Inspiration India

When Slumdog Millionaire released, most of my Indian friends were quite mortified by the portrayal of India in the movie. I never really got down to watching the film, besides bits and pieces when it came on television. And I am certain if I were to watch the whole movie I really would not have been offended. What I have been noticing though is the major influence India has been making in the design and fashion circuit since the movie. I mean earlier Indian inspiration came only in form of prints and a few graphic symbols like Laxmi or Ganesh on T-shirts and Bedcovers, which came in the category of street fashion or hippie fashion, or there would be a one-off India inspired piece. Whereas now, there are full collections by renowned fashion and design houses which are being inspired by India. And I don’t blame them, in terms of design India has got a whole lot of inspiration, from natural beauty to the fabrics and colours and most importantly its vast history and tradition.

The Louis Vuitton India Enchanted Story

It could well be said that this is because luxury markets have taken a huge hit in Europe and America, while in India it has seen a steady growth. Whatever the reason I am quite kicked by the fact that India is inspiring so many people and collections. After all, I don’t know how many more time I can answer “So do you travel be elephants?” or be known only for snake charmers. The answer to the question by the way is, no we don’t travel by elephants most of us have cars and snake charmers are just one of the market side appeals of the country, no one has pet snakes at home. Here are a few Luxury brands which have showcased Indian inspiration in the recent past.

INDIA INSPIRED FASHION

Chanel Metiers d’Arts 2012 Pre-Fall collection titled “Paris-Bombay”

This year Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld delivered his India inspired collection at the Chanel Metiers d’Arts 2012 Pre-Fall collection titled “Paris-Bombay”. The collection features intricate embroideries, raw silk and other extravagant materials characterise an exquisite combination of delicate Indian handcrafts and Parisian fashion. Models both men and women were adorned with accessories including head-jewellery and turbans. In Lagerfeld’s words “it is the Paris version of the idea of India”. The colours were from Fuchsia, to ivory-white to gold and silver.
Louis Vuitton made headlines in the past when they came out with their collection of bags inspired by India and even changed the window display of their stores by displaying an artwork of Hindu goddess ‘Laxmi’ during Diwali festival. LVMH even launched a collection ‘L’ame du Voyage’ which is inspired by travels in India and the range consists of handbags, travel bags, jewelry and accessories.
Hermes another iconic fashion brand, had recently launched its limited edition Sarees which are an extension of the famous ‘Hermes’ scarf. A silhouette which dates back more than 1,000 years has now been accepted as a ‘must-have’ drape in the fashion world. These Sari’s begin at $6,000 and since most of Hermes clients are Indian millionaires it is considered quite a steal. They also did a whole India inspired collection of scarves with bright colours and motifs like the elephant.

INDIA INSPIRED PERFUMES

Un Jardin Apres La Mousson, Hermes

In terms of beauty product and scents India has a vast history. There are a variety of materials which originate in India and have inspired designers over the years, like Sandalwood, Jasmine, Cardamom and many more. But over the years more and more Luxury brands and indulging in bringing out India inspired collections.
One of the best and oldest perfumes of great success was Shalimar by Guerlain produced in 1925. Shalimar was inspired by the love of an Indian Emperor for his beloved wife. The love story inspired Jacques Guerlain to create this masterpiece named after the Gardens Of Shalimar where the two Indians found love. This perfume is suitably exotic, blending fragrant floral with sensual notes of patchouli and amber to create a powerful love potion. Shalimar’s recognizable scent has captivated women and their admirers for almost a century now. Jaipur by Boucheron, is another perfume that invites you to discover mystic and enchanted Orient. The bottle is shaped as a bracelet which is considered a lucky charm in Rajasthan. This rich floral bouquet with sweet fruity notes was created in 1994. Jean-Claude Ellena, Hermès’ in-house perfumer, drew inspiration from Kerala– for Un Jardin Apres La Mousson (“Garden After Monsoon”) This perfume captures the quiet yet natural beauty of Kerala with its blue-green bottle and the smell reminds you of the romance of monsoons.

