Style Quotient

Archive for February 2013

Trend watching in Bangalore…

Hello gorgeous people…

I hate to get bookish in a fashion-slash-beauty blog, but I just have to tell you about this fabulous book I found on the history of fashion by Manmeet Sodhi.  The book was published some time ago but I discovered it recently (also partly because most bookstores hide these gems in some obscure portion of their shelves, under some generic category called ‘Clothing’.) But there it was, this informative book, and if you managed to look beyond its rather unprepossessing cover and the reams and reams of copy, you would find many nuggets of information, tucked away in its pages.

I discovered through the narrative all about the fabrics of India. From the fact that the brocades of Banaras flow into many weaves, like The Amrus and the Himrus, the origin of the world art fabric, the patola or the precious heirlooms of Bengali homes, the Baluchari, there is so much to learn about the weave of India. There is the vibrancy of the Gadwals. The sophistication of the Chanderi. What a rich tradition of fabrics our country has to offer. It is just a matter of finding the time to explore it all.

So, when I got to meet a designer-entrepreneur duo who work only with the pure natural fabrics, I was fascinated and intrigued.

I’ve done a little interview with them, which is below, but first, a bit of beauty buzz too…

Did you know, ladies that the neck is the first to go? By which I mean, that if you don’t look after your neck now, you will be wearing turtle neck sweaters and scarves by the time you hit your 40s. According to the famous fashion writer Nora Ephron, there are all kinds of necks, among women, like “chicken necks, turkey gobbler necks, necks with wattles, loose necks, crepey necks, banded necks, wrinkled necks, stringy necks, saggy necks, flabby necks and mottled necks.” According to her, you can shoot collagen and Botox and Restylane into your wrinkles and creases but there is very little you can do about the neck once it goes and that, she says “is always a dead giveaway.”

So, do we resign ourselves to fate and forget all about our necks? No, because today, there are many special neck and décolletage creams out there in the stores. Check them out next time. They are super rich in texture and should be applied across the chest, right up to the shoulders. Too costly ? Then skip the neck cream and use your regular body lotion instead but make sure you apply it religiously and without forgetting about it even a single day.


And now, my interview with Mona and Neelam of Mogra

These ladies who have been dressing women in exclusive Indian ensembles for nearly a decade are quick to say that Indian artisans and weavers have inspired their work and that they have worked closely with them.

According to them, wearing pure fabrics next to the skin is sheer luxury and knowing that you are partaking of the rich fabric history of our country makes such ensembles even more special.

Their advice: whenever possible, buy natural fabrics, wear them well and enjoy the fabulous weaves of India.

What would you say is special about your work?

We are passionate about the purity of the fabrics, especially pure cottons and pure silks. Everyone does mixed fabrics these days. But our work is limited because the fabrics we procure are limited too. We use organic dyes only. So each time you wear an ensemble like this, it is very exclusive.

What are some of the fabrics that you work with?

Be it ajrakhs from the Rann of Kutch, prints from Bhagalpur, silk cottons from Coimbatore or Chanderi silks, we have worked with all of them. It is important to us, both culturally and aesthetically to create magic with the many magical fabrics of India. We have regular interactions with the artisans while creating these fabrics too.

Are you offering anything special in your summer line?

We work with a lot of plus sizes and create clothes for women of all shapes and silhouettes. This summer, we have introduced a lot of flow and drape into our garments. Our line this year, comprises suits and tunics in traditional ajrakh prints on muslin and we also have some exquisite linens.

What do you love most about your work?

We love knowing that we help women understand and enjoy thImagee wonderful fabrics of our country. And the most uplifting feedback we get is that our clothes are the perfect balance of comfort, style and stress free maintenance, besides being exclusive too.




_MG_8134Trend watching in Bangalore…
Hello gorgeous people…
When I look back and try to pinpoint the exact reason as to why my saris (collected lovingly over the years) are gathering dust in my closet and are covered with the soft fragrance of lavender from the sachets I have placed strategically within the drawers, I realize that my real problem always lay with the ‘blouse’, also popularly known today as the ‘choli’.
Like most Indian women, I too have succumbed many a time to the temptation of buying saris, often lured by the sight of the swirl of a gorgeous sari billowing in a shop window or pinned artfully on a mannequin. I am addicted to running my hands over handcrafted designs and weaves on saris made in the looms of a cottage industry, as much as I am, in finally buying them. Of late, I’ve also been falling in love with all the sexy new motifs, jewels and crystals that are now being embossed on this beautiful Indian garment.
But once my purchase is wrapped in tissue and handed over to me in a smart little parcel, all my worries begin at once. I have the fabric for the blouse but how do should I get it stitched? Though there are tailors everywhere in our country, they seem to be busy all year round and even when you manage to find one who agrees to do the stitching for you, they don’t seem too pleased about it. Worse, when asked for advice about the style of a blouse, all he or she will say distractedly is… “Everyone wants sweetheart neck and the V neck now”. The same answer, each time!
So when I heard that one of our city’s best known designers Namrata G had launched a line of cholis and was now organizing a choli bazaar, I could not curtail my excitement.
If you like me, have been despairing about choosing the right blouse for your sari, here are the excerpts of a quick interview I did with Namrata almost at once….
Will any blouse do for a sari, as long as it fits?
NG: No, a blouse has to give your body the perfect shape. It has to enhance your figure. You shouldn’t look flat chested or square just because your blouse has been made that way. The body has to take the contour of the blouse.
What should you keep in mind while buying a choli or getting it made for you?
NG: It has to be the right length for your body and in tune with the height you are. There should be no creases, no puckering and it should hang well on you. You should not need any pins to keep it in place.
How do you choose the right neckline?
NG: The neckline of a choli should be chosen depending on the size of your shoulder and your bust. There are many body types, so choose carefully. If you have broad shoulders, avoid boat necks and high necks but if you are slim around the shoulders, you can use both these styles and also collars and high necks. Big busted women should take the attention away from the bust by embellishing the neckline with a little embroidery and opting for a deep back.
How do you wear a cocktail sari?
NG: If you want a choli for a cocktail sari, keep the neckline broad so that you can wear jewellery. Also, drape your sari in such a way that it shows off your back and your neckline.
What are the trendiest cholis that we should use this season?
NG: The strappy look is in as well as the backless cholis. Full sleeves and collars are also back in a big way.
Can you use one blouse for many saris these days?
NG: Yes, you can. You can use a beaded or sequinned choli for many saris or a neutral brocade to go with most of your Kancheevaram and silk saris.
(Namrata’s Choli Bazaar is on from February 11- 17 at Studio Kairos, #3 Laurel Lane, Richmond Town.)
Lip plumping lipsticks:
Gals, have you tried out the lip plumping lipsticks that seem to be on offer in many counters in the malls now? I bought one out of sheer curiosity but it did not seem to do much for me.
How do they work? Well, my research showed that some plumpers work by irritating the lips so that they begin to swell slightly but, no, it doesn’t hurt – because the makers add a little something to calm the lips down immediately. Other lip plumping lipsticks use certain products to get the lips to look fuller or by helping them to create more collagen.
So will you look like Angelina Jolie with one swipe of a lip plumping lipstick? Sorry gals, the effect is so minimal, you might need a magnifying lens to see the difference. But will it make you feel good? Yes, because even knowing that there is an illusion of fuller lips can give you a confidence boost almost instantly.


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