Monthly Archives: May 2010

Card Out

I’ve been quite busy over the past week with university and my thankless job and I’ve also been doing some travelling and exploring! This has sadly reflected on my blog posts, not having enough time to work on them. Come on, I still do try! The sunshine and warmth reach out and wrap their tantalizing fingers around me, that I give in to the temptation and stay out the whole day! Still, I’m putting up a few images of business cards I designed for my friend Ghazala Erum, who is a professional makeup artist by the way. She is amazing at wielding the blush brush (try saying “blush brush” real fast, 3 times!) and the hair brush. So anybody in need of a person for beautification, post me a comment and I’ll let her know.

Here are the 4 designs I made.

Design No.: 1

Design No.:2

Design No.:3

Design No.:4

What do you think of them? Guess which one she chose?

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The Saree- My Story

To start with, a mighty big thanks to all my lady friends all over the world, (some I know and some I don’t!) for the lightning speed responses I got on this one. No less credit should go to my dude-buddies who made their girlfriends take the survey for me! A friend in need is a friend indeed. I’m truly warmed to the last fiber in my body. Also, kudos to Facebook, for which I’ve found a novel use- Project work and assignments apart from the usual networking and socializing! Obviously, SurveyMonkey, the survey website, saved my day!

(For those who are clueless about what I’m ranting about, here’s the link-http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SNN8JNG. You could still answer!)

NOTE:

Since the majority of the people who have answered my survey fall under the 21 to 26 years age bracket, my results drawn henceforth will be based on them alone.

I’ve inserted some pictures for your perusal for those who don’t know what is what.

Also, I have taken the survey myself, since I’m an Indian woman and I have a say in the matter as well.

Here are the survey stats:

  1. Of them, 72.2% are students, 22.8% are working (part-time or full time) and the remaining minuscule percentage are either housewives or currently unemployed. (I included the housewife section since many married women in India are housewives. Clearly, they don’t see the need to work since their menfolk earn enough!)
  2. I’ve had respondents of Indian origin, from India, as well as other countries-

~ United Kingdom

~ United States of America

~ Guyana

~ France

~ Spain

~ Malaysia

~ Singapore

~ Australia

– In an exactly (and surprisingly) equal number, this makes my result drawing process a lot easier. (This way I can easily estimate how the mind processes of Indians in India and abroad, work)

  • In the comfort area, Jeans has the maximum turnouts as being Extremely Comfy at 59.2% while the Saree rates highest in the Uncomfortable section with 49.3% The Salwar Kameez has equal turnouts for Extremely Comfy and Comfy, while the Skirt/ Dress has nothing significant.
  • Under practicality, Jeans (63.5%) and Saree (66.2%) have tied at the same score, with the former as Most Practical and latter as Impractical.
  • In a world that is turning more informal by the minute, Jeans has the most voters (76.5%) as Casual wear while the Sari (1.2%) has the least of the least. (There have been equal number of respondents for Salwar Kameez and Skirt/ Dress)
  • Jeans/ Pants rate highest (57.5%) as clothes for work or place of study, with the Salwar Kameez running close second (30%) while the Saree scores only a measly (1.3%).
  • For Special Occasions (marriages, festivals, and other important occasions) though, the scales tip towards the Saree with 40 respondents, while Jeans sees only 1 respondent out of a total of 81.
  • 51.3% respondents would wear a Saree only Occasionally and 38.8% Rarely, while none would wear a saree Always.
  • The Saree is the unbeatable Queen of Beauty in the Looks department where 46.9% think it is Very Attractive while 43.2% consider it The Most Gorgeous Garment in the World!

With these results, my thoughts have been sorted out and I can safely conclude (unbiased) that everybody loves the saree, be it an Indian or non- Indian, in literally any part of the world. But, the times are a-changing and so should we adapt ourselves to them. With the pace of the world quickening and women trying to be equal to men in all walks of life right from being computer engineers to being the president of a nation, it is unthinkable to do it all wrapped in six yards of fabric.

