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A Change of Pace

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Something strange has been happening to me lately. For the first time in my life I have an active lifestyle, doing yoga each morning, cycling at night and learning to surf at the weekends. I’ve been making an effort to be mindful, to rest and practice self-care. I suddenly am really watching what I eat, giving up caffeine and soda, and maintaining a low-carb and low-sugar diet. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for nearly a month now, eating only for eight hours from 12 noon to 8 p.m. and fasting the rest of the time. I’ve been setting intentions, did a moon ritual during Tuesday’s solar eclipse, cleansing my home and myself with sage.

And so far I really, really feel good.

That said, it’s so weird to feel a change happening to yourself. I’m shopping for rashguards and bra tops and sports sunblock instead of Vivienne Westwood and lipstick. I’m booking trips based on where the waves are good and choose weekend beach trips that leave at 4 a.m. over staying out in Time or 20:20 until 4 a.m. It’s strange to set my alarm each morning to get to a hot yoga class on time, when I usually would start my day at noon. It’s bizarre to no longer eat every two hours, and just have that self control to stop all food consumption when the clock strikes eight. Its odd to make sure to have a yoga mat, blocks and trainer fits in my suitcase, more than a few extra outfits.

My friends are beginning to take the piss, calling me Sports Mich and laughing at my antics. At Surfcuit, the intensive surfing training course I’ve been doing weekly with Paolo Soler’s Philippine Surfing Academy, my pals who I dragged to do the course with me took instagram stories of me doing yoga before classes because they just thought it was hilarious. My friend Cecile looked at me in shock when I said I wanted to buy a Go Pro the other day, saying “You’re so weird now!! Who are you and when did this happen??”

Oddly enough, I think, just like my move to become more active with my feminism, this whole attitude of mindfulness and self-care was a result of my pre-egg freezing anxiety. I wasn’t allowed to have caffeine, sugar and alcohol. I had to manage my anxiety in ways that didn’t involve partying or bingeing, plus my being solo meant that I had to find ways to deal with my emotions on my own. I learned to do yoga and meditate. I had to stop working myself to exhaustion each day, and even skipped a season at Fashion Week because I was advised to avoid anything stressful — and as a workaholic that thrived on being busy, that was definitely the hardest part. I took time to rest and slept properly.

Post-egg freezing, I went back to my old habits. I was back to having a few cups of coffee a day and indulging in sugary treats, slacking off with yoga and exercise, going out late and not sleeping well to stay up and work. Oddly enough, while it felt good to be back to being my old liberated self for a while, I had noticed that I was far more energetic and less sleepy when I didn’t drink coffee. While I was mindful of health pre-egg freezing, my normally sickly self didn’t even get a cold. I felt so much better when I did yoga daily than when I slept in all morning. So I made a conscious effort to go back to these habits I formed pre-freezing and stick to it.

I had expected it to be difficult, but it’s funny how feeling the change and feeling good in your own skin is such a powerful motivator. I know it’s early on, but I actually love going to yoga and am addicted to it, doing everything from hot, to flow, to my new favorite, yin. I love being active, something I had never thought I could be since I was in college and dancing. I love seeing the effect of my fast on my body (I’ve lost six pounds since I started three weeks ago) and the way my body is changing and how I don’t even feel hungry during the fast hours is really motivating me to keep going. I like having this newfound confidence in trying new things that I thought I never had the stamina or balance to do. I love actually having a work-life balance — taking time for myself and for rest and realizing that being busy and overworking myself at the risk of my well-being isn’t something I should consider a badge of honor.

I’m not trying to be preachy, but somehow, I, who never cared much about working out, mindfulness or self-care, suddenly find myself in this unfamiliar yet extremely great place of adapting to it. So if I, who never thought I could stay silent and sit still for 20 minutes, can change the pace of my life to take breaks and make time for my well-being, then I think that it’s a possibility for everyone, no matter how stressed, busy or tired you are.Read more at:long evening dresses australia

09:12 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)



The biggest strength of the Lakme Fashion Week is its unrelenting commitment to Indian handloom. Hand-woven and hand-loomed fabric has been the country’s greatest fashion-culture narrative, right from the time Mahatma Gandhi spun his charkha. The fashion week has made consistent efforts for over a decade to train the spotlight on Indian textiles and sustainable fashion. While it all began with one day out of its five dedicated to heritage weaves, local textiles seem to have become the country’s biggest story.

Almost every designer —whether starting out in her career, or ruling the trousseau boxes, or even those not making any so-called ‘Indian wear’— experiment a great deal with Indian fabric, weaves and styles of decoration. Benarasi and chikankari have long been staples, but the inventiveness with which they are put to use is noteworthy. Ikat finds itself always in the black. But lesser-known or -used techniques, such as dabu, pichwai, kalamkari, or malkha, mekhla, sambalpuri or kashida, are coming to the fore.

Last season, Gautam Vazirani of IMG Fashion brought artisans and craftsmen from Kutch to the Jio Gardens, the fashion week venue, so that they could meet and interact with whoever was interested. This season Vazirani hand-picked five designers to collaborate with five artisans supported by Paramparik Karigar, a crafts enterprise that counts the legendary Ratna Krishnakumar as its chief supporter. Each designer would have to employ one artisan’s work and make chic, high-fashion clothes from it.

The results were gobsmackingly good. Bombay girl Anjali Patel Mehta, whose flirty resort label ‘Verandah’ has just wowed Miami Beach fashion week, was given Sarfaraz Khatri of Pracheen and his ajrakh hand-blocking with vegetable dyes. Now I am seriously no fan of ajrakh, it reminds me of cheap ethnic bedspreads. But Anjali enlarged a few motifs and spread them over her gorgeous silks and dupoins.

