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Luxury Life & Style

JUNE 2018|Rs100




open the newspaper every morning and, sure enough, read about the latest controversy, or how gas prices are at an all time high, or how two powerful countries are at loggerheads. So it was lovely to read the news of a real-life fairytale of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. In a world that is often filled with superiority, where people feel that there’s a “right” way to do things, at the risk of sounding clichéd, the Royal wedding showed us that Love can conquer all. It taught us that we can pave our own way and future. While going traditional is great, balancing it by doing things your way, following head and heart is even greater. It displayed the true importance of diversity; an African American pastor has never before been seen at a Royal Wedding. And it re-emphasised the most important lesson – that families stick together. It is team LIVING’s privilege to use official pictures from the BBC coverage of the Royal Wedding, and give our readers this special “Royal Issue”.

Rohini Manian


INBOX Dear LIVING Team, I was looking forward to a food review in the May edition. Love your section on newest restaurants. However, I haven’t found

is online:

one in the latest edition. If you haven’t discontinued it, kindly add one in your next issue. Look forward to it.

Yash Satti, Hyderabad Dear Editor,

To subscribe to this magazine, e-mail For advertisement Call : 98416 28335

I recently visited Paris and visited the LVMH foundation. It was all about modern art. I read your coverage on Dior exhibition and would love for you to check out the one mentioned. I would recommend it for your readers.

Leon Curial, Chennai Hello Team, Just wanted to drop in a message that I really enjoyed reading the African wildlife photography story. The pictures were impressive! Keep it up and kudos to the photographer.

Rama. S, Hyderabad Luxury Life & Style

JUNE 2018|Rs100




Cover Photography Alexi Lubomirski Photo source: Getty Images Europe







June 2018




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May 2018



this issue



The Roman Rendezvous

Love that Rattled Boundaries


Something Borrowed A History of royal trousseau

Suraksha Acharya tells us all about Italian architecture

54 Dough It Up

We try the newest menu of Chef’s Table

Glorious Gold Coast



When To Send Your Child To School?

Gorgeous For The Summer Expert advise from celebrity makeup artist Puneet B Saini



Weaving Traditions A candid chat with designer Gaurang Shah

The Big Picture

LOVE that rattled boundaries! A







about the ‘shocking’ union of a British prince





Beyond their surprising association, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are just two people madly in love with each other. The world tuned in to this historic event, and Deepa Kalukuri brings you some of the most talked about moments of the royal wedding.



Thirty-seven years ago, when Princess Diana was set to marry into the British Royal family, she wasn’t prepared for the media frenzy that followed the event and continued until her tragic death and even after. She was the most followed and photographed royal in the world and paid a hefty price for it. Prince Harry lost his mother at the tender age of 12, and the world was moved to tears when they saw the adolescent walk behind his mother’s coffin. Since then, it was clear that the public was ready to give Prince Harry the leverage of choosing his bride. Unlike Prince William, Harry was never going to take the throne and his choice of bride wasn’t as significant; until his romance with a small-time American actress Meghan Markle was reported by the Canadian media. The 36-year-old Suits star was subject to racist, sexist and demeaning comments by the global readers and media alike. Her previous marriage and divorce hit the tabloid headlines, and hence Prince Harry’s choice wasn’t accepted at large. The couple, however, fought the odds and tied the knot with the blessings of the Queen.

When Kate Middleton was dating Prince William, she was called ‘Waity Katie’ as the Prince took 9 years to propose. Fast forward 2017, when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement was announced, they coined the names, ‘Media Meg’ and ‘Sparkle Markle’ for the Duchess. Her ease with the cameras was criticised and she was famously labelled a manipulator. Although she was subjected to harsh comments and online abuse, she kept her dignity intact by staying mum.



In a lot of ways, royal weddings have evolved

One of the most talked about topic about the royal bride was her

with time and among the most important

mixed heritage. Born to a Caucasian father and an African-American



mother, she is known to be the first-ever royal with African roots and

was the first one to change her vows by

has set the royal family as an icon in modern times. The couple did

adding gender equality. It was a tradition for

not shy away from showing the world that they were proud of their

royal brides to say, ‘I obey’ to their future

roots. Of course, American preacher, Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon

husband; however, the Princess of Wales

on love took the royal family and the world by surprise. Hearing him

refused to say it and instead she said that

quote Martin Luther King and speak of slavery shocked some of the

‘she will love him and comfort him’. Both her

royals, who couldn’t hide their feelings in front of the live camera. Post

daughters-in-law, The Duchess of Cambridge

his sermon, the renowned gospel choir – The Kingdom Choir – rocked

and the Duchess of Sussex, followed her path

Ben. E. King’s popular song Stand by Me. It was met with praise and

and also replaced ‘I do’ with ‘I will’. It’ll be

proved that this wedding was nothing like any other royal wedding.

interesting to see how the next generation of

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding has broken the ice and set

royals change the said vows!

new rules for the future royals.

VOWS were





June 2018


The Big Picture


THE AISLE SWEET NOTHINGS Apart from Queen Victoria, all the other royal brides were

The loved-up couple held hands throughout

accompanied by their fathers in their walk down the aisle.

the ceremony. Harry’s comments were caught

However, Meghan Markle’s father dropped out of the wedding

on camera when he told his blushing bride

ceremony after his heart surgery and a series of embarrassing

that she looks amazing and how lucky he is.

staged photo scandals. The world tuned in to the controversy and

Many professional lip readers got to work and

many wondered if the Queen would approve Meghan Markle’s mother

decoded what the couple whispered to each

Doria for the honour. Kensington Palace released a statement that

other. Some of the bloopers also included

the future king, Prince Charles, would walk his daughter-in-law down

Meghan Markle expressing a sigh of relief after

the aisle. The gesture was met with praise and the moment Prince

the royal procession when she said, ‘oh f**k’.

Harry thanked his dad with a simple, ‘Thanks Pa’, at the altar

It was heartwarming to see how comfortable the

didn’t go unnoticed. And, proof that the royal family welcomed the

couple was and how the relaxed bride navigated

unconventional bride with open arms.

the nervous Prince through the service.


