Tag Archives: Lifestyle Trends

Meet women fashion entrepreneurs in India

The Indian fashion industry is one place where you can find several women entrepreneurs. Through their creations, they nurture some of the subtle aspects of nature, culture, tradition, and environment. A woman knows best how to bring out the best in her creations. She knows how to protect and give a breath of new life to those things from the bosom of mother nature that are on the verge of extinction.

Sustainability is the watchword these days. Creating sustainable products is not just trendy; it is the need of the hour. Climate change and the environment depletion make us all sit up and think about what we can do to save mother earth as we know her. These women fashion entrepreneurs are on the path of sustainability.

Here are interviews with a few women fashion entrepreneurs in India, who have carved a niche for themselves in the field of fashion and sustainability.

Rebecca Reubens

Rebecca Reubens

Dr. Rebecca Reubens core expertise is for bamboo and rattan. She is the founder of Rhizome, a multidisciplinary sustainability design studio. She is a world bamboo ambassador for the World Bamboo Organization. A trained industrial designer from the National Institute of Design, India, she focuses her creations on design, craft, and sustainability. She is associates with multi-governmental institutions, governments, NGOs, SMEs, and communities in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Rebecca is the author of the book, ‘Bamboo: From Green Design to Sustainable Design.’

Here is an interview with her, where she talks about sustainability, her journey so far, and her experience of being a woman entrepreneur:

About her enterprise

Tell us something about Rhizome, India’s first multidisciplinary sustainability studio?

Design impacts sustainability because it orchestrates how materials are harvested, produced, used, and discarded. The question is whether you want to take accountability for these design decisions and their impact on sustainability. Rhizome, since its inception in 2009, does commit to doing this. We go beyond the environmental aspects and also consider the social, economic, and cultural elements which influence sustainability.

What can we expect to gain by visiting your studio?

Bright minds hard at work and sound design! 

Who can visit?

Anyone and everyone

Journey So far

From your student days at NIFT, how has your journey been so far?

Exciting and always growing larger and yet quieter. Moreover, the scope and understanding of things that impact design required consideration while designing expanded exponentially. Whereas, the ego has become smaller.

About Sustainability

Why have you chosen bamboo and sustainability?

I chose bamboo because of sustainability. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials known to man and needs leveraging for sustainability. While I don’t only work with bamboo – I work with other sustainable materials as well.

Bamboo is my material of choice because I have been working with it for almost two decades now. I began my bamboo journey as a student at NID, then as a part of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, and finally through my practice.

What are your future ventures, especially at this time when a sustainable lifestyle is become a necessity due to compelling environmental reasons?

We have a new brand of sustainable jewelry called Baka. We are also moving into the fashion space. 

Fashion Tips

How can the college-going youngster and the young office going population adapt bamboos and sustainability in their lifestyle?

Buy less, and what you buy, buy sustainably. Read and keep yourself informed. Check up on tall claims and beware of greenwashing. Pick the real ones – we all know who they are – and buy things that are classic and will last you longer. Buy into experiences rather than ‘stuff.’ Look at alternate service models rather than ‘stuff.’ – take public transport or an Ola instead of buying a car.

How can the common man, especially the college-going and the office going people make the best use of your creative collection?

Our collections are convenient and competitive in terms of price and performance. They are a good design. So it is simple – buy them, use them, don’t throw them away. Get a piece customized from us – we want you to love what you own and keep it forever.

As a successful woman entrepreneur, how was your journey so far?

It was possible only because of support from my family and friends. Cultivate a strong network – this is what will catch you when you jump into the universe with eyes wide open. 

Women’s Day Message

It would be super if there were no women’s day – because gender equality existed. Unfortunately, it does not. Some of us are more privileged than others – we need to speak up and be the voices of those who cannot speak for themselves. Fight for equality – quietly and loudly – make sure you are heard and seen if you are privileged. Be the change you want to see.

Rebecca Reubens

Medha Khosla

Medha Khosla

Medha is the founder of the designer brand Anomaly that focuses on workwear wardrobes. The clothes are designed for Indian professionals and created using natural Indian textiles. She completed her academic studies at the prestigious Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, New York. Armed with the skills, expertise, and exposure of working and studying in New York for ten years, she returned to India. Anomaly has become well-known within a span of four years since its inception.

