Saree Swag and litfesting…

everyday style, fashion

I’ve already confessed I have a mortal terror of wearing sarees. I’ve tripped too often and sprained my ankles, ripped exquisite ones to shreds, pinned them ineptly and have had them uravelling visibly in a public situation, had horrific experiences of going to the bathroom in public places where the floors are literal swamps, and more, and so have actively avoided wearing them for all my 47 years. Let me also confess that I am most disorganised a dresser, so the effort of coordinating saree, blouse and petticoat, not to mention, having appropriate number of safety pins at hand is something that has been one of my perpetual failings.

Last year, I think I wore a saree just once, and that too for one of the functions at my niece’s wedding, for the other three functions, I made do with salwar kameezes. This year though, my resolution is to wear more sarees, especially for formal occasions and especially for litfests. I love being in long dresses in the regular course of affairs, but realise that one doesn’t quite have the gravitas needed on stage, something that a saree effortlessly endows one with. And as for the horror of all my Michelin man waist tyres being on public display, thank god for the new style of traditional blouses being dispensed with and anything and everything being okay in place of it.

For the Times of India Bangalore Lit Fest on Saturday, I borrowed this exquisite soft silk Ajrakh saree off my sister in law, Tara (in pic with me), wore it with simple double chain of silver beads and a black shell top. Works?

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Soma Ghosh shares how she rocked the bald look

everyday style, fashion

The forties for me, so far, have been like being in the doldrums. In September of 2016, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer, of Mullerian origin (there are evidently only about 400 reported cases in the world so far).

I knew I had a long battle ahead of me. But whoever said that I couldn’t have fun while battling my nemesis?

The one thing I promised myself is that, I wouldn’t wear a wig or ever feel bad about losing my hair. Instead, I took to dressing myself better and accessorising better to feel better. Trust me, it was tough, but when I look back now, I feel I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think I rocked the bald look and how!

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October, 2016. This was after my third dose of chemo. It was Durga Puja, and how could I not be in my festive best and how could I not go and visit Ma Durga? So on Dashami, the last day of Durga Puja, I was in my favourite Sambalpuri Tussar Saree, bidding adieu to Ma Durga. All the while praying that I get to meet her next year, again.

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July, 2017. Nine doses of chemo and a huge surgery later, I was in New Orleans, celebrating my 42nd birthday. I had lost all my inhibitions by now and was happy in all kinds of outfits that I didn’t think I would get into ever again, post teenage!

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February, 2018. My Cancer had returned, but the other thing I never stopped doing was socialising and going out. Seen here in my favourite indigo angrakha kurta and my favourite silver earrings at Sugar Land,  Texas.

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Fast forward to January, 2019. I continue to life to the fullest and push the envelope in my life – fashion-wise and otherwise! There is just one life to live, and so much to see and do, so why not just go do it?

(Reader by day, writer by night. Blogs, stories and translations are what her world is all about. Otherwise addicted to wandering, colours, spaces, places, faces, everyday art. )

Teresa Rehman shares her comfort looks

everyday style, fashion

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I look for quiet and calm amidst chaos. Therefore, comfort rules my dress code.
And my wardrobe consists mostly of sober cotton, handloom and silk kurtas. I end
up wearing black more often especially when I don’t want to think through colour
schemes. My collection of traditional dupattas/stoles from all over India blends
perfectly with my salwar suits. And the latest addition to my collection is an
Assamese handwoven ‘tongali’ (worn by the farmer as a waistcloth). In this
picture, with a plain silver coloured kurta, I have wrapped a stole embellished with
kantha work around my neck. This stole is from Bengal.

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For any kind of meetings and get-togethers, I prefer the Assamese mekhela sador
(mostly the handwoven ones). And for formal gatherings I prefer a paat silk
mekhela sador. Paat silk is probably one of the lightest silks. In this photograph
clicked on the streets of New York, I am wearing a white cotton mekhela sador
with blue and purple flowers. The flower motif is a traditional design called king
khap. The Halloween pumpkins in the backdrop almost seem like an art
installation.

(Teresa Rehman is an award-winning journalist and author based in Assam. She
loves collecting ethnic accessories from different corners of India and the world.)

The little grey dress

everyday style, fashion

I rarely get into dresses that end at the knee or a little above it, but this is one that I do have. And I always feel grand when I wear this, so it ends up being my last resort dress when all else fails.

A grey wool blend that slinks on like second skin, but yet manages to be kind to the lard around the waist that could have me give real competition to the Michelin tyre man. The dress is an AND by Anita Dongre, one of my favourite designers for sensible comfortable clothes, that are size friendly to not so very perfect bodies.

Paired these with solitaires in my ears, (primarily because I couldn’t be arsed to keep changing my earrings so these stay on until they fuse with my damn lobes and then I need to do a song and dance to get them off, short of surgical incisions), a pair of high black strap ons and a bright red lipper, and yes a silver neck piece that I love. Like?

Swati Rai decodes her preferred evening looks

everyday style, fashion
As a blogger, a corporate trainer, Teacher-trainer I have events , workshops and commitments that require me to dress according to the occasion on multiple events. I am a great believer in dressing according to the event and mostly, the dress depends on my moodboard!
Fashion for me is inherent happiness and physical fitness, vigour or call it what you will- boils down to how you carry yourself, be it in the plainest of garment. It is a definite plus if a touch of your personality is reflected in your sartorial selections!
look 1
Look 1
An evening with a slight nip in the air mandated a cover up- a royal blue ensemble was chosen with a warm poncho over it but not without my touch of buckling up with a wide leather belt. I found, the drape worked well for contouring, without compromising  the warmth or the style quotient- easy-peasy look for a cold Delhi formal do! Threw in extra blue liner and mascara, left the neck bare and slapped on some danglers for a little bling!
look 2
Look 2
Who and how can you go wrong with a saree? A regular concoction of different textures of chantilly lace, net, in the baroque vintage style, got me a saree innovatively put together that gave it a designer look, without costing me a bomb! Black and grey is also  combination that I heart- finished with a  silver choker and I was ready, as ready can be!
(Swati Rai blogs at http://theinsiderviews.com)