Posts Tagged ‘street style india’

Loise | bombay

November 10, 2016

street style mumbai india

What are your worries at the moment?
My thesis, discrimination/prejudice, unequal rights, Trump.

List of things you love.
Bombay, Dress & Identity in India by Emma Tarlo, street dogs & cats, flowers, history and change, Blood Orange, reusing old clothes.

What are you currently listening to?
You Man – Birdcage.

What’s your most used emoji?
The happy face with heart eyes.

Mumbai. October 2012.
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Naisha | bombay

August 6, 2016

street style india

Tell me something about yourself.
I recently moved to Mumbai. I love to live life as it comes, currently I have been taking up modelling assignments and that’s been keeping me busy. I don’t know if I’ll be doing this forever as I have many other interests, but I make it a point to enjoy everything I do. I like reading(Go Set a Watchman was the last thing I read). I like writing, singing, jamming, cleaning my house. I like keeping things neat and tidy.

What kind of music do you like?
Some of my all time favourite are James Brown, Nina Simone, Sade, Tupac, Kendrick Lamar.

What’s your favourite song to sing?
New York New York by Frank Sinatra.


Juhu. June 2016.


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Sarah-Jane Dias | Street Style Pune

March 18, 2014

street style pune india
Sarah-Jane Dias, 31. Miss India 2007/VJ/ Bollywood actor.

Photographed at NH7 festival in Pune in 2012.

Gitanjali Dang | Street Style Pune

March 18, 2014

street style pune india
Gitanjali Dang, 30. Writer/Curator/Dog Walker. 

Keeps going to back to The City by Cavafy. Finds it awfully boring to take photos. Likes to vanish. Currently living in Benares and working on a short fiction.

Photographed at NH7 festival in Pune in 2012.

Ragini Ahuja

September 6, 2013


Ragini Ahuja, 25. Fashion designer at Ikai. Lives in Delhi. Likes péro and A&T. Would like to own Junya Watanabe & Thakoon. Is waiting to read Khaled Hosseini’s latest, & listening to Husna on repeat.

Did you always want to work in fashion?
No. Fashion is too fast. I always sketched a lot..I would’ve been an architect otherwise.

Best thing about being at fashion week.
It’s the vacation after all the hard work! Love the bit where I get to wear my new collection before anybody else.

Where do you shop from mostly?
I am more of an anti-fit kind of person. The bigger the better! For basics I shop at M&S, Anokhi, Clarks, Lancome. The list keeps changing really.

What do you like about Delhi?
Winters. Friends. And I love the food here.

Do you remember the last dream you had?
It was this morning. I was with my sister in New York celebrating 4th of July. There was a huge hoarding. I think. Somehow I knew it was the 4th of July. And I’ve never been to New York. We saw firecrackers. Then I remember I was flying back.

As in? On a plane or like a bird?

Photographed at Lakme Fashion Week in August 2013.

Shruti Bheda | LFW

September 3, 2013

street style mumbai india

Shruti Bheda, 27. Has a cat named Zhi-Zhi. Likes Portishead.

“I grew up in Mumbai. My childhood was fun. I loved going to Kutch(native place) almost every summer vacation. We had a farm there so all day long my brother & I would go climb mango trees, roam in the fields, collect vegetables for home, watch peacocks dance & chase them. We had a swimming pool…I loved cycling & skating too.”

Any places in India you travel often to?
I have been going to Himachal Pradesh every year for at least a month for last 7 years.

Why is that?
I’m in love with the mountains. I feel connected to them. I love walking through them endlessly knowing them better as each year passes by, watching them change. I find myself change with them.

Do you find it unsafe to travel on your own in Bombay?
Yes I do. But whenever I’m traveling alone, especially at night, I keep my knife out in case of any troubles.

What’s the best thing about Bombay?
Its people and Carter Road.

What’s your plan for the evening?
I am going to my friend’s house to have some beer and dance.

What worries you?
I worry about melting glaciers, beautiful mountains, human nature, city life, and myself.
Works at blur.
Photographed at Lakme Fashion Week, Bombay in August 2013.

recent stuff & plans | August

August 24, 2013

There is an Indian Street Style post on BuzzFeed made of my photos(mostly). Take a look.

Jonathan Longuet, a French artist, is making life size paintings of my photographs for an exhibition in Delhi. A rough draft.

