AKG

Archive for the ‘On Personality’ Category

On I for Inspiration

In On Entertainment, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Personality, On Style on August 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Inspiration.

I often felt that it’s an overused word.

So I tried to go through a day without feeling any inspiration from anywhere to do anything. Not only was it difficult to do, but I realized that life is flat without inspiration. It’s important to be receptive to avail what this world has to offer.

Often people wait around to feel inspired. That, I find, is a problem. Opening yourself up to feel inspired is an active task – not a passive one. In fact, this blog is based on the muse – to actively learn from stylish men & women.

Some days, I may find myself wanting to channel a sartorial era – other days, I’m inspired to sing, even if it’s just around the apartment or in the shower. The late Anna Piaggi and Lady Gaga are inspirations for people to express themselves freely. My mother’s paintings are each based in inspiration, as are most DIY projects.

Inspiration is a powerful motivator. Inspiration to create. Inspiration to dress a certain way. Inspiration to feel joy. Inspiration to shop. Inspiration to make a change. Inspiration to find purpose!

Meha Bhargava can find inspiration anywhere, and she shares with us some of her ways:

“People watching has always been my favorite thing to do. Other things that inspire me:

  • A healthy, intellectual conversation
  • The rain – my brain works rather smoothly then
  • Fashion magazines
  • Newspaper
  • A well lit room
  • Colors
  • Home/ Family
  • A happy vacation

There’s inspiration in the tiniest of things.”

On I For Inspiration

On I For Inspiration: To be inspired is great. To Inspire is incredible.
Meha Bhargava’s Style Inspiration

For sartorial-specific inspiration?

  • Watch a TV show like Gossip Girl, Glee, or Sex and the City. Mirror a look you like. No, I don’t mean you have to buy the same pieces the character is wearing. But look in your wardrobe – can you create a similar look? Recently, I found I’m often missing a leather jacket to create the looks I like. Finding the perfect leather jacket for the fall is a piece that could potentially pull many looks I like together – that’s inspiration I’m using to make a change in styling.
  • Watch a movie or (music) video with distinctive styling. Example – watch an Audrey Hepburn movie. Or, for example, watch something unique like Annie Hall. Pictures from Annie Hall or of Katharine Hepburn often inspire me to celebrate menswear-inspired-womenswear. For more on that, read “On Borrowing from the Boys, Guys, and Men“.
  • Celebrities! Whether they’ve styled themselves, or have stylists doing the work, celebrities often wear creative looks pulled together by several unique pieces. For example, Brad Goreski’s got Jessica Alba wearing color every day, everywhere. Meha often feels inspired by Nicole Kidman’s perfection and by the Duchess of Cambridge for her royal, clean, and chic style sense. And I think mostly everyone who loves fashion is inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker for her eccentric style.
  • Fashion shows and magazines. Create a scrap file of the looks you love. When you’re feeling uninspired, refer to your scrapbook for looks you’ve liked – this makes dressing creatively stress-free. Pinterest, and several other web services make this easy if you don’t like paper clutter or are trying to be green!
  • Be in awe of something – anything. It will inspire you to make a change.

What are some places you could look for inspiration?

  • Nature
  • Meditation
  • Web-surfing
  • People
  • Thinking about possibilities
  • Scrapbooks
  • Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter – basically any form of social media
  • Browse through an inspirational book
  • Attend a conference with people with similar goals
  • Watch videos of keynote speakers

To be inspired is great, and to inspire is incredible. Have you felt inspired today? Have you inspired anyone today? If not, take a moment now.

AKG

On Listing Wardrobe Staples

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Personality, On Style, On Travel on August 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

In January of this year, I wrote about the lists we all should have (in our heads or on paper).

1)What (Trends and/or Clothing Pieces) Make Us Look Amazing.

2) What (Trends and/or Clothing Pieces) Don’t Work Well For Us.

Well, this year I’ve realized there are 2 more lists.

3) Closet Staples

4) Travel Staples

Everyone’s list looks a little different. My muse, Meha makes dressing and wardrobe management look simple – except when it comes to shoes. All lists are forgotten when it comes to shoes. But I think that’s a girl thing – we all get that.

