Los Angeles!!! – The city of dreams and opportunity with much more to offer than meets the eye. This was my first visit to the west coast and it was a delight to see, that the land of Hollywood filled me with experiences beyond surprise. In a city known to have less soul – soul is what I found there among the people I met. The drive to achieve goals beyond one’s limit – is what L.A. fills you with. The energy was infectious, liberating and uplifting leaving one motivated. I believe there is always a way to look at things and habitually, I choose to see the brighter side of life. I have an intuitive way of connecting with the energy of the land I travel to and my gutt about a place leaves me mostly on the right side. To be honest, I was a bit of a lost soul in the first eight days, but I took no time to be in the flow of things. I have not enjoyed a city as much, as it was about enhancing and discovering my best self.
Are you wondering wether I am sharing about the city or proceeding to my fashion post? Well! hold on to your epiphany!! This post is dedicated to the most generous, talented, humble, positive, dynamic ace photographer ASH GUPTA! I cannot miss an opportunity to share how unique it was to work with this humble legend. His thought process and conceptualisation is inspiring. He just makes you OWN WHO YOU ARE!!!
Ash has shot with some of the most successful people in the entertainment industry – Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Affleck, Steven Seagal, Paulina Rubio, Carmen Electra, James Kaufman, Priety Zinta to name a few!
I had the most wonderful time shooting with him and also interviewed him on his up coming series – Ash’s Anatomy.We covered the part, where I got to ask him questions about the series he shot called “The Warriors of the Sun” – dedicating to the Nirbhaya case. He was torn and ashamed of the barbarous act and he dedicated three months shooting models adorning a head gear of a warrior depicting how powerful women are. He also shot some being in a cage and some with weapons. Some images also have a blotch of red in it, that was his way of depicting his anger and sadness towards the inhumane brutality.
This man is all heart and his way of bringing beauty alive through simplicity is remarkable. Nothing can replace authenticity, evolution and positive energy and that is what I brought home with me. I can truly call home away from home because of the largesse of friends like him. I can’t wait to be back and work on some amazing concepts with this luminary.
The famous “Bodycon dress” has been a first love for many. It has been quite popular from the 50’s among those who want to look chic, sexy and elegant. As the word suggests, Bodycon has been derived from the word – “Body Conscious”. It has long been a part of classic dressing and is a statement in itself.
It is a perfect accessory for the body. I feel if you can adorn a bodycon dress with grace, you can carry any outfit like it is your second skin.They are designed to perfectly fit a woman’s figure and never fails to look flattering.
My summer closet has many fitted colourful dresses. But the one’s I have added recently are the more casual one’s, like the one I am wearing. A fitted dress does more talking than most styles. They ooze simplicity out of your personality.
I love the cotton lycra dresses as they are soft and close to comfort during summer season. These dresses look good in many fabrics like velvet, silk, lace, polyester, etc. Bodycons make an unforgettable impact.
Mid – Thigh stretch dresses have been trendy and a go to dress for a night out. Designer Herve Leger invented the “Bandage Dress” in 1989 that swarmed the world of fashion. It was on the runways making everyone drool. It was originally known as “the bender”as it moulds the body perfectly. These dresses are unquestionably sexy and timeless.
There is some sense of confidence this dress oozes as it wraps you completely, flaunting your curves with elegance. Today one has many options to choose from high end brands to the high street one’s, offering multiple choices in fabrics and cuts. I love wearing the bodycon dresses but this summer I decided to add some longer ones as there vibe is more Vintage.
Fitted dresses have been in vogue from the 1950’s. I have aways found that a good fitted dress makes anyone beam like a Diva.The more informal fitted dress like mine is loved by the liberated generation as it is casual and trendy. The black dress with the “Love stripe” on both sides makes is a perky casual outfit. It clearly defies the old boring conservative styles.
Remember the famous peace – T shirts? They always make a statement and reflects a state of mind of the one wearing it. Love is a powerful emotion and I simply love flaunting the message on my dress. It makes me happy and empowered.These dresses are fun and can be worn to an informal get together with absolute flair.
