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Fashion Muse of the Month: September (and truly year round) Inspired by Diane Keaton

Fun, fearless, female. This woman had my heart many years ago when I stepped into the world of Woody Allen with Annie Hall. Diane Keaton wasn’t the quintessential Hollywood heroine, in her speech, style or stage presence. I went on to watch everything directed by him and featuring her, and fell in love some more. To be unabashedly dapper (and yet gracefully feminine) in a suit is a charm she’s taught women of the world, becoming a fashion icon of the late 1970s with the neckties, fedora hats, baggy pants she adorned. Wearing it with aplomb in the film and often in her appearances on the red carpet, she sure knows, even in her greyed glamorous avatar, how to pack an androgynous fashion punch. And like every style icon, it isn’t simply about what she wears but almost always also about what she says and does. Having started her family on the other side of fifty, she says of motherhood, “I think that it puts you in your place because it really forces you to address the issues that you claim to believe in and if you can’t stand up to those principles when you’re raising a child, forget it.” For laying out the truth on that and other matters and for being the duffelbag (as opposed to tiny purse) lady, she’s my forever favorite female and a more than perfect (and truly year round) Fashion Muse.

Images via Pinterest

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Closet Diary of Richa Gupta (Founder – Zumbasa.com), New Delhi, India

She wanted to become a fashion designer back in 10th grade. Instead she studied Economics and then became a shoe designer. The designer aspirations didn’t work out too well but her love for fashion and shoes remained, finally finding expression in Zumbasa.com.

Closet Diaries: Style Secrets from Richa Gupta, Founder - Zumbasa.com

Richa Gupta, Founder – Zumbasa.com

Richa Gupta started her fashion website at the age of 25 (then under the name Du Couture, which eventually became Zumbasa), after completing an Entrepreneurship MBA course from NTU in Singapore.

Trying to find a footing in the big industry of women’s fashion, styling, apparel and accessories, Zumbasa focuses on bringing niche overseas brands to India, allowing women to dress up in their personal style rather than aping designer labels and by keeping customer needs in mind by reaching out to each one of them to ensure the right fit.

When she’s not brainstorming over the next collection to showcase, she loves traveling. One secret that most people don’t get to when they first meet Richa is that she’s a huge introvert. But today she’s shedding some of that and letting me raid her closet for style secrets, kicking off a new series on the blog ‘Closet Diaries’.

<Drumrolls>

Your fashion icon(s) and what do you like most about their style

I don’t have any fashion icons as such, because each person has an individual style and sense of fashion. But if I really had to name someone it would be Audrey Hepburn.

Your style mantra

My style mantra is comfortable and classy! Jeans, Top, Flip flops for the mall or a Midi fitted dress with short heels for a night out.

The biggest fashion faux pas according to you

What may suit me might not suit you and vice versa. Just wear what you want, whatever your heart pleases and never think about what’s right or wrong fashion wise. You make your own fashion and style.

Your favourite colour/print/patterns for this season

Pastels! Baby Blues, Mint Greens, Peaches and Pinks. Print wise I’m all for florals right now!

A designer you would love to be dressed by

Elie Saab. I’m quite jealous of Sonam Kapoor in this regard!

3 things every wardrobe should have

Nude pumps

Reliable pair of jeans that have lasted you or will for years

A knee length or midi dress

A fashion accessory you never leave home without

My bag and my nude lipstick. I feel incomplete without them.

You would pair Blue Suede Shoes with

Medium blue jeans and a white button down shirt.

If you had to burn all your clothes but one, it would be

This is what nightmares are made of! I would save my favourite pair of J-brand jeans.

Your wildest style experiment yet

This one really had me thinking hard and realising I’m a very boring person when it comes to fashion. But my wildest experiment has been with a short pair of shorts and a whole lot of people looking at me at the mall!

If you’d like to participate in this series or nominate a fashionista, holler on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll be saying ‘Hi’ very soon!

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Raise the White Flag Oh Wild Locks!

It isn’t always a vain person who asks, “What must I do with my hair?” Decisions regarding the precious locks can have earth-shattering consequences. Whether you should wear them long/short, curvy/poker straight, black/burgundy are questions that can hardly be answered without trepidation.

Life was a lot less complicated when parents got done what they wanted on my head. I was too young to appreciate God’s gift to mankind in the form of countless strands that can be messed with any which way.

But this perfect-hair utopia didn’t last too long. Before I knew it, there were hair-styles to be experimented with, and I do emphasize the word ‘experiment’. The hair-scientist (read barber’s) scissors worked away with the promise of a solution to all hair woes. And just like any experiment the results over the years varied from the expected to the plain bizarre.

No matter what the experiments yielded, one thing was clear…there are primarily two kinds of people in this world (no not blondes and brunettes). There are those with great (by which I simply mean ‘manageable’) hair and those like yours truly. When I bargained for the wild quotient in my life I was certainly not talking about my hair.

Yes there are some near-perfect moments like shampooed-not-dry, just-had-a-hair-cut, combed-till-one-dropped. But these moments don’t make up for the countless others when directionless strands wage war against neighbours and refuse to live in the vicinity of each other.

There are products on shelves that promise hair-divinity. But a shampoo bottle that reads “For dry and damaged hair” on your personal shelf promises little that can be termed divine.

Perhaps self-help books on the subject (to the tune of ‘Count your strands while they’re still on your head’) may provide some form of solution. If positive reinforcement were a panacea for all hair woes I could’ve stood in front of the mirror everyday and said with conviction: “I have great hair”. This would’ve set off a chain reaction ultimately ending in belligerent strands raising the white flag. ‘Truce!’ they would’ve screamed and there would’ve been peace on my head.

Alas, head-peace oft appears a mirage in the desert. The search for the oasis continues while I save myself from sandstorms and sometimes contemplate going bold (read bald) in my approach.

If fate has it writ that I shall drink from the great-hair-all-day pool, so it shall be.

And until that day comes, the wild nature of a whole lot of keratin will keep the frizzy groove on.

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For the Love of Metal Stallions

 

“Where did you get this motorcycle?”

“It’s a chopper baby, not a motorcycle”.

‘Tis old wisdom to judge a man by the look of his shoes. But if those shoes were pedaling the right machine, judgements can become a tad bit more interesting.

The knights of yore rode stallions to battles and journeys across kingdoms. The mechanised stallions of today roar and rumble their way through city streets and open roads, making the easy riders feel nothing short of glorious knights on a significant errand. Give these post-industrial revolution knights some leather on their backs and you’ve got yourself a personal touch of quintessential machismo.

Some boys with bikes will have you believe that rescuing distressed damsels is their primary duty on this earth. Others vie for feminine attention through the (im)perfect art of (what in their minds are) dare-devil stunts. Let every man that ever rode with the dream of a gorgeous pillion behind him know…if you be as good as your machine, life’s fair. If you be better, life’s marvelous.

Many a boy-turned-man (and some girls-not-turned-ladies) has dreamt of a v-twin engine thundering under him (her). Only some take a trip to heaven on this roaring dream. Whether they ride through heat and dust or thunderous storms, these machine-junkies will tell you life’s never too good without rubber-smoking action.

Whether you ride ‘em, play the pillion part or just watch the machines in action, always remember…if you hear that familiar roar, sit tight.

Jungle or not, the ride is about to get wild.