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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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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Sensual India

This is one of my favorite pieces and it took a while to write. It appears in a magazine called Eat Stay Love that is the in house magazine of Aman, Four Seasons, and other luxury hotels in India. Some time ago, a lady from a custom publishing group contacted me. They do the magazines…

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Khadi

Khadi ‘Freedom fabric’ makes a comeback in India     At the recent high-profile wedding of the Bollywood stars Genelia D’Souza and Ritish Deshmukh, two outfits that stood out were not made of high-end fabric or Swarovski crystal, but khadi, the Indian handspun and hand-woven cloth, made from cotton, described as “freedom fabric” and popularised…

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Profile of Sabyasachi

Sabyasachi, the revivalist businessman His style icons are strong, self-confident people who don’t need his clothes to enhance their identity The Good life | Shoba Narayan Clad in a khadi kurta-pyjama and Ferragamo flats, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, 37, is having lunch at the ITC Sonar, Kolkata. It is 4pm. We are at the coffee shop. He orders lal…

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Sabyasachi Mukherjee

I spent two days hanging around Sabysachi.  He’s an interesting man.  Here is a story about him that appeared in The National.  Also pasted below. The sari warrior Shoba Narayan Nov 26, 2011 The fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee is sitting on the floor of his sprawling workshop in Kolkata, surrounded by 10 people. All around…

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Thread of Hope: from Time magazine February 12, 2006

Never mind applying creams and lotions—if you could relieve a skin ailment simply by the kind of clothes you wear, or the bed linen you use, wouldn’t you? The Handloom Weavers Development Society in Kerala, India, hopes so. The nonprofit organization—based in Thumbod, a tiny village of swaying palms an hour outside the state capital…

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