Monthly Archives: February 2018

Lath Mar Holi – aka Holi gone Violent!

Standard

Holi – the celebration of spring, the festival of colors originating in India is the festival that signifies good over evil as well as the welcoming of spring.  For many, it is a festive time to meet others, play, laugh, forget and forgive, repair broken bonds and spread happiness and positive vibes.

Different regions in India, as well as the diaspora, like to add their own unique twist to this colorful festival. Lath Mar Holi is a celebration in the towns of Barsana and Nandgaon, which are near Mathura in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This celebration takes place days before actual Holi.

Screenshot_20180228-143731

Lath Mar Holi translates loosely into something like “the hitting sticks Holi ” – A LATH/Lathi is a thick traditional type of stick. Mar (I think it should be spelled in English like MAAR, because Mar means to die) means to hit. You get me..

Screenshot_20180228-150754

According to legend, Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha’s village on this day and playfully teased her and her friends (*insert eye roll* Siiggghhhhhhh!).

Screenshot_20180228-161251

Don’t even think about messing with me, Krish!!! I’m warning you….

The women of Barsana, taking offense to this, chased him away. 

Screenshot_20180228-153216

I don’t think much has changed in this day and age!

Keeping this tradition alive, the men from Nandgaon visit Barsana each year – and each year the women of Barsana await them, Lathi in hand! 

Screenshot_20180228-152511

(It’s like they never get it!)

Screenshot_20180228-144654

Screenshot_20180228-153430

The men try to shield themselves as much as they can while the ladies attack them with the sticks – hahahah!

Screenshot_20180228-145025

don’t mess with me, homie!

Screenshot_20180228-145003

Screenshot_20180228-153408

The unlucky ones are captured and then are forced wear female clothing and dance in public. (*I need that one emoji*)

Screenshot_20180228-145102

Screenshot_20180228-144635

Screenshot_20180228-153226

 

The festivities are held in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple in Barsana, which is said to be the only temple in the country that is dedicated to Goddess Radha.

Screenshot_20180228-145618

Screenshot_20180228-144732

Thousands gather to witness the festivities and watch the men get beat up by the women! And let me tell you, like any desi party, the crowd getssssss hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shouting out for their team!! Sri Radha vs Sri Krishna. It’s insane! It’s so insane, the women of Barsana start preparing a month in advance.

Screenshot_20180228-153039

Screenshot_20180228-152523

Screenshot_20180228-153355

Holi is one of the largest festivals in India. In general, it signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and the end of winter. People typically throw kaleidoscopes of colored powder/water at each other playfully.

Screenshot_20180228-153121

Screenshot_20180228-153426

Screenshot_20180228-153402

Growing up in the US, I have fond memories of DANCE PRACTICE for Holi shows in school and within the community.  I used to do choreographed dances on stage for functions, as I think most kids in my generation did.

I hope you have a very kaleidoscopically colorful, joyous Holi – and ladies, please don’t go chasing any men with sticks – you most likely are not in Barsana and we have laws here! 🙂 HAPPY HOLI!

Screenshot_20180228-153927

-Karen Bahri

 

Advertisements

Raja Sapra – Changing the Face of Fashion

Standard
Raja Sapra – Changing the Face of Fashion

It was a gloomy Thursday and I was on the train scrolling through my Instagram, when I ran across a post that people kept reposting and reposting. The post read basically as followed:

Screenshot_20180225-135712

And if you saw the pics attached to this message – they were pretty cringe…let me show you:

 

I don’t want to get too involved in the politics but as a proud Punjabi, I do have to say shame on you Gucci. Quite a disappointment.

Anyways I had to reach out to the person who created this post. This post that spread worldwide on social media to create awareness on this topic. I actually did not expect a reply, but I actually got a very appreciative and kind message back from Raja Sapra. From there I got the opportunity to learn about this amazingly ambitious British Asian lad making his mark in the world of fashion!

Screenshot_20180223-214818

Screenshot_20180223-215051

Screenshot_20180223-214710

I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with the young, hip, stylish Raja Sapra who is an extremely bright and talented fashion blogger/influencer and model based out of London.

