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Touched By Technology : The power of SMARTclothing

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Our lives are slowly turning into a virtual world (Umm..quite similar to an advanced video game, don’t you think??) and everything around us is transforming itself into the digital format. From grocery shopping to clothes shopping to shoe shopping  to all other things. Its all click click and click ! With a click you can enter into a new world which is a place created specially for you and you get lost into that virtual world replacing your real world reality for a short period of time. Starting with the internet technology  and moving on to Personalisation options, virtual reality, augmented reality and now the internet of things have made this possible. In our daily lives, we use many digital gadgets which are at the forefront of all our everyday activities. Several products such as google glass, apple watches and various kinds of fit bands have taken to this technological development and have started the trend of wearable technology. But did we ever think that it could go beyond this, even transcend into our clothes.

Our existing fashion schools are known for imparting the best techniques of garment design and construction. Our biggest fashion legends have established fashion houses making beautiful clothes with fabric and embellishment. But is it really time, when tech freaks enter this side of the creative world as well ?? Like every other industry that they have touched, they have touched the world fashion too, transforming clothes into digital pieces of style. Lets go on this journey further and see how has technology been impacting the world of fashion and how it is changing the eminent fashion industry.

“You’re starting to see a displacement of the money spent on fashion – clothes, accessories and shoes – to money spent on smartphones,” said Stéphane Marceau, co-founder of Canadian startup OM Signal

CUTE CIRCUIT

k-dress_gray-600x600_1_cropped_3Cutecircuit hasn’t replaced the tradition of beautiful garments; they have kept the legacy but at the same time incorporated technology to make the clothes light up. Beautiful silk dresess, pleated with ancient methods by artisans adding the tech element of lights that can make you shine along with a chance to experience something new..!

Cutecircuit makes garments that involve sensors and smart fabrics to make clothing that can do all sorts of fun things. Katy Perry insisted to wear their unusual piece at the Met Gala that made fashion news. Everyone wanted a light up dress !The popularity of this dress eventually led the designers to do some commercial designs.

 Katy Perry in Cute Circuit at the Met Gala

Katy Perry in Cute Circuit at the Met Gala

Nothing is complete without the involvement of social media. You must be wondering how.! Cute circuit made a couture twitter dress that has live tweets running on it in real time basis. It was modeled by Nicole Scherzinger on the red carpet- she totally rocked it and made a fashion statement. Look at where our future is taking us…soon marketers will be able to advertise on clothing with such technology.

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And this is not all, this brand actually did an entire collection on interactive clothing that can change colours, display tweets, change patterns and designs and yeah best of all, it can be controlled via an app on your phone. Their collection has been shown and appreciated at many fashion weeks around the world.

What I really admire about this designer duo is that, they didn’t stop.They came up with the idea a decade ago when the concept seemed like a mere fiction but they had the foresightedness to understand the market, trend and consumer behavior. They believed in their vision and made it happen and the world accepts it today because times have changed and we are induced with the techno virus in our veins and blood stream.

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Besides the lights and the runway glam of fashion tech, we have other garments that help people look and feel better. We have seen plenty of fitbands from designer versions to sports versions; lets see how clothes can make you monitor your health. We are talking about clothing with sensors that monitors your movement and in some cases even corrects your posture incase you are doing something wrong with your workout regime.And off course you can wash all these clothes and they are wireless ..haha just sayin..! As the technology goes smarter and smaller, designers can push boundaries further..the possibilities are endless.

Lets see some good looking smart clothes that can help you achieve your fitness goals. Many brands now make such clothing for athletes and fitness freaks. Heddoko like many others mentioned below lets you analyse the results via an app on your phone. This garment and the app is special because it literally acts like your personal instructor, giving you real time feedback on your posture to avoid injury. Similar performance trackable biometric gear is available by OM (omsignal.com), Athos (liveathos.com), Gymi (gymi.com.au), clothing+ (clothingplus.fi),Xsensio (xsensio.com),AIQ smart clothing.The clothes have several sensors which are linked mostly to a wifi device that collects all your data while you workout which you can analyze via the app on your phone. Some of them have odor control and moisture control abilities. You can measure your heart rate, repetitions, number of sets, blood pressure, body temperate, muscle stretch and some can even tell you when you’re dehydrated. And you know..some of these are even used by hospitals (clothing+) to monitor a patients heart rate…truly amazing.

Watch these amazing videos and be tempted to get one of your own…

Now moving ahead, Imagine this scenario:

“A women get in a pub. She is wearing her Love-shirt. Her phone starts to viber. In this pub, a profile is matching. Who is making her phone viber? Curiosity, doubt, impatience, fear, ambiguity…. Technology can stop there. The user can choose to not meet her match. She can also try to find who is the matching profile guy. Only the person who wants can reveal who he is.”
(source:r-shirt.fr)

Check out the r-shirt website to know more.. they do interesting shirts for office and even a ‘safe shirt’ that can help you track your child at all times and off course the Loveshirt..Oh la la..!

So, smart clothing is not only limited to fun and leisure. This one will really amaze you..!

Cancer Detection Clothing..

You can detect your cancer, pneumonia and you can also get scans of your body..just like an MRI. Wear the clothes and scan yourself with the app, its as simple as that. Oh yes and they are raising money for the cause, so if you wish to contribute, go and visit their website..cancerdetectingclothing.com. Its tried and tested and awaiting the patent.

