Book Reviews Fashion Books

Aja Barber’s debut book “Consumed” challenges you to change the fast fashion system as we know it

I used to love the thrill of shopping and the warm, fuzzy feeling when I impulsively purchased a new dress from the high street. I loved to walk out of the shop smugly praising myself that I bought the dress for a bargain price. But that feeling came crashing down when I felt the urge to buy more clothes and experience that hit again. I wasn’t content with what I just bought or by the reams of clothing that were spilling out of my wardrobe. It was never enough. It’s only now I realized that I was a fast fashion addict.

It wasn’t until summer 2020 that I reassessed my shopping habits. I heard about the #PayUp campaign, led by Remake, that pressured brands to pay for canceled orders during the pandemic. I learned how the fast fashion system exploits garment workers and contributes to the environmental crisis because of our insatiable consumption habits in the Global North. Clever marketing tricks from brands have easily convinced us that we can enjoy endless happiness and satisfaction when we buy, buy, buy.

One of the first sustainable fashion advocates I followed on social media was Aja Barber – sustainable fashion activist, consultant, and now debut author. Since following Aja on social media, I’ve subscribed to her Patreon, been inspired by the #IQuitFastFashion hashtag she started, watched her talks on Slow Factory, and now read her debut book CONSUMED: On Colonialism, Climate Change, Consumerism and the need for Collective Change.

The book is divided into two parts; the first part explores everything you need to know about fast fashion and how the system inextricably links to worker exploitation and climate change. The second part addresses how you, as a consumer, can change your consumption habits and use your voice to encourage others to rethink their habits. The book provides a thorough, critical assessment of fast fashion’s treatment of people and the planet. Here of some of the issues Aja raised that have galvanized me to make changes and take action.


Are the days of colonization over? Absolutely not. The fashion industry is just one example of how colonialism is still lining the pockets of CEOs today. Aja spoke to Cleopatra Tatabele, cultural educator and co-founder of the Abuela Taught Me collective, who said this about colonialism in the fashion industry: “They literally are taking resources from our lands, selling it back to us and burying garbage next to us; its colonialism at its finest.”

The fashion system works against citizens in the Global South by extracting their resources, exploiting the people who work in their supply chain, and then destroying their land by depositing masses of unwanted clothing. The colonization chapter is an eye-opener. Aja provides a broader context on how colonizers enforce their ideologies to make people more governable in the Global South and goes into details on how colonialism plays a fundamental part in the fast fashion system.


I imagine most of us cleared out our used clothing and dropped them off at a charity shop during the pandemic as we felt it was the ideal time to put our wardrobes in order. When you donate your clothes to a charity shop, do you reckon your donated items get sold and are taken home by a shopper? Here’s a statistic I want you to consider: only 10 to 20% of donated clothing gets sold at charity shops. The excess that does not get sold are turned into bale and are shipped to countries in the Global South, largely to Ghanian capital Accra, home to Kantamanto Market, the world’s largest secondhand market, which receives 15 million garments a week. Let that sink in, 15 million garments a week.

It’s a gamble on what clothing traders receive when they buy bales “because the traders are dealing in highly depreciating assets,” Aja says, “for all the sellers, however, it’s a risk they’re willing to take, because the options outside of the market are currently few.” The growth in fast fashion means growth in low-quality clothing infiltrating not just our wardrobes, but the traders searching for good quality goods to sell.

When clothing still doesn’t get sold in Kantamanto, which is around 40%, that clothing becomes “waste and are taken to landfill, informal dumping grounds, or burn piles, or are put into the sea.”

So think carefully before donating, and whether you need that fast fashion item in the first place, only to give it away later. As Aja states, “The things that we think we’re giving away and being ‘do gooders’ by doing so are simply becoming someone else’s problem.” Throwaway culture, constant trend cycles, and mass production of fast fashion need to end; that is the only way Ghana can stop suffering from the disposal of other countries.

The Race to the Bottom

We know that fast fashion production is problematic, but learning the extent to which fast fashion brands are willing to exploit factories and garment workers further is disturbing. “The race to the bottom forces factories to compete against one another, quoting lower and lower prices (racing to the bottom), in order to win the much-needed contract,” Aja explains. As a result, factories accept high production targets for cheap labor costs at a rapid turnaround or risk not winning the sought-after contract.

“Ever wonder how stores manage to get new garments into the store every single day?” Aja asks, “It’s the race to the bottom!” Brand pressure and consumer demand for new styles at low costs mean that factories and garment workers in the Global South are paying the price for our consumption habits. The race to the bottom is a practice rooted in the rich abusing their power.

In the second part of her book, Aja covers how we, as individuals, can use our voices to make a change. For example, I now feel empowered to write to my local representative and make them aware of the fast-fashion crisis happening right in front of us (Aja provides a brilliant letter template that’ll help you begin). Social media is another powerful platform; if I can encourage a few of my followers to think twice before buying fast fashion, I’ll be proud of that; it will only push me to do more. And more importantly, don’t buy as much clothing!

I have learned so much more, but you’ll have to read the CONSUMED for yourself to see how Aja educates, inspires you, and makes you realize this system doesn’t benefit you and the people who make our clothes.

I’ll leave you with this quote Aja highlighted, by Anannya Bhattacharjee, a garment worker part of the Asia Floor Wage Alliance and Garment and Allied Workers Union in North India: “The power of the consumer is huge. The brands really fear reputational risk, so they do not like it when it becomes public that their purchasing practices are causing so much exploitation and misery”.

Our actions, our voices, and our commitment have the power to make a difference.

CONSUMED: On Colonialism, Climate Change, Consumerism and the need for Collective Change comes out October 5th. Support local bookstores and pre-order on Bookshop

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

History Historical Badasses

This Somalian queen took girl power to a whole new level

If you grew up in Somalia, one of the first childhood tales you are told is about an ancient Somalian queen who fought for female empowerment and championed gender equality. Her name was Queen Arawelo and her mark on history is one that is not as widely recognized as it should be today.

The first of three daughters, Queen Arawelo took the throne of what is today’s Somalia after the death of her brutal, sexist father in 15 A.D. Under Arawelo’s rule, stereotypical gender roles were reversed as girls ruled the world and men stayed at home. Queen Arawelo challenged patriarchial norms and is considered one of the leading feminists of folklore history.

Having never followed the expected social roles her position and gender dictated, Arawelo possessed essential leadership traits before she took power. She demanded the same education as boys and engaged in activities regarded as too “masculine” for women to participate in. During her father’s reign, when the famine-spreading Buraan droughts devastated the region, Arawelo organized a group of women to fetch water and hunt to prevent inhabitants from starving and migrating, usually men’s work.

