DESIGNER IN THE MAKING OR SO I THINK

After a long stint of taking off ,though not entirely, I am coming back into my designing and styling  world. As an important part of equipping myself better before I relaunch, I am doing some studies within my spectrum of  design.

I HAVE ENROLLED BACK TO COLLEGE; THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY FOR FASHION; which had been a dream for me for a very long time.

And as part of the studies , I am given various projects and assignments on fashion illustration which forms one of the core subjects. And boy! am I excited?

I have started doing my illustrations and colour rendering with the same excitement as when I had discovered the wondrous world of drawing with my papa years back . He was the one who introduced me and my brother to art.

I look at the colour pencils with the kind of uncontrollable glee that a 5 year old would do when she gets her brand new pack of these vibrant tools with which she would paint her future.I love the way the colour pencils glide over textured paper; so smooth.

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During these times, I stumbled across a realization or maybe  it’s just a feeling that my child could be serious about taking up a career in design too. Well, You would say and I also know that it’s too early to say,  as she is all of only 7, yet let me just bask in the glory of this beautiful feeling that she could follow my footsteps…. maybe!

I got a bit more convinced about this, the way she is serious about following all my work. She tries to copy and replicate all my projects and I am amazed at the way she is coming close to it taking into consideration her age.

The other day I just did an illustration and as soon as she saw it , she wanted to copy and I let her do it. Well! I had used some fabric also for a three-dimensional effect and it was a multimedia  thing.

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I WAS IN AWE AS ANY MOTHER WOULD BE , OF HER OWN CHILD’S TALENT!

I have decided to give her exposure to the world of design more; just in case she wants to take it up professionally but i promise myself one thing. I shall not over do it. She can choose to fly in the direction she wants to and she should. At this juncture, I remember my mother, my tower of strength and motivation and about her undying trust in her kid’s talents where in, without even knowing much about the fields we took , my brother and I , she just let us fly. She only checked whether the wind beneath our wings were just right to take us to the places we wanted to go.

THANK YOU AMMA.

GO MAXI THIS SEASON

Maxi tops are happening big time all around. This is a very cool and casual trend which is spreading like fire. And it is essentially a western style yet  can be mostly carried off by all body types as it is very liberal in the fitting and except for certain cuts , do not expose the hips and waist too much.

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It looks happening with jeans and would look really trendy if the jeans is lean and cropped at the ankle.

If you want to take it to the higher level of style and sexiness, you could wear short shorts or hot pants with it. It has a certain amount of sleekness as it has high side slits or asymmetrical slits at the front or rising hemlines towards the centre front.

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It is comfortable to use as well and women don’t have to be very conscious due to its length. Yet there is a sensual allure about this piece of clothing.

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It is sported in knits and look really good with the drape. Chiffons and Georgettes look best in wovens and if in cotton , it would rather be soft light cottons.

So Ladies…Go ….MaxiMaxi …Fun Fun…

 

Courtesy: Pinterest, Wooplr

WAYFARERS…BACK WITH A BANG

What’s most appealing about Sunglasses is that they hide people’s eyes. You can’t tell what a person is thinking because the lenses mask what many people call the “windows to a person’s soul”. An actor wearing a Sunglasses appears cool to us. But probably he is only as cool as long as the shades sit on the face; the moment it is taken off ,maybe we would see how scared he actually is.

The wayfarers are back…back with a bang!

The Wayfarers are sometimes cited as the best selling design of sunglasses in history (although Aviators have also been credited with this achievement) and have been called a Classic of modern design and one of the most enduring fashion icons of the 20th century.

Ray- Ban  was the company to manufacture  Wayfarers for the first time in 1956, when their design was a revolutionary break from the metal eye-wear of the past. Made from plastic ,it’s temples flared ,the Wayfarer was a rebellious thing-probably why Dean, the 24 year old star of “Rebel without a cause”, put them on.

Then  Audrey Hepburn put them on in 1961, when Breakfast at Tiffany’s introduced America to daring suggestions of divorce.

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Soon Marilyn Monroe also put them on and so did a guitarist in New York named Bob Dylan.

Tom Cruise’s wearing of wayfarers in the 1983 movie”Risky Business” marked the beginning of a Wayfarer phenomenon.

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Michael Jackson further popularized the Wayfarers by wearing it through his Bad tour.

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What was it about these sunglasses?

Their distinctive shape seemed to possess an ability to dress up drab outfits while dressing down formal ones. The wayfarer’s “distinctive trapezoidal frame spoke a nonverbal language that hinted at dangerousness”, critics thought. That’s probably why Legends like John Lennon put their Wayfarers on, too.

