Twitter

"
bloglovin

Ayurveda is a word of Sanskrit origin. It means “the complete knowledge for long life.” It is native to India and has been practiced for centuries by the great Rishis (sages) whose lives spanned over a period of a thousand years. They never aged, always maintained glistening taut skin (sans wrinkles) with lustrous hair and had physical fitness akin to the great Atlas.

Wow a good hook for a blog in our youth-centric society, isn’t it?

In modern world Ayurveda comes within the penumbra of holistic medicine, alternative medicine or some may even call it “hocus pocus.”

It is a form of lifestyle focusing on the mind-body connection. It was shunned for sometime by the Western world and was taken over by modern medicine, pharmaceutical companies and drug companies. But many have realized that only “quantity” of life is not sufficient–it needs to be symbiotic with “quality” of life–and hence have reverted back to this age-old way of life.

Under Ayurveda, we each have a unique mix of three mind/body principles which create our mental and physical characteristics. These three principles are called “doshas.” The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. You can analyze your doshas in the quiz below. It is fun!

Chopra Dosha Quiz

Living and eating in accordance with our doshas leads to harmony of the mind and body. Proper intake of food is the underlying theme of Ayurveda as what you take in is a reflection of what you are.

Today I will share an Ayurvedic dish recipe with you that is easy to make, scrumptious and has the utmost health benefits. For me, it is comfort food, loaded with protein, yet easily digestible. It is warm, soft and soothing. It is suitable and beneficial for all doshas.

It is called Khichdi, which basically means a jumbled-up mixture of “this and that.”

Khichdi is eaten with a spoonful of what is called Ghee. Ghee is clarified butter in the purest form with no adulteration.

You fat-phobic people, please do not cringe as Ghee will make your skin glow, stall the Botox injections and keep all your doshas in order. It is the remedy for various ailments and you will not gain a kilo, pound or ounce!

amul ghee

 

My style of cooking is eclectic, just as my fashion sense. I do not do measurements, do not follow recipes and simply go by my instincts–a pinch of this, a handful of that, a dash of the other and a dollop of something else. In the end it all works out. Here is a simple recipe for Khichdi from my kitchen. Bear in mind, it is not about perfection. We are not at a big-box store. The universe does not call for perfection, but does call for experimentation at various levels. So let’s have fun!

You will need:

  • 1 cup Basmati rice (available in all grocery stores).
  • 1/2 cup mung dal (available in most grocery stores or a specialized Indian grocery store).  It looks like this:

mung dal

  • 4-6 cups water.
  • Rock salt or table salt to taste.
  • Pinch of  turmeric.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (available at most grocery stores).
  • Thinly sliced fresh ginger.  I love lots of it!
  • 2 tbsps Ghee.

Wash the rice and mung dal. Use a heavy bottom pot. Sauté the cumin, turmeric and ginger briefly in ghee until the cumin turns light brown. Add the rice and dal along with water. Stir and mix. Partially cover the pot until you get one rolling boil. Then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and let the Khichdi cook until the grains are soft and it is a mushy mess, like porridge (told you, I cook with instinct!).

Serve yourself and a loved one in a deep bowl, top it off with a dollop of ghee in the center (watch the ghee melt in the hot Khichdi, delectable!). Offer it to the universe of which we are a part and melt in the goodness of your being!

Namaste!

 Karl Lagerfeld and Diet Coke.  What is the common denominator?  Skinny silhouette, hi-style appeal and quirkiness.

Karl Lagerfeld designed the cover of the limited edition Diet Coke bottles coming out in June.  Yes, Diet Coke has upped the style factor and is now clothed in a haute couture wrap of swirly psychedelic candy stripes, kaleidoscopic polka dots and dizzying stars.  It appears that Coke and Mr. Lagerfeld are trying to invoke a hallucinatory and phantasmagoric experience for the drinker.  Trying to give us “commoners” a heady rush!! (With the upcoming nuptials of the blue blooded in London, all of a sudden I have become conscious of the social class system.)

I like that Mr. Lagerfeld used basic colors such as white, black, grey with a prudent dash of cotton candy pink in his design.  The cover results in a pop artsy image, something maybe a modern day Andy Warhol would design.

Being the master of the business savvy fashion world, Lagerfeld knows it is all about branding.  What can be a more powerful brand than an image of himself!  Hence, he places a signature caricature of his “skinny” silhouette standing erect, further selling the concept of “drink Diet Coke and be skinny.” 

