The best of 2019: Your lowdown on tech, fashion, food, films… and more
Tech update: Tech expert Anant Dwivedi makes a case for wearable tech among other 2019 tech updates
Star Of The Smartphone World: Samsung Galaxy X
“Samsung’s Galaxy X would be the most hyped product of 2019 because of its foldable display that turns a phone into a tablet. It is has been envisioned for almost a decade now and foldable screens would be the next big thing in smartphone design,” explains Anant, who has worked on Emmy-Award-winning shows like The Amazing Race along with shows like Gadget Guru for NDTV. Move over Alexa!
“We saw smart speakers take over in 2018 as more people turned to Alexa and other smart assistants. We will see more of that in smart TVs, headphones and even smart home gadgets. 4K TV will get bigger and cheaper. Also, the smartphone price spectrum will get wider as more premium smartphones will inch closer to the ₹1,00,000 mark,” he explains.
Wearable Tech: Smartwatches over Fitbits
“2019 is also the year for the wearable tech market. Smart watches have improved in functionality and features over the years; they now sell out more than fitness trackers. As companies release more options at cheaper prices, smart watches will become the next big thing like fitness trackers,” he says.
Fashionable revelations: Designers demystify the clothing conundrum for a fashion forward 2019
Colour of the year: Coral
Pantone has chosen coral to be the Colour of the Year, but how will we see it in Indian fashion? Designer Nachiket Barve, who has won the Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year award, believes coral is flattering for the Indian skin. “Coral is a warm colour that complements the Indian skin tone perfectly. It’s going to be the perfect spring-summer colour for us,” he adds.
Woolmark Prize-winning designer Rahul Mishra sees coral as the bridal colour of the year. “Coral has always been one of the best colours for the day time and couture in India. It combines the beauty of orange and red; it’s fresh and nice. Coral is going to make it big as a bridal colour this year because of the freshness and minimalism it has,” he says.
Interestingly, designer Sonam Dubal, who is best known for redefining traditional wear, sees coral as a colour that will flourish in resort wear too! “It is a great spring-summer colour and it also works great with black,” he adds.
Handmade is hot
Sonam says that the push for buy-less, wear-more will lead to a revolution of woven textiles and crochet. Texturing and handicrafts will be back in a big way. Rahul Mishra agrees and adds, “People are looking for things that have a story – carrying a piece of their tradition forward. Fashion is going to become more of a storytelling through clothes and accessories. Craftsmanship and handmade is going to be big, stories from the past are going to reflect in fashion,” he says.
Cruelty-free but animal print-friendly
The year 2019 will bring back animal prints, according to Nachiket. “Animal prints with inspiration from North Africa and Egypt will be seen in fashion. More hieroglyphics combined with calligraphy, eco-friendly textiles will be the demand of the season,” says Sonam.
As bigger brands such as Chanel ban leather, fur and make fashion more animal friendly, Nachiket agrees in totality and says that while inspiration for prints can be taken from animals, cruelty-free is going to be the mantra of the year.
Fighting fit: Nutritionists and fitness experts on how yoga will be reinvented and cauliflower’s healthy homecoming
Aerial yoga for all
Kamal Singh, a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with 15 years of experience and a Taekwondo black belt, says while yoga is going to still top the fitness trends of the year, aerial yoga is going to be on top of them all. “Yoga is still the premier choice of most people in India. A lot of celebrities are moving towards aerial yoga and this will generate an interest in it,” he explains.
Bodyweight training for the thin
Even though bodyweight training is being said to be one of the topmost fitness trends of the year, Kamal believes it has its cons, as it won’t work for someone who is on the heavier side. “Bodyweight training is easy to do as it doesn’t require equipment, so it will surely continue to be important and even pick up, but again, it’s more for people who weigh less,” he specifies.
Cauliflower is the new Kale
Celebrity nutritionist, author and dietician Lovneet Batra believes that while kale dominated the good food books, people are now going to come back to the basics again. “There is a certain perception that coloured foods are healthier than white foods. Also, the idea that anything that is so readily available won’t be so healthy. But that is a perception that’s fading. There are nutrients in cauliflower that will help with hunger management and the alkalinity that comes with the vegetable is healthy,” she adds.
Power of pea protein
Lovneet adds pea protein to the list of health foods to look forward to. “Pea protein is taken seriously already, but we’re still taking our matar for granted. However, that is going to change as companies are understanding the power of pea protein and including it in various products,” she adds.
Ayurvedic herb of the year: Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is not only an Indian favourite, it’s being listed as an international herb of the year. Lovneet agrees. “Ashwagandha has stress releasing properties that are being recognised the world over and it is used in different forms for its benefits,” she adds.
