The Blog Edit


By Afshan Shafi

Scintillatingly glam and possessing that fey je ne sais quoi, Lana El Sahely is one of our favourite stylestars. Belonging to privilege, she is highfashion and yet never too done. Read on for some of our fav looks

In Louis Vuitton

In Elie Saab

In Nour Hammour with Roger Vivier accessories

In Valentino

In Celine

By Afshan Shafi

Parisienne Marta Cygan’s blog Life Of Boheme is a refreshing departure from the digital sea of brand-replete, almost scarily trendy Instagrams of self proclaimed fashionistas. With daringly disheveled hair, a wicker handbag ala Jane Birkin and ultra fresh natural makeup, this is one tres French social influencer!

In an interview this year with Who What Wear, Cygan pointed out that’French girls aren’t obsessed with It Bags and don’t really buy them: “We can use a basket to run around the city with, and it’s the same one we would use to go to the beach in the South of France during the summer. Then we have a timeless luxury bag to go out.”

Read on for some of her key looks in sun

Soaked locales

In a Tibi robe with Row Sandals

In a Tibi robe and Row Sandals

In a Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini asymmetrical top carrying a Anna White bag

In trousers from Pomandere, sweater and boots from Nanushka

Carrying a Wicker Wings x Life of Boheme bag

In the French Riviera in a MaxMara dress

In an Rachel Comey top and skirt by Christopher Esber

In a floaty Anna October dress

Iman Moghul’s blog, The Pakistani Bride, is a beautifully executed assemblage of bridal trends and exquisite shoots, and sure is one Insta to follow! Afshan Shafi speaks to the blogger about all aspects of her style

What discipline did you receive your education in? How does this aid you in the running of your blog?

I am a doctor by profession. Having had to study a lot for my exams, I’ve learnt how to balance university and my love for fashion, in order to stay on top of both. I’ve always been told by my family and friends that I have a keen eye for fashionable clothing, beautiful jewellery, and amazing makeup. I decided to take the leap and started blogging in order to provide inspiration for those planning their big day, and  for those who love the same things as I do.

What is your favourite evening wear /formal look? Which designers/brands do you most enjoy wearing for these occasions?

A black gown is always my favourite evening look hands down. I think I’ve actually worn one to every gala and formal event I’ve been to over the last five years or so. You can’t really go wrong as it looks incredibly sophisticated and chic. I usually pair my gowns with a glitzy clutch, high heels and statement earrings to complete the look. In terms of fashion designers, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad are some of the best around.

What would be your go-to daytime look? What are your wardrobe staples/favourite designers in this regard?

A pair of denim jeans with an oversized white t-shirt, some sandals and a tote that can fit just about everything. I swear by Zara and Topshop for my wardrobe essentials, and my Louis Vuitton tote goes everywhere with me.

What are your most adored pieces of jewellery, both costume and precious?

For costume jewellery, Rang Posh has some of the most stunning pieces I have ever come across. You can pair their contemporary jewellery with western wear too. For precious jewels, it would have to be my gorgeous diamond and emerald earrings that my mother had made for me years ago by Karat.

How would you define the term style? Which people do you think exude a stylish persona?

To me, one’s sense of style should be an accurate representation of their personality. As Rachel Zoe said, “Style is a way to say who you are, without having to speak.” My current major style crush is Amal Clooney! Who on earth can muster up the effort to dress that well up until their 9th month of pregnancy?!

“As Rachel Zoe said, ‘Style is a way to say who you are, without having to speak’”

Who are your major inspirations from the fashion world?

Huda Kattan is successful and intelligent, with an incredibly successful make-up line, online tutorials, and a huge online fanbase.

There are also so many other women, such as designer Coco Chanel who changed the game entirely for women in fashion and influenced the feminist movement in a remarkable way (doing away with the idea that women mustn’t wear men’s clothing). Model and body-activist Ashley Graham who has now become the most successful plus-size model to date, walking the runways for Michael Kors, and appearing on the covers of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Sports Illustrated and Elle, as well as pushing the social boundaries surrounding “ideal body types.” Artist Pat McGrath is considered the most important make-up artist in the whole world, despite absolutely no formal training, with her own makeup line that sells out instantaneously (and she’s also black, which means her success is one that is truly inspiring in a time when women of colour all over the world aren’t represented nearly as much as they deserve to be). These women are only to name a few. Although they do not specifically represent South Asian fashion, they are definitely ones to aspire to and take example from, when it comes to broadening the horizons of Pakistani fashion and taking its people and talent to heights that have not yet been achieved.