What can we expect next from the hi-priest of fashion?  Possibly a bottle of Moët et Chandon clothed in a quilted leather cover with a chained bottle stopper…a la bubbly Chanel experience!

What is the message in the bottle?  Life is merely a mirage, it is a fantasy-drink Diet Coke, live the dreamy haute world of fashion and most importantly be skinny!

E-commerce or web shopping is a concept that has gained much momentum in the last decade or so.  It was in existence before, but not with such tour de force.  I have been a web shopper for more than a decade and absolutely love the wide array of products available at my disposal, the quietude of the shopping experience without dealing with throngs of shoppers or a sales person whose sole goal is to emit a plastic smile and push an item on me which blatantly does not suit me, fit me or flatter me in any shape or form.

I also love the diversity of web shopping.  Can you imagine with the power of web shopping we can browse products from the very talented designers of any country in the world and purvey their designs.  I especially love sites that showcase designers from countries such as Sweden, Germany and Denmark.  I have found them to be trend-defying with eclectic sensibilities.

For example, if you want to buy true class products from India and want to forego the tacky Buddha mural and the shimmery kurtas (long tunics) ubiquitous on all India related websites, Exclusively.In is a free membership site offering clothes, art, jewelry, shoes etc. from established and unconventional Indian designers.  So, without buying a ticket to India from makemytrip.com, you can buy your favorite jutti (embroidered babouche.)

Today I want to share with you my compilation of over a decade.  The web sites that I have tried and tested and have never been disappointed:

  • Mytheresa -A cutting edge, global web site, carrying the most current designs from designers such as Lanvin, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Alexander McQueen and Marni.  The coolest part is you will have to pick the country you are in before starting the global shopping experience.
  • Polyvore -Carries a huge selection of current trends and links to thousands of other web sites.  You may simply get lost in the jargon of a utopian never-to-return land!
  • Barneys –A diverse web site fit for the hi-low dressing concept.  A “lifestyle” site if you may.  The variety ranges from dresses fit for watching the Black Swan at English National Ballet in London to a stroll in Central Park sipping on hot buttered rum in a Styrofoam cup.  From Cacharel to Chloe, from James Perse to J Brand, they have it all!
  • Opening Ceremony -An avant garde website showcasing progressive indie designs of Chloe Sevigny and Rachel Comey.  A true success story of clicks to bricks.
  • Moscot-I simply cannot pass up the opportunity to discuss my most coveted web site for the hippest, retro, bohemian, yet ultra-modern eyeglasses worn by the likes of Johnny Depp.  Opened in 1925 as a family business in NYC, it has a history that adds value to the eyewear.  On your next trip to NYC, a visit to the store located at 118 Orchard Street is a unique experience to experience the meeting of the two worlds, retro and modern.  For those of you who make “cerebral” style as their signature (such as the manrepeller,) a pair of reading glasses from this quaint NYC store is a must.
  • Pearlriver -If you love anything from China (who doesn’t and if you don’t in today’s commerce you better as you have no choice) then this is the site for you.  It carries all things Chinese without getting kitschy.  I love the Mao jackets from the men’s section.  Also, the brocade wrapped sandalwood and bee flower soaps can be a unique gift for a friend.  Chinese slippers to putter around the house and wonderful comic book inspired stuffed toys, great not only for children but used as throws on the couch to add the punch of color.  The website is frequently updated with new knick-knacks.
  • CreaturesofComfort -Another successful example of a site that went from clicks to bricks in L.A. and NYC.  With Japanese designers such as Tsumori Chisato and Acne on their roster, it is a delight to shop.
  • Net-a-Porter -Can a web shopping list be complete without a mention to this iconic website that has styles stocked straight from the runway.  They have a great app for the iPad for all iPad users.  And the best exchange/return policy.

