Happy Birthday To Meeeeeeeeee....

Or to my blog, anyway- it's been exactly a year since I kick-started this operation! To be frank, the decision back in 2007 was made after several months of nailbiting and one highly involved conversation with a very close friend, because I had no idea of what to say before that. I'm very definitely not the savviest, or particularly bothered about the things typically associated with Indian fashion - I'll only post about stuff if I really love it- and I'm too stupid to even figure out basic tech stuff for the blog template, but then that was never the point. Blogging is fun, irrespective of just how much C and K say this one sucks (but I miss you both rottenly, irrespective of how much you say that). That might be the understatement of the year...


Phones And Suchlike..

I'm not really all that much of a gadget geek. Super-high-technology is a little scary to me, not least because so much of it is so hard to use and I'm scared of ruining it- but I'd be the first one to admit that I've never been able to level that charge against the things I really can't do without, the first among those being my phone.
I've used Nokia phones for nearly seven years now, and I can pretty much testify to the fact that they are God's gift to the technologically challenged. Not only are they incredibly user-friendly (props must be given to whoever designs the interfaces- and I love playing Snake), they're incredibly resilient (getting dropped on the floor a million times a day and still having a battery life of over 3 days is proof enough of that- I've heard enough of my classmates complaining about fancy phones getting ruined the same way), and they have, in the past, had features that are sheer brilliance as far as design is concerned (like a flashlight...sadly, those got phased out with the Nokia 1100 models). In short, if I have to buy a phone, chances are that I will insist on it being a Nokia.
Therefore, getting news of their collaboration with Frédérique Daubal to bring out the Nokia 7900 Crystal Prism was definitely something that set all the 'want' buttons connected to my inner art geek pinging, even if my unfortunate tendency to lose phones and the € 375 price tag on this one means that my owning it won't happen (it's going to be available in Asia though, so yay for that). Still, from what I can see, it's a stunning piece of work, and I'm certainly happy to be introduced to the work of a very talented designer (graphics as well as fashion- the lady is versatile!). And if my experience of Nokia products in the past is anything to go by, it'll probably be a joy to use.

Pics #1 and 2: works by Frédérique Daubal
Pic #3: wallpaper for the Nokia 7900, designed by Frédérique Daubal
Pic #4: the phone itself (the etchings are gorgeous)

Image sources: http://www.daubal.com/# and email attachments sent to me.


Question(s) Of The Day

...before I conk out, why on earth is the Vogue India cover for next month so...off? Katrina Kaif looks stiff, and I like the background, but not the simpery pose, hair or expression. And why on earth do Vogue Korea's covers always look amazing even if they're reprints from US Vogue editorials? I love those juicy pop lips on Natalia..maybe I should just take lessons in Korean or Japanese so I can read one of their Vogues instead..
Image source: The Fashion Spot (here and here)

Spreading The Love..