What’s your most favourite fashion show that you’ve attended in person?

I would say my favourite fashion show to date has been the India-Pakistan London Fashion Show that took place in Gibson Hall earlier this year. Nomi Ansari headlined the show, alongside many well-known Indian designers such as  Ekta Solanki. It was inspiring to see all the beautiful designs on the runway, and the countless similarities and distinctions between Pakistani and Indian fashion. They also had some really fun acts to follow up and a remarkable after party, which definitely makes or breaks a show like that.

You’ve collaborated with a number of leading fashion brands. Please elaborate on which collaborations you particularly relished?

After having collaborated with a number of brands, you always cherish the couple of people who have come to develop a strong and understanding professional relationship with you. I’ve recently collaborated with the incredible Aneela from Rang Posh jewels – her items are absolutely breathtaking. Neemar Jewels is also a regular collaborator with me, and I have an extremely good working relationship with them due to their incredibly professional attitude.

What current trends internationally do you most like/dislike?

I’m in love with the return of the bell-bottom trousers, paired with short shirts. It brings back so many memories from my school days. Also, the off-shoulder trend is very cute. However, I’m not a huge fan of the two-legged shararas with lawn suits; never have been. Also, crop tops is a trend I’m just not into, although I do appreciate that some people can really pull them off.

Which people (bloggers, designers, celebrities, etc.) would you say have influenced your style the most?

I don’t necessarily take a lot of inspiration from anyone in particular. I’ve always been one to dress comfortably, and wear items that make me feel most myself. In fact, comfort is a big thing to me. Wearing heels can be incredibly painful (Louboutins, I’m looking at you!) and I always end up taking them off after a while. In terms of brands and designers, I have a few shirts from Sapphire and Khaadi in my closet, as their designs are really trendy and are easy to wear.

What are your future projects?

I’m working on a few exciting shoots this summer, one of which is going to be in Amsterdam so I’m particularly looking forward to that. (I won’t reveal too much at the moment!) I’m also seriously considering setting up an e-magazine, so I can talk about my favourite fashion trends, inspiration and designs in more detail. In terms of collaborations, I’m in talks with my absolute favourite clothing brand of all time (you can guess who) and I have a few giveaways lined up for the summer—so watch this space!

Your five beauty essentials:

Power lip, like Russian Red by MAC cosmetics

Signature fragrance, such as Pure Poison by Dior

Eye-catching skin glow, using Soft and Gentle by MAC cosmetics

Beautiful baby like skin, achieved with Pixi’s rose oil blend

A dense, buffing brush to create a super blended base for make-up, such as the Oval 6 Artis Brush.

Tender Loving Nose

Avantika Bedi’s divine, perfumery blog Tender Loving Nose is a treat to read! Her delicate appreciation of luxury scents transports the reader to a fragrant dimension. She details the story and mood of each perfume she reviews and immediately captures the essence of a scent. Afshan Shafi speaks to Avantika in an exclusive interview for GT on all the aspects of her vision

What discipline did you receive your education in? How does this aid you in the running of your blog?  
I always had a wandering mind, an active imagination and the ability to create vivid scenarios in my head. As I grew up I realized the potential and got into design at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), New Delhi, and a few years went abroad for my Masters in Interior and Living Design to the Domus Academy, Milan. It was my time in Italy that got me face to face with the world of international luxury and design.
One particular memory is that of a trip to La Rinascente, the luxury departmental store located at the Duomo square, where sat the most amazing selection of perfume brands. Little did I know that this fascination that started on that day would become such an important part of my life later on.
What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment since launching your blog? 
My blog is fairly young, and so like any fresh blogger I have a little “pinch-me” moment each time I get either a request to collaborate, an invite, a lovely comment from a reader or a chance to be interviewed like this one! I feel quite grateful for every opportunity I have to be associated with new people since launching Tender Loving Nose and I have to say each one has been special.

What is your signature go-to perfume and why?  
As a fragrance blogger, enthusiast and a constant learner I am fortunate enough to expand my olfactive experience every day. I get a chance to sample new fragrances and their ingredients that make me more appreciative of the overall art of perfumery. So my take on this is more subjective wherein I may not have one particular signature scent but do have favourite smells, like vanilla, in a “gourmand” fragrance or tobacco in a “masculine-spicy” blend, or when a fragrance has this beautiful orchid-like velvety accord that makes it feel luxurious.

