Tag Archives: how to dress for summer

When I Went For A Movie Alone

I would never want to watch a movie alone. I mean, what fun? Movies are for dressing up, break coffees and discussion throughout the movie. As I mentioned here too, I enjoy going to movies not just for the movie, but for the whole experience you go through when you go to a movie theatre with company you enjoy.

But I challenged myself to do it – to watch a movie alone.

So when I was in India a few months back, working on my designs, I gave myself that chance. I was living with friends who would be away at work everyday. I had to pass time somehow during the day and my friend suggested that I go for a movie. I dared myself to.

Was my experience good? No. Not at all!

To start with, the crowd was low in the beginning given the fact that it was a weekday afternoon. There were just some guys around and they kept staring at me. I was so conscious. And embarrassed. I know. For no reason. Later on, crowd added up and the hall was pretty full but I remained stressed. It felt like I was in the wrong; that I was committing a crime!

Needless to say, I am never going alone for a movie.

I just don’t enjoy it. There is no point forcing myself to change my philosophies. Movie watching is not a task for me; it is a fun activity that I want to do with people I like.

Talking about movies, I watched Haider the other day. I loved the acting and cinematography and music but on the downside, the movie was really slow, predictable to some extent and very, very depressing! Did they really need all those gross scenes and detailed violent proceedings? I am sure they could be done with.

Anyway, I think Summer ended yesterday. It was cloudy, cold and windy today and is going to remain so for the whole week. I am so sad!

I wore this yesterday to literally celebrate the last day of warmth. And in the spirit of the festive season, of course. I find harem pants the most comfortable thing on earth. and of course, I love adding an Indian touch to everything.

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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.

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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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fringe bag

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Sunburst Pleats

Sometimes, I just want to do nothing. And not feel guilty about it. All of us are running. Running everyday after things, after goals, after more challenging, difficult dreams. There is no end to it. There are social networks, blogs, blogging networks, work, household chores, social obligations – when do we just sit and do nothing?

I, for example, don’t know where my day goes. I have my morning coffee also between writing mails and looking for jobs. I don’t feel like I deserve to sit back and watch a movie. If I do so, I feel, I am wasting time! I must forever be doing something – productive. Its either college assignments or house cleaning or networking with bloggers or noting down ideas or working on them. And then, of course, there is the constant deliberation of what I am doing and what I want to do in life and how?

When did I last sit in my balcony garden with a cup of coffee? When did I last sit in a coffee shop with a novel? When did I last chat aimlessly with friends? When did I last go shopping for no reason? When did I last lie lazily on my bed and watch 3 movies in a row?

Can’t remember.

There is always something I want to do. I want to finish this and go on to the next task. Like today is the last day and I need to do everything today.

I wake up an hour before my alarm goes off (an hour, can you imagine!!) because I can’t wait to check mails and notifications and get on with my to-do list for the day. Well, it is good in a way that I have so many things to do and look forward to and that I am planning my days well but you know how all work and no play makes jack a dull boy!

So, as August begins, I resolve to give myself some real free time. Get away from all electronic devices and social networks for an allocated time during the day and enjoy with nature or music or a novel. Connect with an old friend and ask them about their lives. Take a stroll in the park and sit down under a tree with a novel. Sit in the balcony in the evening and watch mothers take their kids for a stroll. Watch a classic movie at the end of the day.

Just the thought of it makes me want to really do it.

Join the challenge with me?

The outfit.. Very casual, very easy with some of my favorite pieces. Elephant necklace from Linking Road Bandra, Croquet vest from Lifestyle, Pleated skirt from Bugis Street, Singapore, Tote Bag & Flats from Westside.

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Things To Be Happy About

Even though the outfit for the day is grey, I am hardly feeling grey (despite all the struggles I am going through right now that my friends and family know about). There are so many exciting things happening with me right now. Nada, don’t expect big events. Small, daily things have the power to fill me with joy. A new piece of outfit, a bar of delicious dark chocolate or even a new pen! Yeah, these really little things make me happy; make me look forward to the next day.

So right now these are the things that are keeping my mood high.

I have been gardening a lot lately. I trimmed off the overgrown succulents, propagated some into new pots. I have added a few grown plants to my balcony garden. I propagated two from seeds and cuttings yesterday. I am anxiously waiting from them to grow now. It will take atleast a month for roots to emerge but that doesn’t stop me from going to the balcony and gazing at them 5 times a day.

