Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spotlight: Mithila Art

8th March 2013

I’ve been inspired by the oh sooo fab Project Renaissance (which was one big celebration of Indian craftsmanship) to blog about some of the diverse Arts & Crafts across India. Last time I was in Goa there was an Indian craft fair and I picked up a couple of beautiful Mithila, folk paintings. I was drawn to the vibrant scenes depicted, the bold colours, the distinctive 2-D style of drawing and the fact that the whole space was intricately covered.

image from thestranger.com

Mithila is described by the Mithilahandicraft as

“…the ancient kingdom. It existed in the eastern Gangetic Plains in areas which is today spread over more than half of Bihar state of India, and parts of adjoining Nepal. Mithila was the capital of Videha kingdom as per epic Ramayana. This city is identified as modern day Janakpur in Dhanusha district of Nepal.”

- Swati Kashyap 2007Black and White painting by Swati Kashyap 2007

And the website describes Mithali art as

“A native art drawn on the auspicious occasions and religious celebrations by rural Maithili women of southern Terai of Nepal is known as Mithila arts. Mithila traditional art is drawn on the wall of the houses as well as on the floor with local natural colour. Mithila art describes about the life of the Maithili people along with their religious figure in a symbolic way. Mithila Painting is mostly done by women.”

TaraBlog-Sita-Devi-Krishna-1981Painting by Sita Devi, artist credited with raising the profile of Mithila art.

following my paintbrush

While looking up examples of Mithila art, I came across this sweet children’s book ‘Following my paintbrush’ which is illustrated by Dulari Devi and in fact tells the story of Dulari’s journey from a domestic helper to an artist and how she intertwined this traditional technique with her own artistic style.

following my paintbrush 2

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Vietnam Part Three: Nha Trang

5th March 2013

Our third and final stop in Vietnam was the coastal town of Nha Trang. We were after complete R&R for our last few days and we got it in spades at the stunning Vinpearl Luxury resort. Vinpearl is in fact an island off Nha Trang that’s home to two hotels- Vinpearl and Vinpearl Luxury as well as Vinpearl Land (a HUGE amusement park with a water park, aquarium, entertainment shows and rides) and Vinpearl Golf. I’m a fairly new golfer so didn’t feel confident playing on the rather slick Vinpearl course but my mum and sis did and they loved it! We also saw a few local sights while we were there- Po Ngar Cham Towers and the Long Son Pagoda. If you’re after some good Indian food we’d recommend you try out the Sheraton for dinner, there is a talented Nepalese chef who wowed us with his cooking. And on the flip side a restaurant to avoid is the Evason Ana Mandara. The setting is beautiful and at £50 a head we were expecting some amazing food and instead we got the worst meal of our whole trip. Just incredibly bland food- AVOID!

1 vinpearl luxuy 1Yep, this bad boy took guests back and forth from Nha Trand to Vinpearl Luxury. It only took ten mins and was available every fifteen mins

2 vinpearl luxury 2Talk about picture postcard! The private beach

3 vinpearl luxury 3

4 vinpearl luxury 4

5 vinpearl luxury 5The huts where the Spa treatments took place- I had a yum facial and reflexology treatments

6 vipearl luxury 6

7 vp nha trang 1Long Son Pagoda

8 vp nha trang 2

9 vp nha trang 3Po Nagar Cham Towers

10 vp nha trang 4

11 vp nha trang 5Yellow flowers were out everywhere to mark the festival of Tet

12 vp nha trang 5.5

13 vp nha trang 6Fishing boats. As you’d expect of a coastal town- the seafood was delicious.

14Me in my fav new costume from Asos

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17The daftest yet most enjoyable read I’ve had in ages ‘The hundred year old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared’

18What can I say?

19

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Aww that’s it from Vietnam

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Vietnam Part Two: Ho Chi Minh City

25th Feb 2013

Our second stop in Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh City (formerly know as Saigon) I preferred Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, there was more of a buzz and energy to the place. On the first day of sightseeing we opted for the cyclo tour which was a wonderful way to see the place, stopping off at the key sites with our guide. We visited the Reunification Palace, the War Museum, a Buddhist Temple and the old Post Office. We visited the Cu Chi tunnels on the next day which was an area outside the city where the Viet Cong dug a maze of tunnels and rooms underground during the War. It was a fascinating place and there’s option to crawl through a tunnel if you want (yep, crawl- the tunnels were tiny even though they’ve been widened for tourists!)

saigon 1My sis and I on our cyclo’s- she’s in the left pic. I look like a kid in a pushchair!

