Humans stress me. Clothes de-stress me. 

 

 

Unless ‘clothes’ refers to a short sequinned (read ugly) number. Or worse, a my pure-white shirt has a spot of mustard. That’s when humans become a breeze.

I remember when I bought my first pair of boots. I was 21, in London for the first time. And my father bought me these really chic knee-high black boots. From Aldo. And oh, I was in love.

And, like all kinds of love, with it came a new set of anxieties.

What if, I leave my shopping bag somewhere. What if my baggage gets lost in transit? And with it go my boots? What if somebody steps on it – when I am wearing it? What if, it gets fungus? What if it breaks? What if a pigeon shits on it? 

And I realised, I share a weird relationship with fashion.

Inanimate, material fashion.

A ‘spontaneous anti-depressant’ in the words of Eugene Hutz, an instant excitement kick or a happiness machine – call it what you may, just the act of putting together fresh combinations from my closet is enough to bring on that sense of achievement. “Oh, why I didn’t I ever put those two together?”

 

And, the sheer joy on seeing a movie where the star dresses just like you do!  Keira Knightley in Begin Again, anyone? Or Emilia Clarke in Me Before you?

Clothes.

 

So, I wrote a silly poem about clothes.

Here it goes.

 

Clothes.

They won’t throw a fit if you don’t call them.

They won’t taunt you when you crib.

They won’t leave you for another country.

And they won’t make you feel like you’re shit.

They’ll be there for you when you’re happy.

And they’ll be there for you when you’re low.

They’ll make you feel fabulous,

even when you shed half a kilo.

They’ll bring out your best features

And they’ll notice your new haircut.

They’ll cover-up the extra inches – oh you dark-dark chocolate sundae!

And they’ll show-off all those curves!

 

Well, folks, that’s all for today. Drink lots of tea, wear lots of dresses, and laugh a lot.

Cheers.

Shivani

Advertisements

We need better clothes

I am going to burn my jeans, my bra and every pokey, itchy article of clothing I find. It’s hot. It’s so hot in Bombay that you feel like you’re about to explode. In fact, yesterday I had a breakdown. It was so hot that I died at least once. I went home early because my stomach was queasy, my head was wheezy and my legs were like jelly. But going home didn’t make it any better.

I had no book to read, no show to watch (smartly, I’d left my macbook at work) and no drawing to sketch (again left it at work). So I became a ticking time-bomb. I lay down, sat up, walked around and repeated the process for a good two hours. As the air-conditioning tried its best to keep up, panting and fainting and ultimately giving up. Which lead to the fans having a field day, running round and round, rustling the curtains and anything that would fly.

And me, a jittery mess, fluctuated between restlessness and tiredness.

It was so damn hot both outside and inside. My stomach was burning, my cheeks were flushing and the air was thick with the smell of fish, open drains and frustrated humans on their way home from work. The sound of incessantly honking auto-rickshaws and cars didn’t make it any better.

The phone rang. Ooh I have a date. What do I wear? I hopped, skipped and jumped to my cupboard in the balcony, and the evening babble greeted me. Honk, Honk, Peep Peep… Argh, I was so excited to dress up. So many new clothes to wear. But damn the weather!

So I rummaged through my balcony-cupboard inhaling hot air, the internal bomb just a few seconds from detonation. And my sweaty fingers grasped a pair of cut-offs and a thin white tee in urgent need for ironing, pulled it from under more layers of clothes and toppled everything in the process. And it was so hot, and the clothes were on me, and I was already burning from within, so i stuffed the falling piles of clothing back into the cupboard and shut the door angrily on it and rushed indoors to change. I was breathing fast, my face and organs were steaming and I changed into my date outfit. Darn, the ends of the bra were poking and turning the hot, sweaty me even hotter and sweatier. And the denim in the shorts was feeling alien. Man! Since when do you feel hot even in shorts?

So I went back to my fiery cupboard in the balcony and pulled out a thin, low cut cotton dress and wore it, removing my bra. And oh my God! It felt better, but was it too revealing?

My phone started vibrating, and I got even more hyper. Shit, he’s here! And I am still not ready. I ran, back into the balcony and looked at the tumbling bits of clothing in my cupboard and the weather, in the mood for vengeance, threw balls of fire in my face, as it grinned cheekily at my state.

