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Androgynous-having both female and male characteristics. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior. (Thefreedictionary.com)

 

Usually the term androgynous is loosely used to describe a woman-most of the times to describe a sexy woman wearing masculine clothing or with short hair. At times used in the wrong context to describe a lesbian.

I have never heard a man being described as androgynous. If a male possesses certain female characteristics, people jump to the conclusion that he is gay, which is wrong!!

We all are familiar with the term yin and yang. In Chinese philosophy it is used to describe polar or contrary forces that are interconnected and interdependent. In fact, in Hinduism Ardhanarishvara is an androgynous deity composing of a synthesis of male and female energies.

All of us whether male or female have the yin and yang characteristics in us. That is where women get their strength and men their gentleness. Can you imagine a female sans the male traits…gosh she would be so whiny. In the same vein, can you imagine a man who is an epitome of muscle and masculinity ALL the time….gosh that would be so primitive!!

Earlier, I had written a blog on female androgyny as related to fashion. So to fairly balance the yin and yang, today is the turn of the males.

Androgyny in men is nothing new. For centuries men have been wearing jewelry, had their ears and noses pierced and put kohl in their eyes. In fact Ancient Egyptian kings have been buried in the mummies with kilos of jewelry to adorn them in multiple after lives.

Indian Maharajas wore statement pieces starting from the embellishments in their turbans to earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, toe rings and anklets. Roman emperors have been known to wear jewelry.

 

 

 

 

What about the rappers and hip hop artists of modern day? A rapper whose songs are littered with profanities and innuendos of violence (masculine traits for the most part) will not forego a chance to wear “bling” anywhere and everywhere!! The MO’ THE BETTA!! Don’t you think it is a way of exploring his female side?

The Chanel 2011 runway fashion show is an example of male androgyny. You can see a male model sashaying down the runway wearing a beautiful statement necklace strategically placed against his smooth hairless chest. A piece bold and dramatic enough that a fashion-timid woman would think twice before wearing!

 

 

Fashion truly blurs the lines between men and women. The ad campaign of Marc Jacobs had a man wearing a dress and mind you, it is quite an eye-catching ad! In fact, Marc Jacobs has admitted to wearing dresses and has worn a skirt with his hairy legs.

 

Bloggers like BryanBoy walk around in heels, toting a woman’s purse and wears the latest MiuMiu dresses. He aspires to acquire the crab-claws six inch Alexander McQueen heels.

Now even though nature has bestowed upon us humans both the male and female characteristics, I am not saying that all males will be overtly comfortable with such fashion. The run of the mill male will stick to his faded jeans/shorts and t-shirt or khaki pants and checkered shirt.

As stylish, fashion forward thinking audience such as the ones I have, don’t you guys think it is worth getting in touch with your female side? Who doesn’t want to look good, irrespective of the gender? How about taking baby steps you Alfa Males and starting with a colorful fitted shirt paired with some cool velvet loafers. If you are daring don a hat!! Wear a cool, musky cologne. Trust me it will make a great difference in your style, sex and confidence quotient.

Magnanni shoes, Neimanmarcus.com

Etro Neimanmarcus.com

 

Cake and ice-cream…..we all have tried it at one point of our lives or the other. At a party, a restaurant or just because there is some cake and ice-cream in the fridge.

I call it the ubiquitous dessert…when one cannot come up with any innovative ideas for a dessert, it is the safest bet. When one is in a rush to serve a dessert and has reached an absolute loss of ideas, one can whip up this combination in a jiff!!

The most common, the most “popular,” spiritless, regular and yes I will say it, dull and boring dessert ever. It is a dessert that SCREAMS—I am the most uncreative, traditional, unimaginative, sans style person EVER!!!

Look at the photo below—the first thought that comes to my mind is “common.” If you have any taste, urbanity or style, the least you will do is crinkle your nose at the photo. For others, who are salivating at the sight of the cake and ice-cream below, I love you guys for reading my blog, but you have to broaden your horizons and I will help you do it.

I am going to introduce you to a cake and ice-cream combination with a twist, with flair, with style and panache!! Yes, that’s my purpose in life….helping my readers live life with a little more spice, a little more dash, a bit more swagger!!

Imagine a visual of a beautiful thick ceramic white plate with a circular round piece of green cake on it….yes I said GREEN!! There is a glistening swirl of cream peeking from its crevices. Just a hint of cream and not gobs of it like an industrial looking cake.

Now imagine, placed on the side of the green cake delight, there is a delicate, powdery, pale green ball of fluff with a shiny green interior.

Hasn’t the description already piqued your interest? You are intrigued. You are wondering what could it possibly be? Is it edible? You are thinking how can I eat green dessert? Is it something foreign? I wonder how it tastes?

