Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bandagi Launch and a New Year Giveaway!

This Saturday was one of the most significant days in my life. I launched my own line of accessories. The brand is called BANDAGI – Bling Worship. Bandagi means Worship, and I see the brand as a bit of a rebel, a free-spirit out to explore and discover. My first collection was only hair accessories, as I feel the Hair can transform a woman. Also, we have an extremely emotional association with our hair. So I had a small launch event this weekend which did very well. What had started out as a personal passion is reaching out to many women and I cannot even begin to describe this feeling!

To celebrate the successful Launch of Bandagi, I wanted to have a Giveaway. This also gave me an opportunity to get to know one extremely talented lady, Aarti Verma, of ART MEETS FASHION. Art meets fashion is an independent label which deals with Handpainted and Handcrafted Fashion and Home decor Accessories. Every Product is a unique piece of art. Its founder and designer Aarti has done an Art Teacher Diploma from Sir JJ School Of Arts, and then pursued a crash course in fashion Designing. After teaching as an Arts Teacher for a year, she sought to do something more concrete with her inclination to blend art and fashion, and that was how her label was born.
Aarti believes that Art and Fashion have been the twin passions of her life, and every day she grows as a designer, absorbing new inspirations, rendering them into her colorful designs.

She launched Art Meets Fashion just about a year back with just a few handpainted totes, and already the label does tunics, sling clutches, and ceramic jewellery pieces. But Aarti does not want to get into mass production, and likes to keep her designs unique and rare.

For her designs, Aarti is drawn to Tribal Elements, and prefers doing human figures, very bold, Indian yet contemporary. She loves to fuse two opposite elements, whether in the colors, form or even fabric. While she loves color in general, her preferred colors are earthy tones, with brown and black being her favorites. She is also drawn to reds and greens, depending on her mood.

Aarti’s online presence poses the biggest challenge faced by all independent designers: Plagiarism. She continually tries to refresh and renew her designs in order to combat that, but laments the lack of control over theft of her designs.

While Aarti redefines the style platform for others, her own style is pretty eclectic. She loves to mix trends and isn’t afraid to experiment. In her closet, one would find chunky silver jewellery, skirts of all lengths, and a lovely little black dress! When not working, the young designer loves to travel, take pictures of her world, and gorge on Chinese food.

Currently, Art Meets Fashion is available at the unique multidesigner store, Bliss in Mumbai and Pune. The designs can also be ordered at

Aarti has given a beautiful, hand-painted bag as a Giveaway gift just for the Shotcouture readers.

To win this lovely Art Meets Fashion bag, you have to…
1. Be a follower of Shotcouture on GFC.
2. LIKE Art Meets Fashion Page On facebook

Once you have done that, just leave a message on this post with your name and valid email id. The Giveaway is open to international readers and will end on Friday, 6 January, 2012!

I can relate to Aarti on so many levels. Having just started my own line of accessories, my constant fears and challenges follow the same progression as her. I will be posting more about my label and accessories on my Facebook Bandagi Page. You can see the key pieces from the collection HERE.

Also, a special mention of my Design Da Paura, inspired by the lovely Rachel, of Capturingitaly. The design is crafted from a delicate fabric flower, and is available in two colors, black and purple.

I am so excited about the launch and keeping my fingers crossed that it would do well. Christmas this year has been memorable. I do hope to hear from lots of you on your plans for the New Year. And yes, don’t forget to take part in the Art Meets Fashion Giveaway! The beautiful, hand-painted bag could be yours!

Monday, December 12, 2011

So much! So much!

This is going to a picture heavy, long post. There is so much happening. My own accessories line, to start with. I launch in less than two weeks, and nothing seems to be in place! I am falling behind on my posts, as the day job is in full swing. Not that I am complaining. Love my job, love my people. And I absolutely love the fact that there is never a dull moment.

Spent this weekend with a dining group, "Pet Pujaris", literally translates into stomach- worshipers. We had a long, happy lunch at the newly launched restaurant "All Day 5", at the Apollo Hotel in Colaba, Mumbai. This colorful, young eating space, with an energetic, young chef is a must visit if you happen to be in Mumbai and are looking for a cozy, casual dining option. The drinks, the starters, the main course, and the dessert were absolutely delightful. Which perhaps explains why the lunch extended till about 5 in the evening. I had a Sangria to drink, and called for a Vermicelli crusted Basa, which was superbly done and perfectly flavored. Anyways, here are some pictures from the lunch.

Of course, with my first accessories collection just around the corner, there is lots to do. So Saturday was spent working and reworking the designs, and things seem to be falling into place now. For those who think blogging is easy and frivolous, well, blah! It has changed the course of people's lives. Mine, for sure. I am excited and a bit scared. I can only hope that my designs will be liked and the accessories will be bought. Right now, I am working on branding and Packaging, and it seems like nothing will get done on time. But that's the fun bit!

So yes, I used denim to beat the Monday morning blues, and as usual, took some pictures. How was your weekend? What special things are happening in your life?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Giveaway Winner, a pretty cake, some colorful socks and new shoes...

Thank you all for taking part in the Shotcouture Mish Mash Giveaway! And the winner of the hand-painted bag is - Jenny Benny of Jenniferfabulous!
I had a lovely weekend. Was working on Sunday, but that too was a lot of fun as we had all met for a brain-storming session for an upcoming project. On Saturday, I managed to pick up a couple of pairs of new shoes from Tresmode, and also met my brother who had gone to our home town Agra, and brought back an amazing pair of green boots for me. Also, I happen to love colorful socks, and have quite a few pairs. So can't wait to sport some new footwear.

Last week has been a busy week. Work is progressing well on my hair accessories collection, and it gives me so much satisfaction to see things take shape. After a difficult phase, my life is getting back on track. Soon, I will be able to share my collection with you all.

Today is a friend's birthday, and we brought it in with a lovely cake that a co-worker's wife had made. She has just started making these fabulous cakes, and I just loved her work, and decided to buy one. How was your weekend? Did you do anything special?

My co-worker, Noopur, and I were sitting on the office terrace and clicked some pictures fooling around with the camera.

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