In 2013, post failed attempts of wearing sari myself or with help from my mother (not a good idea to learn a technique when we have an hour to leave for a family wedding function), I decided to learn how to wear a sari. Come New Year, it was a resolution. Wear sari one day of the week. Not for a wedding function, not for a school farewell, not for any “special occasion”. It’s not an alien idea. We see it everyday- women wearing sari and going about their day jobs. The sari is really a one-size-fits-all garment. And hence the longevity of its existence. It was created in India and worn by women from different occupations, lifestyles, locations, ages, and moods. 

My early memories of sari is of my mother wearing it everyday, whilst raising me. She had a discerning eye and was not shy to wear bright colors or bold prints. At one of the many dreadful Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings I had to attend with her, I remember feeling sick in my stomach, waiting in line for her to talk to my teacher, whom she’d ask for my quite average performance. But this time the (cutie) teacher was struck by the beautiful sari my mother was wearing. She turned to her and just wanted to talk about the sari! I watched their faces like watching a tennis match. My mother got distracted, her mood got lighter, she was beaming and I didn’t have a hard time on the way back home. I guess what saris did for my mother was reflect her personality and style, before the time when Juicy Couture velour suits and LV bags became a staple on mothers attending PTA meets. Before what brands-you-could-afford spoke about your style, it was the brandless sari or tailored suits that was your style statement. I also remember my mother standing in front of an open closet, staring at the row of daily wear saris, humming some song and enjoying the process of “hmm what do I feel like today?” before hitting the shower. 

So now I do #SariSunday. Wear a sari on a sunday, which is usually the most relaxed day of the week. Lounge in, meet friends, go shopping, lunch with family – wearing a sari. Its not that tough to think about it. Its fun. Its confusing for those who have come to associate sari wearing with being an “auntie” or married lady. Well I am an auntie to many nieces and nephews 🙂 And I love sitting in my office, with my dogs sleeping behind me, writing a blog post about #SariSunday wearing a sari, ofcourse. I like mine that are handloom cotton, most bought from Dastkar

Some images from a #SariSunday get together we had in office. What is a #SariSunday party? Eat, drink, dance, play competitive games, whilst wearing a sari (or the manly lungi/mundu). 

artwork by Jasjyot Singh Hans
mommy (or should I say hottie) during her teaching days before marriage
mummy during my brother’s mundan. 

more images on instagram and twitter under the hashtag #sarisunday 

Quote of the moment: Vishal Bhardwaj

 “My movies reflect my style; hard-hitting yet effortless. I see this world through the lens of my camera – style means holding zero prejudice towards any idea and having an open frame of mind. For me, just what we wear takes attention away from ourselves, whereas style puts the spotlight back on us. It manifests in each and every action we initiate and is not constrained by any worldly norms of the society. The choices we make define us, our holistic style as well as vision towards life.” 

-Vishal Bhardwaj

I really respect the honesty of his films and the stylisation of his characters. The costume designer can definitely sell me a film, but it takes more than the person taking care of the costumes for the characters to be brought out. Vishal Bhardwaj– director and music composer of acclaimed films like Haider, Omkara, Makdee, has a clear cut style and his quote at the Blenders Pride Reserve Collection event explains what style means to him. Perhaps I won’t agree with his stance on clothing taking attention away from ourselves, I do agree style is a choice which can defines us. 

