In Which I Skewer Incompetent Reportage

My expectations of the Times of India (TOI) on most days, are pretty low. I've called it a tabloid disguised as a broadsheet staffed by idiots and twits with questionable journalistic ethics before, and that opinion still holds good*. Most mainstream media in India, in my experience, have no idea how to deal with the existence of blogs, or how to report on them, or any form of technology-related new developments really.
Which is why the Tabloid of India's attempt to show that it is indeed with the times is not only badly botched, but flat-out laughable. The article in question was a piece about fashion bloggers, which ran in the TOI's weekend edition in Bangalore last Saturday. Leaving aside the supposed tendency to 'narcissim' of people who 'are trying to inspire by 'mixing and not matching', I found it astounding that, in a piece that made constant references to about five different blogs, not a single url was mentioned. It's all very well to tell your readers that the fashion features director of Vogue India blogs, but where the fuck at? It's the online equivalent of, IMO, writing a restaurant review and leaving the address of the restaurant completely out of it. In addition to which, not all the blog authors mentioned are even based in India- the writers of High Heel Confidential write about Bollywood outfits, but they're US-based.
This goes above and beyond the incompetence of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in their blogger coverage, as pointed out by LLG a couple of months ago. In that case, the WSJ failed to mention blog names and blogger handles in a piece that was about blogs, and both papers made glaring factual errors. The TOI just went one step further by leaving off the urls. I'm happy to know that there are other Indian fashion blogs out there, and it's good that they're getting attention. I just wish the bloody TOI had done its job properly (always a pointless thing to hope for, I've found).
*following an incident at a book launch some years ago. The book in question was edited by the mother of one of my friends, and was an anthology of the work of a dead author. At the event, S (my friend) was cornered by a reporter who wanted to know if she could get an interview with the author.
S: Er, it's a posthumously produced work.
Reporter: Yes, but can I get an interview with the author?
S: *has a hunch, decides to follow up on it*
S: Are you with the Times of India?
Reporter: Yes!


Real-Life Style: In Which I Introduce TC

I've wondered, in the past, why most of the people Vogue and Elle India etc cite as style inspirations of any sort come across as fashion victims whose idea of style is piling one big-name label item of clothing over another, and then adding expensive accessories(answer: they probably are). Most real-life people of my generation don't quite have the label-whore tendencies (can't afford it) but tend to dress in a rather formulaic and unimaginative manner*. Which is why, when I find a style 'bright spot' of sorts, they must be appreciated- like in the picture above. Blog readers, all eighty-odd of you per day, meet TC.
It's not hard to say why exactly I've had a bit of a style crush on TC (my classmate, so nicknamed for her own initials and those of Top Cat) for years. Her look is as varied as it is distinctive- she's dressed as everything from girly to rock chick to relaxed to preppy to whatever, and looked at home in all of it- and she has an excellent eye for colour, silhouette and detail*** (if you don't believe me, look at the picture). Also, in a campus full possible death traps and hilly, pebbly ankle-twisting terrain, it really, really helps that she rarely wears heels. Which flies in the face of fashion wisdom- she's petite- but can make for awesome style. As does the fact that her wardrobe isn't crazy designer expensive stuff - just well-chosen. For the sake of my own eyes, I hope she keeps on with it.
* sample boywear: t-shirt+jeans/baggy pants (maybe a button-down shirt for the adventurous). sample girlwear: kurtas/kurtis/tight t-shirts with skinny jeans or harem pants. I could be missing something, but people here really do all dress alike.
casually used to the point of seeming instinctive- I've hardly ever seen TC with a fashion magazine....
***picture from Facebook, taken at a concert of sorts. Used with TC's permission. Just so it's clear, the girl in the picture is TC, not me.


RIP Daul Kim

This is heartbreaking news. She was one of my favourite models, not just for her wonderful, unusual looks but for her attitude and ability to express herself- her personality, really, and the fact that she just seemed so interesting - something rare in models these days.

I loved her cartoons (the ones she put up on daulmonster until it became invite-only) and poetry, and the fact that she was so opinionated and unafraid to speak her mind- whether it was to tell off racist show casting policies at Undercover, to weigh in on the question of which was better-Murakami for Louis Vuitton or James Jean for Prada, to talk about Korea, or even to tell off people who called her pictures for i-D pornographic and criticised her for dyeing her hair blonde......she will be missed. My heart goes out to her family and friends- it's always horrible to be the ones left behind.
UPDATE: Daul's blog has now been set to 'private'....way too many irresponsible journalists were taking quotes from it out of context. It's hard not to feel sad about that- the fact that she blogged so much and so often (for a busy model), right till the day before her death, makes it feel like we've lost one of our own even if we didn't know her personally.

Pics from I Like To Fork Myself (Daul's blog) and Kingdom of Style.

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.