Monthly Archives: October 2014
Update your footwear with Languagea��s Autumn/Winter mena��s line. Featuring contemporary two tone formal shoes and casual brogues, they are made from oil leather with a contrasting sole. Youa��ll also find hand sewn loafers with flexible rubber soles and a penny saddle for your comfort, and formal lace up boots as part of the collection. Priced from Rs.3990. Details: 32210400
With prints inspired from the lattice patterns of the iconic Taj Mahal and digital graphic prints interpreted from the city of Jodhpur, Evolva��s Fall Winter collection for men is worth a try. Comprising of tunic shirts, banded collar kurtas, waistcoats, jackets and more, the collection is made from fine cotton. Priced from Rs.799. Details: 42042474
Costume party alert
From dapper brogues and streamlined loafers to boots, Estd 1977 a��s new autumn-winter collection has it all. Made of handcrafted leather, the collection offers both casual and formal footwear.A� Also find Greek-themed gladiator sandals, just in time for that Halloween party. Priced from Rs.3,880. Details: estd1977.com
Taanbaana��s new range offers jamdani saris, ikat table mats and more
MINIMALISM is one word that describes Taanbaan, a label which employs hand-oriented techniques like plain jamdani and exquisite metallic zari, especially crafted in Benaras, to embellish their collection. Started in 1998 by Rta Kapur Chishti, it is about reviving the age-old Indian craft of handspun and handwoven textiles. Offering products like organic silk and cotton saris, scarves, stoles, dupattas, home furnishings and even made-to-order fabrics, the co-author of Saris of India, says, a�?Since we stick to creating handmade products, even our embellishments are hand done and are difficult to replicate on a machine.a�?
Taanbaana��s collecton of home furnishings, Organic Dwelling, available on Jaypore.com until November 6, employs classic shades like madder, beige and unbleached white with kilim-inspired patterns. The use of organic handspun fabrics means that the pieces are soft and comforting. Chishti and her team also undertake orders for bespoke fabrics, so be sure to give them a call for a personal touch to your home linen or wardrobe. `850 upwards. Available at anandakhadi.com and Amethyst. Details: 28541917
? The khadi weft and silk warp saris are perfect for the festive parties with their pure silk borders and zari pallu. Rs.A�16,500 upwards
? The green, blue and pink-hued silk organza stole will brighten any plain dress. Rs.A�3,000 upwards
? In the home furnishing section, the grey tussar silk cushion with a shock of cerise pink and hints of bright yellow, indigo and coral accents, drew our attention. Rs.A�850 upwards
a�� Rashmi Rajagopal
Featuring lustrous bed linen and kaftans with traditional royal embroidery, The Leela Palacea��s new boutique does the hotel proud
Inspired by Indiaa��s rich and diverse cultural heritage, the new luxury boutique at The Leela Palace, Amalya, is a treasure trove of objects da��art. From housing silver artefacts featuring the 500-year-old Tarkashi craftsmanship a�� with intricate floral motifs interpreted from royal thrones and doors of Rajasthana��s palaces a�� to pearl necklaces in maharani Gayatri Devia��s style, the store, launched at the beginning of this month, exudes regal charm.
Craft in focus
An antique four poster bed also showcasing handcrafted jewellery featuring precious stones, along with cushions, duvets and shams with elaborate zardozi, aari and gota work, sits in the centre of the boutique. The decadent theme continues with potli bags and clutches made from lustrous silks and velvets, embellished with crystals, bead and quillwork. However, the focus is on revival of traditional Indian styles and techniques as Samyukta Nair, Head – Design & Operations for The Leela Group, puts it. a�?Amalya began as a tribute to the craftsmen of India, who are the soul of Indian art, culture and tradition. In creating a platform to present their work, the aim was to showcase the highest level of artistic excellence to a discerning audience,a�? says the granddaughter of the late Captain Nair.
Bespoke for infants
Nair has been the force behind launching the first Amalya boutique in May 2011 at The Leela Palace, New Delhi. With boutiques also operational in Udaipur, Goa and Chennai, Nair reveals that Chennaia��s is the largest in the country, giving them the ability to showcase more. The result is a wider collection of intricately-crafted leather footwear, including embroidered Jodhpuri jootis, old world crockery, embellished deities and organic skin care products, among others. For babies, there is a bespoke line of jewellery called Amalya Baby which includes baby pins, pendants, earrings and bracelets fashioned in 18 and 22K gold, embellished with diamonds and pearls, priced from Rs.15,000 to Rs.50,000.