Knowing the staples in your closet has these effects:

  • It’s easier to dress in the morning.
  • If you’re missing a listed item or if a staple is in need of repair/replacement, you know it’s important to deal with it.
  • Simpler to mix & match to maximize your wardrobe.
  • Makes it easier to know which pieces to add, delete, and/or edit when shopping.

Her travel packing list is especially interesting.

  • By having and using a list, the stress of having to make last minute decisions goes away.
  • You can focus on preparing for other aspects of your travel.

“My travels have being varying:  a day long affair, a 4 day relax vacation, a 12-15 days long haul, or even 3 to 4 months – it switches. In terms of naming staples, I choose to explain for a 4-6 days long vacation which we go for, most often. The first step is to find out the weather and terrain (beach, mountains, forest or desert). I leave all techniques and do’s and dont’s when it comes to shoes. Have to pack 5 shoes for a 6 day vacation!”

~Meha Bhargava

Meha Bhargava's Lists

Meha Bhargava’s Lists

It’s important to see that recognizing these lists makes Meha look only more fabulous and stress-free, because she’s aware of herself, her needs, and dresses according to her rules rather than trying to fit into the lists of another person – no matter how stylish they may also be.

These lists simply life. Shopping, dressing, and packing, all, become uncomplicated.

Make your own lists. You will thank yourself (and possibly me) for it.

AKG

On Substantial Frivolilty

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Personality, On Style on August 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

“You’re considered superficial and silly if you are interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial and still be interested in frivolity.”

~Sofia Coppola

As I read this quote nearly a month ago while reading the Women’s Wear Daily, I immediately thought of Meha Bhargava. This is exactly how I would sum up her style.

Parties at Meha’s home are a big part of the Bhargava lifestyle – fabulously frivolous with shoes, accessories, lunches, and more, Meha balances daily work, time with friends & family, and personal growth.

She’ll probably be like Imelda Marcos, who famously said, “I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.” Simultaneously, I know she’ll be involved in balancing major work projects and a meaningful personal life.

Substantial Frivolity

Substantial Frivolity: Meha has both

A typical weekday for her now involves: A grilling work out in the morning, 10-6 work involving client meetings, sessions with the client, and more. Her evenings are a Yoga overload, and then there’s family time followed by her personal unwinding for the night. Along with this, she manages to include time for loved ones and their special occasions/moments.

I take inspiration from Meha, in that when we went to Milan for image consulting training a few years ago, I’d get up, shower, and get ready to leave for class. Miss Bhargava would get up early, neatly make her bed, have tea, exercise while watching the news, wake me up around this time, eat breakfast, and then go to class.

In the years since, I’ve silently learned much from Meha’s consistency as well as from her substantial frivolity. It’s one of my favorite parts of her style.

AKG

On Introducing the Sporty Muse, Arshia Arora

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Personality, On Shopping, On Style on April 10, 2012 at 7:23 pm

She’s Riley to my Alan.
Her mother calls her Buttons, for her eyes. This woman shares my inability to find and see things right under her nose.
Others still modify her name into “Arsh, Arshi, and Arshu.”
Some of her closest friends call her “happy camper” because of her indomitable spirit, her love for life, and unending enthusiasm, joy, and energy.

She’s a little ambidextrous, and her application of that skill in nail art leaves me slightly jealous, yet mesmerized. Another skill that leaves me a little jealous is the insane knowledge bank of random trivia and fun facts that resides in her brain. She pulls them out like a magician pulls out the unending pocket square of ribbons – randomly. And of course, I take advice from her with graphic design all the time – no jealousy there – only acceptance of her greater skill in that field.

To the casual eye, at a quick glance, people may classify Arshia as a tomboy. But it really isn’t true. The truth is that Arshia borrows from the boys and incorporates their pieces into her style effortlessly. She softens the look with bracelets, charms, fabulous nails, and other feminine details.

An ideal day in Arshia’s life is a great, fulfilling morning and afternoon doing work she loves, followed by an evening spent with the people she loves and her dog. Her philosophy is simple.

“Be happy and always have someone around you to share that moment with.”

Arshia inspires me to dream, to list 21 things I want to do in my life. And she inspires me to share my joy with everyone I love when a dream comes true.

Arshia's Bucket List

Arshia's Bucket List, with the red dotted numbers already complete.

If I painted an abstract to represent her, it would be formed by:

structured, simple, classic, and clean lines. These lines would be completely random, zig zagging from point to point, turning in the opposite direction even when in might seem logical to continue forward. No clutter – lots of white space. Black & White, followed up with bright bursts of color. No pastel shades – only the brightest hues of red, navy, sky blue, and green.

It gives Arshia pleasure to be there for the people in her life. She’s my number 1 supporter and is always by my side whenever I need her, no matter how much I may annoy, baffle, or try her patience. She’s there, always, to offer a wonderful and beautiful balance of friendship and constructive criticism. She’s always a team player first, “a good sport”, and amazingly active. She’s sporty, in her style, in her life, and in the actual game.

Sporty Muse, Arshia Arora

Introducing the Sporty Muse, Arshia Arora

Themuseflash presents to you, our April muse, the Sporty Muse, Arshia Arora. “Miss” just doesn’t sound right – our muse is not the type to be a damsel in distress. In fact, she’d be the one doing the saving in a novel.

AKG

On Being Comfortable

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Personality, On the Self on March 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Soumya Parker inspires me to be comfortable, not only in my skin and being, but in my life and with myself. When asked about the staples in her closet, she says,

“Kurta, jeans (black and blue), T- shirt, Stoles/dupattas, one great pair of indian footwear and one pair of good black heels. And I can’t live without my earrings! Also pajamas man! What is life without comfortable pajamas?”

I couldn’t agree more. People, asked about their ideal days, will give you a laundry list of things that will happen. And that’s perfectly fine, because rarely to do people admit that a day of peaceful me-time is just what they need. Miss Parker’s ideal day is “[lounging] alone with a good book and nibbling on an unending supply of good food.” Such simplicity and lack of duplicity is rare. I honestly can’t define what an ideal day for me will be, but I’m encouraged to openly embrace and admit whatever I find that may be.

Notice this around you – people look the way they feel, even with the makeup. When I think back to the NIFT years, it’s apparent to me that Soumya has always been effortless. She never apologizes for who she is and moves with grace even when she is behaving like a monkey in the courtyard. Soumya is confident, and has always been able to move with poise. I recognize this more now, as I have become more comfortable in my own skin as I’ve grown into it.

There are actually a few stages here – there is the uncomfortable, neutral, and the comfortable. To be clear, saying “I’m not uncomfortable” is not the same as “being comfortable”. It’s okay wherever you may be in that, but let’s make an active decision to become entirely comfortable in our skins.

1) Be good to yourself, and to other people. Start to focus on what you absolutely love about yourself. Instead of seeing the zit or blemish when you look in the mirror, look for the best in you.

2) Give that woman in the mirror some support. Get your best friends together – and instead of lamenting about how “fat” you are or how scragly your hair looks, raise a toast to what’s fabulous about each of you. No more bashing.

3) Image matters. No matter how much we claim otherwise, there is a definite “feel-good” quality to looking in the mirror and liking what you see. So, find fashions, and hairstyles, and makeup that fit you. Don’t try to fit into styles – find the one that works best for you.

4) #3 actually doesn’t just apply to fashion; it applies to anything in life if you want to excel. Find out what’s a good fit for you. As Debbie Ford often says, “Anything that you can’t embrace about yourself gets to use you. Any part of you that you deny, hide, or suppress will come back to use you or haunt you. You can’t get rid of it completely – ever. Either you’re going to use it, or it’s going to use you. […] There is a reason you are the way you are. In order to deliver the gift that you’re meant to deliver to the world, [to your family, to whomever or wherever] – you must be at peace with yourself.

5) Work through your mistakes – trust me, I make the most mistakes in my family. I recognize that it’s not always easy, but the goal is to learn from your mistakes and move forward. You WILL feel better about yourself, having done this. And then, with your family and loved ones, feel free enough to be honest about your shortcomings and your talents. They will love you no matter what.

