Autumn Love

“In a crooked little town, they were lost and never found.

Fallen leaves, fallen leaves, fallen leaves, on the ground

New off springs that were once blooming and flying with the wind in their brightest of greens are suddenly all over the ground, under my feet, wherever I walk. Withered. Some already turning to dust, while others are still changing colours from yellow to brown. But yet they look so beautiful. So as I sit and write, I know one thing for sure: Autumn is the most beautiful season. The transition from Summers to Winters wouldn’t be as magical and poetic, if it were not for Autumn. The trees wouldn’t look like they are filled with flowers in warm hues, if it were not for Autumn. Autumn shows us in the most beautiful way that nothing is permanent. We are all here to go. This moment is all there is. There is no point dwelling over the past. There is no certainty of a tomorrow to plan upon. All there is, is this moment. This transient moment of realisation is how you should be living the rest of your life. 🍁🍂


You’d be wondering why am I suddenly talking about seasons? Because I realised its high time I start coming here and writing my heart out, regardless of what it is and sharing it with you guys. So here it goes:

For me, a huge part of my heart lies in the city that gave me wings and made me who I am today. I know your first guess would be Mumbai and I cannot deny that this city is my life and I love it so very dearly but there’s another city that I am talking about today: New York City. The city of Dreams. The Big Apple. The Epitome of all things Awesome. The city that made me realise my self worth. The city that gave a naive 20 year old the confidence to be herself. The City of Fashion! I am writing today because I miss NYC. And also because I want to cherish those memories. But mostly, I am writing this because I stumbled upon my old sketches from FIT and felt some really strong emotions resurface and pop, one at a time. 



What started as a mere rough exercise of practising typography, my hands seemed to have dived into the world of inks and for four hours straight I was just doodling yesterday. The result? This not-so-perfect but pretty quote:


One thing led to another and suddenly I was hunting for withered leaves that went with my quote and then I was searching for my old college sketches on the theme “The Withered Leaf”. Yup. I’d made a collection on Autumn. And soon it was these set of crazy fun pictures and flatlays! This, is the final result!


Maybe it was nostalgia hitting me but this post was heartfelt and it feels good writing something that is not related to Fashion 🙂 
Until next time.

With Love,

Inaaya

Romancing ‘em Florals

Never in a lifetime had she thought that it’ll all fall in place so soon but when you dearly hope for something to happen, the universe answers. Inaaya was no different. She had hoped for her happily ever after and she was getting it now. It did not matter that she stood alone on the path because she knew he’d follow soon. She knew they’d be together. But for now she was trying to be present in the moment and living it. Walking alone is easy and who would know it better than someone who was, in fact, alone. Don’t get me wrong, she was alone and not lonely. And while many may call it one and the same, they weren’t. For she liked her own company and felt at ease being with herself. Often we fail to realise that the person that matters the most is ourselves. We are so busy pleasing the world we forget that keeping ourselves happy is also important. She was finding herself everyday walking alone on the path of success but she couldn’t deny that the fact that he walked closely helped make her journey more enjoyable. Every now and again you would see her hide, just to see him frustrated and she would giggle each time he found her. Inaaya was never truly alone because he never left her side. And even today, she stands tall as she waits for her stars to entwine with his. Her eyes yearn to see him and her heart craves for his half smirk mingled with a sly smile.”



Short stories that end abruptly have always interested me and this is no different. They leave a taste in your mouth that lingers much longer than a story that has a definite end. Maybe it was the outfit that did it, maybe it was the feel of the place that triggered the romantic in me; whatever it was, it helped me write something I enjoy now so I am not complaining! Anyways, this is a perfect cheesy date look if you have a big day planned anytime soon. The versatility of this dress never seizes to amaze me, but. While I was wearing it as just a beach dress in Seychelles a few weeks back, here it is in all its full glory, with just the edition of jhumkas! Accessories play a huge roll in giving clothes their actual identity. The right accessory can take an outfit to the next level while the wrong one can just ruin it all. I’d worn this dress with my hair on one side with some floral pins and no makeup at the beach while here I am wearing it with high heels (blocked heels in my case since, for the love of god, I cannot walk in stilettos!) and just some jhumkas. Dresses and jhumkas are always a good idea I feel and this is just my way of making it work.

I’d love to know your thoughts! 

With Love,

Inaaya

Six Nights in Seychelles

Seychelles is a beautiful island country that lies on the East of Africa. A cluster of small islands, the country is warm in terms of temperature and people! The hospitality here quite honestly blew me away!Mahe Island is the biggest island and the main island for this tiny country followed by Praslin and then Silhouette Island. The islands are self sufficient with no commercialisations whatsoever and maybe that’s what makes it all the more exotic. You will not find a MCD or an H&M outlet here. But you will find tons of picturesque beaches and cute little eat outs. Unlike other island countries, Seychelles fortunately is lesser explored and thus, lesser exploited. This is one of the places I’d had on my wish list for a while and when the time came to visit, I was quite literally shaking with joy. 🙂 
Talking about my itinerary:
This was a 6 nights and 7 days trip. 

We took a direct four hour flight from Mumbai to Mahe International Airport and once we got our local sims we took a taxi to the Hilton Labriz Lounge. You can get sim cards at the book store near the cafe or outside at two booths. They have two service providers here: Cable and Wireless and Airtel. Quick tip: Try to pay them in Seychellois Rupees and not Euros or Pounds because they charge a premium otherwise! 

Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa is located on Silhouette Island and is the only property there which means the beaches, the waters, pretty much the whole of the island was exclusive only to the guests of Hilton. The route to the island is of course through the waters (if you don’t want to spend 650 Euros on a chopper!). We had a Jetty take us from Bel Ombre to Silhouette Island which took about forty minutes.
The resort is beautiful and way too green! With a vast options of restaurants to choose from you are in the right hands in terms of food. Although my advice to you would be to carry some food with you because being exclusive also means being expensive and food prices there are quite steep. 🙂 Being a vegetarian I ended up carrying tons of biscuits and chips and other nick knacks to nibble on (and maybe some Ready To Drink Girnar Tea for you tea lovers!The property has a range of villas to pick from and while each one is beautiful in their own way, I would strongly recommend a Ocean Front Beach facing villa.

Silhouette Island has plenty of beaches and a few hikes, and depending on your caliber you can choose what you’d like to do. For someone like me, I just found peace in sitting on the beach and sketching all day or reading a book.

Three nights later, I checked out and moved to Mahe in the same Jetty and explored the capital city. Mahe is a quaint little town with everything at a stone throw distance. I did a little bit of touristy stuff and visited a “Hindu Temple”, went to the local market called Victoria and also visited the botanical garden. After a sumptuous Indian meal at Maharajas (Tandoori Rotis there were the bomb! Not kidding!), I boarded a ferry from Bel Ombre to Praslin Island. The only providers that are good for island hopping are Cat Cocos. And while it was my first time doing all of this, I learned a lot, for example: My stomach is not meant for sea journeys because I throw up and get all dizzy in the head!

Anyways after the horrible ferry ride that took like forever to end since the sea was extremely rough because of the high tides, I did not have much left in me to be able to do any explorations once we reached Le Duc so I basically just collapsed.

Le Duc De Praslin is said to be the most stylish property on Praslin island and rightly so. The property is in Cote Dor and has a lot of beach side cafes and bars. I personally loved their taste in furniture and the hippie vibes the place had! We stayed at Praslin for 3 nights and while I did go out for walks on the beach every morning and evening, water sports were off the table thanks to the fluctuating weather. All water related sports were stopped for the three days that we were there due to high tides and a lot of sudden rainfall. While September to April is supposed to be a dry patch for Seychelles, unfortunately for us, the rain gods decided to be extra generous. Hence, I kept myself happy by a swim in the pool.

The trip was a wonderful break from the busy city life and I just feel so much more energetic to work more now! If you are planning a trip to Seychelles, do let me know if I could help you in any way! I’d love to guide 🙂

With Love,

Inaaya

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. 🙂 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! 🙂

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. 🙂

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

 

An Indian Summer 

​A small headsup:

Waking up to the humid and itchy Mumbai heat is definitely not my idea of a Sunday but that was exactly the weather on this weird Sunday morning when I woke up with this sudden urge to shoot a couple of Indian inspired fusion looks for you all. I hadn’t done it in a while and it made perfect sense to shoot them that day (Atleast in my head!). So well this is a series of three looks I shall be posting this week. Hope you all like it as much as I liked styling them!

Honestly fashion isn’t always about splurging on new clothes but working around with what you have in your wardrobe and giving them a newer meaning each time. And although the pile of clothes keeps on increasing in my wardrobe, there are just a few favourites I cannot let go off. No matter how old or tattered they are, I find solace in old clothes. There’s a sense of belonging in them. To me they talk about a life I’d once lived, a memory faded now but alive only through the feel of the fabric or the tinkling of the bells on that necklace. 

This look honestly gives me the “Gaon ki chhori”  (Countryside Belle!) vibes and I love that about it. Not too cluttered, I tried keeping the outfit fuss free with just a necklace and choker layering and no other significant accessories.

Bless these fleas to introduce the mass to some good trends and brands! Although the dhoti really bulges around the crotch area due to excessive fabric, thanks to it being made for men (rolls eyes) I think my top hides it well. But what I really love is this earthy block printed top from Anokhi. I’ve had it for over two years now but that is the beauty of a good cotton, they do not wear out easily.What am I wearing?

  • -Top: Anokhi
  • -Dhoti: Sanyasi
  • -Mojris: Law Garden, Ahmedabad
  • -Necklace: Law garden, Ahmedabad
  • -Choker: Shein.com

With Love,

Inaaya
Picture Credits: Rahul Bhanusali and Akshay Shaji

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 inḍo-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