*makes huge efforts to stop blushing*...Oh my...Dreamecho has passed me on the You Make My Day award, as (I'm paraphrasing her words) one of ten blogs that make her feel happy about blogland- and it is an honour indeed. It's also a tough task to pick out just ten of all the brilliant blogs I read, but I'm passing the award (which, in a real-life world, would be one of those squeezy yellow smiley-face balls) on to:
1. Susie of Style Bubble: It's been nearly two years since the day I first stumbled on Style Bubble, bookmarking it in my head as 'that nice Brit girl who'll ship stuff over if you fix up the PayPalling' (sadly, it's an offer I never took up), but it just gets more brilliant with time.
2. The Clothes Horse: The Clothes Horse absolutely rules when it comes to wearing, posing and writing - this is one of my daily 'go to' sites, and a joy to read or even just look at. :)
3. Elisabeth of Wine Glass Logistics: I'm thrilled she's back from her holiday at last, her blog is a bit like getting one chapter of a (very good) book to read every day, and I was starting to miss it.
4. Blushing Apples: My favourite place for a look at anything sweet and whimsical, whether it's the trinkets she posts about or her dogs, Snow and Sushi. The after-effects of browsing usually consist of the urge to cuddle something...
5. Selina of Flying Saucer: I'm definitely not the only person who's seen her blog and coveted her wonderful pre-Raphaelite hair, or laughed about whatever crazy thing's been happening in her uni life (a pineapple in the courtyard was the last one)....
6. LibertyLondonGirl: LLG would be one of the coolest girls in cyberspace even if she wasn't a fashion editor living in New York. I can't think of too many other people who'd be as willing to tell us the truth about fake eyelashes (among other things), with as much of a sense of humour.
7. WendyB of Wendy Brandes Jewelry and this blog: Why, why, why won't Google unlock her main blog? 'Tis a brilliant blog, in fact both of them are. Who else will tell me about fish feet and murderous empresses with tombstones just waiting to be defaced by red lipstick?
8. Masala Chai: I love the art that Pav (the genius behind the site) showcases- it's often on the bright, kitsch side of things and such a pick-me-up to look at. It's also an education in itself, getting to know about the artists and photographers featured...
9. Romeika of A Room of One's Own: Romeika's blog (which I sometimes feed into Babelfish to understand all the comments) is one of my favourite places to discuss movies and random cuteness-loving impulses. Her posts are always amazingly well-constructed and thought-out, and it's all an amazing read.
10: Dreamecho: I can't think of too many other people who'd actually investigate the origins of a meme- so the fact that she approaches blogging in a spirit of equal parts inquiry and fun, is no surprise.
I'm really sleepy right now, so I'm going to tell my taggees about it tomorrow. Good night, everyone..


This is nothing that hasn't been said before, but Sofia Coppola just has a weird knack for understanding girls and dissociation...and for choosing the perfect background music (I have never yet failed to have a slight moment of heart stoppage at what, in this clip, is the 1:48 mark).


The Big Four: Not Just An Agatha Christie Novel.

Mercibeaucoup, Japan Fashion Week SS08Mercibeaucoup, Japan Fashion Week SS08
Mercibeaucoup, Japan Fashion Week SS08
garçonshinois, Japan Fashion Week SS08
garçonshinois, Japan Fashion Week SS08
Everlasting Sprout, Japan Fashion Week SS08
Dresscamp, Japan Fashion Week SS08Dresscamp, Japan Fashion Week SS08
The recent splashings of florals over the SS08 runways (Balenciaga and Dolce and Gabbana notwithstanding) mostly did nothing for me. I'm all for dreamy floatiness and a slightly off-kilter approach to things, but wishy-washiness is not a route I'd really like to go down in the pursuit of 'femininity'. A few of the most recent Couture Week presentations are also leaving me with a bit of a case of colour fatigue, with the exception of Givenchy and Chanel - I'm rather loving the fierce sharpness of the former and the deliberate, awkward softness of the latter- a new thing for Chanel.
The natural progression of things when I decide I don't like ____ idea, is that I move on to loving its polar opposite- and indeed I do like all things muted and attitudinal right now. However, considering the possibility that what I didn't like wasn't the ideas themselves but their execution at the Big Four Fashion Weeks, I decided to investigate a few others and promptly fell in love with the offerings at Japan Fashion Week SS08 (selected pics from some shows above).
I've often wondered on what basis London, Milan, Paris and New York are given such a high status as THE main centres of fashion design worldwide, ad infinitum. It's not that the output from these cities isn't often great. And it certainly isn't that I don't love to click through style.com or vogue.co.uk to look through pictures of whatever's been put out in those cities- but I do wish fashion reportage was a little more inclusive of information about what's happening in other places, especially when those places happen to have produced some of the most creative, forward-thinking designers of the late 20th century (including one of my personal heroines- Rei Kawakubo) and have a long history of excellence when it comes to the making of modern clothing. I'm not sure whether the exclusion of Fashion Weeks in other countries from wider public notice is a result of the fact that the designers stick to operating in one country and don't have a worldwide business model (which means they might not cater to international buyers). The local media might be doing a bang-up job of telling the wider public in that country what's going on there, but it often means a lot of us are left wondering what happens in fashion weeks outside the Big Four. I've spotted interesting things in pictures from Madrid, Hong Kong, Copenhagen and Tokyo among other places, in the past...definitely enough to make one wish that the world of fashion revolved around more than four axes, and to see that it doesn't have to.

