Clothes maketh the woman? Wrong. Woman maketh the clothes. ‘It is not what you wear, it is how you wear it’ - that is the present fashion mantra. In the sea of designer luxury, the three Cs are what set one apart. Comfort. Connect. Combination.
Before the above words conjure hallucinatory visions, let us clarify. Comfort is not tracksuits and sneakers (Juicy Couture is canned!). Connect is not just tuning in to the latest trends. Combination is certainly not a wild array of beads, colours and a general mad assortment. Not so superficial anymore, this is deeper.
Some might find solace in their seven inch heels, and bliss through bleeding toes. Others enjoy bondage-like experiences with their second-skin dresses or waist-clincher belts. There is joy in the burden of carats – the heavier they are, the bigger the smiles get. But that is ‘comfort’ – to identify with elements, and make them a part of you. Jeans or Jean Patou, flat sandals or skyscraper stilettos – whatever makes you happy, makes you beautiful.
A reflection of one’s personality through attire brings a special quality to dressing. A relationship between the wearer and her pieces is the ‘connect’ that accentuates personal style, which in turn, connects with others. It is less contrived, somewhat effortless and therefore, much admired.
Imagination is the key to unpredictability. Salmon orange with powder blue? Sure. Gladiator sandals with the LBD? Why not. A shirt with a sari? Never imagined, but it works all the same. A combination of unlikely elements are often impactful. And then there are the classics – collaborations that never fail to work. It is an amalgamation of experience, adventure and evolution that asserts itself in dressing – time and again.
This year’s Verve list identifies the three Cs in each of
the ladies. They are varied in profession, personality, opinion and
attire. Yet they are threaded together by distinction, which sets
them apart. These fashion-forward women certainly deserve kudos for
being the nation’s style-guides in their own inimitable ways.
Style philosophy “Fashion
is art to me. I like mixing vintage pieces with current ones; I repeat
my outfits often, but wear them differently each time around.”
Accessory alert “I love
antique jewellery, watches, unique shoes and bags from Chanel, Jean
Paul Gaultier, Balenciaga and Prada. And, I love my Loubs!” (Christian
Fashion influences “Audrey
Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe. I am inspired by old Hollywood
and old Bollywood, when dressing was feminine, sensual, romantic and
Wardrobe peek “A David
Brooke sequinned vintage dress from Frock, New York. A green plaid Chantilly
lace Chanel dress. A Yves Saint Laurent blue and black dress from the
’80s. Anything by Anamika Khanna!”
Fashion jaunts “Jeffrey
and Bergdorf Goodman in New York to Bombay Electric and Ogaan in Mumbai.
From Anna Sui to Sabyasachi, Comme des Garçons to Anuradha Vakil, from
Karl Lagerfeld to Manish Arora”, the list of coveted designers is almost
Beauty secrets “Sun block,
moisturiser and some make-up, all of which act as protective bases for
the face. I am a spa addict; I go for hair treatments at B:Blunt and
body massages at Sva.”
Dressed for success “Trousers
and jeans in every cut and style possible – flares, bell bottoms, skinnies....
I like a simple look with them – a white vest, Dolce & Gabbana snakeskin
belt and of course, my high, high heels.”
Big passion “Art and paintings.
And books, loads of them. I reread The Unbearable Lightness of Being
time and again.”
Trademark look Blue jeans
and a black T-shirt.
Style sensibility “Being
a royal has not effected my sense of style. In Gwalior I wear saris,
anywhere else, it depends on the mood or situation.”
Sartorial scales “Balance
is not a conscious decision, however it seems to have become second
nature due to the various environments one has to accommodate and be
part of in today’s world.”
Style mantra “I’m more
confident in my own style...so I don’t really follow the 'it' trends
unless it’s something that I think suits and works for me.”
Addictive accent Her Balenciaga
Big passion “My kids and
working towards realising my dreams for Gwalior.”
Signature style Crisp,
sharp and desi.
Has an affinity to ‘Paithani’
saris, white cotton kurta sets.
Style statement Pinned
up hair, slightly retro-buffant style. Kohl eyes.
Textile trends Cotton,
khadi, handloom silks. Various weaves in saris which are handpicked
from different corners of India.
Design detail Temple and
rudraksh borders in saris, ikat weaves, a touch of gold threadwork.
Colour code White, cream,
earthy ochres and browns, indigo, deep maroon.
Addictive accents Scarves,
stoles, subtly printed dupattas and pashmina shawls. Quality leather
footwear and watches with leather straps.
Low-key dazzle Simple
and elegant pearl strands and earrings.
Dramatic drape Teaming
sharply tailored jackets with cravat-like sari pallus during her diplomatic
Big passion The study
of art and historical monuments.
