Introducing Arijit

Thank You

I recently came across this amazing web story on Vogue.co.uk where Alexa Chung highlights her favorite Christopher Kane runway looks. Starting from his first collection till his very recent SS 2011 one, Alexa’s selections reflected her love for the english  fireball talent- Kane and gives her personal reasons for each season’s pick.
Not just a sale, but you can also try sample pieces from past runway collections and place orders

On the occasion of LoveStruckCow turning 2 years old (it was started in February 2009), I decided it was time to pay homage to one person whose burgeoning talent influenced most posts; who’s wave of hand made my knees shiver and who’s accomplishments made me dream bigger. The list below is not the entire reason for my love of Manish Arora. He does some incredible store-collections and collaborations that would come in my favorites list too. But most of his ideas come out of the seasonal collections he creates, and hence here is a list of looks that are my favorites:

#10: Blue and white separates from SS 2011
 The last collection had a lot of gold accents in each look. The man himself took his bow in gold Doc Martens , gold Swatch dollar watch and jewelery. But the look I liked the most was the simple one with a somewhat fluid silhouette. The white trousers and sequined white peep toe booties paired with sky-blue top with a scallop hem would not just look great on a model body but on others too. 

#9: Cow print dress from SS 2007
 This was one of the collections he showcased at London Fashion Week. The make-up was great and I am guessing his collaboration with MAC cosmetics had commenced already. This particular dress showcased his vision at that time very well. It was a mix and match of lot of elements that exist in India. Polka dots with Madras checks and patchwork embroidery of cows with overlapping peter pan collars is definitely something that didn’t exist anywhere in 2006. An originator of his kind, this cow print dress won the heart of lovestruckCow. 

#8: Fiery Red ruffled dress from AW 2008-09

 I remember seeing this dress at his preview in Delhi before he was leaving for Paris Fashion Week. This was a very important show in my opinion. He used the backdrop installation made by his friend and very popular artist of that time – Subodh Gupta. The gladiator theme mask was picked by Interview magazine for its cover with Kate Moss.This dress especially stood out as I had hardly ever seen monotonous looks from him before. And even though this is in no way a simple-red-dress, this piece made a strong and simple statement in my mind.

#7: Circus Collection White and Blue prints from SS 2009

 I think the Circus collection definitely created the most buzz in his home country than anything else. Before the show happened in Delhi, the Circus Carousel Dress had already made the news worldwide for being spotted on Katy Perry at the MTV Europe Music Awards. It was not just a shining celebrity endorsed moment for Manish Arora, but that moment put Katy Perry on the fashion aficionados map. More than anything, the Spring Summer 2009 collection catalog made me fall in love with this collection. The show occurred at Cirque d’hiver in Paris. There was great fashion press present at the show who gave him their seal of approval. The particular pieces above were one of my favorites as the acrobat print jacket in the first look is a timeless piece in my opinion. And the other look is another one of the reasons why I like his sensibility a lot – he can make the simple silhouette of matching pajama- top seem like haute couture with its complicated prints and tailoring. 


#6: Swarovski chest bracelet over sequins dress from SS 2010
 This Paris FW show had a lot of disco influences and glitzy factors working for it. The Giuseppe Zanotti wedges were another love affair I’d rather not talk about in this space. Heavy use of Swarovski and sequins glowed when light hit the stage at this dimly lit venue. This particular look had Sasha Pivovarova wear a swarovski encrusted bracelet over her dress that was soon after used brilliantly in a photo shoot for Vogue UK. When I took a closer look at this bracelet, I saw the use of not just swarovski stones but also the ethnic Rajasthani style sheesha work that somehow made the technique look as modern as it could. Another thing that is great about him – he will use ethnic styles of embroidery and colors in a manner that you had never imagined before to make it attractive to anyone from any part of the world. 

