June 15, 2010 5:07:07 am
A bunch of young fashion bloggers in the country is out to make a statement in all things style
Anna Wintour and Dalai Lama jostle for space with Murakami and David Bowie in Manou’s wishlist. In want of a better word,the 26-year-old NIFT graduate’s sartorial interests,are as eclectic. Readers of his blog Wearabout India (wearabout.wordpress.com) will probably know what I am talking about. Stripped of Bollywood razzle-dazzle typical to Indian fashion glossies,fashion in his blog,doesn’t come as an excuse for effusive star worship. Devoted to ‘documenting street fashion and individual style in India’,the freelance photographer and all-things-design rolled into one person,goes fashion hunting on streets and has come up with a visual and sartorial treat to say the least. From the unschooled beauty of floral skirts,dupattas and bright blouses of roadside bangle-sellers to the studied chic of a spunky hairstylist who turns a skirt into a dress,Manou confesses to capturing anything that looks ‘interesting’ on his camera. I got the idea of the blog while on a trip to Dharamsala. The distinct ways in which locals,Indian and Western tourists dressed made for quite a interesting study in style. I thought it was worth documenting, he says. One of Wearabout’s most ambitious aspects would be the Wardrobe Project. I intend to shoot a series of photographs of an individual’s wardrobe. I started with Vir Sethe ,a 19-year-old stylist I bumped into at the fashion week, says Manou. Sethe,a 19-year-old man makes for a quirky subject,thanks to the aura of urban cool he has built around him,with some help from extensive shopping done at the Mango women’s wear section. When I first met him he said that though he did shop from men’s wear lines,he mostly shopped from Mango’s women’s wear section because the clothes suited his body type and reflected his personality perfectly, says Manou. The blogger,who says that blogging is yet to be taken seriously by the juggernauts and rookies of the fashion industry alike,however,likes what he does and intends to continue documenting his trysts with style,come what may. Wearabout might be one of it’s kind,but Manou has company from a growing league of young fashion bloggers in India. Bloggers who essentially talk about people and flea markets as opposed to anorexic models and haute couture obsession.
Take for example Bangalore-based sisters Ruhi and Faiza Sheikh. The twenty-somethings started blogging at Republic of Chic (republicofchic.blogspot.com) more as a hobby. We thought it would be fun to see how our personal understanding of fashion evolved. Gradually,the blog developed into a space where we tried showing how designer pieces look off the runway,among other things. We don’t have endless legs and sculpted bodies like models on the runway do. So when we wear something and post pictures on the blog,readers sort of get and idea of what a dress looks when it’s not paraded on a model,and accessorized by professional stylists, says 23-year-old Ruhi. And from jewellery to bicylces,the sisters’ interests are varied and the response to their blog was almost unexpected.
Smrithi Rao,a 24-year-old Bangalore-based software engineer who blogs at Vintage Obsession (fashiontrendsindia.com),says that the absence of an interesting Indian fashion blog like the several in the West prompted her to start her own. My blog is mostly about affordable fashion. On weekends I go hunting for budget shops. At times I buy stuff and put up pictures on my blog,or I take pictures from the shop itself, says Rao. Like Swasta Ani Masta (swastanimasta.wordpress.com),a city-based blog started by Mumbai-based journalist Mitali Parekh,Rao’s blog tries to dig out outfits that can be styled differently to come up with multiple looks. I am trying to provide my readers with a shopping option soon on my blog. Where they can order stuff I put up and I will organise a system to courier the same to then, says 30-year-old Parekh.
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While several bloggers cite the lack of serious interest in fashion blogs,one has to admit that they have come up with a credible alternative definition of fashion as opposed to the jaded Bollywood-Fashion Glossy nexus. A blog like High Heel Confidential is invited to the fashion weeks along with the press. While fashion blogging might be at a nascent stage in India,it does have a promising future, says Parekh. Touche!
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