August 29, 2011

Bon anniversaire!!!

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Or Happy Birthday! (For all of you who do not understand French at all! Though that doesn't mean am proficient in it......my knowledge of the language is miniscule to say the least!)

No....it's not my b'day..........or one of my friend's..............or any of my family's.......

Hell, YES! It's my blog's b'day!!!!!!!

Actually, to be precise, my last post should have been the Anniversary post (as I had written my 1st blog post on the 23rd of Aug '10)...................but what with the never-ending workload at office, I just didn't get enough time to sit & think & write out a post fit for the occassion...

Ladies & Gentlemen!
Chappals vs Stilletoes has just turned ONE.............and in a much bigger & better manner than I'd have ever expected! When I'd first started my humble attempts at fashion blogging, I'd no idea what all I had in store for me ahead..........! This blog was just an experiment or, should I say, hobby started after reading an inspiring article in a magazine about India's stylish fashion bloggers. The article had intrigued the fashion-stimulated hormones in me........& introduced me to my very first aquaintances in the Fashion Blogging field - Smrithi of Vintage Obsession, Sonu & Jasleen of Fashion Bombay and Karishma of Purple Peeptoes.

I was super-excited to come across such an interesting & fabulous way of sharing one's personal style sensibilities with other like-minded people from around the world!! I was hyper-ventilating while going through the super-stylish posts of the lovely ladies mentioned above........and once I was done admiring their fashionable individualistic sense of style, I decided to put mine up there on the blogosphere too! :)

Thus Chappals vs Stilletoes was born...........& the rest, as they say, is history.........

This one year of blogging (or Fashion blogging, to be precise) has taught me a lot.........about fashion, about style, about people, about cultures, about places...........
When I'd written my first post (about my fashion idols), I hardly knew what an enriching experience writing this blog was going to be! I've evolved with every new post.........as a blogger, as a stylist, as a person & as a citizen of Fashion-blogsville.........
This blog has given me much more than I'd ever have hoped for............admirers, followers, friends, renown, identity.............I could never have reached out to such an amazing global audience in any other way...........I could never have come across such fabulous fashionistas from across the world...........I could never have shared my love & passion for Fashion in this way through any other forum/media............

But the one thing that I've really & truly earned in this last one year, is a whole bunch of absolutely lovely people from across the globe whom I can happily (and more than a li'l proudly) call friends!!! These wonderful beings have not only supported & encouraged me in every step & helped me make my blog what it is today.......but they have also always shared their honest opinions & feedback and criticised me, if necessary, whenever required....
So, this celebratory b'day post is an ode to those few fashionistas (many of whom I've ever even met!) who've always been by my side & along with me, have watched my blog grow............
Thank you so much girls for being so fabulous & wonderful always.........LOVE YOU ALL..............mwah!! <3

*My first big hug goes out to the fun & fabulous Tanvi of The Fabulous Life of Not-so-rich and Infamous. A fashion diva in her own right, Tanvi is one of the most lovely young ladies I know on the other side of the globe (she lives in Texas). Her style sensibility screams attitude with a capital A..........& her "expert-at-his-job-behind-the-lens" husband captures all her right features & angles beautifully. Tanvi is also as good & enthusiastic a cook, as she's a fitness freak (which definitely shows in her toned body & stunning figure).

 

As you all can see (& I'm sure most of my readers, who also follow her, know), Tanvi can pull off an androgynous look with as much elan as she can a diva avatar!


*Another lady who never fails to put a smile on my face is the quirky & fearless Bella from The Citizen Rosebud. She is one woman who does as she pleases & doesn't give a damn to convention.........a lovely person with a beautiful heart, Bella is one sweet big girl! She goes around Sacramento, capturing the town's amazing street-style & is a popular member of the Sac-town style community. An able entrepreneur & a much-loved fashionista, Bella's edgy style is fun as well as refreshing... :)

 

Independent & willful, Bella clicks her own pictures........& does an awesome job of it! Her intense eyes make as much of a statement as her quirky sense of style!!


*If there's anyone on the blogosphere who constantly inspires & amazes me with her style & flair, then it's the gorgeous & stunning Dusk from The Dusk Zone. She's grace, beauty, passion personified. She's one of the most powerful (not in the literally, but figuratively), strong & grounded women I've ever come across...........and her vivacious personality & in-your-face attitude is something she carries off as gracefully as she does her swirling skirts & "divine" harnesses. This diva sure lights up Sidney's streets when she steps out in style!

 

Oh! How beautifully she twirls her skirts..........! Maybe it's the expert Flamenco dancer in her that takes over once she's in front of the camera!! ;)


*Since the time I've opened my eyes to the beauty of the world, I've had an undying affinity & attraction for everything French - be it food, fashion, places or culture. And this is one of the things that made me fall for the pretty & demure Cee of Coco & Vera. Though she hails from Vancouver, Cee is only physically away from Paris......her personality & style is very much French - classy, & chic. A sweetheart by nature, Cee's large, innocent eyes & pretty smile can only make you fall in love with her...

 

She works nudes, pastels & monotones like no one else, though she looks equally fetching in vibrant colors. And she fulfills her love for the French life by taking frequent trips to Paris with her husband! Wish I could do so too......sigh!


Of course, this post won't be complete without mentioning some more wonderful people out there who've been very special & close to me & my blog..........a big thank you to the whole bunch of you for being such fabulous support-systems always!!! Here's hoping that the lovely relationship I share with you guys will grow more beautiful & strong in the years to come.... :)

Here's lots of love & gratitude from the bottom of my heart to(in no particular order):
Sacramento of Mis Papelicos - An absolute sweetheart
Zarna of Zarna's Runway - Bold & beautiful
Tashrin of TASHRIN - Chic simplicity
Smrithi of Vintage Obsession - One of the first bloggers I met!
Sonu & Jasleen of Fashion Bombay - Gorgeous girls with amazing style
Federica of Chiccastyle - Sweet & stylish
Lee of Lee Oliviera - Amazing eye for street style
Holly & Sally of Hippie by Heart Thinks Fashion is Art - Lovely ladies with an enviable collection of accessories
Shreya of For The Love of Fashion and Other Things - Fashionable & confident
Roz of Clothes, Camera and Coffee - Effortlessly stylish
Sushmita of My Unfinished Life - Another blogger I've met up with!
Aarti of Art meets Fashion - Talent personified

Phew! That's a rather exhaustive list....isn't it??? But it's not over yet! (Ok...ok.....I get it you're running out of patience now.............but bear with me for 10 seconds more.........right?) 
I just have had to mention the wonderful & beautiful Jemina of Jemina, who had held my hand (figuratively, again!) during my initial days of Fashion blogging. She was the most amazing & encouraging friend I've had in those early days..........her constant support & warm words were like my daily dose of pep-up tonic! Sadly, she's taken a break from blogging for the time being.............& today, I cannot stop myself from confessing, with a heavy heart, that I miss her stunning sense of style & beautiful personality crazily at times!!!

Well.............there! I think I've mentioned all the lovely people whom I've connected to, over the period of the last one beautiful year on this blog! I'm extremely sorry if I've missed out anyone in particular........trust me, it was not intentional......
As for the people whom I've grown a rapport with in the recent past, here's hoping that I'll grow such beautiful friendships with you guys too in the year to come (and maybe you'll be reading your names in this space same time next year!).

This has been one of my longest posts on this blog till date! But then, a B'day does call for special celebrations...........doesn't it??? ^_^

Here's to more such wonderful & stylish years to come for this humble blog of mine.......

Cheers,
Polka Princess

P.S.: All photos - courtesy, the blogs mentioned
August 24, 2011

Talent picks from Lakme Fashion Week

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Well...........for a change, we are going to have some serious fashion talk over here today! (Other days, it's just me & my personal fashion)
Actually it all stemmed form the media working full-time on covering the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. Shows, celebs, show-stoppers & front-row guests got as much limelight as did the clothes, accessories, creativity & fashion. Some designers stunned, while others staled...........but all in all, it was a week filled with fashion at it's best!