I like hanging around in the long fitted dresses as they allow you the freedom of movement with style. Of course, the more you enjoy a dress, it shows in your body language and that is the advantage of dressing in a long bodycon dress.
Sneakers have come back with a big bang and today they are also being worn with formals and informal outfits. Sneakers are not only comfortable but are the new cool. They look perfect when teamed with dresses and suits.
I am wearing a stripy bodycon dress with sneakers and they make me look sporty and strong. Today strong is the new sexy and I love to see that fashion is going back to basics. In the 70’s and 80’s people wore sneakers with just everything and there you go, it is back again with so much glamour devoted to it. Sneakers are the millennials stilletos. They give a relaxed and strong vibe. It just looks a non complex choice.
I find the combination of sneakers & bodycon dress a powerful one. It has a no fuss vibe. It is one of my favourite look this summer. I love to accessorise it with a simple belt as it accentuates the waist, making you look absolutely stunning. A belt always adds more body to your style.
So this summer grab your flattering bodycon and flaunt those curves with much ease.
I have been a “Hat lover” and a collector from the sweet days of childhood. Hatis my favourite accessory and I own an enormous collection. From Fedoras to Visor, Base ball to Floppy Sun Hats, Derby Hats, Cowboy, Panama, Cloche, Beret, Golf cap, Trilby, Qawwali, Feather Hats, Regional Hats, and many more funky one’s – I have them all 🙂 and I wear them like a “Queen” wears her “CROWN” !!!
“A HAT is my HALO” !! I love my hat collection because each one has a story and character of their own. Hat contains thought. It reflects nobility, decorum and pride.
I would say a Hat is as important an accessory as a pair of sunglasses, shoes or bags. It protects from the harmful UV rays and also are a great way to protect yourself from weather conditions. It prevents skin damage, improves body temperature, protects hair from sun damage, protects the eyes from harsh sun glare and beyond that looks sexy and stylish without a doubt!!
Adorning a “HAT ” reflects nobility and there is a subtle message of class, grace and tradition and it also equates to having an opinion.Come to think of it, a “Hat”dignifies your demeanour. It is clearly a knack of carrying a “Hat” perfectly and not many can pull it off with panache.
Hats have been a part of the uniform of the Military, Navy, Graduation Ceremonies, Sports, Noble professions and of course have taken over the fashion scenario for centuries. Remember the legend Gabriella Chanel – she knew it well how to look classic wearing a clouche and lacy hats with her timeless dresses.
I believe you should let your Hat do the talking – none the less I am never short of words to express how special they are in my life!!
Panama Hats :
These hats that I am wearing in different colours are Panama Hats and they are one of my favourite summer hats made exclusively in Ecuador.
Ecuadorwas the first one to make them in 1800’s but Ecuador was not the high tourist destination in the 1850’s. So the clever hat makers from Ecuador took the hats to Panama to make more business. In 1800’s many Americans went to Californiaduring the Gold Rush times and Panama is where they first saw these gorgeous light weight hats and wore them on their journey making them popular and appreciated.
The hat makers sold hundreds of hats to the gold prospects travelling from Panama to California during the Historic Californian Gold Rush. When travellers were appreciated for their hats, they told the world they got them from Panama, making them popular as Panama Hats leaving Ecuador’s name behind.
Another reason of their popularity as Panama Hats is also because of the construction of the Panama Canal in the 1880’s. The canal workers would wear these light weight sun protecting hats and were photographed many a times building the canal. Soon their pictures were circulated around the world and the workers became famous wearing Hats from Panama.
Many years later The President of United States, Theodore Roosevelt was photographed many times wearing the attractive “straw hat” in PANAMA and there on, it was etched in as a fashion accessory from Panama and it was too late to bring any change to that testimonial.
PANAMA HATS became a global fashion sensation for nearly 200 years and it continues to be one even today. A traditional Panama hat is woven with toquilla palm fibres by skilled artisans in Ecuador.
