Times takes its corset: understanding couture’s latest obsession




Published Link: http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2017/apr/04/to-bust-a-move-1589930.html



For something to stay relevant, it needs to update itself : Nachiket Barve


If you were one of the people seated in the enviable first row at the Amazon India Fashion Week, you couldn’t have missed a stunning black sheer sari complete with metallic embellishments.

Designed by Nachiket Barve, the sari was an eccentric creation of a designer who stays true to his roots but also strays beyond the rule book to create awe-inspiring originals for the ramp with his eponymous label.

Basking in the success of his Autumn/Winter 2016 line, Tulipmania, we gear up to catch the ace designer spell out his wardrobe mandates for the season at Phoenix MarketCity, as part of its beauty and fashion interactive session — Glam’d Up today.


Nachiket Barve’s x-ray sari for the Amazon India Fashion Week 2017

A familiar face in the city’s sartorial scene, Nachiket is excited at the prospect of heading back to the city. “Chennai women keep it real in fashion and are truly inquisitive consumers, sticking to tradition but always open to try something new,” he says. Unlike his dedication to tulips, evident in his last collection, his latest — Fiori dabbles with florals in general.


“I noticed that I was sticking to quite a sombre palette in my collections, so this one will see brighter spring colours and motifs, dedicated to no flower in particular,” he quips. While Tulipmania saw an extensive use of merino wool, a design choice for which he bagged the International Woolmark Prize last year, Fiori is more about breezier silhouettes and hues across other material as well.

“The fabric per se interests me, but I am not restricted to it in any way. I am looking to go beyond merino wool and it’s a constant learning process,” adds the Mumbai-based designer.

While he chooses to keep mum about the line until it hits stores here, one can certainly expect the quality and workmanship that have become synonymous with his label. “Workmanship and hard work are enviable attributes. Why wouldn’t you want that to show in your work? I like seeing the fruit of labour in my work. This is my USP,” he observes.

Getting back to the sari, we ask the 36-year-old if he prefers the six-yard wonder in its traditional form or with a contemporary touch. “For something to stay relevant, it needs to update itself and keep up with the times. Like I have always said, I strive to be timely and timeless in my work. I think this garment is also one that has the power to balance both. It all depends on what you like but to survive, everything must adapt.”

He does, however, lament about the wastage in the industry. “Rather than being bothered about what we’re making garments with, we need to see how we are using manufactured garments. Social media considerably contributes to waste in our industry with trends and fads going in and out of vogue,” he adds.

Big on reinventing and reusing himself, he heralds the age of upcycling and points out that each garment has a 100 ways of being paired and styled, propping himself as an example.

If you thought democracy was dead, Nachiket’s design philosophy will give you hope. Straying away from a sort of herd mentality that is common particularly in fast fashion, he insists that one mustn’t adopt a style because it looks good on a celebrity. “There may be something that looks great on Sonam or Sonakshi but may be a disaster when one of us wears it. The key is to style according to your body type,” he adds, calling for democratisation of size in particular.

Nachiket Barve at Phoenix MarketCity 13

He is also quick to warn designers to discard the propensity to play it safe. “We are a country of maximums and minimums, in terms of size, wants and needs. There probably is no in-between. So being neutral may not be the right way to go ahead,” he asserts. While he will share valuable styling hacks for that perfect summer ensemble, he chooses to fall back on designing despite it being the harder of the two. “The responsibility of creating something from scratch is daunting but there’s no thrill like it,” he smiles.


The summer mandate

One mistake people often make during summer: overdress

Colour palette for the summer: pastels, bright colours and deep evening hues

Silhouettes to add to one’s wardrobe: asymmetrical kurtas, flowy dresses

Any element that’s a strict no: no fitting or figure hugging clothes. Just not meant for the season

Fabrics to go for: ditch the regular cotton and check out others like linen and many other climate-friendly fabric

Your go-to summer outfit: For men, linen pants, a nice summer shirt, loafers and shades. For women, perhaps a lovely floral dress. I’d keep it simple.


PUBLISHED LINK: http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2017/mar/30/trussing-up-with-drapes-and-wraps-1587484–1.html

The lone sultana



Bollywood’s biggest female sufi voice talks about why it’s a great time to be a singer

LAST month, singer Sona Mohapatra initiated an important discussion on her social media page, asking why female performers can’t headline events sans the entourage of men. Having headlined several concerts and gatherings across the globe herself, singer Harshdeep Kaur agreed with a sigh. “Sona is speaking from experience. I think it’s subjective, however, because we see people flocking to say, a Sunidhi Chauhan concert as well,” she says, not wishing to blindly lay a stamp. Basking in the success of her latest number for the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer RaeesZaalima, the Mumbai-based artiste talks about the changing tide in the country’s music fraternity and why reality shows may not be the tickets to success they once were.

