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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Paris and Luxury

Should brands take a stand is the question I try to analyze in this piece. Normally, no.  But now?  Thanks to Elisabeth Cadoche-Guez for setting me up with luxury brand executives in Paris.  Elisabeth is the author of a wonderful book on Arthur Rimbaud. 27 November 2015 | E-Paper Home » Leisure » The Good…

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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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Spirits of India

Cocktails have an intrinsic problem. Unless they are well made/well balanced, they are too sweet for my taste. MISSING THE INDIAN SPIRIT By Shoba Narayan Korea has soju; Japan has sake; America has bourbon; Mexico has tequila and mezcal; Germany has schnapps; Scandinavia has aquavit; France has wine; Greece has ouzo; Britain has beer; Portugal…

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Barcelona

The thing with travel writing is that it takes a long time between travel and the actual publication of the article. Depending on the publication. Barcelona for Eat Stay Love STAY – 80-82 Barcelona 2 We picked Barcelona as a vacation destination for the same reason that many families do: great weather, design, architecture, the…

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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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Frankincense

Oudh and frankincense are scents of the day. Here is a story that appeared in Qantas magazine, Australia. Thank you, Stanley Pinto for organizing a superb trip to Muscat. And hustling all of us energetic tourists and members of the Bangalore Black Tie into some semblance of organization. And thank you, Shawqi Sultan and Saleh…

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