Okay the next one, is pretty cool as well ..just like all the others…

Mommies and their crying babies..sleepless nights..anxiety…frustration and tired parents of new born babies…isn’t this is the worst part about having a baby. Well not anymore…Smart Clothing acting like baby monitors but way more advanced.

Have a look at a few options available for babies…

The clothes have a small device that can track your babies movements, sleeping pattern, eating pattern, temperature alert and many other things that youre worried about; all via an app on your phone. Now parents of new borns can sleep in peace. Look out for clothing by Exmobaby, sensible baby, owlet baby, Mon devices…check these out if you’re struggling as well.

Let me quickly take you through a few other amazing smart clothing items available out there.

The amazing jacket by Tommy Hilfiger. Keeps you warm and your phone charged at all times. The jacket has solar panels on the back which are removable. So charge away and stay warm..no more dying batteries.

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Can you imagine clothes that can conduct electricity? well after going through this post, im sure you can..You can charge your phone, light a torch and many other things just while walking. No more batteries and plug in points. CaseMad is made this possible by making clothing out of fabric that help in electricity generation through movement called Triboelectricity (current created by friction).Energy is passed throughout a cycle and its never ending., so your smart clothing transfers this energy into the device.

Can you talk to anyone without your phone? what a stupid question it this, off course not, right..??

But now you can. CaseMad can make this possible too. Imagine shirt buttons as buttons of your phone, click the buttons to call and speak into the collar or raise your cuff to talk to another person. Dial by tapping on your cuff with button controls in your shorts.Place the sim card in a compartment and simply pair it up with the device in your shirt, all enabled through wifi.

Some more interesting future gadgets are ghost keyboards, smart jackets with screens, fitness trackers in your sneakers and much more.

And Lastly, guess what? Google has ventured in smart clothing too, they know how to stay ahead. Google in coordination with Levis is working on ‘project Jacquard’ to create woven fabrics using smart threads. The button sized computers will allow communication with the mobile phone and users can control their interaction through their phone by swiping their hands across the fabric.

‘Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms,’ said Google.

This a perfect way to end this blog..until next time..Keep reading.. >>>

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Taking your Midi Skirt from Summer to Winter..

We all have seen Midi skirts flooding the summer of 2015, from runways to celebrities to retail. The skirt made a come back this summer after being showcased briefly in 2012 by a few designers on the runways. The Midi has always received varied and complementing reviews from fashionistas and stylists. Some absolutely love it and some loath it. Well I belong to the first category, and i love its potential. One trend that anyone of any size and shape can wear if styled in the right way. Oh and yes..not to forget in any season. Most of us live live in cities with a brief summer season which we all love and we tend to buy a lot of summer clothes as they are super fun. But after summer goes away, it is an added stress when it comes to storing them, that is the time when you regret making all those stylish short term trendy purchases. Well I too find it hard to do the summer/winter cleaning, i have taken over several closets and still don’t find the space to keep it all in order. So now i try..yes ..only try (the temptation gives in many times)..to buy clothes that i will be able to wear both seasons. So lets see how you can style your Midi Skirt that you wore in the summer and are  now thinking “lets wear it a couple of more times now..before the winter kicks in”.

Dont worry girls..keep the skirt in your winter pile of clothes..!

The varied Lengths

we have heard many say, the Midi makes your calves look chunky as it cuts you off right at the chunkiest part. Well there is no denying to that, but there are several different lengths and styles available and you can really choose what works best for you. And incase, you love the one that cuts you off in the calves..don’t worry ..even then there are ways to make it work.

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     The Long Midi

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The Short Midi

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The Mid-length

Who said, Midi is for the ultra tall. I am petite and yet i love this trend. Girls break the norms, experiment with it and you’ll make it work. Let me give you a few tips on how can petite girls wear this trend in winter.

Match your stockings with your shoes…This solves two dilemmas ..firstly your calves don’t look as chunky anymore and secondly the monochrome adds height. One another thing you can do is, choose a pump with your stockings, i personally love the pump, the ‘V’ totally works if you’re short. Try it for yourself, wear a peep toe in one foot and a pump in the other.

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    Monochrome it…stocking and shoes

 

The Winter Hues..!

To take your midi from summer to winter, you can add winter colours in your top option or in your accessories. This totally works and takes your summer outfit to winter. You’ll always see certain typical colours ruling the winter season such as Tan, Mustard, Maroon/Ox blood, Greys, Olive green (you’ll always find tints and tones of these colours in every season forecast). Add these colours in your bag, top, coat or even your shoes. Dark lips such as berry and currant also work.

    Here is how you add winter shades with your summer skirt..!

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Pull-Over-it..!

I am personally a big fan of wearing sweaters with skirts. I  usually wear my summer pieces by combining them with pullover or cardigans in the winter. They really work with Midi skirts. If you’re tall, go ahead and wear your turtle necks and chunky knits and if you’re petite pick options that stick closer to your body, you can even try ribbed wearers, short cardigans and cropped sweater styles. Also tall girls, also have the option of leaving your sweater out but as for petite girls, i would suggest them tucked into your skirt. Sometimes, even adding a belt over your untucked sweater (on your waist,to add definition) can work.But hey..this is not a hard and fast rule..Have fun with it.. Its about how you pull it off.!