Of course, as is the rule of nature all that is good goes hand in hand with some bad.  So, the main caveats and red-flags to keep in mind while web shopping are as follows:

  • Shop from a trusted web site.  All the web sites I have provided are reputable and are secure.  Look for the secure symbol in the payment page.
  • The web site should be fast-loading otherwise the whole blissful shopping experience is ruined.  All the web sites I have provided appear to have their own servers and are fast loading.
  • Be familiar with the return/exchange policy of the vendor.  Net-a-porter has the most customer friendly staff available and are ready and willing to help.  In fact, when I call them, I feel I am part of the NY fashion world as they are so cultured.
  • You MUST be size savvy.  Depending upon the origin of the website, the sizes are stated in different measurement standards.  The size numbers are different in Europe, U.S., Italy, Japan etc.  For example an Italian size 38 is roughly equivalent to a U.S. size 2.  Don’t go by the chart conversion as it is misleading.  The pictures are very accurate and give you an idea whether it is a fitted garment or loose flowing.  For example, if it is an extremely form fitted dress, I might want to go a size larger so that I can breathe.  Shoes can be tricky, Louboutin’s usually run one size small.  If you have shopped the brand before, just use that size.  Easy peezy!
  • My most important tip!  Make sure you read the fabric composition details.  I am allergic to wool, so even a 10% “Lana” component will make my skin cringe as if a porcupine rubbed its quills all over me.
  • Enlarge the photo of the item you are buying and view it with a 360 degree view.  There are times when I love the dress from the front, but when I turn it around there is a huge bow at the back.  Sorry not for me, no need for extra volume in the back!

So, my friends rise, turn on the kettle to make the steaming cup of Danesi coffee, cuddle up in the super-soft blanket and turn on the iPad!  Buon divertimento!

Lately the runways are fuming with “smoking” models, literally “smoking” on the runways

kate moss

One can see the super-thin models walking in the buff and emanating a “puff” from their perfectly matte or super-glossed pout, depending whether you are at Yves Saint Laurent or Gucci.

lady gaga

I was a bit astounded and bewildered,as I thought to myself, unbeknownst to me, did the Surgeon General revise the much touted cigarette warning?  My query was quickly answered in the negative by the omniscient Google.

melbourne fashion week

Then why am I seeing models running rampant on the slicked runways with a cigarette dangling from their lips?  From Kate Moss for Louis Vuitton Fall 2011 to Lady Gaga for Mugler show.  Melbourne fashion week had models dressed as “women of luxury” with billowing swirls of smoke rising between their delicate lacquered fingers in a smoky salon environment.  Cult blogger Bryanboy is seen flaunting a drag from his ciggy.

bryanboy

The most likely reason is that the fashion industry is in a perpetual quest of the next “it” concept; the next “unparalleled” runway show and the next “shock inspiring” campaign.  What better way to grab the attention of the consumer than using a prop that is synonymous with notoriety.  A prop that can be the subject of much heated debates and is counter-cultural.  It truly can be called the “it” prop.  (Disclaimer:  I am not promoting (or not) cigarettes, but merely analyzing the wide use of cigarette as a prop on runways.)

 Another reason for using cigarettes as props is because fashion is cyclical.  It is like karma, it is bound to come back.  Flares come back, platforms come back, and even big padded shoulders have made a come-back.  So, why not cigarettes.  This season there has been a surge of the 70s.  Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford all have hustled down to the 70s and brought back ideas for their respective lines.  And what could be more synonymous with the 70s than smoking. 

 So, in summary, without making this blog political or for that matter medical by weighing in on the pros and cons (well, mostly cons) of smoking, it is fair to say that the fashion industry is always on the abyss to find ways to “shock.”  Sooner or later, we all run out of shock ideas and  revert back in time to re-visit old ideas and re-package them.  

What will we see next…a model rolling a marijuana joint while walking in Eiffel tower-esque Pierre Hardy heels!!  Now that will be trippy, no I mean it in the most literal sense!

From the labyrinth of my memory I remembered the words of a childhood poem.  “Kate, Kate don’t be late, here is your satchel and here is your slate….Kate, Kate don’t be late!!

A sweet, simple, uncomplicated, straightforward poem denoting innocence and simplicity.

 

kate moss at louis vuitton

Fast forward to the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2011 show and watch super-model Kate Moss sashaying on the runway with a swagger.  Cigarette dangling from her lips, puffing up a storm, strutting her “barely” covered derrière.  She has an “I-give-a-damn” expression on her chemically peeled face resulting in a perfect stretch and shine of the skin!  She is lean, she is mean.  She is defiant, she is audacious.  She is bold, she is provocative.  She is saucy and shameless.

 

louis vuitton fall/winter2011 

This Kate is always late.  Why?  Simple, because it is fashionable to be late.  This Kate does not need a satchel or a slate.  Why?  Simple, because she has a Blackberry and iPhone with a top-of-the-line voice recognition app that takes perfect notes tucked deep in her super-sized Louis Vuitton monogramed satchel. 

