Archive for the ‘6. Profiles/Interviews’ Category


December 25, 2013

kuvelu tetseo nagaland street style

kuvelu tetseo kohima street style
Kuvelu Tetseo, 22. Chakhesang NagaMusician/Sociology student. Likes Full house, fairytale animation, Dzukou valley, Kerti’s blog, and Naga food. Lives in Kohima.

What do you have in your wardrobe?
Lot of whites. Lot of dresses. Lot of fur.

Favourite designers
Keds Krome, Aneeth Arora, Rahul Mishra, Karl Lagerfeld…

What are you listening to on repeat?
The Way I am  by Ingrid Michaelson.

How do you spend your days in Kohima?
I blog when I am free. I like cleaning stuff. Mopping. Watering the flowers. Helping mom. Most of my time is spent cleaning stuff.

Anything you’re obsessed with?
Fur. And cleaning.

Interviewed and photographed in Kohima in December 2012.

Kusa Khesoh

December 5, 2013

street style kohima nagaland

street style kohima nagaland
Kusa Khesoh, 22years old. Literature student. Lives in Kohima.

“I grew up in Phek district. I was there for 19 years then I moved here.

What I like about Kohima is shopping and an independent life. Every now and then I earn by working backstage for some designers. Most times I eat out at Big Bite or Ozone cafe. Sometimes I skip dinner and sometimes I have noodles and go to bed. It’s easy for me to live alone. Kohima is different from any other city. I am planning to move to Delhi next year to do my MA. If I don’t do my MA, I’ll probably work at a call centre. Otherwise, I’m interested in working as a stylist.

Alexander McQueen inspires me. I love his collections. In terms of attitude and appearance maybe Lady Gaga. I also love Rachel Zoe, Nidhi Jacob, & Anaita Shroff.

I spend my days taking photos for my blog and my lookbook. I love collecting vintage photos and clothes from uncles and aunts and like going to the thrift shops. I have a lot of bags, all from the streets. And vintage glasses. Thrift shops are at every corner in Kohima town. Best places for shopping are Sekho complex & open market at BOC junction.

I love Bon Iver, Morissey, Mumford & Sons, Laleh, The head and the heart. My favourite songs are Flume by Bon Iver & Some Die Young by Laleh.

The only thing I don’t like about Kohima is that it’s too cold.”

Photographed and interviewed in Kohima in December 2012

Mercy Tetseo

November 27, 2013

mercy tetseo nagaland streets style
Mercy Tetseo. Has read Odd thomas about 7 times.  One of the Tetseo Sisters. 2nd runner up Miss Nagaland 1999. Has a degree in psychology. Lives in Kohima & Delhi.

There was just forest around everywhere and a very few houses. A bunch of us 6-7 kids would go on fake hunting expeditions and picnics — take biscuits and fill flasks with tea and walk and walk. This was on saturdays. Sundays were about church and sunday school where teachers will tell us stories from the bible and play some bible games & watch some christian films. Much more fun than the church now.

In our old house at Dr Billy Graham road, it was like literally living in the forest. We were the second family to move in there. Only traffic was people going to work in the fields in the mornings and evenings. When we were kids we would hang out by the gate and old ladies would give us pumpkins. My mom loves gardening so half of our land was a kitchen garden. We had 4 pigs, guava trees, mulberry, pears, peaches, passion fruit. My mom and dad grew them. Our house was a typical tin roof house with a big Naga style kitchen with a fireplace in the middle and two rooms. We used to grow our own vegetables — pretty much everything. And there was a huge tank for storing rain water that’s where two of our cats drowned unfortunately. We lived there for a year till we moved to a concrete house behind it. The garden remained till we eventually sold everything off and moved to our present house.

We used to have a lot of fun fetching water from the well and rivers. My parents used to find water sources and dig wells. We’d have competition amongst us siblings how many pots of water one could fetch in a day. We would also catch fish. I remember an old man would announce no women folk could fetch water for two days and that meant the annual Angami festival(Sekrenyi) was on. This is when a woman is not supposed to cross a man’s path. Same for men. Ah so between Azi, I, and my brother, Azi used to win. She’d fetch about 5-7  pots.

Do you have a favourite memory from your childhood? Running back home through the forests, through sun, through some scary parts, through shade, anticipating what would be there for snacks. Momos, chow, cakes, jalebis, or samosas. Sometimes mom would be there, sometimes not. We would make tea and play guess what mom would bring from school. Momos were the best.

Has the town changed a lot since you were a kid? Yes. Old small quaint cottages have been replaced by ugly buildings. Roads are better but have become smaller. Many of the ponds we played in have dried up or some people filled them up and built houses on them. All our childhood playgrounds are gone. The trees we used to climb are gone. A small stream used to run through the colony — there is a road there now. All bamboo grooves are gone. Ahh entire landscape has changed.

How did you get interested in fashion?
My mom, me, Azi, all my cousins, my nanny — we would religiously follow all beauty pageants. There were always lot of clothes in our house as there were 3 older female cousins in our house and my mom was very creative about recycling clothes. She’d buy stuff for them and then alter the clothes so I’d get to wear them too. We were always discussing shoes and clothes. Dressing up was like a game for all of us. We all used to play songs on the radio and dance. I was in love with flowy skirts. I think I had a cut out of Audrey Hepburn in a black dress. I used to pester mom to make short fitted dresses but she’d only make full length ones.

