Mother cleaned up my old junk from my brother’s room as he comes back today. I wasn’t too surprised to see old cassettes collection in it. 

See how comfortable Ricky Martin looks in this company? 
In my defense, I think out of these only Spice Girls, Aqua, Steps, Vengaboys is mine.. wait, that does not work in my defense.

My Family

How can I pass on posting about Sabyasachi’s show. Its been a growing crush this year. 
The latest show at Lakme Fashion Week didn’t do anything to suppress it. 
Instead of trying to decode it, the images always serve the purpose better.
If I had to, I thought his collection was more restrained this time. No fancy stage set-up, no bright colorful baubles, clean makeup, hardly any handbags or glasses.. think the designer is in the minimal mood. Ofcourse, not ‘minimal’ in its dictionary sense. Sabyasachi-minimal. He had already informed he will be launching kidswear in September so seeing children walk the runway was no surprise. The opposite of the beauty pageant, Disney-merchandise-dripping kids fashion. Kids whom you would see dressed like this and know are raised by good parents. Kids who wold have the right values when they grow up and not strive for superficial ‘happiness’. Wait a minute. I got that all from a freaking fashion show?!? Yup. 

We know that Sabyasachi likes to bring his models in collective manner for artistic reasons (that’s how his vision must be). But when the models came in a twin manner, it immediately brought back the memory of the spooky The Shining scene where little Danny sees twin girls in the corridor. does it not?

below images are from Plastic Birdcage

The Shining (1980) scene

New Blood

I am kind of hooked on twitter. Definitely more that facebook. It lets me see what people/organizations I admire are up to and also surprises you with a message or tweet from someone whom you don’t expect. During Lakme Fashion Week I came across Nitesh Square Photography on twitter. He is Mumbai based and was open to clicking some shows. I really wanted to have the images from the first show of the 3rd day: Raman Vij, Ruchika Sachdeva, and Shivaji Dutta. 
Not first timers, but a season or 2 old. I had a fading recollection of Raman Vij’s first collection that I saw in Elle magazine – avant garde knitwear. That was enough to get my attention. Shivaji Dutta’s press release I had received last season which talked about his clothes being made from recycled materials – something that had stuck by me from my Fendi PR days. Silvia Fendi had started events to celebrate craftsmanship in different fields of art. ‘Craft Punk’ was about artists making live art with leather left from Fendi Selleria, a very exciting idea to me – click here for details.
And Ruchika Sachdeva I had met in a freaky way when I was with my friend Aashu at Hauz Khas Village some years ago on his Birthday. He was frantically looking for a birthday suit and he tumbled upon Ruchika’s studio where he tried on womenswear (yes, he was that desperate). Anywho, he found some menswear in the village and we made a new friend that day. She has studied design from London and is now working to make it in her hometown. Good things to come for all I hope. Hope you like Nitesh’s photographs: 





Festive Fashion Week 2011

Though I didn’t attend Lakme Fashion Week this time, I did get regular updates from the PR team on email. Must say their team is one of the most efficient ones when it comes to covering a large scale event like Fashion Week and where BOLLYWOOD is involved. Neha Khetan from Genesis-Burson Marsteller was my access key into fashion week – collection notes, images, schedules, links for the Live TV.. it was almost better than attending the week. So from what I gathered from Neha’s emails, these were my favourites from this Lakme Fashion Week – Festive season.
Known names:
Wendell Rodricks collection was super fluid. like water. and was sponsored by Himalayan water.

Aneeth Arora’s concious urband woman never fails to make a statement

Drashta Sarvaiya’s animal / underwater dress looks very pretty! just like the designer herself – quirky but pretty

Kallol Datta ‘s collection was an extension of the FW collection he showed at Delhi.

Accessory designer Little Shilpa took a flight but with a bird’s eyeview. anything with cloud print a A+ for me.

Bollywood rajah and pretty boy Manish Malhotra’s blingy sari. I can see my mum eyeing this one.

Nachiket Barve’s super young and global collection represents India the way it should. I cant imagine any woman not wanting a piece of this collection.

Rehane is insane. Ive said it before. The all white collection had interesting raw fabric and tailoring.

