Posted in accessories, admire, Art, clothing, craft, culture, design, luxury, shopping, Uncategorized, wear

All for the love of handloomed waste

Don’t know what to term this unfortunate situation as …evolution or extermination? From Sunder Nagri to the neighbouring towns of Delhi, Ashita Singhal of Paiwand – a fresh fashion design graduate combed for weavers late last year and realized that the community was on the brink of extinction. Their derelict units brought tears to her eyes. She sat there listening to the sordid stories of their existence. They were willing to do anything to survive. Rs.80 was the meager income they earned despite weaving a good amount everyday.

Their plight strengthened her resolve to provide dignity of labour to many such weavers who knew no other craft to earn a living. Her up-cycling fabric venture was actually a final year post-graduation project. She won the 2018 the Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition for sustainable fashion waste management. In it, upcycle textile waste from fashion designers is turned into designer fabric. With a grant of 25k US dollars an ambitious business was set up.

The 24 year old budding designer does realize being ethical is difficult for the final product cost goes up but it is the need of the hour. And agrees to rampant green washing being done in the name of sustainability by many in her industry. But speaks of it as a long-​term structural shift with the goal of reducing environmental and resource consumption for the sake of our future generations.

color blanket

Continue reading “All for the love of handloomed waste”

Posted in accessories, Art, clothing accessories, craft, culture, design, leather, lifestyle, luxury, Organic, shopping, Uncategorized

The Chamar Project

Wearing his OBC badge proudly is Sudheer Rajbhar, who as per Indian media is successfully breaking the glass ceiling in the snooty art and design world. Looking beyond his caste story  is equality of status through work. One is drawn to his skill and out-of-the-box business model as forces to reckon with. This brand of minimalist accessories is about ‘Made in Dharavi’ – the second largest slum in Asia after Orangi Town in Karachi, Pakistan. While the cherry on the cake are the design conscious stores – Le Mill, Paper Boat Collective, Pepper House Kochi and Indian Goods Co. carrying it.

In 2010, Rajbhar completed his art education from Vasai Vikasini College of Visual Arts, in Thane district. The attitude of bigger galleries not entertaining people from small art schools weighed him down. Yet he continued, by assisting senior artists and learning at residencies. 

Curious to know this activist artist’s trajectory, we exchanged emails and telephonic conversations regarding reasons that led to the brand ‘Chamar’‘s meteoric rise.

MD: While growing up whose creativity left you seeking for more?

SR: Coming from U.P. to Mumbai, my family dwelt in the slums of Kandivali before we  shifted out to the suburbs. Having lived amongst the labourers and migrants, they are the people I have always observed. Right next to us in the slums, stayed a carpenter who made chairs, doors, stools, tables etc. within a tiny space. Even I used my bed as a workspace, since we lacked an extra inch. 

MD: You are a multidisciplinary designer. Which mediums have you worked with so far?

SR: Right now, am working as an artist through my practice at ‘The Chamar Project’. Earlier, had explored unconventional mediums to challenge myself e.g. kinetic, video and film-exposure. 

_DSC9243

Continue reading “The Chamar Project”

Posted in accessories, admire, design, jewellery, shopping, Uncategorized, womenwear

Bijou for everyday wear

Had actually spotted Dorothee Sausset and  her eponymous delicate jewellery label at the annual French Charity Fete at the French School in New Delhi, late last year. But waited till spring to flaunt her little blings on my pinched collar, fingers and wrists.

The designer and a Kundalini yoga practitioner intents on linking our mind, body and soul to her classic bejewelled pieces. Highlighting her beliefs through it, she brilliantly presents a little book carrying basic information on the Mudras and their meditations.

Inclined towards alternative therapies, my ears perked up when she began talking about her line – 5 Elements. For, the five different stones chosen by her, seemed like a conscious choice to connect with our lower chakras and elements of Ayurveda- ether, air, fire, water and earth.

Mudras pendants charms

Continue reading “Bijou for everyday wear”

Posted in accessories, admire, craft, design, Gifting, jewellery, luxury, Organic, shopping, Uncategorized, wear, wedding, womenwear

Romanticising maximalism of Indian design

His mentor, Tony Duqutte was an American design legend who created elegant interiors, high jewelry, costumes and sets for Hollywood and Broadway productions, European royalty and the well-heeled. Following suit, Hutton Wilkinson – the grandson of the late Bolivian president Don José Luis Tejada-Sorzano unarguably stepped into the goliath’s shoes.

As a child with a quirky sense of humour his style heroes were Tony Duquette, Cecil Beaton, Oliver Messel, The Baron de Rede, Arturo Lopez Wilshaw, Emelio Terry and Carlos de Beistegui . In 1995, when Wilkinson and his compatriot, Tony Duqutte came up with their first jewelry line for Bergdorf Goodman, Vogue wrote – “After a maximum of minimalism, all of fashion is turning towards Tony Duquette for inspiration,” (cited in Vogue Arabia)

Capture0196-Edit

On reading several interviews given by Wilkinson the design enthusiast in me excitedly connected through email with the owner and creative director of Tony Duquette only to discover his “love for maximalism in Indian design”.

