245 Moonrise Kingdom

Sreesha Shetty is one of the few beings whose work I constantly love to talk about (not a secret); I like that the essence of her jewellery label, Shop Lune has stood the test of time (from when she launched her very first collection to now). With all the quartz stones she employs to make the pieces, and/or charms shaped like crescent moons and gold feathers, etc. balanced with a basic, minimal undertone – Sreesha’s jewellery makes me think of the mystical powers of the Moon. Shop Lune as a name then, makes for a deeper connection, you know?

Okay, so the last time I wrote about Shop Lune – Sreesha was working around the clock to set up a website that would make the process of selling, easier. The website has been in existence for more than a few months now, and I recently acquired a lovely, layered necklace (see picture) from one of her current collections. For this feature, I decided it would be nice to not only talk about Miu (the necklace) but also to Sreesha about Shop Lune in general, her upcoming collection and such, and such –

Was there a particular significance behind the name, Miu?

“Miu sounds like meow, almost cat-like and this necklace reminds me of a starry night with the Moon in the background, and a black cat sitting on a pavement staring into space. More like Théophile Steinlen’s 1896 poster of Le Chat Noir. A black cat and the yellow gold background. I know there’s no cat reference in the necklace but cat lovers could wear Shop Lune’s Miu, you can even wear it if you don’t like or have cats!”

(Also, if there were any other thoughts behind making the layered necklaces, etc. They are very pretty!)

“Thanks for the pretty compliment. I really love layering necklaces and this one is best when worn with basics, like a white tee, etc. Also, I like that I can just wear them and know that no one else is going to be wearing them. Plus it has all the elements of what Shop Lune essentially is about. Dreamy, simple, and it has my favourite tones – antique gold and gunmetal; it was fun making these necklaces. I was in Goa when I made them, I don’t think I could have made these in Mumbai.”

Miu, Oona, and some of the other pieces that you shot recently, have a very beachie vibe, compared to your first collection. The photographs make me think of the Goa associated with La Plage or the pristine, whiter beaches there. (Much like the first collection had me thinking of Oxford Market or Portobello Road in London, etc.) Can folks expect a following collection that’s inspired by another city or place that you like?

“That’s a nice way of looking at it. The city I live in definitely influences my collection subconsciously. There’s no conscious effort when I design something. I’ve been in Mumbai long enough now, for almost two years and I think something more industrial, influenced by the city will be seen in my collection for fall which should be out by October.”

I think it is so cool that you worked on creating more pieces of an exactly similar design, though you used to not do that before – I liked that thought too, but this idea is better because I would be sad if there was only one Miu necklace and it got sold out before being able to buy it.

“I make the prototype and sometimes more than one piece of the same style, and the rest is made by my trusty team of karigars. This collection was made in Goa, and I probably just sketched the chain bralette but the rest of the pieces were more impromptu, all made by hand… All my handmade pieces can be made in bulk, now. :-) I just had to figure that bit out, because I would have customers asking me to make them the same pieces.”

How much are you loving selling independently from the Shop Lune website, as opposed to selling to folks through Etsy, Facebook, and/or e-mails?

“I think that having your own website saves you a lot of time. I would have probably just sold on Etsy if I was still living in London. They didn’t have a currency converter for the rupee, and my Indian customers would find it difficult to shop so I was pretty much forced to start a website. I’m glad I did. I’m also happy that I started selling on Etsy as it taught me the basics of writing compelling descriptions, and the importance photography plays in selling products, and about customer feedback, etc. It was like a crash course… Of sorts.”

Will there be any Shop Lune pop-up shops that your customers can look forward to, before the end of the year?

“Yes! NH7 Weekender in Pune, and if you or your blog readers want me to be at a particular pop-up shop, please let me know… I love receiving feedback, suggestions, and to hear from everyone!”


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes, and picture by Jane D’Souza


Jodi de Vivre

242 Jodi de Vivre

Okay, so I have been hoarding this feature (in my brain) for the longest time now, I have even forgotten when I discovered JODI – which was quite sometime before I e-mailed them back in June! Anyway, they replied to me, last month and I took ages to put this piece together. Idjit! This interview feature is similar to the ones I have covered before (on my blog, of course), but also sorta different. Same, same but different – if you will, like is the underlying theme of this label! The feature reads shorter (yes, you can smile), and without any further ado, I present to you –

When did JODI officially go live, online? Can you tell me about the name?