Aah the show that made me want to travel for one day if not the entire week. Sabyasachi had said during the Marie Claire 50 Questions he will be showing kidswear that doesnt make them look like 20 something bimbettes. He wasnt kidding. I love how clean and polished the whole family looks. Would they ever adopt me? I wont be like Goldilocks and eat ALL your rice.
Swapnil Shinde. going in the Falguni and Shane Peacock direction. Its funny how may designers mentioned Lady Gaga in their collection notes. He didnt.
New Names (atleast for me!)
love at 1st site. Thinles Chosdup & Nirajara Adhya took inspiration from Ladakh. Taking inspiration from a rich heritage Indian region which is often forgotten in fashion and mixing with urban silhouettes.

VJ Balhara made Indian traditional attire fun and pop-y. There is not much in this look that I wouldnt want.

Digvijay Singh takes pride in natural eco friendly Indian fabrics. like the use of prints here.

Paromita Banerjee’s collection was again of Indian essence. I bet Sabyasachi is proud to see so many young designers stick to their roots.

Finally a shoe designer!! Rohan Arora’s collection from what I can see here is fun, kooky and everything bespoke shoes should be – unique

Sougat Paul’s take on draping the sari. Can never have enough versions of the sari.
Sanjay Hingu focused on menswear. Like the detachable collars or the “one button zippered mandarin collar option.”

Ok, I take it back. Would have been much better if I was in Mumbai attending and clicking images on my own. But this is as good as I could imagine whilst being home. Will make another post of one show of young designers in the next post.

Quote of the moment: Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs
Came across this quote on twitter follower’s site. Have been inclined towards more spiritual, philosophical information as opposed to strictly fashion. I still enjoy fashion a lot! but there are answers that my idle mind looks for. Speaking of the big picture, was watching that Simi Garewal show on StarWorld and saw her put the celebrity through a Tarot Card reading. To tell them their future, how many kids they will produce, their soul mate etc. Am I the only one who finds it extremely awkward to do this on national tv? I know celebrities HATE being asked about personal stuff, so how is TELLING them THEIR personal future any better? Not that I believe in card reading or other ways to knowing the future. I may be wrong, but I would just hate for someone to tell me what the future holds for me. If it was known, why would we struggle to make our future happen? I like to think one can do whatever they want to do. And right now I can see the grilled mozzarella cheese sandwich in my near future. 

PS: I tried this meditation method online. Let me know if it works for you as well :

Yoü And I

By reading the title I’m sure you know it is one of those posts where I go on and on about Gaga.
Her highly anticipated video just got released last night (she promised her 1000 tweet would be the link to video). You and I is one of my most favourite songs from Gaga (a close shave to Speechless). We knew she was shooting in Nebraska for the video and so I had anticipated a southern, homely, girl-next-door, trashy video matching to the lyrics of the song. Ofcourse I was way off. The video takes you to Creepsville! Mermaid-love-making, exorcist-lookalike-girl-running, making out with her-male-self, strapped-up Gaga in a barn with her lover…. So very Lady Gaga like. I love the wedding dress she wore even though it looked quite Japanese and not the kind a Nebraska girl would wear. Also love the Hussein Chalayan silver-liquid dresses that she wears while dancing in the corn fields with her girls. Oh And the 80s leather bandage ‘Government hooker’ look with flaming blue hair as well! Thank you Mr. Formichetti for the details on the fashion!


Love that she is going back to her past looks for reference. The make up was sorta minimal like in Alejandro, the hair in some scenes reminded of the Vanity Fair cover with flowey white hair and the drag Lady Gaga aka Jo Calderone who made his debut on the cover of Japanese Vogue Homme. 
images from LadyGaGaNow
fun Tumblr site of the song : Gonzalo

da da da Dilli Dilli !

Influenced by mixed strong feelings the public has for/against our city – Delhi, started a feature where a true delhi citizen pens their picks/ likes / love for the city in a series of inane questions sent by me. 
Hey! if you can think of better Qs, feel free to add them on comments.

Basu gave me the impression that she loves the city. She is no homebody and is often seen exploring new restaurants. Dont be as shocked as I was to see her nibbling on a doughnut or cake at Khan Market, as she is a self proclaimed foodie. Before you jump to conclusions about how she keeps her svelte figure, she has a Fitness First card which she regularly swipes at the gym.

