People | India’s Best Dressed List 2010

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India’s Best Dressed List 2010
Text by Sohiny Das and Interviews by Shirin Mehta and Sohiny Das
Realisation by Nirali Mehta and Lamya Bhatri
Photographed by Prasad Naik, Vishal Kullarwar (Mumbai), Amit Dey (New Delhi)
Published: Volume 18, Issue 10, October, 2010

It is that time of the year again. Verve’s annual Hall of Fame for the nation’s sartorially spectacular ladies is a celebration of their admirable effort, and effortless style. Perennials and newbies unite in this compilation of the best wardrobes in the country

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
For the pristine, mysterious aura that she has maintained for as long as we have known her

Signature style
Minimalism. Clean lines. Stark, solid fabrics.
Stamp of identity
Her trademark short cropped hair and the familial dimples.
Fashion influences/inspirations
Mix of influences from male and female family members. Grandmother Indira Gandhi’s short hairstyle and zero make-up approach. Mother Sonia Gandhi’s preference for woven cotton saris with temple borders. Father Rajiv Gandhi and great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru’s affinity towards soft tailoring. All these elements are blended with a modern, practical approach.
Stellar sartorial moment
A black and white tailored shirt and trouser combination to the Indian Parliament a few years back, which is still vivid in the country’s political dress memory.
Closet staples
Cotton handloom saris with woven borders, comfortably fitted jersey tops, crisp shirts, flat-front and straight-leg trousers.
Colour code
Mainly solid hues, especially white, cream, indigo, shades of green and dull, dark reds. Subtle floral block prints and some woven stripes and checks.

Tamara Moss
For not caring about what people think

Signature style
Non-fuss, hippy, Rasta, grunge.
Current statement
A single long thin dreadlock of hair down her nape and back.
Favourite labels
Not fussy about any particular labels. Mixes designer with street.
Style quirks
A little DIY bug, which inspires her to wrap shawls and stoles as skirts or towel head wraps.
Best accessories
Her waif-like frame and nonchalance. And her fetish for footwear. “It’s always the shoes I’m after.”
Comfort zone
Very comfortable with her own body and not inhibited regarding revealing clothes. A designer’s dream.
Big passions
Anything related to fashion – the clothes, accessories, photography, creative inspirations, travel.
Future plans
“I would prefer to be in a field where I am doing something more creative and using my mind a lot more. Modelling came about by default. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but at the end of the day, I have higher aspirations than being just a pretty face.”

Shilpa Shetty
For her slow but sure veering towards classic staples, away from a bling overdose

Best known for
Having the best body in Bollywood. Even nicknamed ‘The Body’ in the Hindi film industry.
Signature style
Kohl-lined eyes and the perfect blow dry – always.
Current fashion phase
Jackets and trousers. One of the few Indian actresses to sport tailored separates and well constructed semi-formal blazers.
Most watched sartorial moment
In a fluid-gold, draped Tarun Tahiliani ensemble which evoked mixed reactions.
Age and style
Directly proportional. From gaudy to classy – this has been an evolution to note.
Big passions
Yoga and Indian Premier League cricket team Rajasthan Royals, which she partly owns.
Conscience calls
Associated with PETA: participating in a memorable campaign against caging of circus animals.

Ambika Anand
For having made a brand of herself on Indian television

Current fashion phase
Jumpsuits and high heels.
Fashion influences/ inspirations
“Reading and researching on varied fashion topics just makes one’s fashion acumen sharper.”
Best dressed moment in the past year
Interviewing Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Paris, in a Raakesh Agarvwal dress.
Fashion destinations
India Fashion Weeks. “I think Indian fashion designers are truly value for money.”
Shopping philosophy
“It has to be love at first sight!”
Disaster dressing moment
“If I don’t blow dry my hair, I always look like I am having a very, very bad hair day!”
Fashion inheritances
“My nani’s kada.”
Personal style no-no
Never wears lipstick.
Fashion versus style
“Fashion is about momentary happiness. When you can attribute many happy moments to fashion then it’s eternal style.”
Best impulse buys
A pair of low-crotch track pants. “I wear them to the gym and then change my shoes and wear them to an evening out.”
Future foresight
“An ethnic sari. A string of pearls. Dimple Kapadia’s hairstyle.”

Yellow jumpsuit, from Aphrodite; shoes, from Jimmy Choo; belt, from Dior.
Make-up by Deepika Sadanah, from LOOKS Unisex Salon.
Hair by Shristee Sapkota, from LOOKS Unisex Salon.
Photograph by Amit Dey.

