Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Is Instagram Affecting Our Personal Style?

On a normal day, I open Instagram at least 20-30 times. The number of hours I put into browsing on this app is countless. Some of my friends even say that I am obsessed with this app and that I'm hooked to it 24/7. But then who isn't obsessed with this app? If we are not browsing on this app, we're clicking pictures which are eligible for it. While this is a point which almost everybody can relate with, there is also the question of Instagram affecting our personal style (why this post came into existence).
I have noticed that over the past three months, my personal style has changed drastically (probably because I felt the urge to daily post OOTD pictures). I started purchasing clothes that were statement pieces but couldn’t be worn twice or thrice. Now, I did manage to ace my #OOTD game but I wasn’t left with any clothes that could be worn to college or to casual get-togethers with friends. I now know that those statement pieces were never really my personal style but they were my picks for ’insta-worthy’ pictures. But at times, it can be so maddening to plan every single outfit so meticulously and then doing it all over again with a different set of clothes. There is so much of anxiety I face at times when it comes to generating the content for this app because of the level of posts that is setup by people nowadays. The other characteristic which is a causing a major change in my closet is the explore section of Instagram. I come across so many cool streetstyle and outfit of the day posts that I too then want my handle to inspire one too many girls. It’s like the more options we gather, the more our outfitting routines take place. Obviously, you can’t just keep going with this. There will come a day when you’ll get fed up. I think I recently hit that point when one of my friends said that I’m always over the top when it comes to clothes. It wasn’t such a big deal but it sure did get me thinking that maybe my purchasing decisions weren’t exactly right.
To come out of this mess I got myself into, I decided to do a little experiment. I tried to go on an ‘Instagram detox’ which involved not posting for a while and exploring my personal style. In just about a week, my little experiment taught me that a mix of basic and statement clothes is the way to go. I also realized that having basic clothes help you save a lot of time for other things. Dressing up was never so effortless before, you guys!


-Shweghna. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

What It’s Like to Work at a Fashion Magazine

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to work at a fashion magazine- and not just at any fashion magazine; Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan was my dream magazine. I remember flipping through the glossy pages of the magazine and wondering what it must be like to create those beautiful looks and stories. When you grow up loving and wanting something so dearly, it has an uncanny everlasting impression on your memory. Last year, I had got the opportunity to intern with Cosmo but I couldn't join as I was juggling between two colleges. This year I applied again with a stronger CV and a decent portfolio and after weeks of following up and pestering the team, I was called for an interview. Now, I'd like to share a fact with you. I am really calm and confident during an interview. I've never had issues in communicating or putting my thoughts out there. But, when you're sitting in your dream office, your calm and cool vanishes in thin air. Although I was very nervous during the interview, I nailed it. Even before getting the mail which confirmed my internship, I knew I was in. Since NIFT had just ended, I was quite thrilled that something huge was about to happen again. As soon as I got the acceptance letter, I went to the mall and splurged on clothes and stationery (both super important at a fashion magazine) for my big first day.
I hadn't told a lot of people that I had got 'it' because I couldn't believe it myself. Only when I entered the office and got introduced to the team, did I digest the fact that I will be working in my dream magazine. 

Editorial Department
When I joined, I was asked to work in the editorial department. In this department, one has to work on anything and everything which is written in the magazine. I had no idea how difficult it can get until I started working on stories. I edited, proofread stories, wrote advertorials, transcribed stories and what not. This department is SO extensive that the work only ends if you regularly pull all-nighters. 
I won't say it was all work-work in the editorial department. I had a ball while organizing the Cosmo Beauty Weekend with the assistant editor-in-chief. Cosmo organizes a lot of events and the team (including the interns) only has to work on everything. From making the guest list to compiling a decent goodie bag, we did everything from the scratch. Although on some days I loathed the task of making lists, it was a good thing that I was made to do all that. We executed the planning quite well and the event turned out to be a big success. Apart from organizing events, when I worked in the editorial department, I had to sit with the art team and make changes in the layouts, images, fonts etc.
The three weeks that I worked in the editorial department were very nice. I had the most badass mentor (assistant editor-in-chief) because of whom I was able to grasp a lot of things. I also got to transcribe the cover interview of Kangana Ranaut for the June Issue, in this department. It is in itself a big deal because firstly it is the cover interview. Secondly, the transcription goes directly to the editor-in-chief.
For a brief period, I even reported to Nandini Bhalla (editor-in-chief) for a few days. I did flatlay shoots for her with interesting themes and backgrounds. I have done product shoots for my blog before but she was the one who taught me the tricks and hacks which make a flatlay shoot gripping to the eyes.

Fashion Department
After that, I asked the team to put me in the fashion department because that was the department I originally got selected for. In this department, my first task was to assist one of the stylists for the cover shoot of Jaqueline Fernandez. Cover shoot is the biggest deal in an issue at all the magazine houses, let alone a fashion one. For the shoot, we started the work by making selections from various high street brands and designers. After the selections were done, we went forward with the sourcing. The most exciting part (or I thought so) comes after sourcing. Those of you who are ardent followers of my Instagram must have seen the 'creating looks' part on my stories. The first time I created looks with my head stylist, the experience was both stupendous and horrifying. It was amazing because we had SO many clothes, shoes and accessories in one conference room.

On the other hand, it was horrifying because we had to stay till late to create looks, sort the sourced stuff and then put it all back in the closet. One time I had to stay till 1 AM and reach the shoot location at 6 AM. The other time I had to stay till 2 AM. Now I won't say it was all bad. Staying till so late has its own perks. Like you can cross off, being alone in an office from your bucket list. I also got to bond and do all sorts of crazy things with the other interns. The most important thing that you learn is that no work is small. You have to do every sort of work and you cannot budge even for a single minute. Apart from creating looks, I also had to courier, pack suitcases and dispatch parcels. There were days when I spent hours and hours packing couriers inside the closet (now I'm such a pro in packing that no matter how much stuff I put in my suitcase, it will close).


My most favorite shoot was the Big Fashion editorial shoot that we did in a tennis court. The shoot took place on a Saturday. It started at 6 AM and ended at 6 PM. The concept was pretty cool and we had invested a lot of energy and effort in creating 8 beautiful looks. It's my favorite shoot out of all because of the way it was executed. It was all so exciting and so surreal- to watch the make-up and hair artists work their magic on the model. Even the photographer did a hands-down job that day. It was just perfect.

Cosmo's June '18 issue will always be a special one for me because I worked on plethora fashion stories and shoots for that month. Not just in editorial and fashion, I even worked with the art team for that issue. If you go through that issue, you'll be able to spot my name on a lot of pages.

In total, I assisted for two cover shoots, two editorial shoots and 5 small shoots in two and a half months. Apart from that, I also assisted in many fashion and trend stories.
I still remember the first time I saw my name in the cover shoot and interview. That's something so special that you can only feel and not be able to describe. When I had completed my course at NIFT, I wasn't sure if fashion styling was the road I wanted to take. But, Cosmo gave me a direction and the boost that I needed. This company taught me how to get the work done, take charge, get after what you want and tons of other things which will help me all my life. Every second in that office was overwhelming for me because I had to learn SO much in so little time span. On my last day, I remembered the line that my boss had told me when my interview was going on. She'd said, "it may all seem very glamorous to you but in reality, it's much harder than it seems." I remembered this line because every bit of it was true. Some of you asked me if it was similar to the movie, 'Devil Wears Prada'. If I am completely honest, it was far more brutal than what happens to Andy in the movie.

All in all, working at Cosmo was a dream I made true. Let's just say that it was a surreal pinch-me phase.






-Shweghna.


Saturday, 12 May 2018

What Happened When My Shopping Became an Addiction.

Even before I started blogging, I was a shopping addict. I remember trotting into various stores talking to myself into buying something which I probably would never use twice. Then there was also the era of online shopping where I had to put no efforts except opening a fashion website and adding items to the cart.
Every second day, I had an urge to shop. On days when I couldn't shop, those clothes which were in my cart haunted me in my sleep. The thing is that once I started blogging about fashion, all I wanted to do was explore new trends and try them on myself. I wanted to experiment and make those looks real that I created in my mind. I created a bubble in my mind that it will be pretty simple- I'll buy one piece of clothing every week and everything will work out. 
But in that bubble, I forgot to add one major thing- YOU CAN NEVER REALLY HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHES.
It took me a LOT of time to understand this simple fact. At first, it was all good. I was buying one item each week and creating a look that made heads turn. Then the toll went to two items per week. Before I could realize, I started shopping after every two days. I spent hours everyday browsing websites for clothes. Just like a smoker believes that he needs a cigarette to survive, I believed that shopping will be my daily survival. I got the reality check I needed from my mom. She had enough of my shopping frenzy (after all, she was the one funding me). She made sure that all the shopping apps were gone from my phone and her cards were unsaved at all the websites. It was like the detox I was forced to do. We took baby steps after that. Every time I wanted to shop or order something from a website, she sat down next to me and asked me to stick to a budget. If I exceeded the budget, she would simply not pay for anything. 
Some of you will find this really funny while some of you will relate to my addiction. The ones who can relate know that it's a wonderful feeling until you've worn that outfit once and then your interest moves to some other item. Thanks to my mom, I got a grip on myself and went few notches down on my shopping addiction. It's hard for the both of us- for her to say no and for me to not be able to shop every day. But, we've definitely made progress. 


-Shweghna. 


Saturday, 24 February 2018

One of the Final Submissions at NIFT!

