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Showing posts from February, 2018

Ruchika Sachdeva's Bodice floors the global fashion fraternity to win the International Woolmark Prize

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During the finale of the Woolmark International Prize held recently at Florence American designer, Phillip Lim called Bodice ‘romantic, modern and relevant’. Ruchika Sachdeva, the winning owner of the womenswear label, stood humbled and elated. Relevant. And effortlessly so. Perhaps that is the nerve the Indian designers have been able to tune into in the global arena. To translate their sartorial aesthetics steeped in the rich crafts, embroideries and weaves of the country into a vocabulary that is not restricted to demography, geography or seasons. Easy, effortless chic is what is winning over the offshore buyer in fashion boutiques. It’s India selling on the racks in a universal avatar. Says Ruchika, who graduated from the London College of Fashion, “A Bodice customer is someone who appreciates good design. Women who lead busy lives, juggle multiple roles. They want effortlessly stylish clothes that can segue from work meetings to cocktail evenings. She is present in all countries. …

Fun art and good food in the Playground at JW Marriott, Aerocity

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The 15th day of February this year passed away in a blur. No, I wasn’t nursing a hangover of romance. Those years are extinct! But amidst everything that happened (an early morning shoot that had me posing for the first, and hopefully the last time before the camera, whizzing into Aerocity’s stylish JW Marriott to catch a winter brunch with friends and a long, work meeting after that) I clearly remember how I licked the sweet Barbeque sauce off my lips after munching down a good number of delicious Hot 65 chicken wings. Yes, the taste stood out!
Playground is a brilliant concept. Because of the choices it puts out on the table. There is a quirky food truck, an al-fresco dining area, attractive wall art in the expansive social lounge and an exclusive speakeasy (armed with the mixology skills of Tzvika Furman from Tel Aviv), an entry into which is attained in the cleverest fashion. Talk of marrying technology, art, food and novelty, Playground has it all. Yogesh Saini, the brain behind De…

The Simple Sartorialist called Suket Dhir

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On a white silk bomber jacket I notice miniature images of trees, parrots, kings and queens of the Mughal era. Looking closer, I miss the bows and arrows though. “Yes, it’s reminiscent of shikaar but we’ve substituted the weapons with golf clubs and strollers. Our princely characters play instead of hunting,” Suket Dhir cuts into the composed air of his studio at Lado Sarai. The bowler hat, the beard, the impeccable wool plaid trousers, the yellow mulmul shirt and the linen jacket are all in place. Except one anomaly. “The timing of staring into my phone wasn’t right. I rolled down the stairs pretty fast!” the man chortles explaining the limp and the ankle support. We settle down with a ginger ale and lots of winter sun streaming in through the large glass panes to talk fashion that prevails in the whimsical but entertaining universe of Suket Dhir. From wool to khadi, from Milan to Nagpur, NIFT graduate Suket had an unusual yet coming-of-age journey since 2016. Just after the low-prof…

A lyrical journey through art, by Laxmana Dalmia

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In a dream I saw one day,
My idol too had feet of clay— In panic I watched its shaky lapse, I screamed as I saw it collapse—
… starts the poem, Feet of Clay, which Laxmana Dalmia penned at 16 years of age, after a wave of disillusionment hit her when she learned about the controversies surrounding her illustrious father, Ram Krishna Dalmia. Simple yet hard-hitting, the words perfectly mirrored her emotions at that impressionable age. When she revisits those tumultuous times through these words today, she easily can picture the state of her mind she has found herself in. “It was a difficult time and phase. And I took a recourse through the pen and poetry. How wonderfully they helped me tide over the difficulties,” says the author, who has realised that poetry indeed can be an avenue for expression that many prosaic path cannot take. Thus, started her passion to express her every thought and feeling, through various stages of her life, via poetry.
On a rainy windswept afternoon, we got…

The India that Rina Singh of Eka has crafted...

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Even as I watched the block printer concentrate on the pink horizontal stripes on a swathe of white cotton sheet, I couldn’t help agree to what Rina Singh cut the air with. “There are plenty of people to do random stuff that can be learnt in a whisker. But why take away the strength of these people who thrive in this art form. Look at the precision, the dexterity. If we do not give them a chance to expand their art, who will?”
While her passion to create easy, effortless clothes that is textile and craft oriented is what makes Rina Singh of Eka a beautiful label to reckon with, I realised that at the heart of it, simplicity is what drives the designer in her. Simplicity of her art, simplicity of the silhouettes and simplicity in the translation of an aesthetic that has found resonance in the world’s mindset.
Amidst the reams of handspun fabric stacked up in her workshop, the boxes of carved out blocks that have been enlivening the little drawings of flora and fauna on her feminine garme…

Cracking the code of Vibhor Sogani’s Design

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One by one the lights come to life. Their dazzling iridescence spreads a warm haze in the dark setting where a man engages his audience in rapt attention as he narrates his design journey, or rather what brought him to it. I am one of them. As I listen to Vibhor Sogani, one of India’s leading installation and product artist, I realise Vibhor is still the excited kid at heart, exploring and adding to his repertoire, one fascinating work at a time. After close to 25 years since he set up his 35,000 sq ft studio, the fire in the design maverick is yet to rest. Every day, every work is a challenge that he courts with glee. Because, it all is a breath-taking experiment waiting to succeed. And, for what it’s worth, Vibhor is always at it. My mind slips a wee bit while listening to how he honed his product designing skills at NID, Ahmedabad, after growing up in Jaipur in a setting where he often found himself on the field with his geophysicist father. The processes of mining and the technical…