Grunge that suits

This is the first coming together of my blog and the Label Suket Dhir. I am glad to personally know even the person Suket Dhir. He was my senior at college. Seeing Suket win the Woolmark prize was a complete delight. The collection looked brilliant and all the looks photographed beautifully well. That is not always easy with handloom fabrics. I have been trying to participate in the idea of promoting indian, hand-woven fabrics and this grungy suit from Suket Dhir is a great way to begin the process.

Not only does he research and know his slubby, textured fabrics well, he also sees a great amount of beauty in the craft that our country weaves. This easy cut suit is a great example of that. The perfect blue on the weave is detailed with wooden buttons and a paisley print silk lining. The pants are the most comfortable pair of formal pants I have ever worn. The volume and the cut of it does have a slight sense of nostalgia as I remember the members of my previous generations wearing loose boxy pyjamas along with their kurtas and ease with the breeze. I am really in love with this outfit. This is a must have for winters. The ensemble does have the perfect balance of everything that you look for in designer wear.

I look forward to another post soon with Suket where I would love to talk more about his design journey and how the his sensibility evolved from the fibre level of thinking and making.

Also, excuse me for putting a little extra photographs on this post. But this is only for the complete viewing pleasure as I loved the location we shot at. We shot this look at this lovely place before Rohtang called Sarchu. We stayed in a cottage on the banks of the river ‘Baaga’. Delightful is the word.

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Photographed by Rahul Lal.

 

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Rock and Feathers

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If life is a journey then it all happens when you are on the way.

Shot on one of the most scenic roads I have ever experienced in my life, this all Huemn look is one of my all time favourites from the brand. The sleeves are everything in this look. The white chevron stripe breaking the feathers embellishment into the all black of the whole look has an outlandish impact. I knew it deserved a certain backdrop when I picked up the look but what in particular that was, i didn’t. While driving through the rocky terrain that leads to Leh, mesmerised and humbled by the beauty and enormity of nature around, this look effortlessly found its aesthetic relationship with the colors and textures and some unclear emotion of it.

We stopped at different spots which we thought were right, driving at the height of 5000m or more.The last set of pictures was actually shot at 5500m approx.

This strong and impactful look got its place in places I had never seen before.

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Photographed by Rahul Lal.

Special thanks to Rigzin Negi. My partner in crime since 2004.

Simplicity is the latest fashion.

Hey guys i wrote this piece around 2 and a half years back when I was working as a designer for a buying agency and had to produce endless research for a bunch of european brands. 
This post is a part of my first attempt at blogging. I was not at all regular at it but when I wrote, I tried to write with soul. I am gonna share another one soon. This one is specially quite close to my heart.
I am sharing a pic of my mother to just give a glimpse of my inspiration for this post.
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” Simplicity is the state or quality of being simple. It usually relates to the burden which a thing puts on someone trying to explain or understand it. Something which is easy to understand or explain is simple, in contrast to something complicated. Alternatively, as Herbert A. Simon suggested, something is simple or complex depending on the way we choose to describe it…[1] In some uses, simplicity can be used to imply beauty, purity, or clarity. Simplicity may also be used in a negative connotation to denote a deficit or insufficiency of nuance or complexity of a thing, relative to what is supposed to be required.”
Ahem! Taking you off the complex definition of simplicity, in my early teen years, I remember my mom telling me “simplicity is the latest fashion”. She not only said it but lived it as well. Always managed to look stunning even without a lipstick on. Completely oblivious to the complexities and nuances of projected female beauty, I remember her sense of style with no jewellery(she despises it), no bling, her classic colours and patterns in intricately woven silks for winters and fluent chiffons, georgettes and ‘taant‘ for summers and how she is perfection with the drape. Inspite of her classic taste in fabrics, it was her confidence, evident in her kind eyes and the million dollar smile that made her a presence one could not miss. She found her beauty in simplicity and it set her apart from the rest. Love you Mom!
Today I sit in a buying house, rigorously researching trends. Trying to live up to the expectation of developing the most updated styles. It can really get to you at times. To try and point an important(commercially viable) trend is more like a hit and trial method. With so much diversity and ever evolving trans-culture diffusion and faster breaking social boundaries, I have learnt to take refuge into simplicity. All you have to do is simplify someone’s great effort of creativity to something which fits into the current lifestyle and clothing culture. So I realise my mom’s early teaching was pretty universal and timeless. When you think about it you see how ageless and peaceful simplicity is. How liberating it is, how effortless it is and if I may say so, how right it is … always.
I have written in my previous post that today I/we see a big change in how people are learning to express themselves through what they wear and learn to stand out then to blend in. Yes, this could look like an odd hour to be bragging about simplicity with loud and in-your-face creativity(commerce commanding arts, as we all know it) in the popular music and entertainment culture. Yet, ultimately there is always graduation to a peaceful, zen like, monotonous state in everything. Be it from teens to adulthood, art deco to minimalism, Friday night to Monday morning.
Looking at this pattern one could say that If you are being simple with what you wear(or do), you are always ahead of time/trend. Please do not get me wrong! I am not suggesting anyone to reject all current trends but what I am implying is that a day of authentic denims and white shirt is never a bad day. The little black dress is a must have for girls for a reason and Apple products look class apart for a “simple” reason. Could there be more to come up with? Yes, endless ones.
Come up with your own one as simplicity is the beginning and end of a full circle.
If there is a learning to take from this ,then it is to enjoy and appreciate simplicity. It only helps you better at whatever you do.
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I thought it would be great to share one of the old pictures to end this post. This is probably not even a week after she got married to my father. The summer of 1980. The lady next to her is my Tai ji (aunt). How simply  beautiful are both of them in this photograph.

