The Indian Scarlett O’Hara

I’ve always been intrigued by Scarlett. I was about 14 when I read Gone with the Wind, and every essay henceforth was either based on the book, or the character, including the one I wrote in my board exams.

It should therefore come as no surprise that Scarlett’s sartorial sensibilities have made their way into my aesthetics, and have inspired some (if not all) of my creations.

Scarlett was bold and knew what she’d look good in. She dressed to highlight her best features – like when she wore green to compliment her catty eyes the time she met Rhett in jail, or when she pulled her dress just a tad lower to show off her fair shoulders. She was proud of her tiny waist – achieved no doubt by a rib crunching corset (the concept of which I disagree with – fashion should not be injurious to health; though not the intention – which was to highlight her best feature), and she didn’t give a damn what the world thought of her – whether it was dancing in the black crepe of mourning with a strange man, or riding a buggy to oversee business with the Yankees.

Scarlett was strong, beautiful and she knew how to work her strengths to her advantage. This outfit is built on that sentiment – take what’s best about you and enhance it to the moon. This outfit draws attention to the waist – “upper” waist mind you, while covering the problem areas – tummy, love-handles, thighs and hips with a flared, multi-layered skirt.

Polka Dotted Cotton Lehenga | Designed and Illustrated by Shivani Krishan | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan | This illustration has also been shared on Shivani Krishan's Instagram handle - chai_high_illustrated

A long, flared gown with layers of lace and frills underneath, is the starting point for my lehenga design. I’ve replaced the corset with a tiny draped choli that lets you breathe (Thank God for little pleasures), and shows off your midriff. An Indian style dupatta with gota motifs completes the look.

In terms of fabric, I’m imagining pure woven cotton – polka dots for the outfit, solid white for the frills and petticoat. Perfect for brides who’d rather avoid bling.

The hair is kept short and jewellery is traditional Indian gold. The illustration is almost a creation of a new sensibility, one that brings the aesthetics of the west and marries it with the silhouettes of the east.

Scarlett may have taken self-preservation a bit too far. But she certainly knew how to rock a trend. Let’s learn from her the art of dressing, as well as resolve never to make the mistakes she made.

If you haven’t read the book, you can buy it here.

Dear Designers – Here’s some inspiration for 2017.

Hello People-who-want-to-design-something-but-don’t-know-what,

I’ve been in your boat. A boat lost in the Pinterest sea. So many pretty ideas. But which one to choose?

I have been attempting to design a few Indian outfits to wear to weddings – since everybody has suddenly decided to get married in the first half of 2017. And while my Masterji like all Masterjis is being a bit of a tantrum queen, a glimpse at his creations sort of makes it worth the wait.

Since frills and ruffles are going to be big in 2017, why not incorporate these elements into your Indian outfit?

2017 Trends | Inspiration for Fashion Designers | Fashion Design Ideas | Fashion Week Inspo | Pinterest Fashion Ideas | Design your dream saree and lehenga blouse | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

A little layer here, a flounce there, and you’ve got a lehenga that transcends cultures.

2017 Trends | Inspiration for Fashion Designers | Fashion Design Ideas | Fashion Week Inspo | Pinterest Fashion Ideas | Design your dream saree and lehenga | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan | Bridal Trends | Wedding Fashion Ideas

Embroideries on dresses are back. Especially the interplay of embellishment with sheers and overlaying it on strategically placed opaques.

Embroideries | Filling Stitch | Satin Stitch | Colourful Embroidery on Black | 2017 Trends | Inspiration for Fashion Designers | Fashion Design Ideas | Fashion Week Inspo | Pinterest Fashion Ideas | Design your dream saree and lehenga | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan | Bridal Trends | Wedding Fashion Ideas

Mixed textures are the rage, be it in the form of applique, or pairing contrasting fabrics together.

