dior and Deidaa: Lessons Learnt

Christian Dior and Deidaa The Love Affair Continues

In the post World War 2 era, there was an overwhelming yearning for security and conformity. Men emerged as the primary breadwinners. Women were mothers, wives, and homemakers. In spite of criticism, feminine silhouettes resurfaced. Corsets and crinolines re-emerged. Christian Dior was a low profile freelancer for Elsa Schiaparelli and Balenciaga. He seized the opportunity and created the now famous ‘New Look’. ‘New Look’ dresses had nipped waist lines, sloping shoulders, and full skirts.
‘I designed clothes for flower like women’, said Dior. He inherited a love of gardening from his mother. Blossoming flowers inspired his Corolle (ring of petals) collection. Deidaa takes a leaf out of Dior’s book. Local flora and fauna inspire Deidaa’s collection of Australia silk scarves and floral maxi dresses.
An aspiring architect turned diplomat, Dior had a penchant for form and shape. He achieved the structural quality with layers of heavy boning, padding, and corset. Deidaa’s kaftans and silk dresses are free flowing. Deidaa embraces the structured quality in beaded clutch bags and minaudieres.
In ten short years, Dior became one of the most beloved couturiers of the world. He produced 70 collections in ten years. He died of a hear attack in 1957. Yves Saint Laurent took up the mantle of Dior after Christian Dior. In his later life, YSL developed his own aesthetic. Yet YSL inherited his love of couture and drama from his mentor. He acknowledged, ‘working with Dior was a miracle for me. My admiration knew no bounds. He has created a fashion house that was unique…. He was an extraordinary master, who taught me the fundamentals of my art. I owe a large part of my life to him… I will never forget the years spent by his side. Like Dior, Deidaa continues to nurture and mentor emerging designers.
Jacques Fath created similar silhouettes with a nipped waist, full skirt, and sloping shoulders. In later years, Vivienne Westwood and Gareth Pugh abstracted the Dior silhouette. Alexander Mcqueen used symbols and silhouettes from Dior.
John Galliano became the design director of Dior in 1996. His first collection for Dior coincided with the 50th anniversary of the House of Dior. Galliano rejuvenated the luxury brand.
Raf Simons followed Galliano. Simons gave Dior’s classic legacy a contemporary edge. He had a stellar collaboration with visual artist Sterling Ruby for Dior.
The Dior legacy continues, in the sculpted dresses, in the Lady Dior bags, in the signature perfumes, Poison and Miss Dior. Watch this space for a full review of The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Post comments on deidaablog or at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline.  #regram @deidaafashiononline, tag #deidaafashionline. Each post or comment earns a #coupon code for 10% discount across all products at deidaashop. Follow Deidaa at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline or on Instagram @deidaafashiononline.
Thank you milliner and member of #deidaateam, Valentina Dobric for the beautiful photograph of the hat.

Travel tip – how I survived a trans – hemisphere flight

Petrified! That’s what I was, faced with a 15-hour trans-hemisphere flight from Melbourne to LA! How did I finally manage to take off on a chilly winter morning and make a smooth landing on a sizzling LAX runway? I followed travel tip 1 – 5.


 For this long haul flight, I paired stretchy stovepipe pants with a crisp cotton top. A leopard print trench coat camouflaged the cotton top – an anomaly in Melbourne winter. After all, camouflage is the original function of leopard prints, isn’t it? When I reach LAX, a leopard print fringed cotton scarf replaced the leopard print trench coat. The leopard print scarf added an edge to a basic trouser-top outfit.

 Travel Tip – Go with the flow:

On board a flight, I abandon structured blazers in favour of flowing kaftans. Kaftans are lightweight and fuss – free. They travel well and are very comfortable on long – haul flights. Striped or digitally printed kaftans can be dressed up and down. These tunics work well across cultures and climates.

