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Stay, Songbird.

With a day as extraordinary as today, Shiela chooses simple. Flowers of rice, 5am sun, dressed free. Berry leaves are her morning nectar. Easy in her love of earth. In peace and slow, she hopes for a songbird. And she asks that you join this Utopia for a while. Dress in life as you live it. Easy, slow and free. Every hour is a green shade of serenity. Fresh flowers, spring, and a wild shelter.

Sheila is one with the life that has chosen her. She is emboldened by her ability to make. She is secure. She is fearless. With hay in hand, she trespasses on her own comfort. She guards, she feeds, she lives. In little but sunlight, organic life, and freedom, Sheila makes her world. Stay free in the spirit of being alive. There is fresh breath, dew and rain in corners still. It can be ours to love just as much. Embrace the beginning of it all. Embrace who you are truly are. A vibrant, bold and inspired soul. When the day is done, remember all that you are and walk on forth to a brand new day. Take your time. This is your life. Slow down.

There is time still, stay songbird, stay.

9 Women That Inspire Independent Life

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Image Source: The Famous People

Amrita Sher-Gil

Often considered the ‘Frida Kahlo’ of India, Amrita Sher-Gil gives us the neurotic satiation that we need, to remind ourselves of the brilliance of our minds. Born to Sikh and Hungarian-Jewish parents, Amrita is considered the most important woman painter in Indian history. She grew up in Budapest and Shimla, performing piano concerts and acting in plays. She then sailed with her mother to Florence and Paris, subjecting herself to the authority of European artists. Her time in Europe left her with an intense desire to return to India. ‘India belongs only to me’, she said. It was here, that her critical works of art rose to fame. Her lustful relationships with both men and women became the subject of her paintings, now hanging at National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi. Her obsession with the tradition of Indian art, the culture of women and the rhythms of village lives became the standard for many artists to follow. She died aged 28.

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Image Source: Alchetron

Judy Chicago

American feminist artist, Judy Chicago forces us all to lead thinking lives. She coined the term ‘feminist art’ in the 1970s to define her work exploring the role of women in culture and history. She began the first Feminist Arts Program in Fresno State College and strongly believed that women who were ignorant of women’s history would continue to struggle. Her work including the famous ‘The Dinner Party‘ & ‘The Birth Project‘ commemorate women activists, martyrs, goddesses and women as mothers. Her emphasis on women and their many roles heralded the ‘Feminist Art Movement’ in the 70s.

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Image Source: YouTube

Deepa Mehta

No one has more sensitively told the stories of drug-addicts, dancers, lovers and activists. Her elements trilogy films threatened to unearth the farcical progress of social reform in India. In Water, she examines Gandhi’s India and the struggle of a child-widow unwittingly made to endure the rules of the Holy Hindu Scriptures. Despite death threats and burnt sets, Mehta produced and delivered the film to critical acclaim. Though one might argue that her singular, romanticized view of post-Colonial India does little to salvage it of its years of disarray, her storytelling subject has never been comforting en-masse.

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Image Source: Small Steps Project

Vivienne Westwood

“You’ve got to invest in the world, you’ve got to read, you’ve got to go to art galleries, you’ve got to find out the names of plants. You’ve got to start to love the world and know about the whole genius of the human race. We’re amazing people.”

Credited with pioneering the punk-style movement, Westwood is the hard-hitting, bright-haired anti-system woman we all need to be at times. “I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the wheel in some way.”

She did.

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Image Source: Nippon Couture

Rei Wakakubo

Rei never studied fashion. And still, she is the most influential fashion designer in Japan and the world. She entered the fashion industry by taking a job at a textile company. Within a few short years, she established Commes Des Garçons, her label. By the time she debuted in Paris, she had begun the Japanese Fashion Revolution. Her anti-fashion style, dark colours, and arresting personality would begin the movement of intellectual style that would have the world in her thralls.

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Image Source: YouTube

Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh began her career as a photographer at a Zakir Hussain concert. He noticed her being roughly handled by his security personnel and asked for her to be allowed to do as she pleases. By following and photographing him on tour for six years, she created her first photo album ‘Zakir Hussain’. Influenced by Italo Calvino and Gustav Mahler, she advises to think and feel outside of photography. Then we will have something to bring to our pictures.

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Image Source: Cargo

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Lady Gaga):

To think of Lady Gaga’s experimentation with style, music, form and personality as simply incidental to the function of her industry, is an enormous discredit. Lady Gaga has given us songs on sex, religion, politics, sexuality and individualism. Movements have sought her words to charge the bass with the beat of our hearts.  She is the Monster Mother of the fashion, music, and movement industry. And we are her little monsters.

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Image Source: Texas Book Festival

Zadie Smith

‘I don’t claim that it’s easy. I do not have the answers. I am by nature not a political person and these are the darkest political times I have ever known. My business, such as it is, concerns the intimate lives of people. The people who ask me about the “failure of multiculturalism” mean to suggest that not only has a political ideology failed but that human beings themselves have changed and are now fundamentally incapable of living peacefully together despite their many differences.’

The accidental champion of multicultural homogeneity forces upon us, thoughts, nostalgic roots and ideas of change.

