May 18, 2016

Feminism & Film

Thelma and Louise

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis starting the selfie craze in Thelma and Louise

What does it mean to be a celebrity feminist and do they help or hinder the cause? Can they even call themselves so?

In an article in The Guardian, a journalist forensically analyses the contribution of so-called Hollywood Feministas (my word) and whether they failed. Feminists such as Emma Watson are berated Continue reading

May 18, 2016

All Hail Mayor Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan The Chatterjis Blog

What an amazing city London is. Not only a world capital, a fashion capital, an art and architectural capital, but can it now claim to to be the most tolerant and integrated capital city?

After what everyone agrees was a racist, vicious campaign by the Tories and their candidate, Zac Goldsmith, the majority election of Continue reading

March 26, 2016

Fashion Fix: Indian Fashion Week Day 4

Gauri Nainika 2

Gauri & Nainika, AIFW AW16

Continue reading

March 25, 2016

Attacking The Devil

Attacking The Devil

My sis and I went to watch Attacking The Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime at the Picture House Cinema (Central London) on Tuesday this week and it was so worthwhile. It’s hard to describe a moving documentary on such an important subject matter with the usual ‘must-see, fantastic’ as the subject matter is so upsetting.

The documentary charts Sir Harold Evans’ rise to the top of newspaper editing which is very inspirational itself but the real gem Continue reading

March 21, 2016

Tribal Designs and Military Precision at Day 3, Amazon India Fashion Week AW16

Anupama Dayal

Anupama Dayal, AIFW AW16

A tribal trend was emerging on day 3 at Amazon India Fashion Week as a couple of designers showcased their latest collections for AW16. Whilst the catwalk looks may not translate into styles most Continue reading

March 21, 2016

Sci-Fi Saree at Day 2 of Amazon India Fashion Week AW16

Rimzim Dadu AIFW AW16

Rimzim Dadu, AIFW AW16

Indian designer, Rimzim Dadu took a break from fashion shows for a couple of years to re-organise her company. One might think she went from a catwalk to a lab coat: she created a technically striking ‘Back to The Future’ collection that included some traditional Indian Continue reading

March 18, 2016

Day 1 Amazon India Fashion Week AW16: The Best of The Rest

Malini Ramani AIFW 16

Malini Ramani AIFW AW16

Malini Ramani 1

Malini Ramani AIFW AW16

Continue reading

March 18, 2016

Day 1 Amazon India Fashion Week AW16: Hemant & Nandita

Hemant Nandita AIFW 2016

Hemant & Nandita Amazon India Fashion Week AW 2016

The Hemant & Nandita brand and design duo are recognised for their strong prints and this collection played to their strengths. The outerwear was particularly strong and interestingly, finally relevant for an Indian Winter. I’ve been covering Indian fashion for many Continue reading

March 18, 2016

Opening Act: Amazon India Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Varun Bahl Amazon India Fashion Week FW 2016

Varun Bahl Amazon India Fashion Week FW 2016

Varun Bahl is a wonderful Indian couturier who was invited to do the coveted opening show for Amazon India Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016 which also hailed his return to ready-to-wear.

The collection was entitled ‘Nocturne’ hailing the usual suspects of said inspiration. I really liked the bomber jackets and the styling Continue reading

March 6, 2016

Marvelous Manto: The Great Writer from Pakistan

mantoAn indie flick from Pakistan has been wowing critics and I found myself part of a 300 strong crowd at its premier in London last week.

Manto is the kind of literary figure that my mum becomes glaze eyed about and she’ll suddenly recite passages and look at me with an air of pride at how, clearly, all artists in Urdu are superior to any other.

Manto was a controversial writer whose career spans the 40s and Continue reading

February 3, 2016

The Danish Girl Isn’t My Kinda Girl

The Danish Girl

I sort of hobbled over to the Bloomsbury Curzon to catch The Danish Girl with Bunty as I had just knocked back a bottle of prosecco with another friend.

I arrived before Bunty and temporarily forgot what I was meant to be watching, asked the bar staff which screen The Danish Lady was in. I was duly informed that The Danish GIRL was upstairs and that the toilets were behind me. I was pissed and confused: But I never asked about the toilets. I clearly looked like I needed a mirror or something.

Bunty and two more girlfriends joined me, we got another bottle of prosecco, I spilled popcorn in the foyer (mortified!) and we finally sat down to watch the film.  What kind of pathetic girl does this character want to be?? Continue reading

January 25, 2016

The World Goes Pop!

