People | India's Best Dressed List 2009

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India's Best Dressed List 2009
Text by Shirin Mehta and Sohiny Das, Realisation by Lamya Bhatri and Photographs by Vishesh Verma (Mumbai), Amit Dey (Delhi), Kaustav Saikia (Kolkata), Ramya Reddy and Waseem Khan (Bangalore)
Published: Volume 17, Issue 10, October, 2009

Hall Of Fame

INDRANI Dasgupta
for her unique blend of vintage charm with a modern, street edge

Star print tunic, by Kallol Datta 1955; white jeans, by Gant; hat, from a flea market in Thailand; heels, by BCBG Max Azria; jewellery, by Bebe.

Her style
A bit girly, a bit spunky.

Signature look
Side parted curly hair fastened with barrettes – very schoolgirl chic.

Favourite labels
Sabyasachi, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Marc Jacobs, Alberta Ferretti.

Fashion inheritance
“My mother’s Benarasi saris, which she’s had over 30 years. They don’t make them like that anymore.”

Addictive accents
“I love shoes, shoes, shoes!” Also, chunky, statement jewellery pieces.

Big passion
Reading. Almost always seen with a paperback. “I try to read a book a week.”

Personal mantra
“Be committed to whatever you do.”

PREITY Zinta
for taking the side of sartorial chic, against bling

Best known for
Her radiant, cheeky, dimpled smile and high-energy personality.

Wardrobe must-haves
Statement belts, retro shades, high heels and wide-brimmed hats.

Trendsetting moment
Thick, black frames were made fashionable, thanks to her character in Kal Ho Na Ho.

Philanthropic gesture
Taking up the cause of poor children, “Especially girls, and what can be better than giving them proper education, good food and clothing?”

Favourite labels
Claims not to be a label lover, but seen sporting Fendi many a time. Has a soft spot for her New York-based designer friend Nupur’s creations and also Manish Malhotra and Surily Goel.

Feels an affinity to
Footwear and jewellery.

KOMAL Sood
for looking statuesque in gowns and jeans alike

Make-up courtesy Reshma Sambtani at Juice.
Dress, by Karen Millen; jewelled sandals, by Manolo Blahnik.

Little known fact
She was once a Miss India runner-up.

Style is
“An attitude to life.” Varies according to occasions – from sporty chic to elegantly feminine.

Work inspirations
Travel, people, art, history, architecture. “Also museums and eclectic street markets.”


Style inspirations

“The understated elegance of Lanvin, Valentino and Elie Saab.”

Closet favourites
A collection of designer denims.

Would not wear
“Anything that overpowers my personality. So nothing too loud or overly embellished.”

Fashion faux pas
“I wore a Western jacket suit to an Indian wedding function!”

Big passion
Following the Bihar School of Yoga.

FREIDA Pinto
for turning into a star, muse and fashion figure overnight

Best known for
Her smashing debut as Latika in the Oscar-winning film, Slumdog Millionaire.

Talked about style moment
Her appearance at the Oscars in an electric blue John Galliano dress.

Haute hour
Her first front row seat, next to Scarlett Johansson at the Dolce & Gabbana Fall Winter 2009/10 show at Milan Fashion Week.

Indian idols
Tabu and Konkona Sen Sharma.

Style is
Comfort. “Wearing six-inch heels doesn’t necessarily spell style.”

AMBIKA Anand
for being the chicest girl-on-the-go on television

Best known for
Her fuss-free dressing and kohl-lined eyes.

Her style
“Cautiously carefree.... A combination of understated and Rococo.”

Fashion inheritance
“My mother’s eye colour.”

Closet favourites
“It changes…at the moment, it’s an Edwardian ruffle jacket by CellDSGN.”

Fashion faux pas
“When I was 21, I cropped my own hair to something like a crew cut…it looked cool, but when it grew...looked hideous!”

Favourite labels
“Many...cannot name all due to lack of space!”

Personal wish-list
“For work – to push myself better than last time. Dress – to have a perfectly sculpted body. Life – to be at peace with myself.”

SONIA Gandhi
for wearing the sari better than any other present Indian politician

Best known for
Her salt and pepper ‘bouffant’ hairstyle.

Mostly seen in
Immaculately starched, crisp, traditional cotton saris and salwar suits.

Closet favourites
An enviable collection of Paithani saris and Pashmina shawls.

