Passage to India…

Lucy Williams from Fashion Me Now, in Goa

Confession: I didn’t watch Indian Summers – was it any good? It seemed to lack something for me…I think I expected a bit more vibrancy. But India’s still on my mind, and in the fashion industry too, it comes up time and time again.

Tim Walker’s British Vogue shoot with Lily Cole

 

Norman Parkinson photograph

Maybe it’s because we’ve just booked our holiday to India (yes – 2 and a half weeks in Kerala and Mumbai, the planning starts now – tips welcome) and it’s on the brain, or maybe it’s because it’s such an interesting, historically and culturally fascinating hub of fashion and talent (that’s probably it). Whichever it is, India and fashion are a pairing I’m becoming more familiar with, and it’s getting me in the holiday spirit:

When J Crew went to Rajasthan

Anthropologie are celebrating Indian designers through a curated collection of Limited Edition pieces by designers scouted at Delhi Fashion Week:

Crop top: £158, by Pankaj & Nidhi for Anthropologie 

If you still can’t get enough, then the V&A are holding an India Festival, with a range of exhibitions including Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1854-1860 (24 June – 11
October 2015), Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection (21 November 2015 – 28
March 2016) and The Fabric of India (3rd October 2015 – 10th January 2016) which features not only historical fabrics but modern designers who still use handcrafted techniques such as Manish Arora.

Images from Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1854-1860 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Wall hanging from The Fabric of India exhibition, cotton applique, Gujarat, 20th century © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 And my top India books? Shantaram, of course, is brilliant – the way he describes the slums and his epic journey is incredible. I also love Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children – a magical read of family, history and a bit of humour all sprinkled in. Again I’ve yet to see the film.

17 Comments

  1. I went to Kerala on my honeymoon 17 years ago and it was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Obviously it will have changed but it was such an amazing mix of poverty and heartache, brightness, happy and kind and generous people, fabulous smells and textures. A huge range of emotions were experienced but the people were so incredibly kind and giving, the food was amazing and the scenery breathtaking. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time. Lorraine x

  2. Looking forward to reading your travel blogs on these places. I looked at Mumbai myself recently but was put off when reading about the crime over there. Would be great to read how you get on and the places you visit etc 🙂 x

  3. So excited you are going to india. I am from Mumbai (living in London now )so if there is an email address I can send the details to will be much easier.

  4. We are sadly back to London after a breathtaking month in India (Rajasthan and Kerala). Kerala is amazing, if you are interested I can tell you where we stayed, some lovely and cheap places… Mumbai is just amazing! The shopping paradise! You will have a wonderful time there.

  5. You will love Mumbai I'm sure. Where will you be staying in Mumbai? What sorts of things will you be looking at? Jewellery? Clothing? Fabrics? I am visiting Kerala in a few months time and am looking forward to seeing the place.

  6. Went to kerala for 2 weeks and loved it! Flew to cochin (not much here) then munnar, so so green and relaxing, then to alleppey – take a boat along the backwaters or stay on a houseboat! Then thekkady, lots of shops and wildlife here, we did a wildlife trek (brilliant but scarey)! Then finally to trivandrum where we flew out of! Lots of beaches and shops here too, and the leela hotel was amazing 🙂 after lots of research these are good places to go!! Have a great time! X

    1. Amazing – who did you do your wildlife trek with? We started researching the other night and it blew our mind how much there was to do and all the amazing places to stay! We looked into Munnar and thekkady but then thought we'd stay along the coast, but worried we'll get bored (we're city people) so might look back into it x

  7. Munnar is in the hills about a 4 hour drive from Kochi and is tea plantation country. It is supposed to be beautiful and very interesting especially if you're a tea drinker. We're doing Kochi. Munnar, Kumarakom and Kovalam , flying out from Trivandrum.

  8. We did the same trip (Kerala and Mumbai) for our honeymoon in January. I am a city girl too (from Wandsworth) and we both loved it – my tips are:
    Fort Cochin is a fun city for a couple of days so don't skip it – its fun just to absorb the atmosphere and get used to India, the food, the people, the markets and the tuktuks!
    Dont bother to stay on a houseboat – you dont get to see anything once they dock as its in a boring boat docking area. Just do a day trip.
    You should absolutely consider going to Philipkuttys Farm – its on the backwaters and is magical. The buildings have won architectual awards and are so incredibly beautiful. You eat with everyone else staying and there is nothing to do but lie in a hammock and contemplate the water and the boats – bliss! This was our favourite part of our trip.
    We also enjoyed Munnar massively – the tea plantations are like nothing I have ever seen. Stay in the Windermere Estate if you can – rooms are not luxurious but are very plantation chic and the walks are astonishing. Get a driver and do the walk up to the highest organic tea plantation but take trainers – its a 3 hour walk but is AMAZING. The women working the tea plantations are so friendly.
    Mumbai very cool too – go to the Elephanta Caves (boat ride from Mumbai) – WOW!
    Very jealous – want to go back!

    Gemma

  9. Oh and Thekkady is ok but the tiger sanctuary is not exactly a low key wildlife experience – hundreds and hundreds of excited holidaymakers and locals jostling for boats mean that its pretty unlikely to see anything of interest. However I believe you can do a kayak/raft tour which is supposed to be much better.
    Ooh and definitely get Ayurvedic massage – its so cheap but be aware it is an (how do I say this) initimate experience….

    1. THANK YOU so much!!! All of these were questions I had in mind…Thekkady? Munnar? houseboat for 3 nights? So good to know all of this, there is A LOT of choice out there and it is a bit mind-clowing, thank you so much -we're going to print all of these messages out when planning – the farm sounds amazing and Munnar is going back on our itinerary – need more time! x

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