Posts Tagged ‘shillong’

I am who I am according to the ecology around me. I feel there is a million me inside me and with every other encounter there is a new me born.

August 1, 2017

street style shillong northeast india

What’s the best thing about where you are?
I am in a valley surrounded by green mountains, the blueness of the sky, the clouds painted in long strokes across the sky.

What makes you happy?
Driving out to the quieter countryside. Loktak lake. The Koi. Billie Holiday. Charleston. Sound of rain.

What inspires you?
Heartbreaks. Sceneries. Poetry.

What are you currently listening to?
Monsieur Perine.

—-

Angel Konthoujam. Shillong, January 2014.

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Kelly | delhi

June 21, 2017

street style india

Kelly likes the Jenners.

— Kelly Khyriem from Shillong | for ELLE India

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Delhi, November 2016.

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1920, Shillong | wearabout vintage

March 15, 2015

fashion style india shillong 1920 men

A Tangkhul Naga man(r) with an unknown person.
c. 1920. Shillong, Meghalaya.

—-

“On the right is my maternal great grandfather(from Tangkhul Naga tribe) while studying Theology in Shillong probably in the early 1920’s. He introduced the 7th Day Adventist doctrine in Manipur.”

— Sent in by Mahonring

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1954, Shillong | wearabout vintage

March 8, 2015

street style 1950 india shillong fashion

A newly married Naga couple.
1954. Shillong, Meghalaya.

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“This photo of newly married Obu and Azao is from 1954 in Shillong where Obu was posted as the Assistant Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

Azao (Mrs Metongla Aier) now nearing 92, was the first lady evangelist among the Ao Naga tribe.
Obu (late Mr Sashimeren Aier) was the first MA among the Nagas. He was also known as the Architect of Modern Nagaland.
Azao now lives in Shillong. They are my mom’s parents.”

— sent in by Sirawon

1977-78, Shillong | wearabout vintage

February 27, 2015

zeliangrong naga street fashion india blog

zeliangrong naga street fashion india blog

“These pics are of my dad and his friends around 1977-78. They are all Zeliangrong Naga boys in their late teens studying in Shillong.

My dad was a free spirit, an all rounder – local singer, martial artist, he had plenty of friends and roamed around everywhere. I was surprised to hear he turned up good grades haha!

Those were interesting days, he used to say. They listened to Grand Funk Railroad, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt etc.
Bell bottoms were all the rage with block heel shoes. They would be 3-4 inches tall!”

– sent by Abigail

1976, Shillong | wearabout vintage

February 25, 2015

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Naga men in their early 20s.
“Photos taken for keepsake.”

1976. Shillong, Meghalaya.

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I found some amazing photos while digging through my friend’s old family albums. I’ll be sharing some of them on my blog over the next few weeks and I’d love you to contribute.

If you have the time and inclination, mail me your vintage photos on wearabout/at/gmail/dot/com with some info about the photograph(time and place + anything else of relevance). If you are on instagram use #wrbtvintage

Looking forward to your photos.

Men taking break from work | Meghalaya

July 17, 2014

street fashion men india
Men taking break from work.

January 2012, Meghalaya.

Baia

June 1, 2014

street fashion shillong india
Baia, 24. Photographer. Likes hanging out at Cafe Shillong.

Photographed in Laitumkhrah, Shillong in January 2014.

Adivasi Girl | Street Style Shillong

March 1, 2014

adivasi girl street style shillong
A 13 year old adivasi girl. Lives with her sister. From Baksa district, Assam.

Photographed in Laitumkhrah, Shillong.

Sunday Dressing | Street Style Shillong

February 28, 2014

street style shillong
Is quarter Khasi, quarter Assamese, and half Zeliangrong Naga. Currently doing her post grad in Environment and Sustainable Systems.

Wearing a grey cashmere vintage coat from Korea. Zara tee. Dotti skinny trousers. ASOS white heels. Mimco mohair purse.

Listening to Haim, Quadron, Feist, and Arctic Monkeys on repeat.

Photographed on a Sunday afternoon after her church service in Police Bazaar, Shillong.

Young Khasi Boy

February 26, 2014

Street style shillong india

David. About 3 years old. Likes to play with toy cars. Doesn’t mind being photographed. Favourite song: David is a monkey.

Photographed in Lachumiere, Shillong.

A Khasi Family

February 23, 2014

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Sunday Dressing // A Khasi family returning from church. 

Photographed in Laitumkhrah, Shillong in January 2014.

The Hills Are Alive / Elle Dec ’13

December 22, 2013

street style shillong

The Northeast* people were exposed to European and American culture through Christian missionaries long before they came into contact with Indian culture. They also don’t look like other “Indians”, so their choices in terms of whom they want to emulate fashion-wise are different to the rest of the country. Most people say their inspirations are K-pop, Korean and western films (which is all very recent — 10 to 15 years — since cable TV came and they gained access to Korean channels) but before that, foreign magazines were easily available as they are on the border and brands like Converse and Levi’s have been around forever.

Some people say they got interested in fashion because their moms and aunts were into it. They always watched beauty pageants, recycled and stitched their own clothes (taking inspiration from magazines) and played dress up at home. Some say many beautiful people surround them and so their habits and interests get rubbed off onto them.

A lot of young people don’t list their fashion inspirations actually and one could say that they’re individually more liberal, have various inspirations, and are not afraid to experiment with clothes and the way they look.

*pardon my generalization
—-

The article below was published in ELLE India December 2013 issue. If you have something to add/agree/disagree, leave a comment below.

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nagaland shillong street style india

From wearing music on their sleeve to scouring flea markets for that standout piece — style (with all its layers) is the very essence of the North-east

‘Mumbai pretends not to care as it flaunts a mix of street, high-street and luxury fashion, while Delhi takes its designer labels very seriously. But both ‘fashion capitals’ put together aren’t a patch on the innate style emerging from North-east India. The unexplored states are the real style stars. We take a look at the influences that have shaped this sartorial sensibility.

HI, HALLYU
With an affinity for South- east Asian fashion, the greatest style influence in the North-east is the Korean wave (also known as Hallyu). Faced with a blanket ban on Hindi movies and satellite channels, young people turned to Korean cable channels like Arirang TV and KBS. “South Korea has taken over completely,” says star Mizo stylist Edward Lalrempuia of the strong pull K-Pop culture. With pop stars like Big Bang, 2PM and Girls’ Generation rising up the charts, we have to agree.
Dressing like their icons is easy. “Imitations of the Korean style is apparent in some states, thanks to the availability of these styles in their local shopping markets, which are still going strong without Zaras and Mangos,” claims Sikkimese blogger and Economics student Rinchen Ongmu. The reigning Hallyu trends at the moment? Dyed hair, ’90s hip-hop- influenced sportswear, coloured skinnies and tyre-soled creepers.

SOUL MUSIC 
Musical stars Lou Majaw, blues band Soulmate, indie girl band The Vinyl Records and a host of metal rock bands keep music running through their veins. “The previous generations, our parents in particular, have always been influenced by music and the culture associated with it, from Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan to ’70s disco,” says Rinyaokhan Jajo, a stylist and creative consultant from Manipur. North- easterners don’t just dress like their musical heroes; they imbibe the very essence of the music they listen to. So you’ll find emo hairstyles, drop- crotch pants, band T-shirts and even tattoos, all casually layered.

CHURCH VS STATE 
Wearing your Sunday best takes on a whole new meaning; there are multiple high-fashion moments at the pews. “There are so many women who grew up going for their Sunday Church services and learnt how to carry off a simple dress at an early age,” says Assam-born Dolly Haorambam, assistant designer at Bodice.
To an untrained eye, it may also seem that socio-economic differences, usually simple enough to point out by attire in most places around the country, are less marked in the North-east. “I’ve interacted with people from all levels of society on my travels, and they’ve told me that they would spend their last rupee on clothes rather than food,” reveals blogger and photographer Manou, of his travels to Shillong, Dimapur, Kohima and Aizawl. You’ll find flea markets spilling over with merchandise priced as low as ` 50, teeming with people looking for a great bargain. This profound interest in fashion may well be because there is an encouraging foundation here to develop your own sartorial voice. As Arunachali fashion blogger Renee Nabam puts it, “Most of us don’t have first-hand knowledge of fashion, but we are very aware of our style. Plus, we’re not restricted to ethnic wear; perhaps we are simply braver when it comes to expressing ourselves through what we wear.”’

— by Nidhi Jacob
Photos taken by me in Kohima/Dimapur/Aizawl/Shillong in 2011/12.

Laitumkhrah Street Style

August 22, 2013

laitumkhrah shillong

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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laitumkhrah shillong

laitumkhrah shillong

laitumkhrah shillong

laitumkhrah shillong

laitumkhrah shillong

laitumkhrah shillong

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

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street style shillong

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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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street style shillong
Kid working at a tea shop.

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Big bags | Shillong

July 31, 2013

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street style shillong india

Seen mostly on street vendors.

Photographed in Laitumkhrah, Shillong.

Women with Babies | Shillong

July 30, 2013

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street style shillong women

street style women shillong

A common way of carrying one’s baby. Seen amongst lower class and hippies. Not a common sight in ‘mainland’ India.

Photographed in Shillong in January 2011.

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.

street style shillong india

“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! “

 street style shillong india

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

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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.

Women of Shillong | Police Bazaar

July 2, 2011

Photos from Iewduh and Police Bazaar…taken in January.

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street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

Kong(Khasi for sister) is a respectful term, and can be used for any woman irrespective of her age.
Although Mary, my host in Shillong, painted this picture(of a Kong) in my head, and I think the two ladies below get closest to that.

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kong khasi woman street fashion

This lady is also my host’s domestic help. She walks everyday from Polo Hills to Risa Colony and back. That’s roughly about…7kms. a day? She is in her 70s.

kong khasi woman street fashion

“Old-fashioned dresses worn by Khasi ladies of farming families comprise – the ka jympien, a body cloth wrapped round and fastened at the loins with a cloth belt that ends at the knees or just below it. Over this next-to-the-skin undercloth they wear the ka jainsem, sometimes made of muga silk, which hangs loosely from the shoulders down to the ankles and is not caught in at the waist. It has a built-in pocket for small personal articles and is kept in position by knotting at both shoulders.”

However, what most of the women are wearing here is a Jain-kyrshah – a checkered cotton cloth knotted over one shoulder; sort of an improvised apron.

khasi women

khasi women street fashion shillong

khasi women street fashion shillong

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Even in heaven people eat Kwai – a popular saying in Khasi. Kwai is paan made of betel leaf, areca nut, and lime. Everybody in Shillong eats it. It’s a part of their culture, and is addictive(in a good way I suppose). It’s available pretty much on every street, and in winters, you eat it with ginger; it makes you feel warm.

A Kwai addict is easy to identify – red lips!

street fashion shillong india

Kwai eating lady on the left.

khasi women

khasi women

“If she is young, she will be buxom and comely, with powerful calves that are admired as beauty.” Couldn’t have been more honest with the description.

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street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

Below: a woman selling Khui(Khasi slang for cigarettes) and Kwai..in Police Bazaar.

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street style shillong india

street style shillong india

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street fashion shillong india

street fashion shillong india

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street fashion shillong india

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street fashion shillong india

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street fashion shillong india

“When it gets bitterly cold in the hills, Khasi women wear long feet less stockings; in cases of the poorer families, ribbons or cloth wound around the legs like putties or gaiters.”

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Text in quotes + the scans are from the book Dwellers of the High Hills – The Khasis of Meghalaya.

street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong

street fashion shillong

I am also considering blogging about houses of Shillong and the way the city looked in January. The houses here look so pretty and different.

shillong house

shillong street

shillong city

shillong city

shillong city

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