Manual

     Print Edition: May 13, 2012

Keeping it cool
"Summer fashion isn't about dressing down," Gaurav Gupta prepares India Inc for a season in the sun.

In any form of expression, art, fashion or literature, keeping it simple always pays. In summer, when the mercury soars to unbearable levels, grooming standards tend to relax a bit. Shirts are unbuttoned, trousers are loosened, and shoes are left to the mercy of sweat and grime. Here are some creative ways to keep yourself abreast of trends and stay comfortable, even during the height of summer.

Fab fab Fabrics
Try wearing cotton silks. These are stretchable, wrinkle-free and also have a well defined shape. For the same reason, replace done-to-death linens with smart linen mixes. These come in a variety of colours and patterns. They're also smooth and offer a great fit. A summer wardrobe is incomplete without a collection of crisp cotton shirts in all the basic colours. Flowery prints are also in fashion.

The style secret
No, summer isn't synonymous with bright colours. But that doesn't mean you should be wary of blacks. Concentrate on the detailing instead. Go for smaller, sharper collars which soak up the sweat and hold the outfit together. The pockets can be embroidered in a contrasting colour. Avoid bold stripes and go in for thin ones instead. Another trend this season is saddle stitching. This involves a stitched design on the borders of a suit, in a similar colour tone.

Find your colour
The suit-and-shirt pairing might be the order of the day, but a little leeway can be granted in the sweltering heat. Swap shirts with colourful polo neck tees which can be worn under thin summer jackets. Replace boring trousers with light coloured denims.

Happy feet
Ditch the brogues and go the loafers way. Colourful canvas, suede and pigskin ones look dapper with denims. For a more casual look, try kohlapuri or jodhpuri chappals. In India, people don't have any concept of summer socks. These are shorter than anklelength, are stretchable, thin, and work to wick away sweat from your skin. One should stock up on different colours.

Finishing touches

A good summer look is incomplete with hats and sunglasses. Leave the straw hats to the beach and flaunt colourful canvas ones in the city. Choose shades in colourful plastic frames instead of boring metallic ones. A pair of slim suspenders, especially in white and grey, round off any look perfectly.
 
The writer is a designer who has recently set up his boutique at DLF Emporio, New Delhi

A Rookie's Guide to Brewing
 
Ishan Grover, brew master of Lemp Brewpub in Gurgaon gives an insight into the art of brewing beer. Malt & Milling: Barley or wheat malt is milled, grinding the malt to a fine powder called grist.

Mashing: Through a controlled combination of time and temperature, it extracts the naturally present enzymes in the malt into fermentable sugars.

Lautering: Next, it goes into the 'Mash Filter' where the liquid is extracted from the mash. At this stage, it is now termed wort. Wort Boiling: While the wort is boiled, hops are added to it which adds that distinctive bitterness, and the aroma profiles to a beer.

Whirlpool: Solid proteins and hop by-products are removed through a whirlpool, resulting in a clear wort. Cooling: The wort is then cooled to enable stable mixing with fresh yeast to start fermentation.

Fermentation: Yeast cells quickly metabolise the sugars into alcohol, natural CO2 and flavour transforming the wort into beer.

Lagering: This process involves conditioning and maturing beer, which occurs at temperatures, as low as -3C. A lager beer is stored for up to 31 days.

Finished Beer: Finally, after the removal of the yeast and protein haze, the beer is chilled and ready to be consumed.
 
BASICS OF E-BRANDING

Dr Kirti Dutta, author of Brand Management (Oxford University Press, 2012) offers tips that guide you through online brand management.

..Brand Building The website should reinforce the brand elements and encourage dialogue by leaving space for customers to interact. Confidence should be built by playing up the website's security features. Post information and links on heavy traffic sites like You Tube, Facebook and other popular blogs.

..Real-time advantage Advertisements and promotions can be time-lined. Update information about processing and delivery through RSS feeds.

..Comprehensive Strategy Your website should be designed in a way that you're connected not only to your current and potential customers, but also suppliers, shareholders, employees the financial world, media and society in general
 
SOUNDS LIKE YOU KNOW ABOUT HARUKI MURAKAMI
 
1. His first book Wild Sheep Chase was about 'real' men who struggle in their careers, and did not contain any reference to usual Japanese stereotypes such as tea houses and kimonos.

2. Murakami has strived to introduce young Japanese to the ideal of freedom from the real world through surrealism. This break from formality and discipline is instrinsic to their culture.

3. He's known globally for his uncanny knack of weaving fantasy and fiction around real life in Japan. However, some orthodox countrymen have taken offence to the many western influences they see in his writing.

4. His recent work IQ84 is his take on the alternate world and is inspired by George Orwell's 1984,. The title world 'Q' and the number '9' are homophones in Japanese.
 
ARE YOU READY FOR ANTI-GRAVITY YOGA?
Power yoga gave the ancient Indian exercise an energetic face-lift. Anti-gravity yoga is now turning it on its head, quite literally. Here's a closer look at this inverted exercise developed by aeriel arts expert Christopher Harrison.

How it works
A satin hammock is connected to two overhead hooks and acts as a swing or a soft trapeze. It's wider than a rope, and offers better core and upper body support. The exercise begins with levitating meditation. Nestled into the swing, you sit in badda konasana or the cobbler's pose with your heels joining before you. This is done for presence. Now, the cloth should lock your feet tight enough to keep you from falling, but shouldn't block blood flow or hinder free movement. It involves exercises like hand-stand and head-stand. The session is wound up with floating savasana, sealing the positive effects of this exercise.

Why you should
About 40 per cent of the postures are drawn from yoga, the rest are based on pilates, aerobics and gymnastics. Still, it's called yoga because it enables the participant to understand the physics of existence and builds internal balance. By reversing the downward pull of gravity, the back bone is relaxed and the spine is decompressed. This helps in aligning the body and improving blood circulation. The inversion supposedly refreshes your nervous system and acts as an antidepressant. It's designed to augment synergy of the muscular system and which is essential for adventure sports like bungee jumping and diving.

A note of caution
This workout is best for athletes and dancers who're looking at core muscle strengthening. It must not be done unsupervised and must stop if you're dizzy or nauseous.

CREAM OF THE COCKTAILS
Sharad Sharma, Beverage Manager at The Leela Palace, New Delhi, tells us why we shouldn't confuse creme and cream liqueurs

..A cream cocktail features cream- whipped, clotted or heat-treated-as the key ingredient. These include Swiss Dooley and South Africa's Amurala. A creme liqueur is a liqueur that has an extra addition of commercial sugar added to the point that it has a near-syrup consistency. Examples include pairfait amour and creme de banana. Creme, here, refers to the consistency of the liquid.

..Cream liqueurs are best consumed straight or with crushed ice. You can mix the flavours in layered shots. Creme liqueurs can be shaken, mixed & blended and can be used with ingredients like lime juice, sugar and even blended with champagne and wine.

..It's better for bartenders to keep experiments with dairy products to a safe minimum. A few extra miligrams of cream or a wrong concoction can totally ruin the drink's flavour.

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