Travel Tip – Wrap up:

I cannot sing enough praise of my burgundy pashmina scarf I carried on my long haul flight. It kept me warm at Melbourne airport. On the flight, it doubled up as a throw and kept in – flight chill at bay.

Ease the crease:

Very often, I have to walk straight into a meeting from the airport. Crease free and lightweight tunics keep me from looking like a scarecrow and preserve my board room persona.

Be ready for the paparazzi:

On every trip, a couple of formal events seem to sneak up on me. In anticipation of this, I pack a couple of silk dresses, in vibrant colours like cobalt blue,  that roll up into nothing. Combined with a statement clutch bag, these dresses ensure I am ready for the red carpet.
Do you have travel tips of your own? Post comments and suggestions on deidaablog or at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline, #regram @deidaafashiononline, tag #deidaafashionline. Each post, comment or regram is rewarded with a #coupon code for 10% discount across all products at deidaashop. Follow Deidaa at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline or on instagram @deidaafashiononline.
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Cannes Film Festival 2017 – Bollywood Babes Sizzle

Cannes Film Festival 2017 is the hottest event on the social calendar, south of France. Cannes Film Festival is as much about red carpet fashion as it is about cinema. Distinct from the Met Museum Gala’s avant garde aura, the red carpet at Cannes combines elegance with glamour.

The 5 hottest trends to emerge from the Cannes Film Festival 2017 are as follows:

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Slashed Hems:

Bare legs became a red carpet sensation at Cannes 2017. Supermodel Bella Hadid in an Alexander Vaulthier gown and social media sensation Emily Ratajkowski in an oyster pink slit dress bared their impeccably toned legs with aplomb . Uma Thurman was statuesque in a pale pink sculpted dress with a high slit. Bollywood star Deepika Padukone made her first major appearance at Cannes dressed in an emerald green off shoulder dress offering a sneak peek of her never ending limbs. But it was 70 year old Susan Sarandon who proved that age is no bar to a flash of exposed leg.

Bollywood rules:

Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai was the toast of papparazzi in a Cinderellaesque powder blue hand beaded gown created by Phillipino designer Michael Cinco. She followed it up with a ruffled Ralph and Russo gown. For her maiden appearance at Cannes, as the newly recruited brand ambassador of L’oreal cosmetics, Deepika Padukone wore an emerald green Brandon Maxwell sheath with thigh high slits. The clean, no fuss look was highlighted with peacock eyes and diamond ear cuffs. Looking for Bollywood inspired fashion? Your search ends at Deidaa. Shop at Deidaa for designer silk scarves, maxi dresses, digital printed kaftan dresses, handmade beaded clutch bags and more.

Champagne flows:

Champagne flowed physically and metaphorically as the stars made a big switch from the flamboyant to the subtle. Emily Ratajkowski, Uma Thurman and Bella Hadid showed off cleavage baring corsetry and figure hugging silhouettes in champagne and nude colours. Elle Fanning wore a Vivienne Westwood off shoulder gown scribbled with signature Westwood motifs.

Colour my world with cobalt blue and vivid red:

Winnie Harlow’s cobalt blue Zuhair Murad dress provided the perfect foil to the neutrals and shell pinks as did Julian Moore’s burgundy lace halter gown. In her alternate Cannes avatar, Bella Hadid wore a quilted red dress with a necklace from Bulgari’s iconic serpenti range. Harley Baldwin’s cobalt blue peplum dress with a deep cleavage added to the colour quotient.

Embroidery and beading hold their own:

If you are talking glamour, you can’t go beyond beading and embroidery. Princess of Venice and French actress Clotilde Courau did full justice to her royal lineage, dressed in a pale pink Elie Saab gown with a beaded bodice. Eva Herzigova added glamour to the red carpet, dressed in an opulent metallic Roberto Cavalli couture gown. Jessica Chastain wore an Alexander McQueen dress with an embroidered torso. Chris Lee in a cheong sam inspired dress spangle with embroidered tigers and Jessica Chastain in a beaded mini dress with floor length fringed tassels kept the handmade banner flying.

