Faux Leather turning the heat on this Winter!!!

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Conscious Fashion with The Fabulous Faux Leather this Winter!

Hello Fashion Lovers!!!

Hope you are blooming where you are, creating immense value with the fashion and life style choices you are making. Yes we are in the year of pandemic and it is absolutely important that we live in harmony with ourselves and the environment.

So have you turned vegan yet ? Well if you have not developed a vegan palate but have gone vegan as your alternative choice for fashion, that is simply remarkable!! Yes, I am talking about the very chic Vegan / Faux Leather that makes heads turn not just on the runways but leaves an astounding impression, whether you are at a bar, on the street, at a party or at a cafe or on a drink date. Veganism is making a breakthrough in the luxury fashion world. There is 40% increase in vegan fashion searches. Glad to see the awakened side of the world.

Very famously known as Faux Leather and Pleather, it is a throbbing choice of the famous and conscious fashion lovers again this season. The Vegan line has been popular for a couple of years now. Stella Mc Cartney was one of the early adopters of poly leather that looks luxuriously intriguing, as it even fits better than the genuine leather. The best part about Faux leather is that it doesn’t wrinkle, is less prone to scratches, it is waterproof and perfect for travels due to it’s light weight.

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Rupika Chopra in Black Faux Leather Skirt and Boots
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Beige Faux Leather Dress with Black Boots

I am an absolute animal lover and that turned me into a vegetarian 14 years ago. Compassion for animals has only gone deeper over the years and I want to continue making choices that do not add to the misery of any being. So having access to options like vegan leather / pleather makes me feel enormously happy.

If one strikes a comparison between leather and pleather, it is affordable for most whereas, the price for leather shoots up by a couple of dollars or thousands of dollars. Being light weight, sewing is less cumbersome and the cuts with this fabric make an outfit fit like one’s second skin. Given that it is a synthetic material, it can also be printed with different textures and patterns, that make it fun to work with for any designer.

Most of the faux leathers are made by layering plastic on fabric which ceased to be made. In the 70’s, manufacturers started experimenting with ployurethane as opposed to PVC and then they started using better techniques to make a long lasting fabric with better coating, resulting in textiles that feel more like the real stuff.

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Rupika Chopra in Faux Leather Beige dress & Boots

PETA celebrates Pleather as “Cruelty Free”. In the last decade the designers refrained from calling it vegan leather than Pleather, but in this decade it has been embraced as vegan leather gladly. Though there are many names given to it like – Leatherette, Man Made Leather, Synthetic leather etc. It advocates substantiality and buying cruelty free products ushers a feeling of being responsible towards our eco system.

Technology has come a long way so the manufacturing of great quality faux leather has changed one’s outlook of treating this fabric as inferior to leather. In the 1800’s Presstoff, a simulated leather material was made from the tree pulp and was developed in Germany. It was made in such a way that it would bind together in layers and look like leather. Prestoff was widely used in the World War II Germany on cases, belts, straps and covers. In 1914, Naugahyde, the first rubber based artificial leather was developed in Connecticut, in the United States. For a long time the fabric was used in making upholstery, house hold goods etc. Then followed the process of producing Fabrikoid in the year 1915 – a company named DuPont introduced a process of producing coated fabrics that lead to developing high quality of artificial leather. In 1920, Polyvinyl Chloride, famously known as PVC was produced by BF, Good Rich Company. It gained popularity in the 70’s and till even today it is used in array of commercial goods.

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Rupika Chopra in Faux Leather Pants
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Rupika Chopra is Faux Leather Pants

I am simply in love with the wide range of options available in Faux Leather in different brands. As you can see me in a beige well cut, perfectly lined dress – it not only looks chic and glam but also the texture feels soft on the inside . The shoulder pads dispenses body and an edge to this outfit. Boots never fail to add to the rock chic vibe. Anyone who can wear leather or pleather in style immediately soars high on the fashion meter.

My waist hugging mini skirt is very easy to slip on and feels great to hang in, as the material is soft. I remember wearing it on a rainy night to a party and I was saved from being drenched as the material is water proof. The Faux Leather pants look and feel like my second skin. The flexibility quotient is surely high as compared to leather. I have one rule for shopping, when you find something that fits like a dream…..just buy more colours in that. So I have many colors in the same style. In fact, recently Zara launched a pleather suit in the colour brown and that looked absolutely stunning and sexy. Stella McCartney has a prodigious collection in vegan leather.

LaBante London, is one of the brands to be proud of. Their handbags are made of vegetable leather ( a by product of vegetable waste). The Brand does not use PVC. LaBante has used apple leather – a mix of apple core and apple skin with a tinge of polyurethane – in their collection. I love the fact this brand has built a model of sustainable, luxurious, ethical brands.