He began blogging about fashion on his own about a year ago. He would go out and purchase his own clothing and created his own photo shoots. He then would post them on his Instagram and would tag the brands. One bright, blue sunny day in the month of June, NEW LOOK approached him – and just like that he got signed for a year! Go on to their Instagram page (newlook_men) and check him out!

Screenshot_20180223-215424

Screenshot_20180223-214857

Screenshot_20180223-215018

If you take a look through his Instagram photos, he is always creating fresh, creative, unique photos, not only in London but also in various locations he carefully picks out all throughout the UK. You will notice that he has put an effort into keeping his content unique and consistent, which is why his content stands out!

Screenshot_20180223-215534

Screenshot_20180223-215158

Screenshot_20180223-215212

Screenshot_20180223-215444

Something Sapra should be proud about is he was literally the only Sikh at London Fashion Week this year! I do hope that changes in the future and more people of all faiths, colors, and backgrounds walk the ramps, but it’s a big deal for Raja and his journey and it’s definitely a big deal for our entire Punjabi community! He’s done shoots for many major brands in the UK such as River Island, Moss Bros, New Look, Primark etc!

Screenshot_20180223-214722

Screenshot_20180223-214948

Screenshot_20180223-215237

During LFW, he took over the Instagram stories of Moss Bros on day one, day two he walked the ramp for New Look, and for the rest of fashion week he was invited to numerous shows.

Screenshot_20180223-215521

Screenshot_20180223-215412

Screenshot_20180223-215638

He’s accomplished a lot in 22 years of age with the support of his family. He has a bright future ahead and hopes to one day be an ambassador for the British Fashion Council! I am sure he will achieve this and much more as he has a very positive energy and spirit!

Screenshot_20180223-215615

Raja, continue what you are doing and remember to put yourself first. You are already successful but your future looks so bright! Keep making our community proud!

Jump on the gram and check out his page @iamsapra

He also has a fun blog filled with tons of mens fashion and will soon be adding a travel section: http://iamsapra.co.uk

ALSO!!!! I am very excited to ANNOUNCE that RAJA SAPRA will be the OFFICIAL INFLUENCER at INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEK AMSTERDAM!!! He will also be modeling. We are very honored to have him be apart of our efforts to CHANGE THE FACE OF FASHION, and broaden peoples minds in a positive way using Fashion! Keep looking out for more updates on the show at IFWAmsterdam on Instagram and STAY TUNED!!!!!

-Karen Bahri 

 

When plans of a joyful Fun Park turns Eerie…

Standard

I wish I discovered this around Halloween time – Although, any time of the year is a great time for a ghost story 🙂

Picture this : An empty castle, unfinished rides and an eerie fountain that still runs…

Screenshot_20180223-230348

Screenshot_20180223-232539

There is an amusement park” nestled in a remote region of the Philippines. Initially created to bring over some Disneyland magic into the Philippines when it was built in 2001. But – it was never finished…

Screenshot_20180223-230331

Screenshot_20180223-230359

Screenshot_20180223-231020

Named Fantasy World and located on a hill overlooking the countryside of a town called Batangas, which is a four-hour drive from Manilla.

Screenshot_20180223-231415

It was once owned by a Japanese businessman who was forced to abandon construction when he ran into financial troubles. Its grounds are now maintained by a homeowner’s association.

Screenshot_20180223-231310

Screenshot_20180223-231340

Screenshot_20180223-230353

The park contains what would have been a beautiful medieval style castle; now empty with the walls somewhat peeling off. There is also a large central fountain and rides, currently of various faded colors, standing still surrounding the park.

Screenshot_20180223-230519

Screenshot_20180223-231441

Screenshot_20180223-231452

One of the highlights of the park is actually creaky, creepy treehouse with a spiral staircase wrapped with vines.

Screenshot_20180223-230525

Screenshot_20180223-231423

There were big dreams for this park! Maybe one day it will come alive again – until then, it’s great for the spook-lovers; and interesting enough, the park IS open to visitors for a small fee. The lawns are kept perfectly manicured and lush in a somewhat ghostly fashion.