Taking back memories
Their garment section has kaftans and kurtas featuring Chikankari, Mokaish and Kashidkari work. a�?The Pashmina and Jamavar shawls are retailed as an ode to the weaver community. We strive to revive age-old craft and textile traditions by applying a contemporary approach, yet focus on reflecting the socio-cultural narrative of our country,a�? says Nair, adding that the store is targeted at the global traveller, who understands the essence of India. Many of The Leelaa��s accessories like bath robes and silver tableware can also be found here, making for ideal souvenirs. Nair also reveals that the fifth boutique of Amalya is slated to open in Bangalore towards the end of next year. Priced from Rs.A�150 to Rs. 15,00,000. Details: 30958180
a�� Sharmistha Maji
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Launched earlier this month, the Luxury Barber Box provides samples of some of the best brands on their site, through a monthly subscription. Featuring brands like Edwin Jagger, Baxter of California, Captains Choice, among others, it includes pre-shaves, grooming tools, hair pomades and more. Approximately Rs. 11,000 plus shipping charges, for six months. Details: luxurybarber.com/box
From the latest grooming subscription courtesy Luxury Barber to a classic cut throat razor, accessories every man must possess
Leta��s face it. Men have their share of grooming woes too. Luckily, top brands like UKa��s Taylor of Old Bond Street and French Thiers-Issard have just the tools for the task. Also, luxury grooming retailers like Luxury Barber have come up with a monthly subscription of male grooming essentials to make that morning routine a tad easier. Read on:
Text: Ryan Peppin
Make Halloween memorable, on the go
Ita��s time for candy, costumes, mayhem and macabre. And we know just the apps to set the eerie mood.
This photo transformation tool will ensure you have the perfect photos. Its seven different modes include zombie, werewolf and vampire, with elements to go with your theme. Think bats, Jack-o-lanterns and monsters to be mixed and matched to make your party spot look as creepy as possible. Rs.60 on iTunes.apple.com
This one is sure to spook your guests. Traditional paranormal equipment is made to be fooled witha��with mundane bursts of normal energy that are analysed. Ghost Radar translates the energy into information with a ghoulish voice reading out the words. It also reads energy and numbers, and alerts you about spaces where therea��s extra energy. Details: ghostradar.com
For those of you who think trick-or-treating is passe, make sure you have scary tales in hand. Curl up with friends and family around the Jack-o-lanterns and listen to horror stories from around the world. Choose from different short stories to entertain each other and see whoa��s the bravest of all. Turn off all lights for maximum scare. Details: play.google.com
Halloween Sound Pro
This one has a delayed activation button so you can set your device to blast out a creepy noise when others least expect it. From creaking doors to deadly screams, we love that with Bluetooth you can also control a second device, making the scary sounds even more frightening. Perfect for the party prankster. Details: iTunes.apple.com
There is a reason why leaders of various nations address their public on radio. They want their message to be accessed by alla��whether on a plane, a train or an automobile. Thata��s the beauty of the medium, which hasna��t been recognised much here. Radio in India is a commercial pothole as deep as the Mariana Trench. The money spent to build a radio unit in India, and the expenses that follow, are unfortunately humongous and thata��s one of the reasons why stations are married or rather are a slave to the commercial market.
Ita��s been over 10 years since private radio stations kicked in and the road that most are on or are travelling to is called Highway Monotony. There is so much that the medium misses out on with respect to creating awareness. For example, the recent floods in Kashmir or Cyclone Hudhud. When these disasters took place, one would have expected the medium to step up and do something. Yet very few reacted and life went on.
Ia��ve noticed this in many stations and Ia��m sure most tick the same way: ita��s their belief in formats. Would you like to wear the same clothes every day, eat the same food and meet the same people? Well, formatting a radio station makes the listeners feel that way. Radio isna��t a circus with rehearsed acts and acrobatic displays; ita��s about airing relevancy. If that is missed out because of a format then the problem lies right there, your honour.
On radio, there is so much of rubbish that becomes a rage. There was a time when characters would pop up like gremlins and talk utter nonsense and that would be regarded as the funniest radio moment for that station. Terrestrial units should take a few lessons from web radio stations on how one should sound and, most importantly, about listener experience. The easy listening era has disappeared and when it was present, it was simply because of the absence of formats.
See you next week with more radio talk.
The writera��s views expressed here are entirely in hisA�personal capacity.
