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Beautiful and bizarre things to buy: From writerly tools to wearable art

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

Cantilever Coffee Table by Portside Café
Cantilever Coffee Table by Portside Café

Title Tracking: Patterns Of India, A Colouring Book, by Roli

Patterns Of India, A Colouring Book: By Roli
Patterns Of India, A Colouring Book: By Roli

With 79 decorative motifs from across the country, it can be used for colouring in, or simply for inspiration. The patterns, ranging from abstract to floral, come with a brief introduction on context, with full-page photographs by interiors photographer Henry Wilson.

At and CMYK book stores in Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune; Rs795.

Centrepiece: Cantilever Coffee Table by Portside Café

Furniture maker Portside Café’s Cement Series combines wood, leather and brass-plate detailing with the unusual material of cement, bringing out its inherent beauty and luxury.

At or Portside Café stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Jodhpur; Rs1.69 lakh.​

Writerly Tools: Cigar pen by Montegrappa

Cigar pen by Montegrappa
Cigar pen by Montegrappa

The Italian luxury brand has remained a purist and brought out this limited- edition Cigar pen as fountain pens or rollerballs only, in sterling silver or 18k gold.

At Montegrappa, Palladium, Mumbai, and DLF Emporio, Delhi. Rollerball silver, Rs1,72,995; rollerball gold, Rs17,31,995 and fountain pen silver, Rs2,06,995.

Wearable art: Cloud Clutch by Cord Studio

Cloud Clutch by Cord Studio

This monsoon, carry the clouds with you. Handmade in suede leather, this clutch is perfect to store your everyday essentials and can also double up as a wallet.

At, and with the stockists in Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Jaipur listed on the site; Rs2,800.

Luminor Submersible by Officine Panerai

Luminor Submersible by Officine Panerai
Luminor Submersible by Officine Panerai

Sporting Italian design and Swiss technology, Officine Panerai’s Submersible watch series is a diver’s delight. The Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic comes in a stainless-steel or polished red-gold case with luminous hour markers and a water resistance of 10 bar (~100m).

Luminor Submersible by Officine Panerai
Luminor Submersible by Officine Panerai

At the Officine Panerai boutique, the Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai; Rs5.9 lakh and Rs18.67 lakh for the red gold.

Compiled by Vangmayi Parakala, Nitin Sreedhar and Komal Sharma.


By Invitation: Vanities

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

Sleeve garters

This week: Sleeve garters

A ready-to-wear shirt comes with its own convoy of concerns.

Primary amongst these is how it behaves with the sleeve length of your suit jacket. The matter becomes even more acute given the fact that in these hurried times, most men pick a shirt off the rack (the tribe of gentlemen who get their shirts hand-stitched is disappearing as rapidly as the western lowland gorilla).

Now, there is a certain science and sanctity to how much of your shirt sleeve must show from below your jacket cuff. And like all things manly, even on this count, size matters. Half an inch is all that you should see of the shirt sleeve. When you buy an off-the-rack shirt, the plot is murky. There are too many people in the marriage. There is the collar size. And then, the chest size. Most men tick these two off and pick the damn shirt. No one loses sleep over the sleeve length.

That leads to disturbing scenes. Such as 2 inches of the shirt jumping the light of right and flashing out of the cuff.

Now this is not to suggest that gentlemen have all the time in the world. We too have our weak moments. Such as a sale at Brooks Brothers or even Pink. It is for these and these moments alone that the good God created sleeve garters.

It is precisely that: a garter that you wear on the sleeve of your shirt.

It permits you to tweak your sleeve length. So that just half an inch of the sleeve makes a cameo in the sartorial movie that you are. They came into being in the latter half of the 19th century when shirts came in a single (extra-long) length. It also prevents cuffs from getting soiled while one does menial work.

Every gentleman’s wardrobe must contain three pairs of these. One in gold. One in silver. And one in black. There is no need for a fourth. And all three must be metallic. Not silicone. And no, not even Tyvek. We are not attending a Trivium concert.

Now the tricky part is how to get social approbation for your sartorial sass. So midway through the meeting, you take your jacket off and settle it around the back of your chair. You fiddle with the right garter using your left hand. And because it is elastic, you can also snap it to convey your authoritative style. Eyebrows will rise. A certain curiosity will cloud the air in the room.

Don’t be alarmed if a fabulous fool in the room asks you, “What’s that?" Look him squarely in the eye and whisper, “Those? Those are my garters."

By Swapan Seth , CEO, Equus

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