Mirror selfies. Done in style.

Hello people,

It’s Saturday today and 7:58 in the morning here in Mumbai. I woke up at 6:30. To run. Yeah right. 😉 Didn’t so much as lift my finger to plug in my Macbook to watch some Suits. And meanwhile took Vogue’s advice on who to follow on Instagram. From Kazakhstan.

(In case you want to follow me on Instagram, click here.)

And after my routine bout of self-pity, a habit I just can’t seem to shake off, even after repeated reading of “Spiritual” texts and “self-help” guides and quotes that people share on Facebook, and a mug of chai (of course), I am now starting on doing something productive.

Anyway, so again, since we are on Chai High, which is supposed to be my blog on fashion and anti-fashion, I’ve put together a few fashion (and anti-fashion) selfies I’d clicked over the past few months. You can read more about my article on how to be stylish effortlessly, here.

Mirror Selfie #1

So, on this day, I was wearing a white knee-length dress with a saree blouse and gold Kolhapuri slippers. To see the complete look, click here.

If you like my look, you can follow me on Instagram, here.

Shivani Krishan is wearing a white knee length dress from Janpath with gold leather kolhapuri slippers from Linking Road | Chai High | Indian Fashion Blog | Mumbai | March 2016 | Long curly bob | Selfie

Mirror Selfie 2

My mom bought me this dress from Bangkok. It’s crafted in this slinky material that flatters your body beautifully.

I chose to add more texture to this outfit by wrapping an Indian printed dupatta around my neck and slinging on a gold, hot pink and green bag. I matched my slippers to the bag.

What do you think about this look?

Shivani Krishan is wearing a black printed flowing dress from Bankok with a printed dupatta and a kitsch sling bag | Chai High | Indian Fashion Blog | Selfie

Here’s a close-up of the very kitsch slippers I wore with my dress.

Wool embellished Kolhapuri slippers | Chai High | Indian Fashion Blog | Kitsch Style | Best

If you like my look, you can follow me on Instagram, here.

Mirror Selfie 3

This one was at night when I was feeling a little low (and gothic in my head). Hence the darkness. However, the dress in light couldn’t be happier. It’s a blue printed Forever 21 maxi dress. Perfect for the beach and light summer evenings.

Shivani Krishan is wearing a printed maxi dress from Forever 21 | Chai High | Indian Fashion Blog

Mirror Selfie 4

What I wore to work two days back. It’s a basic blue pair of boyfriend jeans from United Colors of Benetton and a white sleeveless long shirt that I’ve worn tucked in. I teamed it up with brown leather brogues from a shop called Shoe Biz on Linking Road, Mumbai.

Shivani Krishan wearing blue jeans and a white sleeveless tucked in shirt with red Doc Martin boots | Chai High | Indian Fashion Blog | April 2016 | Mumbai | Curly long bob | Brown Holi Bag | Selfie

Mirror Selfie 5

Again, from my Goth phase, this is what I wore to bed and to my early morning cup of tea.

I was trying to mimic the illustration on my cupboard door. haha! 😀

Shivani Krishan is wearing black and white check shorts and a graphic printed t-shirt | Chai High | Indian Fashion Blog | Nightwear | Selfie

Mirror Selfie 6

This selfie marked the end of my Goth phase. Read more here, on my Instagram account.

Shivani Krishan is wearing a navy blue camisole with a straight long skirt handcrafted from traditional Bhutan fabric | Chai High | Indian Fashion Blog

Well, I hope you liked my looks and my phases in this series of mirror selfies. Stay tuned for more.

Have a happy weekend. 🙂

 

 

The Indian trenchcoat by Shoulder Lab

When you think of a trenchcoat, chances are you imagine Burberry models huddled up looking at the camera straight in the eye, one among them the “latest face”  with dark natural-looking eyebrows.

Cara Delevingne. Emma Watson. Remember?

But how many of us have ever really worn a trenchcoat? And I mean the Burberry way. Bare legs, commando… get the drift?

Hmm… Not so many, huh?

The trenchcoat, at least the way I see it, is exciting. It’s covered. Yet there is a world of possibility concealed in its simple tie-up. One pull, and it’s a heap on the floor! 😉

So, don’t we deserve this garment?

Which brings me to the Indian trenchcoat.

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Designed by Aditi Holani of Shoulder Lab,  this trenchcoat is cotton-based and ornamented to suit different occasions in an Indian social circle.

