The Australian Jewellery Brand You Should Have On Your Radar This Summer

Classic and yet of-the-moment, The Silver Collective is the Australian jewellery brand you should get to know, stat. Lending summer wardrobes a hit of shine, the brand’s collection of super-cool—and surprisingly affordable—minimalist pieces will elevate both your off-duty looks (think denim cut-offs and linen button-up blouses) and after-hours style.

Headed by mother-and-daughter duo Maria and Anastasia Papazoglou, the brand specialises in versatile Sterling Silver jewellery that transcends seasons. A mix of classic elegance and contemporary flourishes, the designs balance timeless style with modern detailing—think of them as heirlooms you’ll want to wear now.

Launching from home under the brand name ICONIC-STYLE in 2015, the label has since been rebranded as The Silver Collective. After two years of online business, the start-up now operates both online and from their year-old Sydney boutique.

The Silver Collective’s wide-ranging jewellery collection includes ultra-fine necklaces and chokers (perfect for layering under beach coverups or metallic party dresses), sculptural earrings and stackable rings. Despite the brand’s love of clean lines and a pared-back aesthetic, each season is crafted with unique personality. One of the brand’s best-sellers—and one of our top picks—the Pella necklace is made from an ancient gold-plated coin. Distinct in shape, it’ll add an insouciant edge to any summer look.


I was addicted to online shopping! This is how I controlled it

Online shopping, that’s the new bug under the list of behavioural addictions. Some people indulge in it because they hate to invest time and step out to shop, while some do it because of its massive variety and accessibility. However, studies say that the trend has caught particularly with stressed individuals as shopping on the net can provide instant gratification. Whatever the root cause, it is not something that should be taken lightly. A reader of ours, Meha Sindhwani, shares with us her encounter with online shopping addiction and how she chose to combat it.

I have been in a media organization for three years now, the industry that is known to be abreast with everything that goes viral. Also, not to mention, media industry is also known for the high scores of stress it gives to its employees. Though I don’t have hard fact to support my argument but I really think that stress, at least in part, comes from the unfamiliar nature of our job. We never know what may trend or happen in the next second. This has us glued to our seats, overwhelmed by the speed at which the world is moving.Though I like what I do but I would not deny that since the time I have been here, my stress levels have only gone up. I didn’t realize it when it was actually happening but only now that I look in the rear view. And, this stress had many forms of manifestations.

My job required me to stay active on social media platforms. I never realized when I became a junkie from someone who would even browse Facebook just thrice in a week. Being on the mobile so much, I would often browse the various shopping advertisements that showed on my social media feeds. And honestly, I couldn’t help but visit their websites and download their apps.

It started with an order or two every month for the first few months. I loved to order online because it started giving me a happy hit. My most favorite part would be the delivery, which I mostly got done to my office only. All those memes that exaggerate the sense of waiting for an online order, that’s actually me. No kidding.

So gradually, the frequency of my online shopping increased to once in every week. I realized that this was becoming a problem when, towards the end of the month, I would be bankrupt and I would still order clothes, or accessories, or footwear or something or the other, making the payment through my credit cards. And let me tell you, I have never been a credit card person.

Three months went by like this. I paid my credit card bills which would usually be not beyond a certain limit. Then, in the fourth month, I ended up not just crossing that limit, but also doubling it. But I wouldn’t say I was surprised. I knew what I was doing; just that, I couldn’t control it. Some signs that I felt particularly in that month included:

– Browsing shopping apps while travelling, before sleeping and after waking up, basically at all times I could spare. I was surprised myself when during one of the routine night calls, I disconnected because I was sleepy but post that, I browsed a shopping app for 45 minutes.

– Online shopping started making me feel happy. I started looking forward to the time when I would be idle, sometimes just to browse those apps and not even shop.

shutterstock_541434475 shopping online

– Clicking on ‘Buy’ often accompanied guilt and did not take into consideration my financial situation.

– I stopped telling my mother what I bought because she would scold me.

– My cupboard was flowing with clothes, many of them unworn so far and I had to get two new jewellery boxes to contain my accessories.

After having to pay the debilitating bill, I decided that this could not continue anymore. Immediately, I uninstalled all the shopping apps from my phone and reported all their advertisements that stared back at me on social media platforms.