INDIA INSPIRED MAKE-UP

‘Bombay Express’,Chanel

In terms of Make-up too alot of brands have come up with India inspired collections. They have been inspired by the earthy tones, metallic sheen as well as the bright hues of India all of which goes perfectly well with the Indian skin. Chanel’s ‘Bombay Express’, designed by Creative Director Peter Philips are meant conjure up “a specific vision of India”, from “Surreal princesses from an idealised empire” to “the scent of jasmine” and “lavishness of the Maharajas”. Clarins a Paris-base cosmetic company that designed one of their fall collections based on Indian colors called Enchanted. Holi, a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus, inspires the colors in this collection. The Enchanted line consists of an eye shadow palette with a very Indian inspired packaging design. The collection features lips glosses named Pink Jaipur and Nude Delhi as well as a kajal eyeliner that Indian women have used as one of their makeup staples for centuries.Guerlain has come up with a mineral base collection called Terracotta which is supposed to be inspired by the earthy richness found it India. It has lip glosses by the name of Beige Bengali, Rogue Sultan and Pondicherry. It also has a Kajal mineral coal in Black Fakir.

INDIA INSPIRED ACCESSORIES

Christian Louboutin “India Inspired”

Christian Louboutin launched his gorgeous India inspired shoe collection earlier in 2012. This collection draws inspiration from India and Bollywood in particular. Earlier this year, he also opened up his first outlet in India. His love for India and its culture dates back to the days of 70s and 80s. He appreciates the diverse crafts and splendour associated with vibrant Indian culture. In his own words – “If India was a shoe; it would have to be a bright coloured sandal with some gold”. The collection has received a great welcome since its launch, its available in multiple colours, and have embellishments in studs and sequins reflecting the grandeur of Indian craftsmanship.
Judith Leiber has a definite affinity towards India. Besides the India inspired collection of Ganesh, Elephant and Camel they also has Indian fashion designer Suneet Varma design bags for them. Though I am not certain how I feel about carrying a Ganesh in my hand,as pretty as it looks I am certain I will offend some religious person (besides the fact that I doubt I can own the $6,000 piece)

INDIA INSPIRED FURNITURE

Charpoy collection Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien for Moroso

Furniture has its own place in India, so where we usually associate Indian furniture with heavy oriental or classic pieces, in the recent past designers have infused Indian traditional pieces with European styles and created a fusion collection. For instance Eames did a limited edition Indian inspired chair. In fact even Indian furniture designers like Alex Davis have come to their own whereby they have been taking inspiration from India and creating furniture collections.
After their presentation of the Charpoy collection Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien continue their partnership with Moroso in the shape of two new products, My Beautiful Backside and Princess. Like Charpoy, these display a fusion of two worlds, India and Europe.My Beautiful Backside has a lacquered wood base frame with large cushions fixed to it to form the backrest. The cushions are covered with Indian textiles and decorated with very large, extremely beautiful buttons. Fabrics include silk and cotton and a Kvadrat wool cloth designed by Giulio Ridolfo which is woven like an Indian silk, the warp and weft are of two different colours.The Princess version, so-called for the Princess and the Pea fairytale, has five mattresses one of top of the other with variously coloured edges

INDIA INSPIRED FABRICS AND WALLPAPER

Amrapali by Tricia Guild for Designer Guild

Indian prints have been great inspiration for fabrics all over the world. This has been going on for years in forms of fabrics and wallpapers. For instance Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s Jaisamand wallpaper for Graham and Brown. He named his line in honor of one of India’s most spectacular natural landscapes and used Rajasthani-inspired colorways. Or Morris & Co. which has had its own Indian design section for a long time. But there are also designers like British design Tricia Guild whose main inspiration for design has been India. She has lived in India and wandered all over taking inspiration and creating designs inspired by India and for India. Her latest collection Amarapali for instance is a beautiful collection with bright flowers.

INDIA INSPIRED FOOD

The Bollywood Collection, Laduree

The French who are undoubtedly the best pastry chefs also took inspiration from India to create the Laduree Bollywood collection. The collection does not extend to flavour as much as the colour and shape. Sold in a box of four, the collection kind of looks like a box of sweets from India: Indian pink being grenadine strawberry, citrus green is mint chocolate, canary yellow is citrus lemon and ivory-white are coconut raspberry balls. The collection is also a slight departure from the usual macaroon recipe. Each ball consists of a biscuit garnished with cream and coated in a very light meringue.