Yes…guys…it’s time to change your shades…Get on with life with a cool pair of wayfarers! And don’t be scared…the classic shape of the Wayfarer is a time proven formula for Style with oodles of oomph!

And did you know the definition of the word Wayfarer in the British dictionary?….

A person who goes on a journey! Bang!

Courtesy: Wikipedia.

THE CROSS BEYOND RELIGION

I have always been in awe of the Cross ever since I was an adolescent for it’s style quotient; thanks to it being taken as a fodder for style of the rock,glam and punk looks of the ’80s. I grew up to rockstars like Madonna and George Michael iconising the Cross and raising it  to a completely far away space than where it rightfully belonged to. The Cross started to appeal to  nominal Christians and to non believers big time and all of them adorned it without ill intent. And so did I.The Cross was available and is still available in the most versatile designs and the raw materials used for making a Cross jewellery is quite interesting and tickles your creative appetite.

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Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Pope Francis  share very little wardrobe-wise, apart from a very important , very trendy item: the Cross. It has featured on Popular celebrities and the collections of eminent designers like Versace and Dolce and Gabbana sans the religious relevance. Influential Internet style stars and bloggers  have been wearing the Cross with attitude which has transcended into huge street styles  that the mainstream retailers have to follow their leads as they  always turn to such street styles for inspiration.

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‘A crucifix is now just a fashion statement and has lost religious meaning’
Justin Welby says the purpose of wearing a cross has been lost
Archbishop of Canterbury says the sign has been trivialised
He said it was once a ‘badge of shame’ which is now popular
Christian leader made claims in a foreword of a new book

In celebrity circles and for some big-city fashionistas, inverted or horizontal crosses worn as jewelry or imprinted on clothing are turning heads . This trend has picked up from 2013 onwards and  is still going strong. While some folks view the trend as anti-Christian, others say it’s just the opposite.Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Paris Jackson, daughter of the late Michael Jackson, have been photographed wearing inverted crosses on their clothing.

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Even if there seems to be contrary opinions on the usage of the Cross as a fashion statement, it is going strong and is being used by believers and non believers for their own reasons. The Cross remains on the top as a fashion symbol. Salute to the Cross ; Style and otherwise  for it’s magnanimous iconic status! Stay thus.

Courtesy: MailOnline, Virtue Online, Whitney Bauck(Writer)

UMBRELLAS IN VOGUE

Every monsoon  Umbrellas go through a lot of change in fashion. It is really interesting to watch the new designs coming up on umbrellas. The children’s umbrellas have all kinds of cartoon and comic characters appearing. And also for  little grown up girls , there are style and fashion illustrations appearing on them.

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The first time I observed fashion on Umbrellas was when I travelled to Simla. I bought an umbrella with ruffles at the edges for my mom- in- law. She has a huge fetish for umbrellas which she displays proudly when she goes to the nearby temple every day. And during monsoon in kerala , you have to literally carry an umbrella all the time as you have no clue when the water will hit on you. So i guess for a land like Kerala , umbrella fashion is actually very interesting  to watch.

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Another place where to I travelled and observed  umbrella fashion was Shanghai in China. I was really amused to see the varietal umbrellas that were spotted on the streets carried by everyone who could be going to office or just shopping. And the cutest part was, on a street if you spotted twenty umbrellas , all the twenty were different and had individual designs on them. And there were beautifully embroidered and printed ones on display with unusual designs.

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And when I visited Beijing, as I went visiting some museums , I spotted women selling beautiful cutworked  hand made umbrellas with wooden handles . The offwhite ones looked quite classy and could have been used as interesting lampshades which could be hung from the ceiling. They were made in cotton fabric and I wondered how much they would protect you from the sun leave alone rain. They looked more ornamental than utilitarian.

In the same context , I have to mention about the most amazing, colourful umbrellas done in fabric and entirely hand embroidered that I saw on the streets of Jaipur(India). Even those I felt were just ornamental but man! they could bring alive a drab room and could completely infuse excitement into a sober setting of a decor! I had brought  all these back to be put at my Lifestyle store in cochin.

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Even this monsoon I am so much in awe at the designs that have emerged in Umbrella fashion . They sure help in making a dull rainy day bright and cheerful and happy and….ooh la la!

GLADIATOR GRANDEUR

The Gladiators have been in vogue for some time now. But they have hit the trend big time with the boot like look.

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These Gladiators  come quite tall on the legs. They could hit you anywhere between the calf and the knee.

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And unlike the boots these are open and airy and hence can be worn in the summers with equal sophistication.

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These sandals look really cool with short length of dresses , skirts or shorts; anything that will leave a distance between the hemline of the dress and the beginning of the Gladiators. Or if worn with longer hemlines ,then either there should be essentially a long slit for a peep show or a part of the dress should be raised or curved like the front or the side  for the sandals to be visible.

