Saturday 22 September 2012

Street Style Inspiration: Arm Party

Last weekend I attended a Bombay bloggers meet. What I love about these kind meets is that you get to meet fellow fashion/style bloggers as well as bloggers from other genre. It’s a great way to discuss common problems and discover new things. The one thing that I quickly learnt from this meeting is that people outside the fashion world our not very familiar with our {fashion} lingo. Cause when I asked a non-fashion blogger to help me click a picture of my arm party she looked and me and asked: “What exactly is your ‘arm party’?” 

She was highly intrigued by the term and wanted to know more about it. So I promised her I would do a post about it. And even though arm party post have been done to death this one is for all those fashion lovers who a still not familiar with the term and concept of an arm party.

As trends go, 'Arm Party' is one that did not originate from the runway or red carpet, but in fact is a brain child of a well known fashion blogger who literally started an accessory cult. Now, along with their clothes, bags, shoes the queens and kings of street style have been happily flaunting their bejewelled arms too.

What exactly is an ‘Arm Party’?
Coined by Leandra Medine of ‘The Man Repeller’, it simply means stacking ones hand with an assortment of bangles and bracelets in one or both arms. 
For many in India this may not look like a new trend as women here have been adorning their arms with stacks of bangle and bracelet for years. But the beauty of this trend is that it not just restricted to Indian wear, one can now easily wear it with western as well as formal wear. Another reason for its popularity is that this trend has no set rules. Anyone with a variety of bangle/bracelet can pull this trend off with style.

Key Ingredients of an ‘Arm Party’
3.Friendship Bands
{While some may stick with the bangle & bracelet combination, other like to add a watch; preferably a big dial man-ish watch to their stack.}
With unlimited styling options here are a few of my suggestions.

[More information on these pieces here]
While there is no right or wrong way in stacking an arm party, the key is to balance your pieces out. There has to be a harmony between your stacked bangle/bracelet/watch piece for the final look to be a stylish one.
Have you tried creating your very own arm party? And how do you like to stack it? Share your views with me in the comment section.
Till then, tra-la,
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[All images via Pinterest]

Friday 14 September 2012

Five Friends Of A Fashion Blogger

I have a friend who keeps referring to this guy from her office as her ‘work husband’. For a girl who can’t seem to meet a nice guy in real life, she has had 3 different work husbands so far. Never having one myself-work or otherwise-for the life of me I really did not understand what the heck was a work husband. When I asked her about it, she gave me this huge explanation as to what it really is but the end meaning is some who acts and performs the duties of a spouse at the work place, most of the times without conjugal rights.

This got me thinking- do fashion bloggers have work husband/wife? Most of the times, blogging is a one man/woman’s show. The real question to ask is, in the blogging world who is that one person performing the duty of a metaphorical spouse? 
And as I looked around for my ‘blogging husband’, it dawned on me we bloggers really can’t have one spouse. We just can’t! So, short of committing blogging polygamy I realized instead of spouses we bloggers have friends. They are like your real life friend, but not always bound to you by any code of friendship or anything.

1. The Bestie: Just like Sheldon had his Leonard we bloggers too have our bestie aka our trusted photography. Any fashion blogger worth it’s salt will tell you what an important role a photographer plays. They bear with our diva attitude, or drama queen moments and literally put on a brave face and endure the dirty looks given by passerby as they continue to happily click our photos. Make that 200-300 photos. 
Bestie is someone who knows and understands you as much as you understand yourself, even more so at times. In that sense your blogging bestie can be anyone- your real life best friend, your mom, your husband, your cousin ect. Only someone who completely understands you will have the potential to make you look like a cover girl even when you are channeling your inner ugly ducking. 

2. The Frenemy: We all have one such person who acts as a friend and an enemy at the same time. One has to just look at the equation between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte to understand the love and hate dynamics of a frenemy. In the fashion blogging world, the frenemies are the P.R people. We need then and they need us, but both hate to admit it. They send us offensive mails with incorrect names and holier than thou attitude and we give then the metaphorical figure by ignoring their request. But, as much as we hate to acknowledge it, without them it would be far more difficult to make our mark. So, we continue to carry on with this twisted friendship for the peace and betterment of the fashion world.

3. The 3 A.M Friend: Bloggers, especially fashion bloggers by nature are dramatic people. We are! And like every drama queen we have our major moments- ‘I can’t write anymore’. ‘This outfit makes me look so fat’. ‘God, I have the worlds worst hair!’ ‘How come she got invited to that event and not me?’ ‘That bitch stole my idea’. Sounds familiar? And you know who has heard it all? The same person to whom you said the golden words for the very first time- ‘I think I will start a fashion blog’. That one friend, who is your strongest believer and supporter and on whom you can rely on at all times, your loyalist, most bestest friend.
 Mostly belonging to the outside world, but staying with you know exactly what ‘mustard’ and ‘lime’ mean in your world. Sometimes performing the role of a photographer, confidante, plus one, cheerleader and more often than not the voice of sanity.

4.The Buddy: Blogging on most days is a solitary business. While your friends and family support you they honestly don’t get your anxiety over things like ‘traffic’ and ‘followers’. And while you rant to the world at large about your blogging woes there is only one other person who will completely understand and sympathize with you. It is someone who faces the same issues on a day-to-day basis. Say hello to your ‘Blogger Buddy’, a friend from the world of blogging who like you is trying to make its presence felt in the blogosphere. From Pinterest addiction to lack of inspiration, they too have been there, done that and completely understand you. Whether you know him/her personally or it’s just a virtual connection a blogger is incomplete with its blogging buddy. 

