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Wednesday, April 16

Say Yes To


No-Mad and I go way back. I still remember my conversations with Valerie and Anuj, about this splendid creative idea and vision they had, and I have been waiting with bated breath for the launch of this vision, the lifestyle brand: No-Mad. The wait has been worth it's while - No-Mad showcases, yet again, Valerie's brilliance as a designer and Anuj's enthusiasm as a creative entrepreneur. No-Mad products are quirky, they are contemporary, colorful and bright, elegant yet exuding a sense of comfort & familiarity. I can see the attention to design detail and the high standard of production quality from the images, and can't wait to feel that fine fabric and trace the intricate embroidery in person.

The driving force behind the products at No-Mad is India. India and it's culture, it's day to day objects, how people interact with these objects. Valerie has brought in an interesting viewpoint - creating products that are quintessentially Indian in nature, but using design inspiration from outside; Morocco specifically for the current collection of Red and Black. That's the reason why Valerie and Anuj like to call No-Mad, 97% Indian, with 3% (more or less :)) influence from outside India. Read more about their creative journey together right here.

With current collection of products ranging from pillow covers to bags, to poufs and 'moodas', specially formulated incense and candles, No-Mad is getting ready to launch a new color and more product lines. All products are shipped world wide and are available via No-Mad's online store

I already have my favorites wishlisted and as expected, the list runs long! It has to be for where else can we find the brilliance from India and Morocco together? No-Mad has hit the nail on the head with it's design philosophy and products. I am eagerly looking forward to what next the team at No-Mad conjures up!

Shop at No-Mad right here, and tell us what you love. :)

[Copyright - All Images: No-Mad. Creative storyboarding: An Indian Summer]

Tuesday, April 1

Visual Therapy

You know what it feels like when you lie down, and cover your eyes with soft cotton wool, soaked in cool rose water? You feel the coolness seep in, your breathing becomes calmer, your mind pauses it's constant chatter and gently, you relax. That's exactly what I feel when I soak in visual imagery. The calmness and aesthetics of beautiful images, speak and do more than words can, many a times.

So, after a tumultuous January, an unexpected February, a frenetic yet fun March, I decided to spend this first day of April, indulging in some visual therapy. I don't have a story to tell, a post to write or a message to convey. Just some 'cool' image collages I made, to inspire me, and to inspire you. 

Oh, and what is relaxation without music? 
Listen to this, as you stroll through the rest of the post
It's my current favorite piece of music to listen to :)

You have a good day/evening and a restful night tonight folks! :)

[Images from following tumblr blogs: 1, 2, 3, 4

Monday, March 24

From the Jaipur Art Festival

Artists, canvases and colors
Spring, sunshine and bonhomie
Art lovers, collectors and casual strollers
Art, sculptures and craft
All found at
The Jaipur Art Festival





The last day is tomorrow- March 25th!
Visit Diggi Palace if you are in Jaipur


Browse through the many pictures that I took at the festival, on facebook

And buy the available art work at Craftisan.in, the exclusive digital partners for the festival.

[All images: Me/An Indian Summer. Please credit and link back to this post if you use/share any]

Friday, March 21

Jaipur Art Festival

Is on!
From March 19th till 25th
At Diggi Palace, Jaipur

And I am here
In Jaipur
Today and tomorrow
To bring you the scoop
From the pen and the lens of 
An Indian Summer!

Stay tuned!

[Craftisan.in is the exclusive digital partner for Jaipur Art Festival. Find them on An Indian Summer, and On Facebook]

And then, I was in Singapore

Part Deux

Here we are again. Beginning of the post, and I don't know where to begin, what to say, what to skip, what not to miss. Spending the last few hours sorting and sifting though my stash of pictures from last week hasn't helped the cause much. I am back in Singapore, reminiscing the many streets, alleys, cafes, restaurants, galleries, shops, riverside, seaside, gardens - phew, all that I walked through. While pictures do tell a story, I have so much to share that I just have to sit you down and talk to you. So, hope you have your cup of coffee/tea/milk/whatever-your-heart-desires in place, and are sitting with feet tucked in, for here, my dear readers, is what I did last week, apart from the Design Week! 

When the fabulous team from MSL and The Singapore Tourism Board reached out to me with the invite for The Singapore Design Week, I knew that the trip and the agenda would be incomplete if I didn't experience and bring back the design and the vibe from the streets and neighborhoods of Singapore for you. As I shared my ideas with the team, they put together a comprehensive itinerary that really hit the nail on An Indian Summer's passionate spot. [Erm, it isn't meant to sound like the way it might be sounding. If you get what I mean, hush, move on, don't linger. There, read ahead]. This trip has me wanting for more [Ok, I give up. It's all in Your mind by the way!], and I can't wait to go back and revisit every nook and cranny again.

I absolutely love exploring and feeling the character of a city; the heart behind the steel and glass exterior. The streets that have a past and buildings that have a tale or two to tell. Talking to the locals, the young and the old, finding commonalities and discovering something new. Singapore particularly has such an interesting juxtaposition  of glitzy, modern, state-of-art architecture and traditional shop houses, stately old buildings reminiscent of Singapore's colonial past and beautiful old architecture and design influenced by the native country of origin of the early settlers. I fell in love with the louvered windows in China Town! And gasped at the gorgeous colorful facades in the Joo Chiat neighborhood. The art deco style in Tioang Bahru reminded me of parts of Bombay. The vibrancy of Haji Ali Lane took me back to the urban villages turned chic designer hubs in Delhi. The sprawling bungalows at Dempsey Hill had me doing quick mental calculation of how much one of those might cost, and then giving up mid way. [The calculation bit ie. Quick calculation is a misnomer in my case. Nothing is quick where numbers are involved. Time slows down considerably]  The pride with which residents maintain their heritage, their residential areas, the public spaces is commendable. It all adds to a city and a country which is very pleasing to the eye and easy on the aesthetes soul.