If you realised, I’m speaking contradictorily there. The President of India, Smt. (Indian for Mrs.) Pratibha Devisingh Patil, dons a saree all the time as well as manages to carry out her duties as a sincere President of India. (The President of India is the highest political post that can be held by a person. It is even higher than the Prime Minister) But our lifestyles play an important role here. They have a 101 ministers and servants at hand who can aid them in their day-to-day duties while we, common citizens should fend for ourselves. I’m not complaining, but these are the bare facts. They travel in luxury cars and first class flights. Imagine running to catch a bus or riding a bike to work, in a saree?

All with unassuming realism in mind, it is just not possible to go on with everyday life like rushing to university, running to cross a busy road, hastening home through pouring rain and so on and so forth, in a saree. Jeans reign in this context and the majority attire in them for comfort and practicality with high ambitions and aims to match the so- called “superior” potential of men.

This doesn’t mean the saree is endangered or extinct, since there are atleast a few in every generation who stick to a saree, no matter what may come. Besides, saree is the favourite of any Indian woman or girl when it comes to attire for special occasions and Indian festivals are full of colourful, vibrant sarees in different styles and cuts. (Sarees come in different trends too these days!) This way, the saree never goes and never will go into oblivion and we, (Indian women) will keep it living forever.

Oh, and for those who were wondering what my response to my survey was…

I picked jeans too…!

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Sunshine In My Soul

This very aptly named styling shoot was made by my stylist friend, where she has brought together 7 looks for the most eagerly awaited time of the year, Summer!

(I wrote this like a narrative by her)

The Look

I looked out of my window and saw a bright, sunny day. Twittering birds, flowers in bloom, the smell of freshly mown grass. It may sound clichéd, but Spring is truly beautiful. With sunlit joy in mind, I thought up of this sweet shoot for S/S 2010 which ties together 7 simple yet smart looks for the week. Little Miss Sunshine may be chic one day, candied another and glammed up on yet another day. Whatever she dresses in, the fashionista never goes wrong without a single strand out of place.

Style Patrol

With the sun on my back and a song in my heart I set off armed with sunblock, shades and camera to hunt down my prey- the niftily dressed of Birmingham- and photograph them. Breathing in inspiration from the best pictures, I set about brainstorming styling ideas and visualising them through this cute virtual game where I can make dolls wear clothes of my choice.

(Here are the names and descriptions I came up with for each look. Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to put up the pics here. (I really think she’s done an amazing job though))

Pretty Chic(k)

Normally a demure miss, she sometimes likes to reveal the tough girl in her with multiple chains and glares.

Denim n’ Roses

Togged up in strappy top and skirt with comfy shoes and a backpack, she’s all set to hit the road.

Candyfloss

The attractive girl next door goes stylish in pink, as pretty as the white rose in her tresses.

Blue For Life!

Blue’s the way to go with this ensemble, accessorised with bowler hat and a stack of bangles.

Timelessly young

She shows you how to work the vintage inspired styling in pastels, browns and gold.

Solstice Love!

Cheery yellow sandals and bag brighten up this garment, perfect for a walk in the park with the one she loves.

I Heart Spring

A cropped, feminine top works well with skinny jeans, glammed up with metallic blue.

The shoot has a light and effortless feel and the results are striking! Plus, I loved the model too. She fits into her role of the sassy lassie, like a glove.

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Much Ado About Nothing

Wardrobe Malfunctions. When I first heard this term as a twelve year old, I thought it had something to do with a cupboard getting broken down. Only when I looked it up in the dictionary, did I realise how off the mark I was, for it said, “a euphemistic term for an embarrassing display of a private body part when clothing droops, falls, or is torn.” Now, having grown up, I have learnt that this is a term, most dreaded in any designer or stylist’s dictionary. Now this shall not be confused with the word “flash”. Well, the general idea is the same, but the latter is done by weirdoes, on purpose.

