29 September, 2017

Gamcha saree from Bengal

Gamcha has been an essential part of the handloom industry in India. Years have passed since the existence of this traditional cotton cloth has prevailed with India’s population. Gamcha is crafted with handmade Bengali cotton and most commonly found with check or stripes pattern. This collection aims to flaunt an aura of grace and elegance.

 Flaunting the summer shades of icecream yellow, strawberry pink and pistachio green, this check gamcha saree is crafted with handmade Bengali cotton. The red border detailing gives it an edgy yet contemporary look.
Gamcha is a simple, mostly soft piece of cotton fabric, size of a towel, with multiple usage. From bathing towel to a bandanna protecting you from the sun. Gamucha is produced as a primary handloom product by traditional weavers. The handloom towel, or the gamcha as it is known in the heartland, is fast making its presence felt on the fashion scene. 
I have paired my gamcha saree with kalamkari blouse. Both the fabrics are super soft, airy, lightweight and easy to drape. It is no designer saree and has no brand or label screaming from the top. In fact, it might not score very high on fashion meter of divas who revel in off shoulder gowns and skimpy dresses. But who cares? The discerning ones will be able to see its innate beauty. It is proudly Indian handloom. It is so comfortable that I can practically sleep and run in it. Crush it, crumple it, sweat in it- It is the most forgiving saree. It will just mould around you and make you look good. It will not demand much in terms of care from you. I promise you, you will hear yourself talking to your Gamcha saree, thanking her and telling her how cool she is. It will spoil you and pamper you so much that you might not feel like wearing any other saree. Just enjoy your Gamcha saree.
Oh and do not miss my gajra (fresh mogra/jasmine flowers in the hair).

28 September, 2017

Sustainable fashion

It is important to take into account how we produce and consume clothing, textiles, shoes, accessories, etc. We have to be conscious of our impact on the environment and our social responsibility. It is opposite of fast-changing fashion trends. Today the environment is degraded because of the enormous amount of waste we create when we trash our fashionable garments after few uses. The clothing industry is second most polluting industries in the world after oil. People do not want to recycle or reuse. Instead of adapting to fast-changing fashion trends, try to move towards slow fashion. Because of fast-changing fashion trends, garments are manufactured in developing countries. There is a demand for quick and cheap clothes and then there is a problem of disposing of them. Some elements of the slow fashion philosophy include: buying vintage clothes, redesigning old clothes, shopping from smaller producers, making clothes and accessories at home, buying garments that last longer and really using them for long. People should buy less and dispose of even lesser. Use more of what you already have. Stop mindless shopping. Do not get swayed by advertisements where girls proudly claim that they have clothes full of the closet and yet they have nothing to wear. Invest in quality over quantity. Invest in something that you can appreciate for years and pass on to next generation as well.
Repeating clothes, sharing clothes and using vintage clothes should be a matter of pride not shame. I proudly share clothes with my sister.
Below I am wearing the oldest piece of garment in my wardrobe. The saree belongs to my nani (maternal grandmother). It is an about 80-year-old piece. It is nothing fancy but it is certainly a cherished piece that I recently acquired from my mom. Sarees have this unique aspect. You can pass it on to generations and they do not need any alterations or size changes. Also, they never go out of fashion. The older they are, the better and more priced possessions they become. Sarees are like old wines. Heritage sarees have another magic woven in them. Trends are fickle. Vintage sarees stand the test of time. Handloom sarees are the most eco-friendly garments. They last for generations and they look good at any time and any occasion. Even when they are torn and ripped apart they can be recycled to make many things.
Make most of what is already there in your closet rather than chasing the latest trend. Sustainability is making the right choice continuously. By no means, it means that you should not be fashionably turned out. Get stuff tailored, wear vintage and get creative. Disposing of clothes mindlessly only fills the landfills. Learn to make most of what you have and shop inside your closet. Shop locally and reduce the carbon footprint of your clothing.

27 September, 2017

Amer Fort Jaipur

Amer Fort is located 11 kilometres away from Jaipur in Amer. It is built on a hill and is a big tourist attraction for people going to Jaipur. It has majestic and large gates, cobbled path and overlooks Maota Lake. This fort is constructed with red sandstone and marble. There is Diwan-i-aam or hall for public audience, Diwan-i-khas or hall for esteemed/VIP people and sheesh mahal/ jai mandir- mirror palace. There is also sukh niwas which has cooler climate created artificially by winds that blow over water cascade in the palace. It was the residence of Rajput Maharajas. This palace and Jaigarh fort are connected by a passage. It has beautiful latticed windows from where the women saw outside. In the pictures below you will see the main palace ground, Diwan-i-aam, Diwaan-i-khas, second courtyard, sheesh mahal, sukh niwaas or sukh mahal (hall of pleasure), the fourth courtyard where zenana or royal women including mistresses lived. This courtyard has many living rooms where the queens resided and who were visited by the king at his choice without being found out as to which queen he was visiting, as all the rooms open into a common corridor.