Craving a dash of red carpet glamour? Deidaa’s cobalt blue silk dress accessorised with one of Deidaa’s exquisitely handcrafted clutch bags  can unleash the diva in you!

Contact Deidaa for more styling advice. Post comments and suggestions on deidaablog or at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline,  #regram @deidaafashiononline, tag #deidaafashionline. Each post, comment or regram is rewarded with a #coupon code for 10% discount across all products at deidaashop. For more Cannes Film Festival photos, follow Deidaa at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline or on instagram @deidaafashiononline.

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Things to do around Melbourne Deidaa tip

A big shout out to all members of Deidaaratti who responded so warmly to Deidaa’s recent post – Things to do in Melbourne.  ‘Things to do in Melbourne’ deserves a sequel i.e.,  ‘Things to do around Melbourne’.

There are many unsung nuggets around Melbourne that are perfect for weekend getaways.

A little over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, is the spa town of Daylesford. With over 65 mineral springs in the region , Daylesford is the ideal place to get away from the hustle bustle of city life. There is something for everyone.

Things to do around Melbourne Convent Gallery

With my deep interest in art, crafts and textiles, my first stop in Daylesford had to be the Convent Gallery. This gallery is a treasure trove of international and Australian art and artefacts. The artworks are on display by rotation. Most are for sale, with the prices and the artist’s statements clearly displayed. An erstwhile convent, as the name suggests, this gallery has a carefully preserved chapel with some of Australia’s oldest stained glass windows. The vivid colours and geometric patterns of stained glass windows have often influenced Deidaa’s digital printed kaftans, especially the ones with beading around the neckline. At the convent gallery, a roof top infirmary and a nun’s cell have been left urestored to provide a rare glimpse into the lives of those who lived in the gold rush era. The Bad Habits Mediterranean restaurant at the gallery offers breathtaking views of Daylesford township. The gallery shop has an eclectic mix of jewelry, scarves, knitwear, candles and soaps on sale.

Things to do around Melbourne Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa

For those seeking spiritual upliftment and relaxation, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs have several day spas, healing retreats and yoga ashrams. Make sure you pack a few flowing digital printed kaftans as the right attire for your karmic salvation. Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa has been opertaing since 1895. Surrounded by greenery, this bathhouse draws water from Hepburn mineral springs. It offers private bath, spa, relaxation pools, steam and salt therapies. Pack your spa essentials in one of Deidaa’s roomy beach bags and head towards the bathhouse for a couple of hours of absolute bliss. Alternately, you may book an accommodation with a private spa. We stayed at the Mahala apartments. Conveniently located, these apartments are decorated with crewel embroidered cushions and hand embroidered block printed throws. The in-room spa, with a view of the lily pool and falling maple leaves, is an added bonus

Things to do around Melbourne Lavandula Farm

Tucked away in the hills, is the Lavandula Swiss Italian farm. This European style lavender farm is a feast for the senses, with rolling hills covered in lavender, herb and veggie gardens. The historic barn hosts a quaint shop that sells lotions, potions and pot pourris for you and your furry friends. The La Trattoria cafe sells lavender scones, lavender tea and even lavender champagne! Celebrate the colour purple this winter with a few lavender sprigs pinned on Deidaa’s lilac wool scarf interspersed with chantilly lace.

Things to do around Melbourne Boathouse Restaurant

Daylesford Lake is a haven for birdwatchers (of the feathered variety). You may have close encounters with a variety of ducks, geese, peacocks and coots. Do not get too close. They can become quite aggressive, especially if you feed them. You may do paddle boating or grab a bite at the iconic Boathouse Restaturant which was burnt down but has since been rebuilt and is open for business. Another hidden gem is the Book Barn, the second hand book shop that specialises in selling rare and unusual books. If you want a bird’s eye view of Daylesford, you may go up the spiralling staircase of the tower at the nearby Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens. The gardens boast of walkways and a good selection of firs, pines and begonias.