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Wear the New Fur trend…

The winter season always brings fur back in trend. This season its the Fur clutch and fur scarf. This can instantly bring a winter feel to a not so winter outfit.See how this can work.

whitemidiskirt_17  wear a fur clutch

The Fur clutch

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wear it with a fur stole

The Fur Scarf

The magic of layering..

You can do this in so many ways and each time you can make a piece of clothing look different. When it comes to your midi, wear with a sweater with a shirt under it or with a cardigan and a coat or even with a pullover and a blazer. But my favourite is the leather jacket. The mix of the feminine with a rugged biker jacket works well for girls who don’t like the frills and cardigans. It also adds that modern vibe to the classic midi.

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main.original.585x0Sarah Rutson at Stella McCartney

 

Check-Mate….

Plaids and checks in winter colours and winter fabrics can also be worn with for winter midi. Add both these classics together for a great look. There are a variety of checked shirts and blazers available with badges and even beautiful gold accessories or even studs. Choose the one closest to your style and wear it with your summer skirt.

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Quick and easy accessories….

Lastly…Dont forget your accessories! knew high boots, scarves and hats can all transform that summer look to a winter look. Wear your scarves in different ways or even like a turban wrapped on your head. Knee high boots are a quick way to achieve this transition, i really like the new elasticated panel knee high boots, they cling well onto your legs and avoid them from looking bulky. Even great for petite girls who wish to wear long boots.

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                                                                             The Knee high boots

 

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  Hats and Scarves

Girls…just remember Midi is not just for your grandma..you can wear and style it in a unique and modern way. Just enjoy experimenting with it. Until next time…toddles..!

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Style Yourself..VINTAGE..!

 

“Each skirt, blouse, necklace, or humble shoe said something – certain pieces screamed, and others whispered seductively, but no matter, she experienced each item’s expression keenly, and she loved this world.Every article suggested an image, a life, a kind of woman, and she felt drawn to them.” This is an image of a woman who adores her materialistic possessions: UNIQUE, TIMELESS AND VINTAGE.

How often you cribbed when your mother gave you her old clothing from her young days and expected you to wear it.??

How you made a face and stacked them in some corner of your closet thinking ‘ how boring and out of style’ are these clothes. But think again, for many these old, boring clothes might be a “ collectors item”.

You must have heard the quote “old is gold” : and for a classic item like a LBD, many would also say “you can never be under dressed or over dressed in a little black dress”. So girls think again, all handed over and passed on clothing might not be too bad. You can always wear it even now and flaunt it as vintage fashion.

Famous people and their unique LBD's

Women all over the world spend million of dollars to buy these passed on old clothes and this habit of possessing old clothing has opened a new genre into the fashion world called ‘vintage clothing’.

 ‘But what exactly is Vintage Clothing’..????….Well the answer is quite simple….

Vintage is clothing, that is atleast 25 years old.

Now you would wonder, why would someone want to wear old clothing, which are out of trend?

Wearing vintage provides an opportunity to sport beautifully crafted clothes that are individualistic and are a unique piece of history. The best part being you stand out in prints and silhouettes that are no longer made these days. It is not about trends therefore, it has a long lasting appeal.

Another Question that comes to our minds is..Why Vintage came up and became so popular..??

Yesteryear’s classic items going through a modern day revival set place for old to be appreciated. For example the timeless chanel suit, the classic Audrey Hepburn lbd, the 40’s dior look with the peplum silhouette, all these are indeed items that never go out of style and these can be passed on from one generation to another and be worn without any tweaking.

The Chanel Suit & The New look by Dior

 But in todays world, where making a statement and dressing unique is the trend, all these vintage clothes need is a little bit of your own style and a personal touch.

 “Reinvent new combinations of what you already own. Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.”

It is also these vintage influences from the past that you see in today’s fashion trends. For examples the 40’s being in vogue or a mix of 60’s and 70’s . Year after year, its these influences that build the fashion for our generation.

Sixties inspiration in todays times

So in other words we all wear modern contemporary vintage clothes. And wearing vintage does not always have to be expensive, just some vintage inspired can also do the trick. Many brands these days, like free people, Modcloth, Ruche sell imitation vintage clothes.

You don’t have to wear vintage from top to bottom, you can definitely pair it up with your modern finds and make a modern day style statement.

Vintage dressing has also made popular by various celebrities like kate moss and sienna miller and stylists like Rachel zoe, these women have influenced fashion philosophies of various other women. Every year on the catwalks, you see vintage inspired or brands that have devoted their life to everything vintage.This is because, the love for vintage is growing and so are its followers.

Many brands and magazines, year after year choose Vintage as their inspiration. And every year they manage to style Vintage in an interesting way. Here is one of the shoots I styled keeping the Vintage theme in mind for the Gloria Magazine.

Another Advertisement shot by luxury brand Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana to name a few have used Vintage as inspiration recently.

Vintage inspired street style is also gaining popularity. Lets talk about a few tips and tricks on Styling Yourself Vintage..!

How to do vintage:

Vintage finds could range from plaid woolen blazers, loafers, crochet and brocade jackets, flapper dresses and so on so fourth. You can always add your own quirk to these pieces.