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Image Source: Frida Kahlo Website

Frida Kahlo

“I paint flowers so they will not die”

Frida was the tempestuous artist that rose to recognition for her beauty, her art, her questions, her affairs and her disregard for society. Her naiveté and intense fascination dominated her ‘surrealism’ art that she was perhaps entirely unaware of. Her eccentricity and posthumous recognition reflect on her aberrant portrayal of self, tragedy, and actualization.

The ‘S’ Word: Top 4 Changes To Note

Sustainable is the new sexy.

Emma Watson has joined the bandwagon, recently. With her instagram handle @the_press_tour dedicated to eco-friendly, non-animal, non-leather clothing and accessories, the movement is gaining steam. Emma Roberts recycled Giorgio Armani’s 2005 vintage couture dress from the archives. Reason: Red Carpet Green Dress Challenge. Sustainable, upcycled, productive, positive fashion.  Though a complete overhaul of fashion’s green-o-meter is still a’comin’, these are the top 4 changes we’re happy to call out:

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  1. More not many: Fashion across the street is changing the way it models it’s offering. New styles are making way for renewed styles. In February, H&M’s new arrivals were down by 36%,  as replenished stock continue to increase. Same styles, repeated per demand, reducing the pressure on supply channels, and ultimately the environment – fashion is the second most polluting industry, after only oil. EDITD-Zara-analysis21.jpg
  2. Sustainable lines: As customers demand transparency, stories and emotional equations with their clothing, fast-fashion houses have begun to realign themselves to the changing times. Zara’s Join Life and H&M’s Conscious Collection offer carefully sourced, ‘more ethical’ products to customers who have traveled, seen it all and deserve change. Though they arrive late to the game, independent companies (such as us) are happy to share the stage with the fashion giants, together for the right movement. Pictures3-1024x640.jpg
  3. Independent designers: ‘Seasonless merchandising‘ has allowed for independent designers to crop up around the world. In lieu of the saturation of fast-fashion deflationary pricing (and therefore ‘safe’ styles), bold young designers are designing risque ensembles for an increasingly educated consumer group. The advent of online platforms has allowed for independent designers to  showcase their talent directly to an excited, global audience. Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 9.56.49 PM.png
  4. Stories: As we search for, communicate with, form relationships with and source designers who weave tireless stories, we are indebted to their journey. The stories of each designer, the inspiration behind the design, the idea for the fabric and the influence of ideas form each intricate product that is carefully curated. Increasingly, as customers seek association with their outfits, designers are allowed a voice. Stories and content form the basis of the selling relationship that retailers develop with their customers. At least we do, with every single sale. blog-design01

Why we need to slow down

 It was inevitable from the start. The sale that digested us back to hunger at the turn of every corner. The balloon-eyed realization that you can have what he and she has, in every colour and size. It matters little that you only wear it once. It matters little wear it came from. It doesn’t cost you much. Like everything else. Food, throwaway necessities, clean air, water, calm thoughts, real dreams. But that $2.99 cold-shoulder jersey top comes with the steepest hidden price tag, don’t you think? Or perhaps I’m just throwing bromides out into the Universe. Let me weigh this out, for you and me.

1. Someone pays for it

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Lost worker at the Rana Plaza Disaster

2. No matter which industry

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Polluted beach in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania

3. If we paused, we could…

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Enjoy the simple pleasures

4. Like these guys

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Toda Weavers, South India

5. But then, no…

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Black Friday, U.S.A.

6. But why?

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Slow fashion = fewer, rare collections, timeless in their styles

7. So why not.

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Isn’t there more to us?

Be the change. Join the slow fashion movement. We’re a happy family.. We love good thoughts. We love telling stories of why and where we found our clothes. We love our clothes. They’ll wait out the 30-year fashion cycle and come back into style.

Shop sensibly. For the long run. Slow down.

The Toda Tribe

The Toda tribe are a small tribe residing in the Nilgiris, hills of South India. Living in munds, the women of this tribe spend all their day time weaving. Trekking through the jungle, in return for beautiful stories and black tea, here’s a glimpse of this dwindling anthropological wonder:

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Toda Habitat

The red shawl-wrap is a family heirloom passed on through weddings. Their language is a marriage of South India and France. Women wear their weave with pride.

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Red Shawl for Tribal Weddings
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Family Heirloom Passed on through Marriage

The Toda dress consists of a single piece of cloth, which is worn like shalya wrap over a dhoti for men and as a skirt for women along with shalya wrap. The symbols from traditional costumes are very old and similar to those worn in ancient India, according to surviving representations.

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Weaving constitutes a major part of their day

Group of men laugh off the simplicity of their days, perched atop hills. Little boys chase tyres with plain sticks. Women of all ages share and adopt the tribal skill of weaving.

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The Toda Weave
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The Toda weave is this woman’s pride

To visit this friendly community, pay attention to ‘No Trespassing’ signs on the hills, lookout for a smiling face that’s walking past the sign and ask if they know how to get to where the Toda tribe live. They’ll be glad to take you and you are guaranteed an adventure.

Raja Market, Chickpet.

RajaMarket

We recently ventured out to Raja Market, just off Chickpet in Bangalore. Have you been?

Bangalore is filled with many a ‘pete’ (city), from days of yore. We read once, that there are always two Bangalores – one in focus, one neglected. When you negotiate up the narrow streets of Chickpet and turn into Raja Market – you will feel as lost as your senses may allow. That’s a good thing.

Visit Bangalore’s Raja Market on an unassuming Saturday and stay tuned to what we find out.