Posts Tagged ‘documentary photography’

Shift | LFW

September 5, 2013

sharon crawford street style india
Sharon Crawford, fashion stylist//Vogue India.

nidhi sunil fashion model
Nidhi Sunil, fashion model.

Clothes by Shift.

Photographed at Lakme Fashion Week in August 2013.

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Laitumkhrah Street Style

August 22, 2013

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Just about three small cars wide, this street in Laitumkhrah is one of the busiest places in Shillong. Considerably empty during the holiday season and jammed rest of the year. (Shillong traffic ranks second in the country in terms of vehicles to population ratio. Isn’t that strange? I find it very strange.) On either side of this street, there are general stores, boutiques, a meat/vegetable market, a dying parking lot, seconds’ shops or box like structures that fit about 4 people at a time, small local restaurants/jadoh stalls(the best thing), cafes, ATMs, liquor stores, game parlours, a post office, back lanes where young people sit in their parked cars to talk, drink, smoke, eat.

When I try to think about it now, I am only able to picture the cafes, shops selling old clothes, jadoh stalls, and the back lanes.

I hung out in this area almost every day. These photos are from January 2011. Most shops were shut as shopkeepers were on the new year holiday break but some stay shut for longer than usual. In Errol’s words: Everyone is too fucking lazy here.

As a slow traveller with no intent of doing anything in particular, you could spend all your days here; there is always something to do.

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Photos below show how the town people dressed on any given day(except Sundays). 

Old women in patterned sweaters. Young girls in Converse, skinnies, and Uggs. Big warm plaid shawls & Khasi bags on both young & poor. No saris. No kurta-pajamas.

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street style shillong

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Errol Morehead, in his 50s. Anglo-Indian. Ex-teacher, artist.

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Suzann, 17. Kemrik, 21.  Students.

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street style shillong

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laitumkhrah shillong people fashion
Wanrieka Passah, 26. Pianist.

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Kid from ‘mainland’ India.

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Vicky Pamei, 28. Ex-flight attendant.

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Kid working at a tea shop.

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Sarahlee Nicholas

July 16, 2013

Likes Randy Crawford. Been listening to a lot of Asa. Is currently looking for Jim Tully’s Beggars of Life.

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“I was born and brought up in Shillong. Growing up as a child in Shillong was pretty adventurous. I remember my locality friends and I inventing our own games, going up to the mountains not so far away from the place we stayed at in search for crabs and tadpoles. As a child I was very notorious, I must say, not so girly too! I cared less about how I looked..was very well known for bullying all the kids in my locality!

Other than regular stuff I studied classical piano for 7 years. I’m a professional musician and a songwriter. I sing for the band 4th Element. I’ve been singing since I was ten, and have been with the band for 5 years now. I like all things original and I’m madly obsessed with ships and castles.

I like Shillong because it’s beautiful and has easy access to everything. Its people and its food make it very special. Although if given a choice to live in any other place, it’ll probably be Bombay, because I feel that’s where you can be who you are! “

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Describe a day in your life here.
I wake up I eat if I have nothing to do I write. I write a lot actually if I don’t have rehearsals which are once or twice a week. I stay with my mom so I do some house chores like babysitting my niece…then listen to a lot of music & just laze around.

A secret you’re tired of keeping?
I’m secretly attracted to girls. (But I would never want it to come true.)


Photos from January 2011. Photographed near Beat house, Laitumkhrah, Shillong.

Annette

July 15, 2013

khasi woman shillong

Annette. In her 40s. Is a Khasi housewife, runs a kindergarten school, and is interested in fashion.

I took this photo back in January 2011 in Shillong. My host Mary took me to her father’s house. Annette is her half-sister. I wanted to photograph Annette in the attire she was in, but she felt those clothes were dirty, only meant to be worn indoors, and wanted to change into her finer clothes(jeans+booties). First she wore this. Then she changed again because her husband suggested she wore something else.

I imagined this photograph to have some sort of an old-world charm to it. A woman standing on the front lawn of her English home, wearing vintage clothes, awkwardly posing. This was close but not quite it.