Collateral damage


A still from the song from Raees (2016)

She may have sung for a Pakistani film before, but hasn’t had an experience of the studio environment there, considering she recorded through Skype, lending her voice to Mahira for Balle Balle from Bin Roye (2015). Talking about the difference in the characters of the two fraternities, she points out a blatant difference in the barter of talent, saying, “Artists from there have come here and made a huge name for themselves, but the flow back from us to Pakistan isn’t balanced. That does, however, even out if you look at the popularity of our content and performers there.” Meanwhile, she also throws light on how times have changed for performers across the spectrum. “Today, people look at the comfort of singers a lot more than they used to before. For instance, earlier, the track was prepared and we had to go and sing over it. Now our individual pitches and scales are also considered, as are our timings,” she points out, referring to how Arijit Singh and she recorded their parts for Zaalima separately.


Quantity over quality
Winning two reality shows left her with the title ‘Sufi ka Sultana’ and a string of chartbusters that cemented her position in the mainstream. However, she insists that the glorious days of reality show successes are nearing the end. “We have five to six shows going on at the same time. Usually, we had one show that we would dedicate all our time to. Now that’s not possible. So that affects recall value. The number confuses the audience,” says the Heer singer. Busy with her concert schedules for the next few months, Harshdeep will be seen crooning for a number in the Naseeruddin Shah-starrer Irada. She also hints at a few independent singles this year.

Published link: http://indulge.newindianexpress.com/the-lone-sultana/section/66259

I haven’t stopped trying to take chances: Abhay Deol


Back on the big screen after two years, Abhay Deol is excited about his forthcoming release. Happy Bhaag Jayegi is a romantic comedy that follows Happy (played by Diana Penty), a bride who runs away from her wedding, crosses borders and gets into acool-abhay-deol-wallpapers_3788 whole lot of trouble along the way. The Mumbai-based actor plays Bilal Ahmed, a submissive, foreign-educated Pakistani who doesn’t relate to his people or surroundings. We catch up with him in the midst of the film’s Mumbai promotions.

Second coming

“The characters were written so well by Mudassar (Aziz), the director, that I just had to live out what he had already sketched,” the 40-year-old says. The movie also marks Deol’s second collaboration with producer Anand L Rai, having worked with him earlier in Raanjhanaa. Though pundits have touted this film to be his comeback, the star is unfazed. “There’s Anand L Rai and Eros. So I am nervous, yes, but secure that nothing is riding on me, which is the case otherwise,” says the Shanghai actor.

Formula vs offbeat

But Deol admits that all films finally boil down to commerce. Talking about the concept of commercial and non-commercial cinema, he says, “I think even an offbeat film strives to be commercial; every film needs commerce.” And for someone who rose to fame with unconventional movie choices like Dev D and Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, a commercial film does fuel some fears. “People might start thinking that I’ve stopped trying to take chances. I haven’t. It’s just that it’s very difficult to be doing that, despite success,” says the actor, adding that India isn’t opening itself up to different cinema as much as it should. happy-story_647_082016034745

“For any parallel movement to survive, it needs to be a movement. And by movement I mean groups of people who support each other. If real change was happening, we wouldn’t be seeing all actors and actresses trying to out-dance and out-six-pack each other,” he admits. Tightlipped about his future projects, Deol shares, “I have read a script that has the superficial trappings of a commercial film, but with the kind of edge you saw in Dev D. I’m hoping someone finances it.” He also plans on returning to producing films soon.

Happy Bhaag Jayegi is set to release on August 19.


Journalist diaries


Tanishaa Mukerji on her upcoming movie and being a director’s actor.

img_0161Making a comeback after five years, Tanishaa Mukerji is brimming with excitement. Anna, the biopic of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, will see the actress back on the silver screen after Be Careful, in 2011. She plays the role of a journalist in the movie. “This film is an attempt to inspire everyone and is not meant to stir any controversy,” clarifies the Mumbai-based actress. Tracing Anna’s life from his days in the army to the recent Lokpal campaign, it tries to demystify the motivation behind Anna’s stand.

For her role in the film, she intensively researched mainstream TV journalists in the country and says that director Shashank Udapurkar’s clear vision also helped her a lot.


With Anna Hazare during her film’s promotions

“You have to be a mix of a director’s actor and one who lives the role on their own terms. One doesn’t exist without the other,” the 35-year-old star adds. Talking about shooting for the film, she says, “Sequences at Anna’s village were the most memorable. It is humbling and inspiring to see so many people turn up to be a part of this project just because of one man’s conviction.”


Mukerji, who made heads turn during her stints in Bigg Boss and Khatron Ke Khiladi, looks forward to television projects as long as they pose a challenge. “Be it films, TV or even a web series, I am open to doing anything,” she concludes.

Published link: http://indulge.newindianexpress.com/journalist-diaries/section/56213