About her enterprise

Tell us something about your brand, “Anomaly’?

ANOMALY is a premium clothing brand specializing in high-quality essentials for men and women. Since we are a brand born out of dislike for excess, desire for subtle detail, and clean design, we create classic, everyday staples crafted from natural, Indian textiles.

Journey So far

Tell us about your journey till now?

It’s been a rewarding and challenging journey at the same time. Being a first-generation entrepreneur and never having worked in India before, I’ve faced many difficulties in setting up our studio and workshop. Finding the right team is an ongoing work in progress. I have had to fight many battles to execute my vision and goals for Anomaly. But, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else as I continue to grow and meet incredible people along the way!

As a successful woman entrepreneur, how was your journey so far?

The journey was exacting, rewarding, full of hurdles, and excellent opportunities at the same time. At the same time, it is no doubt challenging to navigate a man’s world in business. It is inspiring to build a business from the ground up and enrich the lives of our workers and karigars with relevant skills. I have decided to keep going no matter the challenges because resilience and perseverance are essential to continuous success.

About Sustainability

How are your creations sustainable?

We holistically approach sustainability from designing smaller collections, using ethical and lean production methods to manufacture based on need/orders.

We use only natural textiles like cotton, linens, and silks to ensure each textile scrap gets upcycled into trimmings, home accessories, and fabrics. Our philosophy is ‘less is more,’ and we believe in practicing sustainability in every aspect of the design, sourcing, and manufacturing process.

What are your future ventures, especially in providing sustainable products?

We are working on building our accessories range into an exclusively sustainable collection of upcycled home goods. Strengthening our business as an ethical production house for other brands and startups is very important to me as I firmly believe our studio has the right skill set for helping other like-minded brands grow. We would like to tie up with more prominent companies/corporates to develop a line of sustainable clothing or accessories for them – this would be an incredible step forward for us to execute a shared vision on a larger scale. 

Will sustainable fashion become affordable to the larger population?

First, we need to identify what affordability means to the average Indian buyer and educate them on why it is better to choose a sustainable garment or textile over synthetics and cheap mass fashion.

There is a lack of awareness amongst the average consumer, and so they decide to opt for inexpensive clothing over a well-made, ethically produced, and beautifully designed apparel.

Sustainable fashion cannot be cheap because a lot goes into the development and creation of a garment from the design to sourcing to execution. We need to stop comparing everything to mass fashion instead of focusing on why sustainability is more valuable and imperative in today’s world.

Fashion Tips

How relevant and affordable it is to the college-going and the young office going population?

We focus on elevating classic silhouettes into contemporary garments relevant to a broad audience from 25-65 years. Our styles are not trend-based but designed for everyday wear and all seasons.

Our price points are very accessible, primarily since we only use 100% natural, high-quality textiles to create a superior quality product. We don’t compromise on either and keep our prices very competitive at the same time.

Now slow fashion and repeating garments are becoming a trend, can you give some fashion tips to the young generation about what factors they have to take into account to look trendy and presentable every day?

Taking care of one’s garments is essential. We recommend choosing the right detergents and hand washing whenever possible for longevity in one’s wardrobe. I recommend finding unique ways to style one’s staples to feel and look presentable. The more we care for our garments, the longer they last and stay relevant. 

Women’s Day Message

Keep breaking barriers and follow your passions. Don’t stop trying and be prepared for failure. Women hold this world together, and this is the time for us to push ourselves to the forefront – be seen and heard.

Medha Khosla

Image Courtesy: Rebecca Reubens and Medha Khosla

10 must-have winter wears for anyone in delhi

Winter is here and the warm clothes are out in the wardrobe. In cities like Delhi, the temperature is unpredictable on a daily basis. The average temperature in Delhi can vary between 6.5 °C and 15 °C .

So if you are staying in North India, and especially in Delhi, throughout the winter season, you must posses a number of winter wears. There are a variety of winter wears and accessories available in the market.

Those who have been staying in Delhi for many years would have collected a number of winter wears during the successive winters. For those who migrated to the city recently, there will be a limited collection of winter wears.

So I chose Myntra products here. The prices range between Rs 250-25000. You can follow the links to the products.

Just like you buy from a shop, you get the option of return, exchange and alteration for the products.