Khasi People | Seng Kut Snem

July 15, 2013

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khasi man shillong street fashion

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khasi man shillong street fashion

khasi man shillong street fashion

Looking at the photos from this day I realized that I’ve mostly photographed people who fall socio-economically below the middle class. It’s fairly easy to point out the poorest. Their clothes don’t fit them perfectly(mostly loose) & are usually layered. The way some working women tie their turbans is slightly different than what I have seen before. Suit+tie+white scarf is a common formal-wear for males. You don’t find yuppies at a festival like this. Plenty of people wear plaid shawls; I tried not to photograph many because I’ve done it before. I  find it difficult not to photograph plaids.

My favourite photograph in this post(other than the first one) is of this man.

About this day: Seng Kut Snem is observed to mark the Seng Khasi Movement. This day is celebrated to mark the beginning of the renaissance and awakening of the Khasi community. Read more here.

Photos taken on November 23 2012 in Shillong, Meghalaya.

Working Class at India Fashion Week

July 4, 2013

They don’t speak much.

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working class indian fashion

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working class indian fashion

working class indian fashion

working class indian fashion

Men looking at the fashion shows on a screen. Women sitting in a group. Lunch break.

Photos from India Fashion Week, Delhi. (2012-13)

Bodice AW13

June 30, 2013

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Ruchika Sachdeva’s WIFW debut/Bodice AW 13…exploring its own evolution. reinventing the traditional with khadi, block prints, hand woven cloth. hinting at a highly digital age through hand-embroidery. playing with contradictions. at peace with itself.

Pranav Misra

May 7, 2013

street style india fashion week

street style india fashion week

Pranav Kirti Misra, 28(much older in his head). Designer at Huemn, models occasionally, writes poetry. Originally from Lucknow, lives & works in Delhi. Likes Marilyn Manson, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Dastik, Gareth Pugh, Ricardo Tisci, Like A Flower In The Rain by Bukowski, Ghalib. Would like to date Adele. Can have conversations with himself for days…

So..is it weird, talking to yourself?
Not at all.

It was a Sunday yesterday. What did you do?
I did not go to the gym.

Other than making clothes and modelling, is there anything else you’d like to do?
Yes. I want to fly. I want to act in theatre. I want to hold seminars in schools and colleges and talk about random subjects for hours. I want to write, sing, entertain people, make people laugh…

How often do you go back to Lucknow and how is it like?
Once a year. In Lucknow, life is simple, there is more air to breathe, and more time to think. But in Delhi, you miss on a lot in just a blink.

Photographed at Hyatt, Bombay during Lakme Fashion Week in August last year.

People. In stuff. And space.

March 9, 2012

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street fashion india nina manuel
Nina Manuel in Pia Pauro. Styled by Gary Wallang.

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Kavita Kharayat in Siddartha Tytler.

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Tamara moss in Soumitra Mondal Summer 12. More photos from her show to follow.

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Aki Narula in a self-made collar.

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Santu Misra in Mickey ears.

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street fashion india
Mathieu Gugumus in Bungalow 8 scarf.

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Nikhil D in Shivan & Narresh.

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Vinod Nair in an M&S jacket.

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Nidhi Jacob in Eina Ahluwalia necklace.

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Pasham Alwani in hiding.

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Jahnavi Tampi in her Mother’s jacket from Lagos.

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Pig stuck in a Lego heart.

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Ruchika Sachdeva in Bodice.

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Sheena in Blur necklace.

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Suhani Pittie in Suhani Pittie necklace.

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Bhavna Sharma in Anand Kabra top and Prashant Verma pants.

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Everybody. In the front row.

All photographs from Lakme Fashion Week Summer ’12 & August ’11.

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Cigarettes in a tin box.


David Bowie in a tin can. 

New Shoes,Fleetwood Mac,& Grocery Shopping

November 12, 2011

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Karuna Laungani. Junior fashion editor, Elle.

