White gets dirty

A colour that represents purity, virginity, innocence, light, goodness, heaven, safety, cleanliness and a lot more positive. It also represents all the colours at once, with their positive and negative. Hence it is the colour of completion.

I guess one of the reasons why we are so easily attracted to anyone who is wearing white is because it makes us feel everything said above. But is white actually all that “good”?

It is and it is not. Talking about perception here.

The yin yang says that every white has some black and vice versa. That is a very spiritual and philosophical message. I merely wanted to capture the feelings about white which are perceived as “dirty”.

No matter how pious a colour it is, white gets dirty.

I am being very confidently presumptuous when I say that this series of images captures every man and woman’s fantasy.

Dedicated to the classic white shirt and the classic sensual attraction towards it.

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To me it is the colour of liberation.

 

Concept and direction be me, Sahdev Hooda.

Assisted and also Photographed by Soumya Reddy.

Talent: A girl has no name.

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Men in skirts?

Men is skirts.

I think this statement holds a lot in it. Something after so much discussion and history, still has not seen acceptance in everyday style as much. I use the word style more specifically because if ever a man wears a skirt and shows up, it is considered a statement, without a miss. Be it a hollywood star showing up in a kilt on red carpet or a star kid showing up in a fashion campaign (Jaden smith), carrying off a skirt, it is always talked about. Why are we men so scared of wearing a skirt? That question has very obvious answers and I would not waste my word on that over here. However, when a guy gathers the balls to sport a skirt in a public appearance, it is certainly an empowering sight. Even more so when the person wearing it feels no compromise on his masculinity or identity.  And why the heck not. Men have worn drapes as much as women did, till the western tailoring took over the idea of everyday dressing world wide.  Check out the historical costumes of different cultures and you will know what I mean.

This look here is all Anuj Bhutani. Needless to say he is definitely one of the most tasteful designers around. The extreme minimalistic elegance that these pieces had really intrigued me and I wanted to explore the style. The very first time I tried the combination, I fell in love. It brought back the same feeling of grace I had felt when I had worn one of the tibetan men’s full length kimono. I know it sounds funny but I partly did feel like Samurai Jack and that got me even more into it. I got the feeling of an old world charm that could seem like a fantasy land. Where legends lived and world was full of mysteries.

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Moving back to the current reality, it still feels amazing to just be in it. I would usually deny myself the opportunity to dress like this more often as I would attach so much definition to it. Right from gender, sexuality, age, social appropriation and a general sense of being judged unwell. This post for me is also a part of challenging myself and my creativity. Questioning my own idea of self image and growth. It has been an empowering experience. It is a sort of beginning of a journey where I come out of my shell and explore my creativity more fearlessly. This post has some of my favourite images till now.  I love them for their pure beauty and elegance, floating free from the usual and mundane.

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Starting from calmness and opening out to be its own kind of creature.

Clothes by Anuj Bhutani.

Concept, styling and photography by me.

Sahdev Hooda.

Dreams are made of colours.

There is a mad scientist that lives inside each of our’s brain. He is the original dreamer. The one who sees a broader spectrum of possibilities. Things that are not ordinary, mundane or usual.  It is this guy who pushes us to the get the juice out of life. To do things that we would not, unless the mad scientist came up with it.

These are dreams that he is always painting, right form your childhood days. Telling you to go for the biggest candy. To slip out of your mother’s protection and go roaming around the city. To just be yourself.

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With time the scientist grows in his ideas, while you are busy updating your shoe size. He has bigger plans for you now as he only adds to “must do crazy things” list. He is not bothered about making sense. He is mad. He gets away with it. All he knows now is his love for colour. So when we go to sleep, the mad scientist is still at work. Mixing new colours, like the white and red of the candy, swirling around each other, painting a new picture for you. So that when you wake up, you know what you want.

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Though when he is lonely, he invents friends for himself. They are generally nice guys, they like the scientist. They are his creation. his minions.

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Well a little company killed no body.

Jumpsuit by Anuj Bhutani.

Concept and Photography by me.

Sahdev Hooda

p.s. Special thanks to Manisha Shastri for letting me shoot at her place, play with her cats and the invented friends.

Where the kites fly.

My fascination with the sky has been like a love affair. After I moved to Bangalore, weekends and early evenings come together on the terrace, sitting and staring at the blue, endless sky and look at the kites flying above you. Majestic looking, their glide only adds to my fascination.

