Silky Water with button details
Chikan Trellis with Chikan embroidery detail
Chikan Trellis with Chikan embroidery detail
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I used to have a problem with the way media, and fashion magazines in particular, sell products. The cosmetics section in every magazine is cleverly called the “beauty” section (you’re not beautiful this month if you don’t wear xxx eyeshadow), and the writing on fashion and lifestyle almost makes you feel frumpy for not wearing the latest fashion trend (on their list of essentials this winter is a 42k wool cardigan) or not using words like staycation. Of course this could just be a case of sour grapes because every attempt I’ve made to get Brass Tacks featured in Vogue has been in vain. The closest I’ve come is Lavanya Nalli wearing one of my tops in her feature (thank you, Lavanya).
But truth be told (and I like to tell the truth), I have a much better understanding for how the industry works now that I too have a product to sell. It’s not always about selling reality- it’s about creating a fantasy and giving people something cool or glamorous to aspire for. Owning the product is not the fantasy, but using/wearing it should make the owner feel a part of the fantasy.
Fashion shouldn’t be rigid in its instructions on what to wear and what not to wear. After all in an ideal world we should all wear something that is representative of our inner selves- and how homogeneous would the world be if we all shifted from one trend to another at the same time? Fashion can however open our minds to other forms of self-expression. Up until recently I never used to pay attention to fashion trends and I always focused on the overall look of a garment while designing. My new found insight has now taught me that it’s not only about the look, it’s about the feeling as well; I need to design clothes that make the wearer look and feel good.
Inspired by all the Harem and Turkish and Dhoti pants I’ve been seeing in magazines, I made my own pair of dhoti pants for this winter collection. I’ve always felt that this look is perfect for Indian women who are confident and proud enough to embrace their hips, and I really think it has a lot more attitude then a cocktail dress. So come over to my store and get this look- it can only help your stylish staycation get better. Oh and don’t forget to rock it with a pair of heels and a glass of single malt in hand. That’s right, Single malt is the new Mojito.
Okay, I’ll stop now.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
For months I’ve been trying to work on a pair of cotton trousers that have a great fit around the hip and waist. I feel that most affordable brands (abroad as well as in India) make trousers that are more or less straight from the hip/butt up to the waist. So whatever fits me at the hip is loose at the waist, and if I try a size smaller then I can’t get into it because it’s too tight around my hips. I know I am not alone in this feeling, and I don’t even have a curvy figure to boast of, so what are all the other Indian women doing for trousers?
Out of necessity to add a pair of cotton trousers to my wardrobe and the desire to get to the bottom of this trouser-for-women-with-hips problem, I have been spending a lot of time and energy and even tears (yes, there was that one time when I just cried in frustration) trying to develop a pair of cotton trousers that fit well. You’re probably wondering why a simple pair of cotton trousers requires this much time, but it’s tough to get that perfect fit without lycra; plus I don't have any formal training in pattern making which would have definitely helped. Things reached a point where I tried to outsource the pattern making to other companies that provide this sort of service, but I wasn’t happy with their fits either. Then I went sleuthing around at other major boutiques, but either they didn’t have great fits in pure cotton, or they used blends of cotton, polyester and lycra to get a figure hugging fit.
It kind of pains me to know that the pattern we finally arrived at was under my nose the whole time. It just required a few tweaks from another pattern we had (raise the crotch level, tighten the thigh and contour the waist) which I discovered after spending 2 days staring at all the paper patterns and pants we had produced so far. Anyway, after months of making around 50 samples that didn’t work, I have introduced our first pair of cotton trousers, “Sophomore”, into the store. It’s fitted around the hip, it’s booty lifting, and it’s really comfortable. It comes in brown (the ones in the photos below), ivory and black. I’m so excited about these that I'm giving my regular customers a special price on these trousers just to share the joy.
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