“I love cats and I like to be in high heels all the time no matter where I go.”
— Keds Krome, Designer/ex-model
Kohima, January 2013.
Lozano likes orchids, teapots, long walks, and Céline.
Are you materialistic?
I used to be.
How did you get interested in fashion?
Growing up I was surrounded by aunts and relatives who were always well dressed. They would go outside Nagaland just to shop. Living outside in cities was a rarity then but they’d go to the extents of getting the best of clothes, shoes, jewellery. When you are surrounded by so many beautiful people I think it gets rubbed off onto your personality as well. I think our taste in fashion start developing early when we are exposed to beautiful mekhlas and chadors. At a young age, we are in tune with colours, mixing prints, blending attires. It’s like a part of our culture and tradition.
Do you have a favourite memory from your childhood?
I remember I would chase dragon flies…climb up trees and dream I was floating.
How was your childhood like?
Lonely. I was very lonely as a child. And free. And I was hungry all the time. Lonely. But happy.
What are you currently listening to?
Red lights by Tiesto.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a simple girl who loves colours and vintage things.
December 2013. Kohima, Nagaland.
What do you have in your wardrobe?
Lot of whites. Lot of dresses. Lot of fur.
Keds Krome, Aneeth Arora, Rahul Mishra, Karl Lagerfeld…
What are you listening to on repeat?
The Way I am by Ingrid Michaelson.
How do you spend your days in Kohima?
I blog when I am free. I like cleaning stuff. Mopping. Watering the flowers. Helping mom. Most of my time is spent cleaning stuff.
Anything you’re obsessed with?
Fur. And cleaning.
Interviewed and photographed in Kohima in December 2012.
“December 11 2012. Today, Keds and I hung out on the streets for about six hours. I wanted to document how the town people dress up on a regular day. We met two models. A designer. A blogger. A teacher. A shopkeeper. And a lot of students. Keds was excited about doing this as she works as a fashion designer and felt it’d be a good thing for her to really stand & pay attention to what people are wearing out in thetown. While waiting, we talked about her work, my blog and how/why such a documentation is interesting and important.” // excerpt from my journal
Mercy Tetseo, 29. Musician.
Photos from Kohima, Nagaland taken in December 2012.
Chovi-e Luho. 23. Management graduate. Lives in Kohima. Belongs to the Angami tribe. Likes Modern Family.
“I look up to my grandma for fashion. She is just an old village lady but has this particular style, when you take it to the fashion level she really has it. She is about 70 years old & lives in Khuzama village.”
Do you like anybody from pop culture?
Where do you hang out in Kohima?
Kisama village. We go there sometimes to just chill and do barbecues.
I’m here for Christmas holidays. Usually we spend Christmas with our family. Have family gatherings. Go to church. Go out for picnics in the outskirts. Go fishing. Best part about the picnics is Galho — a Naga dish made with rice and vegetables.
Does your name mean something?
Chovi means ‘leading to the right destination’ in Tenyidie.
Photographed and interviewed in Kohima in December 2012.
Kusa Khesoh, 22years old. Literature student. Lives in Kohima.
“I grew up in Phek district. I was there for 19 years then I moved here.
What I like about Kohima is shopping and an independent life. Every now and then I earn by working backstage for some designers. Most times I eat out at Big Bite or Ozone cafe. Sometimes I skip dinner and sometimes I have noodles and go to bed. It’s easy for me to live alone. Kohima is different from any other city. I am planning to move to Delhi next year to do my MA. If I don’t do my MA, I’ll probably work at a call centre. Otherwise, I’m interested in working as a stylist.
I spend my days taking photos for my blog and my lookbook. I love collecting vintage photos and clothes from uncles and aunts and like going to the thrift shops. I have a lot of bags, all from the streets. And vintage glasses. Thrift shops are at every corner in Kohima town. Best places for shopping are Sekho complex & open market at BOC junction.
The only thing I don’t like about Kohima is that it’s too cold.”
Photographed and interviewed in Kohima in December 2012
There was just forest around everywhere and a very few houses. A bunch of us 6-7 kids would go on fake hunting expeditions and picnics — take biscuits and fill flasks with tea and walk and walk. This was on saturdays. Sundays were about church and sunday school where teachers will tell us stories from the bible and play some bible games & watch some christian films. Much more fun than the church now.
In our old house at Dr Billy Graham road, it was like literally living in the forest. We were the second family to move in there. Only traffic was people going to work in the fields in the mornings and evenings. When we were kids we would hang out by the gate and old ladies would give us pumpkins. My mom loves gardening so half of our land was a kitchen garden. We had 4 pigs, guava trees, mulberry, pears, peaches, passion fruit. My mom and dad grew them. Our house was a typical tin roof house with a big Naga style kitchen with a fireplace in the middle and two rooms. We used to grow our own vegetables — pretty much everything. And there was a huge tank for storing rain water that’s where two of our cats drowned unfortunately. We lived there for a year till we moved to a concrete house behind it. The garden remained till we eventually sold everything off and moved to our present house.
