Fringe benefits

Fringe benefits

Mango: Camel fringe bag with chain strap, at all Mango stores, 5,790.

Three is company

Make a gentleman’s agreement to wear a threepiece suit this season

Dandy is the style code for men this season. Taking sartorial centre stage, from international runways to red carpets, the three-piece suit is on a comeback trail.

A suit with a matching waistcoat is the way to go for a formal look. Wear a single- or double-breasted waistcoat and leave the jacket buttons open. The waistcoat may help tuck a slight paunch in, but the look works best if you are in good shape.

You can also make a statement with a contrast waistcoat. Samrat Som, creative director, Louis Philippe, suggests wearing a white waistcoat with a black suit or opting for a mismatched trouser. “Try floral jacquard, velvet, leather, suede or denim. Use the waistcoat as an accent piece," says designer Ravi Bajaj, who wore a jamavar waistcoat with a pinstriped suit for his debut runway show in New Delhi.

Som says the demand for three-piece suits has risen in recent times. “But it’s more about making a fashion statement. The young are modernizing the waistcoat to be cheeky," he says.

— Rachna Nakra

‘One pitch, one hand’ cricket

Enter Street Cricket Champions—Sony PlayStation (PS) India’s third “Indiadeveloped" game for the PS2 and PSP.

Developed at Mumbai-based Trine Game Studios, it attempts to be a “simulation" of gully cricket—which essentially means accurate modelling of weather and ball physics are neither expected nor delivered.

Instead, you can switch between pace and spin in a single over, master the Douglas Marillier hook shot and play in front of a local dhaba.

Street Cricket Champions costs 499 for the PS2 and 699 for the PSP.

— Krish Raghav

Technophobes rejoice

Too confused by the iPhone? Fingers too thick for the BlackBerry? Well then what you need is John’s Phone. That might sound like a euphemism for something illegal, but in fact, John’s Phone is being marketed as the world’s simplest mobile phone. The phone can make calls and… er… nothing else.

No apps, no Web and not even a proper screen. All it has is a tiny strip of LCD on the top. Also, the phone can only store a handful of speed-dial numbers. For the rest of your contacts, there is an address book and a pen built into the back.

If you have a new TV at home, chances are that the TV’s remote is going to be smarter than John’s Phone, available online for around 5,000, plus shipping. Battery life is around three weeks.

John’s Phone is retro-cute enough to be a gag gift for Christmas, or if you have a lot of money and very few friends. For details, log on to www.

— Sidin Vadukut

The one that got Michelle

The most lasting image of Michelle Obama’s India trip was the one of her trying on a multi-strand Naga necklace with red beads at the Capital’s National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum.

“The funny thing is that isn’t the one she ended up buying," says museum director Ruchira Ghose.

When the shutterbugs had their shot, Obama’s eye strayed to a necklace with yellow ochre beads the stall owner was wearing. After some polite talk about having the stall owner take off her own necklace, it’s the one she ended up buying.

String theory: Vashum shows the kind of necklace that Obama bought.

Ghose says the number of visitors at the museum has shot up dramatically after the US First Lady emptied her wallet on Channapatna wooden toys from Karnataka and phulkari weaves from Punjab.

The piece Obama bought is a stunning sixstrand necklace, with eight kinds of stone and bone beads in ochre, black, yellow and white. It’s part of the traditional Tangkhul Naga attire, the tribe Vashum belongs to. She says it takes two women to string this 585-bead necklace—one drops in a bead from each side to get the symmetry right.

A day after Obama’s visit, a designer reserved both necklaces. Vashum, who recently opened a store in Shahpur Jat in Delhi, says, “Only the Nagas can make those stone and bone beads."

— Anindita Ghose

Lounge loves:

They now have 12 stores across the country with 80 more scheduled to open soon.

These trendy bags are priced at 2,000 apiece.

— Seema Chowdhry