Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bringing sexy back

I walked into a party once and found myself deeply embroiled in a controversy, two minutes into a conversation with a man. "You're a fashion person, you should know. More the skin, sexier the outfit.", I was told. But precisely because of the fact that I came from the fashion industry could I say with the utmost confidence (sexy confidence, if I might add) that being sexy, since time immemorial has had to do with so much more than skin. I like to lead with example. Not my own at this point, but Courtney Love to me, is the epitome of all sexy ironies. Unruly hair, peter pan collars, slip dresses with ripped stockings, even Mary Janes and somehow I also find fascinators in the weird mix. That, on paper does not spell sexy but when you throw in Courtney's rock-n-roll persona into that mix, it's a yelping winner. 2013 saw Hedi Slimane's YSL campaign headlined by Love and her contemporaries, and was it sexy or what.
A white over-sized shirt is sexy. So is a leather (or pleather if you may) miniskirt, a la 60s. Bare skin is sexy. But so are oversized clothes. A fresh blow dry is sexy but so is the sweat and elbow grease of a work out.
I have been begging to understand why should the two ideas be mutually exclusive anyway. But the good side that surfaces through these comparisons is that while the world might claim that fashion is for the superficial, fashion has through ages redefined sexiness in various terms of its own; be it conservative, nerdy, hot or basic. In an industry where I am finally at peace with being more than just clothes and shoes, I find heaving respite in the company of people like myself. Aien or AJ as she is fondly known of Fashion & I has been one of my favourite indian fashion bloggers for a long time now. We have been friends for a while now but fashion's self proclaimed Olsen Twins for even longer. We have been intrigued on numerous occasions by what we find stylish or even sexy in terms of our sartorial representation. Oversized coats, bralettes and corsets and wide legged pants were the common denominators. We thought about what defined sexy as sexy is. Should it not be just anything that transcends your body and brings out your soul? Wearing your soul in the form of your fashion statement is sexy to me. Channeling your art and creativity to give it a voice in the form of a statement, day in and day out while being completely truthful to yourself is sexy. Patti Smith is sexy to me. Fashion can be very sexy and if you scratch beneath the surface, you just might like it.

Styled and modelled by: Aien Jamir and yours truly
Photography by: Saumya and Shiva of The Open Art Project
Location c/o: Parallel
Make up and hair by: Awon R Vashum


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Part Deux: am:pm for FTLOFAOT Bride

My occupational hazards including living the digital life and being clued into almost every interesting and not-so interesting moment that makes it to the internet. This includes the hordes of bridal photographs that make it to your instagram, Facebook and pinterest, day in and day out. If you thought I was cribbing, I must clarify that I am not. If anything, for a year now, it has been serving as a constant source on inspiration/perspiration (I am definitely going to hell) for a bride-to-be like myself. A few months short, I still don't have enough clarity on what I want to wear for my wedding. Honestly, it does not peeve me so. At the risk of sounding like a lovelorn romantic, when it's the right one, you just know. And if my personal taste is anything to go by, a lehenga with substance and the charm of a gazillion centuries bygone and my love for modern renditions will make the cut. Over time and time again, my incessant browsing has led me to the conclusion that meaningless bling or trendy designs just do not cut it for me. It's like when I put on this lehenga by am:pm by Ankur & Priyanka Modi, I instantly felt the character of the lehenga uplift my personality. The blouse is designed to be the perfect modern addition to the dreamy lehenga. I choose that particular adjective to describe it because that is what it succinctly is. The delicate contrasting coloured embroidery in romantic floral patterns brings out the rich velvet surface of the lehenga. The embroidery is accentuated with tiny mirrors and in my mind, this little fiesta of craft and minimalistic charm definitely ticks all the boxes on my list of lehenga expectations. I tried to do justice to this celebration of design and old-world glamour in a dark over-cast night with only the golden glimmer of these statuesque light fixtures.

Photography by: Saumya and Shiva of The Open Art Project
Location c/o: Qla, Mehrauli
Make up and hair by: Makeup by Supreet Dhillon

For any other queries regarding the FTLOFAOT Bride series, do leave me a comment here or instagram or Facebook.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Part Un: am:pm for FTLOFAOT Bride

Starting a piece with a disclaimer is never really a good sign because it gives your readers the idea that you are treading carefully and probably playing it a little too safe. However, I would rather save you that precious fifteen minutes that you might spend reading my piece and realising that you did not sign up for this. I have never been the little girl who always dreamt of getting married and what it would be like to. My wedding and fashion posts will take you closer to making smart choices and to remember celebrating the love, above all other things. 
Somewhere along the way, I picked up this really important piece of advice that continues to guide me along. As I write this piece, here in January, nine months away from my wedding, I hear Carrie Bradshaw's voice distinctly ring in my ears. "I let the wedding become bigger than us. I let the wedding become bigger than Big." Before you roll your eyes at the fact that I sometimes pick fictitious characters' heads for life advice, let me give you a moment to really think of all that it stands for. So in this first FTLOFAOT Bride story, in collaboration with the fabulous designers at am:pm by Ankur & Priyanka Modi, we will decode a few style secrets to keeping your wedding and trousseau looks fuss free and eternally stylish.
When I first heard about the first ever festive line by am:pm by Ankur & Priyanka Modi being unveiled, I knew I had wanted it a long time coming. Harmonious, intricate and understated, those are the words I would particularly choose to describe their design aesthetics. The festive line is no different and it is no mean feat for a designer to translate a vision that they hold for their label into the mould of any clothing that they choose to design. Their festive line is for the effortless dresser with a side of adventure. For the understated bride and the brides friends who make that job look easy peezy, yet glamorous. Cutting to the chase, a dresser like me who enjoys the craft of design and yet believes in timeless glamour coupled with a sartorial adventure. The velvet bandhgala with the embroidery and 'mukaish' work and the ivory dhoti pants and the 'bidri' inspired printed cape with the pencil pants make for a the perfect accoutrements to the girl-on-the-go's Indian wardrobe (and incidentally my trousseau). Minimal yet artistic, find me attempting to do justice to these versatile garments in this story.

Photography by: Saumya and Shiva of The Open Art Project
Location c/o: Qla, Mehrauli
Make up and hair by: Makeup by Supreet Dhillon

Stay tuned for Part Deux.



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