saigon 2In amongst the traffic

saigon 3The Reunification Palace

saigon 4The Reunification Palace

Where we stayed: Rex Hotel- The Rex was the original luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and is home to all the major European fashion stores from Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs and Chanel. I don’t think you could call it a luxury hotel any more, in fact I don’t think there’s been a refurb since its 1970’s heyday but saying that I found the kitch interiors and the ‘Faulty Towers’ type employees rather charming!

saigon 5Outside the War Museum

saigon 6Indian Propaganda poster

saigon 7Cuban posters

saigon 8At the Buddhist Temple

saigon 9

Where we ate: There’s a lot more choice of restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City our fav place was Givral in District One, the food was delicious esp the deserts and it’s a great place to people watch.

saigon 10The Old Post Office

saigon 11Inside the Post Office with a poster of Ho Chi Minh

saigon 12Flowers were everywhere as people started to decorate for Tet festival

saigon 13Me posing in a tunnel although its huge compared to the original tunnels which I refused to pose in- a girl no more than a UK size 12 got stuck and the guards had to pull her out!) the other pic shows how rice paper is made

Next Stop: Vinpearl Luxury, on the island of Vinpearl off the coast of Nha Trang- blog post coming soon

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Girl Rising

20th Feb 2013

I just watched a trailer for what looks like an extraordinary film- Girl Rising by 10×10. 10×10 is described on their website as

” a campaign to reach global audiences and inspire individuals to take action for girls. Stories about the power of educating girls are told every day through photos, videos, blogs, books, and sometimes in 140 characters or less.”

The film is out on 7th March and you can find out more here.

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Wear the trend: Monochrome (latest post for Vogue India. Com)

10th Feb 2013

I’m back!!! For the last two weeks, I swapped the depressing British chill for the sunny climes of Vietnam. The holiday was awesome and I’ll be posting some pics soon.

While I was away a couple of trend stories I wrote for Vogue India . Com went live! And here’s a repost of the first one.

WEAR THE TREND: MONOCHROME

This summer, designers are championing all things monochrome. The stark black-and-white can be seen in variations all over global catwalks, making the season’s standard shades of yellow and coral seem almost cliché.

Here are four stylish ways you could be monochrome.

PANELS

blog panels

Statement block panels were seen in classic cuts at Jil Sander and Victoria Beckham and in dramatic flounces at Nicolas Ghesquiere’s final collection for Balenciaga. If your budget is short of a few zeroes, Zara’s racks are already packed with ‘homages’.

ABSTRACT PRINT

blog abstract print
L-R Jil Sander, Victoria Beckham & Balenciaga.

For a more versatile way to wear the trend, opt for a simple maxi, shift or shirtdress and let the print do all the work. Adding a colour accent via a simple clutch and vintage sunglasses, as seen at Diane Von Furstenberg, finishes the look.

CLASHING PRINTS

blog clash print
L-R Giles, Diane Von Furstenberg, Kallol Datta 1955

The key to this look is combining the right separates. Either pair contrasting patterns in one ensemble or use the same print in different sizes as seen at Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. If you’re feeling particularly daring, get inspired by Peter Pilotto’s head-to-toe print riot.

STRIPES

blog stripes
L-R Peter Pilotto, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs

Whether you prefer them horizontal or vertical, the stripe of the season has to be bold and wide. Dolce & Gabanna’s take on the trend came from a nostalgic memory of Sicily, while Marc Jacobs had a 60’s Edie Sedgwick vibe with Bridget Riley-esque prints.

With these fun styling options to live up to, pairing a white shirt with a black pencil skirt just won’t cut it anymore…

Images Vogue India

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Eve of Change: Anonymous Delhi

31st Dec 2012

You might be thinking why am I commenting on the recent events in India. I know its out of sync with my fashion blog but it just didn’t feel right to ignore this watershed moment. The horrific devastating attack on Anonymous in Delhi has brought to the surface the bubbling frustration of the Indian people towards the government, police and society’s views on gender.

In my opinion the three main ways to instigate change in India is through education, media and the government.

peace protest

The single most effective way I believe India can promote equality is by empowering women through EDUCATION. An educated woman has options, has financial freedom, has confidence and inspires the world around her and the next generation.

Bollywood is not the only source of female role models; there are many positive female role models outside of the industry! Indra Nooyi- CEO of Pepsi, Chanda Kochhar- MD and CEO of ICICI bank, Kiran M Shaw- CEO Biocon are just a few! Maybe its time these inspirational women got more MEDIA coverage so they too become household names.

CANDLE_LIGHT_VIGIL_1315375g the hindu

A GOVERNMENT can only lead a country successfully if it represents the country it serves. There needs to be more young people in politics of both genders, the antiquated views of some of the governments officials in the last few weeks have proved that the existing government needs to be brought into the 21st Century!

hindustan times

So on the eve of 2012, I am wishing and hoping that 2013 brings positive changes to India and its people.

