Sonny Spreads for GQ

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Remember Sonny from the Kenneth Cole ads? Our favorite sexy Sikh man is back, this time with a full spread out in GQ Spring/Summer ’09.

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It’s great that the image of the sardar is receiving positive attention. Perhaps it will encourage those who aren’t familiar with Sikhs to learn more. I said perhaps. More realistically, the page will be turned (no, not all Sikh men dress…like that) and Sikhs will still be unknown. It’s in our human nature to see something unfamiliar, and then go back to our dinner and never think of it again. [LangarHall]

Why so skeptical, Sundari? I’m sure many a folks will be turning the pages on this entry virtually, repeatedly. More pictures after the jump… Continue reading

Move Over, Padma

Lakshmi Menon Runway.jpgI’m not the type to really follow New York Fashion Week (all bout L.A.!) but an article at Jezebel caught my eye.

There were 116 labels that held shows at the recently ended New York fashion week; that’s 3,697 spots in runway and presentation lineups. Of those, 668 were given to models of color — which, at just over 18%, is 6% better than one year ago. (And certainly better than in the fall of 2007, when WWD reported that one-third of the New York shows used no models of color at all.)[Jezebel]

The blog did further analysis breaking down the 668 models of color by race (41% Black models, 38% Asian models, 22% Latin models.) I know what you are thinking – where the Desi at? Using the nifty Desi Filter, I searched the names of the models of color in the top 25 shows in New York’s Fashion Week, just to see if the increased diversity included ‘our’ kind of diversity.

And the winner is, drum roll please…Lakshmi Menon is the only Desi model reppin’ on the runway at New York’s Fashion Week. Lakshmi appeared in the shows of Alexander Wang, Badgley Mishka, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, and Jason Wu. Looks like Padma needs to beware – there’s a new Lakshmi in town.

Who is Lakshmi? Born in Bangalore in 1981, she started modeling in 2006 and signed with Ford Agency. She is known for her “pout” and is seen as a “rising star.”

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Tall and dark— in many ways, Lakshmi Menon is the typical ‘Indian’ beauty. But in many other ways, she’s as unconventional as they come. With a strong jaw line and endless legs, Menon is global fashion’s latest muse. She’s walked the ramp for biggies like Hermes, Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors.[Express India]

She has a short video diary from fashion week where you can catch her gorgeous accent. She also thinks you should visit Ladakh.

The good news: we had sexy, dark and lovely Lakshmi as our token brown skinned girl on New York Fashion Week’s runways. The bad news: Out of 3,697 spots, they couldn’t find another brown girl to step on to the runway? How is that possible? Desi girls are HOT. Have they seen the picture of Padma on a swing? Or Sunny getting out the vote? Or the desi cover girls on Indian Vogue, Indian Elle, or Indian Cosmopolitan? When in Delhi last month I spent hours in front of the magazine rack enamored by seeing beautiful brown women as cover girls. We have great potential desi supermodels, despite what ANTM may have us believe.

It’s great that the runways were more diverse this time around, but as far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t diverse enough. They can do better next time. As for now, I’ll take Lakshmi as our token, any day. Both Padma and Menon. Continue reading

Is Slumdog Millionaire Golden? YES, YES, YES, YES!

I can’t contain myself, I HAVE to live-blog the Golden Globes. That statement itself might be a spoiler, I know. If you’re on PST, have this isht on DVR or otherwise loathe learning something before you’re supposed to, don’t go past the jump.

[And if you are a Wesssssider, then come on. You're used to this, so no need to complain...I'm from there, I remember the feeling, but there's nothing to be done. Except move here. Which is what I did. ;) ]

If you’re on the right coast and feel like gettin’ your Mutiny on…party over here! Continue reading

In 2009, I Resolve to be More Mutinous.

banana republic ad.jpg I thought it would be cute and fun to do a “resolutions” post on December 31st, but I wasn’t sure how to approach it. After all, just asking you what you plan on not accomplishing in the new year seemed rather bleh. So, imagine my glee when I discovered a frothy fashion article about this exact subject with no less than 1.5 brown connections to exploit! Problem solved.


We asked some of our favorite women what they hope to do (or do a little bit better)—from family to food and fashion—in 2009.

I’ve only quoted about half of the resolvers here:

Vera Wang, designer “Work more and work out more.”
Venus Williams, tennis player “I think it’s time to give up leggings and add more prints to my closet in 2009. I also think it’s time for more accessories, but I want to avoid those big chunky pieces.”

