Tag: star speak

Star Speak, By Rimple And Harpreet Narula: Working On ‘Padmavati’, A Peek In To Our Experience

Star Speak is an ongoing series of columns, penned by celebrities/designers we are used to seeing on these pages. This is their space to write about their take on fashion, the fraternity and whatever else catches their fancy.

This week’s column comes from designer duo Rimple & Harpreet Narula, costume designers of an upcoming film, ‘Padmavati’. You have seen their designs on many A-list celebrities on these pages and now, read about them working with an A-list director.

P.S: Follow Rimple & Harpreet Narula on Instagram here and look them up here.

P.P.S. Post was updated to show images of Padmavati’s first look pictures.

Our foray into the Bollywood realm is nothing short of a dream… Working on a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, designing the costumes for the period-drama and dressing the most gorgeous lot – Deepika, Shahid and Ranveer.

Designing, for us, is incarnated from our travelogues, from rare experiences evoking new emotions, from narratives of vintage textiles and from reminisces held by flea market souvenirs. Every province and every period has unique mixes that inspire us. Padmavati is one such project which offered a stunning mix of contrasting cultures layered with the intense characters portrayed by the lead cast.

Padmavati allowed us to embark on a new aesthetic journey and explore the world of period costume from a different tangent. Our ideas amalgamated with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s vision shaped the very essence of the characters’ costumes.

Mr Bhansali’s cinema is much understated and yet visually larger than life. He captures the nuances of the characters through different mediums, costumes being one of them. While maintaining the authenticity of the period we had to ensure that we functioned on the same wavelength.

The costumes resonate with the personalities of each character; Padmavati’s timeless beauty and valor, Khilji’s passion and Ratan Sen’s warrior spirit. The most intriguing bit was the mystique around Padmavati’s legendary beauty which we tried to amplify through the elaborate costumes. A great deal of attention was paid to miniscule details in terms of colors, textures and silhouettes, to ensure an impactful visual statement.

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Star Speak, By Shaheen Abbas: A Note To Every Woman Who Has Felt She Is Not Skinny Or Beautiful Enough

Star Speak is an ongoing series of columns, penned by celebrities we are used to seeing on these pages. This is their space to write about their take on fashion, the fraternity and whatever else catches their fancy.

This week’s column comes from jewelry designer, Shaheen Abbas who shares four life lessons that will serve every woman well. You can follow Shaheen on Instagram here and on Twitter here.

For every woman who has felt she is not skinny or beautiful enough: life lessons from someone who has been there, done that, and emerged (a little bit) wiser.

I used to be one of those women, who would feel guilty for having zero control over food and berate myself for all the junk food that I ate, get pissed at the mirror over the slightest hint of a frown line, and obsess over those few extra kilos and grams on the weighing scale. How flawless I looked in that bodycon dress was the only (and truest) measure of my beauty, right? So damn wrong!

Why are we women so hard on ourselves? The abs are never washboard enough, the arms never lithe enough, the skin never glowing enough… it’s like we take some sort of perverse pleasure in brooding over our flaws. We are addicted to bashing ourselves over our appearance. We’ll say YES to crash diets, unsupervised workouts, and complain about how “fat” we are, but it’s always a NO to the beautiful person that stares back at us in the mirror.

Something stirred inside me during the last year of being in my 30’s (I turned 40 this March, in case you were wondering!), and yanked me to a state of self-awareness. I decided to say a giant “F**k you!” to all these unhealthy insecurities that weigh us women down. I mean, after 14,600 days of dealing with these doubts and worries, it was about damn time that I felt like I had enough! If I wanted to celebrate myself (and not just the number of candles on my cake), there was no better time than now. So here I am.


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Star Speak, By Koel Purie: Shopping In Tokyo

Star Speak is an ongoing series of columns, penned by celebrities we are used to seeing on these pages. This is their space to write about their take on fashion, the fraternity and whatever else catches their fancy.

