Shoe Bites: What women really want for Christmas

Let’s not kid ourselves, when it comes to Christmas, it’s all about those big, gift paper wrapped boxes with our names on them, hidden beneath the Christmas tree. While we may be happy with the thought behind some presents, what we really want, and I mean really want is some quality luxury. It’s that one time in the year where you splurge and work it off all of next year. Here is my top 5 list of what we women secretively desire.

#1 Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120

Picture Courtesy Net-a-porter.com

You didn’t think my list would start with beauty products did you!? Every girl needs a pair of Christian Louboutins, and while there are many outrageously lust-worthy heels, his Pigalle pointed toe are a staple. Your very first pair of Loubis have to be a classic, these Pigalles (120 mm obviously) are the perfect pair to start with.
Price: Approx 40,000rs

#2 Mawi

Mawi Punk Rajah

Picture Courtesy Facebook Page – Mawi

Bring out your inner tribal punk with these chunky yet sublime pieces from Mawi. While I’m a ring junkie, when it comes to Mawi jewellery, I can’t get enough of their necklaces. My particular favourite is the Punk Rajah collection. Their spiked jewel gem necklaces will look great on a salwar kameez as well as a LBD. We’re talking ultra punk glam without being labeled into that category.
Price: Approx 49,000rs

#3 Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Picture Courtesy Net-a-porter.com

Part of the new classics, has to be an Alexander McQueen clutch. These knuckle-duster clutches with their iconic jeweled skulls drive even the most polished and sophisticated lady to her knees. They come in a range of exotic leather and in every colour to satisfy any style aesthetic. Go decadent with this brocade Swarovski embelished clutch that I found on net-a-porter.com
Price: Approx 1,70,000rs

#4 Sabyasachi Mukherjee

sabyasachi

Picture Courtesy Lakme Fashion Week W/F 2011

Talk about timeless and something you can pass down the generations and one thinks of Sabyasachi Mukherjee. While all his garments are exceptional, there is just something about his saris. Every girl feels like an Indian princess dressed in these contemporary and eternal saris. Christmas gift or not, this is one present that will truly be treasured.
Price: 50,000 onwards

#5 Viktor & Rolf

flowerbomb_magPicture Courtesy halfway-to-paradise.com

Now many of you won’t agree with this, but I feel perfume leaves a lasting impression. While the Chanel No.5 and Dior’s Miss Cherie are always on your dressing tables, I thought it would be nice to change it up this Christmas with a burst of something different. FlowerBomb by Viktor & Rolf not only looks gorgeous but isn’t all that floral, it has sweet and cozy notes that you’ll love to spray on this mild winter.Price: 4,000-5,500rs

Making Waves: the Power of Social Media & Wang, Messi, Ono

Note from Blogger: This is a new series of posts that will bring together some news that has caught my interest. Not all of it will be about fashion, but includes a range of updates from the music, sports, political, cultural and art world.

Still judging while we tweet?

SM junkie

I’m often mocked by the fact that I tweet, Facebook and blog too much, well according to research and some percentages by BDO USA, Social Media is actually the popular choice for retail marketing. A whopping 86% of chief marketing officers have included social media in their marketing plans. From four percent in 2007 to 86 now, you do the math huh. While many other avenues of social media have popped up since 07, it’s still amazing to see the rapid growth. It’s deffinitely a sort of non-ivasive form of advertizing, which is why it’s become so sought after. Every major brand from high street to high end, big-industrial to small scale businesses, they’ve all got pages on FB or accounts on pinterest.
The Saunterer Says: So next time you judge, just think about the fact that you are very much influenced by social media. You find your news from twitter, updates about your favourite artist, sports and music etc. through FB groups/pages. Let’s face it even Times of India has a twitter account.

Wang, Bang thank you Mam

nicolas picture courtesy the celebrity city

After 15 years of being the creative director for the house of Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière has left. Leaving the fashion world with a cold chill up their spines. Known for its modern and innovative style, Ghesquière carried Cristóbal Balenciaga’s vision and pushed it into being contemporary and apt for our times. After much deliberation and social media frenzy, newly appointed  Alexander Wang was chosen to take the brand forward. Judging from this decision and Wang’s own design philosophy, it will be interesting to see just how the brand will evolve. Those of us who are major fans of Wang’s personal label need not fret, the designer has expressed to the public that he will continue to run his label.
The Saunterer Says: If Karl Lagerfeld can handle a multitude of brands under his stiff white collar, I see no reason why Wang can’t.

Caught in a Messi

Messi picture courtesy the celebrity city

If you know a bit about football, Lionel Messi has been trying to tie or beat Gerd Muller’s record of 85 goals in a year. While the draw between Benfica and Barcelona wasn’t all that important, the unfortunate news was that Messi fell to the ground after a nasty tackle with Artur Moraes. Carried off in a stretcher, fans were all thinking the same thing – will he recover fast enough to break the record. There are still 4 games left and hopefully the Argentine will be back on his feet.
The Saunterer Says: I’m an optimistic, it’s a question of 2 goals in 4 games. Get well soon Messi!

Ono she didn’t!

yoko ono

Picture Courtesy Complex.com

I can attempt to support even the most outrageous of fashion and fight against the stereotype that we as a collective bunch are shallow, jaded or prissy. But even I had to eat humble pie when I saw Yoko Ono’s collection, that she said was inspired by her dressing the infamous John Lenon. What sounded as excellent fodder for creativity turned into crotch grabbing prints and vulgarity that even for the open minded made you cringe. Sorry Ono, but looks like this mens wear line can be kept for Halloween or maybe, just maybe a bachelorette entertainer’s costume.
The Saunterer Says: While Ono feels that her man Lenon looked desirable in the way she dressed him, if I saw a man walk down the road in these garments, I would do swift turn and run for the hills.

Shoe Bites: Cassue – Coming Soon

Been walking down memory lane the last two days, figuring out what exactly I want to do with my label. Firstly, I need to start off by naming it. After much back and forth (in my head) I’ve decided ‘Cassue’ for my RTW and ‘Castellino Couture’ for the eventual catholic bridal label.

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions and with that a change of my personal sense of style. I’ve been heavily influenced by minimalism, and while I try to embrace the ideology the best I can, considering we live in a world of excess, it’s something I strive to achieve. Which leads me to my next problem, will minimalism be part of my design process?

cassue

My fashion school days were some of the best design wise, it challenged me on a daily basis and no matter what highs and lows I had, it’s one of those experiences that made you grow. Today I pulled out all my portfolios, clothes and even scraps of fabric I had stuck in my dusty closet. Searching for what my design aesthetic would be from now on. I chanced upon this particular collection I’d designed and realized that out of all the sketches and drafts I’d made it was this one that most caught my eye; 3 years from the day it was conceived.

Starting a small clothing brand, on little to no budget is a constant battle. Any designer without great financial support will tell you what a journey of struggle it will be. But I figure, at age 25, if you don’t do it now, and don’t try to do something that makes you feel happy then you’ll soon find yourself in jobs you don’t love, with people who won’t see you for who you are, because lets face it you are lost, living in limbo.

Toe Tappers: Madcon ‘Beggin’

Where was I three years ago when this song hit the radio stations? Oh wait we didn’t have English radio up until a year ago. Well I was watching the very tedious done-to-death dance movie called ‘street dance’ when this song began to play. In hindsight this song did sound better when paired with some catchy but albeit boring choreography.

Listen to the song with a killer set of ear phones, tune out and hum to the melody.

Just in case you were also lost three years ago, here is the song I’m talking about. It’s by artist Madcon, and it’s called Beggin. Enjoy.

FDI in Retail, Reasons Why I should Care.

Note from Blogger: I am always surprised when some of my contemporaries don’t take notice of life beyond their jobs or their passions. You might believe in a movement or be stubborn about a cause, but if you’re ill informed then there is no substance to your efforts. Start reading, really reading, skip the photos on a webpage for a change and take in the content.

If you’ve been reading the Economic Times lately, you’ll have woken up to the fact that our government has made a decision on Foreign Direct Investment (in retail) in India. How does it effect you and what is it? While I am in no way an expert, and frankly a lot of it is alien to me, I wanted to get a basic grasp on it. Well that is the premise to this article, a lay-fashion-man’s view. You’ll be surprised how changes within our economy and government effect, let’s say the quality of products you are buying from non-Indian labels or just how fast stores will get the latest products.

WHAT is this FDI in retail?

The basics then, FDI stands for Foreign Direct Investment, in retail this means companies such as WalMart, Tesco, Carrefour etc can now open up their stores in our markets. But wait, don’t rejoice just yet, there are a lot of steps to be taken before these multi-brand shops become true locals.
In a nut shell: Let’s say your New Yorker aunt’s vintage sunglasses business wants comes to India. But to start, she has to first have a joint venture with you or she could choose to go for a franchise with your uncle. On top of that she can only sell out of states who have agreed to the FDI, of which, these cities have to have a 10 lakh population. Plus a hefty 50% of her FDI money must go to back-end infrastructure. As you can see I’m not explaining it in the best way possible and even if I were, the process is frustrating. Part of the reason why many investors are apprehensive to invest in the first place.

Getting into details about just how these juggernauts can enter the country is a whole different post. For now lets focus on the fact that this bill has been passed and we will soon see it’s effects.

Why do we care?

Well for one this approval in FDI retail means the following :

Single-brands like Ikea and Apple are amongst the many who will now find it easier to do business in India. Maybe, just maybe this will prompt brands like H&M to get to India, and for that we can all be thankful, am I right? Recently we’ve seen a huge influx of brands come into our markets (our malls), from SuperDry, Dune, Stuart Weitzman and our favourite beauty department store Sephora. Although unlike Idea and Apple, these a fore mentioned are here on the dreaded joint venture.
Multi-Brands like Walmart are also in the wait. Although, apart from the multitude of barriers they will face, they will HAVE to invest 50 per cent of their total FDI in back-end infrastructure. Which means, before products even hits the stores, there will be money put in to improve the fundamentals. Better manufacturing, distribution, quality control, packaging, storage – the list goes on. This is not all together a bad thing for small scale Indian businesses in the retail industry. Improvements of this kind, will not only help these big brands but will also push for standardization of procedures and processes from our smaller Indian suppliers. Improvement all around don’t you think?

In a nutshell: your favourite pair of shoes will reach you faster, they will be better quality, and along the way these heels would have helped get smaller businesses money to take part in this chain of supply. Helping the industry, helping the economy. But lets not end the article on a utopian note, there are a multitude of issues with the FDI in Retail and the dark underbelly of bribes, illegal licenses and all of that will eventually come to light. As a customer though, expect some changes in the way you shop.