Archive for January, 2012

Goodbye Jodhpur.

January 31, 2012

Things didn’t seem to have changed here much except those YSL for 60rs selling carts around the clock tower weren’t to be found and the famous Omelette man had shifted to a new spot.

street style india

street style india

turban street style india

turban street style

I was here for 5 days. Came here from Jaipur Lit Fest. Took too many photos.

jodhpur

camel

graphic indian

Tomorrow, I’m in Delhi; hoping to stay on till the fashion week begins…and ends.

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Alisha Batth

January 28, 2012

Alisha batth street style india

alisha batth street style india
Alisha Batth, 22. Musician. Photographed at NH 7.

I really like this cover by her. Check rest of her videos here+an old interview here.

Men:Jaipur Literature Fest

January 22, 2012

Photos from Day 1. I ended up photographing a lot of old men. Day 2 saw close to 10k people; and about 30k people estimated today.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival
Stanley Pinto, 68.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

Rajeev Sethi. “Rajeev Sethi is noted internationally for his innovative contribution to preserving and celebrating India’s cultural heritage…His formative years were spent in Paris working with Pierre Cardin…/ is the first Asian artist chosen by Louis Vuitton to create special window installations across the globe…/was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1985, Read more here.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

kapil sibal jaipur lit fest
Kapil Sibal; The Enemy. He read out poetry he wrote mostly on his cell phone and  while traveling on airplanes. Most people I know attended this so they could secure seats for Tarun Tejpal who was speaking next.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival
The Stereotype.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

There is an eclectic mix of people from all over; artists, poets, writers, intellectuals, pseudo-intellectuals, serious journalists, idlers, socialites…pretty much everybody. I don’t know many of these men. It’d be great if somebody, anybody, could point out who’s who so I could tag them.

street style men jaipur lit festival
Kshitij Minglani, Entrepreneur.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival
Raghav Chanana, actor.

It’s been difficult to find traditionally dressed young men but I’m looking; two more days to go.

Oprah was there today; I was nursing a mild hangover so I missed seeing her. Running to the venue now. Hoping to catch Ondaatje and Mohammed Hanif.

An Essay on Indian Street Fashion

January 12, 2012

This is a story I did for HT Brunch with some additional images & text. It’s about drawing analogies between trends I documented in small towns and urban fashion, and my experiences.

mcleodganj sky

mcleodganj

street style india mcleod ganj
Photos: My first photo in McLeodGanj; the town; Tibetan boy on Temple road.

“Photographing street fashion started as a weekend thing for me on a trip to McLeodGanj. I was living and working at an NGO there. I had weekends to kill, the place was new, people looked different. Everyday I’d sit by the sidewalk and take photos.

I’m often asked why I photograph the kind of people that I do. I don’t think I’m looking for anything in particular. I just want to make good photos that are socially and culturally relevant. I’m also taking photos for documentation and it’s exciting to make all these images a part of the global ‘street fashion’ conversation with the help of social media.

street style india ht brunch fashion

masoom minawala street style india
Photos: Girls of Summer | Masoom Minawala, Fashion blogger.

Bollywood:The biggest trendsetter in India
Undoubtedly, Bollywood hero is the ultimate fashion idol for the common man whose style inspirations, conscious or not, are Bollywood films. For instance, men wearing unbuttoned shirts with their chests exposed, with or without accessories, is the most common trend seen on the Indian street romeo, “Indian MTV” niche, and Bollywood fans.

In small towns, many shops are still selling FRIEND caps from Maine Pyar Kiya & friendship bands from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Clearly, these Bollywood films still have an impact on the local fashion a decade later. In some towns, men are wearing skinny jeans – not a Bollywood inspiration & the only digression -possibly a remnant of the skinny jeans trend that became rampant when some Indian denim brands launched their range of skinnies and slimfits in 2007. A shopkeeper in Bareilly who stocks skinnies for men says his contacts in Delhi, where the stock comes from, tell him what’s in trend.

street style india

street style india

street style india bandra
Photos: Boys in Aurangabad; boys on Khar Danda, Bombay.

Also, there was a time when masses in urban sphere related colours to sexuality. A guy wearing pink would be tagged ‘gay’ in general conversations. This mindset is yet to reach the small towns. In Aurangabad and other similar small towns, men wear pink shirts and walk around holding hands. (related: Stuff Indians Like #170: Holding hands).

In small towns blind aping makes Bollywood the biggest fashion trend.

poster street style men india

street style india
Photos: Hoardings in Aurangabad(on a street +outside a men’s gym).

Why runway trends don’t permeate to mass fashion in India?
Fashion designer, Anand Bhushan says, “we don’t imitate runway but Bollywood. Remember SRK’s C-O-O-L neck chains?”

Bandana Tewari says in an interview, “Bollywood is by far the biggest marketing tool for anything that you do in India.” Fashion has to go through Bollywood if it has to reach the masses. Does the common man follow Indian runway fashion? Where is the vision and interest of the masses? Is there even a need for Indian runway trends to reach masses?

Isha Bhansali, stylist at Femina adds, “runway trends don’t go mass because there is no link between Indian high street fashion and Indian fashion on the runways unlike markets abroad. Just how Zara follows catwalk to boardroom procedure, Indian high street labels like Chemistry do not do that with catwalk; they follow international high street.