But, by doing so, I was only eliminating my possibility of shopping and not the cause of my shopping problem. I didn’t know how to do that and so, I sought advice from a friend who was pursuing a Phd in psychiatry. It was then I realized that my habit was stemming from stress, majorly at workplace and also because of a recent break-up that I had had, which I earlier thought wasn’t as traumatic as it perhaps was.
I would shop in order to pleasure myself and because the pleasure wouldn’t last, I had to shop again. This was my coping mechanism as it gave me little adrenaline rushes every time I received an order. This has also been proven by many studies, such as one by the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. It said that online shopping reduced sadness. Another one by The Huffington Post concluded that every third person shops online to deal with stress.
My friend told me to reroute my mind, which meant that I needed to destress and unwind. She recommended that I do yoga and whenever I get an impulse to shop, I should recognize the underlying negative emotion that’s driving it. Once I know what the emotion is, I can either write about it, talk about it with a friend or just acknowledge it because even that apparently helps. And yes, it did.
It’s been six months since I have not shopped even a single thing online and I am really happy that I could come this far. Not that I will never shop online now. I will, but only much less frequently and when I really need to buy something and it is a necessity, not otherwise.


This Viral Tweet Explains Why Pockets Are the Unicorns Of Women’s Fashion

If you’ve ever reached down to put something in your pocket only to realize that whatever you’re wearing doesn’t actually have pockets, then consider yourself in the majority. It’s a frustrating situation to be in, especially if you’ve only got a few things to carry and don’t feel like lugging around a bag or purse.

Twitter user Delilah Dawson recently shared some thoughts about this dilemma, proving that the struggle is so real when it comes to the lack of pockets in women’s clothing. In her tweet, she wrote a fake exchange between “women” and an “exec” where the women are trying to ask for pockets and the “exec” keeps suggesting other funny additions to clothing like “Clothes with pre-made holes in delicate fabrics” and “Shapes that require new bras!”

Responses to the tweet were hilarious and completely relatable, with people saying that dresseswith pockets are basically the unicorns of fashion.

One person said that she learned to sew just so that she could take care of this problem herself. Now that’s some serious dedication right there.
Others pointed out that even the clothes that do come with pockets can be, well, problematic. Inquiring minds want to know: What’s up with jeans that are so tight that you can’t actually put anything into the pockets? I mean, why even bother?

While a viral tweet probably won’t be enough to sway an entire industry to reconsider its stance on pockets in womenswear, it can at least bring us all together in a brief moment of fashion solidarity. And maybe, just maybe, one day we’ll get the clothing-with-pockets that we all want and deserve.


This has just been named the ‘most overdone’ wedding trend of 2018 – and we have to agree

This has just been named the 'most overdone' wedding trend of 2018 - and we have to agree

When it comes to weddings, to each their own.

For any couple tying the knot, it’s their day and their day alone to do whatever they want with – begrudgers be damned.

But there as weddings become more commercialised and brides and grooms increasingly look to social media for inspiration for their big day, there are certain trends we see popping up over and over again at weddings.

One of the most overdone trends for weddings in 2018, according to a top wedding planner, is the trusty decorated wall.

Yep, you’ve surely been at a wedding where there’s been a flower wall but Robin Weil of has told The Independent they’ve become overdone.

It’s a trend that started with celebrity weddings; most notably Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s extravagant nuptials in Florence, Italy in 2014.

We love a flower wall as much as anyone (what better backdrop for a selfie?) but we’d have to agree that we’ve seen a lot of them over the past few years.

If you’d rather go for something a little different but still have a very floral theme running through your decor, you might consider suspended flowers instead.

The trend has grown in popularity on Pinterest recently and it’s easy to see why.

It’s a fresh, colourful touch that would work for either your ceremony or your reception, depending on your venue.

Hanging flowers would make the picture-perfect alternative to the flower wall too and are ideal if you’re going for a rustic or boho theme.


Ditch Your Stripes For These 4 Fun Prints This Winter

he Swirlster Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Swirlster has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Ditch Your Stripes For These 4 Fun Prints This Winter

Don’t let your print game get boring this season

The chilly season is just weeks away and you’re still wearing tropical patterns and polka dots? No can do! Like the rest of your wardrobe, you better update your prints and give your usual choices a much-needed break. The best way to do that is by picking from these 4 prints to try this winter.

As the trees shed their leaves all around, show solidarity with the Ziory Leaf Print Scarf. The Georgette silk blend has a lightly hued leaf print in blue and red tones, which is extremely autumn appropriate. It is available for Rs 695 from Rs 999. Shop here.


Scarf from Ziory

A chic choice for the season is definitely camouflage. The Imagica Camouflage Hot Shorts come in the rugged print and are sure to add a funky touch with a solid black t-shirt. It is available for Rs 600 from Rs 750. Shop here.


Nothing Scotch about this egg

Scotch eggs,Nargisi koftas,Daniel Boulud

Over the last two decades, chefs in the West have taken relatively humble dishes and tried to turn them into something special. The hamburger is one instance. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most American chefs did their own riffs on the burger, including, perhaps most influentially, Daniel Boulud’s version at DB Bistro Moderne in New York. This used high-quality beef, foie gras and every other luxury ingredient Boulud had lying around in his kitchen.

Then, it was the turn of the boring old Mac and Cheese to get the haute cuisine treatment. These days, fancy chefs will add slices of black truffles to the cheese (the flavours go well) while lesser chefs will mistakenly believe that they are elevating the dish with liberal use of synthetic truffle oil.

British chefs took longer to catch on and when they did, the luxury updates focussed on better cooking skills and ingredients: good fish and superb frying for fish and chips; triple-cooking of chips for the perfect texture, pigs-in-a-blanket or bangers and mash made with artisanal sausages etc.

I like the idea of upgrading dishes though, frankly, one often gets tired of the newer versions fairly quickly. I would never order a so-called gourmet burger, for instance. And very few of the upgrades actually last; most fade as new trends develop.

The Nargisi kofta was originally a curry that was recreated by the Brits as Scotch eggs

These are a few exceptions though. Joel Robuchon’s pommes puree have become the benchmark for upmarket mashed potatoes. Anton Mosimann’s Bread and Butter Pudding has transformed the way that old nursery favourite is cooked. And though Heston Blumenthal’s triple-cooked chips are difficult to pull off (even the ones I had at Heston’s own The Hind’s Head were rubbish), that hasn’t stopped chefs from using “triple-cooked chips” as a menu cliché.

One such dish that has become a favourite of chefs who want to upgrade old comfort staples is the Scotch egg. If you have tried one of the industrially manufactured versions in the UK then you will know how disgusting mass-produced Scotch eggs can be. The pork component consists of cheap sausage meat, which is basically mince made from the parts of the pig that nobody wants to buy. And the inside is a tough, hard-boiled egg, laid by a battery chicken in an industrial operation somewhere.

Why should the fortunes of the Scotch egg concern us? Well, because it is an Indian dish

So, it was relatively easy for chefs to upgrade the dish. All they had to do was to use good quality free-range eggs and proper sausage meat.

As the remake grew in popularity, newer versions emerged. One obvious route – to indicate that the dish had been freshly made – was to soft boil the egg (the original dish calls for hard- boiled eggs) so that a liquid yolk oozed out when you cut into it. A second was to change the batter. At one of Bruce Poole’s restaurants in London (it may have been La Trompette) I had an interesting Scotch egg over a decade ago: the egg was soft-boiled, the batter was panko (which is of Japanese origin) and they had used good quality truffle oil to add another layer of flavour.

These days, the upmarket Scotch egg turns up again and again as a canapé. Chefs use quail’s eggs, which are much smaller than hen’s eggs and you are encouraged to pop the whole thing into your mouth at one go.

Why should the fortunes of the Scotch egg concern us?

Well, because it is an Indian dish.

Yes. Really.

This is not something Brits are ready to accept. The London store Fortnum & Mason even claims to have invented the Scotch egg. And there have been many theories about the name because it is clearly not a traditional Scottish dish. One theory even has it that the recipe was first written down by the author of Ivanhoe, who was called Sir Walter Scott. And so, rather than call it the Ivanhoe Egg, they named it after the author – Scott became Scotch.