Actor, television show host, columnist and now the newly appointed Brand Ambassador for Japan Tourism, Koel Purie is our guest columnist this week. It’s only fitting that she talk us through her favorite shopping spots around Tokyo and spill some insider secrets. We don’t know about you but we sure are taking notes and paying close attention. Read on! And when done, you can follow Koel on Twitter here and find her on Instagram here.


Shopping In Tokyo

Did I tell you I have the best job in the world? The Japanese government has hired me as an ambassador to promote tourism. Instead of listing out all the tourist attractions (and there are more than you can imagine), I’m going to give you the best reason to book your flight to Tokyo – shopping. You’re about to read my carefully collated and personally experienced shopping spots. Feel fortunate, this is classified stuff.

Tokyo is like Delhi – nothing opens before 10.30 -11am and when you’re in a once in a lifetime place such as this your day has got to start earlier than that. So, get your sleepy butt to Shibuya (it’s the busiest crossing in the world). Park yourself and your yummy latte at a window seat on the 2nd floor of the Tsutaya/Starbucks (beautiful library-cum-bookshop-cum-café) and marvel at the discipline and orderly pace that 2,500 people cross every time the signal changes. Then walk or jump in a cab to Harajuku Takeshita street – this is home to all the whacky, tacky, young, cos play, Japanese fashion. It’s cheap and teenagey but if you have a good eye it can be heaven for a few statement pieces. It is here all the crazily dressed blonde gothic Lolitas known as “Harajuku girls” find their stash. Walking through Harajuku is also a great study of what’s trending in the world of cool in Japan. I went for a themed birthday bash to Moscow last year and the insane costumes I grabbed from here, outdid everyone else.

After getting your fill of nonsense must-haves, walk down Jingumae street heading towards Omotesando. This is the high-end chic lane (a la Knightsbridge), full of stylish shops, cafes and restaurants. Don’t forget to look at the modern architecture of the buildings. Go into the Comme de garçons store, Prada, Issey Miyake and Hugo Boss just to check out the cool layout. If you don’t want the world brands, then veer off right onto Cat street which has lovely little boutiques where you can pick up a quaint, delicately crocheted dress or a military jacket that fits just right or red faux fur flatforms. Back on the main road Settimissimo is an unassuming basement shop with delightful clothes, accessories, bags, shoes. I went a bit nuts in this shop, greedily ‘overshopping’ and have since worn on repeat everything I bought from there. Walk on further and enter GYRE building to find the Moma design shop with super funky things. In the basement of this building is the famed cupcake bakery from NYC, Magnolia Bakery. On the same side of the street is Oriental Bazaar – a 3 storey one stop shop for all Japanese souvenir goodies; from Sake sets and tea pots to kimonos to origami earrings to Japanese doll book marks to paintings, antiques, wind chimes to furniture and elaborate Japanese screens and gorgeous goodies you didn’t even know existed. Great place to pick up gifts and stuff for back home. Pass The Baton on the other side of the street is a vintage shop of wondrous little accessories, clothes and curios. Winged wheel has divine handmade stationary. Stop and have a break at the Aoyama flower market tea house for a coffee or wine and then onwards.


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Star Speak, By Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari: Thinking Out Aloud

Star Speak is an ongoing series of columns, penned by celebrities we are used to seeing on these pages. This is their space to write about their take on fashion, the fraternity and whatever else catches their fancy.

This week’s column comes from Ashwiny Iyer TiwarI who after over a decade long career in advertising, quit her job with Leo Burnett to pursue film-making. Ms. Tiwari is best known perhaps for the movie, ‘Nil Battey Sannata’. Follow the filmmaker on Twitter here and on Instagram here.

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Thinking Out Aloud

I remember my first frock. A floral one with frills made by my aunt. It took her hardly a week to make this beautiful piece of art. I would call it ‘art’ since anyone who can make something with hand is an artist! As I track all my childhood clothes, I realize it’s mostly made by my mother, aunt or grandmother. There were weekly discussions on what new designs they could learn and what they would try next on me and my cousin. The discarded second-hand magazines like Femina, Savvy which were considered “fashion” and women know-how were saved to make patterns. (The magazines even came with extra supplements during the festive season on ‘how to’ stitch a blouse with a V-neck or a salwar kameez which has kali in it.) They were their own designers and our designers too.