Sweater

There are a variety of sweaters available in the market. Sweaters can be thick or thin depending on the knitting and the quality of the wool.

During the beginning and the end of winter, we disregard the sweater. Be Caution!! You can end up with serious ailments. Buy Sweaters between the range of Rs 700-5000.

Any knitted top is a sweater. A sweater can be known by other names like pullover and jumper.

Cardigan

Cardigans are sweaters which are open in the front. They can either be with buttons or without buttons. A light cardigan is an essential for everyone to protect oneself from health scares during the beginning and end of winter of season. Price ranges from Rs 400 to Rs 10000.

I have chosen H&M brand because their style is new and refreshing. And they are providing a lot of discounts.

Coat

The Coats seem heavy, sophisticated and not affordable. There is even doubts whether coats are required for Indian winters were the temperature hardly goes less than 6 °C .

However it is always advisable to have one coat handy for harsh winters. Buy anyone of the coat types – long sleeve coat, overcoat and trench coat.

While going out, especially in the peek of winter, a coat keeps you warm and comfortable. Winter coats are available from the range of Rs 1500 upto 15000. Buy one coat and it can be a lifelong asset.

In case you are unable to purchase now, you can buy at discount rates during off-season. The fashion of coats do not change every season.

Jacket

DownJacket and Padded jackets are comfortable for travel and official wear. The fleece jacket looks elegant as a casual and an official wear.

Nehru jacket for men is a fashionable as well as a cosy winter wear. Winter wear Jackets are available from the range of Rs 300-25000.

Thermal Wear

Thermal should be on the top of the list for winter shopping. Thermals are inner wears that keeps you warm in winter.

After the cardigan is worn in mild winter, winter wear thermals are used, when temperature goes down, to keep oneself insulated from the piercing winter chills. Thermals are great money savers.

If you have 2-3 pairs (thermal top and thermal bottom), you can survive a winter season without buying much of other winter wears. Prices range between Rs 300-2000.

Shawl & Stole

Shawls and stoles are mentioned together because stoles are used like shawls also. Shawls are one-large piece of cloth used to cover the upper part of the body.

Shawls are available in a variety of fabric that gives varied degree of warmth. However during mild winter a stole can be used like a shawl.

A stole is mostly used round the neck. Stoles are cheaper than shawls, at the same time they look glamorous and trendy.

H&M got winter white stoles. In fact they have winter white collection in almost all sections of winter wear.

There are a variety of stoles that add glamour to any winter wear. Shawls are available from the range of Rs 400-13,000; while stoles are available from Rs 250-4000.

Muffler & Scarf

The functions of all these loose cloths – muffler, scarf, stole and shawl interchange, depending of the fashion sense of the wearer. In the above picture the scarf is worn round the neck, when traditionally it is used to cover the head.

If you know how to carry yourself in the winter attires, then all these wraps add to the fashion quotient.

Cap

A majority of us, Indians, consider wearing caps as not so glamorous. Both men and women would rather bear the brunt of the harsh winter, rather than cover the head properly.

However the bold ones are daring to go bald; and fashionistas are changing hats to remain change. This winter, let us make ourselves look trendy by wearing beanies.

Apart from being the fashionably in thing, a beanie can protect the ear and heads during winter. Prices range from Rs 250-2500.

Gloves

On Christmas eve, there was a party and we were out in the cold for a few hours. I was the only adult wearing a glove, the rest were kids.

After that chilling experience, my friends vouched that they will always carry gloves or mittens in their handbags during winter.

The big learning was that bare hands can make you shiver. And that gloves should not be used just as an official accessory, they can very much be an essential part of casual and party wears.

Socks

When our elders insist us on wearing a socks from the beginning of winter, we consider it as pestering. Truth is if you keep your feet warm, you can avoid major health hazards. If you are still reluctant to wear socks or stockings, you will bear the consequence as you age. Wear at least a shoe-liner. Prices range from Rs 100-2000.

Picture Courtesy: Myntra & Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Boho Chic – A Popular Fashion Style This Summer

A boho chic outfit

Many styles divas this summer season was spotted in boho chic outfits – a combination of traditional and trendy, organic, colourful, printed, detailed, and folk-inspired garments with modern garments.

