Sunday, August 21, 2016

After Hours-II

Continued from what you read and saw here last week.
When did we stop believing in love? The have-eyes-only-for-each-other kind of love. The go-the-distance-even-when-we-are-far-away kind of love. As I think about love and the vantage point it had driven me to I realised it was also what put me in the firing line. My heart had managed to seep down to my knee sometime in the last few months and my sleep had headed for the fire exit too. But suddenly the opportunities were unending and I put my duster coat on with only one thought in mind: paint stories so magnificent in the after hours that the memories pack their bags too. 
With no idea of what I was after, I light a cigarette and let my lungs breathe in the toxicity of yet another kind. The music was going to be loud enough to drown out my heartbeat. The memories of the patchy drug-store aftershave mingled with the smell of sweat and alcohol rush in. The din of the night called. I answered.
Who was to say this was not love? I was walking on a cloud of nouveau experiences. The infinite human interactions that the future held. The mere idea of being in love with and at peace with the self. With every closing shutter I tried to slide under, this night refused to stop giving. I knew I was nearing a psychological climax. The kind I could only achieve by letting my heart carry me through the night. I had seen women in movies holler cabs and ask the cab drivers to take them wherever they pleased. I felt liberated, not stupid so I decided to walk. I walked to leisure valleys and I walked in parking lots. I walked till my legs refused to carry me. There was one last lingering thought that was holding my eyes open, how do broken hearts mend themselves? And just as I thought about it, a prickly searing pain lifted itself out of my body and the last thing I saw were flashing cameras right before I fell into a deep, peaceful, reticent kind of a lull. The dawn had broken.

Wearing in Image 1:
Dress worn as top: Huemn
Shirt and Skirt: Anaam

Wearing in Image 2, 3 and 4:
Dress: Huemn
Skirt and Shoes: Adidas Originals
Backpack: Squareloop

Wearing in Image 5:
Dress and fur: 431-88 by Shweta Kapur
Jacket: Zara

Wearing in Image 6:
Shirt: Zara
Gown: Huemn

Wearing in Image 7 and 8:
Top: Adidas Originals
Shoes: Adidas Superstars
Skirt: Poco & Jacky
Brooch on cap: Outhouse

Hair and Make up: Anjum Bharadwaj
Photography by: Raju Raman
Styling and creative direction: Vrinda Narang
Modelled and written by: Shreya Kalra


Sunday, August 14, 2016

After hours-I

I lean back comfortably on the lounge chaise. As comfortable as I could be anyway. The subjectivity of the term 'comfort' strikes you a lot harder when you have seen nights of drunken wish-washing with not a moment's bodily rest. The subjectivity of it all when you realise that insomnia and anxiety treat your body like their nesting cage. I thought back on the night I decided to sit at my old, rickety writing desk, a glass of wonder in one hand and a pen in the other. All I could manage with the pitter patter of the rain all night was a few doodles and the constant scribbling of his name next to mine. Not something I could turn in to my editor the coming Monday, could I?
I'm pulled back into the present as I think about sleep and the tumultuous relationship we shared. Sleep? Sleep is that that eludes me. There is a foggy sensation that envelopes my head. Sleep? I wonder again. But it's only the placebo effect. The discomfort is beginning to wear me down and the tingling cold makes me want to curl up and sleep. Remember the time we just could? I pull myself together and start pacing up and down the room with a soliloquy in mind. Maybe turning up the music a bit will help. I break into a tune as I take a bite out of a cold, day-old pizza. The taste lingers in my mouth just long enough for me to feel my body slacken in comfort. Signs. Music. Food. Thoughts. That was a definitely a lot of food on my plate, no pun intended of course. I was bound to slip into a night's worth of rest. I wipe the crumbs on my hand against the side of my skirt and find two old movie stubs from the time we took on the night together. I still could, couldn't I? The allure of a new beginning to breathe in the art in the gallery, the green in the parks, the music in the clubs, all with an overarching theme of solitude was beginning to draw me in......(To be continued)

Wearing in Image 1 and 2:
Robe: Poco & Jacky
Bralet: Zara
Pants: Anaam
Necklace: Outhouse
Strappy sliders: Forever 21

Wearing in Image 3, 4 and 5:
Jacket and pants: Huemn
Black dress: Poco & Jacky
Striped shirt: Zara
Shoes: Adidas Originals

Wearing in Image 6:
Overalls: Aanam
Shoes: Jeetinder Sandhu

Wearing in Image 7, 8, 9:
Fringed top: Koovs
Skirt and rain cheater: Adidas Originals
Luggage bag: Square Loop

Hair and Make up: Anjum Bharadwaj
Photography by: Raju Raman
Styling and creative direction: Vrinda Narang
Modelled and written by: Shreya Kalra
Location c/o: Hauz Khas Social & Yes Minister

Part deux coming up next.


