Kangra diaries

Traveling is like reading a book. Like being transported to a new world where unpredictability of life comes to life again. Giving us insights on the world around us at large and also what lies with in ourselves.

I have recently started teaching at different centres of National Institute of Fashion Technology. I studied fashion at NIFT, New Delhi and now teaching the same to the next generation of curious thinkers. Apart from being able to share what I have learned in past ten years of working, I thoroughly enjoy traveling to these different destinations, which I might not have visited otherwise.

Kangra is one of the places NIFT has established a centre at. The college is placed on a hill, just a small walk from the main city. This is my second trip to this place. It is nothing less than another set of beautiful memories etched in my mind. Conversations with young minds is truly an amazing experience. Their unadulterated personalities is a breath of fresh air. There is a certain sense of serenity in the college, a calm vibe with an under current of excitement of the youth.

The city is still away from being commercialised. It has its own charm. Charm of a world untouched and pleasant simplicity. It will be absolutely unfair to not mention the beautiful view one gets from the perspective of the hill top that the college is built upon. It overlooks the valley which is shielded from the other side by the breathtaking Dhauladhar range, vertically inclined, majestic in sight. You will see it here in the images I have shared out of a big pool of them. At times, after the lectures are done, I would walk with friend, who also teaches there, to the other side of the college hill and find a spot to sit at, over looking a river. The cover page image is the view from where we would usually sit. Our spot. We would sit and stare at the sun go down. An absolutely breathtaking view, right in the lap of untouched nature. The birds of prey in the sky would often distract us and hypnotise us with their seamless flow on the winds above. They are poetry in air, just like the clouds.

Occasionally we would skip the lunch at the college canteen and go down to the ‘dhaba’ near college, which was based on the edge of these beautiful yellow fields in the valley. Mustard was flowering then, welcoming spring. The fresh orange juice, ‘aloo paranthas‘ with ‘dahi‘ were a hit with the students and us two, the only customers. After a nice small glass of chai we would go for a brief walk into the fields. Sit their in silence, giving way to the chirping of birds and ruffle of leaves in the wind. At first when you sit down, you only see the big picture. The mountains, the sky, the trees, the big birds. After some time, the life around starts to emerge in finer detail. The bees, the insects, the little birds, the sunlight on the leaves and you see the most beautiful painting in the world. The innocence of things that are wild and free. Egoless, and pure. The most blissful feeling.

Love.

Something a modern mindset can find hard to tap into.

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I will be going back there very soon. Hopefully, I will gather some more images and make another blogpost out of them. Though I love making beautiful images, I wish I could also share some of the videos I have made of the birds in the sky. I have shared some of them on my Instagram page. It is with the same name as my blog @sahdevhooda.

Photographed by iPhone 7 Plus.

Thank You Vineet for you support and also clicking some of these beautiful images.

Sahdev Hooda

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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.

What I Wore #5

This is the longest break I have given to a blogpost since I started. I have been working a lot on some other projects as well and guys trust me, I needed this blogpost to uplift my spirit a little more. Colours do put me in a good mood.

 

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Coming back all vibrant, this look is all about the beautiful, mustard coloured jacket by 0.0. I paired it with my HnM black satin chinos and my Bhane white shirt. The peak collar detail on the jacket is quite suited for a dinner. However, the vibrant mustard that Abhishek picked for this style works well even in a semi-formal day situation. I think he really has something going with the colours he picks for formal jacket/suits. Formal, beyond normal.

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Black and white is a classic that I repeat a lot and to throw a good coloured jacket is great even when you are carrying it on your arm. Great for a day to evening look which almost happens everyday at fashion week.

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I am a sucker for tiny, quirky details and the Bhane shirt is quite cool with the collar styling and the little chambray edge on the end of the front placket. Just the perfect twist one needs on a white shirt. Total win.

The sunglasses are by Prada and the watch by Tissot.

Photographed by Mrinalini Singh.

Hairy arm below by me.

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What I Wore #4

I would like to begin this post with talking about the high point of this look, the hat . Even though the shirt from Kanika Goyal Label and the suit by 0.0 are styles that I personally love a lot, the hat did steal the show.

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This was gifted to me by my best friend. She picked it up from Egypt on her way back to India. It is hand crafted by an old local woman. The vibrant colours and the geometric pattern made me stand out from a mile, even in a crowd. Almost like a navigation pin.

One more interesting thing I have to mention is that a friend pointed out (jokingly) that why am I wearing this hat, if I am not muslim. I responded saying that is like if you are not muslim, you can not eat biryani or a caucasian girl can’t wear a saree to a non-indian occasion. I mean really. It is a cool and everyone should get one of these.

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I like hats. The more traditional, the better. I have always wanted a Kinnauri Hat. Never found it in my size. I have a big head. Speaking of the size of my skull only.

The shirt is a perfect tunic length and it was a great add on to my wardrobe as I still get compliments every time I wear it. Isn’t the pocket detail so cool? The ‘band gala’ suit by 0.0 is also such a unique style. I generally don’t imagine pants with a “band gala’, yet Abhishek(Designer) did.

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I really enjoyed wearing this look. I think mixing a little tradition and culture in your everyday style is a great feeling. Specially when such a style initiates conversations you weren’t expecting. Or you were.

Photographs by Mrinalini Singh

Fashion Week Dressing #3

I am a big fan of cool printed shirts. This Forever 21 shirt was gifted to me by one of my best buddies. I remember we were in Shimla, in his hometown and we were just randomly checking out the local shops. He spotted it and told me I should get it. I refused saying I do this too often and I am going to avoid. He was so sure of the coolness of the shirt that he bought it for me saying I will be a fool to leave it.

 

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Well thank you again Rahul, I wore it for Fashion Week. The sunglasses, the beads and the pants are from HnM. The washed denim trucker is a limited edition Bhane piece. The little bee is from Vasundhara Jewellery and the “Comfort Leader” badge is from the Pero show.

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Something great about Denim jackets is that you can personalise them with badges, stitches, pins and all other kinds of embellishments, making it a classic style item for you. Considering the heat and how we go in and out of air-conditioning, you can still carry a denim jacket with you in summers. Its 100% cotton.

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The super comfortable brogues are from Clarks and yes you can see my favourite Diesel watch on my wrist.

Photographs by Akanksha Redhu.

 

Fashion Week Dressing #2

Summer is only getting hotter and the need for ease is unavoidable at times, in such weather.

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This look was a total win on comfort. The pants being customised by Huemn for me have been one of my best friends for everyday style. The 4 pleat front detail is not just classic cool it also gives enough ease of movement. Guys we really need to wear more of these and my readers will definitely get to see it more often paired with other cool stuff.

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The boxy white tee from HnM is great for summer. I wore it tucked into my pants so that the beautiful pleats can show and that works for me as I have a lean body. The little bee that I got from Vasundhara Jewellery as a little present, sat perfect on the pocket lip.

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My style is too clean and basic at times so I like to improvise with little details like the bee or my beads that I have been wearing for a while now.

I have been experimenting even with my hair and I am liking the new side curls.

I picked these shoes from a thrift shop and they have their own bonus with a padded insole. Work in these. Totally.

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This look is close to me as somewhere it represents a very real part of my personal style which has evolved over a long period of time.

Photographs by Mrinalini  Singh.

Fashion Week dressing #1

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We just passed two fashion weeks in India. Amazon Fashion week in New Delhi and Lakme Fashion week in Mumbai.

I attended both the events and attended them in my style. 🙂

 

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I remember the times when I was a fashion student and you would wanna “show up” in the best of your style. Considering my country(India) doesn’t have fashion friendly streets, we get to see a load of it in fashion weeks.

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Taking refuge in comfort which is an integral part of my style, I started one of these events with a suit(Hnm). This linen and cotton blend suit is perfect for the day. The colour block shirt from Huemn(customised) and brown lace ups from HnM were the perfect match for the beautiful blue of the suit. The brown strap watch(Diesel) and the wood finish sun glasses(Hnm) were great add ons to finish the look classic.

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This is actually the first time I wore a linen suit and was in it one full day. In and out of air-conditioning, it was a perfect sheath against the sun and weather. I am so keen on getting more of these now. Don’t bother about the crushed fabric as that is the look of Linen as a fabric and you can easily get away with it.

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Linen is a win for summer. Go ahead get you own for summers. It is really “cool”.

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Photographs by Mrinalini Singh