Sabyasachi Girl

Nostalgia is an easy sell. Connect that with the always-successful ‘Sabyasachi’ brand and you have a box office hit. For fall-winter 2015, Sabyasachi decided to refer to his youth lusts. Picture Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi dressed by Sabyasachi in their heyday. Not attending the show and commenting purely from a bystander’s viewpoint, was compelled to write about what I saw from the runway images online & on reading reviews that say Sabyasachi is going sexy and entering a different realm. Though I agree this is different from his recent shows, the woman is the same. She is forging ahead with the times. The last show I attended of his, I remember women covered till neck, in a demure and mysterious get up, stacked with regal strands of diamonds and jewels, wearing intellectual spectacle frames. Not talking about the delicious handwork, colors and prints, this is a comment purely on the kind of girl Sabyasachi portrays for his shows. A friend had once commented how models in his couture show seem suppressed and not the one holding the megaphone. These were women who were silent catalysts in a household or workplace. To me, Sabyasachi’s strength is in pioneering a cultural movement, showing path to others. He is clear what works for his women. And these are almost ALL the women we know. There is a wave of restlessness over gender disparity and inequality today. It was the documentary India’s Daughter, which so honestly put forth a divided stance on how we view women in our society. When the rapists’ defense lawyers loudly exclaimed how the woman is equally to be blamed for a rape, or how women should be like gentle flowers kept away from the street dogs. These irksome remarks will compel the influencers to respond. Enter the ‘new’ woman of Sabyasachi. She is blatant with her dressing, and not apologetic. She shuns any labels that society might put on her for dressing a certain way. She will show skin, she will wear glitter. She will wear fabrics that sit easy on her body and don’t restrict her movement. No tight long skirts to keep the legs together. No yards of heavily embroidered sari that require slow movements unless you want the garment untied onto the floor. Keyhole neckline that comfortably lets you dance till wee hours minus wardrobe malfunctions. She still has the silent, demure outlook but a completely unabashed way of dressing. Her demure past is reflected in her unflinching facial expression and flat hair. She is forward yet reflecting glory days of the 70s. A time when our parents’ road tripped to fun places together wearing big sunglasses and high waist bell-bottoms. Yup, the same parents that call you every five minutes today to check on you on a late night out with friends. Those were times when you spoke out loud and clear of your liberal stance with the choices in clothing, music and movies. This show brings back certain memories but adapts to the current wave of change. I did sense a poke towards men in this show covered up even more than before with bandhgalas and scarves closing off any breathing space. Definitely not made for the boogie dancing. Perhaps the Sabyasachi man is now the one who stays home, reading a good book with a glass of scotch.

Top Ten Unfashionable Must-Haves

You know those Youtube ads featuring girls who LOVE fashion and are taking your precious seconds from viewing the video you typed in to see to tell you what hair-do to make for a PERFECT date? Can’t stand em. Not that they do not have an ADORABLE hair-do or slinky dress on, but to advocate an idea of perfection which simply can’t be measured is irksome. Anything advocated in the name of fashion is starting to get to me. Yes, I realise I am writing on a FASHION BLOG and I need to CHILL. Perhaps its the Radiohead music thats soothing and irking my emotions as I type this, but words are flowing out. Is it that stuff which is FASHIONABLE & TRENDY are reasons enough for us to run and purchase? Sometimes lived-in and convenient can make a treasured purchase. So in the tradition of advocating the uncalled for, here is a LIST OF TOP TEN UNFASHIONABLE WARDROBE MUST HAVES (and I didn’t even disrupt your Youtube viewing) 

Steve Jobs wore them, Obama wears them, and your father wears them. Three incredible people wear it year after year. That means they are a classic. Wear with anything you want – laid back style Tshirt, or under a bohemian dress to emphasize on your lady-hood. Not much can trump the manliness of this piece of garment. They might not be seen on the runway anytime soon, but they can teach something about having confidence enough to wear whatever the heck you like. 

Ok- perhaps I’m getting a tad personal here. Having an elder brother, I did get his hand me downs growing up. Sweatshirts, jackets, hoodies – baggy and long still sit in my wardrobe taking a lot of space. Its the idea of leaving everything for imagination which perhaps makes it so less fashionable. Then again having left everything for imagination could be alluring? Hmm maybe this theory works easier on GQ centerfolds of the likes of Megan Fox. 

Cool girls wear it and make it fashionable. But the idea of an elastic band slinky, long, loose shorts deems it an easy clothing. Doesn’t count if the shorts are not short and don’t touch the knees. 

This might already be a wardrobe staple for everyone, but this list talks about wearing it outside of the gym or tracks. Wearing it to go on a very fashionable lunch? Yup. 

