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Beautiful and bizarre things to buy: From stationery to dog shampoos

In this weekly compendium of objects of desire, also a Vanities column by Swapan Seth

Rubinato by William Penn
Rubinato by William Penn

Dress Circle: Black Monk by Divyam Mehta

Black Monk by Divyam Mehta
Black Monk by Divyam Mehta

In his Autumn-Winter 2017 collection, designer Divyam Mehta takes inspiration from the layered clothing of monks—"namely antarvasa (covering the lower body), uttarasanya (covering the upper body) and samghati (final layer robes)"—plus a waistband or belt. Mehta reinterprets it with draped, layered skirts, wide-leg trousers, pleated wrap skirts and more, primarily in black, cement grey, indigo blue, with Shibori patterns and block prints.

At Ensemble, L’affaire and Ogaan in Mumbai and New Delhi; Rs10,000-20,000.

Pet Peeves: Dog shampoos by Capt. Zack

Dog shampoos by Capt. Zack

This line of shampoos for dogs is anti-microbial, repels ticks and fleas, moisturizes the coat, and is full of natural goodies like aloe vera, lemongrass essential oils, vitamin E, shea butter and more.

At;Rs390 for 200ml.

Stationery Circuit: Rubinato by William Penn

Indulge in some calligraphy with this quaint Rubinato 7503 writing set that comes with a mini quill and a violin.

At William Penn stores across India or at; Rs2,750.

Serious Toys: Artisan Mini by KitchenAid

Artisan Mini by KitchenAid

Chefs vouch for the Stand Mixer as an appliance that will change your life. This new mini version takes up less counter space, is lightweight, and comes in a guava-pink colour, apart from red, black and green versions.

At; Rs32,990.


By Invitation: Vanities

An ode to things you don’t need but must have

This week: Renova Black Toilet Paper

Renova Black Toilet Paper

Over the past few years, loos have witnessed rapid advancements. Such as the absolutely annoying sensor-controlled taps, toasty toilet seats, showerhead and wireless speakers that permit you to stream Benjamin Clementine from your shower, thrones with deodorizers, medicine cabinets with USB ports, and touch-screen panels to select water temperature.

Things have been swimmingly sexy as far as loos are concerned, but for loo papers, jack shit has happened.

According to market researcher Mintel, in 2008, 20% of consumers in the UK said that “matching colours with decor was one of the most important factors while buying household paper products". In 2013, that figure fell to 7%.

There was a time when three in 10 rolls of Andrex were coloured. Now, it is just one.

One conspiracy theory points to the fact that white loo paper is shorthand for eco-lifestyle responsibility. But that, I am told, is a load of poop. Dye does not make a roll any less biodegradable.

So, visit and buy some cheap toilet roll from Chengdu Haosheng Huada Paper Co. Ltd.

Or invest in pedigreed loo paper by Renova.

Tested under the most stringent dermatological and gynaecological controls, these are soft and absorbent, even lightly scented, and made from 100% virgin pulp.

They come in a riot of colours as well as seasonal subtleties such as the currently cool Autumn Collection. And the company has recently launched Renova Magic: a first-generation 4D paper.

On certain days, I like their fuchsia. But my personal favourite is the black roll. Beyoncé only uses the red paper roll. Always the Naughty Girl.

(Renova Black Toilet Paper, €7.15, or around Rs540, for a pack of six, on

Swapan Seth is CEO, Equus.

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