Yesterday, I had one of my final submissions for NIFT. We still have about a month more until the course finishes but yesterday somehow left a sad feeling inside me. In just six months, I got more attached to NIFT than I ever could to Amity University. Although I've had a wonderful time till now in Amity and got hold on a bunch of nice people, I could just not connect to it. On the other hand, NIFT gave me much more to remember in just a span of six months.
For this final submission, we had to buy anything that we could find in Chandni Chowk and make something out of it. After creating something, we had to style our outfits in unconventional ways. After weeks of brainstorming, I came up with so many ideas that it all just got confusing inside my head. Because I had to start from somewhere, I purchased a glue gun. Trust me on this dear readers, you wouldn't want to get burned from that because I did (that too thrice) and it was pretty painful.





I don't have a designing background as most of you would know but a lot of thought and effort went into the designing and styling of this whole look. Becuase I wasn't familiar with the concept, it took me a longer time than the others. 
I wasn't happy at all with the background of the studio because it completely ruined my shoot as well as of my fellow classmates of NIFT. I mean just look at the background. It feels too green, doesn't it? Nonetheless, I've had a blast preparing for this shoot and during the preparations, I learned so much on my own that I'll definitely try my hand at designing more things! 


-Shweghna. 


Monday, 12 February 2018

Do Fashion Influencers Influence Anybody?

Influencers existed long before the term was even coined. They are present everywhere in our daily lives. The air of mystery is always revolving around these influencers. Everybody wants to become one because it seems pretty glamorous, but nobody has a clue as to how it all works. From where you watch, it must seem quite appealing and exciting but when you look up close, you'd realize that it's one hell of a task. Because being an influencer is not about being popular. It's about causing an impact on somebody's life. If not a lot, at least a little. Now that you know who an influencer is, let's get back to the question which led you to open this post- do fashion influencers influence anybody?

The answer to this question would be both, yes and no. 

Yes, because there are some people out there with brilliant style and creativity. They're original. Their style defines them. These actual influencers are not afraid of trying on a new style. Moreover, they enjoy doing what they do, not giving a damn about how their followers would perceive their style. On the other side, some so-called fashion influencers are not influencing anybody. Their personal style is far from original and they're always fretting about how their followers would accept their style. As we have both present in front of us, it can sometimes be hard to determine that who is doing the right job and who isn't. They all look the same but what they create from their creative minds is poles apart. So it's your job to find out which influencer's style speaks to you and has an everlasting impact on you.

I've also compiled an ethnic street look for you all in this post. Love the boho twist that Ajio has given to this kurta. This is one ethnic clothing piece which college students would love! 







Kurta- AJIO
Palazzo Pants- W for Women
Jutti- Borrowed from mom


-Shweghna.


Sunday, 4 February 2018

My January Goals and How I Kept Them!

Every year, I too, like every other person, try to keep a New Year's Resolution. And like every other person, I forget about the resolutions as soon as February hits the calendar. For 2018, I wanted to come up with small-small goals which can be achieved without having to sweat much over it. I'm trying to set up monthly goals so that I'm able to do a lot more than I do when I have yearly goals. 
For January, I decided to maintain my day planner regularly and be on track. Then I decided that it's time to get a grip on my shopping for at least a month. I also tried to eat as much healthy food as I could because I eat shit from outside all the time and then it makes me sick. I had set up another goal which was for my trip to Goa which took place in the last week of January. I planned to explore that city as much as I could and luckily, I had the right set of people who were game for it. 
My last goal for January was to get more experimental with my street style. This goal, I believe, will go on for a long time now.

Here's a bit of the experimenting I was talking about above-







It's February and I already feel like I own 2018 because of the January goals! 
What are your goals for 2018?


-Shweghna. 


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Is Instagram Killing Fashion Blogs?

Just yesterday one of my NIFT teachers asked us to ponder over the question, "is Instagram killing fashion blogs?" I've been blogging for six years while I've been on Instagram for three years now. When I started off, I had no such portal to grow my blog or to spread a word about it. All I could do was refer it to people or send a broadcast message with a web link of my recent blog post. You may be thinking that Instagram is indeed doing us, bloggers a huge favor as we get to promote it widely now. To some extent, I would agree with you that Instagram came around the right time and saved us. We can now finally connect globally and have a space where a single picture is enough to represent the entire blog. Oh, and let's not forget that Instagram is helping us get business and connect more with brands.
While all this makes Instagram look too tempting, you should also get the real picture that it is in a way killing fashion blogs. If a person sees the entire outfit of a blog post on Instagram, then there are very few chances of him opening the blog. Content is getting shorter and shorter and the focus is completely shifting to pictures. And hearing, "did you see that blogger's outfit on Instagram" is more common than, "did you read the recent blog written by so and so blogger?" Oh, and it's suddenly become all about the number of followers you have on Instagram rather than the quality of the blog post.
If you ask me, content should be the king while portals like Instagram should only be used to spread a word and promote your work.

On a lighter note, here's a look I wanted to compile since forever but couldn't get a hold of these pants. Finally, my prayers were answered and I was able to compile a look which is a fusion of the 70s fashion and the modern times ahead.








Blazer: H&M
Pants: Zara
Heels: Marks & Spencer


-Shweghna.