Fabrics | Mixed Textures | Embroideries | Embellishments | Indianwear | Indian Designers | 2017 Trends | Inspiration for Fashion Designers | Fashion Design Ideas | Fashion Week Inspo | Pinterest Fashion Ideas | Design your dream saree and lehenga | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan | Bridal Trends | Wedding Fashion Ideas

The off-shoulder trend ruled the western world. And while Manish Malhotra and Payal Singhal have brought it to India, a lot of scope for experimentation still remains.

Off-shoulder | Cold shoulder | Shoulder show | Frills | Indian off shoulder blouses | Saree Blouse Inspiration | Ethnicwear | Traditional clothes | Embellished blouses | Manish Malhotra |  Indianwear | Indian Designers | 2017 Trends | Inspiration for Fashion Designers | Fashion Design Ideas | Fashion Week Inspo | Pinterest Fashion Ideas | Design your dream saree and lehenga | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan | Bridal Trends | Wedding Fashion Ideas

There’s tons of inspiration out there. But sometimes, you need someone to put it all in order.

Someone like me. 😉

Have a fun weekend.

 

 

Monster Minds – An Artwork

Monster Thoughts | Digital Artwork | "I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?" - Ernest Hemingway | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” – Ernest Hemingway

I turn up the volume

to turn off the thoughts

in my mind.

The beats press down upon

the ebb and flow of my head

alternating between battering them into

submission and fanning them on

–  An empty shell one moment,

overflowing with thoughts

the consistency of stormy seas,

the next.

 

A quick guide to what to wear for New Years. (Even if you’re staying in).

Some of us are planning to drink and dance, some are planning house-party hopping and the rest are thinking of staying in and drinking wine under the covers. Well, whatever be your plan, here’s what we suggest you buy, to make your new-years a little more new. 🙂

Hope you enjoy this edit.

A knockout when going out

Nothing like a sheer, short number to dance the year away. Wear with leather ankle boots and gold jewellery.

Tulle and Knit Dress | Zara | Check it out here

A black tulle and knit dress by Zara - perfect for a New Year's Eve spent dancing | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Stay in like a kingpin

If you’re like me, you’d choose a warm, snuggly pair of sweatpants in a hue that’ll match the wine you’ll drink while Netflixing the hell out of 2016.

Sweatpants | H&M | Check it out here

Plum coloured H&M Trackpants for a News Year Eve spent cuddling under a blanket at home | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Beach vibes with your tribe

If you were smart enough to realise that you needed to get the hell out of the cities, this easy-breezy super-chic number is for you. Wear it while staying put on the beach from sundown to sunrise.

Ikat Jumpsuit | Khara Kapas | Shop here

A Khara Kapas Ikat jumpsuit for New Years Eve spent at the beach | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

House party? You got yourself free beer, smarty.

You got yourself a free alcohol pass, which means you should splurge on a nice jumper for the occasion. A slouchy off-shoulder jumper is comfy, stylish and will keep you warm when you’re not dancing yourself sweaty.

Off-shoulder sweater | H&M | Check it out here

H&M off-shoulder pastel jumper | New year's eve fashion | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Sleeping early? Stay cozy.

If you want to stay away from all the hype and for once turn in at the right time  (something you’re hoping to carry forward to 2017), get this darling duvet from Nicobar.

Chevron Twin Duvet | Nicobar | Shop here

Chevron Duvet by Nicobar to stay in on New Years | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Well, that’s all for now. Have an amazing what-remains-of-2016 and make sure you draft realistic resolutions for the new year.

Love,

Shivani

 

 

In case you’re bored and want to shop…

Hi people,

So I am back with my edit of shopping suggestions and this time, the list focuses on two websites that I recently discovered. It’s almost like a “What would Shivani buy – Part II” except that Who am I kidding – I can’t afford it. Yes… yes, they aren’t expensive but when you make little and pay a lot of rent, you really have to count every buck.

Moving on, here are some things I discovered that I couldn’t help but share with you guys.

