Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kallol Datta: For those too cool to be tanned...

When it comes to fashion weeks, there's spring/summer and then autumn/winter. When it comes to Indian fashion weeks, there's a little more confusion. It seems everyone has a reason to get up and get dressed, with 3 fashion bodies having independent fashion weeks. As if that's not confusing enough, the Lakme Fashion week this year had a summer/resort week. What is that you ask? Why, it's a season. There's spring, when it's hot. Summer, when it's hot, and then there's resort, when it's hot, with a martini.

The resort collection is usually available in stores during Christmas. It was created in order to give rich Europeans something to wear as they sail down the Nile in their dahabiyas. Through winter, and this is the real thing, not 'what we call winter', Europeans escape to warmer climates to brown their pale white tushes. Unfortunately, the winter collection in stores at the time is not conducive to white linens and bikinis. So, the ever considerate money makers that are, decided to make some more money and give them something to shop about.

India, in true fashion (no pun intended), decided to hop on the bandwagon and have a resort collection. While most designers saw this as the time to bring out the flouncy-ness within them, thank God for Kallol Datta who turned his back on the yellow parade and took inspiration from an asylum. For the Lakme Fashion Summer/Resort 2010 collection, he had a his regular quirky prints and draped dresses, with a added macabre feel. Although a complete Kallol Datta look might seem too strong, you can always break it up. There are the shift dresses, churidar pants, printed tees (brilliantly done with a print that looks like a serial no.) and jumpsuits that are very wearable. I'd suggest the tees with a fitted formal jacket for a casual chic. My favourite are the shoes. Something out of 'Just William', it's perfect for a contrary look with a summer dress, and kicking a stone down the road.

Available at: Muse. Although on the expensive side, it's worth a look around for some really one off pieces. 46 VB Gandhi Marg, Kalaghoda, Mumbai; Tel: 22623133; Prices: Jeans start at Rs 7000, accessories at Rs 4500 and books at Rs 1500.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Brand, Season, Collection… Haversack?

Being an irregular regular at the park, I had established a pattern. Leave bag on stand, finish with track, pick up bag, stretch, stumble home. And every irregular regular day the guard reminded me ‘Madam, leave bag, your risk’.

One day, dazed with a run that was too fast and too long, I picked up my bag and scrounged around for my bottle. Unfortunately, instead of my blue faded one, I picked up a very crisp and clean bottle and an even cleaner sweatshirt. Realizing my mistake, I attempted to fake limbering down by jumping up and down and flaying my arms about. In what must have looked like a terrible circus act, I then dropped the wrong bag back as inconspicuously as a dancing bear in a china shop.

Finally walking back with my own muddied bag and bitten, scratched, faded bottle I found myself actually offended by the owner of that bag. He seemed like one of those purposeful runners, with their music plugged ears, that never panted. This got me worried, very worried. Considering I didn't carry my wallet, or cellphone, what would a total stranger make of me based on the contents of my haversack?

I began to sketch.

In my bag I found a sweater, Crocin, mints, homeopathic medicine, some change in coins, swimming cap still in packaging, swimming goggles, sweater, blue and green water bottle, stuffed miniature tortoise, payals.

Sitting there undoing the contents of my bag, I felt like I was one of those agents in CSI. Trying to be as objective as possible, I dissected and analyzed. I concluded that the mints and Crocin seemed normal. (Of course later on they would be broken down to test for arsenic, cyanide and cocaine while I wore goggles, a white coat and spoke short, terse sentences).The sweater with grass and sweat stains reflected questionable hygienic habits . The swimming cap, was evidence to an energetic plan abandoned. The tortoise would be passed off as a paperweight and the payals as cheap.

Now I was really upset.

How would I explain that the tortoise had a name and had sat with me through every examination, and that the payals though cheap, were a precious reminder of college ‘bohemian’ fashions? Didn't they know that soon after I bought the cap, I chopped all my hair off?

I have a handbag that makes a definite brand, season, collection statement, and I guard it with my life. Any excesses that litter are cleaned out every evening. My daily needs are neatly wrapped in leather and a gold clasp. You would never know that my sweatshirt hasn’t been washed for over a week now.