For example, a classic black cocktail dress worn with a nice sharp blazer paired with contrasting heels or a beautiful silk vintage blouse worn with leather high waist shorts or palazzo pants and incase of a chanel tweed skirt surely try breaking it with a short biker jacket.

And incase you want to be vintage inspired, combine classic hand crafted elements like crochet, delicate lace, detailed embroidery , tweed, ruffles and puffed sleeves, luxurious fabrics like silk and velvets and other classic silhouettes like pencil skirts, long straight coats etc.

VINTAGE  STREET  STYLE

Do’s & Don’ts of Vintage:

  1. There is a way to wear vintage and a way for vintage to wear you. Remember to keep your personal style in mind. Don’t make vintage a costume, wear it piece by piece and let the emphasis remain.
  2. Use the stylish celebrities of the past eras to inspire your look. Take a look back at Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. They were always glamorous and chic.
  3. It doesn’t matter what other people think. Finding the perfect vintage piece for your style is all about you. Go with what you love.

Accessorizing your vintage:

Go loud. Large Statement necklace, gold broach or chandelier earings, they all can make your vintage clothes shine. Hats are another way of going back a few centuries. This is also an opportunity to wear a feminine dress or floral blouse. And if you have chosen one of those big fancy vintage hats, make sure to keep the rest simple. Pair it up, with a nice blazer, skinny jeans and knee high boots.you can also Style yourself vintage, with sunglasses. Choose a unique pair and make it center stage (avoid heavy eye makeup) but if want that extra classiness, a red stained lip can be perfect. It adds a retro/pin up inspired look.

During old times, these clothes represented  the elegance, craftsmanship and the glamour but now people appreciate them because their interest in contemporary design.

Collecting and buying vintage fashion can be a great way of investing money. Its like property (but for fashion lovers), that one would buy and get double returns later.

Today’s Contemporary designers are being inspired by the fashion archives and are taking full advantage of this obsession by translating long forgotten designs into modern pieces and resurrecting dormant fashion houses.

Today’s new is tomorrow’s history, therefore if one can classify items that will have that vintage eminence in the future, you can really invest in the right kind of clothing and own a few futures’ collectibles.

Vintage is all about embracing your personal style in things of own and pieces you love, rather than being dictated by the current runway trends. So girls, get started and embrace Vintage.

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Speaking chic to power

Power turns many heads and powerful people inspire many others, that is the whole deal with power, but this power didn’t come so easily to women. Women have struggled immensely through societal issues and revolutions to reach a point where they are accepted and are considered responsible to deal with power and its side effects.

But amidst all the revolutions there stood fashion, it has the strength to make what a person is saying more or less believable. Even in the earlier days, fashion represented the changing times; it brought out the feelings of rebelliousness or acceptance to the various events. Like 60’s emancipation of women led to mini skirts, bikinis and shorter clothes as compared to the 50’s house wifey midi length dresses.

 Similarly, just as women compete neck to neck with men, they have to look powerful in order to play the part; this symbolism through fashion is women’s strongest weapon today.

Independent women of today influence my thought, desires and the sense of style .It expresses who they are and furthermore how they wished to be perceived.

For example, wear a jacket with a power shoulders and tell me you don’t feel strong like a power puff girl, ready to rule and save the world.

This form of power dressing, expresses their inner goals and their leadership qualities making them seem authoritative and competent . Be it puffed shoulders, pencil skirts, blazers, various kinds of pants, today’s women have learnt to make old boring clothes really stylish. some accessories, belts on jackets, stylish prints on sheath dresses or simply newer surface and silhouette styles makes these women stand out and look stylish even at work. The term ” dress to success” fits right in and perfectly.

There is something different about these independent women: from their attire to their attitude to their confidence, it all screams identity and stature. The circle of life where women have to play various roles, they now have to keep the demure  figure inside but depict their strong authoritative self in order to be taken seriously at the workplace.

The blend of the feminine sexuality and the bold strong persona is the hardest to achieve. Infact I have always noticed, powerful women look noticeably attractive without revealing skin or wearing sexy clothes.  Notice these strong women, be it politicians or the first leaders, the royalty or the fashion leaders like Anna wintour, they rise to power because they have found a way to navigate the style issue, which is a tricky balance to strike. I will take you thorough a journey of such women and how they influence fashion and the new art of dressing androgynously. 

Lets take examples from friction before we move on to the real world. Many television shows and their characters depict such fearless women, who rule the world of politics, businesses and even men.

Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada

I am sure everyone remembers and admires Miranda priestly, in the devil wears Prada. Her impact character, her chic and influential personality, her ruthless what she wants is what she gets nature and her impeccable style statement designates her as the devil and the ruler.

Anna Wintour,Editor In chief- American Vogue

An example of such caliber from real life would be of Anna Wintour, Editor of the American Vogue. Infact what many of us don’t know is that, Miranda Priestley’s character seems to be inspired from an experience of being Anna’s assistant by Lauren Weisberger (writer of ‘The devil wears prada’).

In the world of fashion, these women are the leaders and their word is gospel, so they are enshrined as the most powerful women in the industry. Let me show you Anna’s influence on the world. Fur was a last season commodity once upon a time, no one wore it and it had been long since someone bought it, suddenly this woman in 2009 displays fur jackets on the cover of vogue. Offcourse, it was back with a bang, flooded the fashion scene and since then there is no looking back. This woman can flip the industry and decide what the world will wear and what the designers will showcase on the runway and what the mass producers will sell, its just fabulous…!