When Queen Arawelo took power, she was determined to give all women the same opportunities as men by banishing all gender roles. She actively encouraged women to take on responsibilities perceived as masculine and become providers for their families. Arawelo hired women for crucial political positions as she believed that women held key attributes men did not when it came to their approach to power. Queen Arawelo found women to be natural peacekeepers and more efficient leaders. Growing up, Arawelo saw how men were more often instigators, participators, and conductors of war as opposed to taking more diplomatic routes when it came to conflict.

But not everyone embraced her alternate way of thinking. Furious by her convictions, Queen Arawelo’s husband objected to her self-ascribed role as the breadwinner and believed that women should only focus on their domestic and child-rearing duties, leaving the “important” things to the men.

Angered by her husband’s stance, Queen Arawelo responded by demanding all women across the land to abandon their “womanly” roles. The strike was successful in establishing a role reversal whereby men took on child-rearing whilst the women became leaders in things like politics and hunting. Not only did Queen Arawelo fight for the liberation of women, but she also fought for women to hold power and authority in her kingdom.

As Arawelo lived so long ago, her story and portrayal have become somewhat knotted in myths and legends, particularly when it comes to her alleged radical forms of punishment. Some say that out of hatred for men, she trained women to incite violence against their husbands and sons as retribution for being raped in her youth, as well as castrating men to keep them from reproducing. Others say she used to hang rapists and prisoners by their testicles. Whether these legends are true or not, Queen Arawelo unequivocally made men think twice before committing a crime.

Just like her extraordinary life, Queen Arawelo’s death is also shrouded in mystery. One legend that seems to be a historical favorite is that Arawelo was killed by her grandson who wanted to return the reign to male hands and remove all notions of female power.

Queen Arawelo remains one of the greatest rulers in Somalian history. She defied gender roles and what it meant to be a woman and was proud to stand up for her matriarchal values upon taking the throne. Under Arawelo, the country experienced a long period of prosperity.

In Somalian culture today, a variation on her name is still a Somalian term for a girl or woman who is assertive, strong, brave, and independent: Caraweelo. Her relentless fight for gender equality motivated her throughout her rule, but the sad truth is that the fight for equality continues in 2021. Women today are continuing to fight for the values Queen Arawelo proudly stood for in 15 AD…and we mustn’t forget those who led the way and championed female empowerment.

To discover more stories from Somalian culture, read Folktales from Somalia by Ahmed A. Hanghe.

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

Career Now + Beyond Interviews

Federica Attanasio, the entrepreneur dedicated to empowering female athletes and brands

In today’s digitally-engrossed world, brands are vying for consumer attention with content in various forms, whether that’s through captivating visuals or stop-and-make-you-think slogans. But how can a smaller brand stand out from the crowded market online and be discovered by potential consumers? And what does it take for a brand to build meaningful connections with consumers?

I spoke to an entrepreneur who knows how brands can do just that. Federica Attanasio is Co-Founder and Creative Director of We Are F, a women-focused London and Milan-based creative boutique that builds brands with and for women.

Attanasio will be involved with the WomenX Impact summit, the largest international event centered around female empowerment and female entrepreneurship that will take place from 30 September to 1 October 2021 in Bologna, Italy.

She told me what spurred her and fellow Co-Founder and Business Director, Federica Pecis, on to establishing their creative boutique.

“We first met working for the same digital marketing agency in London. After some intense juggling of numerous clients and projects, we realized we were actually quite good at it (humble brag). However, we were both a little fed up with feeling overworked and under-appreciated.

One day, Federica P came to me and said, “We should start our own agency.” And that was that. Following our research, we discovered a shocking lack of creative agencies that authentically understood how to work with and for women. Because marketing has traditionally been such a male-dominated world, we founded this business to build brands that work for women.”

Having worked in the creative industry myself, I wasn’t surprised to learn that agencies, largely run by men, couldn’t fathom how to deliver strategies and designs that truly reflect the brand women want to showcase. It’s encouraging to hear that We Are F is providing valuable services for women, and women can trust they will deliver.

However, Attanasio wanted to point out that their service is not unique – and that’s not a bad thing.

“Saying that we predominantly work with brands that communicate with women has (thankfully) become less of a differentiator. Over the last few years, several other agencies have taken a similar path, which obviously makes us immensely proud.”

With that in mind, I asked Attanasio what makes We Are F different from her competitors.

“What we do differently is how we approach and develop a rapport with our clients. We like to define ourselves as a boutique rather than an agency and pride ourselves on our holistic and personable approach. We’re also straightforward and honest. If we think a client is underselling themselves, we will be direct and tell them to go bigger.”

Both Attanasio and Pecis expanded their remit and launched We Are Female Athletes, an agency dedicated to female athletes. Attanasio explained why she felt it was important to launch this initiative.

“Much like with We Are F, we noticed that female sport is becoming much more mainstream. However, the disparity between male and female athletes is still in the order of magnitudes. Particularly in the wake of the last FIFA Women’s World Cup – more people than ever watched it, yet the chasm between rewards for men and women remained staggering.

Female athletes have to work twice as hard, sometimes more, for half the recognition. Many of these women are pioneers in their areas of expertise, reaching new heights all the time. It only seemed fair that we offer our support to them too.”

We Are Female Athletes support athletes by providing rising stars and established icons with fair representation and competitive rates, allowing them to firmly address the imbalance with their male counterparts. Attanasio stresses that it’s not just about the money.

“It’s about demonstrating that female athletes are superhuman champions too. They are the best at what they do for a reason, and that should be celebrated.”

The agency works with talent from across the globe, with many already reached or on the journey of making it to the Olympics. Along with track and field athletes, the agency works with footballers, kitesurfers, and motocross champions. Notable names include captain of Inter Milan Regina Baresi, British kitesurf champion Hannah Whiteley British, and artistic gymnast Danusia Francis.

Ahead of WomenX Impact summit, I asked Attanasio what motivated her to get involved with the event. 

We Are Female Athletes was born with female sport in mind. Female athletes and their stories have always been a source of inspiration and real socio-cultural change. The values and shared passions of Eleonora Rocca [Founding Director of WomenX Impact] and her team were too much to miss out on.”

I also asked why she felt events like these are important in this day and age. “We want to see a world where women are free to choose creative endeavors, business, home life, or motherhood. And without a gaggle of people saying, “Is that really the right fit for you?” or “Have you thought about x instead?

Events like WomenX Impact are a huge stepping stone on that journey. Regardless of whether online or in-person, the important thing is that communities like this exist for women to support each other until our institutions can do the same.”

The inequalities in both the creative and sports industries that largely favor men over women is something Federica Attanasio is determined to change. Along with her fellow Co-Founder, they have shown that redressing the balance is possible to achieve.

The Tempest is a proud media partner of WomenX Impact. Stay tuned for more interviews to come about their badass speakers, leading women in every sector!

