The hustle never ends, said Tony Soprano once. Entirely different context maybe, but rightly so. It’s tough trying to be seen in a crowd where there’s several others doing the same thing you’re doing.
It’s taken me a short while (some would say) to reach where I have. But this isn’t even close to what I dream of achieving and I know the road ahead is long af. Yeah, everyone has big dreams, and everyone’s a dreamer; but not everyone’s a hustler. The hustle comes from within and you gotta fight it out till the very end. The only catch is, there is no end!
I began my journey as a blogger 10 months ago. And through these 10 months I have had to constantly remind myself that this is a ‘personal’ style blog; that the journey is going to be one hell of a rocky ride and because this is my personal style, it’s not going to be well-received more than often. It takes a lot to stay true to yourself and that’s where the hustle begins and continues.
I didn’t know where this would go when I started. But I never wanted to be seen as a one-trick-pony. So, when people ask me what my style is, I have no answer. Experimental is what it is. I’ve seen my style evolve pretty much with every blog post. I’ve gone from Boho to Street to Whimsical to Androgynous to Afro and here I am now at Street again!
You know what takes up most of my day? Well, most of my free days. My shoe routine.
Having a shoe obsession does not come easy! It comes with a lot of baggage. Baggage that is very high-maintenance. And I seem to have my obsession under control for now, but I think I’m heading for trouble soon.
So with the growing number of sneakers in my wardrobe, I’m beginning to realise how importantit is to maintain and clean my kicks regularly, especially with Delhi heat and dust. It’s true when they say “shoes maketh a man”, because nothing looks worse and pulls down an outfit more than a tattered pair of shoes or a not-sparkly-enough white sneaker. It took me a while to work out a solid routine and a fool-proof way of keeping my shoes clean, but I think I finally have it down, and I thought it was time I shared my hacks with you guys 🙂
For starters, I always have extra pairs of shoe-laces stacked up. They’re the first to get dirty (especially if you’re like me and wear shoes for everyday errands too) and they loose their ‘newness’ beyond a couple of washes. So, White shoelaces x 10, and every other colour that I’d like x 2. (I think I might have a shoe-lace obsession too!)
If you have a thing for White Sneakers, (I know you do), it comes with its own phobia of wearing them out, feeling fly, but being scared to death of what they’re going to look like at the end of the day. I’m sure they have a name for this phobia too!
So here’s my ultimate cheat sheet for white sneakers:
Footwear Protection Spray ( I use Vetro)
Stain Remover/ Detergent + Baking Soda + Old Toothbrush. Scrub every alternate wear!
For scuffs that don’t go away- White Nail polish or Corrector-Fluid!
Travel is the most taxing on my shoes since I like to walk around a lot and my sneakers always get the worst of it. So I always carry baby/ moist wipes along, so I can wipe off the gunk they accumulate through the day. Also, stuff them with crumpled newspaper when you’re not wearing them, so they don’t lose shape and develop cracks.
Storage. And this is probably the most important one. Don’t stack them. Don’t leave them in a pile. I don’t always have space for storing all my shoes in the boxes they came in. So I either stack them on a shoe rack, or I just tuck them under my bed lined up neatly in pairs on a newspaper. Leave tea bags in the shoes you wear more often to keep them dry. And leave them out in the sun after a long day.
Afro Punk is a platform for the alternative and experimental. Originating with the 2003 documentary titled Afro Punk that highlighted an African American presence in the Punk scene, Afro Punk is a huge movement with a short history that began as a movement after the film was aired. It was a hand-shot footage that explored the ways in which African American Punks identify within the Punk and hardcore scenes.
Out of the Afro Punk documentary, spawned the music festival Afro Punk Fest in 2005. It aimed to highlight black musicians and artists with a festival dedicated to skate culture, Punk, rap and alternative music. It is an entire subculture dedicated to celebrating multiculturalism in the alternative scene. It continues to be a huge event in Brooklyn to date!
Trying to find an inherent style that runs throughout the entire movement that is AfroPunk is impossible! The clothes they rock are just as diverse as the flood of faces you might find at the yearly fest. But there are some commonalities that tie the community together.
The look is Punk rock mixed with strong ethnic vibes: vintage ethnic pieces, tribal prints, and the hair of course! Beautiful full afro’s or some shaved into afro-hawks, dyed into unnatural colours, cornrows, weaves, dreads, and more killer creative styles you couldn’t summarise in less than a paragraph. Oh and we can’t forget the massive skate style influences with skate shoes, urban styles and a skateboard under an arm.
This, here, is my interpretation of Afro Punk.
Vest | Custom made
Harem pants | Forever21
Shoes | Zara
Accessories | Mango/ Mister by Mawi for Koovs/ House of Blondie
Did you hear that it was a stinking 47 degrees outside yesterday? And we’re only halfway into the season right now. With Delhi Summers getting warmer by the year (or at least it seems like that), there’s only so long that you can stick to your regular T-shirts and your trusty old pair of jeans.
I, for one, keep comfort foremost. And then comes style. The solution? Anti-Fit Clothing.
Tapered fits and slim cuts have been staples in our wardrobes for as long as we can remember, and for good reason too. To look your sharpest, clothes that fit well are essential. But spinning this rule on its head is the anti-fit trend. Boys, take a note here. Although it does take a little getting used to, what’s better than running weekend errands or chilling with a beer on a Sunday in loose, comfy clothes?
Ready-to-wear label Kapdaby Urvashi Kaur, is one such line that is inspired by this trend. Spelling comfort and street-wear, this label uses easy and wearable summer fabrics including linen, denim and cottons. What makes this label a growing favourite for me is the fact that it works on an androgynous model and it carries some of my favourite silhouettes, including the harem/ dhoti, layers and drapes. The pieces can be easily paired with each other and can be worn in different ways.
The Grey Denim Button Down Oversized Shirt and the Black Cotton Jersey Dhoti Pant from the label made for perfect vacation clothing for me.
Now you wouldn’t expect to feel like you’re in South Italy when you go to Goa. Portugal, yes, maybe. But this place had me feeling like I wasn’t where I was at all!
I’m a sucker for history and naturally, I love all broken down monuments and forts and such. This detour wasn’t even on the agenda, but I was driving around Reis Magos one afternoon just to soak in the beautiful Portuguese architecture in this area, and before I could get to it, I drove past this mother of a fort on a steep hill right along the Mandovi. I had never before even heard of this place or known that it existed. But I had to go in.
This fort has so much interesting history behind it, and I had the guard take me around and tell me all of it. Apparently, this fort, after having served as a defense to Old Goa for over 4 centuries, was also converted into a jail in the 50’s up until ’93! They even have isolation units and crack windows and holes in the ground which were used to pass food through, as well as to pour hot oil onto the captured convicts
It was then ordered for restoration in 2007 and re-opened only recently in 2012 and stands beautiful next to a church as well. Would recommend everyone to have a walk through.
But enough amateur history lessons from me. Moving on to the style bit, good old #RobeLife continues to live on, courtesy A&A of course, who are launching The Robe Lives, their very own brand and online shop for these beauties soon. The Weekender Duffel bag by Brandless makes for my all time favourite travel essential; ideal for weekend getaways. And to finish off the look perfectly, tasseled handcrafted Woven Mocassins by Modello Domani, that translate seamlessly from day to night, and can be worn formally as well.
I’m not the regular North Goa kind. I’m not even the Goa kind to be honest. I don’t like hopping on to floating casinos, or hitting the clubs or partying till 7am in the morning covered in neon paint. When I go to a beach, I walk along the shore, I swim, I whale, I stare at the sun before it begins to set, and continue for hours even after it sets. And then I swim some more. I like coming back home with a truck load of sand, in my shoes and in my beard.
So if any of you recognise the location, you get me. This not-so-famous beach was the best thing I could’ve done in Goa. And I intend on keeping it my secret. I drove for more than an hour, away from the “off-season” crowd just to find myself some real peace and some real beach. And this is where I felt “Goa”. This is where I found my place in Goa.
Going back to my Black & White (clothing) habits, I wear here a super comfy linen shirt by Urvashi Kaur, with a breathy white cotton dhoti by MintBlush Designs. Now that I’m back in blazing Delhi, I really might live in these two for the next few summer months.
To add some sea and colour, these sneakers by Banjaaran are a custom dyed leather pair, with a mustard brogue detail that won me over! And of course, these absolutely beautiful eco-friendly (!), handcrafted reflectors in hardwood by Tocca di Legno, that’s going to pull me through the summer.
I’m a fan of all things crazy. And Manish Arora defines crazy. So far though, only the ladies have been lucky.
So what did I do when I found out that Manish Arora is working on launching his first ever affordable range menswear collection in collaboration with Koovs? (Shut up and take my money, right?!) I broke my bank and bought pretty much everything in plain sight. Shopping is my one and only vice that I can never give up. Try and make me.
For the first look, I’ve paired the Hive Print Vest with the matching Shorts, my Black Fedora and a customised Shark Teeth red sneaker by Zara. Bracelets, ring and the pendant are all by the Mister by Mawi collection for Koovs.