Grab a quarter
Two bands will be performing at The Park tomorrow, as part of the musical event IndiEarth. While The Lobby Stage will host Bangalore-based Themal & A Quarter, The Leather Bar will have Mumbai bass specialists Bay Beat Collective (BBC) swaying the crowd to their drum, bass and dubstep music. From 9 pm to 11 pm. Entry free. Details: 984493601
Halloween @ Radisson
Dona��t miss the last night of music, food and fright at the Garden Cafe and Gallop, Radisson Blu GRT. While DJ Hazim will spin some horror-inspired tracks, you can eat your fill at the buffet, and choose from a selection of cocktails and mocktails from their special Halloween beverage menu. Buffet at Rs.1,300 plus tax. Tonight, from 7 pm to 11 pm. Details: 22310101
Music took the spotlight this week, with surprisingly no fashion shows or star appearances. At the top of the list was an evening by the KM Music Conservatory, with their Sufi Qawwali Ensemble alongside the popular Javed Ali at Hilton. The singer is no stranger to Chennai, having worked closely with AR Rahman over the years, and at the concert, the audience got to experience snippets of pieces that have never been heard before. A quick chat with Ali reveals a man of few words, remaining humble despite all the praises heaped upon him. Adding a fun surprise to the show was Sivamani, ever the entertainer, who jumped up on stage for a quick performance with the team.
The rest of the week saw more music, with a change of pace as singer Naresh Iyer got the chance to catch up with his fans at Forum Vijaya Mall. The a�?chocolate boya�� usually has all the teeny boppers going crazy and this time was no different. The weekend saw more screaming and shouting with my musical journey also taking me to Moon & Sixpence at Hablis, to watch Chennai-based Skrat, perform. I barely got a glimpse of the band, given the huge crowd, and had to make do with listening to them, tucked away in the back, over the roar of their loyal fans. They had their audience fired up right through, and singing along.
Winding up the crazy weekend was the next edition of the Auto Rickshaw Challenge with the Tamil Nadu Run 2014. The 860 km challenge flagged off from Residency Towers with teams from all over the world excited about their journey across the South. Along the way, the participants will be making a difference, raising funds for projects of Round Table India. Meanwhile, at Museum Theatre, Egmore, Kerala-based rockers Thaikkudam Bridge had something for everyone in the audience, with their trademark mix of Malayalam tunes, English pop and a medley of Ilayarajaa��s numbers. Given that tickets were sold out in no time, we hope theya��ll be back soon.
October 31 | Foodology
Wrapsody in Sholinganallur is offering Halloween-themed cupcakes in vanilla, red velvet and chocolate, with toppings like spider webs and pumpkin faces. Rs.875 per box. Details: 9884337784. Elsewhere, cooking studio Foodology is conducting a Halloween session for kids. They will learn to make Jack-o-lanterns, spider cookies, mummy sandwiches and more. At Rs.1,800 for a parent and child. Details: 9003054885
Jazzing it up
November 1 | Taj Club House
Head to the Taj Club House tomorrow, to witness American Jazz musician Deborah J Carter perform with her trio. On a tour of the country, she is also taking part in the Jazz Utsav in Delhi. A former student of Berklee College of Music, she is well known for her powerful vocals and collaborations with artists of different genres. More on Page 19
November 3 | USA
Backed by four consecutive wins, Mercedesa�� Lewis Hamilton will be looking to extend his lead over team-mate Nico Rosberg, when they face-off at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday. Last won by Sebastian Vettel, who is in fifth position this year, the race has 56 laps over a stretch of 309 kms. On Star Sports, at 2 pm. Details: formula1.com
Headed to the circus
November 5 | Sir Mutha Hall
French poetry circus troupe, 3X Rien (translated as a�?three times nothinga��), know how to keep audiences hooked. Famous for mixing balancing acts with drama and music, they will perform at the Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Concert Hall in a programme organised by Alliance Francaise. Free passes available at the reception of Alliance Francaise. More on Page 18
At the movies
October 31 | SPI Cinemas
Seldom has a film generated hype just because it made couples lose faith in marriage. This is the case with Gone Girl. Directed by David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network), it is a gripping story about infidelity. Adapted from Gillian Flynna��s novel of the same name, it stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. For those wanting some war-time action, watch the Brad Pitt starrer, Fury. Details: 42244224
Thank you Abba
November 2 | Phoenix Market City
