The Beginning: Anniversary BlogPost

Hey Family!

Fair Disclaimer:
This is not a thank you post. This is not even a blog filled with gratitude. Well it is filled with gratitude. My whole life is! But this blog is just me trying to track down my journey and figure out how blogging began for me. So if you’d like to track it down with me, you are very welcome on Planet Inaaya! (:

Laying on my bed with my eyes wide open, I stare at the ceiling fan and wonder “When did it start?” “How?” “Why?” Let’s go back to the beginning maybe:

A five year old sketches Alice from her bedtime story book and writes a little note for her mother before sliding it under the door of her mother’s locked bedroom and tip toes outside the house to play. 

An eight year old asks for permission from her father if she can read the Harry Potter books he got for her elder brother and ends up writing her first fantasy story.

At age fourteen, she writes about her first love and at sixteen, her first heartbreak.

Let’s fast forward to age 18:

Although writing has always been a part of who I am, the journey from writing in my diaries and school note books to writing on the internet was a long one. 2011, December is when my first piece of writing made it to the internet while I’d been writing for as long as I can remember! Poetry, short stories, notes to my loved ones, diary entries-all of it has been a part of my daily life indicating that I have always been using the pen to jot down my emotions.

Anyhow, 2011 was when a personal blog (www.loveforinaya.wordpress.com) was started with the hope of writing a book. Isn’t that how most teenagers who can pass an English essay test think? “I can write half decent so I will be a writer one day.” It is easier said than done, though. I was no different. (By the way, if you are still reading this and haven’t run to the immature blog link of an 18 year old I mentioned above, please know that I am grateful!)

For me, writing and sketching have always been therapeutic because I would end up taking out my anger, frustration, happiness, breakdowns and sadness on pieces of papers and then forget about them. It was a creative distraction, you could say. However, writing about fashion did not happen until I joined my alma mater, NIFT Mumbai. It was here that the bug to write about current fashion trends bit me and this is where the journey truly began. The journey of discovering a whole different profession altogether: Fashion Blogging. This is where in depth research for a mere college article sowed the seed of fashion blogging in me. The year was 2012. The article was titled “The Rise of Fashion Bloggers”. I remember being mocked by one of the jury members who was definitely not from the digital era. She told me “You should have titled your article “The Rise and Fall of Fashion Bloggers” because this monkeying around in crazy clothes will not last for long. People will switch back to traditional media soon enough.” I wish I could see her face now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Instagram has taken over the fashion industry and the very same fashion bloggers are ruling the industry! Anyhow, that one snide comment did not dampen my spirits or belief in this new found passion. And while I continued reading and following international bloggers, I also knew that I won’t start with a Fashion Blog until I am able to give it my 100 percent. With college and being the nerd kid that I was, I decided to concentrate on my education first. For some reason, I always knew that I would do this later and it could wait. It was thus in September 2015 (three months after graduating) that I mustered the courage to finally come in front of the camera and talk about my personal fashion style. I haven’t looked back since. Well I lied. I have looked back. But only to see how far Inaaya has come! ๐Ÿ™‚

It would be unfair if I said I did it all on my own because I couldn’t have and I didn’t do it either. I had help at every point in my life. I was blessed to have the support of a family that believed more in me than the community we come from, my friends who pushed me every time I faltered, and you, my readers, for always loving me for who I am. It’s been two years since this journey started and it deserves to be acknowledged because today we are a family larger than I’d ever expected and more beautiful than I could ever ask for. 

My heart fills with a fuzzy blanket kinda warmth and my eyes are getting all teary as I type this:

With Love,

Inaaya

Skirt: instagram.com/inaayandco

Photos: Rushabh Shah

Next Top Model with AXN

Hey family!

Here’s a little throwback to when I was 16. Just like any other girl living in Assam with no access to cellphones or video games, my only source of entertainment was either playing out in the fields or watching television at home. And hence I grew up like that. But in my teens, I do remember this craze for a lot of fashion related reality shows that were picking up and just like that, one of those shows took centre stage in my life: Next Top Model. 

If you aren’t aware about the Next Top Model, or NTM, let me first begin by giving you a gist about the show. 

NTM is a fashion themed reality television series and interactive competition organised in over 120 countries world wide. The crux of the show is that a number of aspiring models compete for the title of “America’s Next Top Model” and a chance to begin their career in the modeling industry. Like every other reality show, it has challenges in every episode and eliminations based on the performances of the girls. I absolutely love the series and the challenges that are thrown at them. So well, when AXN called me to be a part of a glamorous makeover by industry experts and feel like an absolute diva for a day, (just how they do in the show!) I was running in their direction, grinning ear to ear! Imagine getting super model make up and hair plus donning pretty shoes by Steve Madden while you are being taken in chauffeur driven cars to the venue: Yes, that’s the life. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jean Claude Biguine got their hands dirty to give me the ultimate diva experience with some dark kohl smeared smokey eyes with a subtle mouth. Considering I have front fringes, we went for a clean poker straight look which I absolutely loved and one that complimented my outfit really well. The event was started with Khushi introducing us to the new trailer of Next Top Model and after we were done gushing over it (!), we had a professional photoshoot done with banners and the whole works! Talk about a dream come true experience.

