The delights of wearing a sari

This is going to be my year of regional styles of donning this garment.  Just saw and loved Baji Rao Mastani. Nanditha Lakshmanan, Shilpa Sharma, Sudha Kanago, Deepa Krishnan, Ally Mathan, Jo Pattabhiraman, Chandra Jain, Geetha Rao, and all you casual and effortless sari wearers, this one is for you.   25 December 2015 | E-Paper…

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The Savage Beauty of Alexander McQueen

Memories of the V&A and my Parisienne friend Elisabeth Guez are fresh in my mind. The V&A has another nice exhibit where they try to answer: “What is luxury?” Wish I could have seen the John Galliano retrospective also– in Paris. My review of the exhibit here.  And you have to see it on the…

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Would you wear a garment without a blouse?

This piece was a reaction to seeing a room full of amazing black and white photos by Sunil Janah of women who were topless. Like the below photo of a Hill Maria Woman from Bastar.  Courtesy of the Swaraj Art Archive, as are all the images here. The free women in Sunil Janah’s photography Scurrilous…

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Gifts 2014

This could have easily been a photo feature. FIRST PUBLISHED: SAT, DEC 20 2014. 12 46 AM ISTHOME» LEISURE» THE GOOD LIFE The best gifting ideas from 2014 A list of objects that you could consider buying for your near and dear for Christmas Shoba Narayan It is just before Christmas. You are probably in…

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Identity and Culture

One more ode to my favorite garment: the sari. How a simple, draped cloth defines a national aesthetic Shoba Narayan November 19, 2014 Updated: November 19, 2014 07:07 PM There are many ways to come at the concept called identity. Aesthetics is one of them. Every culture has a distinct aesthetic. Chinese poetry describes eyebrows…

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Brooms

The big brooming business An acquaintance of mine, Chantal, called from New York the other day with a request: she needed brooms; lots of them. Could I source them from India? Chantal is a gaunt French-Algerian chain smoker. She says merde (shit) a lot; wears Dior rouge lipstick, and lots of moody grey Chanel eyeshadow.…

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Male Perfume

I thought male perfume was a bit of musk, wood, leather, and all those usual suspect-ingredients. Who would have thought about oudh, orange blossom and the like? These new male perfumers are changing the paradigm. I pitched the story to my editor, Ted, based on Byredo. The perfumer is half-Indian which is how I heard…

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Sari Warrior

A piece on my favorite subject. The National Conversation The sari is neatly woven into my country’s social fabric Shoba Narayan Aug 28, 2013 Different people have differing relationships with their country’s traditional clothes. The Japanese, for instance, have eschewed the kimono and adapted western attire. So too the Chinese. In Arab nations, women still…

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