Anyone who wishes to look at AW07-08 pics of Japan Fashion Week should go here. And many thanks to Japanese Streets for all the pics above.


Courage And Liking?

In a college inhabited by frequently sleepless and frantic beings, it shouldn't be such a surprise that we love reading books about people on drugs- one of the campus favourites is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a book whose illustrations by Ralph Steadman are as indelibly linked to the story in my mind, as Quentin Blake's sketches to Roald Dahl's kid books.
"Crazy" is a tame word to describe what I thought of them when I was fifteen but 'pleased' is definitely on the cards given that I've just stumbled across Ralph Steadman's online shop. It's full of Gonzo art and shoppables which are not only downright covetable, but brilliantly funny too- the page for wine prints is making me giggle, despite the rather manic-looking jester who is the subject of the first print (shown in Picture 2 above). I'm dead scared of clown faces but bell-tipped hats are a breeze to deal with. And the jute bag retailing for £5.50 is a good bit less poncey (I'm borrowing a Spike-from-Buffy word here) than those 'I'm Not A Plastic Bag' objects from last year, methinks...

Sadly, shipping is only to the UK, Europe and the US/Canada, but I'm ok with just looking for now. Anyone who is a Fear and Loathing fan, fancies things in the shop (which include an umbrella, tie, lighter, cufflinks, t-shirts, and artwork) or simply wants a good laugh somewhere along the way should definitely go on here.
All images from ralphsteadman.com.


Bag And Taggage

I got tagged with the task of showing the blogverse my bag and its contents by LibertyLondonGirl over a week ago, but thanks to a malfunctioning camera I didn't actually get to do it till just now. Apologies for the terrible lighting...
The bag itself is a nameless, brandless canvas messenger, decorated with a wooden cellphone charm from Seoul and two Monokuro Boo pins on the strap. It might seem a bit lazy, but I'm still a student and any bag of mine has to be roomy and put up with a whole lot of abuse- and this one has been and done just that for several years now.
As for the contents (numbered for easier ID, and heavily edited- that means the old bus tickets and empty sweet wrappers aren't on show), they're as follows:
1. Box of After Eight mints. Ordinarily this would be a plain bar of Dairy Milk, but I was feeling a bit flush last week so I decided to sate my mint chocolate cravings instead...they're about half over now.
2. Large notepad, which I usually fold up when it goes in the bag.
3. Random CD.
4. Pen.
5. Paper bag of sweets....which I've eaten.
6. Map of Delhi, more like a tourist guide really. K gave it to me last year, though he should have been the one keeping it since he'd never been to the city before (note: we don't live in Delhi, we were just interning there).
7. Band pin, purchased in Calcutta.
8. My recent read: Corridor by Sarnath Banerjee. I wasn't very taken with it when it first came out, but I got it as a present last month and it turned out to be, well, not bad
. Especially if the reader's spent significant amounts of time in Delhi and Calcutta, or maybe anywhere in urban India really (thanks, daddy!).
9. Clip to hold hair back with. I don't often use that one.
10. Lip gloss, vanilla flavoured. I know I rhapsodised about the joys of red lipstick last week, but gloss is not an easy habit to break when you've been using it from the age of ten- and this is yummy (hair getting stuck to gloss isn't such an issue for me, given that I wear mine tied back).
11. Pink tictac hairclip. It belonged to a set of four, now it's the last one left.
12. Sheer black stockings, newly purchased.
13. Wallet. I sometimes go out without a bag if I have pockets to stash the wallet and phone, but they are an absolute must.
14. Phone.
15. Vicks cough drops (at certain other points in time, the bag might contain a painkiller and a tiny bottle of water to gulp it down with in place of these).
16. Cardboard coasters from restaurants I visited last year, currently in use as bookmarks.
I'm a little worried about the fact that my keys seem to be missing- shame, since I really loved my keychain and have had it for over five years now (it's stainless steel and shaped like a silver court shoe). But now that it's my turn to pass this on, I'm tagging Rhiannon of Liebemarlene Vintage, Headmistress of Salt and Schizophrenia, Katie Rosemary of Sugarplum Ragdoll, Romeika of A Room of One's Own and Elisabeth of Wine Glass Logistics to do the show and tell (or at least the tell, if anonymity concerns/camera malfunctions prevent you from doing the show).