Italian tradition
Quality footwear. Underneath those sharp pleats, chic and comfortable leather sandals, peep-toes and pumps elevate her in varying degrees.

Style statement
Kohl eyes. Teaming jackets and coats with saris. Draping the pallu cravat style.

Style staples
Cream pearl ear-studs, worn with everything, everywhere.

Other passions
Art and historic monuments.

BHART I Kher
for bringing stylish intent to the forum of art

Skirt by Stella McCartney; shirt by Agnes B.

Signature style
“Easy. As an artist, you can wear whatever you want. I have worn jeans to a black tie event. I may wear a suit one day or casuals the next or turn up in an Alexander McQueen dress.”

Inspirations
“Eccentricity, strong intellect and wit.”

Feels an affinity to
Shoes.

Fashion and art
“Fashion has always been inspired by art and art never follows ‘fashion’.”

Fashion faux pas
Wearing really high heels to go out dancing.

Favourite designers
Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Manish Arora, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Rajest Pratap Singh.

Fashion inheritance
“All my mum’s old chiffon saris.”

Definition of style
Intention is everything.

SHAGUN Khanna
for blending modern and vintage with subtlety

Dress from Christian Dior; Swarovski-studded snakeskin shoes from Rene Caovilla; evening clutch from Daniel Swarovski.

Signature look
Glamorous, chic, uncomplicated, playful. Usually built around a statement, often vintage, piece like a brooch, necklace, bracelet or chunky rings and belts.

Has an affinity for
Long flowy dresses for evening, jeans with peasant blouses or plain tees with a colourful, oversized bag for day.

Handbag peek
“I always have my ipod, sunglasses, shawl, BlackBerry, wallet, all stuffed in.”

Key pieces
Distressed skinny jeans from 7 For All Mankind, black off-shoulder cat suit, cropped leather jacket from Jean-Claude Jitrois “which I can never get bored of”, a Bottega Veneta copper snakeskin evening bag, “a present from my best friend, Preity Zinta”.

Favourite designers
Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin and recently Giambattista Valli dresses. “I have a fetish for shoes – Christian Louboutins are my all-time favourites.”

Timeless inheritance
A tailor-made diamond and Basra pearl set designed by Cartier and passed down by her great grandmother.

HARATHI Reddy-Rebello
for her ability to rediscover her look every season

Dress from Calvin Klein; shoes from Chriatian Dior.
Hair by Sisir Simick of Bare Body Essentials.

Fashion philosophy
“Style is a sense of confidence and knowing of oneself. Style is being beautiful inside out.”

Feels an affinity for
“My hats which I am wearing a lot of this season. My black and white Lanvin is my all-time favourite.”

Fashion accessory
“A sense of humour and realisation that we are responsible for our actions towards this planet. Also, my Prada Hobo bag – in which I can literally carry my kitchen sink.”

Wardrobe peek
The coat dress, Liquid jeans, a sequinned jacket that adds ‘rock glam’ to evenings....

Big requirement
“Intelligence. Without which, there is no style.”

Better avoided
Big floral prints, shoulder pads and “anything ill-fitting, which makes me ill.”

Fashion inheritance
Temple jewellery handed down through five generations.

Fashion faux pas
Mixing prints, stripes and too many colours last season.

MALINI Ramani
for creating rock star looks fit for an Indian princess

Make-up by Stafford Braganza for Lancôme, India. Hair courtesy Yasmin's, Andheri.
Fur gilet, by Dior; ripped stretch trousers, by Citizens of Humanity; heels, by Dior.

Signature style
Flirty, fun, feminine....

Wardrobe must-have
“Hmm...it really depends. Right now I’m hugely into comfort, so probably a pair of jersey harem pants.”

Accessories alert
“Big aviators and a big smile.”

Design inspiration
“Inspiration appears from so many places – dreams, music, movies, friends, books, nature...my mother. I always start by designing for myself. I would call it a design guideline...and it’s based on how I want to look. I feel if I wouldn’t wear the piece, why should I expect anyone else to wear it. It helps me keep my originality.”

Maternal influence
“Of late, whenever I need an extra dose of inspiration, I raid her closet and find treasures.”

Big passion
“Alternative healing, food, my dogs, travelling. I’m researching for a healing centre that I plan to open in 2010. I’m also designing a furniture line.”

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