Monday, July 25, 2016

FTLOFAOTxBhumika Grover : The age of love

Social media has ruined me. The writer in me typed in a lot of deconstructed thoughts when I sat down today to compose this piece. Why were they deconstructed, you ask? My habit now compels me to write shorter, crisper captions for instagram, Facebook and twitter thereby quelling my writer's instinct to just go on and on, seamlessly. Bhumika Grover's collection this season is about love and joy. It is festive and colourful and embarks on a sartorial journey that takes you back to your roots. Silks and banarsi weaves. Dabka and zardozi. Fuchsia and orange. Pale pinks and nudes. The collection is a festival that you would want to celebrate every year. A festival celebration that you would partake in to experience a joy unknown hitherto. While I play her muse for this look book, I finally decided to write a short story to utilise my creative block to write anything long, to the best of its capability.
Her eyes always betrayed her. The longing to just be and not be a pawn in the game of thrones, that was her life, always gnawed at her. Her lips spelt joy but the unwavering loneliness in her eyes always gave it all away. The dynasty continued. Yet, not a day arrived when the princess was accorded the powers that the princes from the nearby kingdom were. The dream of being an heiress to the throne because she loved her people lasted only as long as each breath. Why was it that the point of conversation, each time a reference was made to her, revolved around her beauty? She found the idea revolting. And a revolt she did lead. Until the day she freed herself and led her people to the dawn of independence, both in body and mind.

All pieces of clothing by: Bhumika Grover (her store is located in Shahpurjat, New Delhi. Check out the page for more details)
Jewellery: Designer's own and Vaitaanika
Shoes: The Shoe Garage, Shahpurjat
Hair and make up: Geet Sukhani
Photography: Sagar Ahuja
Styled and modelled by: Yours truly


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Truly Bridal: The diamond chapter

It is nigh impossible to not succumb to the charm of a diamond. There is absolutely nothing more true than that age old adage of the creepily close friendship between girls and diamonds. And like you will probably hear further down, I did try disproving it, much to my own chagrin.
There is absolutely no bridal outfit that cannot be taken a few notches above the original with a few diamonds. There is no real rule. More could be more, less could be less, depending entirely upon your taste. Personally I'm an edgy dresser and I would love to layer my diamonds or work with just one big piece alone.
Truly Bridal by Kalyan Jewellers gave me this incredible opportunity to do some real poetic justice with their line of diamond jewellery. One of the most intense and beautifully shot videos in this series by Kalyan Jewellers, if I might add. Find all kinds of ideas in here for every bride-to-be about how to pair those beautiful, regal diamond necklaces, earrings and bangles with all sorts of Indian outfits. If this doesn't inspire you to get your wedding shopping underway, not much else will.
Also, on another note this happens to be my last video for Truly Bridal by Kalyan Jewellers. Here's to a wonderful end to a season one and the bittersweet emotion of drawing and end.


Monday, June 27, 2016

DVF: Then and now

While Taxi Driver and American Hustle made DVF clothing and the glamour that was its +1 appear almost unattainable, I write this post with the hope that my fashion sensibilities that hardly ever ascribe to set trends and ideas will help you break the mould. 

Ever since I remember having found my bearing, the iconic silk jersey wrap dress by DVF, the fashion label of the erstwhile princess Diane Von Furstenburg; has been on my list of things to possess. You know, that list with items we all collate that we hope to call our own by a certain age. Why, you ask? Because this dress stands for everything that I am and hope to be. It embraces the power that comes with being a woman while at the same time it continues to belong to a league of its own. Pieces of clothing like these do not have a shelf life. They are the shelf. The bold prints usher in the Studio 54 glamour while the ballerina inspired top with just the right amount of décolletage and cleavage and the fluid skirt bring in the Park Avenue princess feels. Every dress as iconic as the wrap dress has a story to tell and in this case, I believe that the story of Diane going from strength to strength has only further added to the novelty of a piece like this.