The World Goes Pop Tate Modern

Proving that pop art is more than Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, The World Goes Pop at the Tate Modern is an exhibition that tracks pop art through the ages and the world. We couldn’t recommend it enough. Rarely has such an amazing Continue reading

January 25, 2016

Joy

Jennifer Lawrence Joy

As we all know, amazing films come out in January and this month is definitely filled with excellent films to check out. If you’ve already seen the Danish Girl and the Hateful Eight is way too violent then we recommend Jennifer Lawrence’s new flick, Joy. The film is the true story about the rise of Joy Mangano from poor singe mom to global entrepreneur. Robert DeNiro is her dad, Isabella Rossellini plays his girlfriend. What is there not to like?  Continue reading

January 7, 2016

Getting Even With The Odds: Pollution in Delhi

odd even delhi pollution

There have been so many puns and word play opportunities with the Delhi government’s Odd/Even car policy to reduce pollution that every possible combination must have been exhausted.

I was in Delhi for the whole of November and December 2015. I partly live in Delhi and I have never experienced the pollution to be as bad as it was. I started coughing even during the drive from the airport. Continue reading

January 7, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens

My ONLY regret from last year was that on the 18th of December 2015, instead of joining the entire Western hemisphere at the cinema for the movie release of the decade, I was freezing my tits off in Delhi.

Oh, does Delhi get cold in Winter? Yes indeed. And there is no central heating or double glazing!!

My disloyal family went to the cinema without me ‘oh but we will watch it for the second time with you’ thanks guys! One of my dear cousins even spoiled it for me by revealing a key part of the story. Continue reading

October 27, 2015

Brow Beating

cara delevingne strong eyebrows

Brow verdict: YES

In a cruel twist of fate, the mono brow that used to spread across our teenage faces now wakes up every morning in patches.

Brows have been big news for a while now and most women our age have over plucked at some stage so here is our opinion on some fillers out there at the moment: Continue reading

October 19, 2015

The Most Buzzing Saturday Night in Delhi!

jawane janeman

I’m going to Delhi for a couple of months soon and one of the things I look forward to is a Saturday night drink and a bit of dancing at my favourite bar, Buzz!  Buzz is the craziest and most amazing place not due to the decor, which is the average typical bar style, but due to the crowd it pulls and the music.

Buzz is in MGF Mall behind Select City Walk Mall and it will only get busy around 11pm. I’m quite lazy and lucky (a convenient Continue reading

October 19, 2015

Step This Way For Amazing Skin

Sex and the city Samantha chemical peel

Will I look like Samantha in that scene in Sex And The City? That was my only question when asked by the fantastic and patient clinician at the Sk:n Clinic during my consultation. No!

I don’t know quite what started my obsession reading about skin peels but the more I read the more I was convinced I needed one. Continue reading

October 18, 2015

The Chatterjis Nominated for Asian Media Award 2015

Asian Media Awards

Ooh fancy that, The Chatterjis Blog has been nominated Best Blog at this year’s Asian Media Awards! In its third year of recognising and rooting for Asian talent in the mainstream and online media, the awards are backed by some of the British media industry’s biggest players.

Other nominees for best blog include: Continue reading

October 18, 2015

House Swap Syria!

home swap

It seems as though almost every week a deluded Muslim family from the UK disappears to join Isis. They could at least add a note on Facebook or Gumtree that they’re looking for a home swap with a Continue reading

October 15, 2015

Amazon India Fashion Week Grand Finale SS16

5 Grand Finale 5

Grand Finale, AIFW SS16

The theme of the Grand Finale this season at Amazon India Fashion Week SS16 was textiles of Varanasi or Benaras as it is traditionally known. Continue reading

October 15, 2015

Day 4 & 5 AIFW: Romantic Ideas in Fashion

I wasn’t particularly wowed by the shows on the last 2 days at Amazon India Fashion Week in which one desperate designer even included a huge Lucky Strike cigarette packet on a T shirt. The best shows gave us romantic fashion in two very different yet beautiful ways.

4 Geisha Designs 1

Geisha Designs, AIFW SS16

4 Geisha Designs 2

Geisha Designs, AIFW SS16

Continue reading

October 15, 2015

Day 3 AIFW: The Best Looks

Holiday vibes were the predominant theme  on day 3 of Amazon India Fashion Week, however, a new fashion category emerged: ethnic sports luxe, Adidas stripes on a Sari and kaftan? We saw it here first!