Well, I may not be a model or even remotely the size or the part, but this activity just made me feel like one for a day and I am so thankful AXN got in touch with me for the same. While I know it is no easy task being a model, playing dress up for a day was nevertheless a fun experience. My love for the show has escalated to a whole different level as I watch it religiously every Mon-Fri 9pm and I can only ask you to watch it too! You will be hooked even before you realise it. Anyhoo, I’ll see you guys soon.

With Love,

Inaaya

 

Saree Genda Phool.

Saree has been my absolute go-to look when I have nothing exceptional to wear. Right from when I was two or three, I remember quite distinctly that I would wear all of Maa’s new sarees. She would fold them in half and knot the end to my tummy which would give the 3 year old me a pregnant belly but I couldn’t be happier about it! It was a happy kind of belly.

Over the years, my love for sarees has only grown and the admiration I have for this nine yards of wonder has helped me wear this versatile cloth in innumerous ways. Whether it is with a shirt or an off shoulder top, a body suit or with suspenders, as a dhoti or as a skirt: the possibilities are immense and you guys know that I have tried them all! It is a skinny girls sexy quotient and a chubby one’s delight. It hides your flabs like no other piece of clothing and yet somehow manages to make you look pretty.

I am not in the best of shape right now. With about 20 lbs extra on my body than I had last year around this time, this is a rather chubby version of me that I don’t like as much. And well sarees come to my rescue in this scenario.

However even after wearing sarees in all textures and styles, I have always shied away from a lot of bright colours. So for this look I tried challenging myself and trying something new. I got this saree from Flipkart and decided to give it an inแธo-western look. To keep my tummy and the love handles (that I don’t love as much) in place, I decided to wear a black off shoulder body suit. The black actually neutralises the otherwise over empowering orange and helps me keep the look edgy and not too loud. I tried balancing the desi and the videshi with the right styling and accessories. So while the earrings and the nath is really desi and traditional, the choker on an off shoulder top instead of a blouse was my way to balance it out.

Also did someone say gajras? For this look, I ditched the norms and opted for a marigold flower garland instead. I love how the yellow of the marigold is actually complimenting the orange in the saree, thanks to the black off shoulder!

You can select from a vast range of bright sarees on Flipkart and play with the styling to create a look which is a hint of videshi with a lot of desi. 

With Love,

Inaaya

Summer. Stripes.

“Inaaya hadn’t slept well for the last few weeks. The setting of the sun haunted her every night.  It reminded her of dark, cold empty chambers of her heart she didn’t want to visit. She struggled to sleep. The darkness around her was too overbearing. All she could think of was the loneliness that surrounded her. She wasn’t used to sleeping alone. The night whispered into her ears and her deepest fears started to creep in. There was anxiety. And then there was fear. She tossed and turned all night long and walked the empty corridors of nowhere in her dreams only to realise that light was not at the end of the tunnel: the light was within her. She was always alone. Everyone is. But she had herself atleast. And this was enough to ignite a spark and guide her back home. At least for the time being. In her heart she knew, this was the beginning of the end. Inaaya had never felt this way before. But she kept going in hope of making it work. She did not understand a simple fact that sometimes things aren’t meant to fall in place. Sometimes they are just supposed to not work out. And that is the beauty in them… she was to discover that soon though. The emptiness in her heart was a cavity not willing to fill itself. She struggled to keep the pieces intact. She struggled to smile and yet she did. She still looked up at life and smiled in the face. She was desperate, anxious, depressed even, but she wasn’t a quitter. But she knew deep down that the smile was a mask only for the world. Beneath it all, she crumbled. Silently. (: Everyday. Did it matter, though? Not really, she sighed. I’d brought this upon myself. I deserve eternal damnation for what I have done. For what I have lost, she whispered. 

If my stories are depressing you, let me know and I promise to stop. It is just easier this way. Coming here and writing my deepest thoughts and fantasies. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyhoo, hoe are you guys doing? How is summer coming along? It is freaking 42 degree Celsius in Ahmedabad and I am boiling every minute. The heat is just too over bearing! But that is all the more reasons to post good summer looks, no? This one here is inspired by the striped trend which is not going out of fashion anytime soon. The skirt is actually something I stitched myself. I am very proud of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

What is on me:

  • Top: H&M
  • Skirt: Self-stitched
  • Watch: Daniel Welligton
  • Bag: Lavie
  • Shoes: H&M

With love,

Inaaya

Vintage Summer Vibes

Hola family!

With vacations fast approaching, we are all looking for places we can head out to and explore. I am sure a lot of us would have our Pinterest wanderlust boards in place. Also the new Instagram feature for saving pictures in different boards doesn’t help either ๐Ÿ™‚ I แธig that new feature and have made twenty some boards already! (Just Kidding!)

But the point is, if you can travel, great. No one would be happier than me! But if for whatever reasons you cannot get time out just how I can’t, let me share something I do to make myself feel better: I read.
Cliche as it may sound, books transport you to another world all together. Its magical how mere pages with ink on them can take you to a different space. While growing up The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton used to have that effect on me. They would give me an adrenaline rush each time an adventure would start. I would be Anne sometimes and George on other nights but I would love reading them. Reading helps you evolve. It helps you grow worldly wise. So read, my dear. This is a fashion blog but not all bloggers are dumb hangers you know? Some of us have brains too. And I happen to be an academically sound one. So yes you can discuss your favourite books with me. My all time favourite (other than the HP series , duh) is Shantaram and The Book of Tomorrow. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Coming to fashion: What am I wearing? I love dresses. I cannot stress enough on how convenient and functional they are. But this one holds a special place because it is a pastel mint with polkas: an absolute eye candy for a retro era lover like yours truly!
Anyhoo, the dress is my recent summer purchase and if you have seen my recent haul on summer shopping with Maa you’d know exactly what I am talking about ๐Ÿ™‚

I think the colour is perfect for a day look and the tan wedges just make life so comfortable (and tall) for me. The floral choker gives the right hint of summer vibe to this look and since the neckline is a little low, I took the liberty to team it up with some layered gold pieces.

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Outfit details:

  • Dress: H&M
  • Heels: Steve Madden
  • Choker: Shein
  • Necklace: H&M
  • Watch: Daniel Wellington
  • Book: The Heiress by Jude Deveraux 

 

 

 

With Love,
Inaaya

 

  • Picture Credits: Rushabh Shah, The Tilted Lens
  • Location Courtesy: Mumbai Vibes

Spring is here

“Her smile was real.

She felt it too.

The muscles didn’t ache as much.

Her heart didn’t feel as heavy.

The laughter reached her eyes.

Today she smiled from within.”

The days had been dragging endlessly for Inaaya. From dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn, the dates would change, the clock would tick and yet nothing would really change. For her atleast. But today? Today was something different. She felt it too. The shine in her hair, the glimmer in her eyes, the bounce in her steps, the smile on her lips: why of course! Spring had arrived. And how! The mundane grey days were coming to a close as the sun shone handsomely and lit up her very soul. She laughed like a little girl and felt herself coming to life again. “I can leave them behind for sometime.” She thought to herself as her worries started to creep up again. “I can be myself for a bit.”

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Outfit details:

  • Top: Wooplr
  • Skirt: Forever 21 Contemporary
  • Shoes: Steve Madden
  • Barrett: Came as a gift ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Watch: Daniel Wellington

Picture Credits: Rushabh Shah, The Tilted Lens

With Love,

Inaaya

Kurta Skirts = Shadi Ready Ft. Flipkart

Hello Love!

I believe you guys know by now that yours truly is a Fashion Expert for Flipkart! If not, now you know. To begin with, the last couple of weeks have been crazy for me and I have been off the radar for a while, but I had a lot going on and I am so glad I’ve had you all by my side.:)

To make up for the lost time, this month I took it upon myself to make sure you guys are ready for the wedding season and we all know the most important part of any wedding is dressing up(!). Just kidding (not)!

Well, jokes apart, I have a really interesting way of dressing up for weddings which is both practical and socially acceptable (No, we are not wearing Pajamas!) and is also something that looks good: Kurta Skirt Sets! They are honest to god, number one on my list of to-wear-outfits for a friend’s mehendi or a cousin’s haldi. They are easy breezy, they are fun and did I mention absolutely chic? If you have a tummy like how I do, or are not really comfortable wearing short cholis and blouses, kurtas are your answer.
If on a budget, you can mix and match your kurtas and skirts but if you are not really sure about what would go best with what, Flipkart has a whole bunch of options you can pick and choose from.

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Coming to the styling bit, to style my kurta skirt set, I kept it really minimal and just wore my mom’s oxidized silver earrings, anklets and a cuff. With short hair, there’s only so much you can do hence I just tied them half up. I tried keeping my make up really basic and fresh since the look was more suited for a day event. Oh also, kurta skirt sets have been trending on Flipkart, and you can find yours there too!
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Until next time.
With Love,
Inaaya