Some of my photos were part of a street photography exhibit at Artscape, Baltimore.

Wearabout was on Tasveer Journal sometime ago.

I have an 8 page street style story in GQ India this month.

I have to interrupt my Northeast updates for now. They will have to wait. I was too slow miscalculated my blogging speed. WIll get on with it again in September.

Fashion week in Bombay started yesterday. Will be blogging from there.

Contemplating a giveaway. Would anyone be interested in old looking clothes & books?

Looking forward to leaving Bombay again in October & travel for maybe 6 months. My lease gets over; which is a great thing. The best. Looking at Dharamsala, Calcutta, & Sikkim. Maybe down south.

Also, I’m looking for someone to help me organize all my images and edit a lot of text. You get paid but it’s not much money. If you’re interested, write to me at wearabout at gmail

Sarahlee Nicholas

July 16, 2013

Likes Randy Crawford. Been listening to a lot of Asa. Is currently looking for Jim Tully’s Beggars of Life.

street style shillong india

“I was born and brought up in Shillong. Growing up as a child in Shillong was pretty adventurous. I remember my locality friends and I inventing our own games, going up to the mountains not so far away from the place we stayed at in search for crabs and tadpoles. As a child I was very notorious, I must say, not so girly too! I cared less about how I looked..was very well known for bullying all the kids in my locality!

Other than regular stuff I studied classical piano for 7 years. I’m a professional musician and a songwriter. I sing for the band 4th Element. I’ve been singing since I was ten, and have been with the band for 5 years now. I like all things original and I’m madly obsessed with ships and castles.

I like Shillong because it’s beautiful and has easy access to everything. Its people and its food make it very special. Although if given a choice to live in any other place, it’ll probably be Bombay, because I feel that’s where you can be who you are! “

 street style shillong india

Describe a day in your life here.
I wake up I eat if I have nothing to do I write. I write a lot actually if I don’t have rehearsals which are once or twice a week. I stay with my mom so I do some house chores like babysitting my niece…then listen to a lot of music & just laze around.

A secret you’re tired of keeping?
I’m secretly attracted to girls. (But I would never want it to come true.)

Photos from January 2011. Photographed near Beat house, Laitumkhrah, Shillong.

Himanshu Singh

May 14, 2013

street style mumbai india men

“Being an army kid, I grew up travelling around India — Delhi, Calcutta, Agartala, Shimla, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Pune (to name a few). I studied photography and film from Symbiosis, Pune. I juggle between commercial photography, theatre, and modelling.”

Fashion It intrigues me. I think it’s worth studying and observing on a day-to-day basis. Fashion habits can reveal so much about an individual or a society.

Style icons Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Margiela, Formichetti and Gaga, The Beatles, Annie Leibovitz, Andy Warhol. Why? Because they have all realized the potential of fashion and have communicated heavily through it.

Favorite film: Ordinary People

Bombay Bombay is elusive. It comforts me as much as it vexes me. I continue being here doing my thing and I think I like that.

Himanshu Singh. Lives and works in Bombay. Likes Glen Hansard and the Ballet Men. Photographed in Lower Parel, Bombay in April 2013.

Vibhash Sharma

April 28, 2013

vibhash sharma street fashion delhi india

Vibhash Sharma Phurailatpam, 20-something designer. From “the land of Jewels” Imphal. Lives & works in Delhi. Usually stitches his own clothes. Likes Margiela, Yohji, Modern Menswear by Hywel Davies, Singju, Oo-ty, rice, Ramen, boiled corn, smoked chicken Maggi, Notebook on cities & clothes, Amelie, Makoto Shinkai, Kurosawa, Lykke Li, Alex Turner… Has a thing for white shoes, paints them sometimes. Is listening to Princess Chelsea on repeat. Obsessed with post-its and tea. Loves Nutella.

How was growing up in Imphal like? 
Secluded. I was in my own world except for the occasional family gatherings. Growing up I got to witness a lot of bandhs/blockades, riots…

What’s the best/worst thing about Imphal?
The food, the cycle-rickshaw rides, Paona Bazaar, theatre, and of course the art & culture. // Insurgency, roads, power cuts.

Where do you buy your clothes from?
Saro, Paharganj, and when I’m in my home town, I shop from Ima market and Paona bazaar(or Paona international Market). Depends on how rich I am at that point of time.

