Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Great Wall Of Mumbai!

So, things are a little better. Thanks for all your kind words. My mom is a little better, though it's a long, painful road to recovery.

I needed a pick-me-up. So Tarun and I went for the Mumbai Wall Project. It's a collaborative street graffiti project, wherein people are invited to come and paint the walls along a particular street in Mumbai. The paints and other material is provided by the organizers. I did a simple pretty design. Not bad for a first attempt at graffiti. Tarun and his two friends - Niharika and Kunal- made the Pakman.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sorry for being MiA

Hi. I haven't posted in a while. I was away for a serious family emergency. My mom had a nasty fall, and being already weak, she suffered from a life-threatening head injury. She seems a little better now. But I might not be back in action for some time. Meanwhile, I'd try and visit your lovely blogs and post my comments. Take care.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Future Of Fashion - Tech Couture

As one fashion week after another speeds by, my ADD is kicking in, and I am suddenly intrigued by a less talked about aspect of fashion – Tech Couture. From designer Manel Torres exploring the possibility of spray-on clothing, to the development of “smart” second skin clothing which has interactive fragrance technology permanently built into the clothing: examples include clothing and jewellery that release scents such as menthol, which could help alleviate medical problems including asthma attacks.
That science and fashion interact on such close front is exciting, and not just from an academic point of view. To break free from the current conventions of fabrics and silhouettes, and to be able to explore unthinkable dimensions, and through fashion!

All this isn’t some distant science fantasy. In fact, some of these innovations have already been seen on the runway. Hussein Chalayan’s 2008 collection featured LED dresses: a video dress displaying a time-lapsed image of a rose opening up and closing, with an array of colours and light, made possible by 15,000 LEDs embedded in the fabric. In 2007, Chalayan’s collection featured clothes that changed shape: zippers closing, cloth bunching and hemlines rising, with the assistance of micro-controllers, switches and motors.

Dresses changed shape as the audience gasped

If this is just the beginning, I can’t really wait to see what the future of Tech-couture will be!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

LIFW SS 2010- Celebrating 10 years of Fashion

The first day of Lakme Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 had an unusual and timeless treat for the fashion lovers in the city - a spectacular show called “Lakmé and IMG celebrate 10 years of fashion”
presented by Samira Habitats. Covering the past 10 years of the fashion week, the theme of the show was Then - Now – Forever: with 20 Lakme Grand Finale designers presenting their looks from “back then”, to now and then finally, the timeless, “forever” looks. The show ran for a full 45 minutes and featured some stunning designs from some of India’s most well-known and prolific designers. Though every design that made a round of the runway is worth writing about, there are some creations that made a noticeable impact on the fashion fraternity present.

Bobby and Manju Grover’s Forever design, a chiffon shot silk grey gown with a metallic Lurex laser cutwork bodice with a dramatic headgear.

Monapali’s Forever, a white net sari with a kantha and mirror work borders.

Rohit Bal’s Forever, his favourite 16 tiered full circle kurta in ivory.

Arjun Khanna’s Forever, a mirror work embellished jacket teamed with a crushed panelled lehenga with gold motifs.

J J Valaya’s Forever, a floral ruffled headgear cum choli with white zardozi lehenga.

Tarun Tahiliani’s fringed dress and gown with corded off- shoulder neckline for Now and for Forever, a draped bronze satin backless dress.

Malini Ramani’s Forever, a fierce, tiger stripes backless mini in gold and black.

Ritu Beri’s dramatic Spanish inspired skirt, presented as her Forever design.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s Forever design, a velvet chiffon multi print skirt, blouse and bolero in earthy tones.

Finally, as 20 of India’s most creative minds took the stage, there was, as expected, a standing ovation, marking the end of the fashion event of the decade.  

All Images Courtesy

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kolkata Fashion Week - Ritu Kumar

The Czarina of Indian Haute Couture, Ritu Kumar, presented her collection on the first day of the Kolkata Fashion Week. Featuring her characteristic designs with exquisite blending of the Indian handicrafts with contemporary mediums, Kumar’s collection opened in black and gold, with varied silhouettes to suit the modern Indian woman. The collection comprised of evening gowns, long tunics, chogas, kutchi gathered coats worn over loose pants, all incorporating the exquisite skills of a hugely skilled designer. The theme was taken further by marrying the Indian aesthetic with coats, trench and bomber jackets, all trimmed with leather and worn with tights and boots. The color palette was rich and vivid, in the true Ritu Kumar style. The designer called her collection a tribute to the craftsmen of West Bengal, as she marked it as a celebration of forty years of the Ritu Kumar label.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Style Icons - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