Why is it important to know your designer? Can we detach the person that is the artist from their talent and the by product? I truly believe that a part of the artist will always find its way into their skills. I would not shy away from talking about the multitude of achievements under her belt because it inspires confidence for all the women vying to wear a DVF. A woman like herself known for her philanthropical work and undying efforts to honour the female entrepreneurial spirit via her awards is the kind of woman that her designs embody. A woman like the first woman of many a countries, be it Michelle Obama or Kate Middleton who have in the past won many a harsh critics over with individualistic and highly regarded fashion sensibilities. It comes as not the faintest surprise then, that the wrap dress has comfortably incised itself into the Costume Department of Metropolitan Museum of the Modern Art, New York.

The reigns of the creative province might have been bequeathed to Jonathan Saunders this year but like they say, there is always a right time for everything. Here's to hoping for everything iconic that arises from a design process that is incredibly iconoclastic, much like the cherished wrap dress.

Wrap dress: DVF by Diane Von Furstenburg
Large pearl studs and lace socks: Forever 21
Silver block heeled sandals: Bershka
Moss green suitcase bag: C/O Once Upon a Trunk

Photography by: Vinay Singh Tomar Photography

There is no rule to styling your wrap dress. Ever. Remember to head on to Wooplr where I share all my outfits (yes, even those that I find too narcissistic for instagram) and all my fashion inspirations. Better still, head over to Wooplr and browse through the inspirations and outfits of many a fashionable girls across the country and find easy ways to replicate those looks. Word of caution: Get inspired, do not copy. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Engineering Glamour with Rimzim Dadu

Every piece of clothing tells a story. Sometimes the story is a perfectly plotted fairytale, with the right amount of punctuations. At other times, the story is at best a nightmare. And at many others, the story comes to life through the channel of its garment and the wearer slips into character as soon as they put it on. Those are the best kind of clothes.
Rimzim's garments tell you that story. Think of a Mozart symphony that found a visual channel. A way to put a song into pictures. A technique to weave the symphony into textile. An idea that translated months of engineering into the finest form of understated beauty.
The surface texturing spell as cast by her clothes are the first thing that pop into your head when you take a moment to feel the garments. As a designer who believes in making her own textiles and redefining fabrics, Rimzim's garments give you a sense of earthy beauty that tease you into putting them on. It then, seemed ideal that we break the mould of 'My Village', her label and cast it in a light as never seen before. A dark palette with a hint of metallic tones and a body language to make you think Dangerous Liaisons in the present day were our essential ingredients for this potent concoction. The emphasis is on the natural sheen of the cording in her clothes, the minimal yet emphatic accessorising and the dramatic tones of the make up complementing the backdrops and props.
This editorial takes storytelling of one kind and uses it to augment the art of storytelling via another medium. Textures in apparel create an alloy with multi-level storytelling. The molten wire crop top and the hand embroidered metallic grey skirt, the handwoven leather trench worn over a 3D appliqué floral vine shirt in black, all lend it a feel of rich, unfailing, exaggerated glamour. 
Thank god for artistic license.

Styled and directed by: Namit Sirohi of Valley of Chic
Co-styled, modelled and story by: Shreya Kalra
Photography by: Aditya Saxena
Make up and hair by: Makeup by Supreet Dhillon
Location courtesy: Odean Social
All garments by: Rimzim Dadu


Friday, June 10, 2016

How to reuse wedding jewellery after wedding

I must be honest about this. Getting engaged and being one step closer to tying the knot, changes your perspective about a ton of things in life. You stop making impulsive Indian buys, for one. You actually start to stop and mull over jewellery decisions that you are or would be making. Yes, imagine. While I'm still quite clueless of what I really want for my wedding, the practical (almost non-existent) person in me decided to share a video on 'how to repurpose your wedding jewellery' with you all.
This video is in collaboration with Kalyan Jewellers and their Bridal property, Truly Bridal; which is everything you need to know about, before and after getting married. I, along with a few other extremely talented people from the fashion, beauty and jewellery industry have attempted to answer every question that plagues a bride-to-be.
I hope you enjoy the video and tune in to their channel for a lot more of these.
Tips on repurposing your wedding jewellery:

  • Wear your rani haar over a crisp white shirt with well tailored pants to go from work to cocktail dinner.
  • Use your pendant from your pendant set as a brooch for your plain clutch. 
  • Add your heavy chaandbalis to a cocktail gown or evening dress for the perfectly regal look.
  • Create your own hathphool with a big cocktail ring and a gold chain.
  • Use your multi stringed haar as an opulent piece of headgear or mathapatti for weddings and parties alike.


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