April 2017


Hidden Place

Giving new touches to my home is a great thing for me to unwind with. My Bangalore home & studio is packed with objects I hand picked from antique dealers, over a long time. From Victor Brothers in Kolkata, to haunts in Chettinad, to shops in London, my finds are from various.

It's been like re-living many pasts, no replica or print, only some real old things. If you visit Bangalore, do drop by. There are lots more to see than these photos & I'll take you through, in detail ! And try some real sweet black Jamuns from our local vendor !






March 2017


Underground & Under The Radar

'Fashion is for the airheads. Its essentially for the dumb', told a Brit friend of mine, who is a movie reviewer. He visits India often & we travel around.

'I often hear people saying Wong Kar Wai films are fashion films or are high on fashion. This is the kind of statement which'll make me feel like throwing the DVD on the floor & stomping on it over & over', he says with an air of exasperation.

Then he looks up, to see an ad, from the billboards of a busy street & asks 'why do Indians try to ape what we do? I see these ads & there's this deliberate attempt by the stylists to make things look international & its funny. They have enough unique here, to make things great.'

What is one great thing in fashion now I need to take a bow at? Firstly Platform, the magazine. To me, each issue is a treat. There was this month recently, when Alia Bhatt was the cover of at least four big magazines, all at once for the same month. And there was the best styled Alia, in my eyes at Platform. Their approach & the sensibilities are the most 'artisanal' the best way the word can literally mean.

And this season it was so good to see Savio Jon's reprise. Although it doesn't need a fashion week for me to be a fan of his works, it was the highlight for me at this LFW. Even last year his Resort 16 was out of the world. With Lakshmi Menon & Sheetal Mallar photographing each other, that was the most powerful for me, beyond anything in fashion that happened last year.

In a world of fast fashion, is the need to slow down a bit?  As Mickey Boardman aptly puts it, the looks from the runways are accessible with live streaming & Instagram, even before the show has ended. 'This kind of accessibility & exposure has caused problems to the life span of fashion for retailers, because by the time something comes to the stores, you have already seen it all over social media, every editor posts it...magazines shoot it & by the time it is published, you have already fallen in love & fallen out of love with it'.

A fashion insider & a close friend identified my space Fatherland as more of an underground label. She said people like it because it's underground. It's there but not out-there. That brings me to point where we need to keep certain things in a secret world, not everything displayed online. It's a bit tricky, as many of our overseas shoppers might not like that, or may be would like that more. A regular shopper from the US, who shopped truckloads with us last year, just made an appointment to visit our studio, three months in advance. She'd rather wait & shop that way, than to see all things online.

That also reminds me long long back, I used to hear the word 'exclusive' to best describe the refined. No second piece for a look. And that's where I come from, when I never get why celebrities should wear runway looks. They should wear only custom made pieces, at least with slight variations. I told this to Kalki recently, who got what I meant. And now I think why only celebrities, why should anyone at all wear runway looks?

On a different tangent, we've embarked upon a changing landscape of handloom. Can't disagree when Sanjay Garg puts it as handloom is becoming a herd mentality. ' Textiles are going through what embroideries experienced a few years ago.' Everybody wants to do it.

Yes I see that happening. From social-media-dilrubas to kitty-party-chamak-challos, it's everywhere & possibly the way it should be. But Garg concludes 'it's horrible & scary'. Well Garg apart, for me it's been like a dynamo, toggling between textiles & many other things, so I never got to that point of it being prosaic & find it intriguing still. But then yes, if it can glide from the Mahilas to the Balikas too, there's nothing like it. As of now some very unconventional set of works are keeping me in isolation.

To a happy summer !