Well, be still your racing mind and let me help you. It is a delicious piece of green tea cake with a swirl of the freshest cream inside it. Placed by its side is a small piece of sliced green tea Mochi ice-cream!! Exotic and healthy! Eye closing, sound making, ummmmm scrumptious!!

Serve this dessert and you will be the hippest host in town. C’mon, you are serving dessert made with the hottest ingredient these days—GREEN TEA! If you are not aware of all the benefits being touted of green tea you are living in a cave. Any book or magazine you crack open discusses this miracle tea, loaded with anti-oxidants, polyphenols etc., etc., etc. The hype surrounding it makes me believe, if I eat this dessert regularly, I will be a youthful cherub for infinity!!

Mochi is a Japanese dessert. It looks like a beautiful, fluffy marshmallow ball, without the syrupy sweetness. It is delicate and visually attractive. It is a small ball of green-tea ice-cream, stuffed in a sticky rice cover and powdered with slight sugar. Sometimes, there is a swirl of sweet red beans in it that adds extra flavor and protein! Imagine a healthy dessert…an oxymoron?

The various colors of Mochi remind me of soft, colorful balls that a new-born baby will play with and maybe chew on.

You can find both the desserts at your local Chinese, Japanese or Asian stores. The Mochi ice-cream can be ordered from mochiicecream.com.

So, we have a stylish, visually attractive, hip and healthy dessert at our hands in a jiff and can forego the “dull” white cake and white ice-cream combination.

Friends, hold my hand, trust in me and let’s begin our journey of artful living together. Take small steps such as the one here and one day we will together take great leaps!!

The beguiling, captivating, sweet polka dot. It can be in various sizes, colors and mediums, but is consistently cute, fun, adorable and irresistible.

Yes, when we think of polka dots, the consensus is FUN! I was going to write a sugary blog about the endearing qualities of polka dots, especially related to fashion and art. The dots bring out the child-like fun and innocence in us; at times can be coquettishly flirtatious; other times sexy in a retro kind of way and yet at other times can be a form of very striking pop art worth a fortune.

But then I thought of the artist whose name is synonymous with polka dots. The grand dame of polka dots, Madam Yayoi Kusama—the Japanese polka dot artist. Her thoughts are circular, her dreams are coiled, she hallucinates globularly and draws only in circles!!

I read about her and cried. I know there is nothing cute about that! She is a crazed artist who suffered great adversities in her life, struggled with mental illness, is obsessive and lives in a mental hospital by choice close to her art studio. Yet, she draws and sculpts these spectacular circular creations that are sold for millions of dollars to art collectors. Her name will go down in history synonymous with polka dots!!!

So, my blog is a celebration of polka dots as an ode to Madam Kusama. Let’s celebrate the eccentricities of the genius that is Madam Kusama who has brought us the fun, appealing, delightful art despite her own dark, dangerous and looming demons!

Once you get into the world of polka dots, a whole world of symbolism opens up. A world, away from the “cuteness and fun” and more on an erudite level. For example, doesn’t the polka dot have a deep symbolism of infinity and continuity of life? The universe we live in is infinite and boundless. It may not be apparent to us mortals, but there is continuity in life and nature. The polka dot is a symbol of it.

What about the symbolism of simplicity? The polka dot is a simple round circle, without any accruements and yet so striking and bold. Analogize this concept to fashion and the lesson learnt is—the simpler the design, the more striking it is. Get rid of the unnecessary clutter!

Some of you cynical ones might say, polka dots are “only circles.” How much imagination or creative genius is required to make circles? It is repetitive art and represents a lack of ideas. Fair enough, I will give the cynics their due as I am a strong proponent of presentation of conflicting ideas. Maybe, Kusama cannot draw or sculpt like Matisse or Michelangelo….maybe she does not have an inexhaustible wealth of ideas and hence draws only circles. But, do her solely circular compositions, ideas, color schemes, interpretations, and concepts make her less of a genius? Is she any less talented only because she draws in circles?

The beauty of being an artist and art is INTERPRETATION. What may be a polka dot for one, can be the karmic cycle of life for another. What maybe a circle for one, could be a hallucinatory scary dream worthy of a million interpretations for the other.

Whatever the case may be, whether you are a genius or just a one idea artist, you will have to agree with me that the polka dot is one form of art that is simply captivating, fascinating, charming and irresistible to people of all ages.

I dare you not to lust after the products below….if you can resist the temptation of the luring polka dot, I say to you…bring some dots in your flat life!!!!

Mirabella dress polyvore.com

Miumiu.com

modcloth.com