MINDFUL IN MONOCHROME

                  JAZZ UP YOUR LOOK WITH LAYERSTHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE  In the last couple of months I've started to distance myself from the fast paced world of fashion and social media in order to focus on mindfulness and being present. When you work in close proximity to the fashion industry, it's scary how easy it is to get conditioned into a mindset where you're always thinking about your next move. This is not to say that I'm not interested in fashion anymore, but rather that I'm more aware of things now which has ultimately created a shift in my consumption behaviour. Something that I came across recently and really enjoyed was Sarah Lazarovic's "Buyerarchy of Needs" - and I'm happy to say that everything in this look was put together with pieces I've had in my closet for a while now, including this £1 vintage trench coat. In fact, I've worn this entire look several times and even posted it here previously. A lot of times when my friends are putting together looks for a night out or special occasion, I always hear "I need to buy..." - I'm here to tell you to take a second andrethink that statement. An easy way to put together an exciting look is through monochrome dressing. It elevates your ordinary pieces instantly. As extra as I can be with what I wear (case in point here, here and here), even I can't be arsed to wear a statement piece every single day. There are times where I barely have a second to think as I rush out for my day. By...

FALL PALETTE

                      A CURATION OFPONDERINGS AND PATTERNS THAT CHARACTERISE MYFALL PALETTE.  It's a gloomy Thursday. My thoughts race against each other as I compartmentalise upcoming appointments, things to do and university deadlines. I let out a deep sigh and make another mental note to pick up a new schedule planner, almost not noticing that I can see my breath now. In the physical world around me, my feet are racing the setting sun, in a bid to get home before dark. Again, I almost miss another indicator of the changing seasons - that distinctive crunch of golden foliage beneath my feet. It’s a sound both comforting and unnerving. Comforting because it’s the most beautiful time of year in London, I can start going wild with wearing layers and it’s the perfect weather to consume copious amounts of chai. Unnerving because the days are getting shorter and the winter blues will begin to kick in soon... but most of all it’s a reminder that the calendar year is coming to an end and I haven’t achieved nearly as many things that I had wanted to at the start of 2017. But that’s a separate story in itself, which I will speak more on in the coming weeks. Let’s bypass the impending doom and focus on what's at hand. It’s funny to think that while nature is bursting in bright hues, the sartorial sense of the general public jumps straight from summer into the dismal depths of winter. Just take a look at any tube station at rush hour - you’ll be surrounded mostly by a dull sea of black or...

STAY GOLDEN

One of my earliest memories of racism was when I was 9 years old. It's a memory that's always going to be with me, but for all the right reasons (you'll find out why soon). It was during a time when I started noticing that I wasn't like most of my friends or the people around me even. I was darker. I studied Urdu, instead of Chinese, Malay or Tamil. I didn't eat pork, but people were quick to assume that it was beef I didn't eat. But mostly it was because the colour of my skin was not as light as everyone else's. Other children were noticing it too, and a day wouldn't go by where I wouldn't hear about it.  This particular incident happened in my primary school, during those twilight moments between periods where one teacher left and we waited for the next to enter. It was a classroom of 45 third graders with 3 minutes of unsupervised freedom. Some might call it chaos. Me and Deepika, the only other Indian* girl in my class, happened to be sitting next to each other. We were minding our respective kid-businesses, when this Chinese** boy comes up to our tables... "Eeeeeeeeeeeeee. So smelly! Smelly Indians!" Being the non-confrontational person that I am, I look back down and ignore him. "So dirty, never take shower! Go home!" I shoot up a quick glance and return to ignoring him, feeling annoyed and scared at the same time. I hadn't done anything to him, why was he here bothering me? "So black! You are black shit!!! Chao da!***" I feel a surge of anger rushing up to...

T’ESTIMO

                  Barcelona, t'estimo. It's the city that keeps on giving, unconditionally. Gems to be discovered and enjoyed are scattered generously throughout every street. And speaking of streets, Barcelona is the dream city for people who, like myself, enjoy exploring on foot. The neat, grid-like plan of the city means that with a dash of patience, you could effectively get to most of your destinations. Till date, I've never heard anyone say that they didn't enjoy their time in Barcelona, or that they ever felt bored. There's so much to do and see, whether you're an explorer, a culture vulture, a foodie, a sports fan (Força Barça!), a shopaholic or a beach bum. Personally, I'm a little bit of everything. Despite visiting twice already, there's still enough reason for me to visit a third time (fingers crossed). Places to visit and things to do... Antoni Gaudí's architecture - if you can, you should check all of them out. The ones on the top of my list are La Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Parc Güell and Palau Güell. Gaudí's eccentric eye and uncontainable imagination have resulted in some of the most beautiful architecture I've ever seen. Parc De La Ciutadella - perfect for a picnic, especially in the warmer months. It's always bustling with life, making it a great spot to people watch. At one end you're greeted by the majestic Arc De Triomf, and at the other, the Barcelona Zoo. Neighbourhoods to explore - Las Ramblas is a long stretch of one of the most crowded promenades and is teeming with tourists. Here you'll find everything from markets and art to souvenirs and street food. Do remain alert, because...

VOLVER

 On my first visit to Granada, I proudly proclaimed that "the city definitely warrants a second visit". A year later while touring Spain, I proved myself right. As often happens after you discover something great, when you experience it again and again, it seems to lose it's charm - it's never as good as the first time. An experiential desensitisation, if you will. However, it's definitely not so with Granada. Other than the 40 degree temperature difference from my previous visit, everything else was the same. The same ease of life lingered in the air, seducing you with every breath. The same levels of awe for what has remained from it's explosive history, juxtaposed with the repose of modernity.    When you're under the Andalusian sun, surrounded by so many gems waiting to be discovered, with Sierra Nevada as a backdrop, there is almost nothing that could make you feel any sort of tension. It's as if life itself in Granada is rose-tinted. I think it's now safe to say that it's one of my favourite cities to travel to and I look forward to these future visits. In the meantime, here are some snapshots from my brief return to a most magical place.   Wearing: Mango - Shirt // Acne Studios - Trousers // Gloria Ortiz - Hat // Bershka...
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