Lets see how fashion made them even stronger personalities. Their strong white hair, Anna’s bold move to wear large dark sunglasses while Miranda’s signature white Hermes scarf are a fashion quirk that indeed make them both stand out. Women don’t really have to dress in navy suits to command respect; fashion is more like a detail or a flourish that can enhance or distract. Today there are several ways of catching the right kind of powerful attention.

Nico, Wendy and Victory: Power dressing in The Lipstick Jungle

Another Tv show that catches my eye and portrays powerful women is lipstick jungle. The style of dressing of each of these successful women, is an addition to their power.

Three women, Three different jobs, and three immaculate styles of dressing. From slightly flirty, to conservative to power dressing with bold accessories. There are certainly many ways. This is what the series shows us.!

Lady Gaga

 Always subtle wins…. lady gaga proves this statement Wrong, making it to power with her own pop signature style.

By embracing pop art fashion, quirky eccentric looks she made it to number two on forbes list of most powerful women in 3 years of her music career. Its not only the avant garde fashion that she is popular for, its her elaborate performances and sartorial experimentation that create visual impressions for todays age of viral marketing. There is always something interesting to talk about that excites media, fans, followers, and not to forget the royalty. She seems to be fearless, she is fearless on stage, when she opens her mouth and when she makes appearances in strong inspirational costumes. All this effort by her and the ‘haus of gaga’ gets her on to the front pages.

Madame Coco Chanel

Another woman who revolutionized and turned heads was Madame Coco Chanel. Her clothing style embodied much more than appearance and it also contained a message about women, their freedom, equality and ability to express themselves through dress. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen the movie ‘Coco Avant Chanel’.

She forced the acceptance of more ‘masculine’ designs and set a precedent for the coming of women’s liberation.

She started the pants revolution, and her simplistic and fluid style of clothes (trousers, pullovers, sailor jackets) represented an alternative style of dressing that women embraced over the years. Another achievement was the chanel No.5. The perfume signified the change in the fragrance market not only in terms of the name but also with the simplistic bottle design, rare to find at that time. And obviously we cannot forget the chanel suit, every woman wants to own a version of this timeless classic. 

Lets move beyond fashion to the serious world of politics, which is still a man- dominated area. Women still are struggling hard to make place and thus they don’t want to come across as frivolous and fashion conscious empty heads. They decline to talk about fashion and their choices that they make unless they make it to a position that is well accepted or unless they are first ladies. But at the same time you don’t want to be one those many women dressed in black pant suits, therefore its very important to create your subtle style statement for identity sakes. Political women believe that the business strong suits are a nod to the fact that their feminity spells of danger for their political credibility. But that’s not always true; there have been bold women in politics as well who have taken chances of dressing to create identity.

Margaret Thatcher: Former Conservative Prime Minister of UK: 1979 to 1990

Margaret Thatcher was a politician whose style choices were much talked about. Thatcher used the power of fashion to her advantage and never made a public appearance without looking anything other than immaculate. Not only was she on (or ahead) of trend with her power suits and perfectly coiffed hair, she also managed to send out an unmistakably businesslike image to the world. It is clear that her while her political legacy divided opinions, her fashion legacy is still lauded, having been photographed for Vogue several times and as recently as last year, aged eighty-two.

Sarah Palin:American politician, commentator and author

Similarly Sarah Palin, however, sent American fashionistas into a frenzy during the presidential elections with her patent red pumps and rimless glasses – people that may have ignored politics previously were made to sit up and take notice of a woman who was not afraid to show her femininity.

Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady in 1961

Remember, Jacqueline Kennedy, the American first lady of the 60’s. She took over the mainstream fashion of the time and she became famous for her fashion forward style of dressing. Clean silhouettes, A-line dresses and deco millinery (pillbox hat) became her trademarks and the ‘jackie look’ took over the fashion world like wildfire. Even the dark sunglasses and headscarves she wore in the grieving period of her husband’s death became a style statement. Therefore, this proves that political women can also show their power through the right selection of clothes.

Michelle Obama: American First Lady of the 44th president of United States

 Also another star is Michelle Obama, fashion icon and powerful women list winner. She is one women who knows how to dress, she will be and look a part of the American nation and promote sales of several brand because of her style statement. The lady being so comfortable in her fashion skin that she mixes high-end designer and high street labels with ease- with clothing from designer thakoon to J crew and from Calvin klein to gap; besides her signature gobstopper pearls, big belts and tailored sheath dresses, she doesn’t stop experimenting with other looks and her charm and strong personality makes them work like a charm even in the field of politics.

Amelia Earhart: American aviation pioneer

Besides TV stars, fashion personalities, poiliticans, there are other pioneering women. Women like Amelia earhart who took the bold step and made a mark in history proving that women can be at par with men. 

P.S…sorry guys for posting after soo long.!..Wont happen again..:)


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Think Japan: Think street style (part 2)

Japanese street style is very dramatic and OTT (over-the-top), similar to haute couture and avant- garde as seen in the European countries. To view the chronicles of japanese street style refer to ‘fruits’ and ‘fresh fruits’, these one of the most famous magazines in japan where one can see innovation at its best. The fashion that we see in these magazines was a movement that grew out of those young people networking with each other, being together and being inspired by each other.  The Japanese offer a truly radical fashion aesthetic, that doesn’t exist in the West.  The Japanese put their money where their mouth is, and are fearless. They aren’t afraid. FUN and FEARLESS fashion is what i would call it..!

Japanese Avant Garde VS Avant Garde in the West

Japanese Avant Garde

Cover of the FRUITS Magazine

Inspiration doesn’t stop at the youth here, designers like yojhi yamamoto, comme de garçons, junya watanabe, iseey miyake have intentionally flawed japanese fashion by incorporating asymmetric drapery and exaggerated proportions with mostly a monochrome palette. Abstract, innovative, modern, architectural, asymmetric, deconstruction are a few keywords that describe the style of the various designers.

Comme De Garçons

Comme De Garçons for H&M

Junya Watanabe

For example,Issey Miyake and his A-Poc creations( it is a long piece of fabric not needing any sewing, but simply cut by the wearer without wasting any fabric and worn.) and also pleases please (polyester garments, cut and sewn then finally pleated).

Another very innovative concept was by a designer Hiroaki Ohya, who created a series 21 ‘books’ that could actually fold into abstract garments.

Yojhi Yamamoto’s development of ‘de-construction’ is the most talked about in the world of fashion. This totally provided a new way of looking at fabric, texture, cut and image. The Japanese designers strive toward theatricality, visual splendor, and organic movement.

 

This is where the Japanese are distinctive, they get inspired from a trend/era that people all around the world tend to follow and give it a whole new identity by adding a personal touch that makes them stand out. Who could imagine an elegant style like Victorian can be merged with gothic and rococo to achieve trendy styles like ‘gothic lolita’ and ‘sweet lolita’.

‘sweet lolita’ focuses much more on the child like aspects and uses light colours and child like fantasy themes. Alice in Wonderland, fruits, sweets and classic fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood are a few popular ones.

Sweet Lolita & Gothic Lolita

Both these looks comprise of mini or knee-length frilly dresses with accents of crinoline and lace, corseting details and added ribbon with accessories like tiny top hats worn to one side with a lace ribbon tied under the chin, headbands or bonnets, dolls or teddy bears, parasols, frilly thigh high or knee high socks, opaque or fishnet stockings, white frilled aprons, and chokers with charms such as cameos, spiders, cherries, or skulls.

‘Gothic lolita’ which is dark and gloomy, It is characterized by crosses, spiders, bats, dark colours and gothic icons. One can actually get a taste of this style in ‘gothic and Lolita bible’ (magazine), or simply by shopping at ‘pink house’ (gothic Lolita, fashion label). And if you are in japan you can flock to the Yoyogi park in Harajuku on the weekends to experience this style in person. This style draws inspiration from the Victorian era where girls dress up to look like dolls but all done with a mysterious streak.

Then there’s the requisite punkish reference, most evident in pops of neon — be it on clothes and accessories or even streaked through the hair. Punk reminds me of a sub division of ‘Lolita’ called ‘punk Lolita’ that is inspired from the 70’s punk style in London-Vivienne Westwood, sex pistols are huge inspirations for this style. The style is different as compared to ‘punk’ all around the world; Along with original plaids and tartans, Japanese have amped it up with bright colors and extra decorative garments and accessories that the original punks could probably not have afforded. The rebelliousness is magnified with over-the-top makeup, and piercings. To experience Japanese punk style visit ‘sex pot revenge’ a shop that will provide you with all you need to act a part.

Punk all around the world: Vivienne Westwood & Sex Pistols

Japanese Punk lolita

More Punk lolita's from japan

In japan, fashion is not only a way of dressing rather it gets converted into a lifestyle like the Ganguro fashion that started as a kind of revenge against the traditional norm as to what feminine beauty should be soon became an offbeat fashion statement. Girls started dressing like American stars Naomi Campbell, Janet Jackson etc.- these gang girls wear tan makeup, dyed hair, white lipstick and eye shadow, black ink as eyeliner and false lashes.

They dress in brightly coloured clothes including miniskirts, tie-dyed sarongs, lots or rings, necklaces and bracelets. What started as a rebellion ended as a youth cult. Special magazines like the egg magazine and cawai are covering this group of teenagers and the height of the ganguro craze in japan. Ganguro culture evolved its own style of dances, know as Para Para, they dance to predetermined moves in sync to J-pop music.

Music also prompts me to narrate another popular trend in japan called  ‘Visual Kei’. Visual Kei refers to a movement among Japanese rock musicians and is characterized by the use of elaborate costumes, eccentric looks and hairstyles.

‘visual kei’ also gave way to ‘cosplay’ that started when fans started dressing up like their favorite band members. The ‘cosplay’ style of dressing extended on to anime and manga lovers. These Followers of Japanese comics and animation decided they enjoy dressing up as their favorite characters, and so it became a trend. Just like the rest of the world dresses up on Halloween, japan does it more excitingly at public events, gathering, shows and parties at various cosplay cafes.

The Japanese pop culture street fashion is creating a style that is an inspiration for Designers and celebrities – from Gwen Stefani to Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Gwen Stefani and Harajuku Girls

Kanye West for 'The Bathing Bape' a japanese clothing brand

For example, gwen stafani and her harajuku girls. Her album (harajuku lovers), later her clothing collection and accessories are an inspiration from japan and its fashion sub cultures. Even Americas next top model (cycle3) had a task where the models had to dress up like Japanese harajuku girls, the trick is here is not to try too hard, just observe and try to get the essence.

