Behind the scenes of fashion.

Hello People,

It’s been a while since I have posted anything here and I have been feeling so so so guilty. Been caught up in packing my house, working at work (yes. FINALLY), and watching Game of Thrones. Woohoo!

How have you all been? Anyone else planning to shift house? Any packing tips you’d like to give me? Cause I am going positively insane trying to wrap things up, stealing and begging for cardboard boxes from anyone who’d listen, and washing my face a zillion times. Thanks to the year-long layers of collected dust on my bags. *sigh*

Last to last weekend, I attended (or rather volunteered) at an exhibition. Both Saturday and Sunday. My friend Pallavi Dhyani is the founder of THREE, a darling label of anti-fits, innovative cuts, cottons, linens, whites and stripes, and she needed someone to mind the stall with her. Now this exhibition was quite an interesting one. Firstly, the venue was unlike the usual hall or ground. It was held in the backyard of a colonial style bungalow; an area in Bandra, Mumbai called The Vintage Garden.

You can follow The Vintage Garden here.
Vintage Garden, Patkar Bungalow, 34D, Turner Road, Bandra (West)
Patkar Bungalow, 34D, Turner Road, Bandra (West)

Doesn’t this bungalow look cool?

So on the 23rd and 24th of April, I walked into the Vintage Garden for the first time. A sweltering hot day, with just some half-hearted floor fans for respite, I began helping Pallavi sell her gorgeous clothes.

Here’s a glimpse.

THREE clothing by Pallavi Dhyani at The Vintage Garden, Bandra West, Mumbai

A muted palette  of light greys, whites, off-whites and stripes met soft cottons, linens and cotton-linens, in a collection that instantly brought your temperature down by a couple of degrees. One look, and you’d feel easy-breezy, summery and happy, even as the sun scorched its angry rays, trying to get you to furrow your brow.

Pallavi Dhyani wearing her own creation from THREE at the Vintage Garden. Her collection is fabricated from cotton and linen and has plenty of stripes. She wears her THREE shirt dress with a striped under-slip and white sneakers. At the Vintage Garden, Bandra, Mumbai.

That’s Pallavi, the mastermind behind THREE. She’s wearing a light grey semi-sheer shirt layered over a navy and white stripes slip dress – an outfit from her creation. In fact, everyone who passed by our stall, wanted to wear what Pallavi was wearing.

I mean, what better brand ambassador than the designer, herself, right?

Her clothes are a delightful mix of wrap jackets, thin-enough-to-be-sheer cotton shirts, long dresses with slits,  button-down skirts with attached pants and more.

Pallavi Dhyani wearing her own creation from THREE at the Vintage Garden. Her collection is fabricated from cotton and linen and has plenty of stripes. She wears her THREE jumpsuit with white sneakers.

Pallavi wears a comfy overall on the second day of the exhibition. Once again, everybody wanted to wear what she was wearing.

Ratna Gupta and Pallavi Dhyani pose in front of the RESTORIES stall. RESTORIES is Artist Ratna Gupta's pet project. As the name RESTORIES suggests, she upcycles ordinary everyday objects and converts them into stylish extraordinary designs for your home.

Neighbouring stall owner and artist Ratna Gupta wore a THREE playsuit. It wasn’t long before the jailer stripes-meets-daddy’s shirt vibe had engulfed everybody present.

Mansi Kadne wears a long slit dress from THREE and geometric jewellery from her own label, at the Vintage Garden, Mumbai.

Manasi Kadne, a jewellery designer wore this THREE slit-dress with her self-designed geometric jewellery. You can follow her super-fun jewellery brand  here.

Mansi Kadne wears a long slit dress from THREE and geometric jewellery from her own label, at the Vintage Garden, Bandra, Mumbai.

The fabrics are so comfortable to wear and so loose and flowing, that the sweltering Mumbai weather doesn’t just ask for THREE, it DEMANDS it.

I mean, look how actor, TV host and anchor, Kubra Sait pulls of her THREE creation. This slip dress can be wore with shorts underneath (like Kubra) or even layered under THREE‘s semi-sheer button-downs.

Actor, TV Host and Anchor, Kubra Sait wearing Three at the Vintage Garden. Three is a label by Fashion Designer, LFW regular and Pearl Academy graduate Pallavi Dhyani.

The vibe of the place was so happy. There was music, jokes and a lot of mutual admiration with people buying each other’s creations.

Here’s an example. Pallavi of THREE wears a Manasi Kadne nose stud. And Manasi wears a THREE dress. 😀

Pallavi Dhyani of THREE poses with Mansi Kadne. While Pallavi wears jewellery by Mansi Kadne, Mansi wears a dress from THREE clothing. At the Vintage Garden, Bandra, Mumbai.

Well, well, it was indeed a lot of fun. So many well-dressed people in one enclosed space! Wow. 😉

Here’s a glimpse of artist Ratna Gupta‘s brand – Restories.

The Vintage Garden | Bandra | Exhibition | 2016 | Ratna Gupta | Restories | Upcycling the ordinary into the extraordinary | Recycle | Product Design | Creative | Mumbai | People

She creates these extraordinary products by upcycling the ordinary and the everyday, into gorgeous, innovative designs.