"I'm Buffy, and you're history!"

I don't know if it's just me, but girls on TV these days (unless we're counting Ugly Betty) - especially TV aimed at under-25s (ok, under-21s), are boring- either they OD, run away from home and die on The O.C.* (after short stops at kleptomania and shooting people), or they squabble over who's been stealing whose boyfriend on One Tree Hill**, or they squabble over who's been stealing whose boyfriend on Gossip Girl*** and everywhere else- blaaaaaaaaah.
Maybe it's old-fashioned and a little soapboxy, but I really do miss a time when " intelligent TV show about teens/young people" wasn't an oxymoron, and there was actually a point to a show's female lead besides what she wore and who she got off with, on and off screen. More specifically, I miss one show- and which one it is should be obvious from the title of this post. Heroes might be the latter-day successor to it as far as showing us how ordinary people feel having superpowers goes (and we certainly do have the cheerleader and a save-the-world angle), but I miss Buffy mouthing off at nearly every vamp she fought. Nothing's quite as funny, or smart, or staggeringly well-plotted (Joss Whedon had the ending of Season 5 foreshadowed by the end of Season 3- that was the level of planning that went into it). There aren't quite as many
clichés being stood on their heads (little blonde in a miniskirt who isn't quite so great at academics?). And while all the shows of today feature girls in pretty dresses, no one's going to go fight a giant vampire and save the world in one.
Sounding gushy is a bit of a risk here, since I more or less grew up watching
Buffy. The Season 1 finale image of her in her white dress and leather jacket with a crossbow in her hands was and still is one of the coolest things I've ever seen, and gave me a lifelong girlcrush on Sarah Michelle Gellar- who proved time and again that she deserves much better film roles than the horror/fluff rubbish she's been getting. And as for the sartorial front - whether it was Giles's tweeds, Spike's leather duster, or even Drusilla's**** Victorian nightgowns and obsession with dolls, not to mention one great comedy moment when Buffy slit a too-tight skirt with a paper knife so she could kick a demon, they didn't do too badly. It might not have paid attention to fashion the way Sex and the City etc. did, but that really wasn't the point. Some people might say Carrie's giant flower was the iconic image of 90s TV - but to me, it's always going to be a long way behind the white dress, leather jacket and crossbow. It might not have been the most original of ideas, but I don't think I'd be too far off the mark if I said it's a huge influence on how I'd like to come across, even now (obviously, not Californian or blonde...but that mixture of tough and pretty is definitely what I'd want my default dress-up mode to be). But it's hard not to love Buffy- she may look and occasionally behave like an airhead blonde, but her courage, wit and sheer bloodymindedness are all things that I wished I had. And how I miss her..
*which is still running here.
** I'm not sure if that show's getting aired in India any more.
***even though I watch it every week.
a comparatively minor character.


Just A Note

Dear Everyone Who Reads This
I've been trying to get my blogroll into some semblance of alphabetical order, and also to work out where to put new sections of it (like one for food blogs- sorry, everyone who came here after being misled by the url), so if you see your blog missing, I haven't really blitzed you off! Please do email me if I've done it, though, or if you want to be added.

Love from

Blue Floppy Hat

Cherry Lips?

This post is dedicated to WendyB, who is the blogverse Goddess of Red Lipstick (ETA: and whose brilliant blog has been marked as spam by the GoogleTwits a.k.a. so-called 'spam busters'. May the Force be with her as they take four business days to sort it out...in the meantime, we can visit her here ). Also, the picture that should have accompanied this can't be put up, so I'll have to settle for just words to tell it how it was..