Internationally recognised tribute band, ABBA Gold will perform at Phoenix Market City. The London-based group will be performing a host of hit numbers composed by the original Swedish pop band. From 7 pm onwards. Tickets at Rs.399 and Rs.699. Details: bookmyshow.com
November 4 | Howards Storage World
Australian storage solutions provider, Howards Storage World, has opened shop at Phoenix Market City. Offering solutions for every room in the house, one of the highlights is their answer to mould, a common monsoon problem. More on Page 22
By popular demand
November 6 | Moonrakers
Heeding requests of loyal customers, Mahabalipuram-based restaurant Moonrakers has opened on Anderson Road. They offer seafood brought from Mahabalipuram, made in different styles, their signature being a spicy tawa masala. Catch our experience during their opening night, on Page 8
We check out treasures in our antique huntersa�� inventorya�� from WW2 foldable bicycles to handcrafted furniture and lost J Swaminathan paintings. By Rashmi Rajagopal
While most new items lose much of their original value once they leave the store, good quality antiques by contrast can be a wise investment to be enjoyed on your mantelpiece, your wall, or in the centre of your dining room, feels Deepak Srinath of Phantom Hands, an online antique dealership that widely caters to a growing tribe of young people who prefer to channel their disposable income away from mass-produced factory-made articles towards the fine workmanship and high quality pieces of yesteryears. a�?People are buying homes much earlier and they want interiors that will stand out,a�? he says. A client of his bought a rotating rosewood bookshelf with little glass doors for her living room that became a lively conversation piece and lifted the space instantly. However, he points out that everything that is merely old is not necessarily valuable. a�?There has to be a special design and craftsmanship and clear provenance for an antique to be valuable,a�? he shares. We talk to a few other collectors and get them to weigh in.
Megha Joshi and Devesh Pant
Making a start
30-year old Apoorva Daddha, of Bid & Hammer, finds younger clients want affordable pieces like antique prints and pieces that are also functional, like period furniture, silver and glass shades. Those with higher budgets invest in paintings, tapestries, swords, daggers and collectibles that carry massive price tags.
Srinath echoes Dadhaa��s opinion and says the younger lot is mostly into collectibles and are ready to spend any amount if they spot something they can add to their collection, be it vintage cameras, old vinyl records or gramophone players. a�?While the value of antiques does appreciate, it is not as substantial as artwork. Usually, with antiques, the value increases steadily, predictably and slowly,a�? Srinath adds.
What makes a piece valuable is age, authenticity, rarity and condition. a�?But most collectors however, consider personal or qualitative elements like aesthetics, desirability, historical significance and very importantly, quality,a�? says Amar Mangharam of The Vintage Shop (off Old Airport Road). a�?My favourite pieces include a set of hand-blown Victorian Cranberry Glass centerpieces that date back to the 1800s, my collection of Raja Ravi Varma oleographs printed in the Ravi Varma press in Lonavla, a carved teak French four-poster king bed and an instrument cabinet that houses five sitars in various shapes and sizes,a�? he adds.
Preethi Prabhu, an antique collector who runs Indya Kaleidoscope, bought a solid Chettinad bed thata��s almost 100 years old for `12,000 at a furniture dumpyard, but she puts its actual value at Rs.A�80,000. An elegant teak wood chaise lounge in her personal collection with intricate cutwork from the British Colonial era, she says would cost anything over Rs.A�85,000 in two yearsa�� time, about `30,000 more than she bought it for six months ago. Collector and dealer Venkatram Reddy, of Basava Ambara (Basavanagudi) talks about his friends who still thank him for coaxing them to buy Tanjore paintings when they were just `750, now on the market for about `2 lakh. Another example is that of a gilded wooden angel he bought in Pondicherry for `25,000. He spotted it a year later at the dealera��s store he sold it to for a whopping `3.5 lakh.
Fresh from the archives
For Srinath, his most recent discovery was a World War II paratrooper bicycle at a dilapidated warehouse in Bangalore. The completely foldable bike by BSA had not been used for almost 40 years. a�?It needed a little bit of servicing and change of tyres to make it ridable,a�? shares Srinath adding, a�?I ride it myself when I have the time.a�? Available on his website, for those interested, the piece is valued at `98,000. Procured from art galleries in the US, avid collector Danny Mehraa��s most prized possessions are his tribal storage chests originally from the Swat Valley, which is currently in Pakistan.