And then came the food! I wish and wish that I had a larger frame and a larger appetite - Singapore is truly an epicureans delight! And this coming from a non foodie, who craves home cooked meal the moment she steps out of her beloved country, goes to show that I not only noticed food for a change, but also enjoyed a variety of gourmet meals!  I have to admit that I was wildly distracted by how prettily the restaurants, cafes were done up; the wine glass was always in my hand to make space for the omnipresent camera on the table. From being served a specially cooked vegetarian Peranakan dinner at True Blue, a home dining establishment, to one of the best soup & salad (& dessert) lunches at The Black Swan, to the delicious nasi goreng at quirky Coastal Settlement, some good ol' Indian food at Earl of Hindh and well, fabulous stone bowls at Open Door Policy, and a bunch of other places. In almost all places, I could have sat for an hour or two easily, soaking in the ambiance and the decor.

Design - check marked. Architecture - check marked. Food - check marked. What about cats? You know that cats and I have a certain affinity and they invariably find a way on this blog of mine. Well they definitely found their way on this trip of mine! To make sure that I have uninterrupted supply of purrs, I spent an hour at the Cat Cafe in Boats Quay. And then, my favorite book shop so far in Singapore - Books Actually, had a cat AND books! What else can a woman ask for? Well many other things, but stay with me for now. Cats and books for us. Yaaay!

Boutique hotels, museums in homes, antique shops, cute little bookstores, indie designers and boutiques, chic cafes, cosy coffee houses, edgy pubs and bars, eclectic shopping, and and louvered windows...sigh! All and more on one island. I had a brilliant time discovering and exploring this facet of Singapore, hidden behind the many malls and high rises. I am already planning a trip back. You should too :)

As I mentioned, my little camera [little, my foot! it's heavy as a rock!] and I went berserk and clicked everything clickable, and more often than not, the not-so-usually-clicked. Check here on Monday, and you will be delighted [please do be delighted!] to see a fresh album with all the above pics independently and many more. More design, more cafes, more quaintness, more art, more craft and, more cats! Remember to visit me on facebook on Monday!

Part Uno of Singapore right here.

[All images: Mine/An Indian Summer. Please credit and link back to this post if you share or use]


Wednesday, March 19

Singapore Design Week

And we are back! 
After a whirlwind trip to Singapore
To experience the Singapore Design Week
At the invitation of Singapore Tourism Board

When so much, and so much good happens, you don't know where to start. In this case, I am overflowing with my experience with and immersion in good design, creative conversations, brilliant ideas and forms, immense talent, and some plain pure good aesthetics and the resultant products. It's a sheer pleasure to be surrounded by kindred creative folks and to talk to them about their inspiration and passion. Not to mention, truly beautiful products - I had to remind myself again and again that it's a B2B exhibition and that as much as I would like to, I can not shop and bring the oh-so-pretteh things home! I though did get a lot (A LOT) of photographs, insight into emerging design trends and memories of a week well spent.  

Singapore Design Week, organized by the DesignSingapore Council, is an annual conclave and exhibition of all that is good and promising in the world of design, and was held last week across different venues in Singapore. There were talks, discussions, exhibits, competitions, installations, awards, interactive forums for media and creatively inclined peeps, art works and fairs like the Maison & Objet Asia, International Furniture Fair and the multi-dimensional Singular Plural. It was heartening to see the support the entire event got from the local government and public agencies - goes to show how and why the design mindset permeates both public and private spaces at Singapore. The Design Week not only invited local designers, exhibitors and industry experts, but it also had a very good representation from South East Asian countries, along with other international designers.

As I walked and walked through miles of stalls and exhibits, I couldn't help but get drawn to the kind of design and style I prefer. But obvious that a large percentage of what I shot through the camera is something that you and I can together exclaim and sigh at. I could see the subtle influence of  the orient in some of the products designed by western designers and brands, as well as a contemporary bent in the products displayed by the South East Asian designers. A cause of joy was the omnipresent buzz of, and the visible conscious effort at sustainability. Reclaimed wood, recycled and upcycled products, organic fabric and materials ruled the roost. I also loved interacting with students and young designers - their designs had a sense of quirky, an element of humor, practicality without compromising the aesthetics and a feel good vibe. I could already envision many of them becoming well known in the industry in a matter of couple of years. It's good to know that the design future is in safe hands. 
[And right here is the place where I keep my walking cane by the side, and with trembling fingers type the last few sentences of this post. After placing 'the design future in safe hands', ofcourse! ;-)]

I can go on and on about the Design Week. From not knowing where to start the post to not knowing how to end the post! I think a good time for me to pull out the pictures and wave them in front of your face and say 'See see, my pictures from the Singapore Design Week'! Take a look at larger shots of images used in this post and some more right here. I had lofty plans of updating this album each day while I was there, but my loftiness would be so exhausted by the end of the very long day, that all we could do was cuddle in and sleep.  

And my favorite people, this is just Part Uno from Singapore! Tomorrow, I'll be back with tales of my sauntering through some lovely neighborhoods and cafes of Singapore. Stay tuned!

[Images: All mine/An Indian Summer. Please credit and link back to this post if you use/share]

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