Visual Treats

Blessed with the monsoons, photographing around the farm house was such a visual treat. This is my last post from my trip back home. In this post, I have collected the best of the rest.

Completely for the viewing pleasure, this post has some of my favourite captures. And you know the best part is, it is good to share pictures that I clicked myself. The Nikon D5300 is an awesome DSLR. I will upgrade to a better lens. Till then, this is what I serve to you.

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Photographed by Sahdev Hooda.

Monsoon Green.

It had been a while since I last made a trip back home. I grew up in Roorkee, Uttarakhand and my ancestral farm house is just half an hour away from the city. My grand father still lives at the farm house as he prefers to be close to nature. You will see him in one of the post that follow.

I started around 5:15 am and reached home (Roorkee) exactly at 8:08 am. The monsoon had just come in and my journey was quite pleasant, thanks to the cloudy weather. The moment I reached home I had aloo paranthas with curd, lime pickle and home made butter and demanded that we leave for the farm house without wasting any time. Mom, Dad and I spent good 2 days at farm and I carried my camera along with me. As a result I got some beautiful pictures to share.

I grew up spending my summer holidays and quite a few Diwalis on this farm house. Right from playing with cousins, riding bullocks to the fields, learning how to milk, plucking raw mangoes and eating them, riding the tractor to so many more, I have loads of memories attached to this place.

This first post is just about the few glimpses of the lush “monsoon green” that blossoms at the farm house during this wet time of the year. It is such a refreshing break from city life, every time I visit the farm house. That is why I always insist spending most of the time here and not in the city home.

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The way that leads to the mango orchards. You see the twin teaks.

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One of my ma’s plants. She is quite crazy about plants.

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The old window.

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The layers of Green.

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The line of Eucalyptus.

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The Poplar borders.

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New life.

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Country roads.

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Through the window.
Photographed by me. Sahdev Hooda

Red Summer

Delhi summers have been burning this year. Not that any other year they are not. The occasional showers from the sky have been kind and cool and so is this outfit by 0.0. I have been blogging a lot about 0.0/Noughtone by Abhishek Paatni and I can not get enough of the swag he makes. Also, the true gentleman(him) made it to the Gen Next category for Lakme Fashion Week. The menswear collection he has designed is a bomb and is going to kick some serious ass. Look out for that.

 

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This look is perfect for the weather we have been steaming ourselves with. The red vest has a cool detail on the shoulder strap and the military stripes on the side give it a street cool look. The dropped crotch scuba shorts are quite comfortable and have great ease for movement.

 

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I paired this look with my Pharrell Williams Polka dotted Stansmith by Adidas Originals. I generally love colour co-ordinated looks where a colour from my outfit spills out to my accessories or shoes. A perfect way to finish a look off.

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Generally, the combination of shorts and summer vest is more hippie cool but the little details on this look(which make all the difference) give it a futuristic edge and yes I love the red on this vest. No wonder thats all the highlight.

Photographs by Anuja Khokani.

 

Navy Sport

An unlined summer jacket, made out of sports mesh and impeccably finished from inside. Cool, comfortable shorts made out of the same mesh. Both by 0.0.

 

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Added my navy coloured classic Polo by Superdry which has a perfect highlight of the neon green collar tape for this monotonous look. I obviously  had to throw my white hi-tops from Puma for this look. You know, the looks which get my sneakers out are my favourite ones. This pair has been ignored for a while but i am always loyal to my hi-tops. There a few more that i still haven’t blogged about. They probably will follow soon, in one of the future posts. _MG_0300 copy

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I really do like the zipper detail on the side of the jacket. My style is mostly about the little details which make the difference in a garment or a look. City cool or street cool, which ever way you say, I am loving the fitness vibe everyone is picking up. I definitely am and it is seeping into my style preferences as well.

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The idea is, jump around, break a leg or may be not.

Photographs by Anuja Khokhani.

 

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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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 #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