“We went live, last year on the 25th of July on JODI (जोड़ी) is a Hindi word, and it means ‘pair’. Because we are the two (Karuna Laungani and Gauri Verma) who started this brand, it seemed like an apt name. Also, both of us have a twin sibling. And we work best as a pair, whether it is our personal relationship with our own twin siblings or our professional relationship with each other. We think of JODI as the meeting of two ideas, two visions coming together to do something we love and are passionate about.”

A little bit about each of you, individually? I’ve been following your work, Karuna for a bit now, and I’m a fan. Gauri, from what I’ve read – you’re a graphic designer, too and I really, really like how you use colours.

KARUNA: “I started my career with ELLE (India), and was Fashion Editor there. After I quit the magazine, I continued to take up freelance projects (fashion styling). I styled Sonam Kapoor in the movies, Khoobsurat and Dolly ki Doli. I also take up a lot of work for print campaigns, and I am currently styling the ‘Gen Next’ shows for Lakmé Fashion Week.

GAURI: “I studied at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) in Delhi, and worked as a fashion stylist with ELLE (India), too. That’s where we met each other (2012). I am also a freelance graphic designer and stylist. I work with various brands styling print shoots, television commercials, etc.”

Do you come up with the designs by yourselves, or work with artisans to create patterns since the woodblock printing is undertaken by them?

We start with designing our prints since we are a brand that focuses on prints. Our aim is to steer clear from the typical motifs used in block printing. We first start by sketching out our ideas on paper. We design all our prints. We then share it with the block-maker, who makes a technical sketch of our design so that it can be transformed into a block. Following that, we work very closely with the printer and use one or various blocks to create a print. This is the fun part as we can mix and match various blocks to come up with interesting designs. The possibilities are endless. This is also something that is not possible when it comes to digital printing.

Can you tell me more about each collection? (I notice that you guys name collections after the model wearing the clothes, which is interesting… The pieces of clothing from the Azra collection form some of my favourites.)

“For our current collection, we wanted to create easy yet trendy pieces… You will see motifs like pineapples, cats and paper kites on shift dresses, culottes, pleated dresses and skirts, etc. Our collection has a mix of various silhouettes. So there is something for everyone whether you are 18 or 50 years old.”

Is there a story behind the use of patterns placed as frames for the clothing shots?

“We are a brand that loves colour, and our mood is eclectic and vibrant. We want to be unique, and stand out and be clear as with regards to our brand identity. Like we told you, prints are our forte so it makes sense that we use colour and print to bring out the vividness in the photographs. (Our visual content has been designed to show you what inspired each piece. Prints, art, music, movies, graphics – things that inspired us to create a certain piece, etc.)”

{ What are my thoughts? Well, I am drawn to their beautiful + colourful patterns and prints; also, I find the twin factor most intriguing. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? Of all the collections, I like AZRA – and, Azra Bhagat (the model) does the clothes justice as does the photographer who took her pictures. Those pineapple prints are everything! Them peacock patterns, too. (Out of the clothes, I really like the masculine button-down shirts, pleated skirts and throw-over jackets, etc.) Ooh, and Pune is where their production unit and studio is at, though the block printing happens in Ahmedabad and Jaipur. I think it would be an experience to accompany them on one of their travels to learn more about woodblock printing; or even perhaps, to take a tour of their production unit. (And finally! Okay, so while their cause is just, I do think the clothes are expensive; though I would like to order a JODI something at some point, perhaps at a time when I am more financially stable.) }


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes, and pictures by Anish Sarai

Funny Face

182 Funny Face

Okay, so there’s a special place in my heart reserved for handcrafted lovelies and their creators)! And the particular label I’m about to talk about, today – it’s called And Smile, by the way – is plenty adorable, equal parts colourful, dreamy and just overall, fantastic-al. I know I usually gush about everything I write about, here – you know, I can tell some of you might be like – Who’s to trust her, and her silly stories? But I love to write about all the labels and people I feel passionate about, and And Smile is another one of them!