June 2018

The Big Picture




PROCESSION Our favourite moment of the day! The royal procession first took prominence during the reign of Queen Victoria. She was the first royal to engage the public in the royal wedding, which had been a private family event for generations. In the past 70 years, the royal procession and the balcony kiss have been the highlights of royal weddings. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry chose Windsor as the city that would witness their D-Day. Over 100,000 people from across the world turned up on the streets of Windsor The toothless grin of one of Meghan Markle’s page boys went viral in seconds. Brian Mulroney was enlisted along with his twin brother to hold the bride’s veil; and they did a great job! As soon as Meghan Markle entered the chapel, Brian’s excited toothless grin stole the show. There

to shower their blessings on the newly married couple. The 30-minute carriage procession put up a full display of British traditions, and the Ascot Landau carriage was adorned with gold plating and velvet finish. Truly a royal moment that’ll stay etched in our memories forever.

were six bridesmaids and four page boys at the wedding, two of whom were Princess Charlotte and Prince George. The Princess’ royal waves and cheeky smiles to the camera have touched many hearts.

Come September 2018, we will witness another royal wedding as Princess Eugenie ties the knot with her beau Jack Brooksbank. Can’t get enough of these fairytales!

Deepa Kalukuri is the Managing Editor of LIVING and an alumna of the Asian College of Journalism. She's a Mumbaikar and a Hyderabadi who loves the Nizami charm, Irani chai and a spicy Vada Pav at the Marine Drive.

June 2018





The bridal outfit is the most spoken about topic as soon as a royal engagement is announced. From guessing the choice of designer to weaving in traditions, for generations royal weddings have been the talk of the town, and the world! Zainab Khan takes us back to the 19th century and traces all the royal bridal dresses from Queen Mary to the Duchess of Sussex.


ight from Mary of Teck to Meghan Markle, the brides of the royal family wore gowns and tiaras that have a tale to tell. Here is a lineage of

queens and princesses along with insights into their wedding and royal life.

MARY OF TECK Born on 26 May 1867 at Kensington Palace, London, Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes was the Princess of Teck (popularly known as May). She was born to Francis, Duke of Teck, and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge who was the granddaughter of King George III. On 6 July 1893, she married Prince George, the Duke of York, at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace. Arthur Silver of Silver Studio designed the wedding gown – ‘The May Silks’. The gown featured embroidery of emblems of a rose, shamrock and thistle and was trimmed with the traditional orange blossom and true lover’s knots. Made of white satin, it had three small flounces of old Honiton lace that had been used on the wedding dress of her mother. The veil had also been used by her mother and was fastened with diamond pins gifted by Queen Victoria. A diamond tiara from Queen Victoria and a diamond necklace from the Prince and Princess of Wales completed her wedding outfit. Prince George’s wedding gift to her was a diamond earring and an anchor brooch.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on 21 April 1926 in London. She was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother). Alexandra’s father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936. She began to undertake public duties during World War II and served in the Auxiliary Territorial Services. On 20 November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh, a former Prince of Greece and Denmark, at Westminster Abbey in London. The Queen used ration coupons to buy the material for her gown, which was designed by Norman Hartnell. She wore the Queen Mary Fringe tiara and the City of London Fringe necklace. They had four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Queen Elizabeth II’s father died in February 1952 and she became the Head of the Commonwealth and Queen Regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries, namely, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon.

June 2018


Trousseau PRINCESS MARGARET Often viewed as a controversial member of the British royal family, Margaret Rose was born on 21 August 1930. She was the youngest daughter of King George VI and the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II. After World War II, she fell in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend. The year 1952 saw a lot of activity. Margaret’s father died, her sister became the Queen and Townsend divorced his first wife. The following year, Townsend proposed to her, but neither the Parliament nor the royal family were happy about the union. Hence, the Church of England refused to countenance marriage to a divorced man. She later abandoned the plan of marrying Townsend and in 1960 she accepted the proposal of photographer Antony Armstrong Jones, who was created Earl of Snowdon by the Queen. They got married on 6 May 1960 at Westminster Abbey. Norman Hartnell designed her wedding dress. It was made of silk organza with over 30 metres of fabric used in the skirt. Princess Margaret ditched the royal collection for her tiara and wore the Poltimore tiara made by Garrard in the 1870s. She had bought the tiara at an auction a year before her wedding.

PRINCESS DIANA Diana Frances Spencer was born on 1 July 1961 into a family of British nobility with royal ancestry, the Spencer family. She was the youngest daughter of John Spencer and Frances Shand Kydd. She grew up in Park House, situated on the Sandringham Estate. She became known as Lady Diana Spencer in 1975 after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer. Her engagement to Prince Charles was announced in February 1981. The Prince of Wales got married to Diana on 29 July 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral and their wedding reached a global television audience of over 750 million people.


June 2018


David and Elizabeth Emanuel designed her wedding gown. It had hand embroidery, sequins, 10,000 pearls and a train that was 25 feet long. The lace used on the wedding gown belonged to Queen Mary. She wore the Spencer tiara, which had been in her family for well over a century. They had two children, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. The Princess of Wales, Diana undertook royal duties on behalf of the Queen and represented her at overseas functions. She was also known for her charity work. She worked towards awareness and ways to help people affected with HIV/AIDS, cancer and mental illness. The Charles–Diana wedding ended in a divorce on 28 August 1996. Diana died on 31 August 1997 in a car crash in a Paris tunnel. The world witnessed extensive media attention and pubic mourning followed by a televised funeral.

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE, CATHERINE: On 9 January 1982, in Royal Berkshire Hospital, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born to airline employees Michael Francis Middleton and Carole Middleton. Middleton met Prince William in 2001 while they were both students in residence at St. Salvatore’s Hall at the University of St. Andrew’s in Fife, Scotland. The two began dating in 2003, yet their relationship remained unconfirmed. Paparazzi got talking in 2004 when Catherine was seen with the royal family on a ski trip. In 2007, the two broke up as Prince William was under pressure from the royal family to either get married to Middleton or split ways. Middleton was determined to win back Prince William. During this period, the media labelled her “Waity Katie”, but nothing stopped her. Kate’s determination did not go in vain! On 16 November 2010, Prince William and Kate announced their engagement. William proposed to the love of his life with his mother’s engagement ring during a vacation in Kenya. On 29 April 2011, the two were married at Westminster Abbey, London. The global audience for the wedding ranged around 300 million, while 26 million watched the event live in Britain! Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, designed the bridal gown. Her wedding tiara was made by Cartier for the Queen Mother and had 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette-cut diamonds. During 2012 and 2013, Kate’s impact on British and American fashion was called the “Kate Middleton effect” and Time magazine also named her one of the “100 most influential people in the World”.


