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.


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.


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.


‘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.


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)


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


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.


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.

January Style Picks

And the New Year is here, time for some new décor and new accessories.

1.Knot clutch, Bottega Veneta
2.Joska Vase, Visionnaire
3.Winchester Chair, The V Renaissance
4.Horse Esperanza 2014, Swarovski
5.Brown Rhinestone Veneer, Sonear
6.Travel Pouch, Maspar
7.Let there be light, Levante chandelier
8.Dining Set, India Circus
9.Imperial Horse Collection, by Dimple Nahar of 2DIVINE, The Lifestyle Temple
10.Brazil Bandhini Scarf, Hermes

LACOSTE celebrates its 80th anniversary with Maisons Francaise

There are collaborations and then there are collaborations. I for one have not seen such amazing products on display from so many brands that it is tough to select a favourite. For its 80th Anniversary, Lacoste has invited nine French houses to join the festivities, the names include Hermes, Baccarat, Bernardaud, Boucheron, Christofle, Fauchon, Goyard, S.T.Dupont and Veuve Clicquot. Each top end guest will treat the crocodile with An exclusive gift. These unique objects are symbols of the craftsmanship, expertise And know-how of some of the greatest names in French Luxury and are a tribute to 80 years of an extraordinary homage to Lacoste’s sense of innovation and excellence.

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The Crocodile’s anniversary party will be enlightened by an exclusive Baccarat creation — a crystal vase inspired by the tennis and golf trophies that René Lacoste, his wife, daughter, and all of the LACOSTE champions ever since, held high above their head. The design of this work of art is reminiscent of the prevalent shapes of the 30s. It stands as a tribute to the era where the Crocodile was ruling the tennis courts, while his wife was mastering golf courses.
To celebrate LACOSTE’s 80th anniversary, Bernardaud presents the Crocodile with 27 colourful porcelain golf tees reminiscent of the family- shared passion. The 27 different colours are directly inspired by the joyful palette of the LACOSTE polo-shirts. Until the 50s, the LACOSTE polo-shirt was only produced in white, but today, about 60 colours are available every season — an extension of the brand’s famous «joie de vivre»
In order to pay tribute to LACOSTE’s 80th anniversary, Boucheron created two exclusive brooches inspired by the legendary Crocodile. Boucheron is very famous for its animal-inspired creations. Made out of diamonds and emeralds, these exclusive jewels add up to Boucheron’s famous bestiary, now hosting two new crocodile guests. It also reminds us of a romantic move from tennis champion René Lacoste who gifted his wife a Boucheron brooch.
As René Lacoste was married to golf champion Simone Thion de la Chaume, golf represents an essential part of LACOSTE’s DNA. Their daughter — Catherine Lacoste— herself having embraced golf as a career reinforced this special relationship to that sport. Intrigued by these hereditary skills, Christofle drew its inspiration from that unusual family feature and pays tribute to LACOSTE on its 80th anniversary by producing the most exclusive silver golf club for the most exclusive players.
LACOSTE’s 80th anniversary is the chance for FAUCHON to pay tribute to the crocodile brand using its signature pastry: the éclair. Specially created for this event by the Maison’s pastry chefs, the FAUCHON éclairs for LACOSTE are green, magenta and white and come in four unique gourmet versions. The centres of these éclairs ooze elegant flavours, just like the LACOSTE collections. Food lovers will be able to choose between the truly creamy green tea, almond, vanilla, lemon and strawberry versions. These high fashion éclairs are bedecked with moulded chocolate shells that echo the texture of the famous LACOSTE piqué cotton polo shirts for the monochrome versions and glossy almond paste for the striped version. The legendary crocodile made from marshmallow adds the finishing touch to these creations.
For its 80th anniversary, LACOSTE is getting a very special gift from the French luxury trunk maker. In fact, Goyard is treating the Crocodile to an exclusive travel bag. It is indeed a perfect match considering the Crocodile’s universe, tinged with elegant journeys all around the world. This gift is also a tribute to the worldwide and well-established LACOSTE values. Mixing the two Houses’ codes — the Crocodile and stylized chevron-patterned monogram — this bag stands as a flawless illustration of Goyard’s traditional know-how.
Hermès pays tribute to LACOSTE’s tennis history with a unique gift conceived as a wink to the Crocodile’s birth. In the 1920s, tennis champion René Lacoste made a bet with his team captain about whether he would win a match he was about to play. The champion was given his nickname after the stakes of that bet — a suitcase made of crocodile skin — and soon started embroidering a crocodile on his legendary polo shirt. 80 years later, Hermès offers LACOSTE a crocodile tennis bag.
S.T. Dupont
For LACOSTE’s 80th anniversary, S.T. Dupont is presenting the iconic crocodile with a very special gift. The purposely mysterious case contains a beautiful lighter, two candles, a notebook and two pens: Elysée and Classique. Both functional and elegant, it’s the ideal kit for any chic sportsman on tennis courts or golf greens, before or after play. LACOSTE’s essential values, elegance and fair-play, also represent the core values of every champion. LACOSTE is deeply rooted in the sport values through its DNA, and with this gift, S.T. Dupont pays homage to that authentic heritage.
Veuve Clicquot
Since its foundation in 1772, the Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin House has remained true to its motto : «Only one quality, the finest». That is a simple way to sum up the essence of the brand. As one of the figureheads of French Champagne, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin is obviously designated to bring the famous bottle to LACOSTE’s anniversary party. The brand manufactured a special trolley for that matter, paying tribute to the brand’s golf heritage. On the night of the anniversary, the popping cork should echo the noise of a golf ball dropping in the hole on a golf course.Nicknamed «the great lady of Champagne» in 1805 when her husband passed away, the Veuve Clicquot became the first woman to lead a champagne house and one of the first businesswomen of the modern era.

