stuff that should be mainstream but isn’t: part 4

I promise that this is the last instalment in the series. Like I said, the list grew beyond plan, and I’ve had a hard time whittling it down to the essentials.

I’ve also been battling academics and a bum tooth and learnt a few lessons in the process. Do not blog after a particularly intense study session. Your post will contain embarassingly large numbers of semi colons and exclamation points. Do not write when your face is numb with pain. You will post something stream-of-consciousness and cringe-inducing. So I’m writing this in the early AM to the sound of truck horns and the screech of bikers’ wheels as they race each other on empty roads.

Here’s part 4, the last part of Stuff That Should Be Mainstream But Isn’t. If you’re new to the blog, please do stop by parts 1, 2 and 3; these cover six (un)trends in all. Thanks for visiting!

7. Short Hair

For starters, I’m going to give this great Frank Zappa anecdote some female perspective, yo. Frank Zappa was a shaggylonghaired American dude who made sweet music, for which he posthumously received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, in ’97. This is what happened with him:

Interviewer- So Frank, you have long hair. Does that make you a woman?
FZ- You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table?

Now the Indian/ female version.

Smug Aunty At Wedding Reception- So Rohina, you have short hair now, hain? It is very much like IndiGo air hostesses- all are having the boy cuts and looking too much like boys, heh heh.

Me (in my head)- You have a mole on your face. It has sprouted exactly two hair and a personality. Does that make it cancer?

I am baffled at how high stakes the hair game is in this part of the woods. I hate that long hair is invested with notions of femininity, beauty, potency and fertility. I hate that shampoo commercials pitch their potions to us on the back of suspiciously long hair doing their seductive, slow-mo play with light. Argh.

In a world where our own hair is used against us (sample this Hillary Clinton quote- “If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.”) the least we can do is take charge of it and make it our own. Every summer, the Husband pleads with me to not get my hair chopped. Now his puppy eyes are the absolute worst– I have never been able to stand their loving watery sadness, and he’s shameless about taking advantage. He loves my hair long, but summers are hard on a long haired girl’s back-of-neck area, and I want to lessen the volume, get a breeze in. We argue a lot, and there’s a lot of making up involved (ahem) followed by more fighting, but I do get my way in the end. As every girl should. Your hair is yours, and if you want a pixie cut because Emma Watson, you simply should.

This is how I debuted my super short ‘do at my brother in law’s 2012 wedding-

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Credits- an amazing stylist at the Geetanjali Salon in Khan Market, whose name I wish I remembered. My hair is odd- when very dry, the bit in front of my earlobes turns into a single pointy curl that then rests brazenly on each cheek, like the ones drawn on Ram and Laxman’s for the Ram Leela. He chopped them off before I could blink. “I’m giving you an asymmetrical bob, okay? Not the short pixie you wanted. These will have to go.” And then, just as my Ram Leela curls fell to the floor, the Husband entered the salon. I will never forget the stricken look on his face. He loved those things.

8. Socks

Let’s face it, the last time you cared about socks was in school. For junior school, you had multiple grey/ white/ black/ dark green/ navy/ red/ maroon pairs that either left red welts on your calves or slumped limply at your ankles. For birthday parties, you had socks with frills, and ribbony bits and bobs. You matched, and you cared. And then the Great Disappearing began. They shrunk to ankle length in high school, hiding self consciously in the smelly well of your shoes. By the time college arrived, you were largely sock free bar the odd phys-ed day, or cold winter morning. And when you began work, you took to heels with a vengeance, and nary a sock was worn. It became its own truth- the proverbial Disappearing Sock.

Gah, you suckers! I was lucky to have gone to college at a time when wearing socks with floaters was du jour, and shopping for cheap toe-socks at the GK M block market was both an art and a science. Here is a picture of me sexing it up with granny-knit wool socks and floaters. The other three are my best friends, and they’re wearing socks too, I can assure you. We are a very sexy, sock-wearing foursome.

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The point is, socks are great. They keep your feet warm in the winter, your soles soft, and your skin from getting infected if you’re playing a sport or running. And with some strategizing you can incorporate them into your daily wear. I shop for mine at Footsy. They stock a lot of great designs and brands and are quick and efficient with delivery. My favourite brand on Footsy is Happy Socks- they’re based out of Sweden and make socks so stinkingly vibrant they can’t possibly disappear into the Washing Machine Black Hole that tears apart sock couples. Yes, they’re basically magic- they machine wash well, perk up the dullest outfit and make great gifts for loved ones. I gifted my brother in law some Limited Edition pairs and he quite liked them.

A while ago, Happy Socks collaborated with designer Manish Arora, and here’s the pretty outcome-

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I lusted after these pairs for a long time, finally deciding against buying them. Not because they were pricey- the price was justified because they were Limited Edition- but because my sock drawer is bursting at the seams.

These are my favourite designs from Footsy.

sockollage123

socollage234

sockollage456

On the runway, socks came into their own in 2009, when Alexander McQueen walked his male models down the ramp wearing (gasp!) socks with sandals. Opinion was divided, but the disruptive note he’d struck rung long enough for the trend to seep into womenswear. Soon, you had models doing their thing in socks and teetering platforms, a move that showed off their long, model-ly legs to perfection and got the design houses in question a lot of press. Shoemakers like Kirkwood used sheer, near-invisible socks to lend whimsy to their already fantastical creations, whereas concept designers like Yamamoto used the sock for continuity, as an extension of the garment itself. Dolce and Gabbana used the black lace sock to titillate, and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons melded shoe and sock into one witty object in a sly wink at this inexplicable trend.

From top to bottom-

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte, Spring Summer 2011

Yohji Yamamoto, Spring Summer 2009

Dolce & Gabbana Fall Winter 2012

Comme des Garçons

ss11rodartekirkwood

yohjiss09ithink

dngcollage2cmdfunny

Images from style.com

And that brings us to the end of this series. Thanks for being so patient! 🙂

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