Category Archives: Dressy

Houndstooth Is The Pattern of the Season

Houndstooth has often been the trend for Fall seasons. It goes and comes but it never goes away forever. Houndstooth is classy and eternal.

But this time, I am seeing it in a new way. It is everywhere. And by that I mean, really everywhere. On shoes, jackets (obviously), shopping bags, base of shoes (??). You go to a mall and everything is directing you to buy houndtsooth. Anything. It could even be a bed sheet or a coffee mug!

I have had this silk enlarged-houndstooth print Iora top since ages. It is very versatile and easy to wear. I throw it on when I do not know what else to wear. It just makes my life simple.

I added a pop of color to it this time. I obtained this blue-green silk scarf recently and am in total love with it. Its texture is so amazing. I like tying long scarves into a knot on the side of my neck. I think it looks really cute and sophisticated. Try it sometime, ladies.

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Dotty

I stepped into my fourth semester at school 2 weeks ago and things have been crazy since then. As always, I am taking time to fall into a new schedule. I have been lost, to some extent, such that once I got days confused and ended up going to the gym on the wrong day for a class.

If classes and job search weren’t enough, I have taken up internships at a couple of places. Ok, 3 places. That’s a lot, no? I took up these opportunities because I was excited about the profiles and learning they had to offer; I couldn’t say no to any of them.

In the process, I have pretty much ignored my shop and my blog. Thank God for scheduling, my social media has been pretty active.

Talking about internships, I was pretty nervous about them. Initially, I had doubts about even getting through, forget surviving. To overcome this fear, I decided to face it. I just went for it. I applied at 3-4 places, gave interviews and to my surprise, got through all of them! Imagine my delight!

I have begun work on all of them and it is super-fun. I enjoy all the profiles. Sometimes, it is craft work (something I haven’t done since graduation days), sometimes styling and sometimes handling social media – all of which I enjoy. It is so much fun going back to what I really enjoy.

More about them later.

This post was long due. I really liked how the pictures came out and was reserving them for a ‘better time’. Well, there is no better time than now. So here they are.

Skirt: The Basic Closet

Top: Custom made

Shoes: Payless

Earrings: Fabindia (gifted)

Bangles: Street find, India

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The Story of Block Prints

Block printing originated in China about 2000 years ago. In India, this art became popular in the 12th century in Rajasthan (a western state of India). The royals wore rich costumes featuring intricate motifs. Textile printing later flowed into the neighbouring state of Gujarat (the state immediately south of Rajasthan and also my home state). Indigo seeds have been discovered at the ancient archaeological sites of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. Even today, indigo and white is the most common and popular color combination in block printed fabric.

Block printed fabric is very visible in Gujarat in the form of home decor products like table cloth, bedsheets, cushion covers, wall hangings as well as clothing like saris. A very typical motif used is paisley. It is known as ‘keri’ in India, which means raw mango. Indeed, paisley looks like raw mango and that’s how the motif originated. Other popular motifs were peacocks, horses, birds and flowers. Now, of course, prints have become wilder and quirkier. There are abstract prints, geometric designs and even pop art.

Block printing was originally done using wooden blocks. You will be amazed to know that in many parts of India, even now this method is used. It is what gives the print a rustic, ancient look.

Wooden block printing is a very time-consuming method and requires a lot of precision and skill. Motifs, patterns and border designs are manually printed on using wooden blocks. The colors cannot overlap, motifs cannot be unevenly placed and there cannot be strike-offs. One has to wait for a section to dry before the next one can be printed (to avoid overlap or rubbing off of colors). But this is what makes the art so unique and valuable.

Nowadays, chemical dyes are very common but originally vegetable and plant dyes were used. They were organic and very natural. Even today, most of Rajasthan and Gujarat printed textiles use organic colors. This is the reason why colors tend to run off when washed. But again, the beauty of these fabrics comes from use of earthy colors like indigo, dark green, rust, red and mustard. These are the colors of the royals of the past and Indian art.

I have been greatly smitten by the motifs and patterns of block printing because I have grown up seeing and wearing them. When I worked in Maharashtra (another western state of India) and was always decked up in pretty block print Indian wear, my female colleagues were all in awe. I used to take tons of stuff for them every time I returned from a vacation at home.

Block print may have shied away from the dynamic and modern fashion world but I feel it is evergreen. We do see it here and there; it stands out from the rest of the swarm.

My clothing line is all about printed cottons – some of them are very typical ethnic block prints and some are contemporary. You can totally wear them with today’s fashion pieces because I think blocks prints are here to stay.

Presenting my favourite printed skirt from my line. Hope you like it.

Available for sale on my Etsy shop or Facebook page.

block print skirt 4

block print skirt 2

block print skirt 3

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Fringe Benefits

The first time I ever saw a fringed product was a black bag at Rocia. And I fell in love with it instantly. Some 3 years ago, it was a good enough steal at Rs. 1700. I didn’t buy it out of some pretentious, forced greatness and regretted later on. I never saw it again!

So when I saw this bag in Singapore a few months later, I grabbed it. Whatever the cost may be, I wanted it.

I love this bag so much that I keep it safely in my handbags box (yes, it is a big box) and don’t bring it out into the evil world.

When Fashionlivre put up a feature on fringe on Facebook a few days back, I instantly thought of this bag and dug it out.

I think it goes really well with shades-of-grey striped maxi. I also like the contrast of multicoloured feathered statement neckpiece and multicoloured pom-poms golden kada against the grey.

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Doing The Denim Trend

I love denims, especially jeans. My favourites are stone washed jeans – jeans that have a worn out look. Of course, ripped jeans are not to be left behind.

I am so glad denim is the texture of the season. Denim and chambray shirts have made a comeback, to be paired with other denims, dresses, skirts and all kinds of patterns and textures. Denim vests too are going to be very visible this season.

Pair well-worn jeans with a loose, sexy plain white shirt. Or wear straight leg denims with a cartoon tee and colored sneakers. Put on a denim vest on a floral dress. Or wear a chambray shift dress. Look laidback with denim & sneakers or sexy with skinny jeans and stilettos. Nothing is as handy denim.

I immediately rushed to find my denim vest-cum-shirt which is extremely cute and versatile. I have worn it in several ways and this is one of them.

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denim studded vest

metal indian neckpiece

Buy this neckpiece here!

denim summer 2014

statement neckpiece

block heels

The neckpiece is on sale on my shop! Place orders there or in the comments section below.

Share how you wear your denims!

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Good Things Have Happened

Moving countries can be difficult. Switching careers can be difficult. Leaving your comfort zone and walking into unknown can be difficult. Trying to establish yourself with all these constraints can be slow and frustrating. It requires lot of patience and perseverance.

This phase seems to be going on forever for me. I am always looking with a lot of remorse at what all I gave up. That said, I have seen so many new things, learnt so many new things and met different kinds of people who have widened my thinking horizon. This move has brought out my hidden wishes, desires and aspirations. I have done things I only imagined that I wanted to do but never did. And never thought I would ever be able to.

So today, on a very positive note, I list down all that I have gained from the Big
Move that happened 1.5 years back.

I learnt to bake

And cook. I have loved trying new dishes, searching for recipes and challenging myself. Ages ago, I had visualized myself as an expert cook but I had absolutely nil experience in the kitchen! This move brought out that side in me. I taught myself baking too! I have some signature cakes that I bake on friends’ birthdays and carry to gatherings as gift to the host. When I reached the stage when I was passing on recipes to others, I concluded I had reached my goal.

I dance every week

.. and became a fitness freak in the process. I was forever looking for Aerobics classes in gyms in India. Weights and machines have never appealed to me but dancing does. I always wanted to be very fit and have great stamina. I joined the nearest gym that has regular group classes like Yoga, Spinning, Zumba, Pilates, etc. Obviously, Zumba is my favourite. The group received me with welcoming hands and I feel a great sense of belonging there. I literally let my hair down and dance like I’m the only one dancing (I happen to be a good dancer. So it’s okay!). Once my stamina improved with Zumba and yoga, I moved on to other exercises and my own capacity amazes me. To enjoy the process more, I got myself some gorgeous workout clothes (again something I always wanted) that boost my morale even more.

I get to eat all kinds of food

I am a foodie. Apart from my huge appetite and weak willpower, I love eating different cuisines and types of food. America is food paradise. You name it and its here. I have indulged in Italian, Peruvian, Mexican, Pakistani, Thai, American, Persian, Cuban and Greek food eagerly and have loved every bit of the journey. There is a new variety at every corner and it is a wonderful opportunity for people who love to just eat.

I learnt to talk

I used to be an introvert. Put me in a group of people (even if they were known) and I didn’t have guts to open my mouth. I preferred hiding behind someone. Here, I learnt to open up. I learnt to get along with all kinds of people. I gained the confidence to face people and strike a conversation with them.

I got even more obsessed with music

I love music. The first thing I do in the morning is switch on music. I love different genres of music. Like, ghazals, 90’s Bollywood, dance, Sufi. Here, I was introduced to the world of world music. Now I listen to all kinds of music – Country, 70’s, Meditation, Middle Eastern, Soft Rock. FM Radio and Spotify changed my world. It is now way better than before in this aspect.

And there have been many more take-aways.

So… if I really count my blessings, I am indeed blessed.

Now to the outfit. Lately, I am loving printed pants (this is another one I have). Abstract to conversation print to floral. They can even be ethnic. You can go crazy with them. I got these ones from AND and have worn them for almost every outing for a month. They are comfortable and have a great fit. I also love their ethnic appeal.

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Pants: AND

Top: Yishion

Leather flats: Westside

Neckpiece: Gifted (Also posted here)

Bag: Really old!

Sometimes Life Can Be A Scorpio

Coming to a new country after leaving a completely settled, content life can be daunting. It seems brave in the beginning but once you are deep into it, it is pure depressing and stressful.

I have spent almost a year in the US and have coped up well here – made friends, am doing well at college, am driving around and shopping on my own, pursuing my hobbies – and yet, I find myself in awkward situations every now and then.

Like the other day when I met a friend for lunch and realized I was very low on petrol (Yeah, I still say petrol). I asked my friend to help me because I had never filled petrol on my own before. And when we 2 ladies were frantically looking for the button to open the tank, I eyed a man looking at us. It was a Sheesh! moment.

And later at college, a classmate and I ended up talking about our Thanksgiving holiday plan. She said she was visiting Disneyland with family and I blabbered off on how wonderful it is and what they should be doing there only to know later that her husband has worked in the Art department of Disneyland for many years and it has been their regular holiday destination. Oh my gaad!

My first awkward moment actually happened 10 days after I landed in the US at one McDonald’s in LA. We finished off our food and while leaving, I spotted the illuminated Exit sign. For some reason I thought that is where you are supposed to exit from (and not from the entry way) and Whooooooooooooeeeee went the alarm. I saw a hundred eyes on me. I wanted to melt but I bravely walked back the same way, went up to the servers at the counter (who were going on with their work like nothing had happened) and told (rather, stuttered to) one of them that I had accidently let off the alarm. She looked really annoyed.

But the best thing here is no one really cares. No one gives you or your actions much thought. They are not judgemental. This is how I adjusted so well at college (with a totally new career) and find most happiness there.

india fashion blog

india fashion blog

green flats

scorpio top

scorpio top

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