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Just how I love the blue sky, I also love design. And Urvashi Kaur. I think she is filled with great passion for her craft and her energy is infectious. I always want to know what her new range is like. There is a certain romanticism in the choice of weaves, textures, colours and cuts she puts together. Yet, such absolutely practical pieces that you fall in love. I picked  3 pieces from her label Urvashi Kaur (shirt and jacket) and Kapda by Urvashi Kaur (T-shirt) to shoot. The pants are my own. The shirt and jacket “touch and feel” amazing. One could live in them. I remember trying the jacket at her stall at Lakme Fashion Week for the first time and refusing to get out of it,

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These are only among the several other things that I love from her range. Out of the three, the t-shirt is the one that took me to the sky. The dye effect reminded of a black eagle. Rest all was a chain reaction from there. I hope I could marry the romance I feel for the sky and great clothes together here.

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Shirts and Jacket by Urvashi Kaur and Kapda by Urvashi Kaur.

Concept, Styling and Photography by me.

Sahdev Hooda

Colour takes over.

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SS17 is here and I have been blue about not being able to blog. Yes, I terribly miss doing my shoots. Planning the next set of images. I am still doing similar things but not for the blog. Well changing your city and moving to a “never been there before” one takes its time and I am settling in well with the Bangalore weather. That is indeed the best part about the garden city. Evenings are so very pleasant.

I have been only doing the thinking bit and trying to figure out the best way to kick back into doing my blogposts again. I had put up a post on Facebook some time back about looking out for Photographers to work with which has not lead to any collaborations yet. I decided to do all the work myself, including photography.

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This got me to work with compositions. I have never really done these for my blog. So clicking self and doing some product composition are both “first ever” here.

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This Tommy shirt colour got my attention some time back. I have been consciously trying to move towards a minimalistic bend towards my life and impulsive shopping is certainly not a part that can be managed with that. However, this colour got the good old devil out and now I have it.

I didn’t really need it.

Then why did I pick it up?

The colour?

Yes, the colour.

The colour broke the monotony of blues and olives that I have been overdoing for a while. Since the shirt didn’t come with a name for the colour, I think it sits closest to a ‘Qatar Red’. I like the name. So a colour can inspire someone to own it. That thought brought in the element of 4 tonal colours, listed like they would in a colour book.  Put together like a gradient, it represented my thought of the richness in colour only, without detail. I personally love prints. Specially printed shirts. This however is a story of colours and its tonality.

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The denims are from U.S. Polo, watch from Chaps and the retro sneakers are from KOOVS. This colour palette is a great theme to play with for summers. I generally don’t wear pink. With this look though, I would totally wear pink sneakers. If in canvas, even better. Hah! That is wishful thinking and getting ahead of myself.

Going back to my minimalistic thoughts, hope you like the images.

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Concept, Styling and Photography by me.

Sahdev Hooda

Shooting Midnight Delhi

Last two years have been the best 2 years of my life, if I have to account for the amount of learning that I gained. Even though I have a committed relationship with fashion, I had a great opportunity to work as an actor in an independent feature film named “Midnight Delhi”. I was cast for the role of a rural ‘jaat’ man and it was a 12 days shooting schedule in Delhi which worked fine as I had just decided to relocate back to Delhi and had time in hand to contribute to this amazing project.

The teaser has just been released and I had to talk about it.

Rakesh Rawat is the writer and director of the film and the complete project is his baby. Every character was cast for a certain peculiar quality they had in person which some how matched with their characters on text and also in the mind of the director. I was thrilled to just see how a film like this will be made. If you have seen the teaser already then you fairly know this is not the kind of film that relates to a happy bollywood feeling. The dark portrayal of the few clips that you see are not actually the give away. It is the story that one has to experience on the screen.

I was myself quite excited about the character. The language and the dialect of the character I played was close to home for me. He is a rural born and brought up young man, who has murdered before and if need be, he would do it again. The dialect the body language was very crucial to the character and Rakesh made sure I got the nuances right.

Catching the dialect and picking the body language was not tough for me. I have been often exposed to the rural, farming culture as those are my original roots. The trick was to try and understand the mind of a man who kills. I am a fairly peace loving person and to make my mind match the mind of a murderer, I created the story of the character which was not on text already.

I was put against people who were trained/experienced actors and pursued acting as a full time career. Because of that, I was slightly nervous in the start. Making the backstory to the character gave me a boost of confidence and a certain ease to approach my character. I only looked into what I had to do and didn’t get influenced by anything else in the environment. Infact, to some extent I felt responsible to make sure that the character came as close to real reference as possible.

The film was shot one year back and looking at the teaser just brought back memories of this very unique experience. Also, I realise that a film crew becomes a family for that short period of time that they work together. You start looking after each other and you become a pack, which needs each other to survive. This has happened to me in most of my jobs, when I am blessed with a great team to work with, we do land up becoming like a family. Sharing our food, catching movies after work, exchanging our favourite books, being there for each other even in personal matters.  However, on a film set people open up about themselves much faster and you organically become close to each other as you work and also stay together through out.

