Prevention is better than cure

Kavita Devgan, Rupa Publications Rs.204 (218p) ISBN 978-93-5304-361-2 Oddly enough, even though I am more inclined towards design, art and fashion,  I was gifted ‘Grandmother’s Hacks – 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You’ by Kavita Devgan at a time when I had acute acidity. Each summer, since the past few years, I’ve spent groggily…

Picturesque India

Picturesque India: A Journey in Early Picture Postcards (1896-1947) Sangeeta and Ratnesh Mathur, Niyogi Books,  Rs. 1,430, ISBN 978-93-85285-91-2

Fashioning gender neutral clothes

Wajahat Rather is a beautiful young man. He reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s description of his character Dorian gray in the book ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray.’ And so do his edgy yet simple aesthetics which take reference from Kashmiri roots of arts and crafts for fashioning gender neutral clothing. I was lucky to have…

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….

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…

‘Baluchars- The Woven Narrative Silks of Bengal’

What happens when you miss one of the most-sought after textile exhibitions? You order a richly illustrated book titled – ‘Baluchars- The Woven Narrative Silks of Bengal’ edited by Jasleen Dhamija and published by Niyogi Books. Actually, early this year Darshan Shah of  Weaver’s Studio Resource Centre had put together a Baluchar retrospective at the National…

Refashioning the Pakistani Peshawari Chappal

Agender or gender fluid footwear or clothing have been a part of the Indian subcontinent’s culture since ancient days. In recent times, closer to home one notices the ubiquitous Kohlapuri slippers, Punjabi juttis/mojaris or now the Peshawari chappal – a worn especially by Pashtuns in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan; have taken over our everyday fashion…

Indian jungles re-fashioned with Bengali Sholapith craft

In high summer, Edward Abbey‘s excerpt from Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast “The weather here is windy, balmy, sometimes wet. Desert springtime, with flowers popping up all over the place, trees leafing out, streams gushing down from the mountains. Great time of year for hiking, camping, exploring, sleeping under the new moon…

Getting nostalgic over India’s everyday design

“In India, to understand objects in terms of design one has to re-imagine design itself. Design here is not entirely determined by the aesthetic appeal of the object, but by its significance in our everyday lives (often influenced by its users)” is an understanding of the author Jahnvi Lakhota Nandan of Pukka Indian-100 Objects that…

The Art of Textiles

I remember visiting quite a while ago a small store in New Delhi’s tony Khan Market, on the first floor. Along with its amazing line of home furnishings which revived old school Indian needlework with global inspirations (i.e. French, Moroccan, Portuguese) were the wooden plank shelves which caught my fancy. On inquiring one came to…