I've always been more of a lip gloss girl than a lipstick one. Lip gloss might have been declared uncool years ago, but given its history as the only cosmetic one could get away with wearing at school and the fact that I'm a sucker for owning it in every conceivable flavour*, my liking for it might be a little less inexplicable.
Lipstick just felt far too grown-up for me to ever be truly comfortable with it on. I know that sounds like a ridiculous thing for a twentysomething to say, but I really did believe that there wasn't a single shade of lipstick invented that could suit me. I really hate brown lipstick (which is what conventional wisdom- i.e. the makeup counter ladies- seems to say people with my skin tone should wear) and things with shades of brown because they have the unfortunate effect of highlighting every skin flaw I ever had, and quite a few that I don't. Which is deeply annoying, because my skin is actually pretty decent**- but it did leave me feeling rather grumpy about the world of makeup at large, with my options limited to a slick of clear or lightly tinted lip gloss and a kohl pencil (which may be de rigeur for a lot of Indian girls, but tends to leave me looking sleep-deprived and a little scary. Smoky eyes are one thing, panda eyes...completely different kettle of fish).
Therefore, last week- specifically, last Thursday- came as a bit of a surprise to me. Wandering around a local mall*** with an hour to kill before heading to the multiplex to see The Golden Compass, I stopped at a makeup counter and, just on a whim, asked the woman behind it to test some red lipstick on me- a look I've actually never tried before, probably scared off by one too many images of perfectly dressed 1940s women, adding the rider that it shouldn't be brownish. Five minutes later, I walked out of the shop with the purest shade of red they'd had in stock on my lips...and strangely enough, it suited me very well indeed. It did get me a lot of stares (not too many people my age wear red lipstick- most stick to pink and brown), and I don't mean to sound snotty or anything, but it looked good, and it was more than slightly refreshing to walk around messy-haired in my sneakers, jeans and big hooded jacket, with lipstick- specifically, that lipstick- on. I have a rather full mouth so potential clown resemblance (or worse, streetwalker resemblance) might have been an issue, but that didn't happen. And my skin actually looked pretty good, if I may say so myself. It turns out the whole 'red lipstick won't suit you' BS was just that- BS. And maybe the whole point of this rather long and rambly post was that something happened that I didn't think possible- namely, I actually learned that I could wear red lipstick in a way that seemed like me, without having to subject myself to a makeover for it.
The only thing that left me a bit iffy about the red lipstick way of life (and stopped me from buying the tube then and there) was the fact that the stuff is just so bloody messy. It rubbed off on everything possible- from the popcorn I was eating, to the fingernail I'd been chewing on while waiting for the movie to start, to the peppermints that took over from the fingernail a short while later- it took a lot of self-control for me to keep my fingers away from my mouth. And I don't even want to imagine what kissing somebody with that on would be like. Unless I want to pretend I'm a smudgy-mouthed-on-purpose Sabyasachi model...and it's possible that the non-transfer/long-stay/whatever Elizabeth Arden calls it version of the same wouldn't be as satisfyingly creamy. Oh, well. I can't have it all, I guess..

including peppermint, raspberry, chocolate, vanilla, banana, green apple, lemon, grape, strawberry, watermelon, and...tiramisu.
**People who've seen me up close for long enough or first thing in the morning are free to disagree, of course.
***a place I'd detest on principle if it wasn't the only place I could get my random sweets fix (wine gums, toffee whirls, mint fudge...)

Image from annie-thejourney.com.


This Might Be Why YouTube Is Brilliant..

It throws you up random videos of songs you loved crazily as a pre-pubescent, can shout along to even now, and haven't seen since 1997...does anyone remember Republica? I had to go through a few videos before I found the exact one that used to air here..
Republica-Ready To Go

It also passes Top of the Pops (Channel V used to air it here, between 1995 and 98/99) recordings of old shout-along pop favourites your way. Though I do not like the presenter for dissing Shampoo towards the end of the clip, it's still a pretty awesome clip and I love the costumes- there's something about midriff-baring shirts and chunky boots with miniskirts that just screams '1990s!' at me, though their clothes wouldn't look out of place in this decade either. Also, the girl on the left - I never could figure out which of the Shampoo girls was which- is wearing the hell out of those silly pink heart-framed sunglasses. It's rather a nice thing to go back to feeling eleven years old again, dancing (more like just jumping all over the place, really) around my bedroom.
Shampoo- Trouble (Live on Top of the Pops)

It's funny just how much 1990s music I loved...I've always thought I was a Britpop fan (and I am) but in hindsight, I liked the pop/rock stuff and random songs (anyone who liked the Suggs cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Cecilia, put your hand up!) every bit as much. Which should not be surprising, given that my musical tastes were formed in that decade.