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They can be teamed with casuals  as well as party wear(Western) with equal elan depending on the feel and shimmer of the sandals.

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Illustration Courtesy: MONICA

 

 

DRAPES SO SENSUAL

All people from Kerala(India) know the allure of this drape called”Mundum Neriyathe” or MundumVeshti or “Settum Mundum”.Although  this beautiful drape which consists of two pieces of fabric ; one which is draped around the lower torso  called” Munde”and the other which goes as a drape around the lower and upper torso of a woman called the”Neriyathe”, typically belongs to the Hindu religion,now a days women from all religions wear it as it is looked upon as a traditional wear of Kerala.And during a main festival of Kerala ,”Onam”, all  malayali women wear it to some function over the span of these ten days .And so we can actually say that it does not anymore belong to any religion but to the beautiful women of “God’s own country”!

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This is such a beautiful dress and will actually appeal to anyone around the world who loves drapes as this is typically in a offwhite colour with Gold Zari border which looks extremely classy and has an aura of royalty. Any woman wearing this dress has a beauty of her own and looks complete with generally some gold jewellery and jasmine flowers on her hair and a red “bindi”(round spot) on her forehead.

The typical ” Mundum Neriyathe” comes in Off white and a flat gold Zari border called “Kasavu”, or the border will be in a flat colour or stripe called “Kara”and was always woven.But as in any other dress , this drape also has evolved over the ages and now a days come in all sorts of designs. The main change happens with the border mainly; it has gone from printed to embroidered to attached brocade borders. And the “Zari” also has changed from Gold to Silver or a mix of both. The body essentially remains off-white. But now a days, experiment is happening with the colour of the body too. And typically this drape is found in Cotton only ; but now  a days it is done in Silk as well ,due to demand for a more expensive look for weddings.

This drape is used by a lot of Hindus for a part of their weddings. Both the traditional and modern styles of the mundum neryathum are depicted in the paintings of the Indian painter Raja Ravi Verma. In olden times,the attire was worn with the “Neriyathu”wrapped around the bust and also a blouse was not worn . Women of Kerala also wear the drape for a traditional folk dance called “ Kaikottikalli” and “Thiruvathirakali”.

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 I have always been fascinated with this drape from a very young age. The best image that has been stuck in my mind is of my mother wearing this drape in the mornings after her bath and with “Sindooram on her forehead on her hair parting ! She would even wear a basal leaf on her long hair which sort of completed the look( both practices being done by Hindu women of this region). When I woke up in the mornings ,it was such a positive image to see…..for me she looked so beautiful like a goddess of love! And yes she was one, in her nature too.

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I grew up having this fascination for the drape and till date it is more alluring to me than a “sari”! I feel it is more sensual in look and very feminine too. It is extremely simple to drape it unlike the “Sari”! And thus convenient to move about as well as airy and breathable  in the humid climate of Kerala.

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When I talk about Mundum Neriyathe , another drape which comes to my mind and which has struck me is “Meghela Chador of Assam”. I came across this drape accidentally through a friend who was assamese and I saw her wearing this for my brother’s wedding. I was really surprised to see something so similar to our own drape of Kerala. Then I really got to know about this drape.There are two main pieces of cloth that are draped around the body. The bottom portion, draped from the waist downwards is called the mekhela (Assamese: মেখেলা). It is in the form of a sarong—very wide cylinder of cloth—that is folded into pleats to fit around the waist and tucked in. The folds are to the right, as opposed to the pleats in the Nivi style of the saree, which are folded to the left.The top portion of the two-piece dress, called the chador, is a long length of cloth that has one end tucked into the upper portion of the Mekhela and the rest draped over and around the rest of the body.

Ornamental designs on the Mekhela chadors are traditionally woven, never printed. Sometimes a woven pattern, called the pari is stitched along the sides of a chador, or along the bottom of a mekhela. These drapes come in Cotton as well silk traditionally but now a day are also produced as blends of Cotton and Silk with Synthetic Fabrics.

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I saw a huge collection of these beautiful drapes in my friend’s collection. And there is even an antique one which her grandma had woven by herself and handed it down. And surprisingly for their weddings also just like in Kerala , they wear the traditional colour of off-white and Gold. I was flabbergasted; how can two regions so far away from each other have the same kind of drape and follow the same colour scheme? Such is life!…..I conclude.

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For folks around the world who would like to see how a “Mundum Neriyathum ” is draped, here it is.

For folks who are interested to watch how a “Mekhala Chador” is worn, here it is.

Courtesy: Sameera Dipshikha Dowerah