Brother and Sister

So it is Rakhi. 
‘Rakhi’ is an Indian festival where the bond between brothers and sisters is celebrated. Sisters tie a band/knot on their brothers and in return get a gift/money from the brothers. That is the my generation’s version of it. Don’t ask me what it Really is about… perhaps Wikipedia? So, growing up I had 13-17 cousin brothers and that translated into a fat envelope of money collectively. I think the festival also stands for brother’s always protecting their sisters… I never could digest that, but kept shut in order to get that cash bag. But Sistaahs don’t need no brothaa protection, am I right or am I right ??? ..haha don’t mind the festival too much. It is after all about celebrating love. Love that starts as not being able to stand each other’s guts as kids, fighting everyday about bathroom time before school, arguing about who’s cassette could be played in that limited stereo time, who’s turn it was to put water in the cooler every night, hating to share the room till the age of 14, crying(OK – only I cried) when one leaves for college sorta love. I have one brother and I think he is the one whom I trust the most. He moves back to India after many years this month making this year’s rakhi a more nostalgic one. 
  Sniff, I’m going to miss you privacy. Welcome strict rules, in-your-face-advice, not having full access to the loo, and healthier meal plans.
childhood photo of us from Rakhi. Thats me with oiled plat with my mother in the background tying Rakhi to my cousin Abhishek Bhaiya. Oh! that’s my Bhaiyu / real brother Ashish in the background -a little too interested in my Barbie doll 😛
Talking about Brother-Sister duos, I have to mention the inspiring pairs from fashion: 

Gianni and Donatella Versace who worked together for the bespoke fashion empire called Versace. Gianni founded the house and asked his sister to join as he thought she was the greatest ‘”muse and critic'”. Donatella took over the house after Gianni’s death in 1997 continuing her brother’s legacy but in her own terms. 

Sabyasachi and Payal/Shinjini Mukherjee
Sabyasachi Mukherjee and sister Shinjini work together as designers under Sabyasachi’s label. Remember him talking of her fondly during the Marie Claire interview. His references to what a woman should be like had a lot to do with how he saw his sister. He also mentioned him being busy with her upcoming nuptials that same week and how she was planning to wear a khaadi sari for the wedding. Looking at the photo above, he wasn’t kidding. I couldn’t think of a better brother-sister photo than this one. Taken from the blog
Even though I had seen his sister behind the scenes at his shows, had no idea she was related. It always made me curious because she looked like the ultimate Sabyasachi girl to me. In her simple wide legged red trousers, platform shoes, neat hair, no makeup look – there was something about her that said Sabyasachi. And no, Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee, Sabina Chopra do not have the same ‘Sabya’s girl’ look as she does. And when I saw her standing outside Sabyasachi’s hotel room door patiently waiting for him to come out just a few minutes before the show started (no I wasnt lurking outside his bedroom- our hotel room happened to be next door to his) I definately knew there was a close special bond in between the two.
Christopher and Tammy Kane

A more of my generation kinda duo, Christopher Kane and his sister slash business partner Tammy. Christopher Kane is one of my most favourite living designers. When I got to meet him in Mumbai last year, he credited his sister for most of his accolades. Their love was pure and if you need more heartfelt words, then you have to read this Times article:
From The Sunday Times
April 13, 2008

Relative Values: Christopher and Tammy Kane

Christopher Kane, 25, was named New Designer of the Year 2007. He and his sister, Tammy, 30, his business partner and collaborator, grew up in Newarthill in Scotland, where their mother, Christine, still lives. They have a sister, Sandra Donnelly, 39, and two brothers: James, 44, and Robert, 45. Their father, Thomas, died in 2002. Tammy and Christopher live together near their studio in Dalston, east London. Christopher’s fans include Anna Wintour, Tom Ford and Donatella Versace. Last October he dressed the pop star Beth Ditto for the Swarovski Fashion Rocks event