 

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Most of these trenchcoats are reversible.  Some fall under holidaywear. And some can even be worn during weddings. You can choose to wear it with sarees, or as a light cover-up for strappy dresses.

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In fact, I think it would look good layered with a midi-skirt too. That is, if you want to stay up-to-date with the fashion weeks and trends of the world.

For the more classic among you, throw on the trench over a pair of black tights for an instant style upgrade.

And if you’re bold, you know what to do. 😉

We love how Shoulder Lab has brought the trenchcoat into India and made it look so indigenous!

I especially love the tie and dye ones. They’d look great with loafers and oxfords.

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In fact, here’s something really cool about this brand. Shoulder Lab follows a strict zero-waste policy. Which means they believe in sustainable fashion. And that they up-cycle excess cloth by crafting accessories and fanciful neckpieces out of it. Isn’t that amazing?

Also, they’re mad about experimenting. They have a separate sampling department where they try and create new surface techniques, and experiment using new materials.

Every. Single. Day.

In fact, if you see, even gota is used in the most unusual way in their collections.

 

 

All in all, if you’re looking for something different to wear in this mass produced, cluttered universe of ours, look at Shoulder Lab.

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Here’s a little something about the designer.

Aditi Holani is an alumni of NIFT, Kolkata and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. She has trained under Alexander McQueen and Sophia Kokosalaki among others, going on to debut at the Lakme Fashion Week as a Gen Next designer in 2013.

Her label ‘Shoulder Lab‘ experiments with cutting styles, surface textures, patterns and embroideries to articulate free-flowing individuality.

She is based in Mumbai.

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To get in touch, email her at: shoulder.lab@gmail.com

Or connect through Facebook here

Tata,

and Happy Monday 😉

 

Maybe its time you forgot fashion

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Okay. So how many of you follow rules when it comes to style? Like, ‘OMG that dress is so “day”’, or ‘Never let those bra straps show’, or ‘Don’t pair prints with prints’?

Let me guess. Most of you.

With fashion magazines dictating what to do and what not to do. And the so-called“style” section in newspapers’  attempting to take the role of a fashionista but sounding alarmingly amateurish. And celebrity interviews in which a certain actress will be asked her style mantra and she will blurt out a standard clichĂ© like “Always have a lot of white shirts, blue jeans and LBDs in your closet” or something, I can’t really blame you.

Ok. Now that I have attempted to diss everything you know and pride yourself on knowing about fashion, let’s get serious. Forget what I just said. And think for yourself.

What is your body type? What colours do you like? What fabric is good for your skin? What prints suit you?

And then make your decision.

You don’t have to strut around in back-breaking heels and tiny tank top, just because a Deepika Padukone is doing so. In fact even Deepika doesn’t do that anymore.  She has a unique style sense because she chooses to wear sarees highlighting her gorgeous waist.

And you definitly don’t have to wear tight fitting dresses or asset-enhancing pants to look hot. Trust me. Of course if fitted clothes is your thing and you feel comfortable in them, go right ahead. All, I intend to say is that, wear what’s you.

What you feel happy in. Even if it means going braless. Or going extra padded. Going extra baggy or extra tight.

And try to add a bit of creativity to everything you wear. I read about a fashion writer who wore lacy bras under low cut dresses, so that the lace peeked in just a little from the top. I think it was her who also went sans bra on certain off-duty days with her “titty tank”.

Then of course there is the whole “tacky or classy” debate about coloured bra straps underneath racer backs and tubes.

Urban India may be a bit conservative when it comes to experimenting. But when you do travel in your local trains in Mumbai, have you ever noticed how beautifully dressed the local woman is? With her gold hooped earrings, tightly pulled back bun and a crisp saree?

Or the flower girl at the traffic signal with her floral long skirt and a nose ring?

India is creative in her dressing. Its just us who limit ourselves time and again, blindly following trends.

I can’t claim to have fully opened myself to the beauty India holds. But I do intend to be more proactive when it comes to daily dressing.

Which includes, incorporating the saree into my work wardrobe. And wearing blouses that break the convention of “blouses”. Which means experimenting with cuts, prints and even fabrics like knit.

I also intend to wear more skirts and dresses designed from traditional and indigenous fabrics. More handicraft. And more natural. I intend to design everything I wear in due time and to somehow buy at least a few things that help the rural craft community.

Because according to me, fashion can be much more than ramp shows, red lips and pouting celebrities. In other words, it can be the truth. Which is the craft and art and skill that goes behind each finished garment and its toiling craftsman. Combined with your unique style in putting it all together. Be it wearing a neon bra under a translucent white shirt and a mirrorwork lehenga. Or a kantha saree with a titty tank and heaps of kajal. Or a pencil skirt crafted from Northeastern handloom with a Forever 21 black tee.