Signature style Daring, unique,
inimitable, forever young.
Sartorial asset An hourglass
figure that slides into couture effortlessly.
Most stylish accessory
Her phone book which is a roll call of the international who’s who.
Famous for Her legendary
parties and international connections.
Feels an affinity to “I
am partial to Hervé Léger’s couture.”
Big passion “My passions
are work related to diminishing the ignorance that surrounds HIV/AIDS,
and the development of design and aesthetic.”
Haute trail “I’ve taken the scenic
route to retail and fashion – from studying politics, philosophy and
economics at Oxford, to working on strategy for Harvey Nichols advertising.
Bombay Electric is a combination of my interest in anthropology, luxury
retail and an unbridled optimism about the future.”
Signature lip colour “M.A.C’s
Fashion forecast “Tahera,
the designer that I have worn in the Best Dressed shoot is one of my
hot tips for the coming year. I was seduced by her perfect and complex
cuts. Who can resist classic vintage shapes in unexpected hues?”
Trendsetting moment “When
I wore jodhpurs two years ago everyone thought I was pretty quirky,
but I guess they’ve become pretty mainstream now.”
Brands vs high street
“I have to confess, there is nothing like having a designer make pieces
customised to your size. What a luxury to have every dress fit like
Individual choice “I usually
wake up in the morning feeling a certain colour (whether accessories
or dress), and take it from there. As long as you go by how you feel,
you can’t go wrong.”
Fashion with a conscience
“On 2nd October we will celebrate Gandhiji’s birthday with a week long
exhibition called ‘By Hand’, a concept that is very close to my heart.
We will celebrate the simple aesthetic, with pieces only made by hand,
featuring collaborations with several like-minded NGOs and designers.
Sustainable fashion is the responsible path forward; there is no reason
why clothes should not be beautiful, luxurious and eco conscious.”
Big passion Music and
dance. “I am lucky to have amazing friends who are musicians, who play
me new things, and teach me to listen differently. Talvin (Singh) often
plays me tracks and takes me on a musical journey, and Sunali, Roop
and Reewa Kumar Rathod have introduced me to a whole new genre of music.”
Signature style Extremely experimental.
“I am not fixated on any one look. I dress according to my mood, expressing
myself in what I wear.”
Sartorial direction “I
love being in sync with the seasons. In summer, I dress casual, Bohemian,
beachy. In winter, in Delhi, I am more formal – I love wearing overcoats,
boots and sweaters.”
Feels an affinity to “I
like unique aesthetics like a really nice T-shirt with embroidery or
accessories that are really different.”
Current look Bohemian.
Top buys A bright yellow
Fendi handbag for day for the summer and a pink Gucci clutch. Turquoise
Jimmy Choos, ballerinas from Prada, tan gladiators from Dolce & Gabbana,
Sartorial confession “I
love bags, I love shoes, I love everything…it’s a disease!”
Big passion “To open up
a really eclectic, cutting-edge fashion store merchandising aesthetically
cool products, fashion and lifestyle, from around the globe.”
Most stylish moment “It is about
everything…. It is about your life.”
Fashion philosophy “Be
comfortable in your own space and with both your body and mind. Never
do something because it is in fashion. Do it if you love it. A Rs 100
handloom sari is supremely stylish if you accessorise it the right way.”
Fresh finds Vineet Bahl,
Gaba on the Indian scene. “Internationally, I have bought a lot of Donna
Karan this year and have really liked what I have been seeing on the
catwalk at Ferragamo and Marni.“
Wardrobe staples “Still
white shirts and chiffon saris. I am also swaying towards handloom saris
which I used to wear 15 years ago. I seem to have come full circle.”
Favourite silhouette “Drapey
stuff. Also, the royal, vintage look – colours like coral, aqua, jade
green with contrasting borders.”
Big passion Trekking,
travelling, beautiful spaces....
Fashion, the movie “I can see
myself in bits of the movie but it is never about one style. You need
to incorporate the style that the script demands. It is a holistic project.
My 20 years of experience in the fashion business went into this project.”
Style effect “Fashion
has been the most challenging project of my life. How has it affected
my style? I have just been wearing jeans, shirts and chappals. I think
I will need a personal stylist soon!”
Best buy “Dolce & Gabbana
is my favourite and I pick up a lot from them, in terms of jackets,
black dresses, evening dresses…. For me the best buy is always something
that I can use through the year.”
Feels An Affinity To “A
great fitted pair of jeans.”
Day bag Balenciaga. “I
tend to use the same bag all the time. I grow with my bag. It’s like
carrying a piece of yourself out of your house.”