In her book “How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World,” author Jordan Christy laments the modern day loss of polite, well-spoken, gracious, charming and thoughtful women, like the yesteryear icons, Kate and Audery Hepburn. In a celebrity obsessed world, where Paris and Lindsay are emulated everywhere, she talks about the grace and charm that women from a bygone era exuded. As she goes on to talk about "real women with brains, beauty and self-respect", I start thinking about India’s own style queens of yesterday – Leela Naidu, and Gayatri Devi. Vogue chose them as being among the most beautiful women in the world. Ironically, and tragically, Gayatri Devi passed away just a day after actress Leela Naidu died in Mumbai.

Gayatri Devi was celebrated for her classical beauty and was a prominent fashion icon in her adulthood, Born a Rajput princess, she regaled the world with her intellect, beauty and regal charm. As Maharani Gayatri Devi she was an icon for her generation. A head-turner with her bobbed brown hair, chiffon saree, and understated, elegant jewellery, she was the quintessential fairy tale princess. Despite her life’s ups and downs, the doe eyed Maharani’s fabled beauty and grace stayed with her, till the very end. It comes as no surprise that she was often compared to former US first lady and style icon Jacqueline Kennedy.

Gayatri Devi

Leela Naidu, on the other hand, was an Indian actress. Her ethereal, mesmerizing looks and subtle, effortless style, tinged with the glamour of her profession made her a timeless beauty. As the world moves on to size zero, chic glamour, one can’t help but hang on to the fleeting memory of the women who truly embodied style and elegance.

Leela Naidu

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Biker Chic - To Be Or Not To Be

To think of Biker Chic in Mumbai weather is akin to committing fashion suicide. Imagine. Me. On a local train in Mumbai. Twelve women rubbing against me (Don’t ask how that happens. You don’t want to know). And my leather jacket making me sweat gallons of liquid out of my system. I arrive in office drenched in sweat, smelling, cranky. Not sexy!

So biker Chic is, let’s just face it and throw in the towel, not for Mumbai women. We live out our life in airy cotton tunics, and tees. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t drool over the chains and zippers galore that the fall fashion is bringing back into our life.

I saw these lovelies on Glamour Magazine’s website and shed tears. My favourite is the Alex McQueen Biker Rings Clutch Bag. Super! The Satin and Chain High Sandals by Camilla Skovgaard bring sexy back, and the Miss Selfridge Leather Biker Jacket, along with the Studded Bangles will do any fashion goddess proud.Desires, I say. Maybe some other city, some other life. Meanwhile Angelina Jolie can slip into her leather shifts and look gorgeous. I’ll have a cotton tunic, on the rocks, please.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nick Knight - Beasting

I recently rediscovered BEASTING, an arresting body of work from ace photographer Nick Knight, a result of his decade long professional relationship with John Galliano. An intense shoot for Arena Homme +, Beasting features the Autumn Winter 2007 collection of John Galliano’s menswear line. Nick Knight, who calls his association with Galliano a source of ‘continual stimulation’, has
captured a visually powerful brawny spectacle.

Knight’s reputation for pushing technical and creative boundaries is on full display here. After having worked on several controversial issues, ranging from racism, disability, ageism and fat-ism, Knight’s shots of the brawny males depict militaristic ritual and untamed pagan energy.

The cover image shows an intimidating man-beast with six arms, a fascinating symbol of hyper-masculinity. The brawny beast wears the headpieces, and garments of John Galliano’ menswear collection. The shots are a disturbing and fascinating blend of combative and sexual frenzy, where limbs and bodies seem to merge into one another. It’s indomitably a man’s space, with overtones of war and rough-play.

The man behind the shoot, celebrated photographer Nick Knight, refers to his body of work as ‘an ongoing communication, a response to events’. Nick’s work for publications includes i-D, Vogue, Dazed & Confused, The Face and Visionaire. His list of clients features Yohji Yamamoto, Christian Dior, YSL, Björk, Alexander McQueen, Massive Attack, and Calvin Klein. Apart from these big names, he has also worked with Jil Sander, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, and Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Remembering The Flowers - Phulkari From Punjab

Growing up in the Northern part of India, colour was an integral part of my life. Yellow draped mustard fields swayed in early summer winds; spring brought in trees laden heavily with flowers of colors so vibrant, we could spend hours looking at them, as we rode our bicycles through verdant gardens that were such a common part of our small town life. Those were simple times, when recession and lay-offs were unheard of, and women sang as they sat together, embroidering rich dreams into simple fabrics. And no embroidery was as colourful as Phulkari, a Punjabi embroidery technique, which literally means flower working. Using darn stitch on the wrong side of coarse cotton cloth with colored silken thread, Punjabi women sat creating intricate, alluring patterns inspired by nature and daily life.