While she is a tennis player, Venus isn’t our “0.5″ connection. ;)

Chanel Iman, model “Step back into my closet and re-create the things I haven’t worn in a while and do wardrobe swaps with my friends. After the swap, you can go shopping for that one item that will make the trade pop. It’s kind of a green way to go.”
Sophie Buhai, designer, Vena Cava “Monochromatic fashion that feels elegant (but is almost boring) paired with an eccentric large metal necklace is what I am wanting to wear. As far as giving things up, I’d say it’s time to give up flashy designer bags. The new year and a new economy are all about buying vintage Ferragamo and Bottega on eBay.”
Coco Rocha, model “Wear more jackets. This is the time to bundle up, and a girl cannot have too many coats because it is what you are seen most in during the winter season.”
Marina Rust, contributing editor, Vogue “I know if I squeeze a lemon into a cup of hot water and honey every morning I will actually feel and look better. Maybe this year I will remember to do it.”
Tory Burch, designer “Keep things in perspective and not sweat the small stuff. I always try to focus on the big picture and remember if my family is happy and healthy, nothing is worth getting too stressed about.”
Chiara Clemente, filmmaker “Eat at home as much as I can. Maybe it’s because I am Italian, but you have to start with the basics. And that’s food.”

Continue reading

Alicia’s Tacky Tikka

I was just watching the 2008 American Music Awards noting that asymmetrical and gold bead worked dresses were in (how gorgeous were Leona Lewis’ and Nicole Scherzinger’s dresses?) when Alicia Keys walked out onto the red carpet. Now, we’ve seen plenty of desi cultural appropriation attire on the red carpet over the years, (remember Madge’s desification?) but Alicia’s tikka and earrings just made me tilt my head to the side and go, “Huh…”

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You’d think with five nominations, her stylist could have spent a little more time on the red carpet outfit… I can’t get over how cheap the combination of the ‘plastic’ earrings with the tikka looked. I kinda can see how the one shoulder dress slightly resembled the swoosh of the auchol over the left shoulder, but still. It’s a stretch.

[Full length fashion disaster after the jump.] Continue reading

Posh as Indian Bride Barbie? That’s Major!

posh for vogue india.jpg Well not Indian Bride Barbie so much as their November cover girl, but that’s totes what she reminds ME of (thanks, cookiemonsta):

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham graces the cover of Vogue India’s November issue, trading in her western outfits for a traditional Indian bridal sari.
“Posh” Beckham, the wife of British footballer David Beckham, chose several bridal outfits by Indian designers for the photo shoot, the magazine said in a statement. [linky]

She was also not overheard saying, “Can we hike these up a bit? I need people to see that I have replaced my seven-inch Loubys with swaggers. Aren’t they MAJOR?

“I have long been an avid admirer of the Indian fashion and lifestyle culture,” Beckham, 34, was quoted as saying. [linky]

She then stared dreamily off in to space for a second while fondly remembering that one time, with that proto-chav who made it rain with rupees at Glassy Junction. Ah, good times.

The magazine’s fashion director said Beckham was thrilled to experiment with Indian bridal wear.
“She absolutely loved everything about it — from the ‘maang tikka’ and ‘haath zeb’ (traditional Indian jewellery) to the gorgeous lehengas (traditional Indian skirt with embroidery),” said Anahita Shroff Adajania. [linky]

What fool wouldn’t? Indian brides get to wear the most gorgeous clothes in the world. I love Reem Acra but even her most show-stopping gowns fade away in the presence of Priya and Chintan’s most basic lehenga.

The cover is after the jump. Continue reading

I’ll Show You Islamic Hood (ie)

Sepia Post2.jpg Our recently retired around the way desi girl made a come back this past week in New York. Not in music, but in fashion. Yes, the queen of sparkly spandex and fake purple flowers on derby hats debuted her new line at same time as New York’s Fashion Week.

As promised, M.I.A. has launched her limited-edition clothing line, and the “Okley Run” store is open for business on her Web site. While the prints are pretty much as outlandish as you expect, the prices for each individual piece are a bit insane—and not in the “clashing colors that actually look better and better the more you focus on their dissonance” way, or even the Crazy Eddie way*. [idolator]

A quick glance of the online store had me come to a screeching halt — directly on the image of a sweatshirt labeled, “Islamic Hoodie.” It could be that the fasting from Ramadan has me extra sensitive, but it seems that everywhere I look I see images of hijabs as the latest fashion icon. I saw it on a shirt at a festival last week, and now this. On the Okley Run site the image of the sweatshirt could not be enlarged but I did see the eyes of a woman in niqab with what seemed like an explosion over her head. Could that really be what she was trying to say? What could M.I.A. have meant by this logo?