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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The allure of France

France has been every girls fantasy destination. The romance it spells is the stuff dreams are made of and ofcourse some of the best romantic movies like Before Sunset (my all time favourite movie), Amelie and ofcourse Paris je’ Taime. Walk along the gorgeous Eiffel Tower backdropped by the River Seine.Sit by a charming French bistro, or have a picnic by the river banks, – every corner of Paris makes for excellent spots to romance your loved one. By night, the city seduces you with its elegant flair. But I want to concentrate on more than just the romantic aspect of Paris or France. I am referring to the amazing French Style, from the fashion to the decor to the architecture and food everything has its own charm. From the gourmet food, the breads, wine and cheese, pastries to the design houses like Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Yves St Laurent, France truly epitomises style and elan.














Vintage French style inspires me as much as the modern look. Now that we all are in agreement that the French Style is undoubtedly amazing here are tips to re-create it at home. Starting with ofcourse the basic, furniture. Speaking of which, The Great Eastern Home unveils its most recent addition to its classical furniture with an exclusive range of Louis XVI French Furniture Collection.This exquisite range from The Great Eastern Homedawns a classic look that promises to transform a living room into a Classical French Ambiance, a place where you will feel like you’re in a luxurious French suite. As a part of the Louis XVI French Furniture Collection, The Great Eastern Home also offers a range of French mirrors, dining table and other furniture masterpieces that are available in limited editions. The Louis XVI French Furniture Collection is a tribute to people who love the feel of classic styled furniture and who want to give their home a classical French feel.

Add these products to complete that French inspiration to your house or a room in your house.

Towel rack, House of Ishatvam
Marie Antoinette Chandelier, Bisazza









Maisons Enchantant dinner collection, Hermes
Carved Mirror, Chelini









On a last note, since we are always talking about French Pastries, here is an old shoot of mine, with recipes to recreate the same at home. Oh and Delhi’s first French Bistro, Rara Avis opened doors to us this week. Review to follow soon