I looked at myself in the mirror and sighed. I checked out my hair. Disobedient hair. Refuses to curl. Refuses to straighten. Hangs haughtily around my shoulder every strand in a different direction silently revolting. And my face had little dots, threatening to burst into full-bodied zits, in the heat. Argh. I was definitely losing it.

I rushed back in and picked up the phone. “Hey! Oh, you’re here. Coming Coming!”

And then changed back into the white tee and shorts, picked up a sweatshirt (In case we’re watching a movie) and a dupatta (I don’t know why) and stumbled downstairs, clad in an unfortunate combination.

I cursed the weather for a good 15 minutes and I would have cursed it for the next 5 hours, but I got myself some yummy frozen yoghurt with strawberries on my date, and that changed it all.

Anyway, the whole point of this story was, gah, we need more designers making white, cotton flowing, loose dresses, thin enough to feel cool and thick enough to let us go bra-less.

Signing off now. Need to get myself a cool glass of water.

Happy Summer, folks. (yea, right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Label of the month – Blankslate

Hello folks,

Today, I have something very interesting for you all. STORY OF TELL- a collection by recently launched label, Blankslate.

Conceptualised by designer Snigdha Seksaria, an alumni of NIFT Kolkata, this collection takes us back into the deep recesses of our mind.

Check it out. 🙂

12418012_818441208301226_1972172558390848286_n

Outer world versus inner world, conformity versus resistance, society versus the individual.

This collection taps into the grey area between inner reality and outer conformism.

12715269_832594056885941_300268354892553866_nIt is a peek into an artist’s mind left free to roam in a fast-paced city, an inner battle raging on, the embroiderer’s machine whirring and zig-zagging, simultaneously capturing this frantic clash in hashes and cross hashes.12705417_827445604067453_6664202198503276434_n

Blank-Slate-spring-summer-collection-six-BongRongWhat I love about the collection is that the garments are very wearable. In the designer’s own words, “(she) aims to bridge the gap between high fashion and ready-to-wear, offering varied luxury products at affordable price points.”Blank-Slate-spring-summer-collection-three-BongRongYou have your signature white shirt, but with embroidery and detailing that takes it a couple of notches higher into the realm of handmade couture.Blank-Slate-spring-summer-collection-five-BongRongA passionate affair between the classic and the couture, its genius lies in the embodiment of this fantastic dissonance. One that brings to mind the gasps and breaths and racing minds of a stolen quickie in a pub stall. Brought to life on virginal silhouettes. The signature “lip” motif adds to the frenzied moment conjured by the artist.

12742761_834446666700680_6335015559834963188_n (1)

“The collection consists of comfortable separates for a fun twist on formal-wear, almost like a pun on the seeming seriousness of occasion wear. The colour palette is monochromatic and earthy with the objective of letting the graphics be the hero. There are occasional pops of colour in the form of the bright red lips as a signature element in the collection.”

Blank-Slate-spring-summer-collection-seven-BongRong

12510309_815466425265371_8405713458776416143_n (1)

“…there is a lot of interplay between realistic visions and word/textual references combined with geometry-governed line art.”

12524277_838551589623521_8128392074915464550_n

Blank-Slate-spring-summer-collection-eight-BongRong“Her interest in the arts, combined with her love for detailing helps her create eclectic clothes that reflect a fresh take on women’s fashion in India.”

 

12794454_840664976078849_8311726511367969064_nBlank-Slate-spring-summer-collection-ten-BongRongThere is something about designers who choose to follow an idea from start to finish. To continue the story from the first flashing of a light bulb right up till the silhouette is perfectly seamed and finished and tagged and steam-ironed, hung up on hangers in vintage stores, ready to perused by art-lovers and fashionistas alike.

Blank-Slate-Cloth-Example-30-BongRong

Blank-Slate-spring-summer-collection-eleven-BongRong

Embroidered art, almost a first of its kind on formal, classic silhouettes, brings to mind an edge where contrasting elements meet to create a story that is at once bizarre and beautiful. Of design that is inherently pure at its roots.

Like I always say, discover who you are. And wear it. Because we’re stories. Our pasts, our futures, our minds and our thoughts. And if we translate our mind into our clothes, we’re able to complete a narrative. To truly and honestly present ourselves as we really are. To package and brand ourselves as us and nothing else. The original, beautiful and one-of-a-kind us. And this thought, believe it or not, gives more credit to your mind and its infinite possibility than you’d ever think.