Amy Turner
TAMMY: I don’t think that Christopher and I will ever branch out and work independently. We both could, but we’ve got something special between us. We’ve both had boyfriends who have resented our relationship: they’ve found us too close. But we’ve always thought: “What’s the problem?” Everyone knows when you say our names, it’s Tammy and Christopher, Christopher and Tammy.
It shouldn’t need an explanation.
Christopher and I started drawing together in the living room as young kids. When you’re artistic yourself, you notice talent in someone else — you see that they can do it better than you.
He was always — and he’ll cringe at this — really super-talented. He’s got a fantastic hand. I was friends with our art teacher and made her aware of it — I used to really push him to do well.
For higher art I designed a ballet dress that is still touring exhibitions in Scotland. It was bloody awful now I come to think of it: handpainted in the living room, purple silk. I guess that’s where dress designing started.
Christopher and I were always close. When our brothers and sisters left home it was just us, and we didn’t really go out much. If you wanted to go to Glasgow, it was an hour on the train. So we hung out at home watching telly a lot. Our favourite was The Clothes Show, and when we got satellite TV, that opened up Milan and Paris to us and we used to sit and daydream in front of it.
When I was 17, Christopher saved up his pocket money to pay for my school-leavers’ party dress. It was by Versace — pink, rubber-look. You didn’t need dressing up when you put that dress on. I promised to pay him back and never did. I shocked the life out of the school when I turned up in this pink rubber dress with long bleached-blonde hair.
I remember the two of us being mischievous: we’d do all sorts of stuff. Once we hid a Dictaphone and recorded our granny peeing, then played it back to the whole family. Actually, that was just me — I don’t know why I’m trying to blame him!
We rarely fall out — though the two of us get upset if we argue. And I’m not one to hold grudges — I would never be able to concentrate if I had a fight with Christopher, even if I thought I was in the right. He and I slept in the same room until we were 15. We had four bedrooms, so my Dad used to go nuts — but it’s just cold up there. And we do the same now, down here in London. If my boyfriend, Richie, is away working, Christopher will come into bed with me and we’ll watch telly.
Our dad was an engineer and a draughtsman, a hard-working man. He died six years ago of a heart attack in his sleep. It was very sudden. I’d literally just left Scotland after a visit home. I’d got back into London late, about 11 o’clock, and phoned and spoke to him. He was quite upset, actually, because I’d gone; you know what it’s like when you’ve just said goodbye. I woke up the next morning with Christopher at the bottom of my bed. He just said: “Tammy, Dad’s dead.” I was close to my dad. We’d just celebrated his 60th birthday. There’s no words to explain how I felt. Christopher and I don’t talk about it — we’re not that type of people. What’s the point in chatting about it? We had our time of grieving and I stayed home with my mum the whole year, and it was an awful year. But at the end of the day, I’m sure he’d be proud to see us get on with it.
Christopher doesn’t draw for our collections now; he doesn’t have to. He visualises it, works on the mannequins, then on me. We bounce ideas around. I’d say I’m Christopher’s collaborator, rather than his mannequin. Not his muse as such, but I wear the clothes like they’re mine — I almost nurture them. I can work with him because we share an instinct for the designs. I’ve always known we’d end up working together. It’s straightforward — I’m not as strong a designer as he is. I’m just a really good help. It’s never bothered me that it’s his name on the label, though other people pick up on it. They’re his designs but my name is in there — I’m a Kane too.
CHRISTOPHER: Tammy and I share everything, from fabrics to… everything. Even the way the studio is laid out: we share it, contemplate it, we try it on, we dislike it, we like it. We voice everything to each other. With a dress, it’s all about trial and error, making mistakes. When we begin a new collection we do a lot on the mannequins to start: textiles, just scraps of fabric off the floor, or a shirt from the market that I’ll deconstruct and play around with. Then I try it on Tammy. We share the same tastes, and trying things on her helps. It would be harder if we used a fit model. We wouldn’t know her — she’s just a body, a vessel. Whereas Tammy’s got a feel for the collection. 