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

Makeup Style Fashion Beauty Lookbook

The problem with ‘nude’ in the fashion and beauty industries

Nude is a deep-rooted problem in the fashion and beauty industries. As a woman of color, when I’ve searched for nude stockings, lipsticks, underwear, camisoles, or heels, I haven’t come across a single item that resembles my skin color. It soon dawned on me that these items that are regarded as “essentials” and “must-haves” are almost always designated for white women only. Any skin color other than white, like mine, doesn’t fit into their obsolete standards.

Nude is meant to describe a color that matches the person’s skin. In reality, mainstream fashion and beauty companies have defined the term in a way that suits their ideals – an ideal that marginalizes women of color in a bid to target their coveted customer of choice, white women that possess a fairer complexion. Nude is seen as one color, is synonymous with white skin, and is used interchangeably with beige or cream. This association excludes every other skin tone and preserves the white privilege culture we live in.

In 2017, fashion brand N‎ünude, an online retailer that provides nude attire for all skin tones, successfully campaigned to have the definition of nude changed in the Oxford Dictionary. Previously, the definition of nude was described as ‘light pinkish beige.’ N‎ünude’s campaign drew attention to the problem of its narrow definition, which resulted in the Oxford Dictionary changing the definition to expand the scope to “all shades of nude.”

But does a definition change and wider discussions of how nude is labeled enough to make waves in the fashion and beauty industries? Women of color feel undermined as they still don’t fit into the industry’s standards of what is considered nude; they’re considered more as an afterthought. The obvious question to mainstream brands is why haven’t you created new shades when there’s a diverse audience demanding them?

In an interview with Business of Fashion, Elizabeth Wissinger, professor of fashion studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, said that fashion has started to acknowledge alternative body types and complexions. Still, its attachment to narrow traditions suggests it will take a long time to change.

“Fashion claims to be nimble and responsive and on the cutting edge,” said Wissinger. But “there’s also such long cultural echoes of what’s deemed fashionable, so there’s this subconscious background of calling that color ‘nude.’”

The fashion and beauty industries are changing. The development has been driven by smaller brands and women of color-owned businesses to challenge the narrative on what should be regarded as nude. It isn’t just beige anymore; it’s a realm of shades.

Here are some of the brands that are transforming the fashion and beauty worlds:

N‎ünude – clothing and lingerie

Two women are wearing swimsuits. The image includes the caption "Do you think she beautiful she looks today?"
[Image Description: Two women are wearing swimsuits. The image includes the caption “Do you think she knows…how beautiful she looks today?”] Via N‎ünude on Instagram
Nünude is a community brand born out of frustration for the lack of representation and accommodation of ethnic minorities and different body types within the fashion industry. As well as campaigning to have the definition of nude changed in the Oxford Dictionary, they are committed to including their own customers, supporters and the community for all of their campaigns.

Nubian Skin – lingerie

Four women are wearing bandeau tops and long lightweight trousers
[Image Description: Four women are wearing bandeau tops and long lightweight trousers] Via Nubian Skin
Nubian Skin founder, Ade Hassan, decided it was time for ‘a different kind of nude’ when she repeatedly noticed the lack of skin-tone choices. Her brand launched with a carefully edited collection of lingerie and hosiery to meet women of color’s needs. “My nude isn’t the nude I see in shops,” says Hassan. “Despite the reality that women of color have the same needs as all women when it comes to lingerie and hosiery, the industry simply doesn’t cater to us. So, I thought, it’s time to rethink the definition of nude”.

Salone Monet – footwear

Image of six high heel sandals in various shades.
[Image Description: Image of six high heel sandals in various shades.] Via Salone Monet on Instagram
Salone Monet is the founder of her eponymous business, a color-inclusive nude shoe brand. A lifelong passion for shoes turned Salone away from political PR and into a shoe designer. Monet chose nude footwear as her forte as she considers a quality pair of nude heels to be a wardrobe staple and an investment for women. You’ll find six shades to choose from alongside a guide on which shade is right for you on the website.


Eight lip gloss tubes in various shades
[Image Description: Eight lip gloss tubes in various shades] Via Pat McGrath Labs on Instagram
Pat McGrath MBE has been called the most influential and sought-after makeup artist in the world by Vogue. Her artistry success led McGrath to launch her own line of beauty products PAT McGRATH LABS. She ensures that every single shade and product in her range is universally flattering and tested – rigorously – on women of all complexions. Her extended shade ranges and stunning cosmetics line further prove why she is called the ‘Mother of Makeup.’

Fenty Beauty – makeup

Seven body luminizing tint tubes in various shades
[Image Description: Seven body luminizing tint tubes in various shades] Via Fenty Beauty on Instagram
Rihanna has transformed the beauty industry with her Fenty brand. After seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones, she launched her own make-up line “so that people everywhere would be included.” Fenty Beauty’s inclusive range encompasses 50 shades in the foundation and concealer makeup line, with the website giving you the option to discover the right shade that suits you via their face shade finder quiz.

These brands are paving the way forward for inclusivity. The ‘nude is one color’ ideology of the fashion and beauty industries is archaic and deeply problematic. As industries are listening and watching these inclusive brands’ growth, they need to understand that diversity isn’t a trend they can tap into when it suits them. Diversity is a necessity and should be prioritized. They need to engage with and employ women of color to question their outdated attitudes in order to make valuable changes. Excluding people because of the color of their skin is racist and abhorrent, so why should it continue to be accepted in fashion and beauty?

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

Bollywood History Forgotten History

The forgotten tale of Indian Jewish actresses who dominated Bollywood

In India during the 1920s and 1930s, you wouldn’t find Hindu or Muslim women acting in films. It was considered taboo and disreputable for women to show their bodies for strangers to watch on-screen. Male actors would largely take the role of women. The silent films in the early 20th-century featured all-male productions, with men wearing saris and playing women’s roles.

Dadasaheb Phalke, known as the Father of Indian cinema who made the first Indian film Raja Harishchandra, would even visit the red light district to scout for women to act in his films – but even women who would perform privately refused to do so in public.

It was all thanks to four Indian Jewish women, who were more liberal and open-minded, that stepped in to take on the female lead roles in the industry which they dominated for decades, pushing the boundaries and filling in the demand the Indian Film Industry had long desired for – and undoubtedly the audience. Indian Jewish actresses were recently given a spotlight in the 2017 feature-length documentary Shalom Bollywood where they explored the long-forgotten history of the Indian Jewish community’s impact in India and its influence on Bollywood.

As it stands, Jewish people make up a very small population across India with current estimates of 5,000 Jewish people living in the country today. But back in the 1940s, there were over 30,000 Jews in Mumbai alone. The Jewish communities of Bene Israelis and Baghdadi Jews from Iraq were more progressive and Anglicized, leading Jewish women to work outside the home. With fewer restrictions placed on Jewish women compared to their counterparts, four Indian Jewish actresses eventually filled the gap in Indian cinema, arising to become Bollywood’s first eminent stars in the industry.