The Kate of my childhood poem and the Kate on the runway; although namesake, yet diametrically opposed.  What’s in a name?

Life is all about the small pleasures. It is the small treats that make the difference between a difficult day and a pleasant day, between a mundane life and a stimulating life. Realistically, the big moments in our lives are very few and far between, if any. Think about it—how many times do we win the million dollar lottery?; or how many times are we elected as the President or Prime Minister of a country?; or how many times do we receive a standing ovation from a theater full of people reciting in unison, “Encore, Encore” while building it up to a crescendo? Alas, never in my case (although I am trying to adopt the new-age theory of positivity and religiously strive to use the mantra of yes, I can make it all happen; yes, I deserve all the best; and yes, I have the power within me…) I will let you know how the mantra works for me down the road. If it does, you might just see me in the pages of Vogue, as that is the energy I am sending out into the universe, and in particular to one specific shining star named Ms. Anna Wintour.

So, while I am awaiting the receipt of an e-mail in my inbox from the illustrious Ms. Wintour, I make efforts to infuse my daily life with petite pleasures. For me, a blissful moment is when I get a “surprise package” in the mail. Okay, true, the “surprise package” has a bill that is waiting to be paid by my credit card. But the joy I experience in receiving the small package far surpasses the ugly monstrous head of the credit card statement at the end of the month. Realistically, since these are small pleasures the damage to my wallet is minimal and the joy is maximum. (I like this equation; it is equivalent to minimum input and maximum output.)

The small packages contain wonderfully smelling lotions and potions, wrapped in beautiful packages, some with exotic foreign languages on the label that I enjoy reading with the help of Google translate.

I am a big proponent of web-shopping and have web-shopped for years. I love the joy of sitting in my comfy PJs, sipping a hot steaming cup of coffee, with only the click of a key between me and what I describe as euphoric ecstasy.

Today I want to share with you a few of my favorite beauty products and the sites I have used for years to provide me “petite pleasures.” I promise you it will be as good as shopping on Via Condotti in Rome—well, almost!

10 Corso Como

10 corso como

The brainchild of Carla Sozzani. Yes, she is the sister of the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani. It is one of the hottest perfumes in Milano. Imagine the style quotient of the perfume—two Sozanni sisters from Milano, and both associated with Vogue Italia…could it be any more fashionable!! (This truly calls for two exclamation marks.)

Spuma di Sciampagna

spumaspuma

Luxury bath products from Italy. Try the bath foam (yes, a very European concept) and the perfumed soap packaged in a beautiful, clean, quintessentially Italian packing. Good enough to eat.

Avene Thermal Spray

avene

 

A face spray, so refreshing that it seems you are standing under the fountains in Versailles. It gives the face a dewy glow that lasts almost all day. I have received many compliments on my skin after using the spray. It works very well after the application of make-up. It is my equivalent to a cheap microdermabrasion.

Rescue nail polish

rescue

Rescue has modern, cutting edge colors. My favorite is the Concrete Jungle. It is an asphalt, cement color, very similar to the latest “it” Chanel Le Vernis nail polish, without the hefty price tag.

 

Frownies

frownies

For the worry warts like me who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and frown even while sleeping, Frownies are the most natural alternative to Botox or other draconian measures of controlling facial lines. It is analogous to applying a piece of tape on your frown lines while you sleep, and not uncomfortable at all. Sadly, Frownies train only the facial muscles, and not the brain muscles, to be worry free.

Lorac Sheer Wash

lorac

I have used the tinted cheek wash for years as the stain creates a natural flush that lasts all day, even after my sporadic exercise sessions. To top it all, it is very mild and not oily at all like blush gels or creams. This is a boon for a person like me with oily skin.

Rice paper tissues

rice paper

If you are “blessed” with oily skin like mine, or just want a refreshed look during the mid-day slump, use the all-natural Rice paper tissues. The packaging is adorable and comes in a petite package with a sketch of a Japanese woman on it. Yes, it even has aesthetic value. The tissues absorb the oil on the skin, without removing the make-up or depositing any chemicals. They leave the face with an air-brushed look and you will be compelled to say, “I am ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

So, revel in the petite pleasures and the jubilance you will experience will make you shout out, “encore, encore!”