Denim Halter Dress, Nicobar

Buy here for Rs. 4800

Wear this Denim Halter Dress with Tan lace-up boots found on Vajor.com

Buy here for Rs. 1990

Tan Lace-up boots by Vajor.com | Fabric detailing | Textile | Derby Lacing | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Chanderi Shirt Dress, Nicobar

Buy here for Rs. 7200

Huhu Dress, Nicobar

Buy here for Rs. 3800

Huhu pale blue-green dress found on Nicobar.com | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Wear the Huhu Dress with these Sequinned White Sneakers found on Vajor.com

Buy here for Rs. 2250

Sequinned White Sneakers | Embellished White Sneakers | Pureskin | Vajor.com | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Ashwani Chanderi Dress, Nicobar

Buy here for Rs. 5200

An ivory coloured cotton-silk chanderi dress found on Nicobar | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Try wearing this gorgeous number with these sandals found on Vajor.com

Buy the Oxblood here and the Candy Pink here for Rs. 179o.

 

Lastly, two more outfits that I sort of found interesting…

Jumpsuit with Ikat Detailing | Vajor.com

Buy it here for Rs. 2790

Black Jumpsuit with an Ikat Yoke found on Vajor.com | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Printed Skirt | Vajor.com

Buy it here for Rs. 1375

Printed Pencil Skirt found on Vajor.com | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Well, hope you liked this edit.

Happy Shopping 🙂

 

 

 

 

What a shopping trip is like when you’re broke.

Today I stepped out for a run. But ended up going to Forever 21 instead. (Don’t say it – I know – it’s silly). It started off quite ordinarily. After watching quarter an episode of The Good Wife on Netflix and downing two mugs of tea, I suddenly realised that if I didn’t step outside now, it would be too late. Daylight would’ve disappeared. So I changed into my sneakers and shorts, almost didn’t take my wallet (which on second thoughts would’ve been much smarter) and bounced outdoors.

Once I was actually out on the street, I got this sudden itch to spend money – which is surprising as I am literally in debt with most of my recent purchases being on a credit card. However, I thought – a few steps in the crisp, fresh November air may inspire me to stick to the healthier original plan. So I continued walking towards the park. The itch, sadly, was a stubborn one. I couldn’t walk it off. And by the time I reached the corner, I found myself hailing an autorickshaw – “Bhaiya, Infinity Malad?” And fate decided to take me on with a slight nod to the affirmative.

I sat in the rickety rickshaw, my thoughts racing. What do I do once I reached Forever 21? Shop or just browse? What if I actually liked something? Shit, that would suck as I can’t afford it. What do I do when I am back home? Maybe I should finally start writing the book I’ve been meaning to write for the last gazillion years. The book about love. But what part of love? My first boyfriend? Current boyfriend? But, I have no clue on how it all turns out! Should I assume? No. I should concentrate on what’s elapsed. Finish a story that’s already finished. This happened and then this and finally this. Oh, but would people want to read it? And what if it sounds too rushed? Maybe I should just stick to an incident and elaborate every little detail. Maybe, I should add a hint of magical realism like Murakami? But what? Murakami’s books are mostly metaphors about uniting with your dark side or shadow. What would my books be about? I need to discover something and then use metaphors to explain it. What have I discovered?

And like this, my brain raced on and on and before I knew it, me and my auto were speeding along a windy backroad that ran parallel along a sewage drain. For a brief moment, I thought we were near the sea but the black colour gave the drain away. What a disappointment. A sea would’ve been the perfect sign for me to begin work on the book. Romance. Possibility. Freedom.

The auto screeches to a halt near Forever 21. I get off and rush to the women’s loo. I find a stall that seems it’s about to get vacant any second -a brush against the flimsy door somehow seemed to me an indication of pants being being pulled up clumsily – however I was wrong and the lady in my stall decided to have a nice, long dump.


