BIRTHDAY LOOKS WITH XXLLENT

“It is a ceremony, the blowing of candles, the cutting of a cake – the mess of cream and sponge in your mouth. The taste is sweet and familiar, like a newly formed wish, fashioned from all the ones you’ve made before.

You don’t remember them in sequence – the things you ask for. You only recall those you wanted the most. Like the pair of neon pink roller-skates, you saw in the shop window when you were twelve. How deeply you felt their absence when you sat among the litter of torn wrapping paper and empty new possessions.

Or the year you turned sixteen, when your best friend’s mother got really sick, and all you wanted was for her to be okay again. It was the year you learned that shooting stars were either a blessing or a curse, depending on what you wanted to believe.

Then there was that year you fell in love. The one where there weren’t any candles – just you walking late at night through the city streets with your heart in pieces, wanting to give yourself to the first stranger who called you beautiful.

Since then it’s been the same every year. As soon as the first match is struck, the smell of burning takes you backwards through your memory. It stops you right at that moment on that warm, September night, as you watched the first trickle of melting wax hit the icing, and you couldn’t think of a single damn thing you wanted – because he was standing there, in the flickering light, asking you to make a wish.”

–––––– LANG LEAV , BIRTHDAYS

Starting this post by one of my favourite authors signifies the fact that this one’s going to be all about birthdays. Yes! I am so excited to finally reveal my looks from the collaboration with the brand XXllent, started in 2016 by Raksha Shetty. An online website portal for plus size shopping, the brand XXllent is synonymous with the belief that beauty is beyond size and that every body is beautiful.

Fashion and style are elements and state of the mind that transcends beyond a certain size, shape and colour. Well, it couldn’t have been a better fit when one day I sauntered into the Xxllent office in Pune and realised how extremely innovative, quick, hard working  with a clear vision and goal the team was. There has always been a limitation in the availability of choice in fashion for the plus size women which compromises at least 60% of fashion choice for the Indian women and the brand Xxllent had been able to map this glaring gap in the market in the retail and fashion industry for plus size or curvy women. After all, why should any women need to settle for less variety in choice?

The brands’ stylist, Ritika Tara Sharma and I decided on a few looks and because my birthday was coinciding in the month of June, I decided to style a few looks and create a style guide for various birthday personalities. So, if your birthday is around the corner, keep calm and put your style game on because I am going to give you the following lay downs and help you up your fashion game !

1-Sophisticated meets Chic

This off-shoulder cape dress is such a winner if delicate and elegance is your style. I kept it simple by adding a lace choker as the only accessory.

2- Traditional meets Contemporary

This royal look with multicolour “ikat” combination with “gota patti” lace and gold border gives that royal look for that one event where class is priority. I decided to accessorise it with one statement neck piece and red lips.

3- The Summer baby

If you are a cool and breezy person who likes to be on the move and feel fluid and casual, even on days like birthdays, this batik print summer kaftan should be your favourite. I accessorised this with a simple Swarovski neck piece to give it a touch of luxury and a statement oxidised finger ring.

4- The Fiery College Teen

I love this look because of the very stated drama the flared kimono sleeves and tie up at the waist brings in infused with the lovely red hue. This ensemble completely embodies a fiery spirit who has a panache for some fun and drama. I let the dress speak for itself and added a simple pendant neck piece.

5- The dualist

Always in a rush and hopping from day to evening occasions and no time to change because all you have is a spare skirt in your car. Fear not, I got you covered with the reversible top which can be worn in both ways in both the colours – black and purple. I love monochrome solid looks that are clean and minimal and decided to add that headgear for a little greek inspiration ! Play with the shrug for both the looks and let it add that flare and glam.

Photography – Manjari Singh and Mehuljeet Singh 

Assistant Styling – Vaishali Pandey 

Brand – Xxllent 

Written by Adhisa Ghosh 

JORSS – SUMMER POP UP

It was pouring outside one evening while I was aimlessly sipping coffee, sitting at a cafe and strolling on social media, consuming news on fashion and beauty as usual. That’s when I got an invite for an event by Vidhya Tiwari, Editor-in-chief at Cariz, hosted along with her by Chanda Patil, for a Summer Pop Up exhibition at the gorgeous salon, Nails & More owned by Debarati Ghosh.