Screenshot_20180223-231436

Screenshot_20180223-230343

 

-Karen Bahri

 

Thunyatorn – Thai Dress at NYFW

Standard
Thunyatorn – Thai Dress at NYFW

I attended another show last week close to Bryant park. The show was split into two parts with various designers from across the country as well as the globe. The first half, to be brutally honest, was not very interesting. The second half kept getting better and better! The thing that sucked though was I forgot my charger at home that day, and since I have the google phone, I can’t even borrow anyones charger!! So by the end of the night when all these amazing designs were on the runway I was like UGHHHH lol.

img_20180214_173516.jpg

img_20180214_181728.jpg

I sat next to these beautiful women from the Thailand Fashion Show. One of them is a journalist for Thai Media based out of Philadelphia. Not only were they beautiful, they were soo nice and soo funny!! We were definitely on the same page and I really enjoyed the show with them!

IMG_20180214_175134

They had been invited to the show as their good friends sister was a designer showcasing her collection that evening. I figured it was going to be good, because traditional Thai outfits are beautiful! Every designer from Thailand I have seen in the past has had a lovely, glamorous collection – but this segment really set the energy up for the show!!! They has dancing, romancing, gold and glamour!! It was Valentines day so they had a very special “couple” on stage do a cute little proposal act/dance number.

Screenshot_20180220-073509

Romancers

Screenshot_20180220-074229

Dancers

I got a chance to meet their friend and the designer after the show, and all of them were very, very sweet. It’s that Asian hospitality. Such sweet, humble people! According to Thunyatorn, the designer, the show was strategically on Valentines day due to it’s “love and wedding” theme.

img_20180214_210527.jpg

img_20180214_210338.jpg

Screenshot_20180220-073539

img_20180214_210605.jpg

The goal and mission she is looking to achieve with her collection is to make Thai dress designs popular globally. What she meant here is that she want make their designs more well known, so anyone from different countries can be exposed and fall in love with Thai designs. She wants people internationally to wear them not limited or only to Asian people. This is the first time she’s added a western touch, therefore to not make Thai style as intimidating to westerners.

Screenshot_20180220-073125

Screenshot_20180220-073315

Screenshot_20180220-073528

Screenshot_20180220-073208

Thunyatorn started her business in 2009 as soon as she moved to New York City. At that time, she provided bridal make-up and hair-styling for most Thai people in the NYC area, just as a hobby.

Screenshot_20180220-073632

Screenshot_20180218-135727

Thunyatorn imports her materials straight from Thailand and makes them fit for people here in the US. She works very hard and her creations prove just that!

Screenshot_20180220-073028

Screenshot_20180220-073556

Screenshot_20180220-073602

*All (well, all except 3!) photography credit goes to Hideki Aono. Find him on Instagram: Hideki.aono.lifestyle – once you find him there, you will notice he has 4 other pages 🙂 follow them all!

-Karen Bahri

Vibrant India at NYFW!

Standard
Vibrant India at NYFW!

It’s been CRAZY busy with NYFW this past week!!! I attending some amazing shows and met some fabulous people! Very exciting!!! One of my favorite shows (to nobody’s surprise lol) was the London School of Trends “Vibrant India”. The show was held on Sunday, February 11th at Pier59 Studios on Chelsea Piers.

IMG_20180211_193041

Here is a description of each collection, to give you some background. I appreciate how they described the collection utilizing strengths within our rich culture. ❤

img-20180216-wa0015-e1518840747526.jpg

Oh by the way, major reason we attended was a friend of mine was walking the runway! So exciting to see more brown people walk during NYFW!!

img_20180211_193626.jpg

Ayyye!! I know you!

