Archive for September, 2011

Buttoned Up

September 19, 2011

street style india
Street girl. Photographed in Santa Cruz.

street style india
Mathieu G. An old photo..taken precisely a year ago in Versova.

Other buttoned up people: Michael Pitt in The Dreamers, Kyle Maclachlan in Blue Velvet. Donna Hayward in Twin Peaks, David Lynch, Comme des Garçons men, John Turturro in Barton Fink..a few Bollywood actors in the 60s(couldn’t get any picture references) Sadly there aren’t many buttoned up Indians I can think of…Anybody else…? 

buttoned up shirt

buttoned up michael pitt

buttoned up shirt

buttoned up shirt

buttoned up shirt

buttoned up comme de garcons

buttoned up men's fashion

Ikat

September 16, 2011

proenza schouler ikat
Proenza Schouler pre-fall ’11 via styledotcom 

Proenza Schouler’s pre-fall collection at NYFW used ikat abundantly which Meenal Mistry describes as..”..a highly refined take on the pieces you see worn by college students of the bohemian persuasion..” May issue of WWD carried an article that said, “For fall, batik and ikat prints will appear on everything from sportswear-inspired silhouettes to home decor.”

I see the above sentiments, blending unintentionally, here in India…

nachiket barve 11

nachiket barve lakme fashion week 2011
Ikat wristband/jacket|Nachiket Barve Winter ’11.. Backstage..


Headgear made out of pleated Ikat fabrics|Little Shilpa. Winter ’11. Backstage.

retarded velvet
Retarded Velvet-winter ’11. Photo via RV lookbook.

bungalow 8 ikat trend
Cotton Ikat Trench by Mathieu G for The Bungalow. Photo via Mathieu.

street style india
Man on cycle in Elampillai, SalemPhoto from my last month’s trip. Elampillai’s economy depends mainly on textile industry. On a sort of connected note, read more here-village of poor handloom weavers.

ikat print street style india

ikat print street style india
Tania bought the fabric from Fab India‘s sofa fabric section & got the jacket/shorts both stitched for Rs. 1000. The lining inside is from Anwar Ali(?) 120Rs. a metre. Clutch & shoes are Zara. Photo taken at Hyatt, LFW ’11.

ikat salem lungi street style india
Man in Salem town. Photo from my last month’s trip.

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In the last one month, ikat has been on the runways, has been picked up from home decor stores & turned in to clothing, has been on a small town cyclist, on a lungi..and in the process, has silently connected people of the world.

Men’s Fashion in Small Towns|Preview

September 9, 2011

Sometime in July, I was contacted by the people at Future Brands for documenting street fashion in a bunch of small towns in India. The project was for one of their clients, Madura Garments-one of the biggest apparel retail companies in India.

My brief was to document fashion in these towns as I’d previously done in Jodhpur & Shillong…with the focus being on men’s fashion. My end task was to provide insights via photographs that’d probably help them understand the ‘underlying ethos of dominant aesthetic preferences’ in contemporary India, and maybe help find answers to questions like: How certain fashions develop in small towns? What affects the general style of dressing? Why people wear what they wear…?.& so on…

I would be posting about all these towns separately a little later. This is a preview.

I’ve also done a long story(3000+ words-before getting edited) for HT Brunch – it’ll be out sometime in October. The story mostly covers trends I noticed in these small towns, analogies that I drew between street fashion & urban fashion(similar to this and this), and things I experienced while being on the road…

street style men india

street style men india

street style men india

street style men india

auto rickshaw india

Aurangabad. Here, I was detained by cops for two hours for taking photos inside the high court premises. And this other time I was followed by two drunk men who wanted money & my camera.
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street style men india

street style men india

street style men india

street style men india

street style men india

Asansol. The only people I found interesting here were the rickshaw-walas and the day-labourers(actually this was the case pretty much in all towns).
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street style fashion salem india

street style fashion salem india

street style fashion salem india

street style fashion salem india

street style fashion salem india

Salem. Salem was the cleanest of all these places, surrounded by hills(and a small hill station-Yercaud), and the only place I wouldn’t mind going back to.

yercaud

Rest other towns were not appealing at all & there was nothing much to do. That also made me a little sad. I would often think about the kind of lives kids here live and couldn’t help but compare it to mine in the city. All the things I can do and have access to, while people here don’t….even if it is as trivial as deciding which wifi enabled coffee shop to sit at. That may not be a great example but in a big city one has many options and choices- where to go; where to eat; where to shop; where to hang out…while in small towns it’s always this one average looking place where everything seems slow and everybody looks disconnected. I’m sure the town has its own reasons to be like that…

In Salem, it also seemed like there were no young people in the age group of 15-25. Someone said, “Most youngsters go to the big cities to study and when they come back for the weekend, they stay inside their homes. Once they’re finished with college they get jobs outside+there is nothing really to do here for anybody to stick around for long..except for the old people.”

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street style fashion bareilly india

street style fashion bareilly india

street style fashion bareilly india

street style fashion bareilly india

indian men

Bareilly. I got mobbed here.
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I took about 2000+ photos & mostly ended up photographing the poor working class people on the streets as slightly-urban, middle-class fashion was nothing new or different(I did take photos for the sake of documentation). Another thing common in all these places was the crowds in the markets. It seemed like no matter what, people just never stopped shopping. I find that slightly crazy.
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My travel screenshop looked like a mini-India in itself. This is via google-maps..right in the beginning when I was calculating and figuring out the trip.

india map travel

The trip was about 20 days long with me spending about 3-4 days in each town – involved 6 flights(two I missed). a few train rides, many cab rides, and a lot of walking in the July sun. All these small towns were about 200 kms. away from the big cities. So it was always plane to the big city and a train/cab to the small city.

mumbai from sky

Each time I flew, I took a window seat just so I could marvel at the crapulous civilization from above, admire the shapes clouds made, stare at the horizon that stretched to eternities, think about how amazing it is for planes to fly in open spaces with no physical barriers and go from one exact land point to the other…and lot of other trivial stuff..

sky from sky

delhi from sky

earth from sky

Hazy earth is obviously Bombay. Blue-green is Delhi. Intestine is somewhere in West bengal.
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One day I’d like my pre-travel map to look like this. A giant steak.


Woman asking for money | Delhi

September 5, 2011

street fashion indian woman street fashion indian woman

Woman asking for money on the street of Delhi.

 

Little Shilpa|Winter ’11:Backstage

September 1, 2011

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage

little shilpa lakme fashion week winter collection

little shilpa lakme fashion week winter collection

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa winter collection lakme

“…eight headgear designs made from pleated ikat fabrics arranged strategically on the head in muted colours of DHL which symbolized the feel of flying and a flight into the sky. Aviator glasses as hair bands for both men and women and geometric glass pieces giving an abstract touch….red ikat swirled around the head with a hint of an airplane tail on the body…”
-text via LFW press release

little shilpa winter 11 lfw collection

little shilpa DHL lakme fashion week 11 backstage


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