..And This Is (Was?) Versace...

I was never really a huge fan of 90s Versace clothes (what I saw via magazines, and later, Fashion TV), or any Versace clothes till Donatella brought down the slut factor in her designs a few years ago, since to me it mostly meant slashed-to-the-hip/waist/ hip-and-waist or else supertight wonders (which are wonders indeed, once one gets past a bias against anything that looks like that). And their current ads are rather boring - supermodel lineup in 2006? Bleargh. Halle Berry modelling handbags? Likewise, even if she looked hot. And don't even get me started on the one with Demi Moore...
Which is why I was rather surprised (not to mention, very pleased) to find the images below, which were part of an Atelier Versace ad campaign by Steven Meisel in 1994. It isn't just the linked-arms camaraderie of the images that's giving me a few warm fuzzies: the geekiness of the slip-on shoes with socks and the stripy and otherwise funky prints on the dresses, are doing enough as it is- the shoes, slight pinafore-ishness of the dresses in the first two pics, and the hair styled into ponytails, remind me quite strongly of school uniform. Though I seem to detect a hint of qipao/cheong-sam (can someone tell me what the acceptable term for dresses like that is, please?) in the last dress. I don't think it'd be exaggerating to say that I love the photographs- they're sexy all right, but it's more about exuberance, as opposed to being all va-va-voom. Which is the kind of sexy that's right after my own heart...plus, Versace calling to mind bobbysoxers? I'd have loved it for that alone.

Images from The Fashion Spot.


I Am Blue Floppy Hat, Hear Me Grumble.

WARNING: long, possibly ranty rambling ahead- feel free to ignore.
A little over a year ago, I was getting quite itchy to start a fashion blog but didn't exactly have the courage to do it. Meanwhile, all my clothes-related ramblings went onto another blog I'd kept through 2006- a system which seemed to work pretty decently even if my yammering did befuddle anyone who read it. I didn't even think about what they thought of it until the day I got a comment telling me that the commenter hadn't thought someone could like Terry Pratchett and fashion at the same time .
I don't mean this as a slur against the person in question*, and they would never have meant to offend me, but I couldn't help but see it as an example of a very common and more than slightly unjust attitude to fashion that most people have: namely, the one that says that anyone who cares about her appearance/reads fashion magazines/actually admits to liking fashion and related things, is an empty-headed twit whose approximate IQ is twenty points below that of a tomato.
It isn't exactly a secret that fashion has plenty to do with the spending of money, and I've met plenty of people who openly admit to thinking it's twaddle. Which is fine, because there are some things I think are twaddle too (obsessive cricket discussions, most politicians' speeches, a lot of the lectures I've heard in college). What bothers me is that for so many people, the fact of caring about the way I look or admitting that I do think about it sometimes, indicates that I've given up having and using a brain. And while I get that constant change, which happens so often in fashion, confuses and unsettles some people, we can't get away from having to dress ourselves. Is attempting to do that in a way that reflects who you are, or who you would like to be, evidence of something bad? To put it in a slightly simpler way: people who love fashion aren't all idiots, or Cruella de Vil**. And some of us are very definitely Terry Pratchett fans. A lot of us are Harry Potter fans. Some of us love philosophy. And fashion doesn't get in the way of that.
Maybe it's just the fact of the recent Thinking Blogger meme that got me onto the subject here, but I suppose this is why I don't often discuss fashion with too many of my real-life friends..there are exactly two of them who will hear me out without being dismissive or giving up. And getting to read well-thought-out, brilliant posts from so many bloggers over the last year, makes the fact that they, too, could be subjected to such narrow-mindedness (I saw one example of it over at Kingdom of Style today) seem all the more unfair.
*whom I knew personally, and have a very high opinion of.
** though I think Daphne Guinness's hair is genius for reminding me of her.


