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Make this eco-friendly ceramic tableware your festive gift this season

The first Indian Ceramics Triennale: Breaking Ground is on at the Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur (in collaboration with the Contemporary Clay Foundation) till 18th November 2018. This and few other exhibitions in the recent past have been slowly and steadily bringing to fore ceramics in India. On the surface it seems like a sudden burst of creativity, which must have been brewing for a while.
Being an admirer of utilitarian art I connected with Sonali Sharma – the co-founder of Nugu Handmade  (based near the Nugu reservoir in the Kaveri basin).
NuguHandmade-Monsoon Collection 20

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2 active wear brands you most certainly should check out, when in London

Like any other active wear fan I keep a look out for more advanced active or yoga wear. Today being International Yoga Day I am jotting down two noteworthy new entrants in Britain. And this post is specially for the holidayers busy doing their last minute shopping in London.

NVC Athelitica

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If you like to take yourself seriously NVC Athletica, launched this year, is it for you. Created to provide ethical, luxurious activewear for women it uses high quality fabrics which enables long-standing wear through the most challenging workouts or daily lives.

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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.

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Anti-fashion menswear for X, Y, Zee generations

Itō, Ito, Itou, Itoh or Itoo (written: 伊藤) might be the sixth most common Japanese surname but now is the name of a Delhi based menswear label owned by Amit Babbar, which also means a yarn or thread in their lingo. Its aesthetics are an aftermath of his luxurious globetrotting trips during childhood which left an indelible mark in the cerebral cortex.

Listening to him a quote by Muhammad Ali “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life” kept ringing in my ears. As a lad he started his design journey with a Fashion Design course from Wigan & Leigh  New Delhi. Thereafter became an entrepreneur at 21 itself. Now for nearly a decade and a half  he has been exporting to the likes of Maison de soil, Mando and United Arrows in the Japanese archipelago. 

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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 Define India published by Roli Books.

Cover Pakka India High resolution

Born in Lucknow, she now lives as a perfumer in Paris and confesses “Their composition has given me a privileged viewpoint to design with  senses. ………..Design captures space and moods where the invisible becoming visible, which is the core of my book, with notions of home.”

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Jamdani – a sublime weave does justice to slow fashion

She remembers sketching gowns from class 7th onwards after secretly gaping at the international fashion magazines for hours on end. Had fancied a German – Karl Largarfeld ever since, for successfully creating three distinct labels simultaneously – French fashion house Chanel, an Italian one Fendi, along with his own fashion label.

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Dining with KIKA while celebrating milestones

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Well, for me this 70th Independence day celebrations has been about analyzing India’s journey of rapid urbanization, growing awareness of western lifestyles, and higher disposable income. Ironically, certain aspects of global living came to fore, one such being cooking; as an increasing number of cosmopolitans are going back to soirees where exotic foods are paired up with fancy dinner and serveware as that has become a part of their conversations. So now, serving food tastefully  is no longer the prerogative of only the rich and famous of a bygone era.

Janaki Kirloskar in 2016, after working for 12 years in her century-old family business, decided to make the most of this crevasse. Having revelled in a beautiful home with luxuries, she had travelled, fine dined and entertained extensively ever since childhood. This industrial engineer who has an eye for patterns and designs decided on making the most of her of her background with KIKA Tableware – an acronym which brings together two most significant forces of her life – her daughters, Devaki and Mihika.  And with the onset of our festive season it seemed most appropriate for me to question her about her fairly new creative venture.

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Parked with print makers

Saturday was hectic but whose complaining…… our  WIDEA artisans’ workshop was fantastic, visited a beautiful newly launched home accessories store and viewed this amazing print making art pop-up…….. TOUCH/Parked@Nivasa.

There I met Kanika Anandan independent art writer and the show’s curator. Armed with a Masters in Art History from the National Museum Institute, India and curatorial fellowship from the Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, 2012-13; this 31 yrear old impressed me while talking about her trajectory, extensively with galleries and alternative spaces in the United States, France and India. Has infact for a while been contributing to international publications like Art India, Daily Serving and the Sunday Guardian. And is currently serving as Associate Curator for the Artist Pension Trust (Global/Mumbai).

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Art is the triumph over chaos

Holding true to its name at the Serendipity Festival, I met Dithi – a Bengali artist.

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