5. Friend With Benefit: We all have certain urges that need to be fulfilled. And when you can’t do it yourself you need to call ‘that friend’ to help you out. Us bloggers have these urges once a year, commonly know was the blog makeover. That is when we call upon the benefits of our web designer friends. Yep, that’s exactly the best way to describe a blogger’s relationship with a web designer. We annually meet up to update and redesign the blog. While that is happening we indulge in mindless chitchat about the weather and current events say let’s meet-up for a drink someday and as soon as the update is over we forget about the web designer and the drink date. Until the update urge strikes again. And then the same story starts over! Sometimes we are ecstatic with our web designer’s performance other times we hate how they would not follow instructions but most of the times it is mutually satisfying equation.

Tennessee Williams wisely said: “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.”  While we fashion bloggers may not get the pleasure of having a ‘work husband’ or ‘office spouse’ we sure do have the privilege of a dependable friend circle.

As a fashion blogger what kinds of friends do you have in your clique? Share your view with me in the comment section.

Till then, tra-la,
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[Images via Pinterest]
[Featured On Links À La Mode: IFB Weekly Roundup (September 20th, 2012)]

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Stylish Passage Through India

Rudyard Kipling once wrote, "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet".
ith all due respect to Mr Kipling, the ‘twain’ have not only met, but they are pretty much intermingling as well. While the geographical borders may demarcate one country from another, culturally it is becoming difficult to draw distinct boundary lines. One great example is the English language it self. It is spoken in many countries round the world, but each country has added its own native flavour to it. While the American speak ‘Americanized’ English, we in India speak the ‘Indianized’ English. More or less, both are accepted forms of it.

This coming together and blending of different cultures is the birthplace of new creative concept. Better know as ‘fusion’, it simply means mixing and merging of two or more distinct ideologies/cultures and creating a new entity. 
When it comes to fusion, no one does it quite like the fashion world. For years designers have been mixing and combining vintage themes with modern looks, eastern fabrics with western silhouettes’ and Asian motifs with African colour palette to create new looks season after season.
[Images via Google and Pinterest]
One of my all time favourite themes is Indian Fusion. From draped gowns inspired by the saree, to Chanel paying homage to the last days of Raj through its Paris-Bombay collection, Indian influence has been seen on countless occasion.
For those who don't know what a Indian Fusion look is, it is combining of one or more trademark Indian entity with that of another country/culture. For example if a kimono is made out of ‘Patola’ {Indian double Ikat} fabric the finished garment is Indo-Japanese fusion piece.
While designers have played around with mixing Indian styles with those of different countries and cultures, the most common as well as popular style is the Indo-Western fusion look.

Key Indian features used in Fusion looks:
1.Prints & Motifs: Indian clothes have always been vibrant and colourful, filled with intricate prints and eye-catching motifs. Indian block printing and ‘kalamkari’ are some of the famous fabric printing art forms. 
Paisley -also know as ‘kari’ or ‘ambi’- which is shaped like a mango is popular motif seen on sarees and cotton print suits. Other famous Indian motifs are the various interpretation of the peacock feather, the lotus flower, the word ‘Om’ in Sanskrit and Indian deities such as Lord Ganesha.

India is rich in its textile heritage. From a variety of weaves to various tie & dye techniques, Indian textile is highly diverse in its offerings. ‘Kanjeevaram’, ‘Paithani’, ‘Patola’, ‘Ikat’, ‘Bandhani’ and ‘Chanderi’ just to name a few famous Indian weaves and tie & dye technique that have had an international impact.
[More information on these products here]
3.Embriodery & Embellishment: Legacy of the Mughals, hand embroidery has been a part of Indian heritage as well Indian attire for years. And just like textiles, Indian embroidery too has made its mark world over. Traditional ‘Ari’ work, Parsi ‘Gara’ embroidery, ‘Kantha’ and ‘Phulkari’ stitch, Chikankari, ‘Banjara’ style embroidery featuring patchwork, mirrors, coins and shells and rich metallic ‘zardozi’ have been used by a number of international designers in their collections.

4. Silhouette: While saree is officially the most famous Indian drape; there are a number of other famous Indian silhouettes that have been seen on international runways. The Nerhu Jacket, the traditional Indian tunic called ‘Kurta’ {or ‘Kurti’}, the ‘Kali Ghagra’ {multi-panel skirt} and turbans have all been used in their original or remodelled form.
[More information on these products here]
5.Jewellery: Indians love their jewellery. Even before statement necklace or arm party became an international trend, we Indians have been bejewelling or necks, arms, ankles, fingers, ear, nose, forearms and forehead for years.The Mughals and Maharaja style ‘Kundan & Meenakari’ and Nizam style Hyderabadi ruby and emerald sets are some of the finest trademarks of Indian jewellery.  

From Maurya to Mughal, Kuchipudi to Kalari and Tagore to Tharoor, Indian heritage, history, arts and aesthetics have had a strong impact and influence world over.

How do you like to wear your Indian Fusion look? Share your views with me in the comment section.

Till then, tra-la,

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