Wanton lovers – An artwork

 

Cigarettes after sex | An artwork by Shivani Krishan | Chai High is an Indian blog started by Shivani Krishan

Spaghetti straps, loose hair

flip flops, cigarettes, denims with a tear.

 

Nicotine stains, crinkled eyes

endless kisses, nights of vice.

 

Soulless cries, hollow hearts

Crumpled sheets layered with dust.

 

 Coffee stains, cold coridoors

wanton lovers lost forever.

 

5 Trends Instagram bloggers are OD-ing on.

Here’s a short post on what my Instagram-feed is full off. In other words, trends that everybody is OD-ing on.

1. Shoulder-show

Fashion bloggers across the world are in love with the off shoulder trend | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

 

2. Sneaky Sneakers

Fashion bloggers across the world are in love with the white sneaker trend | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

3. Floral-me-up

Fashion bloggers across the world are in love with the floral dress trend | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

4. Boudoir glam

Fashion bloggers across the world are in love with the lingerie trend | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

5. Ultra-torn denims

Fashion bloggers across the world are in love with the torn denim trend | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Hope, you enjoyed this post.

Would love to hear about what you think about these 5 trends of the season.

Have a happy and productive Monday everyone. 🙂

Quora is the new Tinder. And self-love is the new goal.

A few years ago, my friend had commented on this really good answer given by a guy on Quora. And she’d written, “I wish I had a boyfriend like you.”

It was such a good answer that she’d shown us all. I don’t remember much of it, though.

Years passed. And life took over. But fate had something different planned.

Because… last month, they met again. But this time on Tinder. And the rest, as they say, is history.

_ _ _

You’ve broken up recently. Say around 5 to 11 months ago.  You were hung-up over everything about him. But with each passing day, you’re better. You’ve never been this fit. You’ve never even looked this hot. And your skin is just glowing from all the free time you’ve had after your break up. Time you’ve spent primping and polishing and shining it. You’ve been sleeping 10 hours every night so your dark circles have gone. You aren’t eating out anymore so your skin’s glowing with home-cooked health. And you feel like you’re ready for another whirlwind of sleepless nights, bottles of wine and Chinese takeout.

So what do you do? Traditionally you’d ask a friend to set you up. Or you’d log on to Tinder.

But wait a second? Why don’t you try Quora?

Yes, you heard me. Quora. The forum where people ask questions (some of them really lame) and experts answer them (some of them really well).

And who knows whose answer you may like? Or who may like YOUR answer?

 

And if Quora doesn’t work, there’s LinkedIn (for fellow frustrated-with-their-job people), Zomato (for fellow foodies), Art Parasites (for fellow poets and healers) and Twitter (for fellow opinion expressers). Or you could always go to a bookshop, coffee shop, library, monument or the queue outside the loo at a bar and try your luck.

And, if none of this works, then maybe you need to take more time out sleeping, reading and pampering yourself. And when the self-love is skyrocketing, try again.

It’s indeed true and I have seen so myself. The minute your self-love increases, you find love from elsewhere too. It’s uncanny. I guess inner happiness reflects outside. And you begin giving out positive vibes. So much so, that people are attracted to you from back in time (like this Quora story). Or from unexplored territories (Like someone you didn’t even speak to, suddenly walks into your life and says hello).

But, because this is Chai High and it is supposed to be a fashion blog, I’ve of course, got to bring the topic back to fashion.

So why don’t you go this evening and do something that makes you love yourself even more? Like going to the gym and working yourself sweaty. Or buying a dress that shows off those curves.

 

And if the way you look doesn’t affect your state of mind, then do the things that you know will spark you off. Like writing a story, painting a scenery, cracking an idea or nailing a presentation. And when you’re done loving yourself, you’ll find love. And not just romantic love. Family love, friend love and maybe even dog love!

So, this Monday, drive away the blues by doing something that’ll make you feel great about yourself. It could even be something like giving up a bad habit. Smoking. Or it could be something like calling up a friend you haven’t spoken to in years.

And maybe someone from ten years ago may show up out of nowhere. And it could be your lucky charm.

_ _ _

 

 

 

The story behind Chai High

I never liked Tea.

Ironic. Because my father like his father before him works in the tea-gardens.

collageAs a child, I thought it was one of those burn-the-tongue, fiery hot beverages, a stark opposite to the tooth-numbing ice-creams, meant to be had by grown-ups.

Coffee, was still a once in a while deal. But tea? Argh! Not at all.

I think I must be in the 9th grade in boarding school when I was introduced to actually drinking it as a beverage. I don’t know whether it was the monotony of hostel food, or a way to give company to a tea-drinking friend, but one hot April I tasted the elixir that was to appear in a zillion Facebook updates, and spam friends and strangers, leading a couple to ‘unfriend’ me too. (I’m sure).

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.35.58 am

And as 9th grade turned into 10th grade and the dreaded board exams drew near and pressure from family and teachers and nosy relatives grew, the need to stay awake (and energetic) for long hours mounted. And before I realised, from one mug a day, I was on to FOUR giant mugs of tea. Back-to-back.