Artist and Designer Ratna Gupta poses in front of her stall - RESTORIES, at the Vintage Garden, Bandra, Mumbai. She is wearing a playsuit designed by Pallavi Dhyani of Three.

Well, with this, I come to the end of this blog post. Hope you enjoyed going through it. 🙂

P.S: I managed to shift my luggage today. Yes. I started this a while back. :/

Have fun. Tomorrow is Friday. So yayiiiee. 😀 😀

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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 😉

 

A Hairstyle to make you feel ‘Happy in the Head’

One Sunday morning she went red. And no, she wasn’t blushing.  She woke up that morning with a single agenda.

“I want to colour my hair.”

And off we went to Happy in the head, a darling salon near National college in Bandra, Mumbai. The kind with cats aplenty and an adopted stray dog, and delicate Pinterest-y hair accessories with metal and feathers that shine and glimmer in the afternoon light. Hair stylists with dashes of pink and purple in their hair, some with Ariel-like flaming manes, eyes lined blue and lips painted red, scuttle about in little skirts and cropped jackets, snipping, chopping and styling hair, as they sway to a curated playlist. (What genre, I can’t recall now) Seems like a walk into Enid Blyton’s fairyland with pink haired pixies and slender blonde elves.

Anyway, so on that bright sunny afternoon, dressed in a navy shift dress with pretty white motifs and white sneakers, Sarah walks in for a consultation. And me, rather shoddily in old denim shorts follow her, with my less than perfect Moto G-2 camera phone in hand. All excited to click Sarah, cause she really pulls off her outfit well.

Check it out. And don’t miss those retro sunglasses. 😉

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So we walk in and I see this couch on the left facing the counter. Piled with bags.

I move the bags and plant myself on the couch, as Sarah goes and gets her hair examined. Should she get a cut or colour or both?

And a girl with a freshly bleached crop looks at me with a wide smile, a towel draped about her shoulders, a happy mess of confusion and excitement, wondering aloud to Avani (the gorgeous owner) whether she should indeed leave her hair bleached blonde or go purple as planned.

I look about the salon, my eyes darting from one lovely hair stylist to the other. All in metallic sneakers and socks and bright hair and fun clothes while the words “the barber shop” high on the wall above stares down at us.

It seems like a place where a stardust bomb has gone off transforming a microscopic bit of Mumbai into little fairies and happiness.

No wonder the name, “Happy in the Head“, I think.

Sarah’s stylist Precy has the prettiest hair. Green. Who’d have thought GREEN out of all colours could look so adorable. I even featured her on my Everyday Showstoppers album on Facebook.

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After seeing her, even I felt like colouring my hair green. Turns out, Precy coloured her hair in November! Imagine. November. And it still looks so good!

And that’s their resident dog. I forget its name.

Meanwhile, Sarah decides to colour her hair red.

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So I wait outside on the bench as Sarah gets triangular bits of her hair on foil. Me basking in the happy spring sunshine, watching expectant women walk in. Each with starry eyes, their voices quivering, breathless with the possibility of the “perhaps” that can change the way they look in the next few hours.

The excitement is palpable. I can literally stretch my fingers out and grasp the anticipation that grips the waiting women. Some with curls, others with poker straight hair, some teenagers, others aunties.

These women probably have nothing in common. Except that they’re all probably high on the drug of possibility. Of change. Of previously unchartered territory. Of feeling empowered through something as seemingly small as the style of their hair. The thing, every woman has in her control – the power to transform herself at will. And in that tiny thing, lies the meaning of liberation. (Sometimes, at least)

And so I sit there, book in hand, but not doing it justice, as the world outside, for once, is so much more enticing.

I look up at the trees. On the swing opposite, a man is seated, waiting for his beautiful curly haired girlfriend (or wife?) who’s gone in for a haircut.

Yes, I had moved to the waiting area from my previously occupied couch-facing-reception stronghold. For two reasons. One, I felt sort of silly occupying a coveted spot when I wasn’t giving them any business. Two, I prefer natural air to air-conditioning.

We discuss hair. He says he’s had the same hairstyle for the past ten years! That’s when the bleached-crop lady walks out, her hair purple! I don’t recognise her until the gentleman points it out to me. “Oh!” I say, surprised.

And I wonder, it’s just hair. Why play it so safe? Hair grows. Waxing appointments, remember. So, why not colour, bleach, cut and transform your locks? Just as you change your outfit.

As I am thinking all this, Sarah steps out, her hair washed, gleaming in the afternoon sun. It’s got rich red streaks. Red-velvet cake, I think to myself, suddenly hungry.

Doesn’t she look just wonderful?

 

And so so happy?

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I love her red-velvet and dark-chocolate hair. She didn’t even need to bleach it. So when it grows, it won’t turn the blonde-red monstrosity we shy away from.

I gather my bags and we head to Theobroma.

To get a slice of an actual red-velvet? Nah! We had the orange juice cake. On second thoughts, red velvet would have been a much better bet.

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So… what colour will you go this Sunday?

Think about it.