May 7 09

Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with The Stars Hosts “DREAMS OF INDIA.”

by Zvezda

I’m tired, but excited about our “Dreams of India” event last night at ZVEZDA.

The sleepless nights spent on the phone with India making sure that all collections arrive on time paid off. It was down to the wire, but just the day before Thursday we got everything. That we had to open numbers of packages in a hurry, iron every single piece, we are perfectionists at ZVEZDA, you know, price, merchandise the hundreds of pieces just in one day! So what; we did it! Thank you, Ida, Larisa, Guy, Tesa and Lily.

“Dreams of India” event was inspired by my experiences in that amazing country and specifically by my last trip there in March for the Fashion week in New Delhi. The endless, exquisite pieces that I kept seeing everywhere I went to; from the designer collections to the beautiful modern and vintage jewelry, and antique tribal pieces made me order and shop like crazy. I wanted to bring back home to LA everything that this magical country had to offer and to share it with you. These days, I hate to look at my credit card bills and bank statements! Oh beloved India; you’ll get me in trouble!

However; our hard work to put together this event paid off. I will not measure its success by the amount of the attendees which we got a fantastic turn out, but by the energy of the evening as a whole.

We had beautiful people who enjoyed themselves and who showed an appreciation for our store and all ZVEZDA collections. And we couldn’t be luckier than having Karina Smirnoff from Dancing with The Stars as our hostess. That she is beautiful and sexy it’s clear to everyone; but let me tell you, “she’s even more stunning in person.” Karina is gracious and kind…and that’s the most important of all to me. Thank you Karina! We love you.

I also want to thank Joe Exclusive for introducing us, he’s such a dear! Joe Exclusive Fashion Stylist to the stars considered the vintage silk top and the antique brooch from the ZVEZDA collection that she was wearing last night.

We were pleased to see that Karina wore the same outfit for the LA Confidential Magazine Party, click here to view photos. After we talked for a while, we discovered lot of things in common; dancing for instance. By the way; she’s in process of opening some time soon a dance center in the Century City Shopping Mall and I’ll be one of the first to sign up for classes. One couldn’t dream for a better dance instructor and I’m so excited; dancing is one of my greatest passions!

I was very happy to also meet and have my picture taken with Claudia Jordan.

WOW… What a woman!

My excitement of meeting her only grew bigger when she selected the signature “Sari” dress from our new collection, an ivory piece by Khanna&Ghandi. I was really happy that Claudia chose to wear it at the session finale of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Claudia, please send us pictures and make us proud!

It was great to see that this fashionable crowd, both men and women, liked not only the store with its unique concept but particularly appreciated our clothing collection and the new arrivals straight from the Fashion week of New Delhi. The best sellers of the evening, certainly our jewelry from Jaipur, the “Sari” dresses by Khanna&Ghandi, the PratapSingh’s amazing cotton voile blouses and tunics, and our spectacular scarves.

To see people shopping with such an enthusiasm was extremely encouraging especially with this economy. I guess that our more than reasonable prices helped as well.

Once again the experience of the last night event proved that we, at ZVEZDA, are moving in the right direction. Bringing beautiful and original collections from around the world and sharing them at reasonable prices is the way to go!

I’ll be hitting the road soon; end of May, I’ll be leaving for Italy and Bulgaria. On our next event some time in June/July, we’ll be showing ZVEZDA’s fashion collection from fantastic and not so well known in LA Italian designers. In Bulgaria I’ll be looking again for the exquisite and hard to find these days, hand embroidered blouses.

Thanks for coming to our “Dreams of India” event and helping to making it a success!


Apr 6 09

Just got back to LA from India.

by Zvezda

My trip now feels like a dream. Was I really there? That’s what
just a week back in L.A. does to you. Thank God I have pictures to look at so that I know for sure that I was there.

The excuse for me going to India was to take part in FIAMA DI WILLS, which is Fashion Week in New Delhi. What an exciting experience that was! Since the last time I was there in only a year-and-a-half, Indian fashion has made an incredible
leap into remarkable style and quality. The more minimalist looks are more perfect and suitable for the West, but still possess that exotic twist of detail and hand work that is hard to find these days among Western designers’ collections — unless of course you are prepared to pay thousands of dollars.
I’m happy that in their effort to break into the Western market, the Indian designers did not shy away from their incredible heritage and tradition. After all, India’s colors, textures and style have been an inspiration for the West ever since Josephine made an evening gown from a hand-woven paisley cashmere wrap that Napoleon brought home to her from his travels.