They were known by their stage names – Sulochana, Miss Rose, Pramila, and Nadira.


Black and white photo of actress Sulochana
[Image Description: Black and white photo of actress Sulochana] Via Cinestaan
The first actress that arrived on the scene was Ruby Myers, known by her screen name, Sulochana – Indian cinema’s first female superstar. Born in 1907 in Calcutta, she started out in silent-era films back in the 1920s. Sulochana’s stardom reached unparalleled heights with many of her popular 1920s silent era films remade as talkies in the 1930s and 1940s in which she also starred. One of her more notable roles was when she played eight characters in one film in the 1927 release “Wildcat of Bombay”. She was reported to have the first Rolls Royce in India and won the attention of Gandhi who used her images as part of his political campaigns. In 1973 Sulochana was conferred with India’s highest cinema award, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for contribution to cinema. After her death in 1983, the Indian Government issued a stamp in her honor.


Miss Rose

Black and white image of actress Miss Rose with actor
[Image Description: Black and white image of actress Miss Rose with actor] Via
Following Sulochana’s footsteps was Rama Katroum Rose Musleah, popularly known as Miss Rose. Born in 1911 in Calcutta, Miss Rose was a dance teacher in her home city. It was after her divorce in the early 1930s that she decided to move to Mumbai to try her luck in acting. Rose quickly came to prominence in acting and social circles, performing the leading lady in many Hindi films where she largely played modern Indian women. In the late 1940s, Rose suffered a back injury that prevented her from acting for several months. It was during this time that Hindu and Muslim women were taking up significant acting roles that were no longer viewed as frowned upon. This led to Rose struggling to regain her place at the top of the billing. After an American airman proposed, she moved to America to settle with her husband in Los Angeles.



Black and white image of actress Pramila
[Image Description: Black and white image of actress Pramila] Via Feminism In India
Next came Esther Victoria Abraham, known as Pramila. Born in Calcutta in 1916, Pramila was a teacher at a local Jewish school. Everything changed for her when she went to Mumbai to visit her cousin, Miss Rose herself who was already a budding star, on a movie set. The director was bemoaning that none of the actresses were tall enough – until he saw Pramila. Soon enough Pramila started acting, often playing the vamp in films, and became the first Miss India in 1947. She acted until her final year, at the age of 90 in 2006. Pramila married the Muslim actor Kumar, having starred together in several films, living in Jewish and Islamic coexistence.



Black and white image of Nadira
[Image Description: Black and white image of Nadira} Via Upperstall
Born Farhat Ezekiel in 1932, the actress adopted her stage name Nadira at the age of 12 for her Hindi film début in 1943 with a small role in Mauj. But her career sky-rocketed in 1952 when she played the Princess Rajshree opposite Dilip Kumar in the box office hit Aan. Nadira’s best-remembered role was when she played the villainous Maya in the 1955 classic Shree 420. With her fiery looks, distinctive chiseled features, and admonishing style, Nadira set the benchmark for being a vamp in Indian cinema. Nadira was the last of the Indian Jewish cinema, who died in 2006.

These four actresses were pioneers in the industry and laid the foundations for Hindu and Muslim women to act in Bollywood – the roles once filled by Jewish women were no longer there. You can find out more about them in the feature-length documentary Shalom Bollywood, where they delve into the lives of the actresses and explore the theme of interfaith relations between Jewish stars and Muslims and Hindus, putting religious differences aside. You can also listen to The Jewish Queens of Bollywood podcast on BBC Sounds, where host Noreen Khan interviews people involved in the production of Shalom Bollywood, revealing why Jewish women were so uniquely placed to take Bollywood by storm, and why their influence has nearly been forgotten.


For more awesome history facts, follow our brand-new history Instagram account. 

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

Outfits Style Fashion Lookbook

Here are the top Oscars Red Carpet 2021 moments picked by The Tempest Lookbook editors

It’s finally time to marvel over some of the best-dressed stars at the 2021 Oscars. Even after months of quarantining, our favorite actors and actresses still know exactly what red carpet fashion is all about. This year’s outfits genuinely raised the bar, making it an absolute pleasure to compile a list of the best looks.


Viola Davis


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair)

This custom Alexander McQueen snow-white gown, comprised of a laser-cut bodice and flowing skirt, looked breathtaking on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actress Viola Davis. She never disappoints when it comes to the red carpet!


Maria Bakalova


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Academy (@theacademy)

The breakout talent from the comedy Borat Subsequent Moviefilm said she had one word in mind for her Oscars look: “princess.” Bakalova achieved just that with this gorgeous Louis Vuitton gown. Nothing says “princess” like layers upon layers of tulle.


Carey Mulligan


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair)

Promising Young Woman star, Carey Mulligan, arrived on the red carpet dripping in gold sequins, wearing a Valentino bandeau and dramatic skirt. Now, this is how you make a statement at the Oscars!


Andra Day


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair)

Our jaws fell to the ground when we set our eyes on Andra Day. The star of The United States vs. Billie Holiday opted for sexy cutouts in this fluid gold custom Vera Wang gown made out of metal. Yes, you read that correctly. Only Andra Day could pull off this look.


Amanda Seyfried


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair)

The star of Mank, Amanda Seyfried, epitomized Old Hollywood Glam in this rouge Armani Privé gown. The ruffles, broad silhouette, and deep neckline look stunning on Seyfried.


Laverne Cox


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by laverne cox (@lavernecox)

We are OBSESSED with this Christian Siriano creation on Laverne Cox. This fuschia, part sheer, part tulle (over 1,000 yards according to Siriano) couture gown is full of fun experimentation, and yet oozes glamour fitting for the Oscars. Laverne Cox is a queen in this gown!


Regina King


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vogue (@voguemagazine)

The butterfly-wing sleeves on this custom Louis Vuitton powder blue ensemble are the ultimate showstopper! Regina King looked breathtaking in this gown adorned with 62,000 sequins and more than 3,900 crystals. 




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Academy (@theacademy)

Zendaya can do no wrong when it comes to the red carpet. I mean, what’s not to love about this sunshine yellow dress? Her flowing hair and fabric of her Valentino gown offer a more relaxed, breezy look that compliments Zendaya beautifully.




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair)

The winner of Best Original Song for Fight For You featured in Judas and the Black Messiah is a vision in this cobalt blue Peter Dundas ensemble. The color, the draping, the embellishments… H.E.R looks iconic.


Tiara Thomas


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tiara Thomas♕ (@tiara_thomas)

Fellow winner of Best Original Song for Fight For You, Tiara Thomas wore an all-white Jovana Louis jumpsuit with a matching blazer. This fresh, fierce ensemble adorns Tiara elegantly.


