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!

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THE HUMBLE KOLHAPURIS

Who in India doesn’t know about “ Kolhapuri” sandals? And it’s amazing that, though originally, they hail from a place called Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra, they are available in any city in India. They have been around from time immemorial. They are so original in design and details that they stand out royally among all footwear.Think of those beautiful braided straps in leather and the bright red signature thread that kind of juts out like a feather on the cap.

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74e8d202217b51a3cbcd360c7558733b-1 I can remember seeing the “Kolhapuris” ever since I was a small kid. The concrete memory of these beautiful sandals was, when one of my cousin brothers, who studied in Pune in the early eighties, brought a pair each for his siblings and for me. I instantly fell in love with them. And although, originally they are beige in colour and made in leather, there were colour variations and mine was dyed in a deep reddish maroon. And as there was excess dye on the sandals, every time I wore it, my feet would turn red on the soles and I just loved it.

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Years rolled by, but nothing much happened to the rustic, romantic status of the “Kolhapuris”! And I realized when I grew up that, these sandals looked amazing with just about any garment. They could be used with traditional wears like Saris, Salwar kameez, Lehengas, etc for women and Kurta pyjamas,Dhotis etc for men. Similarly, they go easily with western wear like Jeans, T-shirts, and Capris and even look funky with shorts. The best they look on a man or a woman, I feel is when they are teamed with a Blue Denim jeans and a White shirt preferably Linen. Wowww! There is a mandatory charm about this look. The person looks approachable, warm, intelligent, simple yet sophisticated. Although a stranger,he or she will always look like someone from your past, someone whom you knew as a cheerful person .It may sound a little weird to some, but just try looking at someone who puts together this look. And I am sure you will also start feeling what I feel.

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PhotoGrid_1406779757246 It goes without saying that”Kolhapuris” transcend as classics. They never went out of vogue and never will. They keep evolving in colour, texture, design, ornamentation but will never go out of fashion. They are best described like a favourite next door neighbour who brings in a crusty apple pie on a rainy Sunday or an old school crush whom you could never really forget and who keeps giving you a friendly call now and then. They will always be there; round the corner, with a warm knowing smile.

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PhotoGrid_1406176918441 And boy! The breathability these sandals give you is amazing. Nothing can give more freedom for your feet. Slip it on…slip it off… and let your feet always feel the wind. So to make your feet feel happy, loved and content, grab a pair of these amazing footwear. And as I said before, there is no anxiety whether you are in vogue or not. And many a time there is no gender difference nor status difference for this really cool pair. Quintessentially fashionable; on ramp or in raw life.

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 JUST FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND MOSTLY FOR YOUR INTEREST!

“Kolhapuris” have been the inspiration for other product design and print.

Check out the super cool mobile covers and purses.

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