In subtle colours like grey, indigo, blue and mustard, she used cotton fringes, kimono sleeves and with a little Japanese imagery in boho styles like cropped pants, oversize jackets, kaftans and covers. I had my eyes on Sreejith Jeevan’s Rouka label ever since the Kerala boy made his debut three seasons ago. Sreejith was given shibori done by Aranya Naturals — a Munnar-based tieand- dye trust. He used Japanese-style asymmetrical tops, tunic dresses and samurai-inspired skirts as his shapes. Sreejith’s penchant for keeping all his garments around Rs 5,000 will make you kiss Zara goodbye.

Another favourite was Shohel Khatri, whose father Aziz I met at the Kutch stall last season. The Khatris’ superlative bandhani dot-dyeing made the Delhibased fashion label Cell Desgn 11.11 famous. Tiny dots are dyed in clusters to make minimal but very special styles. The Pot Plant, an e-tailer label run by the talented Resham Karamchandani and Sanya Suri (who are only one season old at LFW themselves), made trendy jackets, tunics and dresses, too.

Designer label ‘Vineet-Rahul’ took Bagh block printing from Madhya Pradesh to slim kurtas and trench coats. And the ‘Poochki’ label by the justengaged Ishanee Mukherjee and Anirudh Chawla teamed up with master craftsman Bherulal Chippa’s son Vikas to have block-prints in modern animal and floral shapes for their piped dresses, box-pleated pants and panelled skirts. It was sweet to see the artisans not wait for the designers to come on the runway when their names were announced for the finale bow, they rushed towards the sea of shutterbugs.

They are so ready for the world outside. Left to their own, artisans can only make saris or scarves. Tailoring is alien to them, trends are far removed from their lives. Another albatross is their lack of education, it doesn’t allow them access to stores directly. A fleet of middlemen— as many as five in some garments— eat into their profits. Aziz Khatri’s elder daughter is now learning English so she can speak to clients directly. If the fashion week can bridge this gap, of taking the craftsmen to designer boutiques (with the assistance of quality fashion designers), we are on the brink of a revolution.

Indian textiles will not only be far easily available, but they will also be a global phenomenon. Internationally, the world is moving toward ‘slow fashion’, clothes that are handmade and must be worn several times over. Younger Indian consumers don’t find handloom attractive, says Vazirani, hence his choice of new and hip labels. The sari lobby also controls the handloom narrative — it doesn’t allow for the tough-to-make-but-easier-to-sell tunic and trouser silhouette to survive. Last year’s demonetisation has further hit the Paramparik Karigar sales this summer, as budgets are tightened.

Several artisans have sold only a handful of items, if at all. But is lapping up Anjali Patel Mehta and Safaraz Khatri’s collection. A Kuwaiti boutique chain has placed 300-piece orders for three styles from the Poochki-Vikas Chippa tie-up. Vikas doesn’t know how much money he will make from this (Poochki says they work on 50:50 profit and will allow him to keep their hand-blocks to make saris and scarves on his own), but he wants to give it all to charity. I ask him to keep putting his earnings back into his business, until he has himself a house, a car and a wife (strictly in that order) and then think of charity. It’s time for craftsmen to get rich.Read more at:year 12 formal dresses | cocktail dress australia

08:51 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Beauty and brains combined

Deepica now wants to come up with a product line for South Asian women’s skin tones.
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Any make-up lover around the world would probably know the bizarre but effective trick to cover under-eye dark circles with red lipstick. Although it has been used by beauticians since a long time, it was YouTuber and makeup guru Deepica Mutyala who introduced it to the Internet. Her second video was viewed by a whopping 10 million people and since then, there has been no looking back for her. Deepica, who now has over one lakh subscribers, lives in LA and grew up in Texas. Belonging originally to Kakinada, Deepica says that as a kid, she would love visiting the villages. The free-spirited, chatty girl is also super busy, having covered the MET Gala red carpet as part of the Today Show.

“Coming from a typical Indian family, my father wanted me to become a doctor but I was always interested in make-up,” she confesses, adding, “I had never seen a South Asian make it big in the beauty industry, so I even dyed my hair blonde and wore blue contact lenses to fit in. Then I figured that I would get into the business side of it and started working with beauty companies as a marketer. I thought I’d go to Harvard Business School after work, just to appease my parents.”

But while on the job, Deepica’s company noticed her blog and asked her to do videos for them. “I always liked to dabble in TV and this was on similar lines, so I was the happiest,” she says. Soon, Deepica gathered enough courage to start a YouTube channel and when her second video went viral, she grabbed the opportunity. “That moment was an epiphany for me. I could have either taken it as my 15 minutes of fame and forgotten about it or turned my career around with it. That video gave me the opportunity to become a beauty correspondent on the Today Show,” says Deepica, proudly.

Soon she went to New York City, where her other dream got fulfilled. “I worked hard to get invited to the MET Gala to cover the red carpet event and that was the highest point in my career. I saw so many Indians on the carpet like Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra and was really proud to be sharing space with them,” she exults. But how did her parents react to all this? “I quit my day job to focus on YouTube but did not tell my parents. I had already rebelled by not being a doctor and I was terrified of what they would say if I told them the truth! I didn’t want them to think that I needed their financial support either,” reveals Deepica.

However, they soon came to know about it through the grapevine. But Deepica was pleasantly surprised by her father’s reaction. “My father gave me a cheque and said, ‘Think of this as an investment in somebody I believe in’. I started crying and tore up the cheque, saying ‘that’s all I wanted to hear’,” recalls Deepica. The beauty guru has borne it all, including a tough phase of depression which she combated by surrounding herself with people that she loves. In the future, Deepica wants to come up with a product line for South Asian women’s skin tones and says that she would love to lend her story to television.Read more at:red carpet dresses

09:51 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)