Karuna grew up in Bandra, Bombay; studied fashion design at Sophia college, worked at Zeba with Krsna Mehta, freelanced as a designer/stylist for some time..and has been working at Elle for the last 4 years.

…likes sea food & beach holidays; Young the Giant & Fleetwood Mac; fresh herbs & Russh; gardens & new shoes; apple cider & grocery shopping; smell of a new book, and discovering quirky finds in all kinds of markets. Dislikes Monday mornings & lack of space in Bombay.

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What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Till the age of 10, I wanted to be an actress. I was a big fan of Madhuri, and I loved to dance so I would copy her steps….then slowly, things changed.

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karuna laungani elle india fashion

Designers you liked at LFW/Wills.
At LFWRuchika Sachdeva was my favourite. Very London street chic and yet sophisticated. I loved her androgynous separates…totally my style.
At Wills, I liked Ela by Joyjit. Amit Aggarwal. Loved Cue by Rohit Gandhi. And Sanchita Ajjampur.
Any other favourites? Designers, models, photographers..
I constantly use Rajesh Pratap, Cue, A&T, Pankaj & Nidhi for shoots. I love Mathieu’s work forBungalow 8. Also Savio Jon, Dries Van Noten, & Marni.
Amongst models I like Rachel Bayros & Nidhi Sunil. I did a shoot with Nidhi in Jaisalmer and she was lovely. Also Natasha poly.
Amongst photographers: Tarun VishwaMert & MarcusTakay.
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What do you love about your work?
The crazy people, the creative minds, and the maddening pace all leading to transform a small idea into something big and inspiring, and yes I would like to believe…life changing.
And hate
A few big egos in the industry. We are all here to work so let’s not be a diva now.
How much does your work affect your personal life?
I take my work home all the time. If something is not done, it’s always on my mind, and I have very little patience.
What do you do on the weekends?
Cook, entertain my dog, sometimes shop, watch lots of films, and browse design blogs endlessly. And yes, have a marriage…
An interesting film you watched recently?
Is the Lanvin fashion film counted?

Blogs you read..
Tons of them. coco+kellystyle bubbledecor8inspired living. becauseimaddicted.

Markets you shop at..
Vintage stores in East london – you get real cheap bargains. I got this sequined blouse for 15 pounds; nobody believes me. Then I did 2 months’ shopping in 2 hours at Sarojini. I am a cheap skate when it comes to buying clothes.

Looking forward to?
I’ve styled the January cover, so that, and the resort story. Putting together any shoot is super exciting and nerve wracking…but absolutely love it.

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Who’s on the cover?
*whispers in my ear*

Connecting the Polka Dots

November 7, 2011

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street fashion mumbai india
Aayushi Bangur, fashion blogger, wearing a polka dot top from Zara.

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Polka dot dresses hanging in a shop in Asansol, West Bengal.

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Girl in polka top, with siblings, en route to Lotus Temple.

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..and the Lotus Temple.

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A ragpicker in Delhi…in a polka dot skirt.

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Niamat Bakshi in Stella McCartney.

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— Scarf at Ogaan in Hauz Khas Village.

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Divyak channeling Dr. Strangelove at LFW..wearing tailored polka dot shirt and bow tie from Selfridges.

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Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove in polka dot sunglasses.

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Tania at LFW in tailored polka dot pants.

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Ruchika’s polka dot pouch.

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Paloma Monnappa channelling Hepburn in a Zara dress, her mom’s vintage glasses, and a thirty rupee scarf from Asansol.

The polka dot story ends here…and another begins..

Below is a daily wage worker in Asansol, wearing the same scarf(gamccha) as Paloma...

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The story I did for HT Brunch Quarterly is out now. It’s a 6 page spread of about 3000 words and 8 such analogies+ I’m also talking about undesirably stumbling upon trends in the unlikeliest of places, about runways & Bollywood, and my experiences in general with people and the streets…

LFW Concluded…

August 10, 2011

…right when it is about to begin. Photos from Lakme Fashion Week|Summer 11…+ some are even older. Evidently, I’d been busy.

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Bryndis Helgadottir, 21. Fashion model from Reykjavik, Iceland…studied business and economics…was found by scouting agents in Iceland..started modeling at 13; can make horn sound with her hands clasped; loves Arnaldur Indriðason; likes naan, butterchicken, & dosa. Misses her cockatiel-Pjakka. This was her first time at LFW.

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fashion blog india

Nikhil D, 24….grew up in Bombay, studied science, till he went to a fashion school. His first serious job was at the clothing brand Chemistry. “I did a little bit of everything there-designing men’s wear, women’s wear, graphics, branding..and it was interesting because I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do then.”
“I started styling with Seventeen India and now Marie Claire India where I’ve been working for two years now. I get to do a lot of different things, & the best part is meeting a lot of new people and creative minds. Even better..get to collaborate with them and create things like you see them.”

What inspires your style and you ..in general?
Umm people do…what they wear on the streets, at home, to work. Older people, the homeless, kids, uniforms, also films from all around the world, anything contradictory…aged but progressive.

You have an eclectic wardrobe & you rarely throw clothes away…
Yes. I’m a hoarder; I never throw things away. I like to keep them for years & sometimes even cut them up or dye them and wear them again. When I was growing up I got a lot of clothes from my cousins who were growing out of them. I also used to wear a lot of my dad’s old clothes, since I hardly ever went shopping. I also love the idea of unisex clothing and shop a lot from the women’s wear brands….which is a considerably big part of my wardrobe now. I also love prints, hardly own any black, and love collecting sweaters.
Jacket/shirt- Colaba. Pants – Zara. Shoes – custom made. Necklace – DIY. Sunglasses – Topman.Bag-Aldo accessories.

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Christina Hanghal, 25. Stylist/Fashion designer.

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Rikee Chatterjee, 23. Fashion model…is a Bengali…is 5’11″…grew up watching FTV; was huge and plump as a kid; studied mass communication; likes 212 by Carolina Herrera; doesn’t go online; loves baby sitting, hakka noodles, & dhaba food.

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Shikha, 24. Stylist. Top – Reiss, Bandra. Skirt- Forever 21. Bag/shoes – Hong Kong Street. Socks – Brother’s. 

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Kavita, 30. Fashion Model.  Wearing a 5 year old jacket-designed by a fashion student. Necklace – Splash.

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Ibadariakar,24. Fashion writer.

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lakme fashion week india ss 11
Karuna Laungani, 25. Fashion stylist.

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Nina Mendes, 20. Fashion model..from Rio de Janeiro...just finished school and wants to study gastronomy; has been modeling since she was 15; was quiet as a kid..and almost boylike; likes making desserts..wants to have her own restaurant back in Rio; first Indian film she watched was Devdas; loves Eat, Pray, Love; considers autorickshaw as her best friend; likes roti & this Indian dessert that’s made of milk and coconut; misses Brazilian weather, the clean beaches, rice & beans.
Once I thought about traveling by train in Bombay…went to the train station, saw the madness, & ended up taking a cab.
I can’t go out in shorts & tee shirt..always have to wear  jeans and keep everything covered. People in my building think we’re prostitutes; they are always watching us!
It’s her first time in India and at Lakme Fashion Week.

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Kiran Jaisinghani. Fashion Designer|Myoho

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lakme fashion week india ss 11

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Rachel Bayros, 25. Fashion model.

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Jennifer Sodhi. 28. Fashion model….
grew up in Berlin..studied psychology..Ancient Greek & Latin. Speaks German, Spanish, & English fluently…little of Portugese, Italian, & French…..doesn’t like R&B and cold weather; has been living without a TV for 5 years; grew up watching Hindi films; likes Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Piya Re; uses “I hope not” a lot… Her father is Indian- a little obstinate and compares modeling to prostitution; her mother is German.
My parents would like me to do other things…like have a steady job that gives me more security. My father does not appreciate modeling & doesn’t understand why I am not working as a psychologist. So I tell him it’s my life and I have the right to live it my own way. We’re very close but our thoughts clash all the time. I like to find my own way even if I’ve to go against things; I often feel people are not free when they’re following other people’s views. I like to be myself & am constantly trying to free myself from the stereotypes.

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I am staying in Bandra. And there’re restrictions like I am not allowed to bring people to my apartment..I have to be very careful what I wear when I go out….and in…because supposedly indian culture doesn’t allow all that and would make people think that you’re a prostitute!
This one time I wore a black mini skirt with tights for an audition..I got lost somewhere and was asking for directions..I realized Indian women wouldn’t want to talk to me at all…but men were very open.

This profiling models at LFW was part of a commissioned story I did for vogue.in|models to watch out for.

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Ekta Rajani. Fashion Editor.

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lakme fashion week india ss 11

lakme fashion week india ss 11

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This is not staged. Shiraz’s heel got stuck and the fixed grate came off along with it. 

“The leading cause of death among fashion models is falling through street grates.”
– Dave Barry

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fashion week conclusion

LFW(fall/winter) kicks off in 6 days. See you there!

P.S. The camel photograph is not from LFW.

Tinu Verghis

March 10, 2011

She grew up in a house with no plumbing and drew water from a well, did her first fashion show for Rs. 250..is aquaphobic, winner of FTV Best Ramp Model at Monte Carlo in 2003(?), was the Global Indian of the Year in 2005(TOI), scoffs at the prospect of being in Bollywood, likes gardening, builds her own house, introduced contract farming in Pilar, Goa..

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tinu verghis fashion blog india

tinu verghis street style blog india

tinu verghis fashion blog mumbai

Read more on what she has to say about: Vogue’s Dawn of Dusk cover, being eco friendly, hypocrisy of national pride, change she wants to bring in the industry, ass licking that models do, and the recipe for spicy red sardine curry- all in an interesting interview here.

This is about her home in Tiswadi, Goa…that she keeps breaking and making.
“From Japan’s Manga art to cow-dung paintings from Rwanda and pop music posters, it is a fusion of cultural influences from around the globe, ensconced in a bubble of bright, happy colours.”
Read more here.

Lookbook:Bungalow 8 A/W ’10 – the preparation

November 21, 2010

Last month I shot the A/W lookbook for Bungalow 8. This post contains: an interview with the designer Mathieu G + all that we did before the shoot – ideating over emails, location scouting, layouting + a preview.


Mathieu Gugumus-Leguillon, 32. Designer at Bungalow 8

Childhood and growing up
I had a whimsically happy childhood that was spent growing up in the country side in Normandy, France. I loved to dress up as various characters – from historical figures like Louis XIV to some obscure dancer. It was a way of dreaming for me, based on what I was experiencing at that time -a creative outlet to escape the monotony of my environment – which was a very grey, boring country side.

What I wanted to be as a kid, changed a 1000 times. One of my most recurrent dreams was to become a gardener – to grow all the vegetables of the world.

My mother and my grandmother were always supplying me with costumes and garments that they would actually make. After my grand mother expired, it all stopped..so I started to do it myself. And by the time I turned 15, I realized I was really good at cutting clothes. At that time I was thinking more about doing theater costumes because many of my classmates were in to theater and I was somehow drawn to it. My first  job was to do some costumes for my friends’ dance shows and performances.

*The first bit reminds me of this film that I watched a few years ago – Ma vie en rose*

Lanvin and YSL
At Lanvin, I  was a part of Alber Elbaz’s team & worked in the women’s wear design department.  At YSL, I was in the product design/merchandising team. It was all great, I learned a lot…but I left so I could evolve on my own.

Work process and inspirations
My work starts with the body and its geometry. I believe more in shape and cuts than decoration. Working with very detailed, refined techniques and tricks allow me to incorporate comfort in the designs and then it goes beyond geometry..it becomes about understanding how the body moves.
I never really start with a theme, but more with moods. The sense of the collection usually appears to me at the end of the process- like an invisible thread that suddenly surfaces.

I let my daily inspirations express themselves..from what life brings to me, the women and men I meet, to the places I visit. I feel the constant need to evolve in diverse atmospheres, and that is the best way for me to stay curious, and therefore creative.

How is Bombay street fashion different from Paris’?
In sense of style & color I feel Bombay is more creative. It is going out of its codes and is more experimental, while Paris goes more and more uniform.

Relationship with India
For me this is a place where I am constantly evolving as an individual..and also from a business point of view. I think, today, India is growing in a manner that it appeals to a more contemporary way of life while keeping its identity intact. I have been in India for two years…traveled to Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa, and Pondicherry.. so far my most favorite part has been South India because of its relaxed and resorty mood. I don’t know much Hindi unfortunately, but a sentence I like and can say is: Mai sabse gora hoon is gaon ka(I’m the whitest guy of this village).

Read a two year old article on Mathieu’s association with Bungalow 8 here.

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Preeti is wearing clothes from the collection. Even though this ensemble does not feature in the final selection the way it is here..but well..I like it.

With the last photo being our rough reference, we ended the day deciding we’ll shoot indoors.


Preeti’s top is from – ? (not from Bungalow8)

But things changed – like they always do – as we exchanged more ideas and emails. Finally these images taken from Nidhi’s blog became our references for the shoot.

More trial shots. This, I think, is the bedroom lit by the 4p.m. light at Maithili’s house. The first two shots are supposed to be the opening and closing pages of the book, followed by roughly how each layout would look + photos of elements taken from the room.

Read more about Maithili & Bungalow 8 here and here.

Nidhi’s polka jacket is from the rack on Hill road, Grey t-shirt is from an export surplus store in Pune, satin pants from Forever New, and brogues from a leather export surplus store in Chennai.

Read more about Nidhi here.

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A quick preview of the collection.

Autumn is already over. I hope to put rest of the photos up before the winter ends.

Be like Betty

November 21, 2010

Shweta Sharma, winner of Betty of Elle contest. 

Jacket – Reiss
Top- Mango
Skirt – H&M
Bag – Mango

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Shweta is a NIFT graduate, works as a fashion stylist, and has been on this blog before – here.

Shoes that built cities

November 3, 2010

Bata shoe company is not Indian but there have been good reasons to believe so. Introduced in the country in 1930s, during the time of British rule, in the middle of social and political chaos, I am not sure who wore Bata shoes except for the British..but five decades later, in the 80s, everyone was wearing them. With plenty of stores in every city, print ads in newspapers and magazines, Bata established strong recall value. And due to its simple and economical character, it slowly became every commoner’s shoe.

Bata shoes were also popular amongst school kids. If I remember well, the local shops selling school uniforms would always direct one to Bata stores for school shoes. The company has been around in India for almost a generation and it seems that India is where it originated from. The name sounds Indian. Good thing, Tomas Bata didn’t use his first name. But then, over a period of time, even a fancy European or American name could seem Indian…for example the toothpaste – Colgate. In many villages and small towns, Colgate still means toothpaste…and my guess is, for a long time, the term Bata was synonymous for shoes.

The company was founded in 1894 by Tomas Bata, the Henry Ford of Eastern Europe, in the city of Zlin, Czech Republic. Bata wanted to make the shoes as affordable as possible so that the greatest number of people could access them. He initiated a policy to set up townships around the factories for the workers and to supply schools and welfare. In building an ideally structured living environment, he attempted to create a “new industrial man.”

During its global expansion in the 1930s, the company started to set up villages all over the world called Batavilles. It established itself in Calcutta and started manufacturing shoes in a village Batanagar, which now is a suburban town.

Today, Bata has a retail presence in over 50 countries, with production facilities in 26 countries, and has sold more than 14 billion pairs of shoes.

The advertisement on the right is from a Polish weekly newspaper. The ad reads – “Peace to men of good will. Merry Christmas.” I think the ad is trying to show that the three kings are wearing Bata shoes, which made the trip possible, or maybe that’s reading too much in to it.

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Ibadariakar,24. Freelance stylist.
Cardigan – Sarojini Nagar  Market
Brooch – Globus
Shoes – Bata
Socks – Shillong street

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Edited by an old school girl.


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