The actress brought many unheard of labels and designers on the map and other actresses took a leaf out of her book to develop their style statements...
Did you know about brands like Ralph & Russo and Delpozo before Sonam Kapoor started wearing them on the red carpet? From rocking Ashi Studio dresses on many occasions to owning designer Toni Maticevski like a pro to killing it in brands like Jean-Louis Sabaji and Isabel Sanchis — Sonam’s style experimentation has been the ultimate core-shaker for the comatose Indian red carpet. The fashionista shares, “Every designer has a distinct voice. Fashion is art and it’s about collecting things. It’s about taste. You need to have that eye for real style. Nobody had heard of Ralph & Russo and Ashi Studio. After I wore them, a lot of celebs and their stylists started calling for them. It’s flattering, but also good for the designers and the fashion industry. If designers themselves weren’t good, people won’t wear them! By and by, girls became aware of these names and they got mainstream. If Masaba wasn’t Masaba, people won’t buy her designs. People became aware that she is around. Gaurang was another brand people didn’t know about. Be it Payal Pratap, Dhruv Kapoor or Shift — people slowly started warming up to these labels. I enjoy fashion and I’m always on the lookout for something new and I don’t want to look like every other girl. I had worn an Ashi Studio dress and later saw it on two or three girls who wore it in the same colour but slightly different cuts.”
One’s keen to ask Sonam how does she pick clothes. “Whatever I feel at that time. Muzaffar Ali is one label which has been around for so long and people have now started getting aware of it. Anuradha Vakil is another example. These are some of the names who have never been part of the mainstream Bollywood films but they have worked hard on their craft and need visibility.” Sonam and Rhea have emerged to be the ultimate dream style team. She shares, “Rhea understands my taste, for example, I had seen the Ralph & Russo blue dress at Cannes online and loved it. In the beginning she wasn’t sure about it and later she realised it’s fantastic and she eventually agreed.”
Leading the way
While Sonam led the way, her contemporaries followed, aping several of her looks be it the Dior sheath dresses or Vivenne Westwood’s artisanal creations. The style huntress was the first to sport the Pac-man print sari by Yogesh Chaudhary and the look became the talking point in the chic corridors what with the fash-frat replicating it though with much less success. While promoting Krrish 3 in Dubai, Kangana Ranaut was spotted in the same Pre-Fall 2013 Gucci dress that was seen on Sonam a few months ago.
While Sonam dazzled in a Halston Heritage lamé gown in her first Koffee With Karan appearance, her contemporary Deepika Padukone later sported a very identical look (Ibella by Ramona Narang, which was a Halston copy) at a Kingfisher Calendar event in 2011. Sonam says, “This is not up to me to say, it’s flattering if they are. If I wear a certain brand and it gets picked up and other stylists call for the same outfit, I don’t think it’s copying. If I saw something cool on someone I’d do it. It’s not something to be upset about.”
Standing out in a sea of clichés
Breaking the cocoon of clichéd, seen-to-death labels and picking styles from brands as diverse as Rosie Assoulin and Gaurang (an Indian textile label) — Miss Kapoor’s sartorial picks have been a refreshing change giving a respite from the rough-and-tumble of overworked style machinations.
Helping sell young labels
Designer Masaba had shared in an interview with this newspaper, “My saris never sold before. Now, Sonam endorses them and wears them frequently and that has changed around differently.” Her open-mindedness to newer styles, aesthetic and ideas has helped inject a magic potion to relatively younger brands like Vivek Karunakaran, Shehla Khan, Suhani Pittie, Debashri Samantha and Swati Vijaivargie.
You go, girl!
Sis Rhea who is well known to try lesser known and up-and-coming designers while styling Sonam says, “Now I am very comfortable with my styling boots. Express yourself, go for it. Whenever I am on the Internet and I come across new designers, I write them emails. I get excited using new designers. I love it. It’s just fresh and fun and why not embrace it and have fun with it. The more you have fun, the more people will pick up on it.”
Bourgeois is so last season, honey!
Sonam’s sartorial picks have heads turn and broken the notion that — red carpet is always about looking expensive. This year at the races, Sonam rocked a black and grey look in a Neha Taneja dress clubbing it with a pair of Dior pumps and a Philip Treacy hat. During the Dolly Ki Doli promotions, she wore designers like Geisha Designs and Arpita Mehta. She made a Dhruv Kapoor midi skirt quite popular which was seen on other Bollywood ingenues like Kriti Sanon.
Sonam shares, “My mom (Sunita Kapoor) used to be a fashion designer and then she took a break to focus on us. We’ve imbibed everything from her — be it textiles, interiors or Indian clothes. We know the difference between chanderi, raw silk, jamewar and zari. Mom has instilled that knowledge in us. She dresses in a certain way. When she was younger, she’d wear fanny packs, which Moschino has made popular now. She used to pick vintage finds, old zari work and Pakistani pants.” Clearly, the style gene runs in the family. No wonder Sonam grew into such a well-liked and respected fashionistas.
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