Gwen Stefani & harajuku girls: 'Harajuku Lovers' perfume

Americas Next Top Model: Cycle 3: Japan Fashion Task

To learn more, just try layering, mix and match, DIY techniques, asymmetry and along with that online shopping offered by various Japanese stores can be a way to experiment with the look. one can easily be accessible to Japanese fashion and by mixing it with your statement pieces, you can give it a whole new look.

Look boards: Inspiration for japanese fashion

Here are a few look boards that you can learn from, Soo keep experimenting and creating something fabulous,

innovative and out-of –the –box.

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Get Inspired: Japanese Street style

Around the world, designers, stylists and magazines dictate fashion but there is a place, where these important people act only as catalysts to the fashion scenario.

The destination being JAPAN, where fashion is purely led by the youth and by what they wear.

Be UNIQUE, Stand OUT, Make NOISE, and be YOURSELF… being their motto.

The only place where the youth sells fashion and act as stylists and marketers. The trendy fashion conscious teenagers who are admired for their style work as salesgirls to promote brands and their own style statement and sometimes they even end up designing for these stores. Without any formal degree in design and fashion these teenagers must surely be really talented.

Shoppers and Stylists at shops in Harajuku

According to me, fashion in Japan is quite pictographic; there is so much symbolism, expression and rebellion. What’s more unique is the fact that there are magazines for everything, from fashion in various districts to manga and anime, magazines for working women in various age groups to magazines for hairstylists and makeup artists and even for various fashion cultures and their sub cultures.

Biteki-working women: 20-30 years:Brand Joy-Info,well established brands:Curl- beauty & hair

Cazi Cazi-street fashion in kansai area:Choki Choki-hairstyle for men : Cosmode-Cosplay Mag

Japanese fashion to a layman might just be about kimono’s and the wooden geta sandals or the obi belt but what we don’t know is that it’s big on the street fashion scene. Street fashion as a category started from japan and ventured into different parts of the world. In the 1990’s,Youngsters on the streets of japan in shibuya and harajuku areas of tokyo marked a change in the way the youth were dressing. Out of all the same old uniform styles, an identity crises for individualism came about and the youth didn’t want to wear the clothes that everyone was wearing just because they were branded or in vogue. Therefore, they customized outfits by adopting a mixture of traditional and international current trends. The unique part of this street style being that these clothes were that they not available in any store rather they are suited to the wearer’s creativity and style. Therefore, each style and trend got divided into various sub categories as per the wearers experimenting capability. Like Lolita fashion was divided into ‘punk lolita’, ‘gothic lolita’, ‘sweet lolita’ and so on.

 customized, self crafted fashion

Even now such fashion is generally combined with handmade, secondhand and alternative designer fashion in an innovative ‘DIY’ (do-it-yourself) approach to dressing.

 Do-It-Yourself Style

In general the Japanese street style is eclectic. The Tokyoites would wear prints, plaids, leopard spots, ruffles, lace and Fair Isle knits, all topped with voluminous scarves, lots of fur trimmings or lots of accessories. The quirkier the better is their catch phrase, from clothes to headgears: with looks ranging from oversize earmuffs to a miniature pillbox or ‘kawaii’ hairbands and clips.

Eclectic Layering with volume, plaids, color,prints and texture

Talking about ‘kawaii’ let me describe this in more detail, Kawaii means “cute” or “pretty this plays an important role in Japanese culture, entertainment, food, clothing, toys, fashion and behavior. Kawaii fashion generally relates to someone wearing clothing that appears to be made for young children or clothes that accentuates the cuteness of the individual wearing the clothing.

'Kawaii' Fashion

For example, the ‘hello kitty’ that is really popular on clothing and accessories, be it teenage girls or adult women, this ‘kawaii’ character is seen all over the streets. It’s a bit like the short-lived ’80s nostalgia fad that hit North America recently, when girls were sporting My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake t-shirts.

 To accentuate this style, one can take the help of the ‘decora’ trend. Lots of layering and colorful accessories define decora. The accessories include plastic and furry toys and jewelry and more jewelry and more jewelry. The more the better is the key!

'Decora' Fashion

This is not the end to sweet things in japan, lets not forget the ‘fairy kei’ and ‘dolly kei’. There are lots of combinations of the pastel colors, or pink and red, pink and white and pink and black, with pink being the most abundant. Fairy style is being supported by an adult woman who prefers lovely items. The pioneer of fairy style is fashion producer Sebastian Masudea who opened the fairy cloth shop “6% DOKI DOKI” in 1996. He is coordinating everything by himself from the make up of shop clerks to exterior and interior according to his themes, which are “sensational and lovely”, “not only cute but also happy” and “feeling of unreality”.

'Fairy Kei' Fashion: A Photoshoot

6% Doki Doki: The famous Fairy Kei Store

Doki Doki: on Seattle Tv : From their travels of 2011

‘Dolly kei’ on the other hand,is one of Japan’s newer styles but unlike some of their trends its very earthy.It has a feel of medieval Celt and Russia, folksy garments which are antique centric.It takes inspiration from antique (and slightly spooky) dolls and movies such as Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter.Its full of florals, furs and dark colours. Its cute in a fairy-tale kind of way reminiscent of a Russian doll.This style began when now infamous shop ‘Grimoire’ was opened.The Japanese are a well-known nature focused nation with Shinto and a belief in spirits therefore,this style  combines the gothic side of loligoth with the nature vibe of mori kei (forest girl).