Coming back to the context, wardrobe malfunctions are considered a shame on.. Everyone! The designers, the stylist, the choreographer, even the model herself. Like she did it just for publicity because her career is rolling downhill. Duh! And before you know it, you have the “Moral Police” leaping all over the place, pointing fingers and blaming people for “immorality”.

In still conventional India, a big hullabaloo was created when the dress of top runway model, Carol Gracias slipped south and revealed a little more than what was necessary for a few seconds. Adding insult to her embarrassment was the enduring spirit with which the public and the members of the Legislative Assembly condemned the show’s organisers and models and took them to court. To top it off, what with the trauma and all, Gracias wasn’t allowed to work for a while.

It is consoling to see that such glitches don’t cause as much of a furore in the west as it does in the east, considering the number of celebrities I can recite, whose attire blips have only been passing news in the juicy gossip columns of newspapers and magazines. Beyonce Knowles, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Janet Jackson, you name the star and she’s been there, done that.

The eastern side of the globe needs to grow up and accept the fact that these things just happen and are not planned to be executed (you could say like love, if you want).

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Heil Hitler!

Wake up in the morning and start Facebook-ing

Grab up the gossip, get an idea and start thinking

(ahem, this goes in the tune of Tick Tock. Get it?)

That’s exactly what I did this morn and ended up talking about Adolf Hitler with a friend, Ambika Udaikumar. That’s when I realised it’s been long since I gave even a vague, passing thought to The man. My last recollection of him dates back to when I studied about the Nazis and their horrific culture way back in my 10th grade. I realised that something should be done about it and settled for featuring him in my blog, because whatever said and done, he is still an inspiration for art and fashion and he deserves kudos just for that. His swastik was popularised so much at one point of time, it almost became as iconic as him. I found these interesting pictures and Had to post them here.

Barred for life

South Park!

Something that makes even the fuhrer look cute!

Here’s one more of those xkcd cartoons..

They’re hilarious! And if you’re wondering, yea, I’m almost addicted!

The military style screams of tough attitude with dark tones, epaulets, badges, gold buttons, bulky shoes and smart hats.

These are a few photos of my friend, Kiran’s take on the army style, about two years ago.

Aren’t they amazing? A pity I don’t have clearer pictures. Oh and he won the first place by the way.

Now for some military chic celebs…

Okay, I’m kinda obsessed with her, but you just got to hand it to her for carrying out any style with ease and panache!

Taylor Swift hater, Kanye West- he’s doing a good job too..

Of dressing up in style, that is.

Loving the gold and black

with that peek of grey!

All eyes on the All Saints boots

Finally before I say adieu today, here’s a little game to keep you occupied. It’s called….

Spot the Difference!

I just discovered that Mr. Hitler was a vegetarian! I never fathomed it with the way he used to mindlessly slaughter people. Talk about evil vegetarians…

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Natty Nautical

‘Dream of a sloop 100 ft. long,

With compass, ‘scope and map,

I’ll voyage the deeps not ever wrong.

Sea spray in the air, salt in my hair,

Stripes of navy and buttons of brass,

As nautical as there ever was.

Amid the briny, land ahoy!

Draw her out to the buoy.

Show off your bod in ship shape.

It’s summer after all! Let all gape.

