Here is a very special post from Kolkata a city where you are actively encouraged to stop strangers at random for a quick chat.
We really admire Antara’s fascination for Indian handlooms , how confident she looks in anything she wears and how she carries any saris or dress with such elan.
Over to Antara Majumder to share her story …
I am student of English Literature and a journalist based in Kolkata, who just loves to sing, paint, click and travel! My Instagram feed is a testimony to that. Friends say, I have a crazy streak in me! And my first brush with fashion happened almost like a crazy epiphany. It hit upon me just a year back, while working on a story at that point of time for my newspaper. It was about Kolkata’s young independent designers, their love for handloom and the need to save a tradition.
I was introduced to the feel of handwoven fabrics, their textures, their intricate designs…they excited me! I chose not to wear anymore of machine-made clothes that were just replicas of one another, without character, without flourish. During the whole span of 26 years I’ve been treading this part of the planet, I’ve never felt this confident about how I look, what I wear and how they narrate a story. It’s just a world of possibilities with handloom, and I’m really thankful about that!
I love the city I live in, and my sensibilities or appreciation for all things beautiful is born out of that love. Kolkata is all about warmth, music, photographs, romance, books, nostalgia for the present, because here the present speaks volumes of the past and its memories are revered like an old family member…
My sartorial choices are also hugely influenced by my love for all things ‘Bangali’— Bengali literature, theatre, cinema (not all, to be honest), food, conversations, streets, avenues, buildings, their names and of course, the people whose hearts beat with the city…vibrant, throbbing with life, thick with emotions! Even when I say, I’m
romantically involved with the city, I would love to point out, Kolkata never limits your love. It makes you go beyond; you can love your Rosogolla and still appreciate crème brûlée, you can quote Tagore randomly and carry your copy of Wasteland about town. You can wear your heart on your sleeve and still won’t be judged for that! Everywhere I go, I always try to take a bit of Kolkata with me, wear its smell, busk in its colours
Here is my list of favorite dresses :
Patchwork dress: I got the patchwork piece of fabric from one of the amazing Khadi shops in Kolkata. It’s no secret that they have the best handwoven materials one can wish for! I wore the dress with a mirror-work waistband bought from a street shop, and opted for a paper-made pair of earrings for more quirky effect. For me, it’s the perfect outfit for a brunch with friends…or probably a chilled out bong style ‘adda’ over at someone’s den!
Jacket over Dress: I have a constant need to be non mainstream, to the point of behaving wacky at times! So this was actually a salwar-suit set material which I got from a local shop called Sriniketan. The tailor was a bit baffled as I asked him to make a long dress from the salwar piece, and a jacket from the fabric meant for the kameej! Instead of a proper salwar-kameej ensemble. But he made it anyway, and gladly so! This is how I dressed for a reception party last month. With just a statement tribal beaded neck piece bought online . That completed my look for that evening.
Matka silk dress: Again a Khadi-buy. From another outlet in the city. They have brilliant collection of silk materials. I got this matka silk fabric there and as I ran my fingers on it, they glided like on a slab of butter! I intended to wear it on a romantic date night and the effect was as desired. I was flooded with compliments and it made my day! I got the earrings from Jabong.com, which matched pretty with the blue undertones of the outfit.
Screen print jacket: The dress was bought long back. I wanted to do something different with it, a nice twist of some sort. So I teamed it up with this multicolured screen print jacket my tailor made for me. The fabric was bought from online and as I hoped, it went perfectly with the dress. The necklace is a gift from a friend, and the pair of glasses borrowed from another, who was actually behind the lenses!
Southcotton Sari: It was just another day at office and I was in a mood to dress up! And like any bong woman, I have a weakness for sarees. This one was borrowed from a friend who insisted I would look good draped in it. I tried on a pair of gold plated silver earring to go with the saree. A dear colleague offered to click!
Bengal Taant: This is from my mother’s wardrobe, which is more dominated by beautiful cotton saris. The pretty combination of green and yellow, set against a vibrant sunny day called for a happily done picture taking session! The blouse is actually a crop-top by the way! Made by the same tailor. I got the fabric from good-old Khadi. The neckpiece is from this stunning little shop at Shantiniketan (Bolpur), where you can actually create and craft your own accsessories!
Cotton Handloom: This was bought from a city boutique Bornomala. Their beautiful, contemporary collection of saris can floor anyone! I wore this exquisite magenta and orange combination set off by a Fab India mustard yellow cotton top for a quite evening get together. I bought the red beaded necklace from a street shop.
Anklet : It was a gift from a very close friend. She got it from a shop called Aranya, here in Kolkata. I wore it with a long kurta (fabric bought from Khadi, as usual) that has a same colour scheme as the piece of jwellery. A rolled up green jeans made the look nice and casual. Office-wear with a twist!
For more style inspiration from Antara follow her on Instagram here