Though the stalwarts of Indian fashion & couture, such as Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra, JJ Valaya & Narendra Kumar, dazzled their audience throughout the country with their exquisite creations; the real gems of the show were the young & upcoming talents who are coming up with visually appealing & aesthetically interesting collections.

I chose to showcase two such young designers & their works here not only because they are extremely creative & telented, but also because their collections are smart, intesresting & chic - a perfect blend for today's urban women. (The fact that both of them are great buddies of mine is just a happy co-incidence!)

Amalraj Sengupta
My batchmate from the Fashion Design course at National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has always been one of the brightest & wackiest designer I know. His design sensibilities hover somewhere between pret & avant garde and as a result, his collections never fail to impress. His clothes exhude attitude & style.................and the fact that he designs for both men & women makes him one of the most promising young designers of the country.
           

 

 

 
 

 


Amalraj has used fabrics like silk, georgette, chiffon, cotton, linen & knits to make an Autumn-Winter collection that is a blend of his signature texturing & style with Asian influences. Lots of detailings, quilting, pleats & unusual closures make his collection edgy & unconventional. His sure is going to be a big name in the shining future of Indian fashion.


Shivaji Dutta
Another one of my NIFT batchmates, this time from the Textile Design course, Shivaji is another budding designer who is doing a wonderful job of creating interesting clothes. An interesting way of using scraps & recycling materials to create amazing clothes is his forte. He blends together leather & fabrics to create designs & patterns that are as smart & edgy, as they are versatile.


 

 

 

 


Shivaji swears by recycling of old clothes & materials and the same mantra forms the core design sensibility of his brand Blank Spot. Fabric & leather were woven togther to create beautifully constructed clothes & interesting silhouettes. The dresses were all of simple yet well-cut silhouettes with multiple panels & extensive use of zippers. The use of safety pins to hold shredded tees & stockings added a quirk factor to the whole collection.

So you can see.......that these two guys are definitely talents to watch out for in the Indian fashion industry. Here's wishing them all the best for all their future endeavours in life!! Love you guys!!! <3

Till next time...
Stay stylish,
Polka Princess
August 15, 2011

Freedom is what we wanted...

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......and apparently we got it. On the 15th of August. In 1947. India won her freedom from the rule of the Raj..........& we have been celebrating this day ever since...........

But even today, as i wake up in the morning to strains of some patriotic song coming from the neighbors', open the newspapers to find the colors of the Indian flag liberally splashed across the pages, switch on the TV to see the national anthem being made into special videos to be played all day long...........I feel as if I'm just a part of some big, country-wide marketing gimmick.
I mean, what happens on the other 364 days of the year??? Why can we only hear the popular item numbers playing everywhere, instead of the patriotic songs? Why are saffron, white & green not in the list of the in colors of the season? Why doesn't anyone do anything special with the national anthem then?

They say India is a free country...........but free from what? Is what I say!
Maybe it is free from the monarchy & rule of some other more powerful country.........but is it really FREE??? In the true sense of the term? 
Are we free from corruption? Are we free from superstitions?? Are we free from terror???
If so, then how come we need a brand of Tea to awaken the younger generation against a corrupted government..........why do we still read about remote parts of the country where people's lives are ruined by superstitious acts..............why can't we save the hundreds of innocent victims falling prey to inhuman acts of terror???........

So today.......even as the whole country celebrates the 64th year of Independence...........even as I spend a lazy Monday morning at home (national holidays should always fall on Mondays, I say!)..............these questions & more keep hurling themselves at me............and I say, "No! I'm not free!! Not yet....... But I'm waiting for the day when I will be! And I'm working towards it........"


Well.......enough of the tough talks for now.............
Going on to the pictures, I thought, what it being I-day & all, I'll be sharing some snaps from my latest photography sojourn with you all..............here's a glimpse of a small part of the country I call home..............I'll let the few thousand words do the talking.........























And NO! My above ranting does not mean that I don't love my country................I'm absolutely proud as a peacock to be an Indian.............and would love to be one till my last breath! I'd never ever want to leave this country for anything in the world & go stay in any other place (I'd love to visit places all over the world, but stay - no, thanks!!) On this 64th year of Independence of India, I can list 64000 things about my country that I admire & adore!!! 

But at the same time, I, as an Indian, want to face the drawbacks that are plaguing the nation & stopping her in her progress towards development............I want to do my duty as a citizen of this beautiful country & free her of the shackles of terror, illiteracy, corruption, superstition, poverty etc. and make her into one of the best, most beautiful & developed countries of the world! 

After all, when we sing "Saare jahan se achha..........Hindustan hamara......." (Best among the whole world......is our India), we want to mean it & believe in it.....don't we???

Happy Independence Day to all the Indians out there!!!

Am raring to face another week ahead, after a prolonged weekend............hope you all had a rocking start to the week!!! :)

Last, but not the least, I'm sure all of you have noticed the makeover I've given my blog! Tell me what you think of it!

Much love,
Polka Princess
August 10, 2011

Hundred & counting.............

by , in
Hola! Bonjour! Ciao!

No.......am not taking language classes these days.......it's just that, well, I felt like greeting you all to my blog for once..............so, a big HELLO to not only my old readers out there, but even to the newer ones! And of course, THANK YOU all for being the wonderful support system that you are..........this blog would have been all but a few boring pictures & meaningless words, had it not been for all you wonderful people out there who encouraged me in every step that I took.........so, my heartfelt gratitude to all of you 100+ lovely citizens of the blogosphere (including a few non-bloggers)............I'll make sure you never repent that decision of clicking on the "Follow" button on my side bar! :)

In other news, I'm feeling a bit disoriented regarding life nowadays..........I guess am badly in need of a push towards the right direction. Any of you feel like lending a hand? (Push........hand........get it?? Aaargh! More disoriented gibberish.........see what I mean? Maybe am just making a fool of myself! Sigh!*rolling eye*) 


Let's go over to the outfit, shall we? At least, that part looks sorted........... :))

Statutory warning: You made need glares to protect your eyes from the bright pops on my waist & wrist



Note: This is a backdated outfit, from sometime in the middle of last week


One fine morning, I woke up & thought of infusing some colors to the regular drab office atmosphere!


Thanks to incessant rains outside, I had to take shelter in one of the office meeting rooms for clicking pictur.......Thank you so much M for being so patient & taking time out from work to document my crazy antics!

 



I'm hearting all those hearts on me!! <3
 (This heart ring is ,y current obsession.....am wearing it with almost anything & everything! Be prepared to see much more of it in the coming posts...!)

P.S.: This cute multi-colored heart was actually a hair scrunchy of my sister's. After it broke, I made it into a brooch........I couldn't let it go to waste, could I???

 

Don't know why I'm posing like this!!! More disoriented craziness, I guess.........sigh! :(

Shirtdress: Only, Mumbai
Tights: BK Market, Kolkata
Belt: ???
 Shoes: Gifted by mom
Neon green PVC strap watch: Fastrack, Kolkata
Heart brooch: DIY-ed from hair scrunchy
Heart ring: Accessorize, Kolkata


The middle of the week always gives me such a hungover feel - like, the week is not progressing at all & it's still such a long way to the end!! Dragging myself along the week........trying to get my orientations right.......

Hope you all are having a good week...........planning up for the weekend! :)

Thank you once again,
Polka Princess

P.S.: The colors of this outfit are all distorted due to the poor indoor lighting. The tights are actually quite a bright green (they are the same ones as worn here).
August 04, 2011

Preview: Howrah Bridge

by , in
Hey there cupcakes!!!

How's life been all this while??? Am sorry to have been a bit irregular on my stopovers & visits to your blogs in the last couple of weeks. For one, am damn busy at work........Sale time is one hell of a time for people working in retail, I tell you! :(  
Moreover, I've been busy doing something behind your stylish backs........guess what???? Well sweeties........*can you believe it*....I've set up shop! Yes......you heard it right.........I've got a surprise waiting for you guys over at Howrah Bridge (FYI....that's the name of my brand)..........so go over NOW......... and indulge...........

P.S.: Here's a sneak peek at what you'll come across......



Waiting to see you all there!!! :))

Have fun,
Polka Princess

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