Dadha recalls how a piece by acclaimed British landscape painter JMW Turner from his familya��s personal collection was authenticated at the Tate museum. a�?We didna��t even know we had it. So when we found it, we had to get it authenticated. It was one of those very rare occasions when all the experts and assistants at the Clore Gallery came together and erupted in joy as more often than not, everyone who goes in with a work, expecting it to be Turnera��s goes away rather disappointed.a�? A landscape of Srirangapatnam executed in the 1800s, it is one of the highlights of his young life as a collector.
For some, ita��s hard to pick one particular piece that stands out.
Preetha Chandrashekaran, of Dhakshini Antiques (Ulsoor), started by her parents, finds that the thrill is in discovering something worth salvaging. She lists a number of discoveries she made, like a small dilapidated coat stand (about `10,000 to `17,000), a massive, intricately carved wooden door (now worth roughly `1.5 lakh), an old cast iron printing press, (one of the first few ever made), an antique railway station clock with two faces, and even a 400-year-old 1,200-sq-ft tharavadu house, completely made of wood, transported from Kerala to Bangalore, which is currently valued at `30 lakh.
Artefacts from the British Colonial era have quite a following, with Prabhu telling us about a client who once bought an elaborate hat stand complete with a little drawer, handpainted tiles and a mirror, for her foyer, that completely changed how the entry looked and felt. a�?She called me to tell me how her friends would stand at the foyer and admire it for a while, before they came in,a�? she laughs.
Eye for a bargain
a�?Always keep your eyes open,a�? says Uma Rao of Vermilion House (Benson Town), and cites an example of a 100-year-old lamp she found while driving through the streets of Trivandrum. a�?I saw it hanging in a store selling utensils. I immediately stopped the car and bought it. It is a brass lamp with a bird balanced on the edge of it.a�? She recalls another time she spotted a wooden, gold coated figure of Krishna, she had been looking for for ages to add to her collection of gopikas, in a cobblera��s shop. a�?I bought it from him for just `500. And now ita��s probably worth about `50,000,a�? reveals Rao.
Dona��t be afraid to make mistakes, says Srinath, as ita��s a learning experience. a�?I once bought a beautiful brass box shaped like a bird from Pondicherry that the seller told me was 200 years old. Months later, I found out that it was two years old. But it still occupies pride of place in my home as it is quite stunning,a�? he reveals. a�?Also, start with things that you are passionate about. Like a vintage print or a box camera if youa��re a photographer,a�? he adds.
Reddy advises beginners to start with small buys like candle stands, lamps, and wooden panels. a�?Once you have some amount of experience with smaller articles, you can graduate to larger buys like furniture,a�? he signs off.
? Learn to tell if a piece is genuine by visiting local museums, antique malls, antique stores and auctions at regular intervals before you go scouting in flea markets, garage and estate sales a�� Preethi Chandrashekaran
? Do your research. Read books or online resources before you decide to invest a�� Uma Rao
? Dona��t look at it as purely an investment. If you love it, buy it. The investment aspect of it should be just an add on. And furniture with provenance that has not been restored is sure to be a great buy a�� Deepak Srinath
? Collect things that are high in demand but low in availability a�� Venkatram Reddy
On the hidden trail
? Megha Joshi and Devesh Pant of the Purple Pony store (Koramangala) reveal how their most interesting pieces are always found in remote untouched villages in India. For example, an old postcard, browned with age and bearing hand-written text in Hindi with kitschy prints like a colourfully adorned elephant and a brightly hued set of two tablas. Or, Afghani mukka work with intricate embroidery, that has now been framed and preserved, apart from other knick knacks like vintage hooks, figurines, and candle stands.
? Fish Galli in Shivajinagar is one place where you are sure to find genuine antique buys, shares Reddy. He discovered an old English mirror about seven feet high and five feet wide with a mahogany frame in the market that he bought for a measly `4,000, that is now valued at Rs.A�2 lakh.
? Balaji Antiques: Their collection includes Ravi Varma lithographs, bronze artefacts, Mysore and Tanjore paintings and ancient maps. Details: 9342410288
? Oriental Haveli: They have a wide range of brass dolls, urns, vases and lamps apart from paintings, lithographs, and teak and rosewood furniture. Details: 25204416
? Qurio City Shop: Their shelves are occupied by antique cameras, telephones, vintage posters, Victorian furniture, and vinyl records. Details: 25553914
? Mahaveerchandjia��s Shop: This store stocks bicycle lamps, stamps, books belonging to the Gandhis and 100-year old temple replicas. Details: 9008250550
? Prachin: The place to go if youa��re hunting for bronze
and wood statues of deities and oil lamps. Also a great
reserve of tasteful furniture. Details: 41105385
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