Angela Bassett


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alberta Ferretti (@albertaferretti)

Angela Bassett knows how to make an entrance on the red carpet. The bold red hue, wide off-shoulder organza sleeves, and thigh-high slit in her custom Alberta Ferretti gown ooze drama and glamour.


Halle Berry


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry)

Halle Berry wowed us in this free-flowing lavender gown by Dolce & Gabbana, with a new bob hairstyle to suit. The sweetheart neckline, elaborate bow on the waist in the sumptuous color floored us.


Margot Robbie


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vogue (@voguemagazine)

Margot Robbie opted for an understated look in this floral Chanel dress. The intricate silver work and straight cut offer a more delicate vibe that suits Robbie perfectly.


Ariana DeBose


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ariana DeBose (@arianadebose)

Orange has never looked this good! The West Side Story and Hamilton actress, Ariana DeBose, made her debut at the Oscars in a breath-taking one-shoulder Versace dress. It was a wonderful opportunity for stylist duo Zadrian + Sarah to show off their talent. The cutouts, leg slit, and tropical orange color truly made the dress stand out in the crowd.


Laura Pausini

We love a classic off-the-shoulder black dress and Laura Pausini gave us just that. This elegant Valentino number was the perfect red-carpet look for an artist performing at The Academy Awards. Pausini performed Io Si/Seen from The Life Ahead with Dianne Warren for The Oscars pre-show and it had to be one of the highlights of the event.


Yuh-Jung Youn


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair)

Minari took the film world by storm and so did Yuh-Jung Joun’s outfit. She wore a simple, yet tasteful dress by Egyptian designer Marmar Halim. It’s a classic example of, “less is more”. At the end of the day, her shiny new Oscar award was the ideal accessory to elevate the look even more.


Alan Kim


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alan Kim (@official.alankim)

Alan Kim’s outfit might just be the only outfit at the Oscars that mattered. The Minari actor looked adorable in a shorts, blazer and bow-tie combo by Thom Browne. Even the slightly mismatched socks added to the look in the best way possible.


Yeri Han


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vogue (@voguemagazine)

We’re a little bit obsessed with the Minari cast and their outfits, so Yeri Han had to make the list too. She wore a bright and beautiful Louis Vuitton dress that paired well with her makeup and accessories. The gold embellishments on the front of the dress are a great touch!


Riz Ahmed and Fatima Farheen Mirza


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Academy (@theacademy)

Sound of Metal actor, Riz Ahmed, and his wife, Fatima Farheen Mirza, made their red-carpet debut at the 2021 Oscars and it was wonderful to witness. Riz opted for a blue and black Prada tuxedo and Fatima turned heads in a caped Valentino gown with heels.


Daniel Kaluuya


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Academy (@theacademy)

Daniel Kaluuya took home a well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Judas and the Black Messiah. Fortunately, he did it in a great outfit too. The British actor rocked a black double-breasted Bottega Venetta suit with a Cartier diamond necklace.


Sacha Baron Cohen


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sacha Baron Cohen (@sachabaroncohen)

Who would have thought that English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen would have one of the best menswear looks at the Oscars? To be fair, you can’t really go wrong with a classic Ralph Lauren suit. He definitely made the right choice for the event.

Nobody can deny that there was some great red carpet looks at the 2021 Oscars. This year, we saw plenty of show-stopping gold outfits paying homage to the Oscars statue itself. We also can’t forget all the wonderful midriff-baring dresses, monochrome colors, and fitted suits. It was everything we needed and more. We can’t wait for next year!

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

The World Policy Inequality Interviews

Are schools doing enough to protect their students from abuse in an intimate relationship?

A campaign launched last month by the UK charity Young Abuse Support highlights the alarming number of 13-19 year-olds who have suffered abuse in an intimate relationship in the UK.

As part of their campaign, the charity has launched a petition for relevant training to be given to all secondary school counselors to better support students and create an open dialogue surrounding the many facets of domestic abuse.

Launching charity

I spoke to Molly Lawrenson, founder of the charity who was in an abusive relationship when she was a teenager. She shared why she founded the charity.

“The building blocks of it started around summertime last year. I was talking to a couple of friends who have had similar experiences to me and I thought “this is really not right, why is this such a thing?”

So I started to do research into RSE (Relationships and Sex Education that is rolled out in secondary schools across the UK) and I saw that it was going compulsory, which I thought was interesting.

But I also wondered if teachers were now being trained in healthy relationships or are counselors being trained. And then around November, I started getting a survey together because my friends said “you should find out if this is actually a problem” ”.

When Molly received the results from the survey, she realized that this is an issue that needed to be addressed urgently. She put together a team of people to help be a part of Young Abuse Support who were all survivors and dedicated to the cause. “I respond best to survivor-led organizations and that’s what I really wanted. I thought that was super important.”

Photo of Molly Lawrenson smiling and wearing a yellow t-shirt
[Image Description: Photo of Molly Lawrenson smiling and wearing a yellow t-shirt.] Via Molly Lawrenson

What does the younger generation need?

I asked Molly what kind of help the younger generation needs when they suffer abuse in an intimate relationship.

“I think it’s important to have a whole-school approach. When you’re younger and when you’re a teenager, and also when you’re older and you go to university, school and education is the place where you spend the majority of your time, it’s where your social circle is formed. It’s because of that, schools have a really big opportunity in shaping how kids are in their social circles, not just in education.”

Molly explained that schools need to understand that students won’t put their hand up in an RSE class and ask their teacher for advice about their relationship.

“We spoke to one of the researchers on the NSPCC project”, Molly says, “she said that a third-party mentor is the most important thing for young people. Most young people aren’t going to want to go to somebody who is in a position of power in their lives, like a teacher or a parent.”

A parent or teacher may have the best intentions to protect, but their actions may do little to shield a young person from further harm.

“If your first response is to report the abuser, you need to keep in mind these young people usually go to school with their abuser, and are in the same social circles as their abuser. It’s all well and good saying that you should report the abuser, but what’s that going to mean when you’re in school?

Counselors, if they’re trained in the appropriate way, can put a safety plan in place as well. They can make sure that, for example, the victim and their abuser aren’t in the same classes anymore, and they can make sure that they’re as separate as they can be.”

Molly warned that young people are more likely to go to their friends for advice if they can’t turn to trained counselors for help. She recalled an incident from when she opened up to her friends.

“I hinted at the abuse I was experiencing, and my friends laughed it off and said “it’s fine, they’ll get over it” or “they’re just having a bad day”. I think that’s really damaging.”

Molly reflected on why her abuse, and that of a great many young people, wasn’t considered as abuse by peers, people in positions of power, and even herself.

“Everyone likes to downplay it and say it’s just toxic or a bad relationship. A lot of people don’t recognize it as abuse either because of people’s vision of abuse. I struggled with this for ages. I was in a lesbian relationship, but the idea of abuse in my head was a kind of 20 to 30-year-old couple, straight, they maybe had a child, lived together – and that just wasn’t me. That just wasn’t my situation.”