Aakanksha Nanda
For being carefree and spontaneous; yet admirably chic

Signature style
“‘Free’ size, ‘free’ style.”
Current fashion phase
“The sari has been crossing my?mind ever so often these days, which is surprising because I’m a ‘dress’ girl mostly, out of convenience. I would love to?meet a sari?that is as easy to wear as a dress.”
Best dressed moment in the past year
Dancing at Blue Frog in a glow-in-the dark dress by Miriam Strelhau. Also “my best dressed moment?is the look in my five-year-old’s eyes when I pick him up at the bus stop, wearing his favourite colour, yellow!”
Favourite labels
Small Shop Jason Anshu – “art that you can?wear”; Namrata Joshipura – “best?for the sexy petite girl”; Rajesh Pratap Singh – “intellectually stimulating”; Manish Arora, Rabani & Rakha, Morphe by Amit Aggarwal, Gauri & Nainika.
Closet staples
Vests in all colours. Flower hair clips.
Big passion
Design. “I’m betrothed to a higher aesthetic!”
Precious inheritances
Vintage Dior glasses. “And a snakeskin handbag from my mother-in-law. I call it the ‘queen-of-the-jungle Sheila’ bag!”
Fashion destinations
Bombay Electric and Attic in Mumbai. “Hat doffed to both curators!”
Fashion versus style
“Youth versus experience?”

Draped silk dress, by Jason Anshu, for Small Shop; shoes, from New Look.
Photograph by Vishal Kullarwar.

Malini Ramani
For living it up, never forgetting to include fun in dressing

Signature style
A blend of tribal, hippy and resort. Always sexy. Always glam.
Current big moment
A finale show at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter Festive 2010 has reasserted her position as the Bohemian princess of Indian designer resort.
Design inspirations
“It’s based on how I want to look. I feel if I wouldn’t wear the piece, why would I expect anyone else to wear it?”
Best accessories
A sense of fun and her tongue-in-cheek humour. “And a big smile” showing off her deadly dimples.
Precious inheritances
Mother Bina Ramani’s eclectic sensibilties and wardrobe. “I raid her closet and find treasures.”
Big passions
Yoga and pilates. “Alternative healing, food, my dogs, travelling.”

Asymmetrical dress, by Malini Ramani; shoes, from Russell and Bromley; silver bangles, from Janpath market.
Make-up by Sandy Dhingra, from LOOKS Unisex Salon.
Hair by Bina Punjani, Creative Director, from LOOKS Unisex Salon.
Photograph by Amit Dey.

Aparna Chandra
For reinforcing the fact that great things come in petite packages

Signature style
Laid back and quirky.
Style evolution
Ethno hippy to preppy androgynous to Boho-retro to minimalist Rastafarian – she has never been afraid to experiment and have fun with dressing.
Colour code
A pop shade may appear in the form of a sling bag, or mules, or beads and bangles or even a flower in the hair. But always balanced by neutrals.
Shape shifters
Not one for body-con, but not all sack either. Loose and slouchy are mixed with more streamlined and structured pieces. Seen on many occasions in dirndl skirts and zouaves.
Addictive accents
Tattoos and piercings.
Style philosophy
“You’ve got to wear what suits you and what works for you. I’m a completely non-trend person. You wear what feels good, not what you should be wearing.”

White dress, from COS.
Make-up by Megha Khanna, from LOOKS Unisex Salon.
Hair by Shristee Sapkota, from LOOKS Unisex Salon.
Photograph by Amit Dey.

Sanchita Ajjampur
For incorporating authentic vintage pieces in her 21st century wardrobe

Signature style
Modern nomad.
Style philosophy
“Trends are not as important as an inspiration.”
Best dressed moment in the past year
A blue-black Lanvin lace and silk dress with Melissa shoes and personal talisman jewellery for her show at Van Heusen India Men’s Week in August 2010.
Favourite apparel labels
1960s-’70s – Ossie Clark and Walter Albini; 1980-’90s – Romeo Gigli and Yohji Yamamoto; contemporary – Alexander McQueen, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin and Consuelo Castiglioni for Marni.
Accessory brands
Melissa from Brazil, Henri Beguelin and Marni from Milan, Logan from Los Angeles and her personal label, based in Bengaluru.
Closet staples
Authentic and original vintage pieces.
Big passions
“Yoga, swimming, reading, being with my inner circle, travelling.”
Shopping philosophy
“As soon as fashion is universal, it is out of date, hence my shopping philosophy is less is more; fashion fades, only style remains.”
Guilty pleasures
Dark chocolate by Michel Cluizel, Jean Hevin or Wittemer from Place de Sablons in Brussels.
Words of wisdom
“Your dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady!”

Leopard printed kimono gown, from Lanvin; silk tulle corset, from La Perla; gold nappa sandals, from Lanvin. Make-up by Leila Sharma.Photograph by Rocky Chandy.

Sherina Dalamal
For still being classic, feminine and refined in the neo-power run

Signature style
Feminine, chic dresses, with a little bling.
Fashion icons
Kate Moss and Sienna Miller for their eclectic style; Queen Rania of Jordan for her understated elegance.
Fashion inspirations
“I’m inspired by everything around me – people, nature, travel experiences. My mother is my biggest fashion influence; she’s a perfectionist.”
Favourite apparel brands/labels
Diane Von Furstenberg, Marchesa, Milly, Halston Heritage, Hervé Léger, Topshop.
Accessory brands/labels
“Butler & Wilson has fun accessories. I love going to flea markets; I always find interesting pieces which no one else has.”
Closet staples
Crisp white shirts and capri trousers.
Guilty pleasures
Croc handbags.
Most precious pieces
Classic Azzaro and Hervé Léger dresses.

Dress, by Cherie D; all accessories from personal collection.

 

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