#5: hand painted long skirt from SS 2006

 I wonder if Manish Arora’s style was not the same when he had started out. His pieces were much simpler and looked like they were created from cutting and pasting different existing Indian styles. Anyhow, it did reflect his love for India. The color and the ss2006 collection that he showed in London still defied the norm by having models in no makeup and bedazzled faces. This particular look won my heart as it used the traditional silhouette of a lehnga-skirt with painted flowers and border that looked like it had been done by the truck painters from India. 

#4: French dominatrix + Star Treky inspired AW 2007-08

 As far as I can recall, this collection made the come-back of the leather tights look much before all the others did. And these weren’t your regular leather tights- these looked liked they were painted on to the skin. But in true Munshikins style, he took this look of pleather tights and pink wigs to his own tangent with painted faces that made the models look like characters from some geeky sci-fi movie.The garments were mostly in short length and focused on amazing embroideries that he was becoming popular for. The psychedelic print pink and black top gets even crazier when matched with a blue-pink jacket with a lining of gold and black. Just another simple look from Manish Arora… Right?

I just discovered that the show was closed by one of the hottest model right now – Rosie Huntington who Munshikins held hand in hand while taking his bow. 😮

#3: Jungle inspired AW 2009-10

 This was one of my personal favorite shows of his career yet. Of course I am not even considering collections he used to do before going to London Fashion Week as there are no images to remember that from. What I do remember from his collections before London FW happened was cheap looking corsets with Fish Fry logo that didn’t look good on a single woman who wore em. I was no fan of Manish Arora then and I promise you it seemed as if someone else was designing for him. Of course that all changed from the day he joined London FW. Whenever I have seen him backstage or at shoots, he is the most hands-on designer who is sort of a perfectionist at his work and would do nothing less than what he wants to do.
Coming back to Fav Look # 3 – The closing piece with moving flowers was something not just artistically beautiful but technologically advanced too. Most of the times when designers try to use technology to grab eyeballs, they end up looking robotic and not fashion. Not true with this piece. It was the perfect closing look for the near perfect collection.
The other look had a lion face embroidery on the front of the dress. Not a huge fan of strapless dresses, but this had perfect skirt length and the color blue which is obviously not the color of the Lion’s mane.
The makeup was done by this makeup artist called Kabuki. Another one of those magical collaborations he does that go quite unnoticed in the home country. The makeup was one of the best makeups I have seen for any fashion show. There were geometrical colour block patterns with big stones stuck on like bindis near the eyes and lines hand drawn by Kabuki like architectural blueprints.

The unexpected twists carried on to the other aspects of the collection. The handbags in shapes of Guerrilla puppets covered in Swarovski is one of the most favorite accessories which could be seen above with the blue lion look.

#2: Gold sweeping gown from Circus SS 2009


He hardly does the conventional sweeping gown look, but again many will argue there isn’t much conventionality in the look above. The dress was true couture in my eye. It is the dress if I were a celebrity attending a red-carpet event would wear.

#1: Keiichi Tanaami print dress from AW 2008-09

I needn’t say more after writing Keiichi Tanaami print for the #1 favorite look. A somewhat simple silhouette with an as original print as it could get. One of my favorite collaborations of Manish Arora; it was the first time I had heard of the Japanese artist. More lovely things about this look – the mask, the full sleeves, the warrior shoulders and the jeweled tassels.



Thats’ all folks!

It was a blast making this list and to pay an homage to one of my favourite designers. I hope next year I can do more posts about artists/designers I have had the opportunity to know about.

Always for you

Before you judge me and pass me off as one to seek professional help, I must tell that my birthday is around the corner and a little retail splurge is allowed on that occasion.

No?

