Dal Chodha..is a Central St. Martins graduate based in London; works as as a writer, consultant, and is the editor of bi-annual b Magazine. He contributes regularly to Vogue India, Metal magazine and various independent titles; check his work here. Likes beanie hats, 2 pound pandas, and exotic Bollywood posters.
“During my recent trip to Bombay and Delhi it struck me, how much the kind of clothes I wear are really versions of the traditional Indian kurta. Some of the cotton shirts I own from Dries van Noten for example claim to take their inspiration from vintage military uniforms, but to me, the reference, the pleat and the placket always say India. Wearing a thick cotton, round neck smock by Austrian designer Berthold, I still feel I’m wearing an urbanised version of the kurtas I saw on so many men pounding the streets of India.
My parents are both first generation East African Indians and my family moved to the UK in the sixties, making my relationship to India something I had never romanticised.
I think that the kurta is a symbol of cultural defiance. While growing up, traditional Indian dress was only worn during annual visits to the Gurdwara.
I don’t come from a family tied down by its cultural roots. To be honest, the way I dress is probably more of a result of my disdain for shopping than anything else!
The way I dress has evolved since my days at college – I have a very limited number of styles and stick to what I know feels comfortable; which is always oversized shirts and jumpers in winter, cropped, pleated trousers and slippers. It’s a style I have grown into and a uniform I don’t often have to think about.”
All photos taken during Oct ’11 while I was working with him on a project for 10 days in Bombay & Delhi.
b magazine 5th issue. Read more about it here.
Dal is a preparation of lentils; regularly eaten with rice and roti. Dal is a lake in Srinagar. DalDal in hindi means swamp.