 

As a person of Indian descent, wearing a rainbow of colors is part of my DNA. India’s description as a “colorful country” is apt and reflects its rich culture, heritage and traditions. It is also a description of the colorful spirit of the people, whether related to spiritualism, food or fashion.  The food is colorful, spicy and hot, and so is the clothing–bright, iridescent, vivid and luminous.

 

Sabyasachi

In India, you will see people in various walks of life, going about their daily routines wearing colors like incandescent yellow, fiery fuchsia, sunburst orange and fluorescent violet. You will see not only “pops of color” (an extremely ubiquitous term used in the Western world to describe even a slight peek of color in an outfit), but people wearing “bursts of color.” In fact you will see “explosions of color.”

In the Western world, I became familiar with the age-old (and for the most part dated) concepts of fashion, such as wearing only black makes one look thinner; or petite-framed people should not wear bright prints; or wearing one color from top to bottom streamlines the silhouette. Since most of us are not blessed with the necessary physical attributes to fit into the perfect matrix allowing us to wear colors, we are left with the limited choice of wearing basic blacks, blues and greys.  It becomes a dull, drab and colorless existence, and I vehemently put my red soled Louboutin clad foot down!

The fashion designers of India reflect the colorful spirit and soul of the people. India is currently holding the equivalent of Milan and Paris fashion week. It is called the Lakme India Fashion Week, named after the iconic cosmetic brand. One of my favorite young, upcoming and cerebral designers is Sabyasachi. His designs capture the essence and soul of India. He not only incorporates a rainbow of colors into his designs, but also weaves a strand of the intelligent Indian brain into the look–after all, haven’t Indians made their mark all over the world in varied fields such as science and technology? And not to forget the powerful Ms. Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi.

Sabyasachi’s styling is unique with the oversized cat-eye reading glasses and hermit-like buns on top of the head. His designs have the right amount of color and flair to be striking.

Jil Sander

Jil Sander

 

This season I was pleasantly surprised to see Western designers taking a chance with bright colors and bold patterns. Designers such as Raf Simons for Jil Sander did a brilliant job at the Paris Fashion Week with dresses made of big and bold print fabrics. The last few collections of Raf Simons have been the same, steeped with intense colors and designs.

Jil Sander

Colors are meant to be worn, to be experimented with and to give a delight to our spectral sensitivities. They lend boldness to our style and spirit. So, wear them with delight and pride.

Street food’s inception is the street. Hence, a busy street is the integral part of street food.

I was mesmerized with street food on my recent visit to China. It gave me a different perspective of street food. I realized street food depicts the soul of a culture. It is a reflection of the community, economy, diet, religious bent and customs of a culture. It feeds the underlying belly of most cosmopolitan cities. It is a watering hole for busy people who value fresh, almost home cooked food, but do not have the time to prepare it at home.

For me street food is a bond that unites the old and new. It is a bridge between old times when big family meals were cooked daily and eaten communally, as opposed to the new times, when grabbing a burger from McDonald’s and eating it in our car is defined as a “meal.”

Street food is a quick meal and adapts to the modern “on the go” meal mold; yet it stays true to the roots of a culture. Street food for most part is healthy, nutritious and fresh with local ingredients used. It provides an opportunity for people to stand around, even if for a few moments, and participate in a communal activity, thereby a throwback to a bygone era of family meals.

When we travel, street food is a must to fully explore the pulse of a culture. China has amazing offerings of street foods, fresh long noodles (a symbol of longevity), an array of meats (yes, a carnivore heaven for the meat lovers), interesting locally grown vegetables, and even sweet glazed fruits on a stick.

All old cultures have some type of street food. Can you possibly forego the Injera in Ethiopia or the Kebabs and fish sandwiches in Turkey?  How about the gol gappas and chaat in India brimming with sour tamarind and an array of flavors that simply burst in your mouth creating an amalgamation of sensual delights? What about a bowl of yak milk in Mongolia? Oh, a foodie like me could go on and on.

My suggestion to you is that to fully delve into a culture, to fully touch the vein of a culture, be brave and experience the hidden enchantment of street food. Don’t fear gastrointestinal discomfort–it is only in passing and is far outweighed by the joys of gastronomic delight….Buon appetito!

Chanel and Jeans in one sentence? Is it an anomaly, an aberration or perhaps an unorthodoxy? 

 

Chanel is synonymous with opulence, luxury and affluence. It is a status symbol of old money, pedigree and an impeccable taste to be flaunted.