June 2018


MEGHAN MARKLE: Rachel Meghan Markle was born on 4 August 1981 in Los Angeles, California to Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland. Her parents divorced when she was 6 years old. Meghan did theatre and international studies in the Northwestern University and graduated in 2003. In 2004, Markle was in a steady relationship with actor and producer Trevor Engelson. The two got married in Jamaica on 10 September 2011. The wedding did not last and the divorce took place in August 2013. In 2011, she debuted in a legal drama series, Suits, and was the lead character, Rachel Zane. Meghan met Prince Harry on a blind date set up by a mutual friend. The media began talking about their relationship in October 2016 and on 8 November 2016 the royal family released an official statement that addressed a ‘wave of abuse and harassment’ directed towards Meghan. The statement described racism, sexism and defamatory stories directed at her. In September 2017, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan spoke publicly for the first time about her love for Prince Harry. Later that month, the duo made their first public appearance together at an official royal engagement in Toronto. On 27 November 2017, the Kensington Palace announced her engagement with Prince Harry. The wedding took place on 19 May 2018 in the St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Meghan wore a Givenchy haute couture gown designed by Clare Waight Keller. The veil had distinct flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular hand-embroidered composition. She wore Queen Mary’s diamond Bandeau tiara. Going by the reports, 18 million people watched the royal wedding in the United Kingdom, making it the most watched event of 2018 in the country. The global audience is estimated to be in hundreds of millions!

June 2018



Rachel Zane to

Duchess Rachel With the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the world witnessed an event that marked waves of change on several counts. In the light of this momentous occasion, Yamini Vasudevan revisits the legacy Meghan has created. On May 19, 2018, as the world watched, Rachel Meghan Markle walked down the aisle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, to wed Prince Harry. While it was the quintessential ‘happily ever after’ moment everyone loves, this fairy tale wedding won the eyes and hearts of billions worldwide for reasons beyond the coming together of two people – even if one of them were a prince. Probably the biggest reason of all was Meghan herself. Meghan was born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, California, to Thomas Markle Sr. and Doria Ragland. Thomas was a television lighting director, and Doria a social worker and yoga instructor. Meghan grew up in Hollywood, and was educated at private schools. She attended Northwestern University, and graduated in 2003 with a double major in theatre and international studies. She worked as a freelance calligrapher to support herself between acting jobs. The early phase of her career was marked by small roles in soap operas, minor guest roles on television shows such as Century City (2004), The War at Home (2006), and CSI: NY (2006), and brief appearances in some movies. She also took on several contract acting and modelling jobs, including a stint as a ‘briefcase girl’ on the American game show Deal or No Deal.


June 2018

Talking about the early phase of



her marriage into Britain’s royal family



Advocate. In 2018, she was included

mark a departure from ‘protocol’ on

“I wasn’t black enough for the black

in Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People

several counts.

roles and I wasn’t white enough for the

in the World’.





white ones, leaving me somewhere in




Apart from her association with Harry,

Alongside her career and philanthropy,

Meghan herself is seen an icon on

Meghan’s personal life saw some

several fronts – from feminism to

important developments. She married

fashion. In a speech she gave for UN

Her defining moment came in July

actor and producer Trevor Engelson –


2011 when she joined the cast of the

with whom she had been in a relationship

Day (in 2015), she talked about her

USA Network show Suits, in the role of

since 2004 – in September 2011. The

experience with regard to a commercial

Rachel Zane – a character that began

couple divorced in August 2013.

for dishwashing liquid, which took

the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”




as a paralegal and eventually became

place when she was 11. The product

an attorney. From 2014 to 2017,

by Proctor & Gamble had the tagline,

she also founded and ran a lifestyle

‘Women all over America are fighting

website called ‘The Tig’.

greasy pots and pans’. Two of her male classmates made a joke about how women “belong” in the kitchen; Meghan recalled, “I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt. It just wasn’t right and something needed to be done.” Encouraged by her father, she wrote letters to the “most powerful people I could think of”, including Hillary Clinton, civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, journalist Linda Ellerbee, and Procter & Gamble itself.

Acting apart, Meghan was a counsellor for international charity One Young World, and spoke at its 2014 summit in Dublin about gender equality and modern day slavery. In 2016, she became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, and travelled to


Campaign. India













In June 2016, she began a relationship

A month later, the company changed

with Prince Harry, whom she met on

the tagline to a gender-neutral ‘People

a blind date set up by a mutual friend.

all over America’.

In an interview with Vanity Fair in September




publicly for the first time about her love for Prince Harry. Later that month, they made their first public appearances together at an official royal engagement at the Invictus Games





that year, Meghan and Prince Harry

Once the rush of excitement over the royal wedding died down, questions have cropped up over just how much of Meghan will change in line with her new role as ‘Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex’. The acting part of her life ended in late 2017, when she announced her retirement from the

announced their engagement.

field after her engagement to Harry.

op-ed for Time magazine concerning

Meghan has been seen as an agent of

In January 2018, she deleted her social

the stigmatisation of women with

change in what is traditionally seen

media accounts and, in a statement

regard to menstrual health. She has

as an uptight, formal institution. Her

issued by Kensington Palace, thanked

also worked with the United Nations

mixed race origins, and earlier divorce,

“everyone who has followed her social

Entity for Gender Equality and the

apart from being American, mean that

media accounts over the years.”





her return from India, she wrote an

She also closed down The Tig last year.

June 2018



There is talk about how her trademark messy bun has given way to a sleek low bun for her first public appearance with Harry after their wedding (at a garden party honouring Prince Charles), and about how coloured nails are not allowed on members of the royal family. That she is going to be working with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, of which Harry is the president, is also raising questions over whether Meghan will soon conform to the royal family’s rulebook-bound lifestyle. However, it is noteworthy that Meghan’s biography on the Royal Family’s official website includes her quote, “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.” Moreover, it is known that Harry and Meghan are both passionate about social causes. In their joint interview, given in November last year, Harry said that Meghan was “capable of anything” and “…both of us have passions for wanting to make change, change for good.” Thus, there is enough reason for assurance that Meghan and Harry reflect and represent changes not only in the world at large but also within one of the oldest surviving royal families.

I am proud to be a woman and a feminist

Yamini Vasudevan is the former Managing Editor of LIVING. Her previous stints were with Culturama, The Hindu Business Line and Harper’s BAZAAR (Singapore).


June 2018


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June 2018











debated question that enters every parent’s






should begin school? This is one of the most difficult decisions and parents should know if the child is prepared to take the academic plunge. Antara Kothari tells us how to make the choice and ease your child in for the future.

No one is ever fully prepared and ready to become a

As a new mother, I was never completely sure of what

parent. As we approach each phase of life, we attempt to

the appropriate age was to send my elder son to pre-

physically, emotionally and mentally prepare ourselves for

school. The Mom & Me program which began at 9 months

what is to come next, but expectations are very often far

was an excellent foundation for him and it set a precedent

removed from reality. The parenting journey is filled with

for the kind of structure and routine he could expect

choices and regardless of how big or small, hard or easy

later. Moreover, his socialisation with other children his

those choices are, each one affects our children.

age as well as younger and older began and I could see that having a positive effect on his independence. Watching other children encouraged him to try new things.