London School of Trends is a premier fashion school with over two decades of rich experience in the fashion and design industry. LST has close associations with institutions globally and exclusively with INIFD (International Institution of Fashion) in Asia. Therefore, they take extra care to reach out to the candidates of foreign origin and ensure that they get the best fashion training that a city like London has to offer.

img_20180211_193213.jpg

img_20180211_193248.jpg

IMG_20180211_193417

img_20180211_193509.jpg

img_20180211_193558.jpg

img_20180211_193607.jpg

Capturing the spirit of India with students coming from diverse backgrounds, they created 60 excitingly vibrant garments, including both women’s and menswear, that reflected their own personal narratives while being inspired by the great city of New York!

img_20180211_193827.jpg

img_20180211_194336.jpg

IMG_20180211_194409

img_20180211_194424.jpg

img_20180211_194719.jpg

Vibrant India speaks to the movement, weaves, draping, and all that is unique about Indian textiles. Vibrant colors with rich deep hues and fabrics reflect a one-of-a-kind craftsmanship that makes India a powerhouse source for fashion and goods.

Something I really have to mention is how much I loved the hair and makeup! Such vibrant eye makeup, even on the men!! And some of the hairstyles were absolutely stunning!

IMG_20180211_194739

img_20180211_195535.jpg

img_20180211_195730.jpg

img_20180211_200231.jpg

I think before watching the show, I expected to see a bit more traditionally ethnic attire – like a sari, or kurta etc. None of that was there. What WAS there, as I stated above was the textiles, the colors and craftsmanship. You could see these styles worn by modern Indians in trendy cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. The collection was modern, trendy and fresh for todays desi fashionista!

img_20180211_195835.jpg

img_20180211_195840.jpg

To check out more of the collection, look me up on Instagram: karenskaleidoscope

Also, we gotta support more Indians in the fashion world, especially here in the US, so go follow and support my friend Vish Singh, who was modeling in the show. His Instagram is: iamvish_

Now here are just some fun, random pics backstage!

IMG_20180211_202359

screenshot_20180216-004359-e1518838603494.png

PhotoGrid_1518671611606

PhotoGrid_1518671640885

Umm, yeah – the next set of photos – you know every crew of girls does this – 57 shots of the same pic – maybe a couple different poses but basically the same, but only the girls IN the shot see huge, massive differences in each photo, that nobody else can even see (guys be like “but all these 57 pics are the EXACT SAME, while girls are like “Are you blind?? They are all SOO different!!” hahahah) C’est la vie!

PhotoGrid_1518826002575

PhotoGrid_1518825731323

Screenshot_20180216-224416

Screenshot_20180216-224426

Screenshot_20180216-224459

-Karen Bahri

And the winner of the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017 goes to….

Standard

…drumroll…

JUMERIRAH VITTAVELI, MALDIVES!!!

Screenshot_20180204-165600

Screenshot_20180204-173101

Screenshot_20180204-173114

The 11th edition of the awards took place at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Jumeirah Vittaveli was named the 2017 Global Hotel of the Year. Winners are based on the votes of 300,000 travellers who were invited to vote for their favorite luxury hotel over a four-week period.

 

Screenshot_20180204-173029

Screenshot_20180204-173042

Screenshot_20180204-173305

Located a speedy 20-minute speedboat ride from Malé, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers supreme diversity and subtle luxury. The resort comprises 89 villas and suites each with their own swimming pool and direct access to the beach or lagoon.

Screenshot_20180204-173245

Screenshot_20180204-173208

Screenshot_20180204-173336

The resort provides extensive leisure and wellness facilities. One of the highlights is an award-winning Talise Spa, offering Asian inspired treatments in a lush, garden setting.

Screenshot_20180204-173807

Screenshot_20180204-174000

Screenshot_20180204-174031

The most amazing accent about the spa is that the team produces their own island-made 100% pure Coconut Oil! This luxurious oil is utilized in select signature treatments and available for purchase at the spa boutique. They also offer Coconut Oil making demos!

Screenshot_20180204-174216

Screenshot_20180204-174404

Screenshot_20180204-174437

The resort also offers complimentary bicycles, fitness center, kids club, yoga areas and four exquisite restaurants, a pool bar as well as a beachside cocktail lounge.

Screenshot_20180204-173454

Screenshot_20180204-173515

Screenshot_20180204-173619

All these amenities are great additions to the already naturally gorgeous atmosphere surrounding you on this beautiful island!

Screenshot_20180204-173703

screenshot_20180204-173646.png

Screenshot_20180204-174417

 

-Karen Bahri