Fangirlism (Literally!).

When I was little, The Mothership used to keep a small collapsible paper fan in her handbag to use whenever the sun got too much for her. They looked not unlike the ones in the last picture, but they were more mushroom-shaped than round, strictly speaking, and had pleats (not straight ones- my language skills are failing me, how do you say 'like sunrays' without sounding idiotic?) in the paper, and I remember being denied permission to handle them because fans like those were things only women- not little girls- carried. All the more reason to want one of my own, then.
To be absolutely truthful, handheld fans have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. The foldable fan The Mothership used to carry (sadly, she doesn't any more) was the chicest (before I knew what the word meant) way to make your immediate environment a little less suffocating, and I went through a long period of fan love after poring over one image after another of women with fans - this was around the time we studied the Chinese civilisation in school. However, the fan that fascinated me most was the giant one that used to hang on the living room wall of Mum's hairdresser, Auntie Sylvana. It was probably at least four feet wide when it was open, as it was on the wall, and there was no way anyone who wasn't a giantess could have handled it, but I still thought- and still do think- that it was one of the most gorgeous things I'd ever seen. And fans may not exactly be the most conventional of accessories any more, but I do feel the urge to snap one around a little bit, since swanning around with a fan in one hand has always seemed like a grown-up and slightly old-fashioned flirty thing to do. Never mind that I'd most likely get laughed out of the place first...but aren't they beautiful?
Images from dollsofindia.com, flickr.com, and the online shop of the Art Institute of Chicago.
PS: A big shout-out must go to DisneyRollerGirl, who's probably in Bombay by now- best of luck with the new job!



The wonderful LibertyLondonGirl gave me a Thinking Blogger award (and a lovely compliment to go with it- I still blush like a corndog at the thought) yesterday (Updated to add: while I was composing the post, Elisabeth gave me an award too! I'm honoured to get it from two amazing bloggers., and from the Queens) . Now, passing tags on is not something I'm very good at, and since many of my favourite blogs have already been tagged I'm at a bit of a loose end but will try anyway. So, I'm tagging:
1. Thesaurus Rex: I happen to have the privilege of knowing this gentleman in real life, but that isn't a necessary condition to enjoy the blog itself, which is by turns contemplative, amusing, and never anything less than excellently written.
2. Dreamecho: Like most of my taggees, she's on hiatus right now, and is severely missed. Easily one of the most articulate, stylish fashion bloggers out there- equally at ease discussing a runway collection she particularly liked, the results of a thrifting spree, and problematic advertisements.
3. Meg of The Apathist: One of my earliest blogger buddies, whose return to the blogosphere needs to happen soon- I've missed her frank, funny (not good for work, if you're liable to giggle), occasionally snarky posts - though I do hope you're having a good holiday, Meg.

4. Asta and Madelene of Fanatique: Asta and Madelene ran two of my favourite fashion blogs (La Primavera and Le Portillon respectively)- blogs which were thought-provoking, informative and always gave me something to contemplate even after I'd shut my computer down. I was sad when first Madelene, then Asta, began posting less frequently on their respective blogs and then declared that they (individually) would stop altogether, but now that their new project- Fanatique- is here, I'm thrilled to see it. It's every bit as good as I thought it would be given who's behind it, and I wish them both the best of luck (also, Asta's article on pre-Fall collections is a must-read for anyone who's perplexed by the sudden wave of A/W2008 fashions appearing when we weren't even out of 2007).
5. Their Royal Highnesses Queen Michelle and Queen Marie of the Kingdom of Style: As a loyal subject for the last year, I don't think it'd be an exaggeration to say that the Queens rule. Whether they're dressing up, telling off Grazia magazine for unleashing the word 'treggings' on the world, stamping models and photographs and pretty things with the Royal Seal of approval, or telling us about the antics of Bo and Amber, they are fantastic and regal like no one else.


It Rhymes With Versace..