Great accessories “I love
the current concept of beautiful belts. A vintage belt on a pair of
jeans is like a piece of jewellery.”
Signature look “I like
mixing the old with the new. I don’t like anything to look too new.”
Designer dream “I have
developed an eye for things that are not easily identifiable. Even with
designer wear, I would rather choose something where the craftsmanship
comes out but does not scream the label. Things that stay with you forever.”
Dior Diva “Wearing something from
the season’s collection along with comfortable shoes are a must during
fashion week in Paris.”
Personal stylist Daughter
Tahira-Tara. “She has quite an aptitude for taking things out of my
wardrobe and putting them together and is someone whose opinion I respect
Fabulous 5 “The saddle
bag and my black velvet ‘Lady Dior’. The Dior ‘Karenina’ now from our
winter collection. I also love my Balenciaga and want to own an exotic
skin ‘Birkin’ someday....”
“My grandmother’s solitaires and my great-grandmother’s gold bangles
and chain which goes down till my knees – I wear it in many different
ways, knotted mostly!”
Travel gear Juicy track
pants and Gap round neck t-shirts, Dior sneakers.
“My 12-year- old export business of fashion accessories is my mainstay.
I work in my Dior office as well and help my mother with her art gallery
called Montage Arts.
Weekends are spent with my daughter Tahira-Tara – she is my stress buster; the innocence and purity and unadulterated love from her makes life beautiful!”
Primping routine “The
secret is to look effortless, which takes the maximum effort! I can’t
do without my black kohl pencil and eyeliner and a gloss during the
day, but I experiment when I am out at night.”
Big passion “Travel and
fine dining. I take a lot of trouble to find the right hotels to stay
in and always plan restaurants to eat at in advance which I refer to
in the CNN Traveller or on websites.”
Style mantra “At times a lot of
bling, at times understated. At night, I love to dress glittery. In
the day, a pair of jeans and T-shirt is great.”
Mother influence “I have
learnt from her to be understated and to carry myself with elegance.
My mother never wears anything over the top. Everything I do is inspired
by her – she tells me what to eat, plans my workout…I follow it all
Priceless gift “It would
be my wedding. The things that my parents did, they did not have to.”
“At the time of my wedding, my mom gifted me her heirlooms.”
Feels an affinity to Dolce
& Gabbana, Rock & Republic, Ed Hardy, Juicy Couture.
Designer inspiration “People
around me inspire me; their attitude towards life. I go out a lot and
meet a lot of people. I also have myself in mind when I design. I draw
all my designs myself.”
A label is born “ARA means
'a piece of jewellery or decoration', in Persian. Bling is our basic
Retail high “Shopping!
I am the most impulsive, compulsive shopper. If I am upset, I just have
to go out and buy!”
Silhouette reduction From size
10 to size six. “Last year, I took a huge, major step – I hired a personal
trainer. You can buy the most expensive designer things, but if you
don’t have a canvas to match, it is of no use. Best thing you can do
for yourself, is to get a great body.”
Riding the waves “I could
wear a white bikini in Thailand! Strolling down the beach I felt like
a million bucks.”
Haute makeover “I have
had long black hair since I was 16 and with my new size I decided to
do something about my tresses. I went to Raksha who trained under Adhuna
Akhtar and for six months I just watched her cut hair. The first time
I went to her, she sent me away. But slowly, she layered my hair while
keeping it long so it looks really different.”
Style tip “I would recommend
to all the women who spend so much time and money on hair and fashion
to go work out in the gym.”
Wardrobe staple “White
shirts that I can wear to a board meeting or to a soccer game and then
go for dinner after. I love the clean cotton ones from Calvin Klein
as well as the stunning white silk blouses from Rakesh Agarvwal.”
Big passion “Now that
I have a 26 inch waist, I love belts. I have a broad Fendi belt, a Gucci
belt with a silver buckle and gold body and a gorgeous antique gold
one that I bought on holiday in Thailand.”
Designer element Sabyasachi
Mukherjee, Alberta Ferretti, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Marc Jacobs, Anupama
Fashion inheritance “Everything
I see around me inspires me. Closer home, I hope to inherit the stylish
ease with which my mom wears her saris. And the Benarasi saris that
she’s had for over 30 years. They don’t make them like that anymore.”
Sartorial soulmates Black
Jodhpur trousers and a wrap dress from Karen Millen.
Design detail The fit
and the cut are extremely important.
Style icons Madonna and
Colour code “Classic black.
And I love bursts of bright colours like red, fuchsia and peacock blue.”
Addictive accents Big
black wooden bangles and gladiator sandals. “I love shoes, shoes, shoes!”