A classic “Panama Hat”is worn by both men and women. Mostly you will see them being adorned in the tropics and while sailing, the “White Panama” is a classic must have. So with the onset of Spring grab your Panama Hats and look uber cool.
You can order it online from a trusted source or visit the store Wings and Maniki by Matte Hajselberg at The Boat Avenue, Phuket.
The Boaters Hat :
Boaters Hat :
A Boaters Hat is a summer hat both for men and women. It is made of a thinker weave of Sennit straw. It has a slit flat crown and brim that makes it unique bodied. The legend designer Gabriella Coco Chanel was the first one to wear a boaters hat to a Derby. She created one for herself for the Derby and made them fashionable for women to wear them anywhere in style. Coco Chanel always pushed the norm and created classic designs out of a boaters hat with lace and ribbons.
It became popular in the 19th century and was mostly used by the boaters to protect them from the heat of the sun.Then on straw hat was mostly worn for holidays and summer sports. Below is the hat that is the one worn mostly by men with a smaller rim than the one with the bigger rim mostly worn by women.
Boaters hat is quite popular and it looks stylish with a band on the crown area. People would wear it to seaside outings, yachting clubs, picnics, sporting events. I love this Hat for its vintage elegance.
The thick band adds to its femininity. The black band also gives it a vintage touch. The wider brim covers the face and is appropriately designed for women.
Boaters Hat was also used as a part of the uniform in the 50’s and is still worn as a uniform in the United Kingdom in some schools.
Elegant Women’s Boaters Hat
The Wide Brim Sun Hat:
The Beach Wide Brim Sun Hat :
The Wide Brim Sun Hat is simply stylish and is a lot of fun to wear on the beach and I love it because it protects your shoulders along with the entire face. Large Sun hats look very stylish with a coconut in your hand letting the heat off in the sun. It is rightfully also called the “sun helmet”.
I have at least 4 of them in different colours. It’s hard for me to say no to buying hats as I know I will use them so I don’t mind investing in good hats. They are very much like the characters around me. Funny, but true I have named my hats : Donna, Paula, Rebecca, Sunny etc giggles…..:)
Large sun hats look chic make a fashion statement. The large summer hat that I am wearing is made of straw but the one’s made with fabric can be worn with summer dresses and gloves as well. They look spectacular !! A large hat like this must have a comfortable inner lining as that makes it comfortable to carry it. A good hat is defined but the way its crown is designed as that defines it structure so always see how the crown fits on your head.
So this summer embrace yourself in a happy looking summer hat 🙂
The Trilby hat :
Trilby Hat :
Trilby is a classic British Hat known for its narrow brim. They are usually made of cotton, linen and wool. Trilby when worn casually adds to the relaxed look. A trilby made of wool looks elegant when worn with some business suits. It is a hat that mostly goes well with most western casual and semi casual outfits as well.
The front brim faces upwards and the back brim is slightly lifted at the back. The Hat’s name was adapted from a play called “Trilby”. The heroine wore the hat on stage and the audiences soon started calling the hat as Trilby.
There is a certain way to wear a Trilby Hat. Ofcourse the crown is well shaped but the way one wears it and talks a lot about one’s understanding of carrying a this hat.
It was known as the Rich Man’s hat in the 20th Century in Britain. It was a large part of the retro movement.Many rockstars were seen wearing Trilby’s and performing on stage. Trilby is a chic summer hat, worn mostly with casual attire. Just like I am dressed up in a cool white attire, the colourful Trilby is only adding vibrance to my look. So grab your Trilby now, it will never fail to make you look summer trendy.
Small Floppy Hat :
Small Floppy Hat :
The Small FloppyHat is one my go to hats as they not only protect me from the sun but are always easy to carry. This black Floppy Hat is a well woven hat and detailed with a jute string which makes it look vibrant. Basically any hat with a floppy brim is called a Floppy Hat. There is something so happy about the Floppy hats. The large Floppy Hats are glamorous in their own way. The small floppy hats have an easy going carefree boho vibe.