The pop up was brought in by Harshita Punjabi from Mumbai, whose label Jorss was a collection of summer wear carefully curated from across the world keeping the summers in mind. I decided to drop in for the pop up at the Nails & More on a weather temperamental Friday morning and get some much needed dose of my weekly Fashion inspiration.

Stepping in wearing Global Desi
Harshita Punjabi

While entering the quaint place I couldn’t help but soak in the neat interior giving out a very traditional yet contemporised vibe with copper vessels and reclined chairs, and adding to that was Harshita’s vibrant gesture that made me feel instantly at ease, like I was invited for a dress up party where I could browse through her collections at ease.

Nails and More

Glimpses from the pop up

Talking to the very talented young fashion designer from NIFT, Harshita explained how she usually does traditional wear but this collection was curated for being summer and travel friendly giving out a global vibe. A variety of collections of clothes from her various travels, each one unique and different from the other.

She stuck to summer tones for the colour palette. Pastels, nude tones and prints were her choice, perfectly reflecting the weather outside and my mood. Slim cuts and weather friendly fabrics were her silhouette and fabric choice and I instantly loved the collection while browsing through them.

When I asked her why did she zero in on Pune as the place for her exhibition, she quipped how the city has an undeniable potential for fashion and style. Also she and her beautiful friend cum owner of Nails & More, Debarati Ghosh had been planning to do the pop up since a very long time.

Harshita has always been very outgoing and an extrovert which I could tell from her way of easing her customers in.

Dreaming of being a designer as a little girl, she realised this dream at the age of 20 years, when she shaped her Indo – Western fusion brand under the label “Jorss”. After her graduation from NIFT, she soon found herself creating couture for the ‘Modern Indian Woman’. Jorss fashion is exclusive, elaborate and elegant and Harshita’s designs are whimsical and tasteful, effective with a variety of textiles, prints and sophisticated embellishments. After trying out a few of her collections and particularly loving two favourites, I realised that the heart of her designs lie in one of a kind outfits tailored to perfection for the urban woman.

Checking out some handpicked jewellery by Beadazzle by Soniya and Bling Spree

Being a curvy blogger, I couldn’t help but feel good about being able to ease into her designs and seeing variety not limited to a particular size. Upon asking her if she felt that fashion had a definitive size, her answer made all the positive difference making the collection more than just a display of her creativity. She quickly responded how she felt strongly about the fact that fashion was for all, and it wasn’t a size. It was clearly a state of mind and what made a woman feel like she was a queen! It was the confidence and the love for fashion and style that should transcend the obligation of feeling restricted.

I for one, couldn’t agree more. Also, I had so much fun playing dress up and twinning with her while getting to know all about this very talented designer!

I love the dramatic collar and cinched waist, and the pastel tone, very summer melting into monsoon feel!
This Batik print maxi dress is so soft and comfortable! Love!

Photography – Mehuljeet Singh 

Location – Nails and More

Designer – Harshita Punjabi 

Event – Summer Pop Up Exhibition

Accessories – Beadazzle by Soniya and Bling Spree

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

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MY GRADUATION STORY, 2013-2017

Pune, 2013. Personal Interview at Symbiosis Institute of Design, taken by the current Head of Department of Fashion and the Deputy Director, Mrs. Sanjeevani Ayachit. Me, a wide-eyed naive 18 – year old, over the moon about being able to come so far in that one course I was desperate to get into : Fashion Communication.

Nervously slipping through my portfolio and showing my letter of recommendation from my then Editor of a leading national newspaper, I tried to hide my growing impatience, because everyone knew a quiet interview wasn’t good.

“Don’t you think you are overqualified? Give me a reason why you should be considered.”

2017, April, I graduated from Symbiosis Institute of Design, in Fashion Communication, specialising in Fashion Styling and Writing, and having a knack for business and brand management that got me a MBA with scholarship in Luxury Brand Management at IFA (Institute of Fashion Academy ) ranked 6th in France, where I am soon going to be a part of cultures like Istanbul and Paris, as part of the programme.

Why am I saying all this? I am not bragging. It is not my intention to brag, but to highlight the fact that nothing in life is ever easy and you never know unless you try. My journey in Symbiosis wasn’t an easy one, sure, but it was also one I would never go back and change.