Got some tips on things to do around Melbourne? Post comments and suggestions on deidaablog or at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline,  #regram @deidaafashiononline, tag #deidaafashionline. Each post, comment or regram is rewarded with a #coupon code for 10% discount across all products at deidaashop. For photographs of Daylesford and surrounding areas follow Deidaa at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline or on instagram @deidaafashiononline.

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Are you traveling this Easter?

Are you traveling this Easter? Easter holidays are the first big break of the year. Most of us look forward to putting up our feet and chilling with family and friends. How will you relax these Easter holidays? Some of us may go camping and pitch a tent in the wild. Others will head to the beach and soak up the last remnants of summer. Whatever you do, if you follow five cardinal holiday rules, you will not go wrong.

Traveling this Easter? Plan ahead:

Caravan parks, hotels, motels, sea side resorts get full quickly, especially the good ones. Book early, if you are looking for hired accommodation.

Pack light:

Traveling with a truckload of luggage is no fun. After all, you are trying to get away from everyday, humdrum life. Pack lightweight clothes like kaftans. Kaftans fold into nothing and fit into the nooks and crannies of your bag. Caftans lend themselves to layering and can be worn across seasons. Digital printed kaftans can be dressed up and down. Kaftan dresses can be worn across cultures and geographical boundaries. Select crease free fabrics like polyester georgette.

Do your research:

If you are visiting a place for the first time, get some prior information about local weather, law and order, culture. Does your accommodation come with heating/cooling? Does your caravan park provide fresh linen and towels? Speaking from personal experience, I have had to sweat it out without a fan, with the mercury touching high 30 degrees. Pack some scarves. Scarves or shawls are the most versatile travel accessories you can think of! They offer protection from winter chill or summer heat. They can be worn as headscarves or sarongs over bathers. Scarves are handy if you have to cover your head or shoulder when you are visiting religious places.

Don’t be caught unawares:

Pack a dress or two, especially if you are going on a cruise. You may have to attend one or two formal events and a light silk dress accessorised with a clutch bag or designer silk scarf will ensure you are dressed for the occasion.

Travel safe:

If you are traveling this Easter, carry your essentials like passports, credit cards and phones in a secure cross body bag. Replace your precious jewelry with fake trinkets, pompom scarves or colourful beach bags. Do not be a sitting duck for criminals in unfamiliar surroundings. Moderately priced, colourful fashion accessories can add to your travel wardrobe as much as precious baubles, without disturbing your peace of mind.

Last but not the least, have a blast traveling this Easter. Make the most of these Easter holidays.  After all, most of us  may have to wait till Christmas for another good sized break.

Got some travel tips to share? Post your comments, suggestions, tips on Deidaa and receive a couponcode for 10% discount across all merchandise at deidaashop.

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Recharging batteries these holidays – fashiontip

These end of year holidays, I retreated into nature for a few days… away from the trappings of urban life. I realised how invaluable this experience was for my mental and physical wellness. It is not enough to simply get away. For effectively recharging batteries, you have to get a few things right.

Follow a few fashion tips from Deidaa this holiday season to make the most of your end of year getaway:

Recharging batteries travel light:

Do not carry the burden of superfluous luggage. Pack low maintenance and versatile items of clothing. Crease free, lightweight and colour ful printed kaftans work well as beach wear or cover ups over bathers. In tropical climates, these tunics can be worn as dresses. Teamed with cardis and leggings, caftans serve as effective outwear in light winter. A wide variety of kaftans are available at online stores in Australia, in floral, paisley or geometric prints. Plus size kaftans flatter generous body shapes. Kaftans are multicultural and can be be worn in different countries across the world.