Continue reading “Romanticising maximalism of Indian design”

Posted in accessories, Art, cooking, craft, design, home accesories, lifestyle, luxury, shopping, Uncategorized

To ‘serve’ with love

I recently discovered ISTLONDON, founded by  John William Micklethwaite. Its first workshop apparently started operating in 2013 but it began selling in August 2014. Actually the credit goes to my younger sister who bought its blue pastel dessert platter and serve bowls from the main shop in Alcati (a town on Turkey’s Çeşme Peninsula, on the Aegean Sea, known for its beaches, old stone houses and winemaking tradition) recently during her holiday.

So after checking with John I quickly added this too onto my shopping list for London as the porcelain is fine and available at W A Green, Closet & Botts, 181 Delecatessen & Heal’s. They claim to have used only the world’s best porcelain – Limoges (which is from Llmoges, France) and Mount Blanc; even though the latter is not easily malleable in handmade processes, but its sheen reflects the light perfectly.

Continue reading “To ‘serve’ with love”

Posted in accessories, Gifting, leather, luxury travel guide, shopping, Uncategorized, womenwear

I prefer small bags…..

mini-venice-front-forest-01-1516379908

In the coming month I am going to try and list niche coveted brands in other countries which many of us would be visiting during our summer holidays. They’d be ‘must-haves’ if you like to keep a low profile, yet be wearing the best. Don’t waste your time if you like bling or enjoy logomania. And who better to begin with than Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex, after BOF talked about her becoming unarguably the most powerful fashion influencer in the world, by default, after marrying Harry.

Continue reading “I prefer small bags…..”

Posted in accessories, clothing accessories, craft, design, luxury, shopping, Uncategorized

Wearing the mundane as quirky miniatures

The mountains are calling and I must go… for their flora and fauna, clear skies and the relaxed light air sans any pollution – my sanity depends on it! It struck me when I came across LAÏTEworks (spelt as light-works) by Saurabh Banka. Couldn’t stop admiring his quirky embroidered miniatures of the mundane strewn on stoles, shirts and pouches projecting a nonchalant playful attitude. 

His

LAITEworksEMBROIDERYSTOLESMSHIRTS2018M2

Bankas’s design background: I graduated from NIFT, New Delhi in 2007. And started working with Rajesh Pratap Singh. In 2008, I moved to Paris and studied Masters in Fashion Design from IFM (Institut Français de la Mode). Following that, I took up a job as an Embroidery Designer for a French label Rue du Mail by Martine Sitbon. And in 2016, I moved to India to start my own brand LAÏTEworks.

Continue reading “Wearing the mundane as quirky miniatures”

Posted in accessories, admire, culture, design, jewellery, Uncategorized, wear

Not just for women

DSC_0765

DSC_0619

DSC_0668

Tempering is a uniquely Indian cooking technique. I wanted to create jewellery based on the magical act of pouring hot spiced oil into cooked food.-Baanley collection

Had stumbled upon Dvibhumi‘s instagram account a while ago, but one fine day I read on it a cryptic message ‘Utensils of early Indian settlers in Singapore-Ruchi launches this month’ which piqued my interest. To quench my curiosity I wrote and requested Vyshnavi N Doss, its founder and designer, for an e-catalog of her latest creations. The revert read “I design in Singapore and work with craftsmen in India and Indonesia to create modern jewellery with a strong Asian narrative. My signature aesthetic is clean lines and surfaces in combination with textures and motifs. You will notice how the designs go beyond statements and can easily spark a conversation. One should expect more matte finishes and monochrome than bling on geometrical forms with the spotlight on detail.”

Continue reading “Not just for women”

Posted in accessories, admire, craft, culture, decorate, design, luxury, shopping, tradition, Uncategorized

Warangal began with prayer rugs

IMG_20160906_105949

Getting festive ready I chanced upon Poludas Nagendra Satish’s Sutra Durrie. This led me to understand how earlier one could differentiate through designs of one village or weaver from the other. The cottage industry of durrie weaving in Warangal, Telengana can be recognized with its geometrical and angular designs in weft interlocking technique (both sides look the same). Here a large population consisted of skilled weavers and dyers. But the unofficial figures stated otherwise, that almost 50% of Padmasali community have left their ancestral vocation as the craft is too laborious, and provides little sustenance or dignity.

Continue reading “Warangal began with prayer rugs”

Posted in accessories, admire, Art, craft, decorate, design, home accesories, luxury, Uncategorized

The radical experimenter

IMG-20170720-WA0011IMG-20170720-WA0007

IMG-20170720-WA0010IMG-20170720-WA0015

IMG-20170720-WA0014

I had the opportunity to view Rooshad Shroff’s solo debut show – 15,556 Man Hours represented by Pundole Gallery earlier this year during the India Design Fair 2017 at Bikaner House, New Delhi. These were 26 pieces of furniture such as chairs, tables, benches, screens, daybed, and lighting in three distinct techniques – colour sanding, zardozi embroidery using french knots and monolithic marble hollowed and carved out. Being a big fan of handmade and crafts of India it was a sea change from other designed products, driving home his point of ‘authorship’.

Continue reading “The radical experimenter”