The beauty buzz: Make-up is no longer about making up! Contour, sculpt and highlight your best features to stand out in 2019
Focus on the eyebrow
Eyebrows have gained the much needed limelight in make-up, says Kalpana. “While experts have known the importance of shaping and highlighting brows in the right light, it is going to gain more popularity as a beauty trend with people wanting to get their hands on learning the technique,” she adds.
Colour palette for the Indian skin: 50 shades of warm
Make-up artists believe that while loud colours and purples dominated the beauty landscape this year, we’re going back to warmer shades of reds, pinks and of course, nude. “Nude lips are still going to dominate the lip colour family,” says Kalpana.
Vidya adds, “Colours that reflect the sun really highlight Indian skin. These warm tones and nude shades are going to come back into the limelight this year,” she adds.
Sculpting over contouring
While contouring videos and tutorials broke the Internet last year, make-up artists see sculpting and highlighting your best features to become the talk of the town. “Contouring seems to be a household technique now. The next level technique is sculpting. Celebrities in India have been sporting sculpted make-up looks and this will soon become the trending beauty hashtag,” says Kalpana Sharma, award-winning make-up artist of The Body Shop who has worked with brands like L’Oreal and Maybelline.
Celebrity make-up artist Vidya Tikari adds, “Highlighting your face without looking like a bulb is important! The new year will see a tone down in products that will make make-up basic.”
The food factor: As international chains trickle into India, 2018 has still been the year of the Indian grain. TV show host and food stylist Ranveer Brar and well-known chef Vicky Ratnani list the ins and outs of the food scene for the new year
Increasingly there’s an understanding of the fishing eco system. While a lot of fishing happens when you give the sea some time to breed, that’s set to change as sustainable seafood will be the want of the hour.
When it comes to cuisines that might make it big in India this year, chef Vicky Ratnani, Culinary Director – Project Series, says, “The two cuisines that I see going hot for the next year are Filipino and Cambodian. They are the only two countries, which haven’t gone mainstream and are now gaining popularity. The commonalities of flavours and easy access to ingredients, which are also inexpensive catapult them to the forefront.”
This is also the year of going vegetarian. Vegetarianism is gaining popularity internationally and even in India, menus and dishes for the vegetarian Indian will evolve and become inclusive.
Bookworms rejoice: As 2019 promises some excellent titles, here are some cherry-picked insights from publisher Arpita Das
JK Rowling’s books in six Indian languages
Arpita Das, the founder of Yoda Press, which has produced award-winning titles on sexuality, dissent and cities, makes a case. “JKR’s books find audiences absolutely everywhere. I am sure the Indian language translations will be a success too.”
Most anticipated release of the year: Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale
Arpita says, “ I am looking forward to the sequel with great anticipation. It is easily the most awaited English language release in 2019. And with the #MeToo Movement and Atwood’s continuing relevance and popularity, not to speak of her ever growing stature, the book could not be better timed. We all made up some future life and consequences for Gilead when we first read that iconic book. It will be marvellous to see how it unravelled in Atwood’s own mind.”
Go movie, go web series: Film critic, author and recipient of Ramnath Goenka Award Mayank Shekhar gives a lowdown on what entertainment has in store in the coming year
Rima Das’s Village Rockstars
This film should be watched far more for the fact that out of thousands of films from India – medium, small, big budget and in multiple languages – that got handpicked as the best in the year (for Oscars entry, and even for the Best Film National Award) has been directed, produced, written, edited, shot, and even the casting and costume design done by just one person, Das herself. She learnt filmmaking through a YouTube tutorial, bought a basic Zoom recorder and Canon 5D camera. Yes, we must go to theatres to catch the incredible, empathy-inducing result.
Midnight’s Children web series on Netflix
There’s a certain standard one expects from both Netflix and Vishal Bharadwaj. Both team up to film Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children as a web series, which is what it deserves to be, rather than a faithful feature adaptation (where Deepa Mehta failed). Can’t wait!
Films next up
Indian films are already getting noticed at international film festivals but we’re looking forward to Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota. It stars Maine Pyar Kiya heroine Bhagyashree’s son Abhimanyu Dassani. Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy has been picked up for a gala premiere at the Berlinale. Finally, Brahmastra, that the young, super-talented director Ayan Mukerji plans to devote a decade of his life (he’s already put in over five years) towards a superhero-romantic-fantasy trilogy with Ranbir Kapoor in the lead.
The Royal Announcement. If we’re talking about what to look forward to in 2019, we can’t miss out on the fact that come May, Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle will welcome their first born.
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From HT Brunch, January 6, 2019
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