This experience was something I will always cherish and I only hope to see the feature film myself. With such real references and characters, I do want this film to find a larger audience. Not just because I have acted in it. I clearly don’t have the dreams of being a full time working actor. I want it to be seen because this is purely original work. Rakesh took 6 years to completely weave the story into a finished form. I have seen him give his soul to this project and the passion with which he approached and executed this film is inspiring. I am confident that it will be a film that people will talk about and remember. For it has all the right ingredients to be an impressionable work of art.

Wait for it.

 

 

Painterly Indulgence

I do love to paint once in a while. In fact, fashion came to me through illustrations. Before I even knew that I would take up a creative field as a career choice, I used to sketch women on small pieces of paper in my school time, pretending I am making notes. Hardly interested in academics that time, language, basketball and sketching were the only three things that occupied my time, apart from chasing girls.

These three artworks were made during the time when I started to experiment with colour, I was majorly a black and white guy and limited to lead and charcoal. I have always been obsessed with a woman’s hair whenever I sketch. I think there is something absolutely romantic and magical about it.

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The Thinking Lady.

Acrylic on Paper

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The Jungle Spirit

Pencil and Ink on Paper

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Come To Life.

Pencil and Ink on paper.

 

Art by me.

Sahdev Hooda

#oldwork

I recently had to go for an interview with an e-commerce company as a stylist. I am generally not the nervous one with interviews but this time I was because even though I have done a good amount of styling work as a freelancer but never was I interviewed as a stylist before. I wanted to show them the best of my work or something with more depth and storytelling. Beyond celeb styling or what I generally have been able to achieve for my blog till now. Believing that I had no record of it, I surprising found all the editorial work that I had done till now. I was feeling absolutely nostalgic to see these images.

This is back in the days, winter of 2010 when I was still exploring my career options, I got an exciting chance to work with a start up. It was a friend who invited me onboard to look after the fashion bit for a magazine.

You are clearly a one man army in a start up situation. This was the first issue of TLF and my first work where I conceptualised, sourced, booked and executed everything myself and was it fun. We were a small knit team of friends, trying to do something different.

The story came from discussions about an earth conscious mood and we moved to creating imagery which somehow embodied a cry or a voice of the current situation of our environment.

It is always such a pleasure to shoot with Rishabh Anupam Sahay. He is one friend I have always enjoyed working with and has long a name. This was our first collaboration as well.

Hah! Old times.

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Photographs by Rishabh Anupam Sahay.

Talent: Tatyana Timirova.

Hair and makeup by Ratul.

Styled by me.

Sahdev Hooda

The bride and the groom

Culture

This has been the most fascinating wedding I have attended till now. The bride and the groom, both are my dear old friends and when they told me they were getting married in Ladakh, I didn’t know they were gonna do it in such a traditionally beautiful way. I was so amazed to look at their costumes with all the jewellery, accessories and the way everything was styled. The traditional robe, ‘Goncha’ is the traditional attire finished with a long scarf tied around the waist to hold and secure the wrap. The women’s costume is more detailed with gathered details on the waist and of course more ornamented with beautiful jewellery. It was a feast not just the stomach but for the eyes too. I will cover more about the wedding and few more interesting facts about a Ladakhi wedding in the next post. This post is focussed on the gorgeous couple and their majestic wedding outfits. Don’t they leave you awestruck?

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Photographed by me.

Sahdev Hooda

Suit it Indian

May life be filled with more travel plans and friends getting married at exotic locations.

I wore this look by NoughtOne (by Abhishek Paatni) for one of my dear friend’s wedding. The ‘bandhgala’ to me, is always appropriate for all indian occasions. I think it has been quite a while since I last wore a suit with a tie. Not the biggest fan of ties.

Made famous and followed by his name, the ‘Nehru Jacket’ is a style which I feel has a clear indian feeling attached to it. I recently blogged about a ‘bandhgala’ suit from another indian designer and I realise that they are spontaneously becoming a part of my personal style. This suit has a more modern edge with its crisp fabric and contemporary styling and details. One could even wear it with a mandarin collared shirt. I paired it with a bright blue shirt of mine. It was a perfect highlight for the light beige of the suit.

My friends poked fun at the look by calling it the look of Ladakh as the terrain is mostly rocky, hence beige and the blue of the sky is as clear and saturated as the shirt. I didn’t have much to argue about that and I laughed along with them.

I was once told at a French designer boutique that true luxury is reflected from the inside. Be it the finesse of the jacket lining or the way you maintained your drawers. Abhishek always scores well on that. I haven’t seen his office drawers but I am talking about his designs here. He always has a thought behind how he finishes the clothes he makes. Perfect highlights and impeccably finished insides. This is where a true gentleman would put his money.

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Shot in ‘Neh’ valley near Leh.

Photographed by Malvika Jain.