Trend: Peachy Coral

Coral is not a strange hue to appear in Autumn-Winter, but this time it has taken the unique Avtaar of a pleasant peachy-coral combination. All across fashion and decor this trend is quite visible. Here have a look:

By Isha Marwaha
By Isha Marwaha
  1. Bag, Marc Jacobs
  2. Nail Paint, Chanel
  3. Cushions, Shades of India
  4. Body Lotion, Chopard
  5. Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick, Yves Saint Laurent
  6. Love by Chloe
  7. Silk Scarf by Chloe, Boticca
  8. Stilettos, Dior
  9. Ramp, Gucci A/W 2014-15
  10. Two-tone ring, Michael Valitutti
  11. Tea light Holder, Pure home + Living
  12. Cushion Cover, Address Home
  13. Peach Sofa, Pallate
  14. Candle by Voluspa, Amara
  15. Wall Art, Lifestyle by Home Center

Dior Cupcake delight

Dessert is not just about flavour anymore, it is also about who designs it as we saw from the example of Jimmy Choo Pastries a few weeks ago. A popular choice has been cupcakes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton did it and now it is Dior’s turn to collaborate with Harrods and come up with limited edition cupcakes. Each cupcake is designed with an iconic symbol including the Lady Dior Handbag and the Muguet Dress. These treats are available in limited quantities of four at USD 30 and they ship internationally for a small fee. For more details go onto Harrods online store. I think they are the perfect gift, exclusive and not too expensive. So if anyone is looking to gift me something….

image

I had done this article a few months ago during Indian independence day, but suddenly feel very patriotic, hence the urge to re-blog the post

Style City

When Slumdog Millionaire released, most of my Indian friends were quite mortified by the portrayal of India in the movie. I never really got down to watching the film, besides bits and pieces when it came on television. And I am certain if I were to watch the whole movie I really would not have been offended. What I have been noticing though is the major influence India has been making in the design and fashion circuit since the movie. I mean earlier Indian inspiration came only in form of prints and a few graphic symbols like Laxmi or Ganesh on T-shirts and Bedcovers, which came in the category of street fashion or hippie fashion, or there would be a one-off India inspired piece. Whereas now, there are full collections by renowned fashion and design houses which are being inspired by India. And I don’t blame them, in terms of design India has got a whole lot of inspiration, from…

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News: Brad Pitt designs furniture

So as everyone must have by now seen and formed their own personal opinion, unless ofcourse you are living under a pile of rocks with no internet, TV or print media to aid you; Brad Pitt is the new face of the Chanel. The ad shows clips of an array of women going through various activities and dressed such, from casual weekends to office to glamour and Brad Pitt standing against a grey backdrop saying a few lines looking doe-eyed and fake in my opinion.

Well I don’t know about you but the ad did not really work for me, firstly because for the longest time when I heard about it I thought Chanel has gone Homme even until the first clip where its only Brad Pitt. After I put both clips together I figured it’s still femme but somehow minus the allure and exclusivity of Chanel. I mean with the earlier ads the women were fabulous like Marilyn Monroe, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tatou, Catherine Deneuve, you wanted to taste their scent. Now it seems just random and Brad Pitt really doesn’t help. As for Mr.Pitt First Chanel now Luxury furniture, he is definitely keeping himself occupied in other avenues. Pitt, collaborated on the collection with U.S. furniture designer Frank Pollaro. Pitt has previously worked with well-known architects for his Make It Right foundation to create affordable quality housing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He also designed a diamond ring for his partner, Angelina Jolie, when the couple got engaged earlier this year. From the couple of pieces featured in Architectural Digest I can say I am half impressed,as in a few pieces I loved and few I loathed. His inspiration comes from Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow Rose,he designed his collection with the fluidity of a single line, be it geometric or circular.I cannot wait for the official Pitt Pollaro site will launch on November 11th at: http://www.pitt-pollaro.com/

You guys have a look as well and let me know what you think. Works for you or not?
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