This would take some investigative blogging. The image on her site was simply not clear enough to decipher. Luckily, I just happen to live in one of the two cities where Opening Ceremony, the only store carrying her line retail, is – Los Angeles. Continue reading

Class and Compassion are not in Vogue in India

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I saw it myself and then a few of you blew up the tip line (thanks, Taara), my twitter and my skypager; on Sunday, the Grey Lady featured an article about Vogue India’s…interesting choice of models, for one of their recent editorial shoots. The “creative” (and by creative, I mean not at all) direction the magazine (which I still can’t procure in DC) stumbled through raised your threaded-eyebrows as well as some of your hackles, and rightly so.

Giving impoverished people $10,000 bags, Burberry bumbershoots and Fendi bibs for their children reeks of an appalling level of arrogance, an utterly clueless infatuation with “edginess”, and a heartless disregard for those for whom India does not yet shine. But let me tell you how I really feel, as I fisk the NYT article freely:

NEW DELHI — An old woman missing her upper front teeth holds a child in rumpled clothes — who is wearing a Fendi bib (retail price, about $100).
A family of three squeezes onto a motorbike for their daily commute, the mother riding without a helmet and sidesaddle in the traditional Indian way — except that she has a Hermès Birkin bag (usually more than $10,000, if you can find one) prominently displayed on her wrist.
Elsewhere, a toothless barefoot man holds a Burberry umbrella (about $200).
Welcome to the new India — at least as Vogue sees it.

Way to keep it classy, VI. Also, just so you know, the text on that picture says, “Baby’s Day Out: It’s never too early to start living in style.” Continue reading

Are you feeling lucky?

First reported by High Heel Confidential (thanks Nirvana), the Google Ooogle Sari is here. It’s produced by designer Satya Paul (you can see his URL in the URL bar of the browser), as part of his “inspirational series 3 – pop art” (Thanks Bloog). This is the promotional copy attached:

Georgette jacquard printed sari along with unstitched blouse piece attached.

Inspirational Series 3 – Pop Art
“Starting in the 50′s, Pop art is a reflection of popular culture in art. Pop art is neither praise nor condemnation but explores the everyday imagery that is so much a part of contemporary consumer culture. It often uses media, advertising, packaging, celebrity and comic book art styles to bring art closer to real life.” [Link]

The sari sells for Rs. 11,995.00/ USD. 299.88 and has now been spotted in a mall in Gurgaon:

Spotted this in a fancy mall in Gurgaon, India (the tech hub south of Delhi). I don’t know the backstory, and I couldn’t find out because (proving that India is aspiring to Western standards in every way!) a guard started rushing over to bust me for taking pictures. [Link]

This latter part cracks me up — was the guard protecting the intellectual property involved here? Afraid that somebody would take the photo and use it to create a copy of the sari more cheaply?

While I’m generally a traditionalist, I see the potential in this sort of printed sari. Do you think it will catch on? Will there be more logo branded saris in the future? Or perhaps saris that use text as decoration – after all, search results (and sponsored links in particular) are kind of boring. One could do far better if you want to invite somebody over to (ahem) deconstruct your text.

Finally – how long until somebody wears this to Google’s own offices? (I’ve got a friend who works at one of the Delhi area offices as a programmer, I should ask him if he’s spotted it yet)

Continue reading

M.I.A., like Jem, is truly outrageous!

Controversial crooner (and cover girl) Mathangi Arulpragasam got fugged not once, but twice over at the always-entertaining Go Fug Yourself (thank you thank you, mbawife). Behold her first fugtacular outfit below, and her second, after the jump (click to enlarge both to their full glory…srsly).

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The first thing I thought of when I saw this (as if you hadn’t already guessed from my title) was “Jem! And the Holograms!“, or Jerrica, more accurately. They don’t make cartoons like they used to, do they boys and girls? When we played “Jem”, I always wanted to be “Aja”, but I was often stuck playing “Kimber”. The four of you who know what the hell I’m talking about need not comment, I can feel your sympathy over the intarweb. I’m sensitive like that. Continue reading