The bohemian/gipsy fashion look prominent in the 60’s and 70’s revives from time to time. Boho means the style drawing influence from the culture of the gipsies or bohemians who were travelling people, and ‘chic’ means elegance. After spending time and effort to mix and match the garment with the accessories – hats, boots, bandannas, necklace, ear rings and belts, a boho chic style exudes the feeling that you look chic in spite of hardly sparing any effort to look elegant.

Boho chic evolves every time it becomes a fashion trend, blending the latest trends and ethnic look with the funky, exotic, hippy style. This season the boho chic outfit is a combination of the ethnic with the modern wear –  Palazzo Pants, Skirts, Dhotis worn in combination with Crochet Jackets, Blouse and Noodle Strap Tops.

Thea Porter the pioneer of boho chic style

Boho chic style was introduced by Thea Porter in the 1960’s during the time of economic woes. She had Beatles, Pink Floyd, Elizabeth Taylor, Faye Dunaway and Barbara Streisand as her customers. Her loose, draped shapes and fabrics have since become part of the style of stars. Her designs were inspired by her upbringing in the Middle East – Jerusalem, Beirut and Damascus, that also reflected in her love for antique materials like French Voiles, Ottoman velvets, Swiss chiffons, Indian handprints, Islamic embroidery and brocades of Damascus.

Keith Moss and Sienna Miller

After thriving as the style of the celebrities in the 60’s and the 70’s,  the style was revived in 2005 by Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. They become synonymous with the boho chic look when they bohemian inspired on many public appearances.

How to achieve a boho chic style?

Boho Chic style reflects the personality  – a  nonconformist, and adventurous self, who wants to carve an individual identity. You can wear fluid clothes, long drapes or shirts with folk inspired motifs or colourful traditional prints. Team it with a boot and wear a lot of jewellery – large slouchy bags, sandals, beaded necklaces, drop earrings and colourful bangles. Keep the hair loose and wavy so that it appears like the hair has been undone. To get a complete boho chic like use a hat, a hairband, a scarf around the head or a turban.

Indian tradition inspired boho chic

In India, Boho Chic outfit is a popular trend with the celebrities and popularised among the consumers by boho chic brands like Global Desi by renowned designer entrepreneur Anita Dongre.  Her boho chic garments are popular among college students and office goers who find the mix and matching style blend with the Indian culture as well as suit the global culture of the corporate workplaces. Anita Dongre’s collection includes block prints, Indian motifs and designs on ethnic wears like palazzos, Patiala, Churidars, shorts and long skirts. The Kurtas with ethnic design go very well trousers and jeans.  An advocate of environment-friendly wears, she has brought a range of boho chic outfits using fluid fabric made from environment-friendly natural fibres.

Accessories an essential for the Boho look

The boho chic look is complete only with the right kind of accessories – large slouchy bags in folk designs, sandals, colourful necklaces, drop earrings and bangles with the ethnic design.  The latest boho chic fashion is to keep the accessories, minimalist, whereby presenting the look of being boho chic while remaining rooted.

Palazzo pants for all occasions

Palazzo pants are loose pants that look more like a skirt. More often celebrities are spotted wearing palazzo pants paired with shirts, tank tops and jackets. And their style is enhanced with branded bags and matching stiletto. To know more tips about losing weight read this post. 

Palazzo pants are the latest trend  of this summer. Women wear palazzo pants to malls, shopping, parties and tourist destinations. The long flowing pants looks very elegant and attractive when worn on all occasions. And in winters you can use the chiffon palazzo pants.

Why wear a Palazzo pant?

Palazzo is the style of this summer season.  Palazzo is not just for celebrities. With a little modification to suit the lifestyle, palazzo pant can be worn to office, parties and markets.

Palazzo pant gives an edge, in style quotient, so that the one wearing a palazzo stands out in a crowded metro or in an public event. Palazzo pants are loose flowing so they are comfortable to be worn to work.

How to wear a Palazzo pant?

You can wear a palazzo pant which is foot length and team it with a high heeled shoe.  Palazzo pant can be paired with traditional Indian tops like kameez; or with short shirts and tank tops.

Palazzo pants in different hues and materials

Palazzo pants are now available in silk, crinky chifon, chiffon and cotton variety and they have been adapted for the everyday lifestyle of the common man. For girls and women who want to look smart in office, in parties, shopping or for an outing; any time and every where the Palazzo pant is comfortable and stylish.