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Rupika Chopra in Faux Leather Skirt & Boots
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Faux Leather Skirt and Boots
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Faux Leather Skirt and Boots

VOTCH is another successful vegan brand for watches and accessories with high quality faux leather straps.

OSIER is yet another brand that you will admire for its clothing line and accessories. This brand is from Europe and all their products are handmade. You can also look at brands like MELIE BIANCO, MATT & NAT, RJ GIBSON, SVALA, NANUSHKA, A.W.A.K.E. Mode etc.

Even though the pandemic prevails, so does our quest for fashion. Online shopping has boomed at this time and e-commerce has given another dimension to life now. There are gorgeous trench coats available at Zara in the hues of cherry, brown, beige, forest green and black. Faux Leather dresses, shorts, boots, pleated skirts, leggings, pencil skirts, Gilets, belts, blazers, pants . Recently the snake skin print on faux leather pants sold like hot cakes and are still in vogue. The textured pleather has become extremely fashionable and are perfect for dressing up this winter.

One undeniably looks dynamic, zestful and electric in Faux Leather. It oozes a hustler and a gangster vibe……and who’s debating that am any less of that – both on the Inside and Outside. ūüôā

Gone are the days when leather proved to be a status symbol for many…..Faux Leather is here to rule, so grab your outfit and add some spunk to this pandemic, while you smell some coffee or relish a drink or two with your loved ones!!

Cheers!!!

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Rupika Chopra is Faux Leather Short Skirt and Boots

Fearlessly Camouflaged!!!

Camouflage

Inger Solberg 

It was a wonderful Wednesday afternoon, when the three of us got together for a shoot in Goa for the gorgeous and valorous camouflage collection designed¬†by Inger Solberg and Liv Barfoed. I simply fell in love with the name of their brand ,“LIV-ING” as it signifies “Soul”. Liv and Inger¬†have been friends for the last 32 years and their passion for creating a line together gave life to LIV – ING.¬†Both Inger and Liv are gorgeous women who have gained expertise in their respective professions.

Camouflage collection by LIV-ING - RUPIKA CHOPRA

Rupika Chopra & LIV Barfoed

Inger is a celebrated designer from Denmark and she fell in love with designing clothes since she was 17 years old. She kept on practicing new creations and by then her heart knew that this was her calling. She went to a formal school of Design to train herself as a Designer. As destiny played it’s part,¬†she came to India in 1989 and she felt a deep connection with the magical country. She moved to India permanently in the year 2000 – ¬†she smiles and adorably says, ” Mera dil pakka Hindustani hai.”¬†

Camouflage Collection by LIV-ING - RUPIKA CHOPRA

Inger started her factory in New Delhi and she initiated designing for reputed private labels like H&M, BeYoung etc. LIV and Inger, proudly call their collection ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬†” Madam Soldier” . Inger says, “she has always faced challenges like a fighter and friends compare her¬†fighting¬†spirit to that of Goddess Durga”. So this collection is a story of a woman who possess a heart of a warrior.¬†

I¬†love the way Inger¬†describes their¬†collection as “Rough and Romantic”¬†and shares that, “As a woman, one has to be rough to survive in this world and also be feminine to be in sync with herself and the real world.” ¬†I love that thought!!

Liv Barfoed has been a former model and she was the first stylist in Denmark. She has been in the fashion Industry from the 80’s. She also educated herself as a designer and worked for many Danish companies one of them being “Royal Copenhagen”, where she designed a huge accessories collection. She has done many editorials and fashion shows for a lot of big Danish brands and Givenchy & Balmain in Paris. She has been involved in promoting reputed brands in Denmark. Liv has also worked as a PR and a Marketing professional and she continues to bring her expertise to their brand LIV-ING.

Camouflage Collection by LIV-ING - RUPIKA CHOPRA

The collection is made of high quality cotton produced in India. The printing is also done in the country itself. I love the romance added by the lace on this indomitable print, doing absolute justice to Inger’s depiction of “Rough and Romantic”. It simply makes it exotic! ¬†The best part about camouflage print is that, when adorned, it doesn’t need to be blazoned, as it just declares the bold attitude of a personality.

Camouflage collection by LIV-ING

The collection represents a robust and a fearless vibe. I love the fact that women of any age can look spectacular in this collection. The dresses are breathable and light and can be beautifully accessorised with beads and funky earrings.  The style can make anyone stand out and that is the euphoria created by LIV-ING for their summer collection.

Camouflage collection by LIV-ING - RUPIKA CHOPRA

Well, I simply loved shooting for LIV-ING and ” THE MADAM SOLDIER ”¬†collection has definitely stirred my emotions for now but wait till you see what LIV – ING has in store for you in their Fall collection. I cannot wait to grab my hands on it and I promise you, CAMOUFLAGE IS HERE TO STAY!!!

Photographer : Francois Matthys