On the other hand, blue jeans usually (before the advent of the $500 price tag jeans) are synonymous with basics, wants and needs. An everyday Joe’s work outfit, an outfit you can simply don on with a t-shirt in order to catch the 5.30 early morning tube to work so as to avoid being late and written up by the supervisor. An outfit that you can wear to work while carrying your lunch pail and also in the evening while taking your kid out for a slice of pizza and coke. No connotation, no inference, not even a whiff of lavishness within miles.

How then is the eponymous name of Madame Coco Chanel associated with “Chanel blue jeans?” How then can a name oozing with hedonism such as Chanel be associated with something as basic as a pair of blue jeans? Well, the jeans are the brainchild erupting from the loins of the genius Monsieur Karl Lagerfeld. He is the master of evolvement, of keeping up with the changing supersonic times and of understanding the evolution of fashion. It was a delight to watch his interviews and to learn from the master himself. To learn how to grab opportunities by evolving with the times.

Jeans have become high fashion, with the advent of brands like Rock and Republic, Citizens of Humanity and Joe’s Jeans carrying heart fluttering price tags touching the range of $500 U.S. dollars. You can see fashion mavens all over the world in varied cut jeans paired with expensive jackets such as Chanel, ballet flats with the double C’s on it and quilted purses with the signature chain and double C’s. It is high-low dressing. Although judging from the price tag of the jeans, there is nothing “low” about it, except for the “rise.” 

Mr. Lagerfeld understands what a tour de force fashion is for the young ones in their 20s, 30s and even 40s. (Isn’t 40 the new 30?) He is capitalizing not only on the brand name, but like a lion he has given a taste of the royal blood to his young ones. Once they get hooked on to a drop, they will aspire for the entire prey. Once you own the jeans, what will stop the fashion mavens from saving up for the iconic Chanel tweed jacket or the Chanel ballet flats? 

Who will not want to have a piece of the double C’s, even if it starts with the blue jeans? Lagerfeld is the lion who lures the young ones to his lair with the jeans and then inculcates them into the elite club, or should I say CHANEL CULT, thereby capitalizing on it with one “C”!!

Balenciaga 2011-2012, ready-to-wear collection stayed true to its name and was in fact “ready to wear.” The term was not used as a euphemism to describe clothes that had absolutely no scope of being translated or transgressing even to the hi-fashion streets of London, Milan or Paris.

Long flowery silky skirts, boxy jackets, bright neon body-contouring dresses worn with cigarette pants and coats inspired by the actual archives of Cristobal Balenciaga. Even the description is redolent of every day wear.

The latest collection of Balenciaga is an amalgamation of my prior blogs focusing on taking risks in fashion and non-conformity in order to fully explore our creative potential. It has been the running theme of my blog entries. 

Balenciaga

A twist on the traditional suit. Note, the textured grey cigarette pants and structured coat, worn with a long dress inside. Yes, a dress, a tad bit longer than the coat. Imagine a dress worn inside an almost traditional suit. Some of you may scoff and say dowdy, not fitted enough, too loose. You have to open your mind and treat fashion as art. Truly, it is all about structure, lines, forms and individuality. Notice how the pants are fitted in order to pare down the volume of the coat. It is almost as if the famous architects Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid drafted the designs. I am getting goose bumps typing this piece as the potential of fashion is so unlimited. The suit is not fitted or restricted. Yet, its structure, ease and layering makes it über modern and stylish. Imagine walking down the streets of Paris in this outfit, or in the alternative, dressed for a corporate boardroom meeting. It makes a forceful impact on the viewer in any setting. Can a skin-tight fitted dress have the same effect? Maybe a lascivious one, but the wearers of Balenciaga are not vying for such an effect.

Balenciaga A/W 2011-2012

Look at the above photo. A much below the knee torrent of fuchsia dress worn with muted grey pants. The perfect combination of bright and muted colors. Nicolas Ghesquiere did not feel compelled to make this dress in a body hugging, thigh high silhouette. It was not needed as despite its length, the impact is style, coquettish sexiness and grace. Imagine the juxtaposition of these elements and the result is sheer fashion combustion.

Balenciaga

A boxy color block sweater made of what appears to be the sponge used in surfer’s suits worn with an almost ankle-length patent skirt. No revelation of chest, back, arms, legs, except the ankles. What is the effect? It leaves the interpretation to the viewers imagination. 

This is what I call “ready-to-wear.”