A little London-based label brought to life by a sweet, whimsical girl by the name of Viktorija Semjonova; she crafts dainty jewellery, postcards (these are made on paper, d-uh) and other such accessories out of… SHRINK PLASTIC! Honestly, I never knew what it was, I had to look it up – From what I gathered over the interwebz, it’s somewhat of a durable plastic sheet that can be cut out and shaped into + painted over, et cetera. Because Viktorija’s illustrations primarily are of the water-colour variety, she uses the ones she makes originally and gets them replicated/printed over the shrink plastic, and such. I’ll have to ask her more about how she does what she does, one day! It’s all very exciting, and I love that her work consists of such colourful characters, they seem like they’re out of some great, big imaginary fairy tale book inside her head –  I wish I could take a stroll through her mind sometime, hehe.

Anyway, I was to write a little feature on her sometime last year but I got lazy, and lacked considerable motivation generally, forgot about it and then never wrote back to her again (ooh, and I discovered her through Instagram, if you must know – she used to be yellowfi but she calls herself by her shop’s name now – andsmilestudio, look her up!). But blah, blah, whatever… Fast-forward to a couple of months later, and I see all these deliciously, adorable pretty-people type LIMITED EDITION brooch pins she started selling on Etsy, and I knew then! I had to own one. They were just soooo me, so I chose Laura (she has got pink hair – and I’ve been wanting to get some highlights done for a long time now!) and Nika (she’s practically me but with beautiful teal hair and she likes Game of Thrones – which I sadly do not dig, as yet but she’s ME, I can totally see the resemblance.)!

This also marks my first order through Etsy (which reminds me, I ought to get an account sorted out for myself so that I can sell Rosecraft, there), and I should receive my order from Vik, soon. Okay, how much, right? Well, I paid $17.30 for each brooch pin (slightly expensive, but definitely not crazy) and it worked out to about Rs. 2,586.29 for both (including the shipping charges). All I have to do now, is wait for them to come home. They’re so cute, and I do hope they reach me safely. (I’m crossing my fingers!)


Artwork by Roanna Fernandes & Picture by Viktorija Semjonova

House of Parvati

178 House of Parvati

When it comes to odd and rustic finds (apart from my classic favourite – a word we call ‘vintage’), they have always held a special place in my heart. There’s just something magical about such places, they instantly draw you in with their collection of antiques, or perhaps their unspoken stories, and yes, it’s very much also when the owner is just as charming and passionate about the little store they take care of. As soon as I heard about Parvati Villa, I felt no different! The very moment I read about it last year, I made it my mission to hunt the store down and take pictures of everything. That didn’t happen in time, I broke my leg in between – and so I was finally able to visit the store, early this year.

Set further down the Colaba Causeway line and somewhere next to the Parsi Colony area, you’ll see this door. A door that opens to the most unusual finds! While I did take a lot of pictures at the store, and I mean, a lot – I still haven’t edited all of them and I hope to use them across my future posts or in a Facebook album – so watch out for that! For now, I hope my words are vivid enough to paint you picture. (I promise this won’t be long!)

Founded by Ileshaa Khatau (btw, she’s younger than me), Parvati Villa plays host to unheard of brands so you will be pleasantly surprised. There were one or two labels I had already heard of like Cirare by Akanksha Redhu and Niana by Leena Labroo. But the rest – ah, the rest – the merchandise comprises old perfume bottles (some vintage Chanel, too), beauty boxes, fashion accessories – like leather handbags and silk scarves, smoking slippers (there was a lovely pair of carmine red ones), scented candles (including a lotion candle; basically, you light the candle and can pour the wax on to your skin to use as a moisturizer – oh yes!) and some other odd objects for the home (think Mughalesque + ethnic). It’s a small store but in its own way, also huge – since it only recently opened, I expect to see a lot more cool labels and objects in the coming months.

P.S. Let me know if you visit the shop, and do tell me what you like about Parvati Villa – I would LOVE to know! Another thing, I love the name – I think that just says it all. The trishula (a three-headed spear) motif everywhere is very symbolic too – including on the door handle, and emblazoned over Ileshaa’s business cards. I love that!


Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes