Making Waves: Money. Money. MONEY (the Budget for us Fashion Dummies)

Put on the news today and it’s clear that money is definitely on the mind. Now the Budget is way beyond my comprehension, and all the reading I’m doing, just doesn’t seem to make it any clearer. However what I can sense is that, some (read most) of our rich Indians are going to feel the pinch and hence the fiery debate on TV, between prominent politicians and finance gurus (who let’s face it, have be evading that 30% tax for ages).

shoe budget

How does the budget effect me?

When it comes right down to it, girls like me, want to know just how this budget effects our lifestyle. I want to know what I will be paying less for and what I shall be paying an arm and a Prada for. This is where Tines Now really put things in perspective. On their ticker bar they had a section called Budget Impact: Your Pocket which simply states what is going to get cheaper and what’s going to get more expensive.

My Pocket
Branded Apparel  -> Cheaper
Eating Out -> Expensive
Leather Goods -> Cheaper
Luxury Cars -> Expensive
Silver Jewellery -> Expensive
GSM & PDA Phones -> Expensive
Imported Bikes -> Expensive
Cigarettes -> Expensive
SUVs  -> Expensive

It looks like lifestyle trends have gotten more expensive, or rather indulgences are getting pricey. The budget has definitely looked at things from a social phenomenon perspective. For Example: we’ve seen this whole SUV culture creep into India recently, and sure enough this year if you have to buy one it will be more expensive. Personally, I’m happy that Branded Apparel and Leather goods (shoes, bags) will be cheaper, because as a consumer of tons of clothes and high heels; India really is fleecing their customers (me). Simple example, I bought a Charles & Keith bag in the Philippines for 2,900 pesos (approx 3,200 rs), the same bag here in Pune (I checked) retailed at 6,800rs. Yikes.

I wanted to buy a new phone this year, but looks like I’ll have to look overseas to buy a decent yet reasonably priced phone. I’m secretly loving the fact that luxury cars will be more expensive. Of late it seems like every Tom, Dick and Hitesh have a BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Bentley, you name it, they got it. The thrill of seeing a truly spectacular car has lost it’s charm, lets hope this will bring some of it’s gloss back.

Eating out has gotten more expensive in general, so it’s a bit of a let down that it’s only going to get more expensive. Sorry boys, but those first dates that are usually on you will seem a bit steep, don’t worry though we women got your back (unless we’re in the 30% tax bracket).

Now for this Woman’s Bank Debate

An all woman bank, really? I didn’t think banks had a bias towards women, it’s money and numbers at the end of the day, why should it make a difference if a man or woman is handling it? The argument by P Chidambaram is:
“There is no bank that exclusively serves women. Can we have a bank that lends mostly to women and women-run businesses, that supports women SHGs and women’s livelihood, that employs predominantly women, and that addresses gender related aspects of empowerment and financial inclusion? I think we can. I therefore propose to set up India’s first women’s bank as a public sector bank,” (sited from business-standard.com). Personally, I have never approached a bank for investments or start up money, loans etc, and the women I know who have started their ventures haven’t spoken of difficulties they’ve faced as a women at a bank, so I don’t really have too much of an opinion on this. Sorry folks, you’re on your own here.

Phew! This budget stuff is exhausting. Hope some of what I wrote made sense, there is a whole lot more to this issue, but that’s all I’ve manage to grasp so far.

Shoe Bites: Kicking myself for Not seeing Mumford and Sons in India

In the mild winter of ’09 Mumford and Sons came to India to tour and create music with artists here. Where was I?? I’ll be specific, I was studying fashion design in Mumbai, probably worrying about some seam or zip I couldn’t put into my garment. While all the while, they were here making and singing their incredible music. I even saw a glimpse of them perform at High Spirits, which just happens to be down the road for me in Pune. So close, and yet I was so unawares, I’m really kicking myself for this missed opportunity. That’s why I say folks, if you wanna do something even if it’s perceived of as crazy and will change people’s perspective of you, do it; at least you won’t live to regret it!

I hear that their trip wasn’t the most amazing experience, but that is to be expected when you come to India for the first time, the negative sometimes outweighs the positive. Looking back though, I do hope they see only the good from their tour, and return. Having gone through a pretty rough emotional few months, their music has definitely help shed some light on dark days. What an experience it would be to see them perform here in India.

Shoe Bites: Anne Hathaway’s Oscar Diamonds

anne hathaway

The only thing brighter than Anne Hathaway’s smile after winner her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress was her drop dead gorgeous diamonds. This Tiffany & Co necklace was the only saving grace about her entire look. While the dress isn’t that bad, we have come to expect so much more from Hathaway. The fabric of her Prada dress looks very laboured over and not in a good way. Who can get their eyes off that necklace? I’m not sure if it was worn back to front, but from the looks of it, it might have. I wish the dress had more drama in front than at the back, going backless seems to be the in thing these days, but aren’t we a bit fed up of the same thing in different packages?

Shoe bites: Pune Needs more Theatre

Amongst my friends the saying “At least it is something different” is often brought up in conversation. We’re constantly on the look out for interesting and fun things to do in the city. Pune is still at it’s core a small city, even though it’s grown up considerably in the last few years. This weekend Puneries were given the unique chance to delve into dance and theatre. The 3 day festival called Gulaal was hosted by the Indian Rhythm & Arts Association (IRAA), and brought together a power packed group of performers to entertain on such a large stage.

live to dance

I attended the Friday performances, a Bharatnatyam piece by celebrated artist Alarmel Valli and a play called Between the Lines by Nandita das and Subodh Maskara. As Ms.Valli said, it’s unfortunate that art forms like these don’t pull in the crowds as some of the more popular concerts and shows. For those of us in the audience though, we were mesmerized by the grace and expression of her craft. Personally I loved the second condensed varnam that was a story about a devotee who yearned for one celestial union with the Lord Natraj. The dance captured what so many of us women who long to be with our beloved feel, a moment even if a fleeting one is just as precious. That’s the thing about this form of dance, if in the hands of the talented it can bring to the bubble your emotions, even if you don’t understand every little nuance.

Between the lines

Next up was the brilliant play by Nandita Das and her husband Subodh Maskara. Between the Lines is story of a contemporary Indian couple, who tip toe between their cultural upbringing and their need to be more than a stereotype.  The couple are both lawyers, but after marriage the wife goes on to specialize in contracts, where as the husband becomes a lauded criminal prosecutor. The real fun begins when the two of them have to fight the same criminal case, but on opposite sides. The wife takes a more emotional approach, but the man a more practical. The entire play is a dance between how the couple view their marriage through the criminal trial. At the crux of it, the story is about the difference between a man and woman’s perceptive. They play is a delight to watch, as it has an immidiate connect with what we modern Indians feel and deal with. An excellent script teamed with incredible actors, it was a great end to the evening.

In Bombay, I’d go every two weeks or so to see plays at NCPA or Prithvi, or even stand up shows at local bars. I definitely miss that the most about my big move to Pune. Hopefully, we will get more theatre productions like the ones in Bombay, but till then I should get more connected to the already existing theatre culture here.

Toe Tappers: Linking Park – When they come for me

After what seems like an eternity, my girls and I went to Hard Rock Cafe, and pigged out on some sinfully fattening food. The best part of the night though, was listening to actual music. Playing over head was this particular song by Linkin Park which sounds a lot like a road procession song, you know the type you hear with a whole lot of dhole, that you just have to dance to, so addictive! Anyways, I haven’t even thought of this band since I was in my teens so you can imagine my surprise on finding out through Shazam, that it was one of theirs.

Get ready to dance!

Shoe bites: Jean Schlumberger Jewellery

Yet again the mighty weather change has caused me to be in bed sneezing and coughing. Reading WWD today, I saw the news about Tiffany & co going up against Costco, but since I’m not registered to the site I didn’t get the whole article.  Anyways, what better way to cheer me and get me out if the sick blues than to look at some sparkly goodies. Jean Schlumberger jewellery (especially his rings) have always caught my fascination and is one of the few collaborations Tiffany & Co have in their repertoire.

GERWEB_po_gerlux_tiffany

Jean Schlumberger’s beautiful nature inspired and whimsical pieces have been known to impress the likes of Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Jacqueline Kennedy has worn many of Jean’s bracelets that they’ve become known as the Jakie bracelets. Although Schlumberger passed away in 1987 (the year I was born) his legacy still lives on. My favourite Schlumberger piece is from the Tiffany & Co Blue Book collection of 2011. It’s called the star ring, a brilliant blue diamond with small diamond stars around it. I believe my name means bright star, hence my love for this particular piece.

To see more of Jean Schlumberger’s Tiffany & Co collection, click HERE.

Shoe Bites: The Heels I want, NOW

It seems like I haven’t been showing the love for high heels for a while now, and I agree. I haven’t bought a pair in over two months and certainly have no interesting shoes stories to write about. Sad but true. So without further ado, I’d like to bring in a bit of the aspirational and give you my top (lucky) 7 list of high heels I want..now (if I had a never ending cash flow).

# 1 Mawi and Bruno Magli – Pink Satin

pink satin

Picture Courtesy Blogs.Mawi.co.uk

# 2 Charlotte Olympia – Botanica Orchid

botanica orchid

Picture Courtesy Net-a-porter.com

# 3 Brian Atwood – Encanta

encanta

Picture Courtesy brianatwood.com

# 4 Giuseppe Zanotti – Peek-a-blue

zanotti

Picture Courtesy Net-a-porter.com

# 5 Jimmy Choo – Viper

viper

Picture Courtesy Net-a-porter.com

# 6 Burak Uyan – Stomp

stomp

Picture Courtesy Burak Uyan

#7 Gucci – Wire work

gucci

Picture Courtesy Net-a-porter.com

 

Shoe Bites: Like Sapphires in the Sky

I met these two ladies at fashion week last year and was amazed at how well put together they were, from head to toe you knew they loved fashion. Unlike the other girls though, Divya and Dipika Israni, aren’t fashion bloggers but rather store owners who love to bring affordable fashion to girls just like them. Their store Sapphire in Colaba, Mumbai, stocks everything from clothes to accessories.

The girls have sent me their latest range of jewellery and I’ve picked out my top 3 pieces you have to indulge in.

the any occasion bracelet

#1 – The Any Occasion Bracelet
Slip on a shift dress or a simple tee and jeans outfit with this chunky chain detail bracelet. It’s minimal with an industrial feel, a great piece in your jewellery box.

the geometric necklace

#2 – The Geometric NecklaceNecklaces have been getting a lot of face time of late, but I like to pick ones that aren’t just statement making, but rather one that you can wear many times. This one has all that.

the ultra glam necklace

#3 – The Ultra Glam Necklace
Every now and then you need a necklace that will make other girls go.. OHHH why didn’t I find that first. This one is exactly that, it’s got a bit of shimmer for those who like their bling. Plus a definite metal works edge, almost like parts from a garage were used to make it.

 

Toe Tappers: Top 10 Songs For (and Against) Valentines Day

It’s Valentines day soon, which means that music will act as a cure for those who are broken-hearted (and single); and as a catalyst for those in love (and in a relationship). Since I have no feelings either way about the day, I’ve decided to put together a list of 10 songs that look at love from both sides. I’ve tried as much as possible to get videos with lyrics, so that you can clearly see why they’ve been picked. Hope you like, and remember it’s a day to celebrate love, doesn’t say who you love, it can be an object too.. Like my love for high heels!

P.S – I have been a tad bit influenced by the recent Grammy performances.

Song #1 Mumford and Sons – I will wait

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Toe tappers: Johnny & The Romantics

jonathan

Talented and dreamy, you’re going to fall head over heels for Jonathan Pinto’s band. Johnny & The Romantics have an easy going sound with heavy undertones of reggae and pop. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this boy sing live at our many open mike nights in college and can’t believe just how much he’s grown. Hopefully soon, he’ll get his big break and come to India to perform, where I’ll be, front row cheering him on. Check out the latest single called Don’t Remember, it’s the perfect pick me up, listen to it first thing in the morning.

Listen Here: http://soundcloud.com/johnnyandtheromantics/dont-remember
More Info: http://www.jonathanpintomusic.com/