6) Get to know yourself. Use a journal to log your thoughts, freely. Or whatever helps you become one in your thoughts and actions. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities you have. That’s right. Do the SWOT analysis for yourself, or your style, or anything. Whatever works.

7) Move your body. Dance, cycle, run, walk, swim, jump rope, or do yoga. Do whatever it is that you enjoy doing to use your body constructively. Not only will you feel more comfortable in it, you will also grow/age gracefully.

8) Prioritize yourself – Love yourself – Treat yourself. Take a bubble bath, or treat yourself to a massage and steam room. Buy lotion in a scent you love. Eat dark chocolate, or whatever makes you feel good inside. Take time for yourself – it will do wonders. Create a personal space and time for “me time”. Everyone needs time for themselves – it’s not a luxury, but a necessity. To feel at home in your own skin, taking time and space for yourself (however that may be), is important.

9) Always always – drink lots of water. It has healing powers that we will never truly be able to recognize.

10) As my father always taught me, laugh loudly. And as mother always says, stop slouching and make eye contact!

AKG

On Genuinity

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Personality, On Style on March 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

I don’t know if she ever realizes it, but Miss Parker is concise, clever, and succint – she has just enough humor and sweetness to balance any snark and sarcasm. She’s the best friend, with designer flair, and the kindest heart. You are just as likely to find her chasing (or being chased by) her friends, or very seriously planning, designing, or presenting creative work. Most people have a personality that fits best either in a professional, or personal realm – Soumya manages to be herself in both situations. She inspires me to understand and learn how to separate and merge the two effectively and naturally.

It’s obvious in day-to-day interactions with Miss Parker that she’s a total drama queen – she’s constantly entertaining. She’s full of energy, and her dynamism is contagious. Despite her many talents, she is modest to a fault – regardless of her “industry child status”.

On Genuinity - Soumya Parker

On Genuinity - put together with help from Alka Narayan, BFOM (Best Friend of Muse)

Though I knew all of this about Soumya, I wondered what drew people most to her – beyond her obvious creative genius. I realized it is because of her beautiful personality and simplicity. She makes people feel special, and she’s the one who is always there for you. Even though she isn’t a social butterfly, Soumya Parker is often the link that binds two people or more together. She’s unashamed and completely comfortable in her own skin. When she wants something, she blatantly admits it – and she always, always has a genuine compliment for you. And that’s really one of the main reasons Soumya is so stylish.

Genuinity never goes out of fashion, or style.

AKG

On Friendship with Soumya Parker

In On Entertainment, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Personality, On Style on March 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Entertainment shows and movies have central themes – surgery, lawyers, criminal justice, diagnostic medicine, newsrooms, the white house, romance, relationships, etc. Whatever it may be about, the theme that endears the characters to the audience is that of friendship. It’s always interesting to see how different characters with completely different backgrounds and personalities become friends.

In Sex and the City, the Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda were practically soulmates. Grey’s Anatomy has Meredith and Christina – they are each other’s “person” for better and for worse. Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, and Friends have been based around these friendships. Even entertainment not based in the real world – such as Harry Potter and Toy Story is incomplete without the unbreakable triumphant friendships. There’s Harry, Ron, & Hermione; Buzz and Woody; Jerry and George.

The world always needs true friends – most of us either want to find or cherish (Read: should cherish) “our person/people”. In both the reel life, and in reality, there is often someone who truly rejoices in other’s happiness. I find that person in Soumya Parker. If and when anything good happens to the people around her, you can count on her to be happy for them – to multiply their excitement. “I love your latest post!”…or…”Did you hear about her amazing project?!”…or…”Yay! She got a new job!”…or…”My brother is such a genius!”

People who know Soumya Parker will agree that it’s common to hear her say things like these. Miss Soumya Parker inspires me to delight in the success and joyful moments of those around me. She’s been an incredible support for me in everything I’ve done, and I hope she knows that she is appreciated beyond words.

Maybe you too, should feel inspired, to reach out to the people you love, and let them know how excited you are for them and their achievement(s). Be truly happy for your loved ones – this is a great component of real personality, and style.

AKG

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: