Archive for November, 2011

Social Anthropologist

November 30, 2011

Born in Sikkim (in a quaint village called Gayzing); raised in a gothic convent in Darjeeling run by Nepalese and Irish nuns; belted out Shakespeare facing the Himalayas, excelled in drama and flunked in math. Learnt very early to bite into lethal chillies with great aplomb; her Nepali blood can take the heat she says. Was fat as a kid but she preferred to be called chubby; hated cute. Hated dolls too. But was into golliwogs.

Studied B.A. Literature in LSR followed by M.A in Film Making at Jamia in Delhi. Her final student film was called “A Little Death”. It dealt with the nature of sexuality. It had no dialogues but cut to the Igor Stravinsky’s magnum opus “The Rite of Spring”. Worked at Discovery Channel. At some point discovered Fashion & Surrealism by Richard Martin which gave her a new direction..

bandana tewari

Self-funded her first few trips to international fashion weeks in London, Johannesburg, etc. Made copious amounts of  notes standing in the last row and got paid a measly 2000Rs. for each story….But the ghosts of Cecil Beaton, Sarte, Fellini, Coco Chanel, and Stravinsky protected her…

She hosted the first fashion programme on Indian TV called Simply Style. Also hosted the first fashion webisodes in India on lfwtv. She’s written a book that’s now translated in Marathi, Gujarati, and Italian called “A Little Guide to Italy”. Would like to write for an Indian newspaper one day; is a regular contributor to IHT and NYT. Her daily reads are Newsweek. New Yorker. Another Magazine. Economist. Moreintelligentlife(THE BEST). MumbaiBossBOF.

Has a nine year old daughter named Mai-rah (named after her favourite book Myra Breckinridge) whose appearance she compares to that of a cheeky street kid. Her favourite gift to her friends is the docu Century of Self. Can complete the Rubik cube in two minutes flat. Collects stones from historic places.

Calls Dorothy Parker her priestess of self-deprecation. Is single and happy. Wants to start her own blog once she reaches 5000 twitter followers

I flutter in many ways but I fly in none… The older I grow the truer it sounds.”
-Bandana Tewari. Lingering in the 30s. Fashion Director, Vogue India.


Men in Checkered Gamchhas

November 29, 2011

street fashion india

Picking up from where I’d left last…above: A cart pusher in Asansol.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

The term “gamchha” derives from the Bengali ga mochha, which means wiping (the) body-local term for a sweat towel. Gamchhas are most commonly found in check and striped patterns of red, orange, green, blue…They’re are also worn as lungis, belts, turbans – styles derived from practicality & nature of tasks the wearer is involved in.

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street fashion india

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street style india

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street style india fashion

street fashion india

street fashion india

I found myself a spot in the middle of a Y junction in front of a closed shop. There was a small tea shop 10 yards ahead. Idlers there would occasionally look in my direction, talk amongst themselves, and at times smile at me. A little disconcerting. Two people came to me and asked “newspaper?” I said yes. (A lie, obviously.) After a while one of the workers came and sat next to me but didn’t say a word. Often he would smile and try to look into the camera.

We talked for a bit. Soon he got called out for some work and left. I sat there for two hours till I started to see the same men. I was finding it awkward to get up as I was all comfortable in the awkwardness of being in the middle of those occasional stares for long. Eventually I got up, went straight to the tea shop…had a cup of tea, a smoke, & said thank you to whoever listened..

Below:Rickshaw-walas in the main market.
street fashion india

All photos from my July trip.

A gamccha costs 30Indian Rupees(less than a dollar).

NH7 Weekender|Preview

November 20, 2011

nh7 weekender pune

street style india nh7 weekender

street style india nh7 weekender

street style india nh7 weekender

gitanjali dang nh7 street style india
Gitanjali Dang. Writer/Curator from Bombay.

rushad kalyanivala street style india
Rushad Kalyanivala from Pune.

street style india nh7 weekender

I’m at NH7 Weekender – the happiest music festival in India. All the cool kids from Pune & Bombay are here.

NH7 Weekender documentary from last year.

New Shoes,Fleetwood Mac,& Grocery Shopping

November 12, 2011

street style india
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.

street style india

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.

karuna laungani

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.
street style india
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.

street style india

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

Connecting the Polka Dots

November 7, 2011

street fashion mumbai india

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

polka dresses asansol

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

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

lotus temple delhi
..and the Lotus Temple.

street style fashion delhi india

street style delhi india
A ragpicker in Delhi…in a polka dot skirt.

street style india

street fashion delhi india
Niamat Bakshi in Stella McCartney.

polka dots
— Scarf at Ogaan in Hauz Khas Village.

street fashion mumbai india

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

dr strangelove
Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove in polka dot sunglasses.

street fashion mumbai india

polka pants
Tania at LFW in tailored polka dot pants.

polka dots bag
Ruchika’s polka dot pouch.

street fashion mumbai india
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...

street style india fashion asansol

street fashion mumbai india

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…

Yohji’s Man

November 3, 2011

street fashion blog west bengal india

street style blog west bengal india

street style fashion india

“People think I’m mad…you know..little off..but I’m not. I’m just old. I don’t disturb anyone. Tired. But not mad. I’m easily ignored. If I stand too long in front of a shop, I’m asked to leave -shooed away like a stray cow. Road is home. There are plenty of places to sleep-next to a shop, or under a tree, or just on the sidewalk. I grew up in this city but can’t remember the exact area. It’s been too many years. Sometimes people give me food. Sometimes I go to the vegetable market or sit outside hotels and get leftovers. Food does not worry me..I can find it anywhere.”

Where is your family?
There is no one. Don’t know where everybody went…

What things do you usually think about?
Everything. This place. I come here everyday. It was empty 10 years ago. It is still empty…

What are you going to do next?
I’ll rest here.

Photographed in Burnpur, West Bengal.

street fashion blog west bengal india

“I exist here, now. I’m not much interested in the future. Or, more precisely put, I do not believe in the future. To exaggerate a little, I have no faith that I will still exist tomorrow or the day after. What is more, I absolutely detest retrospection. That dislike is balanced only by my desire to make my way back home as quickly as possible.”
-Yohji Yamamoto