Black is always sexy and a black hat like this can be easily worn with a casual attire. A large Floppy hat is really for the serious sun protection as that covers a larger area. This one is great to wear to a casual lunch by the beach or even for a walk anywhere. I find the small floppy hats perfect for fun occasions. So grab one for your fun holiday with friends and family.
The Cowboy Hat :
The Cowboy Hat:
Ok guys…..I can scream my lungs out for the “Iconic Cowboy hat”!!
Something happens to my vibe when I don on my Cowboy Hat. It is truly my “real crown” as it has much personality of its own. It’s structure is edgy and daring. I feel the hat talks to me and says, ” Go on bend the rules”.It’s upward bent brim makes it very special and distinctive.
I love this Hat so much that I can wear it to a party, a lunch, beach or a dinner…….. just everywhere!! Needless to say this hat is a must have for it is the first thing to get noticed.
Cowboy Hatshave a high well defined crown and it’s curved rim sets it apart from others significantly. The Cowboy Hat is most famously worn by the Mexicans and is loved by the west and worn across the world with so much love.It has been quite popularly worn by the Country music singers and musicians in Mexico.
The First Cowboy hat was designed by John B Stetson back in 1865, during the time of the American Civil War.The Hat was also called the “Boss of the Plains”. No wonder I absorb it’s character and feel like a ” Queen ” adorning it.
It is made of Fur based Felt, Straw and leather. I love them in all avatars.
A Cowboy Hat exudes confidence of a person who knows what he/she wants. Bands on the hat, accessories, feathers makes it a strong head turner. It’s equivalent to owning an outfit.
I can wear this hat any time. Yes! I love it so much that I can wear it on a saree as well:) But let me share my love for horses and of course for Horse Riding. I am not sure If my love for a Cowboy Hat lead me to love the horses or vice versa. I think each has a special place in my heart and I can’t compare the two. But the fact I love them both makes me feel like a conquerer!!
So you have enough reason to grab on this “glorified crown” and soar the temperature.
The Visor Hat :
The Visor Hat :
Let me make a confession – I travel with a Visor Hat everywhere I go. Yes Everywhere!!!
Visor is a surface that protects the eyes. Visor is a sporty hat with a strap encircling the head. I love the Visor as it is open on the crown area and is breathable. It has a wider brim than the other hats and it protects the face well.
It is easy to roll and pack in the bag and it never looses its shape when stuffed well.This is an everyday day hat for me both for a city or a beach. Protecting my face and skin are very important to me and this hat is high on utility factor.
Visor was invented by the man who invented the car “Visor” in 1924. The hat was originally called the “Glare Shield” as it was made to prevent one’s eyes from the direct glare of the sun.
It’s adjustable flap at the back makes it very easy to wear. This hat has a good inner lining like most hats do. Even though this hat is crown less it is stylish and looks perfect when worn for sports like golf, volleyball, softball etc. as it protects the eye from direct sunlight. It is happily worn at the beach as well.
If you travel a lot, then this hat is a must have!!!
So get wiser with the Visor 🙂
The Qawwali /Anarkali Hat :
The Anarkali / Qawwali Hat :
Qawwali is a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music originating from South Asia and is popular in Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan.It is very famous in the North of India and being an Indian, I thought I could not give this one a miss, especially when I own a Qawwali Hat. It takes me back to an era feeling nothing less than an Anarkali:) .
Qawwali singers follow a dress code of a Kurta and a short jacket and they wear this hat with much grace. It is an experience to witness the whole sufi performance as it is soul stirring. Sufism has a mystical belief that through their music the singers and listeners connect to the spiritual realm and experience the sweetness of divine love and power of God.
You do feel special wearing this one as this takes you back to the Mughal erawhen Anarkali (who belonged to a Sheikh family from Lahore ) fell in love with the Crown Prince Jahangir. This hat does make me relate to the passion in their love story and reflects the poetic romance between the two. Look at me going all Sufiyana wearing it 🙂
One can wear this Hat with wide pants and kurtas and adorn cool accessories like bracelets and chunky neck pieces. It would look great worn to a party!!
