Dinner at Dishoom: Lands a good punch!

Nestled between Jamie’s Italian and Cantina Laredo, the Covent Garden branch of Dishoom will stand out, partly due to the crowds of Londoners it seems to attract.

DISHOOM

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Chai & Chats with: Asha Dahya

Founder of Girl Talk HQ, Asha Dahya (AD) talks to The Asian Destination (TAD) about wanting to create a positive media environment for women and their importance in society.

Asha Dahya

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Christmas doesn’t have to be over just yet! Here’s why…

Winter Wonderland

Okay. So, Christmas may be officially over BUT if you’re in London, you can still enjoy the festivities for one more weekend. This is your last chance to enjoy Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park so if you haven’t visited yet…why not?!

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The Art of Fashion

The Asian Destination has joined forces with Feed You Fashion to calm your Fashion Week withdrawal symptoms. This fashion webzine aims to “inspire, update and parley”. Stylish and sophisticated, Feed You Fashion is definitely a site worth following.

In this guest post Lucy, founder of Feed You Fashion, reveals the Indian cultural influence behind two beautiful S/S’14 collections.

THE ART OF FASHION

Let’s assume for a second that all designers lived under one roof – a big brother house situation, if you will! Sure, based on new conversation their designs would begin as deductions from curious encounters but with time, and a lack of interaction with the outside world, such enthusiasm and spirit would falter. This is purely because fashion breathes through creativity. Innovation is accumulated through experiences and the ways in which these experiences are interpreted are based on our culture.

Fashion Week is a prime example of such diversity, an assortment of backgrounds and cultures, which is what allows designers to create such contrasting fashions.If you look close enough, these origins seep through the seams.

It’s September. It’s time to welcome a flood of fashion, as we take on this month dedicated to our sartorial needs.

HAUTE SEAT

New York Fashion Week has previously introduced us to two Indian designers – Naeema Khan and Bibhu Mohapatra. Khan launched his label in 2003 and Mohapatra, having resigned as Design Director of J. Mendel in 2008, went on to launch his own brand under his name. The latter’s designs showing fewer connections to his Indian roots, which may be due to his years spent at the French fashion house.

The S/S ’14 woman of Naeem Khan is all about elegant femininity.

image

Hemlines happily follow few rules, ranging from floor skimming to thigh skimming and setting a liberating example for shape. The common denominator being a cinched waistline to gracefully celebrate the female form. The Khan woman is a romantic, yet proves she does not fear the borders of her comfort zone as reserved silhouettes are made daring by descending necklines, thigh high slits, chiffon and open backs.

Perhaps most notable of the collection is the patterning; if garments are not lavished from seam to seam in elaborate prints, then such designs creep across dresses from various angles. The print heavily reminiscent of traditional Indian henna – the intricate patterning typically used during Hindu weddings and festivals.

The story is in the print.

Naeem Khan S/S ’14

Image Source: Vogue

For Bibhu Mohapatra, the S/S ’14 woman is much more angular with an air of modernist chic surrounding her.

Bibhu Mohapatra S/S'14

3D flowers act as the cherry on this sartorial cake, either creating shoulder armour, fanning across waistlines or concealing cardigans. Where buds and sequins did not appear, mini peplums and micro pleats were on hand to make up for the missing texture. Not to mention, the thick dress straps, which left little shoulder or décolletage visible in order to cement their presence. The Mohapatra woman is sophisticated and concise, teaming her pencil thin skirts to her leather jackets.

The delicate hues and feminine patterning of the collection hint at romanticism, however every angle reeks of opposition.

Bibhu Mohapatra S/S ’14

Image Source: Vogue

Want to know read more from Lucy?

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It’s okay to be a bit weird…

different

 

So in keeping with the recent #FAFE theme , I thought I’d repost my blog on being scared about standing out and being different.

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The first day of school, college or university is always accompanied by a mixture of nervous excitement and mild panic. In my case, each of these milestone events come with an added issue to stress about: ‘How would my name be prounounced this time?!’

If you are like me, you are one of those fortunate souls with a name (or perhaps multiple) that finds itself being mispronounced frequently. The name may make perfect logical sense in your family’s ethnic language, culture or religion, yet as it journeys through the English language, its pronunciation appears to get left behind.

Before my name was called in the register, there would always be a pause before the teacher or lecturer made a hesitant attempt at ‘Ananya’. Some others however, decided they were not going to even try to pronounce it and instead asked whether I had another name I preferred to be called. Thus was born an English equivalent nickname, ‘Ana’, that has stuck with me throughout most of my life. Most Indians or at least Bengalis have 2 names: a ‘good’ name (Ananya) for official documentation and a ‘dahk’ or ‘affectionate nickname’ used by friends and family. ‘Ana’ became my ‘English Dahk’ name alongside my other Bengali nicknames.

I used to go through a phase of just switching topic when anyone asked about the real pronunciation. Some were persistent and would seek out a fellow Indian in the hope of finding out my ‘real name’. Triumphantly they would proclaim they had discovered the ‘Indian way’ of saying it. However, India is a country of numerous cultures, traditions and languages. Hindi may be universally spoken but different Indian states have separate principal languages. Within these, diverse variations in dialect can also be noticed, depending on geographical location. This means that ‘Ananya’ in Hindi is pronounced much like the modified English version, only with a few softer syllables: ‘Ah-naan-ee-yah’, which is noticeably different to the Bengali pronunciation.

It is interesting that even non-Bengalis, living in an area of West Bengal (where Bengali or Bangla can be heard predominantly) will pronounce ‘Ananya’ as ‘Ah-naan-ee-yah’. Not that it bothers me. I have become accustomed to hearing variations of my name. In fact, I like to make note of the most original attempts: ‘Ah-nigh-ah’ has maintained its first place position for a number of years now, whilst the National Health Service tried to record my name as ‘Anan Ya’. To this day, however, my dentist still tries to call me ‘Anya’…

Maturity has revealed the core issue at play at adopting ‘Ana’ over ‘Ananya’. I wanted to be like my peers and therefore shied away from my full name, assumed ‘Ana’ instead and consequently the name has stuck. Yet as I have gotten older, I have come to realise that each and every one of us has quirks that make us different: misplacing items hours after being purchased, adding cheese to every meal (!), obsessing about Canadian popstars – sound familiar?! These traits are for celebrating not being ashamed of. What is it about yourself that makes you different?

Mine? So, what is my name, really?
Ananya, pronounced in Bengali as ‘O-non-nah’ (O as in ‘lot’) meaning ‘unique’, or ‘like no other’, in Sanskrit.

So today I ask, is there anything about yourself that you have been hiding or shying away from? Instead of shying away, can you embrace this about yourself and be proud? After all, without these qualities, positive or negative, we would not be who we are today, the same as everyone else– we would not be unique.

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Highlights from August 2013

 

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‘Like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/theasiandestination

Follow us on Instagram: @theasiandestination

The 3 Things To Be Successful…Happy Friday! xo

If you haven’t seen this yet here’s your Friday treat: