Make-up & Jewellery Organization

Here are a few things I have learnt about make-up and accessories organization:

· Make-up and jewellery looks pretty. So they need to be displayed, not hidden away in drawers and cabinets.

· They also need to be displayed because you need to see your entire collection every time you dress up. If you are a shopaholic like me, which you probably are if you are dealing with storage problems, you won’t even remember what all you own. So, it is important that everything you own is laid out in front of you, so you can choose justly.

· Innovative storage solutions can act as decor! Baskets, cute boxes, vintage chests, DIY storage – wonderfully satisfying ways of organizing things make your room artsy and add that personal touch.

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After years of dealing with broken, lost, tangled up jewellery and cosmetics, I decided to bring them all out. I love baskets and when I saw so many cute baskets at the Dollar Store, I decided to change the way I did things. And I am so happy! I have everything organized and laid out in front of me. I do not repeat things and give other items ‘a chance’. That also gives me the satisfaction that I am using all the stuff I have and have not merely wasted money on things I am never able to use.

What are your storage problems? And ideas?

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History and Fashion

If you look back into history, really back into history, you will find interesting styles – hairstyles, dressing styles and concepts. What is even more interesting is to see why people dressed the way they did. There were rules, hierarchies, obnoxious beliefs and interesting stories. History is a very interesting topic. It is so fascinating to know how people lived in olden times. And just think of it, there was a time when there were kings-queens, not a world of normal, working adults. How did the queens live? They wore elaborate dresses and actually had helpers help them sit and stand because their dresses were so heavy. What did the Kings do whole day? Address courts and fight on horses? How did man survive when he did not have a safe place to live and had to wander through forests having experimental food and fighting for life every day? How did he really invent shoes?

For me, all of it is really fascinating. And magical, to some extent.

We can trace back clothing and accessories way back to 3100 BC to Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. Ancient Greek, Rome, Early and Late Middle Ages, Northern Renaissance – all of these eras are superbly charming. Clothing gets richer, more elaborate and ornate.

But guess what, history repeats. And how! Designers have taken inspiration regularly from olden time’s art and costumes. Some influences are blatant, while some are subtle. I like both of them. For my first assignment in the History of Fashion class, I was allotted Medieval Ages (300 – 1500 BC); so the costumes are not ornate. Just interesting.

Here are the old pictures and their modern day influences.

Wimple: A garment worn around the neck and chin, and which usually covers the head.

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Portrait of a Young Woman in a Pinned Hat (1435) painted by Rogier van der Weyden

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Modern day wimple. Shot by Mario Testino for Vogue UK Sept 2011

Bliaut: a women’s and also a men’s overgarment worn from the eleventh to the thirteenth century in Western Europe, featuring voluminous skirts and horizontal puckering or pleating across a snugly fitted under bust abdomen. The sleeves fit closely from the shoulder to approximately the elbow, and then widen from the elbow to drape to floor- or nearly floor-length.

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Terence’s Comedies, St. Albans Abbey, mid 12th century, Folio 10 recto

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Gareth Pugh Sprint 2013. May not be a perfect adaptation of the original concept but I just loved the ruffles and fall on this outfit!

Hennin: A headdress in the shape of a cone or “steeple”, or truncated cone worn in the late Middle Ages by European women of the nobility.

Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius (Paris, French, about 1460 – 1470) attributed to Coëtivy Master, in the Consolation of Philosophy

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Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013/2014, Paris

Houppelande: An outer garment, with a long, full body and flaring sleeves, that was worn by both men and women in Europe in the late Middle Ages.

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A panel painting, part of Ghent Altarpiece, Belgium

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Dance Maestro Astad Deboo showcasing ‘Jade’ by Monica and Karishma at Lakme Fashion Week India 2014

Segmentae: Square or round decorative medallions that were placed in different areas of the tunic for decoration.

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Mosaic of Archangel Michael from Church of Santa Maria dell Ammiraglio, Palermo, Italy

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Anuj Sharma’s ‘Button Masala’ at Lakme Fashion Week India 2014

Clavi: Vertical stripes which decorate the front and back of a tunic.

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A historic piece in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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Chanel Pre-Fall 2011

And I can just go on and on. There are so many beautiful costumes and their modern day designs that it is really inspiring. Check out pictures of Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2013 collection on this lovely blog. Their collection, also inspired by medieval times, is mesmerizing. All their models look like Princesses.

If History, Art and Fashion interest you, check out Byzantine, Italian Renaissance, Medieval Times, Ancient Greek and Roman Empires costumes. You will be surprised with what you find.

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This post features on Blogadda’s Spicy Saturday’s Picks (4th Oct ‘14)

Magic Potion For Diet

After organic skin care, I am back with yet another Health & Beauty post. This time, I will be talking about diet. Personally, I am not someone who can diet. I hate raw greens. I love food. I love cheese and chocolates. So pure dieting is out of option. But by changing a few habits in my lifestyle, I have been able to reduce my weight a bit and then maintain it.

The magic potion.

Honey water collage

I swear by it. It has worked for me in the past and still does. Right now, my routine consists of a good mix of exercising and balanced diet. But earlier, when I was not into exercising, this mix helped me reduce weight on its own.

So, the first thing this mixture does is assist in reduce weight. Or, expedite the process. I am sure it doesn’t do anything on its own. Exercise and diet control has to accompany it.

Honey, lemon and warm water – each have their own benefits. Imagine what happens when you mix them together? It is indeed magic.

Warm a glass / cup of water for 35 seconds in the microwave. Drop in 5-6 drops of lime juice and one to two teaspoons of honey. Mix well and drink it up while it is still warm. Never have it hot. Just warm.

Have this concoction the first thing in the morning.

It is excellent for blood purification and stomach performance.