Hell, yeah! I was a chugher of TEA!

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.35.40 am

And from being an ice-cream eater, I turned into a tea addict.

Ice-cream or tea? Tea.

Lunch or tea? Tea.

Chocolates or tea? Tea.

And once I walked into a pub and asked if they had tea.

Yeah. That bad.

It became my go-to, my come-to, my everything-to. When I was sad, it was tea. If I was happy, tea. When I was bored, tea. When I was confused, tea. The answer to all of life’s mysteries soon became tea.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.32.54 amThankfully, it wasn’t an expensive addiction.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.32.33 am

 

And every time, I read an article detailing the benefits of tea, I was like “yayiee!”

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.32.11 am

My friends in school would say, “Shivani, you get high on tea. So when you come to my place, I won’t give you tea. Who knows what you may say in front of my family?!”

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.18.04 amI don’t know what it is about tea. Maybe, it’s the caffeine that gets me up and about. Or maybe it’s the taste that brings all my senses to attention.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.00.32 am

I crave it at parties, at work, in the mornings and just before bed. I crave it at vacations, in between meals and sometimes right after another cup of tea.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.20.52 am

So, when I started this blog, I knew, I just wouldn’t be able to write without a tea-fix. And, if you were to listen to my friends, how would I be after a mug of tea?

Chai High.

_ _ _

About the writer.

12512283_247980542200960_3489505383822791240_n

Shivani Krishan is a MAYO-ite, NIFT-ian and MICA-n, but as if in contradiction to her ‘premier’ and ‘crème de la crème’ (read snobbish) taste in schools and education, she is forever broke, partially depressed for being broke, and is on a constant lookout for something that matches her fluctuating interests.

She tells herself that being a “starving writer” is cool, but then again, she can’t really decide whether she’d rather be a “starving” writer, artist, graphic designer or fashion designer. So she alternates between professions just as she alternates between moods and skills and cities. She may not be a traveller, but she’s sort of a nomad, having lived in 5 cities.

From ‘Fashion’ in Kolkata to ‘Marketing’ in Delhi, ‘Art Direction’ in Ahmedabad to ‘Copywriting’ in Mumbai, she’s practiced something different in each city. And to bring everything she loves together, she’s started Chai High.

Hope you enjoy this blog.:)

 

 

From the real world

naina00

If you’ve been reading my blog, chances are you’re wondering why I seem to be obsessed with “craft” and “creativity” in daily dressing.

And honestly, I don’t blame you. Apart from attaching a couple of links to some great labels and designers, I haven’t really shown you any real examples of women who dress well. Who put some thought into what they wear. And yet emerge looking effortless.

While “thoughtful-effortless fashion” may seem a tad oxymoronish, there’s a very strong difference between effort-fashion and thoughtful-fashion. The judge being the end result.

You could be wearing jeans and a tee and it could seem as though you put in a lot of effort and someone else could be dressed in a dress and tons of jewellery and still look effortless.

It all has to do with how you pull off what you’re wearing. If you pull it off, like its your second skin, you will look effortless.

One of my favourites quotes is “It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.”

I wrote it on one of those days in 2014 when the amount of effort people were putting in their fashion (and still failing) was getting to me. (yeah, yeah, I get dramatic sometimes.)

Enough of the jargon, let’s see how Naina effortlessly pulls off this beautiful look.

naina

What I love about her is that she has combined contrasting elements and made it work so well. She’s borrowed a belt from a kurta and matched it to these lovely handcrafted beads and sandals. Her face is scrubbed clean, her hair tied back, and her bubbly personality – all the makeup she needs.

And the result is this well put-together outfit that’s effortless, breezy and oh-so-summery.

Girls, I am going to give you more examples of creativity in daily dressing, soon. Till then, get inspired from this lovely lady.

naina2

Love,

Shivani

 

 

 

 

‘Effortless’ style and how to get to it.

Ok. So a lot of people comment on my “unique” sense of style. They say it’s distinct. A lot have even used the word “fashionable”. And of course, there are others who turn up their noses and coax me into wearing something more “normal”. Normal meaning tighter pants, asset-enhancing dresses and shinier Indian-wear.

That’s not “me”. My standard reply. And of course, people don’t get that. After all, how can a material thing be you? Come on Shivani, aren’t you “deeper” than that? How can your outfit be “you”… is what they’re probably thinking as they roll their eyes and smile disdainfully within.

1912032_10152177620796878_1524289218_oI’m wearing Skirt: Forever 21 | Jacket: Pret, GK-I | Boots: An exhibition at DLF mall, Vasant Kunj | Neckpiece: Lifestyle | Camisole: Lifestyle

Buying an outfit is an action. You pay money. Money that exchanges hands. That goes from the retailer right down to the dexterous eye that picked the fabric amongst hundreds of swatches.

The act of picking and choosing an outfit is literally paying homage to the designer who visualised the outfit, pattern-master who used his years of perfected skill to draft the pattern, the craftsman who laboured for hours on his sewing machine, no thought to trends or design, food for his family being the only motivation, and the smiling sales lady determined to not sit at home and be just a “wife”.

And yes, you could say that applies to every other thing we consume.

Maybe being a fashion student opened my eyes to the hard work that goes behind every glittering red carpet appearance that people so easily dub as “shallow”. The hours spent draping and re-draping an outfit, months before a Sonam Kapoor wears it to Cannes. The long hours spent by junior designers for a meagre salary, all justified because of their passion for fabrics, embroideries, craft and art. The multiple sampling and redo’s, the search for the right colour combination, fit and finish…

There is a story behind every outfit, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

Which is why, what you wear could be an expression of you. It could be your way to show your support towards a certain striving group of talented professionals toiling to create a piece of art, that you’re going to strut around in.

Which is why, when I pick an outfit, I make an experience out of it. I touch the fabric, feel it, try it on… It’s not as easy as going to Hill Road and picking up a zillion tops just because they’re ‘cheap’. Though, I can’t deny there’s a charm in getting something stylish for less, but it should be driven by a quest for art rather than a mad scramble for a bargain. Or, that’s just how I feel. And I bet, others who you think have a “unique” sense of style feel.

We make an event out of our fashion. It’s something to be cherished. Which is why, owning a saree from your mother’s trousseau is so special. There’s a story to it. A legacy. Which is why, the dress you wore on a special date always holds a dear place in your heart. Which is why you never part with certain old t-shirts and warm mittens.

They’re special. And they deserve more than just a cursory glance. Which is why, each time you buy an outfit, you need to really feel it. To be it. Until you and the dress are one. United in that brief moment of passion. And not every store or boutique has the power to make you really connect with a dress, a top or a scarf.

11751878_10153380165531878_706715836365228757_nI’m wearing Maxi dress: Cottons Jaipur | Bag: New Market, Calcutta | Neckpiece: Lifestyle

I personally love plaids, loose silhouettes and natural fibres. I love clothes I can breathe in and float about. I like contrasting styles, textures and breaking mental blocks in daily dressing. I like glamming up a ‘sack’ of a dress with bright beads or giving it some seriousness by pairing it with brogues. I love baggy denims, oversized boots and ultimately breaking its androgyny with a fluttery chiffon top. I like playing with my outfits. I love walking into the big fat Indian wedding wearing a cotton backless choli with a Nagaland hand-woven skirt and a Kalimpang fabric as dupatta. And to arrive to raised eyebrows as everyone has piled on more glitter than they can handle! Ha Ha!

There’s beauty in fashion, no denying that. But there’s more beauty in being creative on your own. By carefully handpicking pieces that connect to you. And then putting it all together in a flawless display of art.

So enough of the jargon. Should we get down to business? Here are a few designers, brands and stores that I love. I have covered all price ranges and all kinds of looks for a holistic approach to dressing. Don’t claim you’ll find your “The One” here but no harm in looking. Right?


SHOPPING GUIDE

Cherry Fig | assorted

This Mumbai brand sources outfits from all over. Slashed labels, minor defects, Global brand redo’s… you get the drift. But, and I am serious, if you really look, you will find some adorable clothes. I got myself a faded plaid ‘Vero Moda’ dress, some quintessential ripped denim shorts and an embroidered mini dress. Needless to say, I am very happy with Cherry Fig.

Addresses:

Dr BR Ambedkar Rd, Pali Village, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050


Khara Kapas | for dresses and contemporary Indian wear

If you love cotton and long flowing silhouettes, this is the place to shop from. I haven’t bought anything yet (I am on a budget), but if you have money to spare and a style sense to create, here’s where you should go. I absolutely love everything on display.

blue_pink

Khara kapas

To shop Khara Kapas, click here

Mohh | for jewellery

Wedding or no wedding, festival or no festival, this collection of Indian-heritage inspired silver jewellery is going to leave you gasping for air. Yes, it’s that good. And I think Khara Kapas and Mohh are two brands that go well together. So, the next time you’re looking to give yourself a new look, you know what to do.

mohh

To shop Mohh, click here

Forever 21 | dresses and basics

Well well. It’s a cliché and you’re already probably shopping from here. But, I couldn’t help myself as I absolutely adore this brand. From basics to not-so-basics, their dresses and ganjis are just fabulous. The piles of clothing and jam-packed aisles may be a deterrent, but if you can muster up some courage and grab a bottle of cold water to keep dehydration in check, you will love what you get. In fact, even if something seems too blah at first, once you’ve got it, you will end up wearing your Forever 21 dress more often than any other dress. Just make sure you buy something simple and wearable rather than an over-short number that you’ll wear just once.

For instance, don’t you just love these plaid numbers?

forever 21

To shop Forever 21, click here

SSS OR Street Style Store | for shoes

Whether you’re on a budget or not, this is the place for shoes. I got myself a nude pair of Oxfords and they are extremely comfortable. And I paid just 700 bucks! It may take time to arrive and you may need to call them up a dozen times, but rest assured when it does come, it’ll all be worth it.

sss

To shop SSS, click here

Well, that’s all for now. Happy shopping. 🙂