June 2018


It also helped getting him used to a classroom

you from the time they are babies. This proved to be

environment. Independence does not come

especially helpful for me with my elder son among the other

naturally for every child; and for many children,

measures we took. Take your child out to play areas and

like my own, it comes with being exposed to

other spaces filled with children so that they get used to

a parent-free environment from a relatively

the rising noise levels and being around other children.

young age. If independence is a pre-requisite for

Also, provide structure and set a routine beforehand, at

starting school, there is a good chance that you

home. Most parents do this from the time the child is

will be waiting for many years to come. Hence my

4-months-old as it helps the child feel calm and more in

decision to throw him head first into pre-school

control when they know what to expect. Adjusting to pre-

just shy of his second birthday.

school with a similar structure will also then be smoother. Always give them the comfort of knowing that you will be

Independence set aside, I truly believe that from the time they can sit up on their own, children require not only physical but mental stimulation as well. This is even more vital for their development once they cross their first birthday. You can buy all the toys and books in the world, put your child in the centre of them and expect them to play, but the effect will never be the same as in a classroom or immersed in the sand or grass with 15 other kids their own age. I bought my elder son every single book and toy I could possibly get my hands on, but it wasn’t enough. There are so many ways of learning and playing that exist which we as

right outside during the first week of school, if allowed, waiting in case they need anything. Encourage them to find that one trusted person in school whom they feel the most comfortable with and can run to if they need a hug. Your research on the school is also of utmost importance here as familiarising yourself with the faculty is critical. You will rarely come across children who complete the first week of pre-school without shedding crocodile tears. Crying and needing to be picked up and carried inside kicking and screaming does not indicate that a child is not ready to attend pre-school or that something is wrong. Some children take longer than others to settle in, but the key is to let them cry and not push them. As the days pass, the crying will turn into happy giggles.

parents don’t know enough about but are essential to a child’s development.

Change is not something that many adults embrace easily. In fact, the older we get, the tougher it is to adapt

My belief is that the longer parents wait

and adopt anything new. We don’t stop to think that

to send their children to pre-school and the

children are the same. When they are young, the differences

older they are, the transition process from a

between a 2- and a 3-year-old are glaring. A 3-year-old will

parent-filled environment


find it much harder to spend time away from his/her mother

one will be that much harder. So, if you are

than a 2-year-old. We all strive to keep our babies close to

an expecting or new mother, as part of the

us for as long as we possibly can, but I truly believe that

preparation required to help your child adjust to

introducing them to the world out there a little earlier than

pre-school, get them to spend time away from

planned will only benefit them in the long run.



Antara is a mother of two and is the founder of a parenting blog, The Bubbly Blogcast. She writes about everyday challenges moms face and uses her blog as a platform for global discussion on parenting.


June 2018

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GAGA OVER GADGETS! There’s more to the world of fitness than just recording your steps. With evolving technology, the world is changing faster than ever! As we hit the half-year mark for 2018, Chavi Mehta lists the trendiest fitness gadgets that will help you stick to your resolutions. Like they say, it’s never too late!



‘Eat slowly.’ How many times have we heard people saying this (all in vain)? Here is a smart fork designed by HAPI Labs that tracks the pace at which you eat and produces a short vibration when you re-quicken your pace, thus making sure that you avoid indigestion, gastric reflux and weight gain. With a removable hardware, the fork can be washed. Its compatibility with iOS and Android as well as its USB and Bluetooth connectivity makes it an ideal device to use. What’s more? Well, it also helps you monitor and

chart your diet!


If you find it a hassle to carry your phone to your run, worry not. The UA Gemini 3 Record Equipped smart shoes are here! The right shoe has an in-built Bluetooth and tracking technology that enables you to track your distance and road-running metrics when you get back home. The Gemini 3 is better looking, with a more breathable surface than its predecessor. At the cost of $160, it gives a 3-year MVP status on MapMyRun app, which UA Gemini uses to track metrics, with cool updates and insights.


June 2018




What if you could exercise your core muscles while indulging in gaming? Sounds dreamy? Ta-da! Here is a brand new technology that requires you to download an app and utilise a STEALTH plank working on the principle of centrifugal force. This tech enables a complete core workout of 29 muscles in less than 3 minutes while you play a game on the STEALTH app of your phone which is placed


in a niche built inside the plank!


Why wear a fitness gear on your wrist when you can wear one on your ankle? Sensoria Fitness Sock comes with technology that creates an interface between the external bangle-like device and the body which helps the device to assess tha pace and cadence of your run. It also maps your footing and is comfortable to wear like any other pair of socks. It is your own, personalised fitness guide that helps you improve your run.


$179.99 - $199.99 If you wished for one device on the road which was wearable, played music, updated distance and heart rate metrics, could make calls, had an emergency alert system to notify loved ones of accidents and navigate your route, would it be too much to ask for? Nah. The Coros LINX Smart Helmet comes with a tiny remote attachable to your bicycle handle: play, pause, next, stop and other functions all on your handle! The wireless sound relaying to the ear is through a bone conduction technology that doesn’t make use of ear pods. Need to fix a date? Connect your helmet to the COROS app and make a hands-free call! Doing all this, the helmet retains it utility: it protects the

head and is also aerodynamic.

June 2018


Skin Deep


Summer’s around the corner and it’s time to get on the skincare wagon for the season. It’s not only about keeping yourself hydrated but also what kind of products you should use or avoid. On a hot summer noon in Mumbai, Anurima Das caught up with Puneet B Saini for a quick chat on summer makeup.


June 2018

Skin Deep

Puneet’s recent claim to fame was Anushka Sharma’s wedding looks. She has had an incredibly successful journey as a makeup artist.

Formerly known for her role as a training manager for India region with MAC Cosmetics, she is today better known for crafting successful on-screen avatars of actors. She is an artist who has been adding glamour touches to the leading ladies of B town to make them look gorgeous. And, as she loves to say, “I create looks that makes one feel beautiful from within”.


FOR INDIAN SUMMERS I believe hydration is the key to a successful makeup regime. So, it doesn’t matter whether you have a dry skin or an oily skin. Hydrate your skin using the right moisturiser before starting a makeup session. Leaving the skin thirsty will make your skin drier. Choose a water-based



moisturiser in summer if need be, but don’t ignore this part. Lips don’t have the ability to moisturise themselves from within, so


it’s imperative to hydrate them with a lip balm from the outside.


So I would suggest moisturise, exfoliate, and hydrate to keep your lips plump and scrumptious.




