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"Most influential blog in New Delhi" - Hindustan Times, 2011
"One of the finest fashion bloggers in India today." - The Hindu
"A comprehensive commentary on trends & styles." - HT Brunch
Top 5 Best Fashion Blogs, 2014 - Blogadda

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fashion History - 7 Interesting Photographs from Early 20th Century

Regular followers of my blog are quite aware of the fact that I am deeply enticed by history of  costumes and fashion. How we perceive the beauty or ugliness of our bodies is dependent on cultural attitudes to physiognomy. The voluptuous pear shaped beauties in Renaissance paintings are considered subliminally undesirable nowadays as compared to a lean and toned Alessandra Ambrosio or a Megan Fox.. and these are the very socio-cultural changes that fashion history testimonies. History of fashion is an exciting subject that not only testimonies the evolution of costumes and trends but more importantly stands as a barometer to cultural changes.

Here I share some very interesting photographs that I collected over time. All these photographs are taken during early 20th century, between 1900-50s and illustrates some little known but remarkable trends and events associated with costume and fashion history.

1. THE BIG TREND

THIS IS A PHOTO OF A CROWD IN NEW YORK, TAKEN IN 1939. IT IS REMARKABLE THAT THERE IS NOT ONE HAT-LESS PERSON IN THIS PICTURE!


2. MAKING HEADS TURN

THE MYTH SURROUNDING THIS PHOTO IS THAT TWO WOMEN WEARING SHORTS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PUBLIC CAUSED A CAR ACCIDENT. WHILE I AM NOT SURE IF THE CAR REALLY CRASHED OR IF THEY WERE THE FIRST WOMEN TO WEAR SHORTS... BUT THE SHORTS DEFINITELY DREW ALL THE MALE ATTENTION LIKE MONICA BELLUCCI DID IN THE MOVIE MALENA!



3. THE CLASS DIVIDE


THIS PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURES THE CLASS DIVIDE OF PRE-WAR BRITAIN IN 1937.


4. TESTING TIMES


THIS IS HOW A BULLET PROOF VEST WAS TESTED BACK IN 1923!


5. ORIGIN OF SIDEBURNS


CIVIL WAR GENERAL AMBROSE BURNSIDE, WHOSE UNUSUAL FACIAL HAIR LED TO THE COINING OF THE TERM "SIDEBURNS".


6. STOCKINGS SCARCE


DUE TO SHORTAGE OF NYLON STOCKINGS IN 1942, WOMEN WOULD PAINT THEIR LEGS SO IT LOOKED LIKE STOCKINGS.

7. BEFORE THE SARTORIALIST


MUCH BEFORE THE SARTORIALIST, AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHERS EDWARD LINLEY SAMBOURNE DOCUMENTED STREET STYLE IN EARLY 20TH CENTURY. HIS PHOTOGRAPHS HAD A CERTAIN CASUAL AND NATURAL FEEL TO IT UNLIKE THE FORMAL LOOK IN OTHER EDWARDIAN FASHION IMAGERY.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Week That Was

The October sky in Chennai belongs to a widow - gloomy and weeping. I hate when it rains. The night air was buzzing incessantly with the noise of infinite raindrops plunking onto the damp earth. Flashes of livid lightening relentlessly illuminated the room filled with grey smoke. Green grass lay as burnt ash in an empty cigarette pack. I cuddle myself in warmth trying to grasp the unusually artsy and surreal night that the rain had to offer. For once, I didn't hate the rain. It’s quite atypical that I am high on spirits unlike the murky ambience, feeling warm from within. I haven’t felt this contented in long that I now feel anxious to have realized the comforts of feeling this way. There is certain uneasiness in wrapping my mind around the idea that things are fine. But then, things are fine!

It was all about changing perceptions... about the rain, about work, about people and about life in general – the week that was.

I woke up next morning to find my article titled '19 Reasons Why A Fashion College Is The Coolest Place To Study In' featured in IFB Links a la Mode among the top 20 blog posts of the week. Here is the complete list of top 20 articles featured by Independent Fashion Bloggers community.

lalam1016

Fall Girls

With fall in full swing, we're all breaking out the sweaters, getting the coats out of storage. And of course, doing a bit of fall shopping. Now is as good a time as any to investigate where the trends are headed so you can make the most of your fall fashion budget. This week we have a great roundup of fall hauls, trend reports and outfit inspirations to help you decided which way you're going to fall this year.

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup


INSTAGRAM & PINTEREST
I have been in the blogging haul for over five years now, quite accustomed to old-school techniques. It was much recently that I bothered to pay a visit to my Instagram account that remained unattended for couple of years now. I didn't take much time to learn about the social-media comforts that Instagram offered once I started using it actively. Better late than never, a Pinterest account followed soon. Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.


THE WEEK THAT WAS
Monsoon showers in Chennai

Movie time - Anabelle at LUXE Cinemas, Chennai

That spooky moment when I watched a horror movie in an almost empty hall!