The Dainty Visor:
The Dainty Visor :
This Visor Hat is up on style quotient and femininity. It is a great combination of being sporty and elegant. I love the detailing on this Visor Hat and is perfect to wear it at the golf rounds. It’s nicely lined on the inside providing one abundant protection, keeping style intact.
This Visor Hat is a dainty one and is feather light. I love hats that are a no fuss hats. More so Visor makes me focus easily while playing Golf or Tennis . White being a favourite colour this hat reflects a childlike innocence. It is a perfect one to step out anywhere in the day. It simply never fails to look cute and adorable on anyone. It makes me feel I can be lost in my own world. 🙂
The Baseball Cap :
The Baseball Cap:
Baseball Capis the most commonly worn cap in the world both by men and women.A baseball cap was part of the uniform of America’s favourite game – Baseball.
The main purpose of the cap was to keep the sun out of the players eyes and as a part of the uniform. It is also called “America’s beloved ” .
The first baseball cap was made of straw. It was first worn in the year 1849.Then it was made of wool. It is rounded and soft on the crown with a curved peak. It’s function is to protect the wearer from the sun, keep the head cool and also to set you apart from the rest. By 1900’s baseball caps became a rage for every young person.
Baseball caps are made of wool, polyester, cotton, denim etc. With more environment friendly fabrics available now caps are being made from bamboo cotton as well.
Like any other hat, a baseball cap is also worn as a fashion accessory than just a sun shielding head gear.
If you have noticed the Baseball cap has eyelets for ventilation. I love baseball caps like all of you and the fact it can be adjusted according to one’s crown is fabulous. Any cap like I mentioned, has to be well cut and designed well on the crown. Whether it is a hard crown or a soft one, if the cap doesn’t fit you well it will loose its purpose. The art of Hat making is equal to designing a good outfit as it can make or break your personality.
In the 1980’s baseball caps were mostly made in a standard size but later they were made more practical with the adjustable strap.
I love the D&G print baseball cap I am wearing. It’s a perfect cap for this Spring season.Baseball caps make you look cool, young, trendy and fun. It is a part of the casual wear.
You cannot miss looking at the most stunning baseball caps displayed at some designer stores like – PhiliP Plien, D&G, Gucci, Prada, Hugo Boss, Dsquared2, Burberry, Balmain, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Valentino, Alexander Mc Queen, Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Off-white , Versace, Monclear, Isabel Marant , Loewe, Stella McCartney, Puma, Nike, Moschino, and the list is endless.
It is clear that baseball caps are never running out of production or style for the demand it has throughout the world. They are surely here to stay !!!
The Bohemian Feather Hat:
The Bohemian Feather Hat :
Feathers are a symbol of “Flight and Freedom”.
Feather Hats are worn by the “bold – bohemian” one’s who have the “warrior spirit” to carry it off. Bohemia is a region in Czech Republic from where the name Bohemian was derived.Being Bohemian is all about being an unconventional person particularly involved in art, music, creativity etc. Bohemian mainstream fashion is drawn from the late 60’s.
This is a perfect festival hat for a free spirited girl, who doesn’t care for trends but makes her own fashion statement and feels like a “Bohemian Princess”.
The style I am wearing is the warbonnet which is best known as the Indian headdress today. They are worn by the tribes from Sioux, Blackfeet, Crow etc.
It is a unique bohemian hat created skillfully, putting it all together with leather and feathers. This is an art deco piece which reflects the hippie fashion. I love the fact it is unconventional and represents the nomadic gypsies. One feels like a warrior adorning this one.
I am looking like the “DAKOTA SIOUX WARRIOR” wearing this warbonnet. This hat was worn by the chiefs of the tribe of the American Plains Indian Nations and each time they won with an act of bravery, a feather was added to their coronet. These were worn at important occasions and were typically made of Eagle feathers.