Moisturise using either a gel- or water-based moisturiser.

Use sunscreen without fail.


Keep skin radiant by just using a moisturiser or a BB cream to keep


it looking fresh. •

Use waterproof mascara.

Experiment with the numerous lip and cheek tints available to give your skin a healthy flush of colour.


June 2018


Skin Deep

Summer perfect looks Be minimalistic. Choose an easy fresh look, use cheek and lip tints for a flush of colour on the cheeks or use a palette of peaches and roses and go for nude lip colours for a day look. Also, if you want to achieve a sun-kissed look, then select a full neutral monochromatic palette for the eyes, cheeks and lip, to stay in trend. To complete the look, use body and skin glow creams right for your skin tone. While you can apply loads of waterproof black mascara, a neutral palate with sheen for creating a smokey eye instead of the regular black, use nude lip colours with glosses to add a dash of gleam to your summer evening look. Use powdered highlighters instead of cream to combine textures for a makeup that lasts the summer nights. Lastly, use a generous spritz of your favourite fragrance in all the right places to make sure you smell amazing too. YOU SHOULD AVOID THIS FOR SUMMER Stay away from blacks in your makeup palate this season and limit black usage to mascaras only. WHAT I HAVE IN MY BAG THIS SUMMER Deo, fragrance, and lip balm are my absolute essentials. ONE FILM LOOK THAT IS JUST TOO PERFECT FOR SUMMER Anushka Sharma’s look in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. High on freshness! Minimal, easy, basic and can easily be achieved using a dose of foundation and kohl.

Anurima is an editorial consultant, tea connoisseur and film fanatic rolled into one. She finds her interest in weaves, textiles, fashion, films and travel and is equally passionate to share those stories with the world.


June 2018

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Inside Out

The Roman

Rende zvous Renaissance has given us the gift of artistic excellence, and what better way to witness the magic than to visit the land which started this revolution; Italy is always a good idea and Suraksha Acharya takes you there through her lenses for a royal architectural journey.

This summer I was lucky to get the opportunity to visit Italy and see its mesmerizing architectural heritage sites, from the grand Colosseum, to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel, to name a few. The phrase ‘All roads lead to Rome’ means there are may different ways of reaching the same goal; but in the zenith of the Roman Empire all roads in the West physically did lead to Rome to develop an extensive road network, which allowed for the rapid movement of soldiers and resources. This enabled both the expansion of the empire and the Romans realise that for them to remain a world power, they had to excel at both the art of winning wars and the art of winning the cultural battle. Italy is the Mecca for art lovers, with at least one museum in every major city of the country. Italy was blessed with talented artists of all times; legendary personalities like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, Titian and Galileo are among many others who have had their imprint on this golden era. In this article, I decode the basics and shed some contextuallight on Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and ‘The Last Judgment’, Rafael’s ‘School of Athens’ and other classical masterpieces.


June 2018

Golden Era – Italian Art & Sculpture

Michelangelo’s David is arguably the most famous sculpture in the world. Ever wondered why? Michelangelo was praised for achieving this complex pose from a discarded block of marble, but was also criticised for other aspects of the sculpture. David’s “marble body” is the representation of strength and youth, and an example of what a perfect male body “should” be as a Renaissance example for male beauty. David was a biblical character who faced Goliath,


the giant. For Florence, this statue represents the freedom of the city against slavery. A copy has been placed in the original site in the square, which many tourists mistake for the real David. Vatican City is one of the two independent states in Italy. Besides containing the official site of the Pope and the Catholic Church, called the Holy See, it also boasts some of the most beautiful buildings and artworks in the world. Italy has given rise to a number of architectural styles, including classical Roman, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical. In ancient times, the Romans borrowed ideas from Greece and created their own architectural style. Italy’s Romanesque style with rounded arches and carved portals became the dominant fashion for churches and other important buildings throughout Europe – and then in the United States.

June 2018


Inside Out This mesmerising fresco of Raphael’s is located in the Room of the Segnatura in the Vatican Museums. Dating back to 1509, it depicts a series of renowned philosophers and, in general, wellknown personalities of ancient Greece against the backdrop of a Renaissance building. In the centre of the artwork, Plato and Aristotle are discussing the respective merits of Idealism versus Realism. Raphael’s School of Athens was not meant as any type of school that actually existed (i.e., Plato’s Academy) but an ideal community of intellects from the entire classical world.

The Sistine Chapel, in Rome, is truly one of the most unique places in the world. A great number VATICAN MUSEUM

of artists participated in its creation, but the main stage of this magnificent human artifacts belongs to Michelangelo. The Tuscan artist worked on the ceiling and the frescoes of the Last Judgment located within the Sistine Chapel. The Last Judgment appears on the altar wall of the church andwas executedsome 25 years after the artist had painted his awe-inspiring ceiling fresco. Often cited as one of Michelangelo’s most complex pieces, the magnificent work portrays God’s final judgment of mankind and was initially quite controversial in its depiction of nudity; in fact, the Council condemned the fresco and ordered painter Daniele da Volterra to cover up


certain parts considered obscene.


Magnificence of the Pantheon - “Honour all Gods” Find a free spot on the interior perimeter, lean against the cool marble (if you can), and soak in the magnificence of this majestic wonder. The word Pantheon is derived from the ancient Greek words ‘pan’ (all) and theos (god) and is by far my most favourite building in Italy! It is now a church. However, in doing so, the holes can still be seen on the pediment of the façade where pagan bronze adornments have been stripped off. Each of the 16 massive granite Corinthian columns at the entrance weighs a whopping 60 tons, brought all the way from Egypt! The dome of the Pantheon was originally covered in bronze, which would have made the skyline of the city sparkle in the sunlight. However, throughout the Middle Ages, materials were gradually stripped away to be utilised elsewhere.

The most fascinating part of the Pantheon is its giant dome, with its famous hole in the top (the eye of the Pantheon, or oculus). The dome was the largest in the world

Tourist Traps in Rome

That Are Truly Worth the Hype

for 1,300 years; and until today, it remains the largest

The steps are in a commercial area of the town and are truly

unsupported dome in the world! It has perfect dimensions;

swarmed in the daytime. But, at night, the steps maintain

at 43.2 m, the height of the building is exactly the same as

their special aura of magic and romance. Come as late

the width, meaning that a perfect sphere would fit inside.

as you can, and the sophisticated shops will have shut

This gives the Pantheon the impression of balance and

and the amasses of tourists have vanished. You will be

harmony. The oculus is open; when the Pantheon was built,

surrounded by young people sitting in clusters on the stairs

the only source of light was the oculus in the centre of the

drinking wine, children playing in the square, and older

dome. Obviously, being open to the elements means it also

couples strolling in the evening air. The rich history of the

rains inside the Pantheon, but a gently sloping floor and 22

steps and the abundance of songs written about them

well-hidden holes help drain away the water.

retell that they are an alluring tourist hotspot and definitely one worth visiting.