Introducing Shisir

Subodh Gupta spotting at IAS 2011

Since past 3 years Subodh Gupta has been a permanent fixture at the India Art Summit. 3 years ago all eyes were on Subodh Gupta in the world art scene. People (including me) were starting to realize who was Subodh Gupta in his home country. This year as well, he has a public display of a utensil laden rickshaw at the entrance and a whole stall space dedicated to his work inside by Nature Morte. Saw his paint work for the first time and thought it was better than his installations. The size of the painting is the size which I love (as I write these words I know it makes me sound like the biggest sham to judge art attending an art summit). But truly, his paintings were one of my favorites at the Summit. Taking inspiration from kitchenware (again), these paintings kept me engrossed for the longest and made me imagine where they would go in my future (fictional) home.

sigh*

SG’s awesome painting #1

SG talking to a woman. Shot from the lounge area

SG about to call the police on me

SG talking to his men wearing a black velvet jacket

SG at the stall where his work was on display

SG’s awesome painting #2

SG’s wife’s (Bharati Kher) painting right opposite his stall. infact you can see the reflection of his name on her work.

Boys @ India Art Summit

Boys’ spotting never ends. The artsy boys are specially peculiar and inneresting to me.
And the ones that are not artsy but probably like to hang out at art scenes are intriguing as well.
I wonder what they think of girls who hang out at art scenes and click random boys?

Some boys we saw at IAS 2011:

boys2men

raise a glass to art. And to the VIP Lounge?
Faux Gandhis distributing newsletter. Dont know how Gandhi ji did it, but these boys looked like they were freezing
little bit of stalking never hurt anybody
home boy Sho1
dubai boys?
busy on BB boy

Souza

The India Art Summit is on currently in Delhi at the Pragati Maidan.
I especially enjoyed the work by F.N. Souza which seemed to be present in every alternate gallery stall.

The Delhi Art Gallery also recently re-opened after 16 months of renovations. They have a show on with MF Hussain, Souza, and Raza’s work that seemed larger than any collection I have seen at one gallery. Then again, I havent seen many art shows to claim anything.

Some images from the India Art Summit of Souza;s work:

Tibetan in the City

le smoking jacket

Early in December 10, Rin was doing a jackets shoot for Man’s World magazine. I got to visit him on the set to see how it goes down and click some behind the scenes images (that I could post once the shoot is published in the magazine. It is now. You can see the current MW issue on stands).

the shoot was held at an art deco style hotel club

the Mc Donalds on the vintage couch screamed for a click


the red walls and gold interiors went perfectly well with the navy and camel color jackets Rin chose
The final result: 6 pages fashion shoot for MW India

I liked the wool toga coat that the model owned

Model Ilya Fedorov up close. Looks really different from what he does in the shoot

Rock, Pearl and Chain

When I got an invitation to meet jewelery designer Mawi, it was an event not to be missed. Ozel was celebrating their launch of Mawi’s collection, also making them the first to bring this Indian born artist’s creation in India for the first time.

Ms. Mawi (pronounced मोई I think ) Keivom is as nice of a lady as she is a designer. Her jewelery is contemporary and not specific for a certain genre; or made for a specific type of the customer. I had been lusting on her jewelery since past couple of months and was anxious to know if they will be stocking the same pieces in Delhi soon. Thankfully the latest pieces will be available here and also people can place orders for a specific design which might not be in their stock.

Mawi is now based in London with her husband and business partner (Mr. Tim). While she is at that stage of her career where doors are opening from all directions, they took some time off from their busy schedule and spoke with everyone at the lunch event. Click below for a summary of an exclusive interview she did for lovestruckcow:

  • What accessories (shoe, bags and jewelery) are you wearing today?
Alexander Wang bag, Balenciaga shoes and Mawi bracelets and neck piece.