It’s your birthday today and you just woke up. What did you do last night?
Dolly, Bini, and Smriti got me some lemon tart so I cut that because I didn’t wanna cut a cake.  A lot of unexpected people called me. I made milk tea for everyone at some point. My sister sent me an invisible pen because I like pens. There is a torch on the cap of the pen so when you put the light on you can read what you have written. She also sent an annoying card which had something sarcastic written with the same pen. Dolly and others also got me Oreo biscuits. Small stuff which I like. We were up till 6am..just sitting around..listening to music and singing Hiding Tonight.

Photographed on his way to work in Hauz Khas Village sometime in 2012.

Goodbye Jodhpur.

January 31, 2012

Things didn’t seem to have changed here much except those YSL for 60rs selling carts around the clock tower weren’t to be found and the famous Omelette man had shifted to a new spot.

street style india

street style india

turban street style india

turban street style

I was here for 5 days. Came here from Jaipur Lit Fest. Took too many photos.



graphic indian

Tomorrow, I’m in Delhi; hoping to stay on till the fashion week begins…and ends.

Men:Jaipur Literature Fest

January 22, 2012

Photos from Day 1. I ended up photographing a lot of old men. Day 2 saw close to 10k people; and about 30k people estimated today.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival
Stanley Pinto, 68.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

Rajeev Sethi. “Rajeev Sethi is noted internationally for his innovative contribution to preserving and celebrating India’s cultural heritage…His formative years were spent in Paris working with Pierre Cardin…/ is the first Asian artist chosen by Louis Vuitton to create special window installations across the globe…/was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1985, Read more here.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

kapil sibal jaipur lit fest
Kapil Sibal; The Enemy. He read out poetry he wrote mostly on his cell phone and  while traveling on airplanes. Most people I know attended this so they could secure seats for Tarun Tejpal who was speaking next.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival
The Stereotype.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

There is an eclectic mix of people from all over; artists, poets, writers, intellectuals, pseudo-intellectuals, serious journalists, idlers, socialites…pretty much everybody. I don’t know many of these men. It’d be great if somebody, anybody, could point out who’s who so I could tag them.

street style men jaipur lit festival
Kshitij Minglani, Entrepreneur.

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival

street style men jaipur lit festival
Raghav Chanana, actor.

It’s been difficult to find traditionally dressed young men but I’m looking; two more days to go.

Oprah was there today; I was nursing a mild hangover so I missed seeing her. Running to the venue now. Hoping to catch Ondaatje and Mohammed Hanif.

Unsettled Man

December 24, 2011

street style india
Man with a hatchet, chasing nobody. Photographed in Bareilly, U.P.

street style india

street style india
Eating off a waste pile. Talking to self. Photographed in Asansol.

street style india

street style india
Eating off the platform. Talking to self. Photographed at VT station, Bombay.

street style india
Staring at nothing. Talking to self. Photographed in Yercaud, Salem.

versova sunset

“When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
-Mark Twain

bombay versova sunset


christmas lights
Merry Christmas everybody!

NH7 Weekender|Preview

November 20, 2011

nh7 weekender pune

street style india nh7 weekender

street style india nh7 weekender

street style india nh7 weekender

gitanjali dang nh7 street style india
Gitanjali Dang. Writer/Curator from Bombay.

rushad kalyanivala street style india
Rushad Kalyanivala from Pune.

street style india nh7 weekender

I’m at NH7 Weekender – the happiest music festival in India. All the cool kids from Pune & Bombay are here.

NH7 Weekender documentary from last year.

New Shoes,Fleetwood Mac,& Grocery Shopping

November 12, 2011

street style india
Karuna Laungani. Junior fashion editor, Elle.

Karuna grew up in Bandra, Bombay; studied fashion design at Sophia college, worked at Zeba with Krsna Mehta, freelanced as a designer/stylist for some time..and has been working at Elle for the last 4 years.