We used to have a lot of fun fetching water from the well and rivers. My parents used to find water sources and dig wells. We’d have competition amongst us siblings how many pots of water one could fetch in a day. We would also catch fish. I remember an old man would announce no women folk could fetch water for two days and that meant the annual Angami festival(Sekrenyi) was on. This is when a woman is not supposed to cross a man’s path. Same for men. Ah so between Azi, I, and my brother, Azi used to win. She’d fetch about 5-7 pots.
Do you have a favourite memory from your childhood? Running back home through the forests, through sun, through some scary parts, through shade, anticipating what would be there for snacks. Momos, chow, cakes, jalebis, or samosas. Sometimes mom would be there, sometimes not. We would make tea and play guess what mom would bring from school. Momos were the best.
Has the town changed a lot since you were a kid? Yes. Old small quaint cottages have been replaced by ugly buildings. Roads are better but have become smaller. Many of the ponds we played in have dried up or some people filled them up and built houses on them. All our childhood playgrounds are gone. The trees we used to climb are gone. A small stream used to run through the colony — there is a road there now. All bamboo grooves are gone. Ahh entire landscape has changed.
How did you get interested in fashion?
My mom, me, Azi, all my cousins, my nanny — we would religiously follow all beauty pageants. There were always lot of clothes in our house as there were 3 older female cousins in our house and my mom was very creative about recycling clothes. She’d buy stuff for them and then alter the clothes so I’d get to wear them too. We were always discussing shoes and clothes. Dressing up was like a game for all of us. We all used to play songs on the radio and dance. I was in love with flowy skirts. I think I had a cut out of Audrey Hepburn in a black dress. I used to pester mom to make short fitted dresses but she’d only make full length ones.
My dad used to have a great collection of old fashion, film, music magazines — both Indian & Western. There was Options, Seventeen, Glamour, lots of Chinese & Russian film magazines. We used to cut out pictures and make scrap books out of them and take them to school to share with friends. Mom used to copy ideas from these magazines & make clothes for us. My dad was the first person in our village to have a camera. He had a Yashica. Azi hated being photographed when she was a kid till she finished school. My dad used to photograph me a lot. Mom would scold us if anybody was looking down in a photo as it was considered a bad photo so we would always look straight into the camera.
Are there any films you like in particular because of their fashion? Breakfast at Tiffany. I like what Marion Cotillard wears in A Good Year. Kate Beckinsale’s body suits in Underworld. The Help — most of the characters wear really pretty stuff.
How was living in Delhi for you?
I went to Delhi first when I was 19. I was in awe of all the cars, the lights at night, the shopping malls, and the traffic was overwhelming. When I moved there, first few months were terrible. Heat was bad and people were rude. But you get used to it because you become less sensitive. Everything seemed fast– exciting but scary. For me cooking for myself was fun. There was a lot of freedom because there was no routine. Suddenly it seemed like I had more time. Days started early and would stretch till late. While back in Kohima, town would shut by 3 or something and we’d sleep by 8.
What did you miss most when you were in Delhi?
Fresh air, food, and open spaces. You have parks but not forests where you can scream.
Anything you’re listening to over and over again?
My playlist hasn’t changed much for a while but I’ve been listening to a lot of Katie Melua and also What It Feels For a Girl by Madonna because I am practicing it.
Photographed & interviewed in Kohima in December 2012.
Tell me something about yourself.
I’m majoring in Sociology and I like poetry. I started modelling at the age of 18 in 2010. My first show ever was winning Mr. Fresher(CSUK) at college. I was also one of the finalists and winner of Mr. Personality at Mr. Northeast 2012 held in Kohima.
How do you describe yourself?
I am compassionate and easy going. I also have good intuition.
People you admire.
I have always admired Maria Sharapova ever since I was a little boy. She is tall. And pretty.
Also Aung San Suu Kyi— the Burmese opposition leader. She is a very strong woman and an inspiration to me.
Favourite Naga designers.
Rosou Rhi(based in Kohima). Rensali Tungoe(based in Dimapur).
Favourite place in Nagaland.
Dimapur, for its night life. It’s dusty and warm but it’s adjustable. I like late night strolls at the railway station there.
Most watched channel on television.
Magazines you read.
People. The Eclectic(it’s a northeast based magazine).
A song you’re listening to on repeat.
Marc Anthony’s “Love is All.” I recently got single and it’s kind of hard. This song makes me more sad..but also brings peace.
Where do you mostly shop from?
I don’t shop much. I love Viliethie Complex in Kohima because it’s easy and affordable. The jacket I’m wearing in the photo was bought by my sister. I did some alteration to it.
Where do you hang out in Kohima?
No particular places. I like going for car rides with friends. We usually hang out at IG stadium. It’s really quiet and pleasant there.
Is there anything you don’t like about Kohima?
We are developing and we will change, but for now, what I don’t like is the lack of civic sense among the young people. Most people chew betel nut and tobacco and spit on the road. Also, they throw the plastic wrap without caring. I wish everybody cared a little more about sanitation.
I plan to join an aviation academy and work as a flight steward. Maybe I’ll freelance as a model too. At some point later in life, I also want to teach sociology.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
These are the last few lines from “If” by Rudyard Kipling — a poem I love.
Photographed near Kohima local ground in December ’12.