Just like your choice of career expresses who you are, so could your choice of clothing.

So open your minds to the work of artist-designers like Snigdha, who fabricate brilliant artworks from their racing minds, and then apply it to quintessential silhouettes.To create design that’s powerful yet aesthetic.

All in all, Story of Tell by Blankslate is a collection crafted in poetry from start to finish. An unabashed reminder of our minds and what happens in it as we struggle to fight the demons of instinct.

_ _ _

Clients can get in touch here:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/blankslatedesign/

Email: info.blankslatedesign@gmail.com

_ _ _

About the Designer

12801494_843831379095542_8480471536657830132_n

Snigdha Seksaria forayed into the world of Fashion Design with four years of formal training at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology). She graduated as gold medalist achiever at the top of her batch from NIFT Kolkata in 2013.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, she set out to fine-tune her skill sets through her work experience with veteran designer Anamika Khanna. Her previous stint with retail giant Arvind Lifestyle Brands gave her an insight into industry technicalities enabling her to grasp the various differences between retail clothing for the masses and exclusive couture designer-wear for individuals.

These experiences left a lasting influence on her aesthetics moulding her design sense to a new direction.

She launched Blankslate in early 2016 to pursue her love for wearable art.

Designing at the nexus of artistic purity and intellectual simplicity, her clothes put forward a compelling, strong and authentic brand narrative ready to be embraced by all.

 

Thank you and watch this space for more on new designers, thoughtful design, independent dressers and anything else that manages to move this mind of mine.

 

10 outstanding examples of creative dressing

I am not a good photographer. At least not yet. Which is why, to illustrate my yarns of copy (yes, I love to write), I shall attach images borrowed from Indian blog wearabout. Beautifully shot by photographer Manouwearabout curates images of street style from Indian and Bhutan.

And I’d like to share some of these photographs to help you guys get an idea as to what I mean when I say “dress creatively”.

Check it out.

  1. Opposites attract | When Check met Floral

enhanced-buzz-8088-1377188249-13

What I love about her is how she has combined seemingly contrasting prints (checks and florals) and made it work so well together. Well, well, on first glance, most of us if asked if the two go together would undoubtedly exclaim, “Hell no!”.

Doesn’t hurt to experiment does it? Well, the results clearly show. The fitted vest balances the looseness of the anti-fit skirt/lungi.

Chai High Tip: Next time, think twice before you throw away that old wraparound.

2. Layer, layer on the wall

dsc3777

He has worn a shirt. And then another shirt. And then wrapped a jacket around his waist. Wait, are those pants knit? Love his flair. Especially because, not many men can pull it off.

3. Because, Orange is the new black.

enhanced-buzz-1570-1377187650-15

Don’t shy away from wearing socks with pumps. See how it good it looks!

4. Comfy in a saree

wifw14-29-1

A striped blouse and a printed saree? OMG! One would never think, right? You’d be like, “Hey ,wear a hot-pink blouse. It’ll look epic.”

Thank God, she didn’t take your advice.

5. Flower girl

Here’s how to wear the midi skirt. Go today and buy one.

6. Librarian-chic

34-khanim-1

Stern yet fun. Wine and purple and brown and white. Interesting colours. Interesting silhouettes. Interesting hair. Interesting expression.

Who said, dresses were just meant for “girly”girls?

7. Dark romance

wifw13-2

Dark slinky fabrics, a burgundy lip and Mary Janes. It’s like the girl-next-door just found her dark side.

8. Local inspiration

carolh3

No earrings. Just a chunky choker and a matching watch. Love the ethnic inspiration in this uptown look.

9. Sieves for style

17-aanchal-1

Nothing like a bright smile and happy shoes to lift up an outfit. The sieves? Well, she’s pulling it off!

10. “My sun and moon”

enhanced-buzz-14752-1377189222-29

Night-sky dress and a morning-light jacket. With a neckline that cuts through it all. “Small” women, when it comes to skimpy necklines, you’re blessed. So don’t take it for granted. 😉

_ _ _

Well, so with this gorgeous selection of images from wearabout, I’m sure you guys will now look at your wardrobe in a completely new light.

As for the people featured here, guys keep doing what you’re doing. Cause its working.

 

Until my next post.

Shivani