I had reeeaaally long hair till June. I chopped them off in short, messy layers before I left India in June end. My hair has never been good with short layers because it is wavy. I have never been able to control layers and fringes. But this time, they are behaving really well and winning compliments for me. Moreover, they are so so easy to manage during exercising.

I am blogging a lot. Like, day and night. And I love it! God knows why I shirk away from blogging every now and then. i am loving connecting with other bloggers, going through interesting websites and sharing stuff. I started blogging in 2011 on travel and fashion. While my travel blog thrived, I stopped focusing on my fashion blog. Alas! But well, I am doing it now and am lovin’ it.

It is summer! No other reason is big enough to make me happy. I love this season for the ease of living it offers. Ease of moving around, freedom to wear whatever you want and the activities it has to offer. I am enjoying this season to the fullest while it lasts.

I wore this recently for a casual outing with a family friend to a nearby fabric store. I felt this was perfect for the heat, the surroundings and had reasonable amount of style.

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Technology and Me

I was reading Shweta’s blog post earlier today about how technology can seize you and burn you down eventually. She recommends that one cuts off from social networking on all devices for some time everyday and do more meaningful things in life.

While I have always considered technology a blessing to mankind, I agree that technology (excessive, unnecessary social networking, rather) is just a waste of time and is tiring. We can now access all mails, chat options, social networking sites – everything – from our cell phones. And so, we are hooked on.

I am, for sure. I access mail, Watsapp, Hangout, WordPress, Facebook, etc, on my cell phone. My hand automatically picks up my phone every few minutes to check for notifications. Even though I know nothing would have come in, I still tend to check. I just end up with a headache by the time half the day is over.

When I switch on my laptop, I actually have nothing specific to check. Because I have seen and accessed everything already.

Sometimes, I feel like uninstalling apps like FB and WordPress from my cell phone. It makes no sense checking them 20 times a day. Moreover, there is no surprise element left when I start my laptop at the end of the day! I’d rather have the joy of checking lot of notifications and mails at the end of the day rather than browsing through apps aimlessly and getting frustrated.

But, I will not uninstall the apps completely because sometimes you really need to update or share something with your readers or friends and family at a moment and you need to do so right then. Delaying would dissolve the essence. This is one of the reasons why I love technology. Well, why I love technology calls for another blog post.

What do you think? Technology is really a blessing?

This is what I wore for errands running. What do you think of errands, by the way? Another debate, huh?

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Tank top: Clothes Rack

Skirt: Bangkok

Flats: Target

Bangles: Fabindia

Necklace: Gifted

Tote: Need I say??

New It!

Human beings tend to resist change. Why? Is it because they don’t think there is anything better beyond their current state? Or, is it because they are afraid to come out of their comfort zone? For me, it is a bit of both. And a few recent experiences have proved to me that one must try out new things and widen their outlook.

I have never been into sports. But I couldn’t have avoided Sunday’s FIFA finals. All the excitement happening around me didn’t catch up on me until I landed up at a sports bar with friends at half time. The dark restaurant was filled with people and beer towers. A friend was helpful enough and explained the concepts to me continuously. Pretty soon, I was involved with the game. And what a game it was! Thank god I was open minded enough to agree to go to that place and sit through patiently. Very frankly, the game wasn’t what I was interested in initially. It was the experience, the crowd, the energy. I wanted to feel and experience those vibes.

I am happy I did. And they had a good effect on me.

Another thing I have undone myself to is wine. Alcohol was a strict no-no for me and still is, except wine. Now, I love wine. These pictures are from my recent trip to Napa Valley. I went for two wine tastings (one of which was an amazing wine and food pairing thing) and loved the experience. Not only did I drink ALL the wine, I listened intently to all that we were told about the wines and asked questions. Indeed Napa is a beautiful place. But it is incomplete without wine. And just having wine isn’t as fun as tasting different kinds of wine and understanding their origins.

So next time you are asked to try something new or are expected to exit your comfort zone, just go for it. You may just surprise yourself with your own response.

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Linen dress: Globus

Neon gladiator sandals: Unionbay (via Kohl’s)

Wooden Bangles: Mysore

Sunnies: Polo Club