You can also have warm green tea with honey. But if you want something quick, hassle-free and equally healthy, warm water + honey + lemon is good enough.

Here are some other small diet changes I will recommend. However small these practices may be, they go a long way in making you fitter.

– Milk is a difficult thing to digest. Do not have milk later than 4 pm. Assuming you even sleep at 10 pm, 6 hours is sufficient time for it to break down.

– Eat at regular intervals. Avoid large meals. Eat little every now and then.

– Be careful about what you eat between meals. Make sure it is healthy and fibrous. Good options are nuts, multigrain biscuits, dried berries / fruits, fruit or cereal. Farsan and namkeen are NOT healthy and fibrous!

– Put in a decent mix of butter, cheese also in your diet. Your body needs them!

– Ban deep fried items like samosas, pakodas, chips and kachori completely! Keep them for special occasions, festivals and social visits.

– Use not more than 1 tablespoon of oil for every dish you make. Use water or steam to mix spices and veggies, not more oil.

– While preparing dishes like Omlette, Upma, Khichdi and Pulao try to put in as many vegetables you can. For example, my omelette has onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves, grated carrot and capsicum. In Upma, I put in peas, potatoes, beans, carrots and sometimes, capsicum.

– If you exercise, eat not less than 3 hours before exercising. This way, your body will use up stored energy for exercising. And you will actually end up losing weight.

Do you have some easy tips for healthy diet and weight loss? Put down a comment!

Step Dance On Runway

I recently posted an interesting video on my Facebook page. It was Rick Owen’s Spring 2014 collection fashion show from Sept 2013. Interestingly, his models weren’t slim, tall and fair. They were black and had real bodies. They did not do the regular catwalk. They were not required to look pretty. They had their faces angry and gritty. They bared their teeth and looked ferocious while they performed the step-dance. Their energy was violent. It is indeed a captivating video.

Stepping is an old form of dance that originated in Africa. It is an aggressive dance in which the dancer’s entire body is used to create rhythms through footsteps and hand clapping. This dance is usually performed in groups.

African tribal men used this dance to attract and impress women. Their step-dance involved rolling their eyes and baring their teeth. More aggressiveness was considered more attractive.

Step-dance was very popular in American Universities amongst African-American students. Today, there are stepping dance groups and competitions.

The point of all this is that fashion picks up lot of things from history. History repeats itself. We see how trends of sixties and seventies keep coming back; how vintage is totally in suddenly. If you go back and look at how people dressed in 3000 BC in various dynasties, you will see familiar designs. Many of today’s styles have been picked up from there.

Rick Owen’s Spring 2014 sportswear collection is called ‘Vicious’. His way of presenting his collection through vicious step-dance has been very innovative and made everyone sit up and watch.

You MUST watch the video. It is spectacular.

We were shown this video in our History of Fashion class.

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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Janmashtami Dressing

On Janmashtami, my cousin was holding a small puja. Just she, her mother and her room-mate. Not a big affair. Before that, they planned to sing Krishna songs – both film songs and non-film songs. Now those who know me know that I am hardly the religious kind. I don’t remember when I last went to a temple to pray. Or the last time I tried to connect with God. Performing pujas or fasting is out of question.

It is not that I do not believe in God. It is just that, we were never a religious family. As I grew up and began living on my own, the more I understood myself walking along the path of life, I focussed on clarity of conscience and spirituality more than deity worship.

Anyway, I decided to be a part of my cousin’s little celebration. Not that I am turning religious. Just that, being away from India makes me miss things particular to India – the festival, ceremonies, traditions and little beliefs. Singing Krishna songs was a way of connecting with my country. A way of remembering the life there. A way of saying I still respect all that my country is. And a proof that my heart is still there.

Here is what I wore. Nothing grand yet not very ordinary.

(Do you ever decide to wear a piece of clothing or an accessory or a pair of shoes first and then choose the rest of the outfit to go with it? Here, I decided to wear this scarf-cum-necklace and then chose the rest of the pieces.)

The scarf is an interesting piece. The necklace is joined with the scarf. It was gifted.

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Err, did I forget to mention that this event was also an opportunity for me to dress up and go out? Secondary reason. Believe me.

Pakistani Designers Impress at Lakme Fashion Week 2014

Top Pakistani designers dazzled on Day 1 of Lakme Fashion Week 2014. They brought in colors, patterns and art of a different culture, this bringing in a whiff of fresh air to this popular runway show. These designers debuted at the fashion week for the first time and oh, what a grand introduction it has been. I loved Anita Dongre (always a favorite), Anavila, Swati Vijaivargie and Shruti Sancheti (tough to choose just four favourites) too but designers from our neighbouring country brought something new on the plate. Here are some of my favourite looks.

Sania Maskatiya

Sania Maskatiya’s collection ‘Sakura’ was inspired by Japanese culture depicting cherry blossoms, tea houses and famous Japanese landscapes. Her silhouettes were classic, yet contemporary, very wearable and prints, refreshing. I loved the silky fabric she used and how she mixed fauna prints with geometric.

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Pictures Source: Sania Maskatiya Facebook Page

Zara Shahjahan

Her collection, ‘City of Gardens’, was inspired by vintage fashion of old Lahore; vintage florals were pre-dominant. She used lot of organza and shimmer in pastel colors. She is known for her intricate designs and silhouettes that represent feminine grace.

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Pictures Source: Zara Shahjahan Facebook Page

Rizwan Beyg

Probably my favourite of the lot. His designs for the fashion week were taken from truck art. He dedicated this collection to local artisans of Pakistan ‘who work on streets and are not recognized’. His quirky graphical designs were dosed in overwhelming color combinations.

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Lakme Fashion Week

Interesting, right?

Pictures Source: Riyaz Beyg Facebook Page

Got a favourite?