June 2018



With its flashy fountains, Piazza Navona is central Rome’s elegant showcase square. Three fountains decorate the square: the Fontana del Moro, so called for the statue of the Moor fighting a dolphin; the Fontana dei Fiumi, one of the most beautiful and fanciful works by Bernini; and the Fontana de’ Calderari, aka the Fontana del Nettuno. There are vendors selling knock off bags, costumed people blowing bubbles that rise up past the roofs; and a lot of posing for photos, but it seems everyone is in a good mood. Whilst it is undeniably delightful and exciting, it’s truly a tourist place, with everything catered towards appeasing visitors from abroad.

When in Rome,

do as the Romans Do When you visit Italy, you can immerse yourself in the fascinating culture that can be found in this beautiful country. This can vary depending on which part of the country you visit. Regardless of the region chosen, you can enjoy spending time as the Italians do, indulging in delicious cuisine, shopping for the latest fashions, enjoying the numerous festivals and entertainment options, exploring the beautiful landscapes and architecture, and tasting some of the world’s finest wine, all of which make for a truly memorable experience.

Suraksha Acharya is the founding principal of Midori Architects, a multi award-winning firm based in Chennai, offering architecture, interior, landscape & master-planning services. She is a cognitive member of the sustainable architecture field in India, championing the need to build better and more environment friendly structures.


June 2018

Health Wise



There’s more to fitness than to just working out! It’s about a fine balance between inner peace

and strength. Deepti Akki, Managing Director of F45 Fitness Studio tells you how to give your body a holistic and healthy experience.

On a beautiful summer evening in Chennai, when I was training one of my clients, she excitedly showed me a picture of her favourite fitness model on Instagram and told me that her only fitness goal in life was to look like her fitness idol. My client was relatively fit for Indian standards of fitness; although she didn’t have the washboard abs that many women desire.

The irony in today’s world is that there are as many cons as there are pros from what we see, learn and understand from every person posting pictures of themselves on social media with those muscles flexed. There are instances of fit people posing in bikinis with fit bodies and at the same time facing emotional turmoil and often depression; as per many expert reports, they may also be seeking attention and happiness through social media.

Is real fitness supposed to be holistic or aesthetic? For me it is an ongoing process, a lifestyle: something that needs to be done everyday for the rest of our lives rather than something to get done with. Holistic fitness is the result of healthy cultivation of positive thoughts, while integrating physical fitness. It involves a transformation of mind, emotion and spirit, all of which results in a by-product: which is a fit body. A fit body and a sane mind with balanced emotions and the right kind of spiritual influence brings freedom and power because one who establishes a connection between his mind, body and spirit is believed to have a connection with the universe.


June 2018

Health Wise



Physical fitness is something that involves

The basis of a strong body is an even stronger mind. Simple

planning your week around all the five key areas

steps like charting your progress and writing down your

of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular

fitness goals results in better mind–body connection.

endurance, muscular strength, flexibility/mobility

And when the mind and body work in tandem with each

and body fat percentage.

other, wonders happen; because the body achieves what the



mind believes. The mind fuels the body with the necessary Every component plays an important role in

motivation and vice versa because of the placebo effect.

building a healthy body. Real fitness does not need anyone to remind you to sit with your

Emotional fitness involves listening to and understanding

spine erect in your office chair or flight seat; it is

the body to establish a better connection between the mind

that which keeps you active through the day,

and the body. Experiencing the emotions one feels post

which makes you want to take those stairs

a workout, the release of endorphins, often known as the

instead of an elevator. If those muscles you built

happy hormones reflecting on the stress levels, dealing with

in the gym with so much hardwork aren’t helping

people in everyday life with compassion, openness, the will

you run for your life when a dog on the street

to learn and grow, consciously making the right nutritional

chases you, I’m sorry to say that they haven’t

choices and maintaining healthy relationships at work and

done any good for you.

in personal life are the main drivers of emotional fitness.


SPIRITUAL FITNESS? Spiritual fitness involves cleansing one’s spirit on a regular basis using techniques like mediation, yoga, serving the underprivileged people in society or doing whatever best one can for society to live a peaceful life. Spiritual fitness too, like physical fitness, is an ongoing process that needs to be worked on every single day. One thing I can say is that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to spiritual fitness; each one should find his or her own way. Spiritually fitter means more peace and reduced stress, hence better results with overall fitness.

All this said, one needs to truly believe to achieve. Complete “body awareness” is what we need to target in today’s digital era. All those people we idolise on social media are probably not the most desirable bodies/lives, because real fitness is the balance between your body and mind. Every individual is different, so build your own path to fitness!


June 2018

Table for Two


A mid-summer noon and a yearning for delicious food took us to Chef’s

Table in Chennai. Team LIVING writes

about the must-have items on their newest menu for a scrumptious treat!

Sitting amidst contemporary art and modern ambience, the restaurant fills the air with the aroma of freshly baked bread and homemade sauces. As we head in for a foodie ride, Chef Madhulika Sundaram wastes no time in bringing out the chosen dishes. An alumna of renowned culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu, London, Madhulika launched Chef’s Table on February 14, 2017. “I grew up loving food and not one cuisine in particular. Until I was 20-years-old, I had no idea how to cook; however, my growing passion for eating turned into cooking and I decided I would launch my own restaurant,” says Madhulika. The menu changes every few months as the team of five chefs adds their creativity in crafting new recipes. The restaurant only uses organic produce and all the sauces, breads and vegetables are homemade and homegrown, respectively. The ingredients are free of preservatives and most of the meat and cheese items are imported.