Well, well, here is your inspiration for the weekend. Think about what I’ve written. And when you’re out on the streets, think about how you can best incorporate the beauty from there into your own personal style.

Till next week,

Tata.

5 fashion labels to watch out for.

1. Jodi | Anything goes

So I was just scrolling through my news feed the other day, and this label caught my eye. Right from its distinct, minimalist logo in a gorgeous monochrome rendition, to the label’s clothing, a stark opposite with its vivid interplay of vibrant colours, I was enamoured.

So I found the link to their website, and in between my day job, took more than a couple of minutes off, to check this fascinating label’s work.

Well. I was impressed.

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Check  out their entire collection here

My personal favourite? This gorgeous choli top with a front tie. Buy it here

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The best thing is that the prints are all hand-block printed. So if you buy their products, you’re wearing something that encourages the craftsman to hone his or her skill. So, in other words, you’re supporting India’s fabulous heritage.

2. THREE | Borrowing Papa’s wardrobe

This label is for all the minimalists out there. Boxy silhouettes, unexpected cuts in patterns and a straight-out-of-prison or daddy’s-nightsuit chic sensibility. Oversized, comfortable and breezy, this collection is designed for all the no-nonsense, comfort-seekers out there.

Here’s a sneak-peak from their SS16 collection.

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Follow them here on Facebook.

My personal favourite is this gorgeous charcoal grey skirt.

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Available at Second Floor Studio, Khan Market, New Delhi.

 

3. Anavila | The democratic saree

So, with everyone trying to fit into the signature black Zara leggings/tights/jeggings (yeah you know what I’m talking about), here’s a designer whose broken out of the mould by doing the seemingly obvious. It’s so simple yet so glorious that you can’t help but wish you’d done it first. She’s created the first linen saree. A saree that shatters your perception of the, well, saree.

No longer is it the dreaded 6-metre-long fabric threatening a wardrobe-malfunction, should you choose to trip or fall or get caught in a nail.

She’s made the saree low-maintenance, no-nonsense and oh-so comfortable, you wouldn’t want to wear anything else. Yes, she’s made the saree compete with lazy boy pyjamas and the LBD together. Like it was even possible. “Ek teer se do nishaana”, if you may.

Ladies, say hello to this fabulous innovation. Handwoven by men and women in rural India, sustainably manufactured and beautiful to look at, you’d want to ditch your favourite blue denims for these.

Do take a look at some of her fabulous work.

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My personal favourite? The second saree from the left. Isn’t it just dreamy?

She also does amazing blouses. Like this.

Anavila-Misra-15-768x542

I love everything about her collection. I mean who would’ve though, sarees could look so comfy? And could be worn with something other than a tiny blouse? A blouse that you need to prep days in advance for?

By teaming sarees with loose-fitting kurtis, she’s definitely brought the whole 6 yards back into daily dressing.

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P.S: I love her kurta-pyjama combos too.

To get in touch with her, click here

To shop for Anavila, click here for Ogaan, and here for Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop

4. Mogra | SID or the Sexy Indian Dress

By this time, you must have a clear idea of my aesthetic sensibilities. It’s natural fibres all the way. So, before you yawn or snort or turn up your nose at this edit, take a look at yet another designer who’s making waves with her seemingly-simple yet beautiful approach to design. Sheena Roy of Mogra.

She takes your traditional handwoven sarees and indigenous Indian textiles, and makes gorgeous dresses out of them. Dresses you can wear on and off duty.

Her boho-chic aesthetic coupled with sharp western silhouettes brings in the surprise to every creation. Take a peek.

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To see more from Mogra, click here

5. Jappi | The Kitsch-Kitsch Jacket

Last but not the least, is Jappi. The brainchild of Parineta Borah, this label brings together a kitsch sensibility with a distinct urbane touch. From sarees to mekhlas to beautifully bizarre jackets, this label is not for the faint hearted.

Parineta experiments with embroideries and traditional Assamese silks to create outfits suited for India’s burgeoning audience. Think eye-popping hues, contrasting textures topped with a swag, only a true desi can pull off.

 

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Check out the rest of her collection here

To follow Jappi on Facebook, click here

Well, that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed reading this post. And do spend the rest of the week checking out these very talented designers and their very-covetable clothes.

Love,

Shivani