In Ramp Up, Hindol Sengupta blames the designers. “Unfortunately the appeal remains niche and confined as designers make little effort to really reach out to a wider consumer base. In many ways, runway fashion is the circus of the rich but that’s true for perhaps the entire high-end leisure industry. The thing about the clothes industry is that unlike caviar farming or customised jets, it does not necessarily have to be elitist. The young with dispensable incomes should be addressed by these designers.”

While Anand Bhushan designs for a niche market. He says, “These are the mega mansions one would expect out of a luxury label. I don’t want the world to own my clothes but crave in for a desire to own one. Restraining the supply chain in essential.”

street style india fashion



Trends in small towns
In small towns, it’s rare to find an urban middle class person wearing the same piece of clothing as the working class. Usually, clothing of working class people going about their daily jobs is comfort driven and practical. From the old town of Jodhpur to the streets of Shillong — great style is pretty much everywhere. David Abraham of Abraham & Thakore agrees and says, “Often the most beautiful textiles and clothing are worn by the simplest and the poorest in our society. And with great style.”

In Salem, I found an abundance of men clad in madras checks lungis. IOU a clothing brand based in Spain makes all its clothes out of these madras checks fabrics.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion
Photos: Man in Ellampillai, Salem; Paloma Monnappa in Bombay.

In Asansol, the daily wage workers wear Lungis with gamcchas out of practicality & necessity. In Jodhpur, men wear colorful turbans with buttoned-up shirts, tailored jackets with dhotis, and jewellery. Women wear vivid saris and plenty of jewelry. Shillong is full of fashion conscious young people unlike any other city in mainland India. Their influences vary from Korean pop stars, Japanese films, to American sitcoms and music videos.

street style india

street style india

jodhpur old city
Photos: Man/Woman in Jodhpur; Old city near the Mehrengarh Fort.

Connecting street style and fashion trends. I am not looking out to do that on purpose but sometimes it’s just out there. If I remember seeing something somewhere and can make a connection, I definitely will.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion
Photos: a fashion writer for NYT at fashion week and a man on street in Aurangabad.

I saw the scoop neck tee shirt & cotton pants worn by working class men in all four small towns I went to. Pants below were selling on the streets for less than 100 Rs. I picked a pair and photographed them on a friend.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion
Photos: Man on street in Aurangabad and Katarina Levshova, a fashion model, in Bombay.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion
Photos: Torn. Ekta Rajani, senior fashion editor Grazia at fashion week and a drifter in Shillong.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion
Photos: Sacha, fashion stylist, at fashion week and a man on street in Salem.

Experiences
Taking photos on the streets is tiring and exciting. I was once detained & questioned for two hours by the police in Aurangabad as I was taking photographs inside the High Court premises.

In Salem, I was taking photos outside a church and the police asked me to produce an id. They told my cab driver in Tamil that my visiting card did not seem genuine as it didn’t say I was a photographer & didn’t have my house address.

I was mobbed in a small clothes market in Bareilly. People saw my camera and wanted me to take their photos. They were genuinely intrigued.

Once I was followed by two drunk men who first asked me to take their photos then asked me to give them money and my camera for taking their photo.

It’s easier to photograph people in tourist-drawn places like Dharamsala & Jodhpur. People are used to photographers and they don’t give them much attention. While in small towns that are not on the tourist radar, it’s a bit difficult to manage a single photograph without drawing some attention.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion
Photos: Recycling girls & Paloma Monnappa.

Indian streets are stimulating, colourful, unpredictable, and make for great photos.

street style india

Documenting people on the streets requires patience. People talk, linger, stare, get mad. It’s all normal.

street style india woman

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Next up: Preview of the project I was working on during Nov-Dec. I did street casting + a few other things for a TVC.

Priyanka bose street style India

street style india railway station

Fan Bingbing

January 7, 2012

dal chodha

Dal Chodha..is a Central St. Martins graduate based in London; works as as a writer, consultant, and is the editor of bi-annual b Magazine. He contributes regularly to Vogue India, Metal magazine and various independent titles; check his work here. Likes beanie hats2 pound pandas, and exotic Bollywood posters.

dal chodha street style india

“During my recent trip to Bombay and Delhi it struck me, how much the kind of clothes I wear are really versions of the traditional Indian kurta. Some of the cotton shirts I own from Dries van Noten for example claim to take their inspiration from vintage military uniforms, but to me, the reference, the pleat and the placket always say India. Wearing a thick cotton, round neck smock by Austrian designer Berthold, I still feel I’m wearing an urbanised version of the kurtas I saw on so many men pounding the streets of India.

dal chodha street fashion india

dal chodha street style india

My parents are both first generation East African Indians and my family moved to the UK in the sixties, making my relationship to India something I had never romanticised.

I think that the kurta is a symbol of cultural defiance. While growing up, traditional Indian dress was only worn during annual visits to the Gurdwara.

dal chodha

street style men

I don’t come from a family tied down by its cultural roots. To be honest, the way I dress is probably more of a result of my disdain for shopping than anything else!

The way I dress has evolved since my days at college – I have a very limited number of styles and stick to what I know feels comfortable; which is always oversized shirts and jumpers in winter, cropped, pleated trousers and slippers. It’s a style I have grown into and a uniform I don’t often have to think about.”
—-
All photos taken during Oct ’11 while I was working with him on a project for 10 days in Bombay & Delhi.

b store mag

b magazine 5th issue. Read more about it here.

dal

Dal is a preparation of lentils; regularly eaten with rice and roti. Dal is a lake in Srinagar. DalDal in hindi means swamp.


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