We were first served Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict made with sourdough and slightly cooked eggs on Lava rock. One dig into the eggs and the yolk oozes out, adding a delicious streak to the smoked salmon. As we relish the goodness of seafood and poultry, there comes an egg sandwich we’ve never savoured before. Toasted sourdough bread and tucked in it are jalapenos, eggs, bocconchini cheese and a homemade sweet tomato base. Crisped on the lava rock for a crunchy bite, the sandwich made for comfort all-day food. To all of you who love chocolate and spice, the restaurant serves a spicy hot chocolate. Chef Madhulika says, “We spice it up with star anise, cloves and cinnamon; we wanted to



introduce a one-of-a-kind drink and came up with it. We will soon be launching a kids’ menu and there will be many more unique and specially curated items. Although we are open now from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., in a month we are all set to introduce our new dinner menu that is being carefully tried and tested.” The restaurant also has a special café menu and is the only one in the city that serves the famed Indonesian coffee, Kopi Luwak. As the symphony of flavours plays on our tastebuds, we are served the Four-Cheese Pizzette. This one is a musthave for cheese-lovers. Baked in the Chef’s oven, the Four-Cheese Pizzette is a mélange of ricotta, blue cheese, parmesan and mozzarella! A spread of fresh spinach sits as a foundation to this mix. Our final serving arrives and we did save the best for the last! Toffee ice-cream with caramelized almonds and baked dark chocolate! That seals the deal for one of the best desserts available in town. Spoil yourself with the goodness of sugar, homemade chocolate and toffeeness! To book a table call: 073582 15212 New No. 14, Old No. 17, Kasturi Ranga Avenue 1st St, Kasturi Estate, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018

June 2018



Glorious Gold Coast The sun is out, the waves are steady and the coast is clear; Preeti Verma Lal goes Down Under to the Gold Coast, Australia.


June 2018



hoosh! ! In 42.79 seconds the elevator went up 77 floors. Racing 9 metres per second. Without a wobble. Without my heart skipping

a beat. Q1, the world’s seventh tallest residential building,



is so high that if one man were to work on it, he would have

by the spotless window panes of Q1 for an eagle’s view

taken 628 years to dig, hammer and chisel. I took less than

of Gold Coast’s 75 km of unbroken coastline, skyscrapers

a minute to get beamed up 339 metres of the 20th tallest

reaching out to the heavens, white waves infringing the

building in the world. That my adventure holiday in the Gold

blue of the sea and people looking like tiny specks on the

Coast would begin with a whoosh, the itinerary sure did not

Surfer’s Paradise.

mutter that.

Whooshed back into land, perhaps I looked a little odd in

I could have slipped into a grey ClimbSuit, harnessed

the Surfer’s Paradise. Nobody goes to the Paradise to laze

and walked on the ledge of the 77th floor for the utter-

on the beach, you go there to surf. Gleefully. Vigorously. In

adventurous SkyClimb. But just the thought of swaying 270

a skirmish between human grit and tempestuous nature. I

metres up in the air had me giddy. Instead, I chose to sit

saw many warming up to stretch the breath longer, while


June 2018


The Darling: New Glitter on the Gold Coast Private butlers. Pillow menu. Personal billiard and karaoke rooms. An ocean view.





infinity pool that sits 67 metres above ground and 5 metres beyond the side of the tower. A David Chang restaurant. And a Forbes Five-Star rating – the most coveted recognition in the global luxury travel sector. The mint-fresh Darling Hotel, which opened days before the Commonwealth Games, has upped the luxury quotient in the Gold Coast. With only 57 suites, it combines boutique with luxury. Jewel suites start from $1,160 while the two-bedroom penthouse suites, which face either ocean or waterways, begin at $4,500 a night.

Giant Drop, the tallest free-falling ride in the world, or so says the Guinness Book of World Records. In 90 seconds, I got winched up the 120-metre-high tower that is equivalent to 39 storeys and then plummeted in 5 seconds. Even watching it can get someone woozy, so quickly does the gondola drop from the skies. SURFER’S PARADISE

others were so lithe on the board that they seemed glued to it. I sat there and flipped through the brochure that talked of 108 things to do in the Gold Coast. Surf, I could not, but I was still left with 107 options.

That drop is an adrenaline-giant. When my spine tingled and my heart boomed, I thought I would catch my breath in the Big Brother House that is tucked away in the

Not bad, I thought and started scouring.

85-hectare verdant jungles or twirl in the

Conveniently, I whittled the definition of adventure to hugging a

bright Tea Cups, refused to get drenched in

koala in Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. That I could take a walk with

the River Rapids and got prepped to scream

the tigers in the Dream World Theme Park seemed a tad outrageous

my lungs out on Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster,

for the day. But the koala would have had to wait, there was the

Australia’s first motorbike rollercoaster.

Dorothy’ Rose Tea Cups. But I skipped the

June 2018




Then, I got distracted. There, she was. The blonde in a white taffeta gown with an oversized pair of sunglasses. Marilyn Monroe. Yes, a Marilyn Monroe leaning on a shiny, black vintage car in Warner Bros. Movie World. Here, Marilyn Monroe is not adventurous, she is plain respite. The adventure is all about the macho guys, like the Batman Spaceshot that would have your head reel and the Wild West Ride where you travel past ghost towns and geysers and then drop 20 metres at the speed of 75 km an hour. If that sounds easy mathematics, try doing it. You would wish you came packed with the doggedness of the Wild West cowboys. A few hours and I was spiritedly ticking off from the 108 things to do in Gold Coast list. Then, I stepped into luxury. Inside Palazzo Versace, the world’s first Versace Hotel. In the lobby, orchids are perched on the circular settees in pink and blue, on the floor is the

Surf Museum The kind,

only Surf

museum Museum




the history of surfing through surfboards, artwork, movie posters, historic photographs and the evolution of surfboards from the 1930s till today.


June 2018






Lady Elliot & the island Medusa head, the Versace logo in millions of square tiles arranged sedulously; from the ceiling hangs the 750-kg chandelier that once adorned the Milan State Library. Across the spotless glass, there lies the blue of the lagoon shimmering in the morning sun, a Jacuzzi frothing incessantly and hundreds of palm trees standing elegantly in their black and green. I walked gingerly towards the

Book a seat on Seair Pacific for a day trip to Lady Elliot Island which lies at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Hop into a glass-bottom boat to see corals, turtles, whales, manta rays and ship wrecks. Wear the fin and snorkel. Go scuba diving. Feed the fish. Learn all about coral reef in the Reef Education Centre. Glamp in a swank tent.

elevator, everything looks so dainty and pretty at Versace

It is Australia’s first island to ban plastic bottles

that I thought even the rustle of my skirt would break a

and go solar-powered.

frame or the sand off my boot would blemish the marble. In Gold Coast, I found no grain of gold. Just countless unforgettable golden moments.

Preeti Verma Lal is a freelance writer and photographer. If God had asked her what she wanted to be, she’d tell Him to turn her into a farmer who also writes lyrically; her fingers stained with wet clay and deep blue ink. Visit

June 2018


The Last Word

Weaving traditions GAURANG SHAH

Fabrics, weaves and weavers are his best friends. The ‘Best Designer’ award winner Gaurang Shah was the only one to




on the ramp – something never attempted before. Anurima Das speaks with this versatile designer.