Images from hindustani times, addatoday, the hindu

Homemade Diwali Cards: How to guide

11th Nov 2012

11th Nov 2012

My favourite time of year is upon us- Diwali!!! It’s a time of festivities, family, fireworks and FOOD! This how-to-post is inspired by the craft Queen, Momtaz Begum-Hossain’s post on decorative cards. I’ve added the Diyas to my cards to make them more Diwali-esque and assure you the cards are super easy and inexpensive to make. So whether you’re looking for a project for the kids or fancy getting a little ‘crafty’ yourself, give it a go!

What you will need

Pack of blank cards and envelopes

Photocopies of saris or anything with Indian motifs (red/green/gold are good festive colours to go for and will make your cards stand out)

A sheet of gold paper (I cut up a gold gift bag I had lying around instead)

A pack of bindis

Glue stick & scissors

Optional extras – sequins/gems (tip; this is a perfect way to use up beads from a broken piece of costume jewellery)

Step One – draw a pic of a Diya.

Step Two – photocopy your drawing and then cut one on the Diyas into four shapes as shown on the right side of the pic. These four piece become your templates to draw around

Step Three – cut out one of the sari photocopies so it covers the front of your card and glue on to the card.

Step Four – using the templates in step two, draw around and cut the pieces from the patterned paper. Use the gold paper for the flame shape.

Step Five – Stick down the four shapes on to the card

Step Six – Add a bindi in and around the flame and optional extra is to add a few gold sequins around…and that’s it. DONE!

Here’s some other examples I made mixing up the fabrics. I also made a few paisley designs. Again just make a template of a paisley and then put together in exactly the same way.

And for more craft ideas from Momtaz, check out her new book 101+ Things To Do With Glitter.

Hope you all have a wonderful Diwali and a happy New Year! : ) xxx

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Naomi Campbell’s ‘desi’ style party

I sooooooooo can’t get enough of the coverage from Naomi Campbell’s spectacular party for partner Vladimir Doronin’s 50th birthday! The three day extravaganza was held at the majestic 15th century Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur and included a Rajasthani themed party followed by a decadent 1930’s ‘Great Gatsby’ evening with the legend Diana Ross performing! The guest lists was OMG! And included fashion supermos Stefano Pilati, Zac Posen, John Galliano and legendary photographers Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott. Naomi’s supermodel pals also joined the fun with Kate Moss, Eva Herzigova & Karolina Kurkova looking like true Maharanis (Kate and Karolina wore Manish Malhotra !) Naomi’s pink & purple lehengha choli was by Manav Gangwani and she stepped out in the day wearing a stunning chikankari outfit by Malhotra’s Mijwan initiative.

Not the clearest of pics but fab to see Campbell supporting the Mijwan/Malhotra project

John Galliano and Manav Gangwani

Kate Moss in Manish Malhotra

Edward Enninful and Karolina Kurkova

Alexis Roche and Eva Herzigova

Naomi Campbell looking stunning as always in Manav Gangwani with the designer

Stefano Pilati and Edward Enninful

Mert Alas, Marcus Piggott and Naomi

Diana Ross!

Zac Posen and Mert Alas

Kate Moss!

All pics are from Mr. Enninful, W Mag Style director’s twitter feed! and Daily Mail. If I find more pics I will update! I want to see a pic of Vlad and Naomi together and to see pics of Demi Moore and Sarah Ferguson!!!

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Get your ‘tash on!

2nd Nov 2012

It’s Movember again and time to get your ‘tash on! November is the month that Mo Bros (guys that have signed up) raise money as well as awareness for men’s health in particular testicular and prostate cancer all by sprouting a moustache. I love this initiative and how it brings out the teenage competitive side of men! Also seeing as my blog has many readers in South Asia this is my way of spreading the word!


Image: Times of India, Bodice, Elle India, Paul Kanodia, Moschino Cheap & Chic

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Trend Watch: The shirtdress

8th Oct 2012

The shirtdress is one of those key wardrobe staples that gets a spin every season. I’m loving the monochrome print maxi length take seen at Kallol Dutta and Aarti Vijay Gupta, the sheer panelling seen at Bodice & Nishka Lulla (I heart everything Ruchika Sachdeva does) and finally the gorgeous digital prints at Mary Katrantzou and Clover Canyon.

Left: Kallol Dutta Right: Aarti Vijay Gupta

Left: Clover Canyon Right: Mary Katrantzou

Left: Nishka Lulla Right: Bodice by Ruchika Sachdeva

Left: Raoul Right: Alexander Mcqueen Well, I had to include the classic white shirt!

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