Personal Style
What is your favourite evening wear/formal look? Which designers do you most enjoy wearing for these occasions? 
I usually always gravitate towards formal-chic clothing and that’s also how I would describe my personal style. For evenings or a day-to-night look  I prefer:
High street – BCBG Max Azria, Massimo Dutti, Ted Baker
Designer – Armani, Mrs Self Portrait
Resort – Missoni, Shivan & Narresh
What would be your go-to daytime look? What are your wardrobe staples, favourite designers in this regard? 
I love crisp and clean shapes. I usually do a wide legged trouser with a fitted solid coloured top. I do love shoes maybe even more than bags and I put together an outfit around the shoes sometimes.
Indian labels – Bodice, Dhruv Kapoor, Atsu, Anamika Khanna, Namrata Joshipura, just to name a few
International Brands – Emporio Armani separates, Diesel denims, Zara and Topshop basics, Gucci slippers or the Hermes Oran flats, and I’m totally loving my new Versace Palazzo backpack for the day right now.
What are your most adored pieces of jewellery, both costume and precious? 
I love gold jewellery. I deeply cherish this stunning flat-wired gold set with tiny diamond stars embellished on it. It was given to me by my mother a couple of years ago. I also really adore this vintage Omega watch given by my mother-in -law that’s so feminine and delicate.

Your all time style icons?
In real life, my mother inspires me with her great taste, I always seek her advice before a big event/occasion. On the international front, Olivia Palermo and Giovanna Battaglia are great to emulatefor their modern, edgy and super feminine style. For a timeless and classic look, I channel Grace Kelly.
Your ultimate beauty must haves?
Right now, I absolutely love cc creams, am using the hyaluronic acid-filler cc cream by Eucerin. Another must have is a nude gloss, I got my hands on NAKED lip gloss shade nooner by Urban Decayrecently, which is divine. For the day, I am loving nude eye palettes, Audacity in Paris palette by Lancôme or the NAKED palette by Urban Decay. Guerlain just launched their supertips range, which is exclusive to Sephora Middle East, I highly recommend the Midnight Secret recovery treatment face cream.
Who are your major inspirations from the world of perfumes?  
Throughout history many famous perfumers or as we call them “noses” have come along and given the world some of the most iconic and trend setting fragrances of all time. Here are some whose journeys’ inspire me – Jacques Polge, Germaine Cellier , Jean-Claude Ellena, Francis Kurkdjian, Francois Demachy, Olivier Creed, Jacques Guerlain, Annick Goutal and Isabelle Doyen
Which people would you say have influenced your vision for your blog the most? 
My husband! He is highly disciplined and a visionary. He inspires me not just by his encouragement for my blog but also when I observe him perform at work each day. Our family business, which happens to be an international perfumery house, helps me gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of formulations, compositions, rarest of ingredients, as well as the international markets.
What are your ultimate parfumerie destinations?
The French Riviera, particularly Grasse!  We get to visit the beautiful Provençal region where our family business is established. The majority of the essential oils used in perfumery come from Grasse and it is also holds the heritage of being the birthplace of perfumery.

What would be the main elements of your bespoke perfume, and its name?
I love vanilla, iris, grapefruit, soft woods, cedar, vetiver, orchids, tuberose, freesia, musk, olibanum…I am not a perfumer but I would love to, someday, bring this potion to life.
What are the most classic, iconic fragrances, which you feel everyone should own? 
“Your fragrance is your message, your scented slogan,” said a wise perfumer…it is your invisible signature, an impression of your presence, personality or preferences, left behind even when you have left the room. Modern as well as some classic scents are complex and create sensory experiences that are only understood by its wearer by relating it to some life event, a memory or a physical/emotional experience. So I always advise people to choose scents that they have a particular connection to and that performs well on their skin in terms of longevity and sillage (wafting in the air).
What are your future projects? 
The past year has been an exciting one. From hosting a perfumery workshop at Paris Gallery and Bloomingdales, Dubai in association with Annick Goutal Paris to conducting a sensorial aromatic experience by bringing together culinary and olfactory worlds to featuring product collaborations on the blog, TLN is geared up for exciting events and collaborations in the coming months.

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