But I will go with the views of the late Alan Davidson, the greatest food historian of the 20th century. Davidson says that British soldiers ate our Nargisi kofta curry and loved it so much that they tried to recreate it at home. The original curry had a tomato gravy and when this proved too difficult to reproduce in Britain, they started using a hot sauce instead. It was a small step from eating the koftas with a bottled sauce to serving them on their own and leaving it to individuals to decide which condiment they wanted to use.

The original curry had a tomato gravy that was difficult to recreate in Britain (Shutterstock)

That’s how the dry Scotch egg was created and today, its Indian origins are either forgotten or denied outright. I have read many outlandish theories about its origin. One states that it was invented as a fish-mince dish in Yorkshire by an establishment called William J. Scott and sons – hence the name Scotch egg. Another ascribes Algerian origins to the dish, which might have been slightly plausible had Britain (rather than France) colonised Algeria or if there had been mass Algerian immigration to the UK.

Mass-produced Scotch eggs consist of cheap minced meat and a hard-boiled egg (Shutterstock)

We know that the first British recipe for a Scotch egg turns up in 1826 and calls for the dish to be eaten with gravy. This fits in nicely with the Raj origin theory: all the we-Brits-invented-it nonsense works on the assumption that a dry Scotch egg was the original. But as that early recipe proves, it started out as a gravy dish.

But where in India did the British find the original Scotch egg/Nargisi kofta?

One view is that it is a Hyderabadi dish but I have met chefs from Lucknow who say that it is part of their tradition. And let’s not forget that kofta is a Middle Eastern word. So my guess is that some enterprising Indian chef in the middle ages was experimenting with a new kind of kofta curry when he came up with this dish.

It could have been invented in North India and then travelled to Hyderabad or the journey could have taken the reverse direction. Either way, it is hard to find a good Nargisi kofta in either Lucknow or Hyderabad these days.

When the food writer Anissa Helou was researching her masterly Feast: The Food of the Islamic World, I had dinner with her at the Maurya in Delhi. Though she enjoyed the Dum Pukht biryani, she told Gulam Qureshi, the chef, that she had searched in vain for a good Nargisi kofta in India.

Chef Gulam Qureshi at ITC makes delish Nargisi koftas

Gulam wandered off and then, towards the end of our meal, he returned with a plate of Nargisi koftas. They were outstanding. Anissa loved them and a recipe for Nargisi koftas (and this story) ended up in Feast.

Last week, I phoned Dum Pukht and asked Gulam if he could make some Nargisi kofta for dinner. And he was kind enough to do so. But this time he made the original dish: a curry.

This was the classic version, he explained. The last time around, he didn’t have the keema required to make the koftas so he had used the mixture that goes into Kakori kebabs instead.

I am nobody to argue with one of the country’s best Avadhi chefs but while his gravy version was terrific, I much preferred the improvised Kakori-mince version.

Chef Manish Mehrotra cooked the modern Nargisi kofta with chicken mince and his dish was a great hit on the menu of Indian Accent (Rohit Chawla for Indian Accent)

Gulam’s Nargisi kofta is not on the Dum Pukht menu yet but he is working on putting the dish on his tasting menu. Let’s see which version he goes with.

Sadly, even Manish Mehrotra has taken his modern Nargisi kofta off the Indian Accent menu.

Influenced perhaps by the Scotch egg revival in the UK, Manish tried to create a kofta in which the yolk stayed runny. He poached the egg, threw away the white and put the yolk in the centre of the kofta.

Then, he found he had a problem. In the time it took to cook the mutton mince, the yolk solidified. So Manish decided to use chicken mince which cooks much faster and lets the yolk stay runny. The dish was a great hit in its time but Manish has now moved on.

Much of Manish’s food has its roots in humble dishes that he modernises and upgrades (the famous Daulat ki chaat, for example). Gulam’s food, on the other hand, is largely faithful to the Avadhi court cuisine tradition. But that’s the beauty of the Nargisi kofta. It works brilliantly as both a modern and a traditional dish. It is a true Indian classic.

As for the British Scotch egg; they can keep it. We much prefer the original.