A outerwear that should make the onlooker double look and fiddle for change in  their pockets to shell out for you. Grim, old, damp looking jacket that sits comfortably on your cold shoulders and neck. Engulfing heat inside that no clean cut jacket can do. Warmth empathizes the homelessness of this jacket. Don’t worry about ironing it. 

Yes, its what got Marc Jacobs fired from his Perry Ellis design job. Not really, but it resonates the Grunge movement which was what Marc Jacobs was inspired by. This one has actually been seen on the runway in the past years, but don’t buy it from the cool-kids section of the mall. Instead buy it from the lumberjack section where the word ‘slim’ doesn’t belong next to fit and style. 

The ones that make your butt look like one bubble (not in a sexy rap song way). Comes in handy when studying, writing, or eating a tub of ice cream on the couch. 

Personally Ive never got airplane swag like socks, but people who travelled in international flights have often gifted these fuzzy socks given to them in flight. Why on this list- why waste? They are comfy and they are super quality. They don’t deserve to be shamelessly hidden in your sock drawer. 

Because women’s Tshirts are cut funny. And they dont make the right crinkles that your curves can to an ill fitting shirt. Boyfriend to borrow from or not, these are a good buy to sleep in and wake up to make breakfast in. Waffles for one.

Men’s under pants that I’ve only seen Gwen Stefani wear in the video ‘ 4 in the morning’. Regardless that Gwen Stefani makes everything look like a “must-have”, long johns look “PERFECT” to be in this list.

What are you watching?

I wanted to be a bigger person and not put a Television in my room. My brother rolled his eyes. Mocks me every time I takeover his television. Still not putting a TV in my bedroom, but not stopping from watching TV either. (who watches TV on TV anymore anyways! right?)

I wouldn’t know how to talk to you if you said you didn’t grow up watching TV. Flop show, Circus, Small Wonder, Dekh bhai Dekh, Doogie Howser, Seinfeld are a few shows I remember loving. Now I love watching HBO Girls. Thats about it. And sometimes Comedy Nights with Kapil. And youtube clips of Conan. TV shows have an awesome power to form identity in our brain. Certain scenes, jokes, characters, personalities become an association point for our real life. The clothes the characters wear, the sets they perform on, and most definitely the music that plays on the show never leaves our noggin.

Which TV show theme songs formed the best memories for you? I can easily recall the theme songs of all the above mentioned. OK- atleast the ones with lyrics I can. I am sure its not just me. And I am sure you can come up with a much better list of TV shows. So I asked Kartik to contribute here and name his top 5 TV show theme songs with reasons why. Here they are:

{In Kartik Mahajan’s words} :-

>> Teardrop – Massive attack (House)

 One of the most profound opening sequences on television, the now cancelled show (House), had graphics in the background that corresponded to every character. In fact the lat name ‘David Shore’ is pops up on the image of a human head. The music fits with the title sequence seamlessly and also has a eerie sort of tone that sets the pace for the slow but chaotic happenings of the show.

>> Bad things – Jace Everett (True Blood)

One of the baddest rawest shows on TV, True Blood has a set of cult die hard fans and then everyone else that has found a way to look at it out of context. A show about a town full of rednecks n hillibillies living alongside vampires, demons, fairies and ghouls and their everyday lives, the title track howls brilliantly. I wanna do bad things to you….

>> Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs – Kelsey Grammar (Frasier)

Easy to sing along with, sung by the lead star and a degree of sophistication that was last seen on TV… never. Frasier has always had a massive following and the opening sequence tune can be recognised no matter where in the song you hear it from.

>> Suicide is Painless  – Johnny Manddel & Mike Altman ( M*A*S*H)

One of the greatest shows on TV ever (M*A*S*H). Albeit a bit dark and sprinkled with a generous dose of black comedy, the title track became as popular as the show. The lyrics were written by a fourteen year old in a few minutes and for years, half the world hummed them while walking around whether or not they knew anything about the Korean War.

>> Star Trek Theme (Original TV series) – Alexander Courage 

William Shatner. The original. The first man to go where no man has been before and first man to truly command the Starship Enterprise. This show changed everything for sci-fi on TV. In a matter of years it eclipsed every other attempt at sci-fi that anyone else was trying or had ever tried. The title sequence was another utterly recongnisable tune with words written to overlay the music in the most calm but profound manner. The opening track really was the calm before the storm. 