Over a decade later, Phulkari has not only stood the test of time, but seems to be thriving. Especially in the ‘Darjiya Wali Gali’ (Tailors’ Lane) in old Patiala, Phulkari has found its connoisseurs as buyers from across the world flock to own a piece of this coveted Indian Art. My last visit to Punjab saw me walk through a colour-filled wonderland, where beautiful shawls, scarves, tunics, and shoes brought back fond memories of a time when all was right with the world. The original hand-made Phulkari is now rare, and comes for a price. But with colours that last for years, and exotic patterns that appeal to Indian and off-shore buyers alike, it’s an investment worth making. A well-made Phulkari scarf or a tunic keeps the compliments flowing in after several repeat outings. The patterns have now been modernized, but I prefer the old, classic designs. For those who find the traditional colours too bright, there are now softer pastels available.

If a visit to India is not on the cards anytime soon, online shops are a good option. Many online suppliers offer a variety of colour and pattern options suited for Western tastes. With its warm colours, and striking patterns, Phulkari makes a lasting impression. Much like the country of its origin – rooted in tradition, but with modern sensibilities.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Long Time...

I haven't posted in a really long time. Over a month, actually. Some of you might be wondering if I have finally gone off blogging. I haven't. A lot has happened in the past one month. And it has given me a new perspective. Style for me is being redefined. New things are emerging on my personal landscape that demand attention. And the old SHOTCOUTURE seems to be asking for a change. So, I guess, this period of absence is what I needed to put things into place, and determine where I wanted this blog to go.

Currently, I am in London, discovering the various aspects of this beautiful city that will, no doubt, add more depth to the way I percieve fashion and style. It will, I believe, bring me closer to discovering my 'voice'.

Please wait for SHOTCOUTURE to emerge in its new Avatar. I hope I will be able to make it worth the long wait.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Searching For A Muse - Pravin Talan

Fashion photography is a mould in which many a photographers’ talent has gotten trapped, labeled, made predictable. No so for Pravin Talan. With his deep set eyes searching for an ever elusive muse, and his towering personality, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he is a poet. For he does capture poetry in motion. After having dabbled in this and that, and that and this for a change, he is now quite comfortably reunited with his first love – Photography.
I love Pravin’s pictures for the visual textures and unusual themes. He captures the essence of his subjects, rather than just posing them against a pretty background. And then, he adds a twist. Here are a few of my favorite pictures. For more of Pravin’s pictures, visit his facebook profile by clicking here

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Winners Of the Shotcouture Giveaway!

Thank you all for the LOVELY comments. The Giveaway Winners have been selected and I am finally posting a list of all the names.

Mamma Mia! Me A mamma?
Dina Dyorre

Congratulations, winners! You will have your gifts delivered to you within 4 weeks of mailing me your address. I will personally inform all the winners by mail. The details of your gift will be sent to you in the mail.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gitanjali Luxury Style Fest 09 - Day One

Last night, Gitanjali Group Chairman, Mehul Choksi and Massimo Carraro joined Priety Zinta and Neil Nitin Mukesh in hitting the gong to announce the launch of the Gitanjali Luxury Style Fest 09. Other faces spotted were Rituparna Sengupta, Narendra Kumar with Kadambari Lakhani, Nisha Jamwal, Bobby Kishan, Nikasha Tawadey, Rahul Sharma, Gayatri Khanna, Shatrujit Tikka singh, Parvez Damania, Krutika Desai, Vikram Raizada and Shaina NC. GLSF 09 is a three-day fest and Day 1 saw Rohit Bal, Ritu Beri and Wendell Rodriguez showcase their collections on the ramp.

Rohit Bal is known for incorporating an edgy attitude in his every collection. All his collections have a strong Couture element that many have tried to emulate, and failed. The highlight of his collection, as usual, was the use of fabric and textures to create sheer drama. See for yourself.

Photo courtsey: and