Paras from Paras & Shalini, was graceful enough to help navigate the confusing procedure of getting registered as a buyer. Once I wrapped the
sticker around my neck, all doors opened for me.”

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“It was hard for me to keep myself restrained and not order every collection that I liked. And then I thought; does the bad economy mean we can’t afford to shop anymore? No, it doesn’t. Instead, we have to make smart choices and invest in timeless pieces which we can reinvent over and over again. And that’s exactly what I did in New Delhi. I went for the best of Rajeshpratp Singh, Paras & Shalini, AshishnSoni, RohitGanhiRahulKhanna,Janavi.

I selected pieces that had style and flair; looks that I always go after — timeless pieces that excite for a long time. I didn’t do TRENDY pieces. I always leave the trends for shoes and hand bags. I chose unique clothes that one can easily personalize with accessories; pieces with incredible quality and attention to detail such as hand embroidery, hand stitching and pleating.

I worked with all the designers in person who were gracious enough to consider the changes that I requested. Many times, clothes that look beautiful on the tall, skinny mannequins do not look so good on real women. I insisted on trying on every single garment to make sure that nothing ordered from the ZVEZDA collection is less then flattering on a woman’s body.


The light-weight cashmere coat with flower and
all (pictured above) today is part of the ZVEZDA collection.


This Paras & Shalini dress in a shorter version could
be seen in ZVEZDA by the end of September, 2009.

After I attended the shows of all the designers that I was interested in, including Manish Arora, and went twice over my shopping budget for my store, I left Delhi and hit the road to Jaipur. Hitting is a big word in this case because we had to pass through numerous security check points along the road.

In Jaipur, I stayed at the Naila Bagh Palace; a place that I was familiar with from past trips. The Naila family history goes back centuries and crosses paths with Maharajas of Jaipur; one of its members, Thakur Fateh Singh, being the Prime Minister of Jaipur.

The Naila family introduced me to Mukesh. As far as I was concerned, his place had an Ali Baba’s cave feel to it. From him I got the most beautiful floral print Kanta bed covers and cushions, raw silk floral wraps and jewelry and scarves.
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With my entire budget gone, I decided to go to the desert and never be seen again. Jameli, a gentle beautifully adorned 10-year-old elephant and I started crossing the desert just before the glorious sunset. A few minutes into the ride we were hit by a sand storm. My antique wrap came to use right away. I veiled myself to protect my face from the dust. It made me feel like a true Maharani, the closest I’ll ever get to being one! The wild dogs howling and animal eyes shining back at us in the dark brought this incredible sense of adventure that I live for. Sadly, a few hours later when we reached our destination, I had to say goodbye to Jameli.
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My next trip was to Benares, a place for my spiritual pilgrimage. It was here, at sunrise on a boat in Ganga, where my journey began and my love affair with India started.
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Under the mesmerizing chanting of pundit Shivaji, I released the ashes of my beloved mother and my dog Princess, in Ganga. I sent flowers and candles downstream to thank Ganga for taking in and embracing my dear ones.
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It’s in my will, that after a pudja, organized by my dear friend Rajesh, my ashes are to be released at sunrise in Ganga. After that, the party is to be taken for good shopping.

From Benares I went to Sarnath which is only few kilometers away. I have dear friends in Sarnath. I come here for silent retreats as well. It is in Sarnath that I support the productive and meaningful efforts of Dr. Jain for running a school for kids from the poorest and lowest class in society. To see the school’s improvements and the children’s happy smiles is a heart-touching experience. I was surrounded with so much love, given so many hugs.
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ZVEZDA, will be selling post cards with these children’s’ drawings with all proceeds going back to them for charity.

The day after, I went back to Delhi, wrapped up all my orders, gave my dear friends Prama and Ranji Bhandari a hug and boarded my plane.

Looking down from the window while the plane was taking off, I couldn’t help but to think and wish, “So long, my India. So hard to part with you. I can’t wait to return to you again. Whatever the excuse…”

ZVEZDA will show all the exquisite and beautiful pieces from this magnificent country on April 30, 2009. Save the date! Details to follow.

Apr 1 09

Shopping In Santa Monica?

by Zvezda

Make sure that you stop by our store:

604 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA. 90401
p. 310.917.2223
f. 310.917.2228