…likes sea food & beach holidays; Young the Giant & Fleetwood Mac; fresh herbs & Russh; gardens & new shoes; apple cider & grocery shopping; smell of a new book, and discovering quirky finds in all kinds of markets. Dislikes Monday mornings & lack of space in Bombay.

street style india

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Till the age of 10, I wanted to be an actress. I was a big fan of Madhuri, and I loved to dance so I would copy her steps….then slowly, things changed.

karuna laungani

karuna laungani elle india fashion

Designers you liked at LFW/Wills.
At LFWRuchika Sachdeva was my favourite. Very London street chic and yet sophisticated. I loved her androgynous separates…totally my style.
At Wills, I liked Ela by Joyjit. Amit Aggarwal. Loved Cue by Rohit Gandhi. And Sanchita Ajjampur.
Any other favourites? Designers, models, photographers..
I constantly use Rajesh Pratap, Cue, A&T, Pankaj & Nidhi for shoots. I love Mathieu’s work forBungalow 8. Also Savio Jon, Dries Van Noten, & Marni.
Amongst models I like Rachel Bayros & Nidhi Sunil. I did a shoot with Nidhi in Jaisalmer and she was lovely. Also Natasha poly.
Amongst photographers: Tarun VishwaMert & MarcusTakay.
street style india
What do you love about your work?
The crazy people, the creative minds, and the maddening pace all leading to transform a small idea into something big and inspiring, and yes I would like to believe…life changing.
And hate
A few big egos in the industry. We are all here to work so let’s not be a diva now.
How much does your work affect your personal life?
I take my work home all the time. If something is not done, it’s always on my mind, and I have very little patience.
What do you do on the weekends?
Cook, entertain my dog, sometimes shop, watch lots of films, and browse design blogs endlessly. And yes, have a marriage…
An interesting film you watched recently?
Is the Lanvin fashion film counted?

Blogs you read..
Tons of them. coco+kellystyle bubbledecor8inspired living. becauseimaddicted.

Markets you shop at..
Vintage stores in East london – you get real cheap bargains. I got this sequined blouse for 15 pounds; nobody believes me. Then I did 2 months’ shopping in 2 hours at Sarojini. I am a cheap skate when it comes to buying clothes.

Looking forward to?
I’ve styled the January cover, so that, and the resort story. Putting together any shoot is super exciting and nerve wracking…but absolutely love it.

street style india

Who’s on the cover?
*whispers in my ear*

Sana Rezwan

October 18, 2011

sana rezwan street style india

Sana likes hoarding clothes and has a minimalist style. Shops mostly from standalone boutiques & flea markets. Likes mixing high street with luxury. Lives in Bangalore.

sana rezwan fashion documentation

sana rezwan fashion documentation

Photographed on Vital Mallya road, Bangalore. 

Follow her on twitter here

Bryan Boy

August 21, 2011

street style bryan boy

street style bryan boy

street style bryan boy

Murakami, Swiss Cows, & Emmanuelle Alt.

July 15, 2011

She likes Swiss cows, Kate Moss, & shampoos that smell like chocolate; has a scary obsession with the color black, and thinks the fact that animals can “talk” to each other is cool; would wear a Manish Arora dress to her future kids’ open house; prefers late nights; doesn’t watch TV, doesn’t read newspapers – gets all her news & entertainment from Twitter; loves cupcakes, and Lykke Li’s Until we bleed;  loves Murakami, Mohsin Hamid, and her childhood favourite Roald Dahl; is a stationery nerd, a part-time business management teacher, and her life’s wish is to own a zoo.

street style india

Ria Jaiswal, 22.

Why do you want to own a zoo?
Because I’ve always wanted a dolphin, a horse, an elephant, and an orca. So I guess the zoo would be the best way to have them. It’ll be more of a natural park.

And why an orca?
Once, when I was in 6th, I wrote a report on orcas for some competition on Discovery channel & ever since I’ve wanted one.

What happened to the competition? Did you get anything?
Nooo. It turned out to be a report writing thing where selected kids from the 5th/6th grade had to do a research on something…anything they liked, and submit a report on what they saw, what they thought, what they’d do, & stuff like that. God knows what they did with those reports, but everyone got a certificate of thanks.

street style mumbai india

street fashion india

How would you describe your style?
I like minimalist fashion but it’s not an everyday thing for me. In the photo..I really like the skirt. I think it’s the first proper high-waist skirt I owned. And I like that it’s body-con and navy+ it’s super comfortable!! Clothes I buy usually depend on my mood. I try to pick up a few various styles, so I’m not really restricted to one kind of “look” but I’m super finicky about the fits. I think I have to like the fit to really buy anything.

Now, I’d say, my style is becoming a lot more experimental. I make an effort to try out newer things, materials, etc…maybe leather, prints, dresses..more structured garments. I think I’d possibly, eventually, like to describe it as classy and experimental. Maybe like Alexa Chung with a mix of Emmanuelle Alt.