She stressed the importance of having counselors in a school setting to help set the record straight for young people. “Students can turn to these counselors for advice, and have a third party tell them “that’s normal in a relationship” and “no, that’s not normal” ”.

Young people reaching out

I asked Molly whether more people reached out about their experiences to her and her team since launching their campaign.

“So many more than I kind of thought. It’s been really heartbreaking. We’ve had loads of stories and I’ve had a lot of DMs personally from people who I haven’t spoken to in years saying “this happened to me”. I actually even had my ex’s ex-partner message me as well. That was quite shocking. I feel very proud that our team has provided a platform for people to speak out.”

Building crucial links

Since launching the campaign, the charity has built crucial links with the UK’s Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs, who has the power to advise UK schools, Members of Parliament, and Members of the House of Lords.

“Everyone’s been so supportive of it”, Molly says, “it’s honestly quite amazing because we talk to them, and they say “oh that sounds like a really good idea!”, and we say “yes, why has it taken this long?” But that’s kind of been like the common response.”

The charity is currently building links with UK city Leeds, with the hope of 21 schools in Leeds having fully trained counselors in place to support students suffering from abuse.

Help is out there

Molly wanted to end our interview on this note for people who are reading this and looking for help. “For people who are suffering from abuse, just remember that there is help out there. It is difficult to find it at the moment and I’m sorry for that, but there is help out there and no matter what somebody tells you, you do deserve better than this.

I’ve been out of my abusive relationship for two and a half years now, and I can honestly say that with mental health support and with moving away and resetting my life, I’m a completely different person and I’m so much better of a person than I was before the abuse.

Once you get over the initial hurdles, it does get better.”

Sign the petition

Young Abuse Support has set up a petition on providing teenage partner abuse training to secondary school counselors. This will be a massive step forward in rolling out fundamental support for young people. Sign and share the petition today.

Follow Young Abuse Support on Instagram and Twitter where you can keep up to date with the charity’s progress.



love is respect – Helpline: 1-866-331-9474. Texting Service: Text “loveis” to 22522.


Glow – Texting service for domestic abuse victims – 07451 288 150 (10 am-10 pm, 7 days)
• Broken Rainbow –  For Young, Queer People (Leeds-based) – 08452 604460
The Market Place – They offer face-to-face drop-in sessions or video call/ phone calls for 11-25 year olds on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. (Leeds based)


Stay updated on our News and Social Justice coverage by following our brand new instagram account

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

Style Sustainable Fashion Fashion Lookbook

This is what you need to know about greenwashing in the fashion industry

Have you ever come across a brand that says they’re ‘green,’ environmentally conscious, or sustainable and questioned whether these claims are accurate? The likelihood is that these fashion brands are implementing greenwashing tactics to depict an eco-friendly image.

So what is greenwashing? It is when a company misleads its consumers into believing that they’re doing more to protect the environment than they really are. This can involve investing time, money, and resources to convince consumers they’re an environmentally friendly brand.

It is when a company misleads its consumers into believing that they’re doing more to protect the environment than they really are.

It’s a deceptive marketing trick designed by companies to make fabricated claims about their environmental practices and products.

Greenwashing is going on full-scale in the fashion industry. Brands were jumping on the sustainability bandwagon in 2020, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when consumers were rethinking their shopping habits. Evidence of changing attitudes has been highlighted in a 2020 Conscious Fashion Report by Lyst.

Since the beginning of 2020, Lyst has seen a 37% increase in searches for sustainability-related keywords. Over the past three months, searches for “upcycled fashion” have grown 42%. Demand for “second-hand” and “pre-owned” fashion pieces has increased by 45%. Over the past 12 months, the term “slow fashion” has been responsible for over 90 million social impressions, suggesting the beginning of a shift in shopping behaviors.

As consumers are rethinking their habits and becoming more sustainably conscious, brands are modifying their approaches to show that they are also eco-friendly in a bid to reconnect with consumers. But are they really refocusing their efforts on sustainability? The stark reality is that any green initiative brands instigate are just a ploy to increase profits.

Here are the ways some brands are putting greenwashing strategies into practice.


A woman walking outside wearing a red dress and carrying an H&M bag, wearing a black crossbody bag and holding her phone.
[Image Description: A woman walking outside wearing a red dress and carrying an H&M bag, wearing a black crossbody bag and holding her phone.] Via Fernand De Canne on Unsplash
H&M’s Conscious Collection has been under the microscope by the Norwegian Consumer Authority for greenwashing. The collection is said to be made out of sustainable materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel. However, H&M has not explained how these materials are better for the environment.

H&M has also been accused of burning tons of unsold clothes in 2017, a practice unfortunately common in the fashion industry despite uproar by consumers on this practice, and holding an inventory of $4 billion in unsold clothes in 2019.

And it doesn’t stop there – last week, the fast-fashion retailer announced that Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams is the brand’s global sustainability ambassador, igniting further criticisms of greenwashing by hiring a high-profile celebrity to front a slick marketing campaign that glosses over how quickly and cheaply they churn out clothing.

Anti-fast fashion campaigner Venetia La Manna spoke about H&M’s contradiction when it comes to sustainability and greenwashing practices, explaining that “Ultimately, the sheer amount of product H&M produces is causing irreversible harm to both planet and people, and completely outweighs their sustainability efforts. Fashion this fast can never and will never be sustainable.”


ASOS logo is displayed behind a computer keyboard. A toy trolley and device displaying the ASOS website is placed on top of the computer keyboard.
[Image Description: ASOS logo is displayed behind a computer keyboard. A toy trolley and device displaying the ASOS website is placed on top of the computer keyboard.] Via The Guardian
ASOS recently launched its first 29-piece circular fashion collection. The term circularity refers to minimizing ‘virgin’ natural resources and adopting reused and recycled materials as part of a continuous closed-loop process.

ASOS introduced its own eight circular design principles which cover zero-waste design, minimized waste, and disassembly, and are said to be aligned with the three foundations of the circular economy defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems.

Although this sounds like a promising start to a sustainable future for the company, you have to look at the bigger picture – this collection represents just 0.035 percent of the brand’s 85,000-strong product offering.

What is also baffling is that ASOS will consider a piece to be circular if they meet at least two of their eight principles – not all eight.

As journalist Sophie Benson argues, “Creating one small collection that cherry-picks circular principles is akin to putting a plaster on a broken leg; a tokenistic move that doesn’t solve the issue in hand.”


A white and black concrete building. The Primark logo is placed on the building.
[Image Description: A white and black concrete building. The Primark logo is placed on the building.] Via Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash
Primark launched the “A Better Future” campaign in September 2020. They released new clothing and homeware collections, which have been made using either material derived from recycled plastics or using sustainable cotton.