June 2018

The Last Word

Back in the year 2000 when handloom in India was crumbling under the pressure of economic sustenance, he saw potential in weaves and understood that someone had to stand next to the weavers to bring the newer generations closer to the traditional past. He has rightly done this through decades of hard work. Translating his dreams with weaver clusters!

TAKE US BACK TO WHEN YOU STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY AT LEAST A DECADE AGO. I am a self-taught textile designer and I grew up amidst the charm of Indian textiles. My love for textiles grew very early in my life, as an 8-year-old boy visiting my dad’s clothing store. Since, then I have I only believed in the marriage of the ‘past with


the future’. I grew up loving textiles, inspired by my mother who used to wear exquisite hand-woven saris. As I grew up, I felt that women will be ready to move beyond georgette and chiffon saris if presented with alternative fabrics, textures and patterns. My vision was to create saris made in traditional ‘Jamdani weaves’ on hand-woven fabrics and implying eco-friendly techniques like the use of natural dyes and giving a modern twist to our traditional fabrics. Since I began my journey as a textile designer, I expanded my weavers’ team and currently I support more than 800+ handlooms in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India. It feels so great to say that since the past decade after establishing my first flagship designer label GAURANG store in Hyderabad, we have been able to expand it to Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai. We recently opened our store in the United States, and will soon open a store in Dubai and later on in London.

My collections are a revival of timeless weaves and techniques. Over the years we have introduced varied textures and rich borders in the weaves. Be it a cotton sari with a silk border or a muga tussar border with a khadi body, the creations are an enchanting fusion of tradition and craftsmanship. We have redefined handlooms in many ways, never seen before, for instance, ironically, the khadi sari, which elderly women can relate to, because of its coarse texture, minimalistic designs and basic colours, was introduced and transformed by us in terms of texture, designs, colour and finish using the Jamdani weave, bringing it on par with international design standards which appeal even to the younger generation. The intricacy of a design, hitherto possible only in print and embroidery, has been materialised into weaves.

June 2018


The Last Word

TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS OF GETTING THE COSTUMES DONE FOR MAHANATI. HOW DID YOU GET ROPED IN FOR THE FILM? If I ever wanted to make my debut as a costume designer in movies, my central thought was that it should be a marriage of vision. For me the story and the character in the film and the sequences should be able to seamlessly blend into our creations. I only wanted to do a film that highlights handlooms.


So, when Swapna Dutt, the producer of Mahanati and a very good friend of mine, approached me last February to brief me about a movie she was doing, a biopic of veteran actress Savitri Devi, it struck a chord right from the word go. Although I had heard about Savitri Devi, my knowledge of Telugu films was by far minimal. The tiny bit I knew about how she used to dress in the movies and, to some extent, outside were from people close to her in the industry. I came to know that she loved exquisite handloom saris, especially Kanjeevarams, and this led to the decision to collaborate. My acquired deep understanding of vintage textiles, colours and textures in my journey of textile weaving also helped the bonding with Swapna Dutt and her film. So we clicked.

It wasn’t very difficult because my infrastructure was in place. I have my weavers, dyers, printers, embroiders, everything with me. We have explored and recreated textiles to create her journey from her childhood to her death. From Mangalgiris and kotas with prints for her growing up days, to heavy brocades, silks, organzas and hand-woven sateens and chiffons for her golden era to subtle renditions for her later life, each and every detail of the textile, design, texture and colour were studied and artisans were guided to recreate them. We had to make satins for specific scenes, but since I wanted all her looks to be of pure handloom, I recreated satin on handloom, and so too for the chiffons and georgettes.

AT PRESENT WHEN OUTFITS HAVE DIVERSIFIED SO MUCH, DO YOU THINK THE SARI CAN STILL STAND ON ITS FEET? The sari continues to remain a timeless piece of fashion; it never faded away. Every single Indian woman has more than one sari in her wardrobe. The sari has always been worn on special occasions, be it a marriage or a festival moment. It will continue to be an aspirational attire for generations to come. Fashionistas have also found new ways of draping a sari. So, where is the question of it getting lost out in the fashion platform?


The Last Word AND WHAT ABOUT THE CHANGES IN THE SARI? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE EASY–TO-WEAR SARIS AND ALL THE OTHER REVOLUTIONARY INNOVATION THAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS SPACE? It is very pleasing when we witness the beautiful transformation of the sari and the way it is draped. It has never lost its glory and glitter. It all depends on your mind-set, what you choose to treat yourself to and on your personality. I am a sari obsessionist. To me, the sari will always be irresistible to women, and they look absolutely charming in the traditional drape. There are individuals who wear dhoti sari, and they drape it differently. While it is their belief that it’s a great way of wearing a sari and that it is great for their personality, for me the traditional drape is matchless. Always!

GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK FOR THE NEXT SEASON? Next I’m doing the Lakme Fashion Week, so you’ll get to see something new and different. We have given a handloom makeover to age-old ‘Chiffon’ – the elegant, sheer silk fabric with a soft drape, stretch and shimmering appearance to appeal to the modern-day fashionista’s evening dresses, bridal wear as well as costume design wish. The outcome is the result of a series of trials and experimentation; a 20-denier pure silk yarn was twisted in 3 ply and 2 ply with alternate twists, and then woven by handloom weavers in the interiors of India to create the textured and wrinkled chiffons, crafted to a 50-gram textile. It is completely refreshing, a new twist to make you look fresh and in vogue all the time. The Handloom Chiffon collection is a playful silken rendition of the modernday maharani and it will surely be a worthy collection to add to your wardrobe.

Anurima is an editorial consultant, tea connoisseur and film fanatic rolled into one. She finds her interest in weaves, textiles, fashion, films and travel and is equally passionate to share those stories with the world.


June 2018

Students made a manually-controlled robot, which was designed and built from scratch. The culmination of the unit was an obstacle course class competition to determine the success of their creation as well as "bragging rights" for the winners. The students had learned and discovered many things about electronics, motors, switches, and materials in this unit which required frequent troubleshooting and patience. This was a two person team competition with two rounds, each team member had to independently operate the robot through the obstacle course. The obstacle course competition had several different challenges: hanging bridges, ramps, washboards, zig zags and load pick ups. Each obstacle completed was given points, all totaling 100. The winner was based on the cumulative score of both team members.

w w w. a i s c h e n n a i . o r g #AISCAcademicExcellence

Profile for Culturama LIVING

Culturama living June 2018  

Presenting the royal wedding edition with special features on royal history, the regal couple and the worldwide frenzy! Our June issue also...

Culturama living June 2018  

Presenting the royal wedding edition with special features on royal history, the regal couple and the worldwide frenzy! Our June issue also...