A Shot Of Sunshine From The Jaipur Literary Festival 2018

It’s always lovely to receive Abhimanyu Rathore’s images from Jaipur Literary Festival at this time of the year. In the darkest, shortest days of February, these colourful and joyous pictures really brighten my day.

Helping Abhimanyu spot the trends was Deeksha Singhal, who told us “This year the festival celebrated women. Work of authors and directors such as Nandita Das, Helen Fielding and Helen Kennedy opened the discussion around women’s issues and indeed the #MeToo campaign, as the sun shone and the Himalayan wind kept the atmosphere crisp.”

“The visitors” Deeksha continued, “varied from silver hair beauties to brunettes with corporate vibes. This celebration of women and their wardrobes brought challenges filled with fun, as decisions needed to be made over wearing Indo or Western style. The mix of the two is not new, but being worn so well by the over 40’s was what made it stand out.”

“It is Jaipur so how could we forget the beauty of prints, be it a small single motif repetition or a whole web of age-old patterns, the colours played their part. Also, because it’s India, we saw textiles such as khadi silk in colour-pop solids, reflecting the sunshine.”

“There were many views from differing perspectives, but mine this year made me congratulate myself for being woman born with rights.”

We may not have the sunshine or the glamour of Jaipur, but we can replicate the bright colours and print clashes, thanks to  Zara’s current collection.

The campaign images, shot by Stephan Meisel, have an exotic vibe to them, and I like the idea of layering the maxi cardis and dresses over jeans or long skirts.

The tie-dye red jeans made me feel 17 again, peering into the bath to see how my home-dyed experiments had worked out. I think they could be fabulous for the summer under long floral silk shirts or madly printed tunics. More on the Zara website. Roll on summer.

More from Abhimanyu and his lovely images can be found on his Ishtailista blog.


  • Jan says:

    Lots of jolly spring ideas. The Zara clothes are derivative of any period of hippy/Boho fashions. That’s not to say they aren’t desirable or wearable but I would bet that many women would have some garments lurking in their wardrobes that could be adapted to emulate this look, especially for those who are aiming to buy less and wear more of what they’ve already got.

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