Fashion abhorrence “Back-combed
Fashion faux pas “Been
a few… stepping out in jeans when everyone else is dressed for the Oscars…
or vice versa.”
Fashion eccentricity “I
like trying out different things with my hair.”
Current obsession “I try
to read a book a week. Reading is my weakness.”
New loves “A really nice long
sea-green dress from Anamika Khanna. Separates from Hussein Chalayan.”
Sartorial soulmate “My
silver and purple sequinned Miu Miu shoes. With a black or white dress,
they really stand out.”
Arm candy A yellow Jamin
Puech handbag for day. Devi Kroell’s small wooden clutch with coloured
rhinestones for night.”
Retail philosophy “I am
out of this whole Gucci, Prada thing. I look for something really different.
When travelling, I don’t walk into the predictable stores. I ask around
for the new young designers....”
Is drawn to Anything appealing.
“A dress, handbag, the perfect suntan cream....”
TSARINA OF GLAM
Style philosophy “It’s totally
not about what you do…. It’s more about how you do it.”
Signature look “Over the
years, I have not had a signature style – I have always been very experimental.
But I have to say, I am very comfortable in glamour. I can be in jeans
and T-shirts but I am more attracted to glamour.”
“In the last one year, we have seen so many new designers with so much
creativity that I am exploring that and having a lot of fun. These designers
have sown their souls into fashion and it is really exciting to see
Indian fashion taking on new heights.”
New designers “I like
very glamorous designers like Rakesh Agarvwal and Nachiket Barve is
extremely talented. Internationally, I have recently gone into Cavalli
and Dolce & Gabbana.”
Fitness routine Power
yoga three times a week.
Prime indulgence “Clothes,
shoes, bags, jewellery…it’s terrible...I just love it all.”
Big Passion “I melt when
I see a great piece of jewellery.”
Signature style “Boho chic. I
like simple, straight lines, nothing clingy, just an element of freeness.
Mostly pastels. There’s nothing fussy in my wardrobe.”
Chanel chic “I have 2-3
limited edition vintage Chanel bags, one of which I picked up when I
was shooting for the brand’s documentary feature in Paris. I also have
some of their delicate pearl neckpieces and tweed jackets that I wear
in December with ganjis and jeans.”
Retail philosophy “I never
make a shopping list but nor do I buy impulsively. I’ll see something,
keep it in mind if I like it, look around at other things and then return
to buy it, if I still want it.”
Splurge stops “Rome, Milan
and Paris – the hubs of good shopping. I especially love Capri; I have
found some beautiful and exclusive things there. I go for whatever catches
my eye – Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Prada, DVF, Marc Jacobs, Alexander
Is drawn to “I’m a very
old soul by heart. I love the ethnicity of Abu-Sandeep, Anamika Khanna
and Sabyasachi; the vintage gotas and shararas of Hyderabad and Kolkata;
my mother’s pure gold and silver saris that are in tatters, which I
have patched up and worn again.”
Ready and out “I take
20 minutes to get ready. I’ll choose from a couple of options, add an
accessory or two and I’m done.”
Sartorial soulmates “My
two white chikan lehngas from Abu-Sandeep. An Alessandro Dell’Acqua
cobalt blue dress and a white Chanel dress that I wore for their couture
Big passion “My daughter,
Signature style Minimalist.
Style statement A trendy,
sleek bob – the hairdo of the moment.
Designer element Abu Jani
and Sandeep Khosla, Rajesh Pratap Singh.
Colour code Red, black,
wine and plum.
Sartorial soulmates Well-fitted
jeans, and formals by Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.
Fashion inheritance “A
beautiful Maharashtrian Chanderi sari from my mother, and chiffon saris
from my mother-in-law.”
Addictive accents “My
Omega watch and solitaires.”
Top notes Fragrances by
L’Occitane – fresh floral and tea scents.
Signature style “Changes with
my moods – sometimes punk-rock, at other times pretty, sometimes edgy
and sometimes classic.”
Designer element “Aaaah!
Too many – all so individualistic and talented in their own right!”
Fashion inheritance “My
friend’s mum’s gold dress from her party days in the ‘70s. My own kin
gave me the ‘travel bug’!”
Sartorial soulmate “My
‘free falling’ (Aparna and Norden) white cotton dress.”
Colour code Red, bright
blue and brown. Strong colours and unpredictable combinations.
Style icons Madonna, Dita
Von Teese, Audrey Hepburn.
Addictive accents Shoes.
Fashion abhorrence Ugly
Favourite fashion moment
“All my birthday dresses over the ‘youthful’ years.”
Big passions “Exploring
all possible realms of fashion/design/aesthetics that I enjoy. Travelling.