Follow the KISS principle:

Keep it simple. If the monochromatic palette is your poison, carry a few colourful fashion accessories like cross body bags as mood elevators. Cross body bags are nifty travel companions. They hold the bare essentials like sunnies, credit cards, phones etc. They can be slung across the shoulder, giving you the hands free option.

Wrap it up:

Speaking of fashion accessories, do not forget to pack a couple of wraps, a digital printed silk scarf and a boho cotton scarf that can double up as a sarong over bathers or as a bandanna. A fashion wrap can be worn in a dead man’s knot or wrapped over shoulders giving protection against the elements and adding a festive touch to a basic outfit.

Be prepared:

Do not be caught unawares. Always carry a light weight, free size semi – formal dress. You never know who you meet and where you get invited to.

Create memories:

Make these holidays a lasting experience. Good photographs create happy memories. Be photo ready. Combine a solid coloured dress with a printed scarf or a floral beach bag. You  do not have to carry the whole photgraphic paraphernalia. Smart phones take good pictures. If you are having a good time , it reflects in your photographs. Come back refreshed, ready to dive headlong into a happy and exciting 2017!



Travel Ready Summer wear 2016?

Twenty six sleeps to Christmas!! The holiday season is nearly upon us. After working hard throughout the year, we are ready to spend a few days soaking up the sun at the beach, catching up with friends and family at backyard barbeques or packing the bags and traveling to exotic locales.  Are our wardrobes keeping pace with our holiday plans? Do we have travel ready summer wear in 2016?

Travel Ready Summer wear Off – Shoulder Maxi Tropical Kaftan

Australia is famous for its beach culture worldwide. Beach culture goes hand in hand with beachwear. Beachwear should be flirty, floaty and feminine. Lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, chiffon and georgette are ideal for beachwear. Floral dresses, off – shoulder maxis and kaftans in tropical and graphic prints are on trend this season. Quick to dry and water repellant beachwear dresses can double up as cover ups over bathers or swimsuits.

Travel Ready Summer wear Lightweight and Creasefree Tops

If you are traveling, pack lightweight clothes. Blended georgette dresses and tops are sturdy, crease resistant and take the rigours of travel well. If you are heading off to Northern hemisphere you may want to carry tops and dresses that can be paired with cardis, worn over pullovers or under blazers.

Travel Ready Summer wear Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses can double up as casual daywear and beachwear. They come in a wide variety of fabrics ranging from floral cottons to georgettes in vivid colours. Maxi dresses can be dressed up and down and are ideal for poolside bar be ques.  Accessorised with hoop earrings, stacked bangles and espadrilles, maxi dresses make that easy transition from casual to party wear.


Carry a lightweight scarf. Scarves can be worn as sarongs over bathers, can be wrapped over off shoulder tops or tied around the neck for some added warmth.

Kids Aprons

During the holidays, your little ones can be quite a handful. Why not try something different this season?  Replace the usual toys with eye catching kids’ apron sets as stocking fillers and your little will soon be engrossed, decorating the Christmas cake or roasting corn cobs at the bar be que, leaving you with some ‘me time’.

Beach Tote Bag

Last but not the least, if you are planning the great outdoors experience, pack your slip, slap, slop kit – a box of wet wipes, a spritzer, a lip balm fortified with UV protection, a sun block and moisturiser in a canvas tote bag. Carry a floppy hat. Complement your sexy summer clothes and beach wear with go go sandals and have a blast!!


Handmade Textiles

Handmade textiles Introduction:

Years of working with artisans has not quenched my thirst for handmade textiles. On the contrary, everytime I watch artisans work their magic, I yearn for more interaction with artisans.

Handmade textiles Ikat:

Recently, I had an opportunity to observe Balinese Ikat weavers at work. To those unfamiliar with Ikat, it is one of the strongest and most complicated textile techniques. Artisans across the world are connected by a common thread. It is no wonder then, that artisans in three countries are skilled in the art of Ikat weaving, namely, India, Indonesia and Thailand. Ikat textiles are characterised by their geometric patterns. These patterns are formed by pre – dyeing the yarn in multiple colours to mathematical precision. Geometric patterns form when these yarns are woven on a shuttle loom. A small mistake in the pre – dyeing process can result in the final pattern being skewed. In single Ikat fabric, the weft thread alone is pre – dyed in multiple colours, while the warp thread is dyed in single colour. In double Ikat fabric, both warp and weft yarns are pre – dyed in multiple colours. Double Ikat weaving is a highly specialised textile technique, practised in India alone. Ikat textiles are put to multiple uses. They are used for making scarves and pocket squares. They are sewn into beautiful kaftans and dresses.

Handmade textiles Batik:

The art of batik painting is widely practised in Bali. Batik  belongs to the genre of resist dyeing and printing. In resist printing, motifs are covered with wax (Indonesia), starch or mud (India and Africa) and the covered fabric is dipped in dye. The dyed fabric is then washed or steamed to get rid of the resisting agent. Batik was popularised in India by the Nobel laureate poet, Rabindranath Tagore. However, while Indonesians use the fine nibbed pen or tjanting and geometric blocks called tjaps made out of brass, Indians use paint brush and wooden hand blocks. Persian influence, with its curvilinear floral motifs, is abundant in Indian block printing.

Batik sarongs, shirts and dresses add value to a textile connoisseur’s wardrobe. While buying batik products, look for authentic handmade textiles and do not be fooled by cheap mass produced imitations.

Artisans world wide, display amazing depth, dexterity and diversity. We need to foster these handmade textiles so that our children and their children continue to be enthralled by their beauty and grace.

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Deidaaspeak – Dress like Olympians

Deidaaspeak – dress like Olympians introduction:

Have you been glued to the television in the past few days? Are you bleary eyed in the morning and sleep walking to work? Have velodromes and running tracks invaded your dreams? Clearly, you have been bitten by the Olympics bug. For a frenzied fortnight, the Olympics rule our lives – how we work around the Olympics, what we eat (TV dinners of course) and where we sleep (decidedly, on the couch). It is no wonder then, the Olympics impacts upon what we wear. Athletes’ uniforms come under intense scrutiny and set the dress code for the next season.Talking of uniforms, the Canadians take the gold, dressed  in signature red, black and white.


Designers have been roped in to create uniforms for athletes participating in Rio Olympics 2016. While Ralph Lauren has designed Olympics uniforms for Team America in white, blue and gold, Stella Mc Cartney has been at Her Majesty’s Service, designing a range of chic sportswear for the British Olympians. Team Great Britain’s Rio Olympics uniforms are a collaboration between Mc Cartney and Adidas. They are deemed to be the most ‘successful Olympics range ever’ and are already a sellout in the UK and beyond. Teams France and Italy are not far behind, wearing Lacoste and Giorgio Armani respectively. Even China has jumped on the bandwagon, recruiting a fashion designer to dress their national teams. The island nation of Tonga has drawn upon traditional motifs, silhouettes and colours, with its flag bearer wearing a tapa cloth lava lava.  Aussies wear retro blazers with green pinstripes, accentuated with gold scarves and green and gold ties. The Aussie blazer combines history with modernity. Its inner lining features names of all Australian Olympics gold medalists. It is also a smart garment, designed to hold headphones.


In 2016, most Olympics uniforms have been designed to service long term wear. They can be worn outside of the Olympics. These uniforms have the potential to become trendsetters this season. If you cannot get the exact Olympic gear, you may get into the team spirit by acquiring something close to the team colours or motifs. For instance, you could select from Deidaa’s Australia scarves, to get into the Team Australia spirit. Deidaa’s Australia scarves are the result of an year long research into Australian flora and fauna. Each Australia scarf features a familiar Australian plant. Wear Deidaa’s Australia scarf like a lava lava or as a neck piece and dive headlong into the Olympics spirit.