I got to Forever 21 and the first thing that caught my eye was a faux leather button-down miniskirt. Love at first sight. My mind began racing – I would team it with a t-shirt and a boyfriend shirt. Or a vest for a night out. And  I found myself throwing it in the black mesh bag, an overenthusiastic sales person handed me.

The collection was very streetstyle inspired – hence I was in love with it. There were jackets – military, bomber, trench-style, fluffy, straight – all kinds. And there were skirts – corduroy, military, pink georgette, rust hued. The bralets and bustiers didn’t fit well – so I didn’t pick up any- I wanted to wear one with a saree. However, the skirts were lovely. Boots were a colossal disappointment – they had barely anything that fit my large feet. Plus the designs were very blah.

Anyway, after a bunch of clothes I tried, I ended up buying nothing.The faux leather skirt was awesome – but was I really going to travel in a local train looking like a goth-inspired monkey? Nah. So, reluctantly I placed it back on the shelf I’d borrowed it from.

A lady walked over to me, “Ma’am, would you like me to find you another size?” “No, I murmured, I am just putting it back” How could I explain to her that the skirt fit me like a glove and how I wish it had been too big or too small so my heart wouldn’t tear when I placed it back like that?

So, sheepishly I hailed another rickshaw. And took an hour reaching home. Evening traffic.

A run would’ve been more fulfilling after all.

 

A letter that urges you to dig deeper into your style.

Hey you,

This is a sincere note to you from a nobody in fashion who feels incredibly passionate (anger me enough and I could cry), about it.

Fashion for me is not just about pretty clothes on hangers. As you may have figured if you’ve been reading my blog. It’s more about your personality being interwoven with those pretty clothes on hangers.

Let me explain.

I am not drop dead gorgeous. Neither do I own much designer. I have a rickety cupboard instead of a walk-in closet, and roadside kolhapuris instead of Jimmy Choo’s. I wear dresses handmade from my mother’s dupattas and have clothes as old as 15 years in my daily wardrobe. I am not a size zero, neither am I a curvy model. I don’t wear heels, I don’t like pants and I don’t wear base. I may not be the visual embodiment of fashion but strongly I feel about an interestingly paired look, or a creatively conceptualised ensemble.

To know more about my style and how I choose my clothes, click here.
In a gingham mini dress and gold kolhapuri slippers | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Dress | Blue Cherry, Bangkok

Streetstyle pictures from fashion weeks around the world hold more interest for me than Page 3 columns. And I’d credit a stylist over a celebrity any day. Unique dress sense even to the point of bad taste has more charm in my opinion than a clearly copied top-to-toe look . In other words, individuality is key even when borrowed from an ongoing trend.

Two dangling earrings in a row | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
I tried wearing my danglers in a row

However, all the individuality in the world can’t save you if you look uncomfortable in what you’re wearing. And all the copying can’t bring you down if you wear your look with effortless ease. Which means, the most important thing to remember in this equation is comfort. For with comfort, comes effortlessness. And therefore confidence.

Not comfort, in the traditional sense of the word. Comfort in the mind.

A pair of high heels are most definitely not the definition of comfort, yet there are women who feel not themselves in flats. On the other hand, there’s me, who may feel wonderful in a baggy t-shirt and pyjamas but won’t be “comfortable” going to work in it.

The idea being, in our quest to discover our unique style sense, we need to understand our bodies and minds. We need to know and recognise our “happy” clothes – clothes that make us feel great.

And recognise the “other” clothes too. Those that look supreme on a hanger, and may even look flattering on you; but you’re somehow not comfortable in them and as a result you’re not “you” in them. My advice – avoid those clothes. No matter how hot a pair of tight jeans may look on you and on everybody you know – if you don’t feel great in them – there’s no reason you should wear them on an ordinary day. Of course, there will be days when you feel like testing yourself – reserve these additions for those rare days.