Can you cook? Where do you like to eat/hang out?
Not really, but I can make yum prawn curry and some chicken starters.
I love crepes at Suzette. I recently came across Fellas in Khar; I love it because it has all this health food. I also love Busaba & Asia 7 at Palladium. Hang out usually at Chai-Coffee, WTF in Versova, Blue Frog, & Prithvi Theatre.

street style mumbai india

Websites you check when you wake up
Twitter. Facebook. Gmail. In that order.

Magazines/blogs you read
GQ & CN Traveler. I’ve started reading Grazia a seems more approachable. Also, I used to buy every single issue of 17; had all issues except 3. Recently my mom gave all the 17s away as they were apparently eating up space.

Blogs..Oona’s blog before she discontinued, Fab-blab occasionally, LovestruckcowFashiontoast, and The Dandy Project.

Work experience
My first job was an internship at an advertising agency during college. It was too random…would sit and do practically nothing all day. Then followed a corporate PR job. Best work experience was this 3 month long internship at GQ as a styling intern.

street fashion india

Top – Mango|Skirt- some random store in Australia|Bag – Forever 21|Footwear – Habit store, Colaba Causeway

Any mild OCDs?

I used to be a complete neat freak when I was in school. Now, not so much. But if I’ve left something in a particular way and someone messes it up, I get slightly annoyed, and sometimes I HAVE TO put it back to how it was.
Also, I hate wet feet and hands; have to always dry them. And if anyone around me has wet feet/ bugs me.

Ria also hates peas and plain milk, is currently dying to order Murakami’s 1Q84, and in September she’s off to LCF to do her Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship.

The Beat

December 6, 2010

rachel byros

Rachel Bayros, 26. Fashion model.

diva dhawan fashion modelfashion model india

Diva Dhawan, 20. Fashion model.
Top – Zara
Shoes – NY Vintage


Ibadariakar fashion stylist

Ibadariakar fashion stylist

Ibadariakar,24. Stylist.
Dress – Bandra street
Bag – Accessorize
Shoes – Nike
Belt – piece of cloth
Brooch – Something Special, Bandra


lakme fashion week

street style india

street fashion india


fashion designer india

Sailex Ngairangbam, 26. Fashion Designer


beat fashion

Prapti,25. Designer(?)
Top – thrifted
Necklace – BR jewellers, Bandra
Pants – street
Shoes- Something Special, Bandra

Malini Banerji, Fashion Editor.
Blue denim oversized shirt is from Benetton, embellished skirt from Mango.
street fashion layering

Mohan Neelakantan, 43. Fashion Director.
Scarf – from some place in Kolkata
Kurta – Abraham & Thakore
Chappals – 8years old, by Manish Malhotra for Metro..”they got ruined during a shoot so I kept them.”
samir new york times
samir new york times
Sameer Reddy, 31. New York Times writer.
Tee- Zegna
Pants – thrifted
Shoes – from a village in Spain

street fashion india

street fashion india

street fashion india

street fashion india

street fashion india

If you own a rug you own too much.
-Jack Kerouac


Photos from streets and fashion weeks.

Streets on the runway

November 26, 2010

Most of collections that go on Indian runways during fashion weeks never(?) make it to the streets(at least not in my documentation/if it has happened before let me know)…so it was nice to see the process being reversed during Paromita’s show and streets going up on the runway first. Maybe the runway will follow someday?

Her clothes are inspired by bartan walis, dhobis, & rickshaw walas. She likes the initial chaos of creating…prefers rustic elegance to glamorous fashion…likes to mix elements from different cultures in her designs. She photographs bicycles and her own collections..has done about 5 fashion weeks..and all this started off when she was only looking around. I also quite like the last line of her description for her SS’10 collection – “don’t miss the rooster.”

Paromita Banerjee, 27. Fashion designer.

I was born and brought up in a part of Kolkata which was surrounded by old architecture, small lanes and by-lanes, that eventually grew into my being and left a lasting impression. I was a shy kid and my parents made sure that I never missed having a sibling around. I travelled a lot around the country with my parents. I was, and still am, a voracious reader; painting was a hobby and I remember being enrolled in “art classes” which later gave way to my career.

