“There are no rules in design, there are only principles”
There are two kinds of fashion enthusiasts - ones who follow trends and well versed with every new term, popularly know as fashionistas, and ones who are drawn to design, aesthetics and are more accurately called design enthusiasts. The latter half detect visual chaos and detest over-indulgence. They make the most of natural patterns and nature’s own texture and colours. These teachings have been taught since years by Buddhism’s practice of clarity in thinking and doing.
The principles of Zen aesthetics found in the art of the traditional Japanese garden, have many lessons for us, though they are unknown to most people. The principles are interconnected and overlap; it's not possible to simply put the ideas in separate boxes. Steve Jobs had nothing to do with fashion, but he was so inspired by Buddhism that his inclination towards design helped him create gadgets that were beyond our imagination at that time. One of the best-known photographs of the late Steve Jobs pictures him sitting in the middle of the living room of his Los Altos house, circa 1982. There isn’t much in the room, save an audio system and a Tiffany lamp. Jobs is sipping tea, sitting yoga-style on a mat, with a few books around him. The picture speaks volumes about the less-is-more motive behind every Apple product designed under his command.
And this was the first image that came to my mind as soon as I entered ‘Bodh’. Designed to look like a spa retreat, Bodh is a silent beauty on 93 Park Street, tucked away behind wooden and glass doors, designing clothes that are simple and striking. BlabberCat presents 7 looks from Bodh each representing the 7 principles of Zen.
Kanso: Simplicity or elimination of clutter.
One’s style is expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner. Reminds us to think not in terms of decoration but in terms of clarity, a kind of clarity that may be achieved through omission or exclusion of the non-essential. This type of cotton linen flatters any body type and with the comforting texture it’s highly recommended for summer parties, day and night events. From the styling perspective, refrain from adding any loud accessory that might take away the simplicity and chic from this heady look. The movement in the garment makes it a great travel look also.
2. Fukinsei: Asymmetry or irregularity.
The idea of controlling balance in a composition via irregularity and asymmetry is a central tenet of the Zen aesthetic. A very different pattern of drape has been incorporated in this plain baby pink kurta and dhoti look. The drape can be taken as a dupatta but over here we have taken it as a power cape to add layer and yet show how style is open to interpretation and doesn’t have to look proper and perfect to create an positive visual impact.
3. Shibui/Shibumi: Subtlety
Beautiful by being understated or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon. Direct and simple way, without being flashy. Elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. The term is sometimes used today to describe something cool but beautifully minimalist. And that’s exactly what this style is about. Off-whites and gold are the classic option for any occasion. Subtlety doesn’t mean being dull, it doesn't even mean being plain. It simply means class without effort, it means without force and the beauty lies in not trying too hard. By adding texture and detailing to whites, you can subtly stand out.
4. Shizen: Naturalness
An absence of pretence or artificiality, full creative intent unforced.This is a reminder that design is not an accident, even when we are trying to create a natural-feeling environment. It is not a raw nature as such but one with more purpose and intention. Designer in all fields create designs based on nature and even while making our homes, offices or clothes, we try to imbibe elements of nature. Green being the Pantone colour of the year is our top choice this season. Mint green and Pistachio come in all shapes and sizes at the Bodh store. Sharara, kurta and dupatta blend in like all the colours of sky, water and trees coming together. Highly recommended for Eid.
5. Yugen: Profundity or suggestion rather than revelation.
A Japanese garden, for example, can be said to be a collection of subtleties and symbolic elements. Photographers and designers can surely think of many ways to visually imply more by not showing the whole, that is, showing more by showing less. A half-and-half saree of net and silk was the hottest pick for upcoming engagements, Diwali, cocktail sangeet or replace it with an evening gown. I’ve draped it to somewhat resemble an apostolnik.
6. Datsuzoku: Freedom from habit or formula.
Escape from daily routine or the ordinary. Unworldly. Transcending the conventional. This principle describes the feeling of surprise and a bit of amazement when one realises they can have freedom from the conventional. A traditional rose blush lehengas turns cape and skirt. Easy to ear and always falling delicately to flatter any body type. A bridal mehendi look, Rakhi if it’s a big gathering or even Ashtami. Comfort in fashion is key and thats what defines this look.
7. Seijaku: Tranquility or an energised calm (quite), stillness, solitude.
The opposite feeling to one expressed by seijaku would be noise and disturbance. How might we bring a feeling of "active calm" and stillness to ephemeral designs outside the Zen arts? Breathing is the most underrated exercise. Bodh specialises in creating silhouettes that are visually soothing to measure and physically adapting. Be it any trend, wear what enhances your personality, be it any occasion, the clothes should not overwhelm your body. Be at peace from within and you’ll shine wherever you go. Ink blue textured jacket and matching palazzo with silver-grey crop-top with lace detailing - the look we couldn’t resist lounging in and still leaving our stardust wherever we went.