Friday, February 19, 2016

Color me happy!

You are my creative home. You are my voice. You give me unconditional love and support. Staying away from you for this long hasn't been easy for me. Trust me Sage&Slingback, I heart you.

Why have I become so mushy all of a sudden? I ask myself, has the "Cheeni-kum" bone in me gone on a vacation? Should I blame it on the pink hearts that were floating around the Valentine weekend? Well, it didn't take long to find an answer to my own question. Home is where the heart is and it feels lovely to do a blog post on Sage&Slingback, my creative home, after almost a year.

"Interesting projects are in the pipeline and some big announcements will be made in early 2015"-  this was my parting message in 2014.  It's been more than a year since then and I seriously missed pouring my heart out and interacting with you all candidly. Anywhere I went, people made it a point to tell me how much they missed reading my blog posts, asking me when I would be back on Sage & Slingback. Though the thought of coming back was always on my mind, I was still unsure. I just didn't have the time to sit down and put my thoughts together to create something beautiful. I had a full plate! Now that I am here, it feels good. Trust me, it really does!

At the beginning of this year, one of my art student asked me "So what's your resolution for the new year?". Though I keep asking this to myself every year, even setting aside a few goals, I only happen to conveniently break them later. But this year I am seriously determined to accomplish a few things for myself, one out of which is to resume blogging on Sage&Slingback. Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee had once rightly said that he prefers reading blogs to articles as they are fearless and paint the real picture of the person who is writing them. I couldn't agree more. Nothing can be more exciting than coming up with creative blog posts for my readers in the days to come.

As the memories of 2015 start to unfold, I am amazed to see how much a year has changed my life. I have taken a spiritual stance and have shaved my full head of hair. Health and wellness have become a primary priority. Sundari has turned to a chirpy 6 year old. My tryst with Madhubani has deepened, keeping me busier and artistically satisfied than ever. 

As I was toying with ideas for my first blog post on Sage&Slingback for this year I happened to read an article by designer Payal Khandwala. In the article she mentioned that her fashion sense is an extension of her artistic personality, both art and fashion require creativity, talent, imagination and a point of view.  That line resonated with me, her words rang true in my case too. I find a lot of similarities between the art that I teach and the fashion that I believe in. Bold colors, imperfections and attention to details play a major role in Madhubani art and I celebrate the vibrancy of the folk art through my everyday dressing. The idea of juxtaposing folk art and fashion seemed really interesting and out of the box. This post is my attempt to shed light on the fact that both art and fashion are two different sides of the same coin.

Why Payal Khandwala?

The three things that I focus on when I buy an outfit are - affordability, wearability and how to make that outfit my own?  In recent years if I am heavily influenced and inspired by a designers work, it is Payal Khandwala.  Her line of clothing is simple, strong and sophisticated - exactly the way, I like my clothes. 

Payal Khandwala is an artist first and then a designer. Being a huge fan of her paintings and now her clothing line, she was my first choice for this post. She is influenced by Japanese designs and her approach to clothing is much like her art . The prism with which she sees fashion is therefore distinctive and she treats dressmaking simply as a shift in the canvas. She orchestrates color and textures to create layered separates that are dramatic yet minimal, with subtle attention to details. Her background in fine arts and fashion, coupled with her cultural influences, growing up in Mumbai, schooling in New York and Barcelona, has given her an inimitable perspective. She launched her eponymous design label "Payal Khandwala" in 2012. Her clothes are made with love in India using handwoven silks, khadi, cottons and linens, in a rich palette, soaked in a tradition of color.

Her designs are inspired by her art.

I find a lot of similarities between Payal's creations and Madhubani art as well. The following images show the color play between the two. This juxtaposition comes easily to me because my art and my fashion are an extension of me and my artistic sensibilities. I have also introduced some new lipstick shades in this post to add a pop of color and drama.

VRINDAVAN: This look is fiercely feminine with easy silhouettes in khadi and linen, making it softer and fluid. With a boat neckline and gathers at the front, this bright yellow one size linen dress fits all. 
Vrindavan is a Madhubani interpretation of Lord Krishna's birthplace, where Krishna and Gopikas play raasleela - a dance of divine love.
Lipstick : Tom Ford Matte - VELVET CHERRY

Payal's  geometry inspired jewelry is made of leather and when used along with this dress, makes a statement.

I have paired a collared cotton shirt from Gap with pleated palazzos from Payal Khandwala. The palazzo is a fabulous separate to have in your wardrobe. One can easily mix and match a lot of tops with it to have a dressed up or a dressed down look. 
This huge Radha - Krishna mural  adorns my bedroom wall. The colors here compliment my outfit beautifully with dominant shades of red, blue and white.
Lipstick : Tom Ford Matte - RUBY RUSH

The neck piece is from SUHANI PITTE and it has an interesting South Indian temple jewelry motif in the center.

Here though the emphasis is on shape, proportions are paramount. The silhouette has a structural quality to it and the design voice is neither too masculine nor too feminine. The top is made out of color blocked silk and a contrasting shocking blue colored pants add the much required pop of color. 
I chose the intricate Jalatarang - the fish swirl to represent the multi hues and textures in this outfit.
Lipstick : Bobby Brown - BURNT RED

The necklace is a tribal piece from Designer label FATHERLAND.

Vintage Benarasi sari in hotpink with dull gold paisley's on it was my ultimate choice to represent Shrishakti. To match the black in the art work, I paired the saree with a men-inspired collared black shirt from Banana Republic. 
Shrishakti denotes  "Ma Durga" equated to woman power. The colors in pink and red along with the gold paisleys and black lining match the Benarasi drape.
Lipstick : Chanel - Rouge allure velvet - 51 LA BOULEVERSANTE

This semi silver neck piece from Gujarat is a gift from one of my art student.

Two separates from Payal Khandwala complete this look. A silk collared shirt in yellow/green is worn with a khadi silk asymmetrical skirt in burnt pink.
The colors in the Kathyayini art work blend beautifully with the colors of the separates.
Lipstick - Chanel - Rouge allure velvet - 8 LA FASCINANTE.

I let the clothes do the talking by keeping the jewelry minimal. The statement silver cuff is from FabIndia and the silver tribal Kada is from Surendri by Yogesh Chowdhary.

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live and what is happening. I am sure it was a delight to see how amazingly the colors, traditional art and fashion can blend, an assertion of the fact that art and fashion are indeed 2 sides of the same coin!


  1. Payal Khandwala has it all looks like, talent, beauty, brains and such a nice sense of art and style. I love the art and fashion pairing Jay. I absolutely loved the Jala Tarang and Kathyayini juxtapositions. Now I understand all those vibrant glorious colors we got to play with in your call and in our art work came from your astute sense of fashion and art! :) I'm going to get me some Bobby Brown burnt red, gorgeous gorgeous! Welcome back my gurujee, i am so happy to see sage and slingback revived again!

  2. Wow Jayashree!! Simply Super.
    Hats Off to your Amazing, Amazing Creativity. Well communicated. Thank You!

  3. What an iconic post. A roaring celebration of very sophisticated simplicity. The art, the fashion and the connection... Ohhh I have no more words. I'm running back to the post to admire the pics some more. Thanks for coming back Jayashree :)

  4. Beautifully put together! I cannot login to Google from where I am so posting as Anonymous! I am a person of words and so I love blogs! Very well put together. Payal's aunt lives in Connecticut and I happen to know her so I am familiar with her work! But the way you pulled the art work together is wonderful! Bravo, well done Jayashree! - Deval Desai Shah

  5. One of the best posts I have ever read. Fabulous!

  6. Sooooo Glad you are back!! I saved this as my last read of the day as that is the most relaxing time for me and I save it for the "best"! Loved the concept of fashion and art going hand in hand, I truly believe in that but admire the way you put it in words and displayed it so well! Love Payal Khandwala clothes and learnt more about where her creativity comes from through this blog. Loved all the lip colors and ofcourse Madhubani ki mein dewani! Love Suni.

  7. Wow!! What a comeback .. Love how you find your creativity in art & Fashion.. Vibrant colors are beautiful.. Payal's clothes are indeed unique and I like your take on finding similarities with Madhubani. My fav's are so many.. Vrindavan .. Radha&Krishna,... Jaltarang, Srishakti and the lip colors are lipsmacking!! TF -Velvett Cherry!!:-)..Like the play of the motiff on Suahani Pittae's neckpiece..
    Happy to see you blogging again...

  8. My words might not even do justice to your sense of intermingling the fashion and art. Instead of scratching my head for proper adjectives, I would just say Sage & Slingback was missed but good to see you catching back on your creative home, Jay. Hoping to read you more often over and over again.