Nauty fun~ Dresses and tunics

Stripe tease~ Bikinis

Maritime rudiments~ Playsuits and jackets

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Denim, a Fresh Classic

Written by,

Madhumitha Rathnasekar,

a normal girl with slapdash thoughts

Rip them; splatter them; distress them; sand them; shred them; wear them till they tear and then still wear them. That is denim for you and me. Denim knows no end, nor does it see an end, which makes it the staple piece in everyone’s wardrobe, worn with nifty variations. Denim doesn’t die, it only fades. You can be the urban cowboy wearing a pair of boots with your flared jeans or look delicate in a pretty blouse and peg-legs. The versatility of denim has transcended generations of jean lovers (and the rare detester), making it the most worn fabric in the world, ever since its invention in France, when it was still called “nimmes”. Trends may come and trends may go, but denim goes on forever. It is something you can never wear too much of. Nor can you own too much of it. This makes it the safest bet for any moment in your life, for the young and reckless as well as the old and wise, be it having tea with friends, partying the weekend away or prom night. In a nutshell, denim defies age; it is ageless.

Tar's 'zine cover

I wrote this little piece for my friend Tar Enough, for his project, which was the creation of a fashion magazine for men. The pic above, is his cover page for the ‘zine. Doesn’t it look fresh and nice? I think he’s done a good job.

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CARRIEd Away

carrieSarah Jessica Parker’s Sex and The City alias, Carrie Bradshaw has been notorious for her quirky fashion sense, during the series’ marathon run from 1998 to 2004. But even that can’t seem to describe the catastrophe of a wedding dress she donned in the movie. Like the Vivienne Westwood, £4,530 morceau par l’erreur isn’t an eye-sore enough, the crowning glory was something resembling a huge, electric- blue, plumed bird seated atop her head. Carrie herself looked very hag- like, on the lines of Cruella de Vil, in silk and feathers instead of fur.  I have to accept one detail though- Patricia Field’s brilliant choice of “Dior Extremes”. Who would have even dreamt of teaming those with a wedding dress? Those are definitely a first on brides and get my thumbs up for it. I was lazily surfing the net, when I tripped upon reproductions/ recreations of the wedding horror, and I was truly surprised that they all looked amazingly pretty. Just what was it with Carrie then?  True, she’s got an edgy sense of fashion and that should be respected, but this garb “Carrie”d away all elegance to the dumps. Then again, is the outfit really that bad? Or is it just me? I asked a friend, a die-hard fan of all things SATC and she said she likes “loud” clothes but this garment, with plumage and all, was too loud even for her.  With that in mind, I take freedom to say, Carrie’s wedding robes spelt Disaster, with a capital ‘D’!

Second time successful

Ever since the beginning of my final year of college, I’ve always wanted to go short hair. To please myself, I tried it once in India with disastrous results. I can take the liberty of saying that because I could read everyone’s countenance when they go, “Oh my God! Madhu, you’ve cut your hair! You look…umm… nice!”  with that I’m-lying-through-my-teeth expression on face and plastered, fake smile on lips. But some people never learn and I’m one of them.

After journeying through the seas to the UK, autumn passed and so did winter and along came springtide. With her came sunshine and warmth. With them came the urge to go short yet again. So off I skipped to the hairdresser’s, excited like a little girl who’s just been acknowledged old enough to be presented her first Polly Pocket, with visions of me with a really short mop (really short reads boyish, spiky do). Alas, it wasn’t to be so. I was told off by my bossy stylist and had to heave a mighty sigh and sink into the salon chair, settling  for whatever she said, as well as hear her yelp at the amount of tresses she had to cut off (“enough to make a wig”, in her own words). One and a half hours later, I emerged lighter on the locks and my purse, but happy with the new me. As quickly as my apprehension of what others would think set in, it was blown away without a trace with the volume of positive reactions I received!

Now I wear my coiffure straight or bowed out and both work surprisingly well with any garb. Also surprisingly, though the contentment and sugary feeling in my heart stays, I hate to say this, but I truly miss my long, straight, no-maintenance, silky, do-what-you-want-I’ll- still-look-good mane! Oh well, it will grow back (soon), no need to fret and I’ll have to live with something that’s only ephemeral.

I read this article soon after I heard the snip snip of the barber’s scissors and was quite tickled by it. I felt this mirrored what Coco Chanel said- “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”.

Lives were transformed. Let’s see what transpires for me.