Shop: Grimoire in shibuya,Tokyo

With all this and so much more, japan is a destination for inspiration and an amazing pool of art and craft. If this has excited you, there is more coming about in my next blog…soo keep reading know more about japan and its fashion and its subcultures..!

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Rippled all the way

Summer of 2011 brought us closer to new fun trend i.e. pleated skirts.Lets see the pleated trend forecast.

What inspired me  to research and write about this trend is a shoot that i came across in Marie Claire India. The beauty and elegance,the nude colours just took me to a fantasy world and my stylist brain urged to experiment and create more looks with this trend.

Look created by me for styling services at Select Citywalk:

Nude Pleated skirt: Mango
Coral top:Forever New

Pleats are flooding all over be it runway,celebrities or streets.Pleats are available in all colours, lengths and styles.Lets go deep in this rippled pleat world and help you discover your favorite kind of pleated skirt.

The Most famous kind of pleat this season is the knife pleat and the sunray pleats.Knife pleats are single pleats that all go in the same direction; sunray pleats are knife pleats that are cut to start smaller and get wider towards the bottom, creating a flared-out effect.

knife pleats seen at Christopher Kane show

Another most popular one being the Accordion pleat. This is the one being used on most of the maxi and mid length skirts.

Accordion Pleat skirt at Zara

The Maxi  is the length for the season,be it dresses or skirts, so don’t be afraid to stock up as they are likely to remain in trend for a while. For a statement piece, invest in a pleated maxi skirt in a sheer fabric..well yes combine the two trends together for that ultra romantic ethereal look.This is a trend that has early 20th century influences and a sense of elegance, or a contrasting sense of 70’s glamour.Choose lightweight fabrics like silk tulle, crepe,Georgette and chiffon and swish your skirt and have fun.

If you like it short and stiff, choose box pleats. The schoolgirl looking skirt is ideal with long boots or long socks.

Eva Mendes in a Stella McCartney box pleat skirt

Make your pleated skirts look distinctive by contrasting it with denim, leather,blazers or even jersey it  down or just a little bit of shimmer and spunk to dress it up.

I have picked items and created some looks for all the fashionistas out there who want to wear 
this trend with panache.

look 1:

This look centers around the Nude skirt and a special focus to the summer. Incorporating two main trends i.e. floral and nudes you can style your pleated skirt and walk around town. An addition to the look is the white summer blazer for the cool evening breeze or for those fashionistas who would love to travel with this look.

FOCUS: How to wear a blazer with your pleated skirt

Look 2:

PLeated skirts look great when worn with something rugged like denim, it breaks the feminity and works well for those women who are fans of androgynous dressing. Here, i have given options of the various denim silhouettes as well as three different accessory options. one can pick as per your style and personality.For those who like it simple wear the skirt with a classic denim shirt or jacket and for the ones who like it different try the skirt with cropped jackets or waistcoats.

FOCUS: How to wear Denim and pleats

Look 3:

This theme focuses on the giraffe print skirt and how one can wear the same skirt both in the day as well as night. Just by changing the accessories and the jacket you can walk out wearing the same skirt.For the day, i have used nude colours keeping summer in mind along with sweet floral scent and peach makeup shades to balance the harsh colour and print of the skirt. For the night, I have edged the look by using patent leather, studs and sequins along with the dark smoky palette for the eyes.

FOCUS: How to wear  your pleated in leather & military style

Look 4:

Fur frenzied..fur is another big trend for fall/winter 2011. wear the two big trends together in a subdued winter palette of brown, mustard and grey. These four different looks are individualistic in their own way.

In the first look is an ordinary striped  T-shirt (by now everyone must be possessing heaps) is used with a sheer pleated skirt and a white tie waist fur jacket that adds character to the look.

The second look is for those who like bling and shorter skirts. When the gold shimmer skirt is used with the fur vest and print, it an interesting element.

The third look is with a simple denim shirt .it is quite casual in itself but when used with fur and a silk pleated skirt, it looks over the top and innovative.

The fourth look is a short silk pleated skirt paired with a cream blouse and a fur vest. The look is quite achievable and tested for the non risk takers.

FOCUS: How to wear Fur with pleated skirts

Look 5:

Bohemian is my favorite look so i have created five looks with pleated skirts keeping a few boho elements.The floral prints, fringes, peasant blouses,feathers are all boho ingredients, when combined with pleated skirts they add a whole new flavor.The right kind of accessories like belt, shoes, bags and jewelry add to the look.

FOCUS:How to wear the boho trend with pleated skirts.

Other ways of wearing a pleated skirt

Color Blocking:

Pretty in pink with textures

Loose and dropped

Monochromatic

Knotted

Floral 

Urban city chic

Casual T-shirt Day

Soo enjoy the ripples all through summer and winter, don’t be afraid to experiment..just follow a few looks created above and add your personal style for individuality. Hope it helps…

( For the items used in the look boards, view me on polyvore by clicking on the logo in the right side bar)

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