  • We have seen some amazing results from your collaboration with British fashion designers. Would you like to collaborate with Indian designers in the future.
Yes, It would be great to collaborate with fellow Indian designers. Some designers that I like are Manish Arora and Rajesh Pratap Singh. Collaborating with Manish Arora is something I would be interested in.
 Mawi’s work for David Koma’s SS 2011 collection
  • Do you visit Delhi often?
Yes, we (she and her husband Tim) are here at least once a year. We come here and spend Christmas and New Years with my family.
  • Does India serve as an inspiration to you?
It is part of our inspiration trip. I don’t think you can leave the country without having been inspired someway or another because India’s just such a magical place and even though I have grown up most of my life oversees, its one country that always makes me rejuvenate and gives me so much inspiration. I always go back really enthusiastic and full of ideas.
  • Your recent collection ‘Punk Rajah’ and the SS 2011 collection ‘Gypsy Rani’ indicate a connect with India. Could you elaborate on how these collections came into being?
I love traditional Indian jewelery and I also love tribal jewelery. There are so many elements of tribal jewelery that are sort of spike-ey, chunky and statement pieces. It was blending that (aesthetic) with the punk-ness, the tribal and the Maharani jewelry all in one. The end result was something that was sophisticated, fashion forward, really contemporary. It is something that you could wear globally. The whole juxtaposition was how the idea for these collections came about.
Heirloom collection SS 2011
punk rajah collection – crystal and spike bracelet
  • Any particular place in Delhi you like to visit for inspiration or purchasing materials from?
I love Chandni Chowk (old Delhi). It is kind of a challenge to visit here so we dress down and wear trainers to access this place.(you have to visit Chandni Chowk to understand what she means. The AXN Amazing Race contestants have had a breakdown in Chandni Chowk because of its challenging nature). We take the rickshaws and taxis to go down narrow lanes to discover something that isn’t kind of mainstream. As opposed to going to fancy malls and glitzy places we prefer the grungier places and just discovering things. Sometimes its best not to plan and discovering something while walking down the streets and finding something that is magical.
  • A proud moment being a jewelery designer?
One of the most amazing thing was when we started out and had the support of the British Fashion Council and they awarded us the new generation award for three seasons. That kind of was an acknowledgment from the BFC, from the international audience. It gave us a platform that enabled us to do so many other things. That was one of the first moments that we felt very elated for us being from India and being awarded that in the UK as part of the leading accessories designer was a real accolade. There has been many other moments along the way that have added to that but I think this was a start. Now selling in India is a great moment for us as the time is right to come back home and for the Indian audience to be able to participate in what we have done in the West. For them to be able to have access to it is a proud moment.
Mawi’s collection display at the event
  • A particular Indian you would love to see wearing your creation?
Someone asked me today about Bollywood stars wearing our creations. For us it is not just about Bollywood stars or A-list stars. We design something for all women that appreciate great designs. For women who appreciates all good things in life. We dedicate that to the Indian woman who wants individuality and who isn’t afraid to express herself. I think that is the Indian woman we want to expand to. 
Guests who attended the launch event
  • In 2010 Michele Obama was the fairy godmother for a lot of emerging talents around the world. Would you like her to wear one of your statement neck pieces and what would you suggest for her from your collection?
Michele Obama is obviously a fashion icon. Whats great about her is that she is able to mix designer as well as low key pieces like high street brands. She is a great fashion icon as she doesn’t alienate people from not being able to wear what she does. Although she does wear a lot of designer clothes, she is very accepting of high street labels. I think that is a great style- fashion sensibility of what she does. Of course it would be amazing for her to wear our designs.
One of our most iconic pieces is the pearl necklace which has been set on the box-chain. I think for any head of state’s wife pearls are always a must have, for that matter for any woman it is. 
I think this would be taking the pearl set to the next level, which she wears. Ours is one which is more industrial and futuristic and set in pearls. The British PMs wife wears our collection to many functions and it would be great to have another head of states wife to be wearing our stuff. Michele is definitely on our wish list.
notice the hand painted rose on the pearls
Mary Katrantzou AW 2010 collection piece that had the print from Mawi’s costume luxe book
Rihanna decked up in Mawi’s SS 11 jewelery

Mawi Costume luxe Dynamite Bauble necklace

Mawi Sunray tube necklace

All images of celebrities and products are taken from Lucy Archibald’s blog : http://blog.mawi.co.uk