In my four years of graduation, I have seen students come and go. For some, bearing the pressure gets too overwhelming and some realise they are not cut out for design. I never thought I was too, till the day I had my first class in Fashion Studies in my second year and after that, time and again, I knew I could breathe, eat, sleep, walk and talk fashion communication, a state that all the 21 girls in my class would undoubtedly agree to.

From pulling all nighters to partying till dawn the next day at the thrill and satisfaction of having completed a project, to giving up sometimes and crying endlessly and holing up at home and avoiding college and taking a few backlogs, we have all been there and done that. From confiding in our mentors to developing some beautiful relations with our faculties as we grew older, we realised that we made it from being 18 year olds to 23 year olds and worrying about our jobs and securities now.

I have seen many come and go. People are always obsessed with the idea of something, like being a part of the Symbiosis culture probably, given that the hype is not negligible, but look beyond it, I promise you its much more.

If you are focused, goal and career driven and ambitious about design, then this place is what you can call home for the next four years of your life. And, if you are lucky enough, this is where your nights will turn into days with friends who would turn into families. This is where you would find people who would momentarily but significantly replace your family for you on days when you are homesick, and diligently dole out the roles of a mother, father and a sibling.

    DESIGN SHOWCASE, 2013-2017.

This is where you would make plenty of mistakes in your life too. You would lose control sometimes, feel the rush of your youth, feel the magic in your bones. You would rise above and fall down with a thud too, and every time you learn to walk back after your failures, you will know better than to quit. You will realise that you are in a lion fight, and people around you are your competitors and your colleagues you can learn from. Just because you didn’t win once, doesn’t mean you forgot how to roar.

You will learn to trust people even when your instincts tell you against it and amidst all that trusting, you will also learn eventually to trust no one but yourself.

This is also where you would find the love of your life and if you are lucky enough, then it would be the kind that would be for eternity. You would finally learn at your age, what loving selflessly is. You would have a love that writers write about and if you are strong enough to balance it all out and sustain storms, you will realise that this place is where you got your friends who became your family, your career, your motivation and your heart.

My design showcase, which is our annual graduation show happened in the month of April. That glorious moment for which we all waited for was finally here. I couldn’t feel more proud to see all my hard work transcend into the panel that had our work on display and I felt blessed to receive praises and best wishes for life beyond the four walls of Symbiosis.

PANEL DISPLAY OF DEGREE PROJECT WORK

It was a consuming three – day affair with the Design Show, with placements and Fashion shows, exhibitions, dinners and parties, telling everyone goodbye a thousand times and promising to keep in touch. It was like hearing every kind of goodbye said all at once.

My personal style has always been chic, comfortable and casual and for my Design Show, I decided to break the monotony of formal dressing and be comfortable yet classy in a ribbed shift dress and an anti-fit dress. Lace and metallic choker were my go to and only accessories as I like to keep it clean and minimal. My make up was also very balanced, with a pink glow, matte pink lips for the first look and green smoky eyes, matte nude lips for the second look.

PINK TREND – DRESS&CHOKER – FOREVER21
ANTI-FIT LOOK – DRESS&CHOKER – FOREVER21 & GLOBAL DESI

Shoes are my comfort zone, and when I know I have to party, my stilettos were diligently displaced with metallic golden shoes, my current all wardrobe staple!

I recall, the night of the farewell, all I did was observe my batch of 180 or fewer students, all together probably for the last time, interacting, dancing, laughing and talking to each other, all together amidst their differences, but together nonetheless.

FASHION BATCH 2013-2017 , BATCH PHOTO BY – MANJARI SINGH

On a closing note, I quote from Grey’s , ” Today’s the day my life begins. Today I become a citizen of the world. Today I become a grown up. Today I become accountable to someone other than myself and my parents. Accountable for more than my grades. Today, I become accountable to the world. To the future. To all the possibilities that life has to offer. Starting today, my job is to show up wide-eyed and willing and ready. For what, I don’t know. For anything. For everything. To take on life. To take on love. To take on the responsibility and possibility. Today, my friends, our lives begin. And, I for one can’t wait.”

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

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