When I design, I imagine someone like Tammy. For presentation, I like my clothes on tall, lean, youthful girls, but personality has a big part to play in being well dressed. When I dressed Beth Ditto, people were surprised because my shows are so size zero.
But I thought she looked amazing because she just doesn’t give a shit about fashion or what people think.
For me, fashion was an instinct. There was a need to do it. Like someone knowing they wanted to be a doctor, I knew I’d be a designer. I kept myself to myself as a child. I had friends at school but I preferred to sit in the house and watch TV and socialise with my family. I was closer to my sisters, Tammy and Sandra, who were at home when I grew up, than to my brothers, Jim and Robert, who were already married and working. I had more in common with the girls. Our personalities are very similar and we have the same humour: quite sarcastic.
Tammy and I both have our down hours or down days, but she’s got a worse temper than me — she’s fiery. I suppose I’m softer but I can be vicious when I want to. We’ve had a few arguments. The night of the Swarovski event we were both drunk, but she was really drunk. In the cab going home she was going crazy over something, I don’t remember what. She punched me, trying to be funny, but she actually burst my lip, and I was like: “I’m never speaking to you again, how f***ing dare you?” I pulled her hair as well; she couldn’t even feel it. But the next day it was such a joke — we were in a cab to the airport, going to Tokyo, and hung over. We just laughed. It had been one of those weeks where you don’t sleep and you’re high on good things, and that was a great climax. A good night’s always better when there’s a bit of drama.
When Dad died and I had to tell her, it was surreal — just like a film set, and I’d get the Oscar for best acting. Tammy moved back home. It was awful, but it was also just another thing to get on with. It’s a shame Dad’s not here to see what’s happened. He would have been proud, but he’d have been really sarcastic as well about how we look in photographs. But that’s just like Dad — it’s a dad’s job to take the piss.
We really didn’t talk about it when he died. I don’t know why that is, and it sounds selfish, but we were just so caught up in this little bubble of fashion. The people who work here — pattern-cutters and a sample machinist — can go home at 6pm and forget it, but we’ll work until 11, and then lie in bed and constantly, constantly think about it. People from home think it’s all party party — but it’s hard work and we want to grow as a company.
We’ve both got grey hairs and we pluck each other’s out — the best ones are the hidden treasures underneath at the back. Since we were kids we’ve been fascinated by picking things. Our Dad had psoriasis, and it got us hooked on picking. We used to sit on the couch at home and put salt in each other’s hair just so we could pick it out while we were watching the telly.
We’ve both had boyfriends in the past who’ve been jealous of our closeness. It’s something to do with the fact they can’t own you. But that’s just too bad. I’ve grown up with Tammy, known her for 25 years — how else is it going to look from the outside? We’re blood. People say: “Oh God, it’s a bit weird.” But what’s weird about it? We’re business partners, and even before that Tammy looked out for me, helping me with college projects. Just like other great brother-sister partnerships — Donatella and Gianni, Manolo and Evangelina — we were always going to work together.


Stars @ Delhi Couture Week

Ok – I promise this is the last of my grossly delayed Couture week posts. 
Just some of the people that caught my attention at Couture Week held last to last week in Delhi. 
Hope you enjoy!
Suneet Verma and his cute as button male-friend at JJ Vallaya show

models before the Manish Malhotra show

Adarsh Gill

Ekta Rajani (Grazia) wearing Gaurav Gupta
This Morphe Amit Aggarwal jacket on a guest looked as cool as I had imagined it to be

dapper man

view from the second row – (R) Nandini Bhalla editor Cosmopolitan India and (L) Ekta Rajani fashion editor Grazia India

Tinu Verghis wearing her own Little Shilpa (?) neck piece

A guest wearing Gaurav Gupta’s FW 2011 dress

Rohit Bal : The show that closes the Week

Rohit Bal sure knows how to put on a show. I have hardly ever seen a guest leave his show disgruntled or not entertained. After all he is the designer who might have the most press articles around his personal life. But he is not all show-sharaaba. He is talent too. His collection has intelligent craftsmanship that I am sure embroiders or kaarigaars cannot come up with, on their own. His favourite motif/pattern is of a lotus flower. But this couture week, it was all about the jasmine flowers. The stage decked up in around 300kgs of jasmine flowers, he had already won atleast one sense of the audience before even showing the collection. The collection was not short of the ‘finale’ title it was bestowed with. I was most excited to see fluid fabrics throughout his show. On the first day of the fashion week he has said his show would be simple this time. It might be simple as per his standards, but in my opinion the very best of his. I have seen crazy dramatic sillhouttes in his shows shown at RTW Fashion Weeks. This being couture, the emphasis was all on the embroidery and the quality. And that is the perfect form of drama if you ask me. Even the white garments stood out and you could make out they were from the house of Rohit Bal.

I feel buying this skirt would be like investing in art.