There are a variety of palazzo pants available in the market in various colours and materials. Pair palazzo pants with an elegant top and look pretty and smart for office, party or an outing.

Crinkle Chiffon Palazzo pants as Party wear

Wear a loose flowing crinkle chiffon palazzo pants party wear with a matching long Kameez and look stunning at parties.

Printed Palazzo Pants for casuals

A printed cotton palazzo pants is comfortable for casual wear paired with a short shirts. 

Silk palazzo pants for evening wear

This silk outfit looks gorgeous for a social event like a birthday party or an anniversary. 

Matching accessories for palazzo pants

A matching pair of ear rings, colourful necklace or a stylish hand bag will increase the style quotient.

Palazzo pants official wear

Get ready for office looking stylish, trendy, official and smart.

Mothers in Palazzo pants

A modern mom who is trendy and gorgeous in palazzo. Make sure that the palazzo pant bottom does not drag on the floor. The palazzo pants look elegant with a flat heel shoe.

Palazzo pants for formal wear

Wear the palazzo pants with the trendiest kameez in the market. The best look comes when the palazzo pants are worn in contrasting colours with the top.

Palazzo pant with prints

A printed casual looking palazzo pants can be worn to college on a normal day. Pair it with a short kurta of contrasting colour. 

Palazzo pant with a short top

Who said palazzo pants are only for celebrities. Wear a short top with palazzo pants, wear a bead necklace and get ready for office any day.

Printed palazzo pants

Printed palazzo pants look elegant on college girls. Where ever you go you get noticed for the style and elegance.

Fluid Fashion – Comfy cum stylish garment for modern women

Remember Kangana Ranaut and her LIVA, natural fluid fashion adverts that filled the national newspapers a few weeks back. Natural fluid fashion has come of age and is going to be the raging trend of the coming years. I can say this with confidence because celebrity fashion designer Anita Dongre designed summer collection for her brand Global Desi with Natural Fluid Fabric. And, whatever prints and designs Anita Dongre introduces every season is copied and recopied until the trend is adapted by every household in India.

It is said that we wear fashionable garments to impress others though we many feel uncomfortable in our outfit.  Fluid fabric being light weight and unfussy, makes the modern professional woman look elegant and fresh even after a grueling day of work and commuting. With bright colours and chic patterns Anita Dongre used the fluidity of the fabric to design outfits in her popular styles – traditional, boho chic, contemporary, classic, western, to stylish saris. The loose flowing fabric shaped into churidhars, western wears, maxi dresses, tunics, crop tops, high waist skier and T-shirt dresses are the right choice for the summer and fall.

The fluid fabric is launched by the Aditya Birla Group under the brand name LIVA. The fluid fabric is manufactured by extracting cellulosic fibres from woods from trees specially grown for this purpose. The fibre is said to be “natural and biodegradable, crafted from the choicest wood pulp”.

This summer when I visited Anita Dongre showroom to see the latest collection, the LIVA fabric outfits simply looked outstanding and attractive. With their free-flowing silhouettes and breathable drapes, fluid fabrics can be designed for regular or party wears. Be it a working day or a day out for a get-together, in our Indian culture we love to be draped in a Sari or wear colourful churidhars. But thinking about the discomofort and the work hassle that the outfit will cause we compromise. Either we wear a comfortable outfit and look plain, or we wear a fashionable wear and remain conscious the whole day about the dress, which will affect our productivity. This is were the new fluid fabric brings the balance, you can move about effortlessly and confidently in your favourite style of dressing.

Fluid fashion is about looking and feeling good everyday, with the added satisfaction that we are not exploiting nature. Trees can be replanted which means the latest fashion trend is eco-friendly.

Natural Fluid Fabric is being rampantly used by leading designers to created their latest collections. Fluid fashion outfits are being sold by many renowned brands. Celebrities are finding the fabric a welcome change from the regular fabric that are welcome change from the boxy silhouettes or tight dresses.

The winter/fall collection are now in the market and there are yet more new styles and combination of the fluid fashion. The fashion Designers are planning to bring in more designs using the fluid fabric. I feel very Natural Fluid Fashion is getting trendier and very soon the wardrobe of every fashion conscious woman India will have fluid fashion outfits.

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