You joined NID to study textile design. How did you end up designing clothes?
At NID, studying textile design was more of an offshoot thing that I could directly correlate to my painting classes. During the course I could not see myself doing just textiles. I felt my knowledge had to be used to create something more tangible that I could relate to- like creating garments.

My first internship and final graduation project was with Ashish Soni – whose style I absolutely love. While working there I realised my own potential for creating designs and starting my own label. Nothing seemed impossible and the fact that one must have years and oodles of job-experience is slightly exaggerated.

I think it was also my want to reach out to a wider audience and the thrill to see somebody wearing my creations and walking right past me. Now, when that happens, it’s an amazing feeling.

At Konstfack, Stockholm.
I was granted a three and half month scholarship at the Konstfack University of Art and Culture. I attended half a semester of the textile design courses offered there. Amongst many things, I learnt different methods of printing which is quite a variation from what we study in India. There was a module for studying clothing and dressing styles of the costumes of the Royal Opera Theatre, Stockholm. I was also taught machine knitting which I thoroughly enjoyed.

You’d mentioned you draw inspiration from the feel of handloom fabrics and your garments emphasize the feel of the “hand-made.” What is the process like? And once you get inspired what actually takes place in terms of turning that idea in to clothes?
The fabrics are usually hand-made or hand-woven on the looms which also make each fabric yardage unique- as the imperfections in the nature of the cloth, while being woven, are the true essence and character of it. I start my designing process with a visual reference comprising mostly of images that I have seen around me or of what I would have photographed sometime over the years. I couple this visual reference with a bit of research work, so that I am ready to start a collection. I also follow up on the various clothing styles and cultures of different geographical regions. I try and reflect this in my work.

..similar to your summer/resort 2010 collection?
Yes, I was greatly inspired by the Bengali “laal-paar” sari that has a traditional red hand-woven border with a “Temple” / triangular motif on an off-white cotton base. It is an intrinsic part of every Bengali ritual and festival. I also worked upon other hand-woven fabrics like muslin and kota, and coupled them with chintz prints. The fabrics were sourced from the hand- weaving clusters around West Bengal. I had named it “The Laal-Paar and Other Stories.”

Do you think participating in fashion weeks is necessary?
Yes, initially to get the world to notice you, it absolutely is. Whether you like it or not, a fashion week has a wider reach in this age of information and technology. Even before the lights go dim at the end of a show, the ramp pictures have already been circulated. Which designer would not want this kind of publicity? Having said that, on the flip side, if one is confident of selling designs, and if he knows his client base and market, one can do so, then a fashion week might not seem important. Although the initial road-map is clearer after a couple of seasons of participation at fashion weeks.

How many Fashion weeks have you done so far?
..four consecutive seasons at the LFW, Mumbai. I was also the sole designer representing India in Shanghai last month, at the Shanghai chapter of the World Fashion Organisation under the United Nations. There were designers representing each of the five continents.

Your first show and inspirations.
My first show at the Lakmé Fashion Week for Gen-next collection was in March 2009. We had an option of creating 8-10 looks for a fall/winter line. The selection process was intense as there were many other applicants. I had sent a single ensemble (which till date remains one of my best selling pieces) in double layered Khadi with stark leaf motifs embroidered along the hem. I teamed it with another double layered shawl drape which was also hand-woven and with a placement embroidery detail. It got selected and finally I built up on it by working out looks inspired by what I saw on the streets – style of the lady who sells utensils on the road, the checkered “lungi” that a cycle rickshaw driver wears, the dhoti drape of a dhobi. It might sound bizarre, but these are the real torch-bearers of “fashion”. They are creating “looks” out of the only pieces of clothing they own, that too, with such a strong identity. With all these looks in mind, I designed the collection and once the music (I select my music- mostly folkloric and world fusion genres) and make-up was decided, I was geared up for my very first show.

I’ve  noticed a lot of students do well in their class curriculum but don’t achieve all that much in their final design collection. What do you think goes wrong?
I think they end up trying too hard to put in all that they have learned in that one single collection. At the end of it, it is very essential to understand the kind of clothes one would want to make, the context in which one would want to place his/her collection, and finally to understand the market which he/she would initially want to cater to. Perhaps, one can disagree with me, since it is not possible to understand/ judge all this while at the beginners’ stage, but to me, a reality check right at the beginning always means you will go a long way.