Anamikaa Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2015

Anamikaa, AIFW SS16

Continue reading

October 11, 2015

The Edit: Day 2 Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Hemant Nandita3

Hemant & Nandita AIFW SS16

Hemant Nandita1

Hemant & Nandita AIFW SS16

I love the different inspiration each designer puts into clothes that we might wear in a given season.   Here is my pick of the best looks from Day 2 at AIFW SS16, a day that took us to the Summer of ’69, the 1950s and more! Continue reading

October 11, 2015

The Edit: Day 1 Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Key looks from Day 1 with an international appeal by Kavita Bhartia and Vineet Bahl:

Vineet Bahl Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Vineet Bahl AIFW SS16

Continue reading

October 11, 2015

Gl-Amazon India Fashion Week SS16 Opens!

Raw Mango Sanjay Garg Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Sanjay Garg, Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2016

Amazon India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 in association with Maybelline is well under way and as usual, you can take a peak at the best shows here at The Chatterjis Blog!

Opening proceedings this season was top designer, Sanjay Garg and his brand Raw Mango.  The show was dedicated to one fabric: mashru. Mashru was introduced to India by the Mughals it is a cotton and silk weave originally created to provide ‘halal’ fabric for menswear (silk for Muslim men is deemed haram, oh yes of course…).  Production stopped in India in the 1940s inspiring Sanjay Garg and his company to re-instate the skill in Benaras. Now his hugely successful brand helps to keep the textile alive.

Sanjay Garg Raw Mango Amazon India Fashion Week SS16

Sanjay Garg, Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2016

The designer’s vibrant colour palette and elaborate designs demonstrate the beauty and drape of the fabric. Repeat motifs and stripes are in step with the traditional origins of Mashru.

Bubbly

 

October 5, 2015

Invisible Threads

Invisible Threads

Former investment banker turned psychiatrist, Lucy Beresford will be at Asia House on 6th October (evening) discussing her book, Invisible Threads a fictional book drawing on the author’s experiences in India.

Although a fictional book, Lucy did a sabbatical at a clinic in Delhi and was introduced to women coming from desperate, violent Continue reading

September 30, 2015

Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years

AS Dulat Kashmir The Vajpayee Years Launch LondonThe truth can be elastic as it sometimes depends upon the perspective and knowledge of the person making the claim, however, Mr A S Dulat, formerly the head of India’s intelligence agency (Research & Analysis Wing) can perhaps claim to know the truth more than most of us. Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years by A S Dulat was launched in London last week at a lovely event at the Taj St James’ Court with guest of honour, Dr Farooq Abdullah (former Chief Minister of Kashmir, the Indian side).

It was a packed event with people standing at the back of the room. I had encouraged Mr Dulat to launch his book in London and as adorably humble as ever, he said ‘who would want to come to that?’ Loads of people was my reply! A couple of months later and there we were celebrating.

Kashmir is a well known and forever difficult subject for Indians and Pakistanis and often the Continue reading

September 5, 2015

Do It Like A Woman

Do It Like A Woman Caroline Criado Perez

The last event I attended on the final day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival was an event centred around feminism: In Praise of Pioneering Women by Caroline Criado-Perez.  Caroline was catapulted into media attention after she started the campaign to put an inspirational woman on the £5 note.  Her campaign led to her being viciously trolled on social media and subsequently the Crown Continue reading

September 5, 2015

Meera Syal at The Edinburgh International Book Festival

Meera Syal House of Hidden Mothers

Poor Meera Syal, the expectations were so high from the audience around me and indeed myself that she would be incredibly sharp and witty and have us in stitches that once the discussion started and it became clear that it was all about surrogacy and motherhood (the main subjects her fictional book centres around) we were a little disappointed.

Of course Meera should want to promote her new book, The House of Hidden Mothers, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just not Continue reading

August 30, 2015

Understanding Islam and Muslims

Islam Carole Hillenbrand

Soft spoken, calm and a leading authority on Islam, Carole Hillenbrand is a Professor of Islamic History at both Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities. Her new book, Islam: A New Historical Introduction aims to allow readers to gain a sensitive understanding of the essential tenets of the religion and of the many ways in which the present is shaped by the past.