...but Sabyasachi (pronounced sub-yuh-saachi) Mukherjee is more the Marc Jacobs of India (his clothes are equally off-kilter and yet eye-pleasing, though to be frank I think he's in a league of his own) . I'm useless at reviewing, but given that he's been near the top of my favourites list since his first India Fashion Week collection in 2002, a bit of explaining why might be in order.
The simple fact is, most Indian designers of that time seemed to envision their models as impossibly dolled-up, perfect, stiletto-wearing society hostesses/ladies who lunch- not a bad thing really, but Indian clothes are practically synonymous with fuss and embellishments, things that I personally can't stand in OD. Putting it bluntly, they simply weren't cool (unless you counted the odd exception, like Rajesh Pratap Singh or Manish Arora) . I don't think it's overstating the point to say that Sabyasachi changed that to a huge extent. Sadly, there don't seem to be pictures of his first LIFW collection from 2002 anywhere online, though what was revolutionary wasn't just the clothes themselves but also the styling - his models were sent down the runway in patchwork, turbans, giant Jarvis Cocker-esque glasses, and their obviously expensive, but still slightly roughed-up clothes worn as casually as bathrobes. He'd basically tweaked the nose of the conventionally held ideas of beauty and style (glasses? Quelle horreur! and later collections, which were equally slouchily brilliant, included models with fake baby bumps and models who munched on bread and chocolate while on the walk) - and that doesn't seem like as much of an achievement as it really is if you weren't watching newspaper/Fashion TV coverage of one parade of slinky pastel-coloured, sequinned/crystalled evening clothes after another back then....
But he's brought an edge to the notion of ethnic dressing, which is quite something. And, having had a peep at his clothes in real life, I can safely say they're even more beautiful in real life than they are in the pictures- and lovely to touch. He showed at New York Fashion Week for SS07 and SS08 (the latter was a fantastic show- watch it here. Or maybe that's just me finding the hammer-and-sickle t-shirt funny since we've been under Communist rule for the last thirty years, and probably won't come out of it even after the next thirty). I heard criticism of the show for being sloppy with the footwear (the commenter said New York demanded stilettos. I say, rubbish. I don't see stilettos going with this lot at all) and lacking shoes and bags, but frankly I don't think it's much of a nitpick - and I like the crazy volume even if it's supposed to be 'out'- though I'd love to see what he could do with a bit of sharp tailoring (his take on librarian chic? Me loves!). But I do think NY Fashion Week is the wrong one for him...London might have worked better, perhaps, given his slightly left-of-centre ideas and the fact that he's retailed from Brown's for years now.
Also, here's an interview with the designer. Do read.

SS04, India Fashion Week (smudgy lipstick, socks and jholas- bags like those on the girl to the right- enlarging is a must!)
SS07, New York Fashion Week

SS08, New York Fashion Week
SS08, New York Fashion Week
SS08, New York Fashion Week

Backstage SS08, New York Fashion Week


Hello, 2008.

Contrary to what the last post might have suggested, I am not a New Year's Eve party girl. My idea of the perfect way to celebrate dates back to last year, when J and I decided to skip going out and stayed in our room with two pizzas, lots of fluffy chick-lit type reads on our laptops, and a festive bottle of gin each. The silence was only broken by the odd giggle when one of us found something she was reading particularly funny- and we probably radiated smugness over the fact that we weren't stuck out at a party listening to bad Hindi remixes (two words: Himesh Reshammiya. AVOID!) or, in my case, suffering a repeat of the year when my best friend told a whopper about her age- and, by inference, mine too- which resulted in me getting hit on nearly all night by drunk (which I could forgive) and boring (which I couldn't) midthirtysomethings who thought I was twenty-five when the real figure was five below that.
This year's plan involved staying in and having a marathon Sailor Moon viewing while scarfing copious amounts of chocolate, but suckily for me, that didn't quite work out. So, in a homage to what might have been, I'll leave you guys with this picture of Tuxedo Mask, who is one of the spiffiest superheroes I've ever seen and much better dressed than your average save-the-day-er (more Zorro/Mandrake the Magician than Superman. Neat jackets beat spandex any day). If a superhero theme is the order of the day (it seems to have popped up on runways recently), a hot manga boy is as good a way to go as any....plus, I can't think of any reason not to love someone who uses full-blown roses as assault weapons. You have to admit, he's got style.

About Me

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.