Any dos and don’ts for the first timers at fashion weeks?
Don’t underestimate or overestimate the media.
Don’t try to ape anybody else’s look or idea if it does not suit your brand or identity. It would look hideous.
A fashion week would be back 6 months later, so do not be greedy and try to show all your ideas all at once. It would be a huge mess.

Try to finish garments way before time to check for finishing, etc. The last sore thumb is bad finishing at a prestigious fashion week.
Be confident and brave if you are taking risks with any particular collection or “look.” Risks are a part of our line of work.
Finally, do believe in your instincts. It always works.

Winter/Festive 2010 collection and inspirations.
Based on the references from cultural styles that I have grown to like over the years..I’ve added a stronger statement with the head-wrap along with colour blocks, which somehow had something very Japanese about them. I am hugely inspired by the costumes and attire of people in different regions and more often than not, they are the locals from the various ethnic groups all over the world. They are the ones with the strongest impression and essence on who they are or where they have originally come from. While the whole world is out to get “modernized” these are the cultural groups that have tried to stay grounded.

This was a collection with ethnic-contemporary influences. The look was based on a collection of stories from a mix of old-Gharana-style shawl drapes to Mughal-style angarkha wraps to the kimono-inspired shift dresses in Khadi. The fabrics were mostly hand woven in the form of Khadi, Matka and Tussar from Bengal, Handloom Mangalagiri cotton from Andhra Pradesh, to discharge printed silks. The embroidery motifs were borrowed from the Mughal “patka” with modifications of the leaf from the “pichvai” /temple hanging cloth.

In the first story, the silhouettes were colour-blocked black & white with a stark red accent based on a look in Khadi with the garments being a cultural mix of influences from the Kosode: the short-sleeved kimono, to the Mughal jama and angarakhas, both essentially being men’s style of clothing.
Resist dyeing was used in the indigo-white story, again in Khadi, hand-woven on shift dresses and bolero wraps.
In the third, darker hues of rust, fuchsia, greens to greys, and yellows were used + lots of layering in the form of panelled kurtas and lehenga skirts with waist-coats.

Update: I usually make the shoes with fabric scraps left-overs after each collection. So one would find all these handlooms, chintz, textures, embroidery left-overs/gone-bad pieces, transforming into shoes. Due to public demand, I intend to manufacture them for the roads as well since right now they all have printed fabric soles.

How important is it for you to have a celebrity wear one of your designs from a business point of view?
Frankly its a huge validation if a celebrity does wear one’s designs. It is equivalent to instant publicity since the “aam-janta” can relate to them (I wonder how), which might have otherwise taken months to achieve through the usual processes of brand building.  But to be honest, I’m more for making clothes which appeal to my sense of aesthetics or  the mood and direction that I want to take in a particular collection; I really don’t care whether any celebrity would like to endorse my clothes or not.

Do you see yourself having a “bollywood show stopper” someday?
No! Never! At this point of time, I’m absolutely against the idea because I feel it is the clothes that draw the “real” audience to the shows and not the show-stoppers. As designers we can be called upon to be fashion ‘trend-setters’ for the next season, and in no way would I want that to be diluted by the presence of a celebrity show-stopper walking the ramp during my ramp shows. I feel my clothes by themselves have the right to make their presence felt, without an added celebrity “stopping” my “show!” I am confident enough to make a collection speak for itself with the right kind of styling/look/feel, without someone else doing it for me. I still do not understand the big-deal about star -gazing. Nevertheless, the celebrities are more than welcome to attend my shows if they can relate to my work, and i would of course design for them if they like.

Do you think that our obsession with beauty and celebrities might change?
No it might not. In fact it will increase over time. We all talk about words like “inner beauty,” beauty in the eyes of the beholder and all of that, but at the end of the day we still go in for a fair-handsome groom or vice-versa! On a not so serious note, the number of fairness products that have flooded the market, leaves one wanting to be on the “fair” side of it all! We like our celebrities to be well – turned out. We gossip over the fact that we’ve seen one of them repeating the same outfits on more than one occasion, we snigger over the fact that one of them has apparently put on weight…and blah blah. Now, can we stop obsessing about these? Not all of us can; after all we all need a diversion from our mundane existences (or something like that )perhaps.

Available at: Ensemble, Zoya, Aza in Mumbai, Collage in Chennai, Taamara and Anonym in Hyderabad, Sade in Pune, Nautanky in Ahmedabad,  Ensemble in Delhi. Price range from Rs 4,200 to 16,000.

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