We did not have a point of view even when we were teenagers. Everything they made for us was with love, and we looked our best as we walked wearing a smile on our powdered faces and plaited hair that swayed in step. We were happy. Our mothers were really happy!

No one judged what they wore or what colours suited their shades and tints of skin. No fancy haircuts. No hair colour. No skin treatments or overhauling of the body that needed a reassurance that they needed to look better. The blouses they stitched for themselves (they still do) had a lot of what they felt their personality needed to be. My mother loved puff sleeves. Even today she wears them, her sari a little high. But no one said this is not the way a sari should be worn or her blouse is too tacky! They all wore clothes which suited them. Emphasized their creation and made sure it added to their personality. As I looked through some old photographs of my mother and aunt I saw so much of warmth in an eyes filled with kajal from that green dabba. A faint lipstick or may be just balm or ghee! A glowing skin just like a ray of sunlight passing through the face that cannot match any HD makeup.

No pretense. Just who you are is what you saw! 

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari


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Star Speak, By Mini Mathur: Why I Don’t Feel Naked Without A Birkin

Star Speak is an ongoing series of columns, penned by celebrities we are used to seeing on these pages. This is their space to write about their take on fashion, the fraternity and whatever else catches their fancy.

Mini Mathur, one of Indian television’s most popular faces takes on fashion policing and follies of stereotyping “looks”. You can follow the model, presenter and actor on Twitter here and Instagram here. But first, read on.

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Mini Mathur


Why I Don’t Feel Naked Without A Birkin

Writing about fashion on the very blog that makes me run for cover and adjust my sari pleats when I spot cameras. Brave. Rather brave.

As someone who wears many hats and has run the gamut of being a Dilliwaali from advertising (read: management student, handloom lover) to an MTV VJ ( read: lets paaaahrty in fun, shiny corsets & thigh high boots) to a reality TV host ( Ummm.. its called ‘general’ entertainment for a reason) to the wife of a film director (Read: glam bhabhiji), I pretty much can’t figure out what my “look” is supposed to be. Or if I should even HAVE one. Because as much as folks love slotting folks into neat little fashion stereotypes, some of us are tripolar. And whichever person residing inside wins the argument on the given day, decides the on-duty look. Besides, isn’t a “look” only what you create for a character in a soap or a film? Surely real life doesn’t work like that! Why should one be happy trying to project just one fashion persona? For me, there’s so much perverse fun & madness in dressing a Barbie in a combat fatigues with her hair all oiled and tied back and black streaks on her cheeks.

When I joined MTV, I remember angst-ly leaving my khadi wardrobe back in Delhi as it was just not cool for a hip VJ to be seen in a cotton sari. Girls in Bombay only wore saris at a wedding, or a festival.. complete with the ‘costume-y’ big bindi, bangles & jhumkas.. like they were dressing for some ‘part’. For me saris have never been about the great Indian overkill. I grew up watching the super cool women in my family wearing it with such ease & spunk that saris did not seem out of place even at an all night rager. Neither did it feel aunty-like or particularly ‘decent’. In fact I felt rather sexy wearing colorful mulmul over lycra, linen over lace and tussar over net. I still do. That said, I also love my ripped denims and on-duty draped gowns.

Yet every time I depart from my beloved sari, the readers of this blog feel “I should stick to my look” or “I am trying too hard”. If I ever felt like changing up my sari with brogues or a belt, well, “I should not mess with how a sari is worn”. Bruh… I know how a sari is worn traditionally, but there are 84 styles in which a sari is draped and not each one is bullseye all the time!! I find it so much fun to experiment occasionally. I get so happy when my niece also tends to think of it as a red carpet worthy garment, without always having to look like the blazingly beautiful but traditional Rekha in a kanjeevaram.

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