Kartik Mahajan is a new friend whom I love to debate with. About everything and anything. He is also a writer, a smart person, fashion enthusiast, and a Radio Jockey. Though he might win every argument, he did ask me to write here that he loves my blog. No he didn’t, but he cant argue with what I write here. I can see him getting mad reading this shit right about now. 

even if I tried

Though I am not proud to say much has progressed in my life in the new year, I can say this year I feel I have become more comfortable with myself- with faults and all. I wear my specs to events and be able to SEE, I sing aloud 90s pop songs while running in the park, At work I can wear my jacket chest to backside and feel less cold, I’m not too shy to smile at boys who are ‘out of my league’ (as a ‘friend’ not so gently put it to me). You might say its hardly an achievement, but to me its a step closer to being all that I can be. We say a lot of times the world doesn’t see who we really are and feel misunderstood. Instead of putting on an act of a better first impression, being myself will project me best to the world. Perhaps also help me see the path that I need to take to reach my dreams. To sum it up, optimistic and being comfortable are the positive remarks on my report card SemesterI 2014. Or how I would read it- self assured and growing. 

Here are a few inspirations of the moment –

effing Christopher Kane is such a force. Keeps blowing the mind with what he designs every collection. Image- Fall Winter 2014 by British Vogue.

Proenza Schouler last year Spring-Summer show was about making the ugly beautiful. I only saw beauty. Image from Jak and Jil

Aneeth Arora’s péro shows are a reflection of hardwork, team effort, adorableness, and clear direction. I find her an amazing inspiration.

Band of Outsiders FW 2014-15 show. Just saw this and realized how there is place for imperfection. even on the runway. Image- Fall Winter 2014 by British Vogue.

Love today

It’s that day, and since ‘Love’ is the essence (and in the name) of this blog, lets talk about it. Go ahead,  give that shameless hug to yourself, you know you love it. Happy Valentine’s Day to you. Yea, you!

Get yourself the cliche red rose. Put it in a cute holder next to your side of the bed, and wake up to it. 

Make friends who gift you ‘Special occasion’ Chocolate boxes. Don’t get into buying these for yourself, thats a steep slope of tears and creamy praline filled mouthfuls you do not want to have. 
And shamelessly ogle at men/women you admire. Do it. 

Feeling the love? 

sustainable fashion by Nikhil D.

Yes its time to come out of the dark. 
There are too many good things happening around us for me to be in a ‘mood’ to not update. My apologies for that. To start with a close friend and talented stylist (his work here- worked on a very personal project with 11.11 ElevenEleven and created a line of one size all / same for both sex Tshirt collection. 

I personally love the results for the following reasons – 
A. They are the perfect length for me. Not the snugly weird cap-sleeves styles that is so popular in the women’s Tshirt range in the market. The neckline is clean, it ends on the right space in between butt and legs.
B. It ain’t synthetic. Its cotton or silks in natural hues. I like what blends in with nature. 
C. Its made with recycled fabrics. Nikhil used scraps from the 11.11 archives and created unique pieces to sell. So once you buy one Tshirt, there is no replica of the same with anyone else. 

Nikhil put in his styling skills after the Tshirt line was complete to work with photographer Colston Julian in Mumbai and make a short film with his friends starring and modeling the Tshirts. Some images shot by Nikhil D behind the scene during the filming – 

The film we be showcased TODAY (Friday, 28 June) at The Grey Garden in Hauz Khas Village 6PM onwards. Feel free to drop in to buy the limited edition collection, browse, meet like minded people and enjoy Live music by Alisha Batth

Address for the event: 
The Grey Garden2nd Floor, 13 A, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi28th June 2013, Friday


Dead in the water
It’s not a paid vacation/
But I’ve got someone to make reports
That tell me how my money’s spent
To book my stays and draw my blinds
So I can’t see what’s really there
And all I need’s a great big congratulations
MGMT ‘congratulations’