Growing up, along with my little boy.”
Signature style Clean, chic and
Designer element Manish
Malhotra, Aki Narula, Ed Hardy.
Style statement Natural,
non caked-up freshness. Kohl eyes.
Sartorial soulmates Well-fitted
blue jeans, graphic T-shirts, elegant structured dresses.
Fitness Formula Power
yoga and vegetarianism.
Fashion splurges Diamond
bracelets. Statement earrings.
Addictive accents Retro
shades, the occasional red lipstick.
Fashion mantra Cleanliness
Favourite fragrance Dune
Fashion faux pas Coloured
straw-blond hair, excess sequins and boot-leg trousers. But that’s all
in the past now.
Fashion moment on screen
T-shirt with patiala shalwars in Jab We Met.
Signature style Understated, classic.
Palatial upbringing “The
one thing my upbringing embedded in me, is ‘dress appropriately for
each occasion’. So unlike the barely there sari blouses people wear
at weddings today, mine are rather old fashioned and modest! And I tend
to favour sparkly regal chiffons without bling.”
Safari style “My husband
jokes that I always take huge bags even on wildlife trips because I
simply don’t know how to travel light. Not true, as a globetrotting
career woman, I have travelled across continents for meetings, with
one nice suit, three shirts and one pair of shoes in a carry-on bag....
But a girl needs what a girl needs to keep stylish even in the jungle!”
Heirloom chic “I have
a beautiful pearl and diamond necklace and a pair of earrings that belonged
to my maternal grandmother, that my parents gave me. I cherish these.
My husband also gave me an absolutely stunning Cartier tutti-frutti
style necklace for our wedding. It’s breathtaking. I love my gold and
red zari wedding sari which my mother had worn too.”
Is drawn to Armani and
Alberta Ferretti. “Their cuts and style suit me and my personality beautifully
and their clothes are timeless. No fuss, no clutter.”
Mother influence “For
her regal sense of style, poise, intellect and elegance and her complete
self-confidence in everything she has ever worn.”
Style legacy “My sense
of humour! My daughter, Shaiyra, is the most non-materialistic young
lady ever. She receives many gorgeous things, but does she care? I think
not. I am proud of her.”
Big passion “My family
and the projects I get involved in. I try to do everything to the best
of my ability. And of course, like every woman, I love shoes.”
Signature style As sharp as it
gets. Tailored separates in classic cuts and immaculate fit.
Sartorial soulmates Crisp
white shirts and single-pleated trousers.
Style statement Her signature
hairstyle. Sleek, non-fussy, and the epitome of posh.
Colour code Black, white,
pale grey, silver, light pastels.
Addictive accents Broad
or narrow belts in neutral tones, leather handbags, high heeled pumps
or court shoes.
Design detail Tone-on-tone
pleats, seam-placements, geometric shapes. Crease-free elegance.
Subtle bling Elegant diamond
trinkets that add an edge to power dressing.
Style philosophy “I learn from
everybody and feel proud of every woman who looks good.”
Wardrobe peek A wardrobe
full of Chanel – jeans, jackets, skirts, dresses....
Caught out “Right now,
I am wearing a grey Armani vintage dress, paired with Giuseppe Zanotti
slippers with crystals, to brighten up the look.”
Feels an affinity to “Karl
Lagerfeld is my god and in India, Tarun Tahiliani has got what he has
– glamour and class.”
“I went up to Karl Lagerfeld at his couture show in Paris in January
and told him, ‘You are my God!’ He asked me, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Because
you make women look beautiful.’ He was so happy.”
Defining piece "Tarun
Tahiliani’s white chikankari sari which I wore for the Swarovski show
in Paris. Mr Swarovski himself came up to me and said, 'I love what
you are wearing.'"
Best dressed moment “The
day I got married. I wore a Farshi gharara made by my mother that I
cherish to this day.”
Fashion mantra “Fashion
is not meant to make heads turn – it’s how you carry things that makes
you graceful and elegant.”
Personal style Simple salwar kameezes,
tank tops and multi-pocketed trousers, Juicy Couture track pants, silk
camisoles, Tarun Tahiliani chiffon saris, 'skimming rather than fitted
dresses’. “I do not feel it necessary to dress in keeping with current
trends and fashion. Loud-loud things are not me. I prefer to keep it
all simple, feminine and appealing. I am a zero accessory person, I
never have any jewellery and I never wear any. I would probably buy
one handbag a year.”
Quote unquote “I do not
feel a person’s clothes should be noticed first. Your presence should
speak, you should be noticed. And then, maybe 20 minutes later, people
should notice your clothes, like ‘hey, that is a great shirt you’re
London halt Shopping in
one’s home base does result in a few favoured haunts. “Miss Sixty, Diesel,
the boutiques of Carnaby Street and flea markets.”