Although these can be seen as positive steps, it needs to be said that Primark still carries out unsustainable practices. As reported by Forbes, cotton takes around 2,700 liters of water to grow enough cotton for one t-shirt and has led to depleted water supplies in some areas of the world. It is also Primark’s most used textile across clothing and homeware such as bedding and towels.

As with H&M, Primark also has its own celebrity endorsement. TV presenter Laura Whitmore is the ambassador for Primark Cares, the retailer’s sustainability initiative. This goes to show how celebrities are easily and inevitably caught in the greenwashing agenda set by fast-fashion giants.


A brown shopping bag featuring the Zara logo is laid flat on a green park bench.
[Image Description: A brown shopping bag featuring the Zara logo is laid flat on a green park bench.] Via Silviu Beniamin Tofan on Unsplash
Back in July 2019, Zara’s parent company, Inditex, announced that they will only use sustainable, organic, or recycled material in all of its clothing by 2025. An encouraging development, but greatly undermined by the fact that they wouldn’t commit to producing less clothing or slow down its manufacturing process. Their current business model has a design-to-retail style of five weeks and introduces more than 20 different collections a year – a model that isn’t feasible to maintain if Zara is truly committed to their 2025 target.

What else do these brands have in common?

According to Fashion Checker, these brands provide no public evidence that their suppliers are paying a living wage. That means these brands cannot prove that the workers making their clothes earn enough to live on. Sadly, workers in the fashion supply chain are not given a second thought by brands when it comes to paying workers enough to live on. If it means less money to line the pockets of shareholders, it isn’t deemed worthy.

How to spot greenwashing

There are more brands complicit in greenwashing. Here are some of the ways you can spot and avoid greenwashing:

  • Watch out for buzzwords with no clear meaning: These can include words such as ‘environmentally conscious’ or ‘eco-friendly’.
  • Watch out for green imagery: Brands are likely to display images that make them look environmentally friendly. For example, forests, farms, wildlife.
  • Check the label: Check to see the breakdown of the materials used in the clothing. Brands may claim that their clothing is made out of recycled material, but the recycled material may only make up a small percentage of the clothing.
  • Look for third-party certifications: Third-party endorsements can help verify that the brand you’re buying from is genuinely sustainable.
  • Look for transparency: See whether a brand openly provides details about their suppliers and processes.
  • Check the cost: Ethical and sustainable clothing cost more to make (by adopting environmentally friendly resources and paying garment workers a living wage) and will cost more than fast-fashion clothing. If prices are fast-fashion cheap, can they really be ethically and sustainably made?
  • Rethink buying from fast fashion brands: Sustainability and fast fashion can’t go hand in hand. If a brand mass-produces clothes at a low cost, and the same brand releases a sustainability drive, they are evidently employing greenwashing tactics.

Fast-fashion brands, in particular, are doing everything they can to convince consumers that their business isn’t detrimental to people and the planet, so that consumers can shop guilt-free. To stand against their greenwashing practices, we as consumers need to be fully aware of their tactics so that we’re not tricked. So let’s use this knowledge to make more informed decisions on what to buy and what not to buy.

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

Career Now + Beyond Interviews

Meet Eleonora Rocca, the founding director of WomenX Impact

Have you ever wanted to know what it takes to run your own business? The essential skills and experience you should acquire? How technical and finance-oriented you need to be? Well, we have the answer, or rather the event, for you. WomenX Impact is THE event for budding female entrepreneurs that will inspire you to undertake your entrepreneurial pursuits, whatever business field that may be.

We spoke to Eleonora Rocca, founder of WomenX Impact, the largest international event centered around female empowerment, female entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion.

With an impressive resume working across a number of disciplines as a business owner, digital strategy consultant, speaker, lecturer and author, Eleonora is without question the right person to lead this exciting event that will bring together women of every age and career stage.

The WomenX Impact summit will be held from 30 September to 1 October 2021 in Bologna, Italy at Fico Eataly World, and also will be available online for international audiences to view. Over 80 international speakers from major global organizations such as Google, Spotify, BBC, The European Commission, and more will share their career and life stories that will inspire and empower women across different backgrounds, experiences, and life choices.

Practical workshops will take place to cover topics on career development, business & entrepreneurship, soft skills & personal development, and improving on digital, content, and social media skills. With over 200 partners, supporters and ambassadors supporting this initiative, WomenX Impact is set to be the highlight of the international event calendar this year.

With a multidisciplinary education and experience, from studying law, then specializing in marketing and communications and working for the likes of Microsoft, Kingston Technology and others for over ten years, Eleonora Rocca realized she wanted more than working for someone else:

“I realized that building my own business was what I truly wanted for my future. I decided to open up my first company, successfully selling it and now even building my second one.”

Alongside holding the role as founder of WomenX Impact Eleonora is co-founder of Horizone Group, a London-based digital company. We asked her what it’s like to start a new adventure as a company founder. “I enjoy creating new things as I never stop learning. Learning means growing, both as a person and as a professional.”

Eleonora’s active business acumen involves her working between Italy and the UK – traveling is another career aspect she fully recommends for aspiring entrepreneurs. “It is a great boost for your resume and you get to learn about new cultures, different ways of living and different working environments, which is proven to strengthen both personal and professional skills.”

With her rich, multifaceted career, we were curious to learn what her most rewarding work experience is to date. Microsoft was right there at the top, without hesitation.

“At age 30 I was Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft Office, managing a budget of over €1 million, creating and developing marketing campaigns across over 700 points of sales throughout Italy. It was extremely rewarding and it granted me a fast and very important learning curve. Most of my strong knowledge about 360-degree marketing campaigns comes from that experience.” That’s certainly impressive!

We asked Eleonor the one message she wants everyone to take away from WomenX Impact:

“Amazing things can happen if you know what you want to achieve but most of all, if you know how to achieve it. It is true that if you want something you can get it, but it is also true that you need to know which steps need to be taken, when and how in order to succeed.

This is what I expect our speakers to share: how-to and practical elements of their journey so they can inspire, train and get the audience up to date with the latest trends to watch in the world right now.”

Lastly, we asked her for some advice for young female founders starting out. “Persevere. Persevere. Persevere and don’t allow anyone to let you down. Keep going even when things get complicated, even when you feel you are not progressing, just keep going because a thousand small steps can make a big difference when it comes to results.”

The Tempest is a proud media partner of WomenX Impact. Stay tuned for more interviews to come about their badass speakers, leading women in every sector!

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!


Check out our top 10 looks from India’s FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week

The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) launched a unified fashion week last week – and they did not disappoint.

As I’m getting more and more fed up with the comfy sweats uniform I’ve adopted since the pandemic began, it was a visual delight to see India’s top designers showcase their Spring collections.

I’ve picked out the top 10 looks from FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week that truly took my breath away.