The author’s hour long event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival was the perfect split between highlights from her book and questions from the eager audience.  I thought this event would be too much of a niche interest but interestingly it sold out. We can’t Continue reading

August 27, 2015

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Bidisha & Mohammed Osborne

Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Bidisha

For a few seconds, time stopped and the audience dropped a collective jaw as Yasmin Alibhai-Brown asked if we knew that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s brother was a Muslim convert, Mohammed Osborne. No we didn’t! But…but… how did that happen?

exotic_england_ Yasmin Alibhai Brown

It was a sell out session with the charismatic journalist and writer, Continue reading

August 23, 2015

The Challenge of Things, A C Grayling

AC Grayling The Challenge of Things

Professor of Philosophy, A C Grayling gave a wonderful presentation of essays yesterday afternoon at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. His new book is a collection of essays of a variety of subjects quite like in the ‘pre-novel’ era when essays were highly regarded.

An example of of one of his adapted essays: In the future would developing countries look to China as a model for development rather that the West and democracy? The Chinese model works well Continue reading

August 22, 2015

Forensic Science with the C.S.Aye Team

Val McDermid

Without the snazzy graphics and collagen-filled lips of the real C.S.I. the totally fabulous C.S.Aye team consisted of internationally acclaimed crime writer, Val McDermid and forensics expert extraordinaire, Niamh Nic Daeid who often appears on BBC Radio 4 to explain forensic science to the general public with ease and she was interviewed for the wonderful Life Scientific programme.

The hour in their company at the Edinburgh International Book Festival event flew by and it was full of fascinating information about a world that most of us are rarely touched by but nonetheless find Continue reading

August 20, 2015

Uphaar Cinema Tragedy

Uphaar cinema fire tragedy

It was just an ordinary evening one day in Delhi way back in 1997 when people went to their local cinema to catch the latest blockbuster. But ordinary soon turned into tragedy as a fire that started in the parking lot engulfed the cinema building itself.

Fire exits had been blocked and building safety norms were not followed by the owners of the cinema. As the fire struck, in the ensuing panic 59 men, women and children (some as young as 4 and 6 years old) lost their lives.

Eighteen years later and following an epic battle through the Indian legal system a verdict was passed by the Supreme Court that the Continue reading

August 20, 2015

Why Did Europe Conquer The World?

Why did Europe conquer the world

In 1914, 84% of the world was under colonial rule from a European nation. Quite an achievement considering that Europe makes approximately 8% of the world’s land mass. These were some of the attention-grabbing opening lines of economic historian, Philip T Hoffman’s event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

How did that happen? Continue reading

August 18, 2015

Mecca, The Sacred City?

Mecca the Sacred City by Ziauddin Sardar

Ziauddin Sardar at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015

I arrived at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today for my first book event of this year’s packed programme, brolly in hand and wearing two layers of cashmere. Yes, it is August, welcome to Summer in Scotland.

Ziauddin Sardar’s new book, Mecca The Sacred City was the topic of discussion and the charismatic author was full of hilarious anecdotes and opinions of Saudi Arabia that mirror my own. Of course, unlike him, I’m not a respected scholar nor have I spent time living there.

It is in the direction of Mecca and the Ka’aba that all Muslims turn to when (or if) they pray. Mecca is the birth place of the Prophet and pilgrimage to the Ka’aba is one of the five pillars of Islam, a duty for all Muslims. So why do the guardians of the holiest sites in the Islamic behave like ‘cultural terrorrists’? Ziauddin Sardar is no fan of Continue reading

August 18, 2015

The Empress Story by Manish Malhotra

Manish Malhotra 7

Manish Malhotra, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

With this collection, Manish Malhotra celebrated 10 years of his couture house and 25 years as a costume designer for the Indian film industry. His Bollywood fan club was out in full support on the night, generations of stars and super stars sitting in front row, the paparazzi going wild.

Manish Malhotra 4

Manish Malhotra, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

As if these two fantastic milestones weren’t enough to celebrate, demonstrating that good things come in three’s, Manish Malhotra announced that two new flagship boutiques would open in 2016, one in London and the other in Dubai. Both world class shopping Continue reading

August 18, 2015

Rohit Bal’s Birds of Paradise

Rohit Bal 6 Rohit Bal 1

Rohit Bal, AICW 2015. Photography: FDCI

Continue reading

August 16, 2015

Through The Cinematic Lens with Debarun

Debraun 1

Debarun, AICW 2015. Photography: Mashungsang Sangkhro

Debarun Mukherjee’s couture collection embarked on a journey through Indian cinematic costume through the decades from the black and white days of the 1930s to the present time. Of course, little has changed in hundreds of years of traditional Indian fashion let alone a few decades. Colours and trims come in and out of fashion Continue reading

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