Stickler for finish “I
am not comfortable in a badly made garment; even if it cannot be seen
on screen, a certain quality is absolutely necessary.”
Fashion in film “The style
quotient can definitely be upped...a lot of times, we are scrambling
for outfits just before shooting a song. It’s pretty difficult.” Having
said that, “In the last two years, there has been a rise in awareness
in Bollywood, with international designers coming in and Indian designers
paying more attention.”
Designers and icons “My
favourite designers are Tarun Tahiliani, Rocky S, Gauri and Nainika
and Jenny Packham.” Loves the style of “Sienna Miller and J Lo.”
The legacy “The Bungalow 8 concept
is a tribute to my mother and grandmother who have influenced my style
aesthetic more than anyone else. The store’s philosophy is essentially
about opposites – old/new, high tech/high craft, Indian/global – sitting
cheekily but effortlessly next to each other.”
Closet winners “The Lanvin
shoes I am wearing in the Best Dressed shot for Verve. Any pieces from
my mother’s jewellery collections. Hand-me-downs which include a black
and silver meshed Paco Rabanne clutch. My Marni dresses. My gara saris
and a vintage Pierre Cardin coat from a thrift shop.”
Gay Paree “My fiancée
is French and his apartment on the 16th arrondisement is my island.
I frequent my favourite restaurant there and watch the glamorous mamas
in their fur coats with pooches popping out of their Chanel bags. I
always go to designer Isabel Marant, Le Bon Marché and museums like
Palais de Tokyo and Museé Guimet.”
Versatile style “I would
probably wear a Dries Van Noten couture dress with Converse sneakers
during the day and just switch to a pair of high heels for the night.”
Coming up “We have a new
Bungalow 8 coming up in Colaba, Mumbai this October. I have devoted
a whole new space in my wardrobe to stock with our in-house designer
Mathieu Leguillon’s clothes!”
Big passions “Yoga, my
fiancée and family to an almost unhealthy extreme!”
Signature style Simple, elegant,
understated. “I don’t like to wear things that are easily recognisable.”
Custom made “I sit down
with Tarun (Tahiliani) and he designs my saris for me exactly as I like
them. He knows exactly what kind of blouses I like, which fabrics I
like and he drapes them on me and styles them.”
Feels an affinity to Donna
Karan. “My whole cupboard is full of Donna – from simple linens for
the day to beautiful long dresses with gold embellishments for the evening.”
Evening glam dresses and
saris. “I never wear salwar kurtas.”
Day carry-on A beige Prada
bag. “I am not into anything too branded.”
Evening shine “Burberry
clutch and with saris, pouches by Surekha Jain.”
Big passion “Discovering
CHIC ‘IT’ GIRL
Signature style “A fusion of classic,
casual chic and Bohemian with accents of India. My sense of style is
in constant evolution, which parallels my own personal evolution. Also,
it is decidedly different based on where I am, which means dressing
differently in each place. New York dressing for me is completely different
to Miami or LA dressing.”
Style philosophy “Your
outside style should reflect who you are on the inside.”
Key pieces “My new red
Birkin bag. Though the most important piece in my wardrobe changes on
a daily basis, depending on my mood.”
Closet staples “Adriano
Goldschmied Jeans, white Vince or Testament T-shirts, Rucoline sneakers,
Krieger watch, rudraksh beads....”
Splurge stops “I like
to shop anywhere and everywhere, any chance I get. It varies from Bergdorf
Goodman in New York to a vintage store in Miami to a flea market in
Retail therapy “For me,
shopping is something I do when I am happy, that only takes my mood
to the next level. I do not shop when I am down to make myself feel
Feels an affinity to Hermès,
Prada, Zac Posen, Alexander Mcqueen.
Footwear fetish Giuseppe
Zanotti, Casadei, Christian Louboutin.
Style inspirations “Travelling
is my greatest style inspiration, each destination, be it Istanbul,
Australia or Kerala, brings out a different Ayesha, that then inspires
a whole different style that is authentic to what I am feeling at that
Big passion “To live life
to the fullest.”
SUPER CHIC MOM
Signature style Fresh, flawless,
sometimes daring, always elegant.
Fashion fundamentals Fitted
jeans, belted silk tunics, pointy-toe designer footwear.
Is drawn to Tonal dresses
that accentuate her willowy figure.
Derby style Cool knee-length,
wrap-around dress in geometric print and high ponytail, both perfect
for a warm but chic afternoon.
Signature style Contemporary chic.
Designer element Manish
Malhotra, Valentino, Chanel, Fendi, Surily Goel.
Style statement Ever-changing
hairstyles – cascading curls to fashionable fringes to chic sleek.
Sartorial soulmates Elegant
calf-length dresses in bright hues.
Design detail Collarbone
flattering low V-necks, satin sheen.
Fashion quirk Mixing designer
with street. “I am not a label person.”
Fashion splurges Footwear
and jewellery. She can “spend like crazy” when something appeals to
Addictive accents Statement
belts, retro-shades, high heels and wide-brimmed hats.
Fashion evolution From
sport-and-street to fashion-forward diva.
Style inspirations “Strongly linked
to art, not by casual choice but because of my past cultural exposure.
An intersection of the different languages of art-fashion-design, influences
that I meld together to achieve a timeless expression through techniques
Sartorial soulmate “My
indigo wide-leg J Brand Janis Joplin jeans.”
Foot fetish “Shoes of
any kind – flat or heeled, bland or bejewelled!”
“It is inspiring to interact with great designers, both past and present
– experiences with Issey Miyake, Romeo Gigli, Veronica Etro, Alber Elbaz
and others who go further than just designing fashion, who see the modern
woman not as an object, but as a person who contributes to society and
wants to assert her own individuality. My input starts with sample ranges
for them and evolves from there to final production of the store pieces.”
The past “In the past,
I have dressed Beyoncé in beachwear; Laxmi Menon, the face of Hermès
and Givenchy; Daniela Morera, art curator and close friend of Andy Warhol
and my mother, whose grace and elegance is a continuing source of inspiration.”
The present “If I had
to choose women to dress today, I would pick Dita von Teese, Tabu, Iman,
Jodie Foster and Malia Jones, the champion surfer from Hawaii.”
Big passion “Valrhona
Signature style “It’s nuanced.”
Elegance, glamour and poise are the constants in her looks that have
ranged from Bohemian to gypsy to classic vintage.
Has an affinity to Well-cut
trousers and classic white shirts. Also, graphic prints which are not
Style statement A flawless
complexion. Subtly impactful hair and make-up that pull together any
Addictive accents Statement
belts – wide or narrow. Quirky handbags – printed, beaded or shiny patent.
Design detail Structured
and fluid silhouettes. Great separates.
Splurge stops New York,
Paris, Milan, Delhi and of course – Mumbai.
Splurge and splurge Unconventional
and unique jewellery.
Fashion quirk “Bringing
together disparate elements, mixing it up!” A touch of the whimsical
Fashion abhorrence “Predictability
and trendiness.”- A phase that she admits having passed through.
Lesser known passion Travelling.
Hosting fundraisers for an NGO that works for children’s education.
Signature style Classic with an
Designer element Giorgio
Armani, Rohit Bal, Proenza Schouler, Diane Von Furstenberg, Malini Ramani,
Colour code White, nude,
pale gray. “Right now I am drawn to jewel tones like emerald, amber,
plum and deep purple.”
Wardrobe peek Dark straight-leg
jeans, wide faded jeans, lots of white blouses, short shifts and classic
fitted black dresses.
Favourite fashion moment
Fashion abhorrence Anything
Addictive accents Nude
wedges and black satin platform stilettos.
Signature style “On the fringe
of being edgy but not over the top.”
Sartorial strategy “When
I travel abroad, I go to the smallest shops and look, not for the big
name designers, but the younger, upcoming ones. People tend to go to
the usual places but there are a lot of nice things out there if you
look – ask for people’s recommendations.”
Fashion philosophy “I
tend to be simple. Don’t like over detailing or too many colours on
Jewel box “I don’t go
by designer names but each piece and how it will go with my wardrobe.
With older, more detailed pieces, I prefer wearing something simple
while with simple pieces I would wear something more elaborate. I play
my jewellery against my clothes so that everything is not screaming
Favourite bag “I like
my Marc Jacobs bag which is elegant and yet large enough to throw everything
Prime indulgence “Most
of my footwear is from Italy because they understand arch support and
construction. Especially for day, it is worth the investment so that
you don’t have problems with your feet. For evening, I go for the aesthetic
Style inspiration Penelope
Cruz. “Her clothes complement her personality rather than stand out.
Clothes should reflect your personality, not make your personality.”
Big passion “I create
new passions since I keep changing my goals all the time.”
Signature style Has embraced a
lot of Indian style since she got married and came to India. Is as comfortable
in a traditional kurta or sari as in a stylish dress.
Feels an affinity to Rohit
Bal, Tarun Tahiliani, Ranna Gill.
Shops at Ensemble, Muse,
The Oak Tree....
Sartorial soulmate Her
6 inches heels! Even when she was pregnant. She can balance on her trademark
heels with two kids, one in either arm.
Colour palette Looks fabulous
Fashion secret Mixes brands
with high street buys. She does not have to carry the IT bag or wear
the most important labels.
Signature style “Comfort. Especially
in daywear – it’s very important. But at the same time, not sloppy…
It’s about personal style, rather than trends.”
Designer element Saris
by Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, Pallavi Jaikishen and Tarun Tahiliani.
“Anyone would feel like a princess in their creations.” Internationally,
Armani. “Less is more, and the garments have a timeless appeal.”
Fashion inheritance Vintage
crocodile handbags, metallic mesh bags, antique zardozi saris, old jewellery
– “All from my mother.”
Sartorial soulmates Jeans,
T-shirts and little black dresses.
Colour code “Black, black
black! But also pastels, and bright accents.”
Style icon “So many Hollywood
actresses carry off red-carpet glamour fabulously…it’d be unfair to
name only one.”
Addictive accents Handbags.
“They complete any look.”
Fashion faux pas “Poofy
hair, puffed skirts and airplane wing-like shoulder pads in the ‘80s!
But I guess at that point they were fashionable…now I cringe!”
Fashion abhorrence “I
stay away from loud prints.”
Style statement “A bit
of décolletage as I like showing off collarbones and shoulders.” Also,
good grooming. “Clean hair and nails are important.”
Splurge stops London and
Rome. “I love shopping with my girlfriends. The chatting, the lunches
– they’re great experiences.”
Signature style Casual chic.
Prime indulgence “I love
accessories, especially shoes, watches and bags.”
Feels an affinity to Manish
Arora, Monisha Jaising and Tarun Tahiliani.
Sartorial soulmate “My
big white patent leather Zara bag.”
Fashion quirk Loves fun
bags for day (big bags these days) but “I am not a night bag person.”
Beauty musts Carmex Lip
balm, La Mer refining facial and Vichy sunscreen.
Big passion “Good food,
sunny beaches and my three boys by my side.”
Signature style “Anything that’s
an extension of my mood and expresses my individuality.”
Designer element Kokololo
Boutique in Paris, Malini Ramani, Amii Grewal and Manish Arora.
Mother influence “A penchant
for loud colours and mad combinations.”
Sartorial soulmates About 500 bikinis!
Colour code “Red, red,
Style icon Audrey Hepburn.
“Always elegant, even as a tramp.”
Addictive accents “Lots
and lots of shoes.”
Fashion faux pas “Allowing
people with a conventional sense of style, to style me.”
Fashion abhorrence “Wearing
an outfit that costs more than your rent.”
Favourite fashion moment
“Wearing translucent blue wings to my first ever premiere. As crazy
as that was, I loved having the guts to do it.”
Eccentric move “If I’m
feeling like it (more often than not), I will walk out of the house
and into a black tie do in my track pants and ganji, and maybe put on
a pair of heels on the way out.
Couture chameleon “I am definitely
schizophrenic when it comes to style. I play a lot of roles – working
with the WWF to save the Asian elephant; being Mrs Gujral, from New
Delhi’s premiere political family; also ‘Fizzy G’, the ditzy chick who
hangs out with the gay boys; running an event company; heading the Gujral
Foundation with my husband Mohit. So my wardrobe choices could veer
from salwar kameezes to jeans to black-tie outfits all in one day.”
Skin secrets “No alcohol
or cigarettes and barely any meat. A glycerin and rose water rinse every
morning. Salt scrubs and daily maalish if possible, because our bodies
need that oil. An active lifestyle that includes golf, riding, swimming,
diving. I do buy all the expensive creams but don’t have the patience
to use them as recommended.”
Offbeat path “Visited
Milan to check out the mens’ fashion week for a change – watched good-looking
men instead of crabby women!”
Buying habits “A 100 per
cent instinctive and impulsive. I don’t waste anything I buy, I’ll either
use it or gift it. Whether it’s 10 rupee postcards or 20,000 rupee prayer
beads from Bhutan that I wear as a necklace, everything does get used.”
Wear not, throw not “I
have inherited a real fur which is so beautiful – you have to wrap a
real fur around you to know how it feels. But I will never wear it –
for ethical reasons. It is only precious because it holds memories from
a different time and place.”
Fashion favourites “I
am a total Indophile and will especially wear Indian designs when abroad.
My wardrobe holds a lot of Monisha Jaising and 11 outfits from Kavita
Bhartia’s Fall/Winter ’08 collection alone. There’s a lot of Roberto
Cavalli right now as well.”
Big passions “Food, sex
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