1. Anamika Khanna

A lady wearing a longline ivory jacket with a hand-painted illustration on the jacket.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a longline ivory jacket with a hand-painted illustration on the jacket.] Via Vogue India
Khanna knows how to make a statement with this longline jacket. The multi-colored, hand-painted motif stands out beautifully against the ivory shade.

2. Pankaj Nidhi

A lady wearing a multi-colored mini-dress.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a multi-colored mini-dress.] Via Vogue India
The array of geometric patterns and rainbow hues makes this mini-dress the ultimate party wear for post-lockdown revelry.

3. Geisha Designs by Paras & Shalini

A lady wearing a floor-length lilac ball gown.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a floor-length lilac ball gown.] Via Vogue India
I can envision Deepika Padukone in this dreamy, romantic ensemble. The soft lilac hue coupled with the delicately crafted pleats makes this gown the epitome of finery and elegance.

4. Nidhi Yasha

A lady wearing a floor-length turquoise gown.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a floor-length turquoise gown.] Via Vogue India
The striking color, sexy cut-outs in the bodice, and cascading ruffles make this a visionary ensemble.

5. Manish Malhotra

A lady wearing a sparky, gold ball gown.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a sparky, gold ball gown.] Via Vogue India
This billowing, shimmery gown in dusky gold is the ultimate showstopper. Malhotra knows the exact formula for creating dramatic, praise-worthy looks.

6. Payal Singal

A lady wearing a matching light blue crop top, jogger pants, long lightweight jacket and holding a bag. All clothing and the bag has Aztec prints.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a matching light blue crop top, jogger pants, long, lightweight jacket, and holding a bag. All clothing and the bag have Aztec prints.] Via Vogue India
The athleisure trend isn’t leaving anytime soon. In this look, Singal has added a glamorous twist by including Aztec prints into the mix.

7. Nitin Bal

A lady wearing an ivory color saree with gold, 3D embellishments.
[Image Description: A lady wearing an ivory color saree with gold, 3D embellishments.] Via Vogue India
The ivory saree coupled with unconventional 3D embellishments shows how Bal offers a new-age, futuristic statement in this piece.    

8. Gauri & Nainika

A lady wearing a floor-length white gown with floral prints.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a floor-length white gown with floral prints.] Via Vogue India
Nothing says spring has arrived with a floaty, wispy, floral gown. This gorgeous floor-length dress by Gauri & Nainika makes me speechless.

9. Bodice

A lady wearing a yellow crop top with long sleeves and a multi-colored skirt.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a yellow crop top with long sleeves and a multi-colored skirt.] Via Vogue India
Color-blocking will be a major trend this spring if this outfit by Bodice is anything to go by. The pop of color and soft pleating is the brunching-with-my-girlfriends look I am loving.

10. Suneet Varma

A lady wearing a striped, multi-colored lehenga that's covered in sequins and mirror work.
[Image Description: A lady wearing a striped, multi-colored lehenga that’s covered in sequins and mirror work.] Via Vogue India
Stripes, mirror-work, sequins, a kaleidoscope of colors – nothing is off-limits with this lehenga by Varma. This outfit is giving me serious discotheque vibes.

So, do you agree with this FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week Top 10? We’d love to know your thoughts! Let us know on Twitter & Instagram.

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!


7 ways you can restyle your wedding lehenga

As I’ve become sustainably conscious when it comes to fashion, I’ve been pondering the different ways I can reuse my wedding lehenga. It feels a shame to tuck away my bridal frock, which I hunted high and low for leading up to my wedding, only to wear for one day. 

The versatility in South Asian fashion can make anything possible. The three separate pieces in a wedding lehenga – blouse, lehenga and dupatta – can individually create breathtaking outfits with other items that are already in your wardrobe. If you’re married or soon to be married and curious about how you can reuse your wedding lehenga, then check out these ideas!

1. Pair your bridal blouse with a skirt or sari

A woman wearing a gold and brown sari with a red blouse
[Image Description: A woman wearing gold and brown sari with a red blouse] Via Sabyasachi on Instagram
The intricate detail and rich color of the bridal blouse can be repurposed to create a jaw-dropping outfit. Pair your bridal blouse with a statement skirt or contrast color sari for a striking look.

2. Drape your dupatta with other outfits

A woman is wearing a long white embroidered dress with a red dupatta
[Image Description: A woman is wearing a long white embroidered dress with a red dupatta] Via Original Pakistani Clothes on Instagram
The dupatta of your bridal lehenga is a pretty versatile piece you can wear with an array of outfits. Layer your embellished dupatta with an anarkali, salwar kameez, or lehenga for a one-of-a-kind look. Your dupatta can be hung over your shoulder and arm on one side, taken around your chest, worn like a cape…there are so many options! To view more draping styles, check out Wed Me Good, where you’ll find a host of ideas to help you find a distinct draping style that works for you.

3. Wear your dupatta as a sari

A woman wearing a deep red draped concept sari
[Image Description: A woman wearing a deep red draped concept sari] Via Tarun Tahiliani on Instagram
You could style your dupatta as a sari over a skirt for a unique sari-esque look! Take advantage of this approach with your bridal dupatta – the significant length and heavy embroidery can work perfectly.


4. East meets West vibes

A woman is wearing a white blouse tucked in to a black and gold lehenga skirt
[Image Description: A woman is wearing a white blouse tucked into a black and gold lehenga skirt] Via The World of HSY on Instagram
You can fuse your bridal lehenga with a blouse, shirt or off-the-shoulder top for an east meets west inspired look. Cinch it together with a belt or style with a statement necklace for a more structured and glamourous look.

5. Wear a long jacket over your bridal lehenga

A woman on the runway wearing a red and gold long embroidered jacket over a lehenga
[Image Description: A woman on the runway wearing a red and gold long embroidered jacket over a lehenga] Via Tarun Tahiliani on Instagram
For a couture-esque look, ditch the blouse and layer a long jacket over your bridal lehenga for a more dramatic yet oh-so-fashionable attire.

6. Transform your lehenga into a new outfit

A woman wearing a long red jacket and trousers
[Image Description: A woman wearing a long red jacket and trousers] Via Faraz Manan on Instagram
You could restitch your wedding lehenga into an anarkali suit. Fitted up to the waist and flaring out to the hem, the anarkali can accentuate the delicate embroidery and embellishments of your bridalwear exquisitely. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could restitch your ensemble into separates, a maxi dress, gown or a kurta. 


7. Keep your bridal lehenga as it is and wear it again for fun!

A bride wearing a red, floral lehenga
[Image Description: A bride wearing a red, floral lehenga] Via Brides of Sabyasachi on Instagram
Your bridal lehenga holds a lot of sentiment, so there’s nothing wrong with leaving it as it is. A dress-up is always good fun with family and friends, where you can fondly reminisce about your wedding day.

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!