Selfie taken at the opulent LUXE Cinemas, Chennai

Football time, Cheering for Chennaiyin FC (View all the photos taken from the  Chennaiyin FC vs Kerala Blasters game)

Shopping time - Instantly fell in love with this ash-blue printed shirt with concealed front placket and narrow collar at John Players.

Ash-Blue John Players shirt + Yankee cap

Movie time again... Watching Kaththi at Prarthana Beach Drive InComplex, Chennai

Celebrating Diwali - The Festival of Lights


A guest blog article I wrote for Pantaloons - Diwali Shopping with Rahul

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

19 Reasons Why A Fashion College Is The Coolest Place To Study In

It is one of those congenial mornings when I woke up reminiscing fond memories back from my fashion college days. Time moves on so quickly that I almost failed to grasp that it has been over a year since I graduated from Department of Fashion Design, National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi.

It is funny how as a student, all I did was to whine about the endless assignments and submissions and here the transient life brings me to a point when I hopelessly yearn to relive those crazy moments.

As a fashion design student, three things that I did all day was to
1. Work
2. Work
3. Work
I mean it.

Strangely, all the preliminary research and conceptualization of design takes 95% of the time period while the bigger task - execution happens overnight. Twenty four hours are never enough in a day when you have to be an artist, photographer, graphic designer, carpenter, sculptor, research analyst, visual merchandiser, tailor and many more things, all at the same time in continuum for four years. Sound of sewing machine stitching the fabric becomes music to ears and the air you breathe carries the smell of muslin. Students in a fashion college don't get time to go out on a date. Visiting fabric store for sourcing with girlfriend is more-or-less the date. Usually the saying is "from rags to riches", but in a fashion college it is "from riches to rags". Studying in a fashion college is expensive, period. And in spite of all the exhaustion and chaos, fashion colleges are individualistic, fun and cooler than the rest.

In association with COLLEGE DUNIA, here is my take on why a fashion college is the coolest place to study in.

1. MOST FASHION COLLEGES LOOK PRETTIER THAN YOURS
NIFT New Delhi Campus

Amphi Theater and Ramp at NIFT New Delhi

2. FASHION COLLEGES ARE ALWAYS BUZZING WITH HAPPENING ACTIVITIES & OTHER DESIGN WORK SHOPS
Body Painting

Fashion Shows

Kalamkari workshop at NIFT Delhi

3. THE WORK WE DO IS MORE HANDS-ON AND LESS THEORY
Pattern Making

Garment Construction

At Dying lab

4. EVEN IF IT'S THEORY, THE SETUP IS LESS DEMANDING..... YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN :D
History of fashion module

5. MARKS? NOBODY BATS AN EYE! MANAGE TO GET A PASS GRADE AND THAT'S ALL. TOPPER IN A FASHION COLLEGE? WELL.. YOU ARE A STUDIOUS STUDENT - THAT'S THE ONLY CONCLUSION TO BE SURE OF.

6. WE ARE INSOMNIAC & SOMETIMES SLEEP IN LAB.
Lemme take a nap ;)

7. IN A FASHION COLLEGE, WE DON'T MIND MESS.... WE LIKE TO GET OUR HANDS DIRTY!
With all that stationary and work, even our apartment is messy sometimes :D

8. FASHION COLLEGES DON'T HAVE CONSERVATIVE DRESS CODE NORMS
Students at NIFT New Delhi
I have heard tales about crazy dress code norms like anything sleeveless, tshirts etc. being banned in other Indian colleges... It's the last thing to happen in a fashion college. A pair of shorts? Mini Skirt? Denims? Tshirts? Shirt? Vest? Blazer? Well.. You can wear it all and nobody stops you.

9. WE MAKE STYLISH CLOTHES... DUH!
My batch-mate Smridhi Mehra working on her graduate collection.

10. AND WE WEAR WHAT WE CREATE
Wearing my own 'The Beatles' tshirt print creation.

Friends wearing my creations.
Ensemble 1- Double collared blouse + Dhoti inspired trouser
Ensemble 2- Dress inspired from deconstruction
Ensemble 3- Peplum top with notch collar seams + Lungi

11. AND OF COURSE, THE FASHION SHOWS
First ever fashion show in my life at NIFT New Delhi, Fashion Spectrum 2012


Models wearing creations of Fashion Design students at Fashion Spectrum 2012, NIFT New Delhi. My creation - second from left.

12. IN A FASHION COLLEGE, MOST STUDENTS ARE PART TIME MODELS TOO.
Students helping out fellow batch-mates by modelling for photoshoot sessions.

13. BETTER JUNIOR-SENIOR RELATIONSHIP
Fashion colleges have relatively small crowd and almost everybody in the department know each other. Juniors and seniors co-exist in harmony, with lesser attitude issues helping each other with their work, which is mostly unseen in other colleges.

14. UBER-COOL TEACHERS
Fashion colleges have friendly, broad minded and uber cool faculties. They understand that we students are young adults and treat us like one.

15. SEX RATIO
Unlike other colleges, girls outnumber boys here. Go feminist!

16. BROAD MINDED & INDIVIDUALISTIC CROWD
Hmmm... Mini skirts are clearly not the reason for rape. Students in a fashion college would unanimously agree. Discrimination among students on basis of gender, sexuality, religion, nationality or any identity as such is almost negligible in a fashion college. Irrespective of how you were before entering, you leave a fashion school as a broad minded and individualistic person. We do not conform with the crowd, we do not defy the crowd. We just become ourselves.

17. FASHION STUDENTS PARTY LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW....
SOMETIMES OUTDOORS....
At V Lounge, New Delhi

AND SOMETIMES INDOORS...
A memorable Bollywood theme party hosted by exchange students from Australia.

AND WHEN WE EXHAUST THESE....

WE ARE OUT IN THE STREETS AT 4AM IN SEARCH OF FOOD :D


18. AND WE STILL WAKE UP NEXT DAY TO MULTITASK!

19. AND LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST, WE BE THE MOST STYLISH FOLKS B-)

Apart from your interest in fashion, well aren't the reasons jazzy enough to enroll in a fashion college? Visit College Dunia to find yourself the most suitable fashion school on basis of location, ranking, rating, fees and cut off for different competitive exams.

Celebrate #WhoEverYouAre

Tonight at the stroke of midnight I am at a standstill wanting to get unusually personal here in the blog. At this hour when I can barely manage to keep my eyes open, when my body is in denial, I possess a profound urge to get this out of my system before I suffocate myself to sleep with nostalgia.

The bitch is that I constantly wrap myself in a cocoon, reminiscing what’s gone and perpetually blame myself, overlooking other future endeavours and what they hold for me. Some things are impossible to forget but being struck in time is no good either.

I have made errors. Errors of assessments, errors of hope, errors of despair, errors of optimism, errors of pessimism and even grammatical errors in this article – which simply makes me more human.

Our troubles in life are as immense as we make them. Tonight, I am not writing to complain about how everything is miserable around me. I am not writing to rant about how I didn’t play my cards right. Instead, I am writing to accept my actions albeit it is a lifelong loop of rights and wrongs. I am writing to acknowledge both the white and black. I am writing celebrate who I am. I am writing to share this wonderful ad campaign by OBI mobiles that is about celebrating #WhoEverYouAre

You don’t have to be right or wrong. You don’t have to be an optimist or a pessimist. You don’t have to be conventional or unconventional. You can simply be whoever you are and nobody can deny it to yourself.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mixed Emotions, Mixed Medium

"That feeling when you don't even know what the f*** you're feeling."

So, jazz up a slow Saturday by doing something you like - an illustration. Mixed medium - acrylic paint, water colours and pencil.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Getting Personal

One of my unspoken resolutions for over a year now has been to be a bit more personal here on the blog. Here’s a bit of refresher - 25 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME


1. I am an INTP personality
2. I share my birthday with artist Vincent Van Gough and Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.
3. As a child my biggest fear was to meet a ghost. I would put myself to sleep with scary thoughts of a ghost hiding under my bed.
4. Of course, I grew up and I am now a staunch believer of atheism, science and rationalism.
5. I enjoy solitude, deep thinking, privacy, personal space and autonomy.
6. I am insomniac. 90% of the articles in the blog were penned between 1AM-5AM.
7. But when I sleep, I hibernate. It’s almost impossible to wake me up till I do it myself.
8. First thing I do after waking up from sleep is to put myself back to sleep.
9. I have never visited a hair salon in last 3 years. I cut my own hair.
10. I am 23yrs old and I still don’t have a driving licence.
11. I recently purchased a Canon DSLR and took a selfie within a selfie.

12. I know it’s impossible for most people, but I can lick my own elbow and do other crazy flexible stunts which my friends find creepy.
13. Booze or grass? I go with grass.
14. My favourite drinks are coffee and beer.
15. I am allergic to drunkstick (vegetable).
16. I won the title Mr.Fresher in my 1st year at NIFT New Delhi.
17. If not fashion design, I would have studied architecture.
18. I hardly show emotions. I bottle my thoughts & feelings.
19. My hands and feet are always cold.
20. I am not a big foodie, but even I find it hard to resist fish, crab, prawns and lobsters. Let's add well-done beef steak with potato mash to the list.
21. I can type some 100 odd words in a minute, without looking at the keyboard.

22. I speak four languages – English, Tamil, Telugu & Hindi.
23. Something I have fantasized for a long time now – Spend a night in beach, under a moon lit sky with million stars. A campfire. Beer bottle in one hand, the person I love in the other. Endless conversations and love.
24. Last thing I did for the first time – Weight training! Has been a week now :)
25. I am very thankful to all my blog readers! You’ve kept me going for over five years now. Love.