It casts an immediate spell on the wearer and you feel the liberation from the world of norms.A hat like this is to be worn to a festival and if you can carry this hat off with flair – you are cool in my opinion!!
One needs to have a special knack to carry this charismatic piece. The detailing is commendable and it is also not very heavy to wear. Yes, you cannot go all shaky when you wear this millinery. Feathers play an important role in the belief system of the Native American Indians.Their belief embodies that all animals and birds have a soul and spirit. And wearing a head gear like this connects you with the divine through the feathers that act like an antenna to the high power.
This is a piece of craft. Designing a perfect crown for this one is close to designing a jewel. I simply love the feathers hanging and draping from each side.
It was also shared with me that this one is a cruelty free feather hat so that was a happy information to receive. We don’t want to create any damage to the beautiful birds for creating such pieces for sure.
This feather hat reflects your personality, for just like this special hat – You are one of a kind!!!
For me the New Year is all about breaking the norms and feeling empowered.And empowerment has a lot to do with how you feel within about yourself. And how you feel about yourself has a lot to do with the awareness you have of the soul within.That leads to boundless confidence and a self reliant attitude.That is why when you see the most charismatic personalities wearing Animal Prints,their demeanor instinctively overpowers you.
For me clothes are an extension of one’s personality. So when I am in a mood to feel stronger and powerful, I adorn myself in these exotic layers.
Animal Printshave been popular from the 18th Century and yes this was very much a part of exhibiting Power and Wealth, including Furs in the later years. Remember, I shared in a blog post about ” furs “and how they were the symbol of wealth. Similarly these eye grabbing exotic animal prints represent confidence, strength and power. These prints are impactful no matter how you wear them.
From Tiger Stripes to Cheetah Spots to Leopard Rossettes to Zebra printsall grab abundant attention. In 1925 Marian Nixon crashed cars as she walked down in Hollywood Boulevard in a Leopard Skin coat with her Pet Leopard on a Leash. The print became a symbol of high fashion glamour. All the leading ladies were seen enjoying in it’s embrace – Elizabeth Taylor, Marylin Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Joan Fontaine, Debbie Harry, Rita Hayworth and many more displayed their styles with accessories, hats and clothing. Animal Prints were also seen on dresses, and shoes.
The Iconic Animal Prints became a lot popular in the United States in the late 1960’s during the Bohemian Movement.This print has seen incarnation from its inception in the 18th century. In the 1920’s – 1930’sanimal skin was kind of a trophyhanging on the walls of great courageous men. 1940’s and 50’s witnessed the Pin – up girls in skimpy skin outfits and lingerie taking eroticism to madness with “Vanity Fair” selling Leopard Print Underwear. Fur Coats took the lead in the 50’s signifying power and grandeur.
1960’s saw the print in more sophistication and became more popular with Bob Dylan’s song Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat.1970’s and 80’s became all about glam rock look and one witnessed these prints being cat-walked by the most stunning women on the runways which continued to scorch the ramps and the fashion scene in the 1990’s.
My favourite Models- Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, Tyra Banks, Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow drove the world crazy with their looks and these iconic prints.
And yes, how can we forget the famous Shania Twain, who sizzled in the leopard rossette velvet bustier and pants with the Magical Leopard Cloak and boots with the round vintage Leopard Luggage Bag- walking around turning every man down, oozing confidence and sexiness. That song has been my anthem song forever.
So you see, the everlasting impact it has on anyone’s mind ?? Hell yeah! She became my favourite artist since then.
No matter how you wear the animal prints you are bound to grab attention. But hold on, wear this print with some metal in your being because that leaves a lasting impact.
I am wearing two different outfits – One is a long well cut dress in the Zebra Printand the other is the Co- ord set with the Tiger print. Both look exceptionally desirable in different fabrics.
The dress is a cotton and lycra one and the Co – ord set is made of silk and they look equally enamouring. Animal prints tell a story far louder than you can imagine. So when I dress up in animal prints I never fail to feel the charisma it adds to my persona. And anything less than that – Well “That don’t impress me much”!!