Sunday, October 4, 2015

In which I talk about incorporating more traditional wear into everyday looks

In these photos I've worn one of my tiered block print kurtas belted to form this billowing shape. It was too hot to wear pants and to be honest pants have never been my thing so I mostly wear my kurtas with shorts. This post is for my fellow brown girls, desis who've been othered so much that it has become a second nature to blend in and hide how stunning we are. It took movements like 'Reclaim the Bindi' and talking to other WoC for me to figure out that not very many desi girls are able to express their fabulous selves in traditional finery especially out of South Asian events.

I have always faced a different problem, I've always worn traditional clothes with my own little twist and the puritans have always rolled their eyes at me. I think being brought up surrounded by people who have loved handloomed textiles and traditional weaves has given me a life long obsession with the rich textile heritage of my Motherland. Both my parents have great taste, my grandmother loved all things sarees and my uncle knows an immense amount about traditional textiles and fabrics. My sister and I can spend hours caressing mulmuls, silks, cashmere and getting our tailor to stitch our sketches into clothes. We have both imbibed our reverence for traditional handlooms from them. Some of my most treasured photos are of my grandmother travelling in her saree and trench travelling through Europe, my Mother in colourful silks with almost knee length cascading locks sailing around the world and my Dad wearing Kurtas working across the globe. It never occurred to my sister and I that we need to blend in with the grey blobs around us.

The fact that I love traditional Indian cottons, silks and wool is quite obvious on this blog but what is not obvious is they are something I wear to work, play and to go out. I've worn kurtas from work to going dancing and sarees on dates and to pubs. I genuinely think it's not what one wears but how one wears it. I love DIYs and have embroidered traditional Rabari and Ahir motifs on more denims than I can keep track of. I've decided to share more photos of me incorporating traditional clothing into my everyday wear. Every single one of these looks have been worn either to work or while I was out and about and none of them have been worn as a part of a desi get-together or event. With Durga Puja, Navaratri and Diwali coming up I hope we will all find it easy to celebrate in our spectacular threads while going to work, uni or even just to the beach or to go out dancing.

I would love if you guys would share pictures of you wearing kurtas, anaarkalis, churidaars and sarees in your everyday lives. And remember to keep track of and tag your pictures to the 'Reclaim the Bindi' week coming up for Diwali.

To be honest I don't find most mainstream fashion magazines and blogs interesting in the least. I have my own sort of preference in terms of the cuts and proportions I like, they've changed a bit over the years but my deep abiding love for all things hand crafted has remained steadfast. In my opinion never taking any fashion magazine or style advice seriously has helped me be much more comfortable with myself. I still peruse through glossies and admire style spreads, I just never apply any of their suggestions to myself. Also I am not at all a believer in the dress for your shape nonsense. I dress to make myself happy and smile at my reflection when I pass mirrored glass.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rainforest adventures in the cold

The pictures above were taken ages ago when we went walking in a wonderfully green, shaded rainforest full of tall trees and ferns. We walked and climbed for eons to get to the foot of a spectacular water fall and just stared at the sheer beauty of the water cascading down the rocks and the foliage.

The stunning national parks of Australia are endowed with flora, fauna, canyons and beaches that are just a spectacular balm to the eyes. Large areas of untouched forest in many cases sites of many important Aboriginal Australian sites, outstanding tropical foliage and long stretches of the coast backed by lush bush. Most of the national park are a wonderful blend of culture and nature, reminding us that living in nature is natural to us and not the centrally air-conditioned world we live in.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Wilderness Sunsets

These pictures were taken when we went mini-camping in the mountains a few weeks ago, it was still pretty cold but we were pretty cosy sleeping in the van. One of my oft repeated wishes is to travel all of Australia and New Zealand in a campervan, I can't wait till we do it.

Anyway this was the last sunset in the cold mountains just before we headed back to the city and it was spectacular. Trust me the pictures don't do the skies any justice, we could have sat and stared for hours!I have never seen so many glorious shades of orange, pink, purples and the bare trees just made things even more weirdly beautiful. I was wearing a bunch of layers under my vintage lambswool sweater and was raring to run up and down the hills. It's times like this that make me thankful I moved to this beautiful continent. Having said that though I am still obsessed with my upcoming trip home and to the desert.