On the other hand, don’t limit yourself to what you’re comfortable with. Take small steps in experimenting with different trends. Buy a piece, see how your mind and body reacts to this, and then slowly integrate it into your personal style, depending on your findings. For instance, the off shoulder neckline, the choker and the slip dress are hot this moment. Dabble in something that’s out of your comfort zone every once in a while and see how it goes.

And if you want to avoid spending money on a trend you’re not sure about, try renting. Flyrobe is one Indian website that lets you rent the best for less. Try it and see.

I for once, go on an experimenting spree every once in a while. I walk to my wardrobe and mull over last-season separates and see how I can layer them to match today’s trends. The slip dress worn with edgy sneakers and boots are very right-now. So, I pick up my strappy 2012 maxi dress and treat it like a slip dress – with boots and an edgy vest.

To read more on how to layer like a pro, click here.

Most of the time, the answers lie not in the stores but in your wardrobes and trunks. Rummage into the old suitcases and mamma’s cupboard this weekend. You never know – your individuality may be lying crumpled between a saree and a moth eaten cardigan.

Wear your heart on your sleeve – be it rainbow colours or floral dresses, giant logos or baggy tees, torn denims or distressed boots, salwar-kurtas or leather skirts. Wear your clothes to add to your personality. To pick up from where your mind left off… To continue the conversation you’re having with the world around you. To express and empower your vulnerabilities. Choose your looks with all the seriousness and lightheartedness of a child out on an adventure. And one last thing, remember to have fun. Otherwise, what’s the point?

P.S: And if you’re just not interested in fashion, well that’s OK too. As long as you’re being you and oiling the machinery of your beaming personality.

 

 

 

8 times Kangana gave us serious wardrobe envy.

My last post focused on giving you tips on how to get Kangana’s look. It didn’t do that well, to be honest. So, this time, I’m just going to upload a selection of Kangana Ranaut’s finest (and most wearable) airport looks, and I want you guys to tell me your favourites.

Look 1: Don’t be afraid to play matchmaker. Pop your neutrals with yellow and be prepared for unexpected results.

Kangana Ranaut wears a blue gingham check skirt with a graphic printed tee, yellow jacket and pale blue Oxford shoes | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Image borrowed from PinkVilla.com

 

Look 2: Throw on a neutral overcoat and matching heels over your favourite outfit. Go from sweet to stylish in seconds.

Kangana Ranaut wears a Neutral overcoat with matching heels to tone down a green outfit | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Image borrowed from highheelconfidential.com

 

Look 3: Tough love. Punch your toughest, military-inspired look with polka dots for a happy surprise.

Navy blazer, skinny pants, black derby shoes, polka dot shirt and black sunglasses worn by Kangana Ranaut | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Image borrowed from http://st1.bollywoodlife.com/

 

Look 4: Princess meets boho. A flowing white maxi dress assumes effortless-cool when worn with neutral flats and a slouchy bag.

White hippie boho princess dress worn by Kangana Ranaut | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Image borrowed from http://www.fashionlady.in/

 

Look 5: Retro Cool. Don’t be afraid to try on a new hairstyle every once in a while.

Kangana Ranaut wears a check dress with a jacket, spectacles and nude Oxfords. Her hair is done up in a baby bun | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Image borrowed from MissMalini.com

Look 6: Country-girl chic is always in style. Wear a hat, thick glasses and carry a book (you don’t have to read it 😉 ) to complete this look.

Kangana wears a midi dress in checks with dark derby shoes, a hat and a sling bag | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Image borrowed from http://www.beautyandfashionfreaks.com/

Look 7: Layering done well. Wear a white shirt dress under another dress to turn heads.

Kangana wears a white shirt dress under a red printed dress | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Image borrowed from: http://thethriftychicgirl.com/

Look 8: Neutral accessories and a dark lip take this plain grey dress to dizzying heights.

Kangana Ranaut wears a grey sleeveless dress with neutral accessories and a dark lip | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
Image borrowed from images.indianexpress.com

 

Well, that’s it for now. Do comment below and let me know which look you like best.

🙂 🙂 🙂