My dad used to have a great collection of old fashion, film, music magazines — both Indian & Western. There was Options, Seventeen, Glamour, lots of Chinese & Russian film magazines. We used to cut out pictures and make scrap books out of them and take them to school to share with friends. Mom used to copy ideas from these magazines & make clothes for us.  My dad was the first person in our village to have a camera. He had a Yashica. Azi hated being photographed when she was a kid till she finished school. My dad used to photograph me a lot. Mom would scold us if anybody was looking down in a photo as it was considered a bad photo so we would always look straight into the camera.

Are there any films you like in particular because of their fashion? Breakfast at Tiffany. I like what Marion Cotillard wears in A Good Year. Kate Beckinsale’s body suits in Underworld. The Help — most of the characters wear really pretty stuff.

How was living in Delhi for you?
I went to Delhi first when I was 19. I was in awe of all the cars, the lights at night, the shopping malls, and the traffic was overwhelming. When I moved there, first few months were terrible. Heat was bad and people were rude. But you get used to it because you become less sensitive. Everything seemed fast– exciting but scary. For me cooking for myself was fun. There was a lot of freedom because there was no routine. Suddenly it seemed like I had more time. Days started early and would stretch till late. While back in Kohima, town would shut by 3 or something and we’d sleep by 8.

What did you miss most when you were in Delhi?
Fresh air, food, and open spaces. You have parks but not forests where you can scream.

Anything you’re listening to over and over again?
My playlist hasn’t changed much for a while but I’ve been listening to a lot of Katie Melua and also What It Feels For a Girl by Madonna because I am practicing it. 

Photographed & interviewed in Kohima in December 2012.

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.

Lidowe Krome

August 17, 2013

street style fashion dimapur nagaland india

street style nagaland

Lidowe Krome, 21. Philosophy student at Patkai. Belongs to Chakhesang tribe. Has been in Dimapur for about 7 years. Spends most of her time playing online poker and Need For Speed. Likes Fergie, Vh1, Whistle, True Love & noodles. Shops mostly from Zara & Adidas. Has coloured her hair more than 50 times.

What do you like about Fergie?
Her music. And her style — it’s very bold.

When did you start colouring your hair?  
I think the first time was when I was in class 4th. I used to watch my mom colour her hair. She inspired me. Later she started helping me to colour mine and I’d also go to the parlour.

Do you read any fashion magazines or fashion websites?
Sometimes People magazine. I used to check out some blogs through facebook but I don’t remember now.

Where do you hangout here?
We mostly go to Zephyr lounge. Or Baskin Robbins near Popular Bakery.

Do you go clubbing?
Sometimes. Maybe to Pebbles or some house parties or resorts.

Have you been to the only film theatre here?
No. Where is it?

It’s somewhere near Breeze restaurant.

How did you spend your 21st birthday?
At home, with my family. Nothing special. There was a cake. This other time I spent it in my college canteen with friends as most of them stay in the hostel.

Photographed earlier this year at the Wednesday Market in Dimapur on a Sunday.

Ria Kamat

May 22, 2013

ria kamat street style mumbai

Ria Kamat. 22. Jr. Fashion Stylist with Marie Claire. Works on the fashion pages of the magazine but is happiest at a shoot. Lives in Bombay. Studied at LCF. Large chunk of her childhood went in trying to dress like Spice Girls followed by Kate Winslet from Titanic phase(keyword:stockings). Admires Caroline Issa’s style. Has over watched Juno. Is listening to Bloom & Get Lucky over and over, one after another. Likes Huemn, Bodice, Shift, The Lumineers, Passion Pit, singing along to ABBA, Palace of Illusions, vodka…

I was born in Mumbai. I am one of those people who has very distinct memories of my childhood right from the age of 4. Snippets of meaningless conversations, dreams, the way I felt about things…I remember majority of it. As all the kids in my building were boys, growing up around them had a strong influence on me. I was definitely not a girly girl and always dreamt of being a teenage mutant ninja turtle (the red one). I feel like a lot of my real ‘growing up’ took place when I moved to a boarding Sahyadri school which was essentially on a hill in the middle of no where. There was no encouragement of competition…education was everything that happened outside the classroom, friends were family, and teachers were friends. Technology was a foreign term, so every weekend I would write letters to my parents on inland letters. Life was like a little bubble with no connection to reality. I owe everything that I am to that time of my not so long life (so far).

How long were you in London for, what did you study, and where did you work?
I moved to london right after I turned 18. I lived there for 4 years. In my first year I did a diploma course that gave me the opportunity to understand all the different aspects of the fashion industry. I then did my BA degree in Fashion Styling and Photography where I majored in Styling.

While in London I did anything and everything I could and didn’t get a penny for it. I interned at Vogue india in both their London and Mumbai offices. I also worked on a film for Lilly Allen’s vintage store that she opened with her sister Sarah. I assisted the creative director of the film so my job was to build the sets, like physically build them. So I helped source all the material for the sets and then build it…from tiling a floor to building walls. I assisted a lot of freelance stylists in London on commissioned shoots that they were doing for magazines. I did apply for a job as a sales girl at Miss Sixty and I even got it. I worked there for a day and then fractured my foot so that was pretty much the end of my sales career.

What do you miss the most about London?
The parks! I love a good picnic at the park.

Where do you hangout in Bombay?
Uhhh currently at the Marie Claire office. I don’t really have one place. I enjoy eating out at places where the space is as important as the food. I like The Pantry, Kala Ghoda Cafe, Cafe Zoe, The Barking Deer.

Do you find any similarities between London & Bombay?
Yes. Everyone is trying to be someone. In Bombay there are so many young people who are trying to find their calling and achieve their goals. It’s the same in London. And all these people are young…really young.

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.

Pranav Misra

May 7, 2013

street style india fashion week

street style india fashion week

Pranav Kirti Misra, 28(much older in his head). Designer at Huemn, models occasionally, writes poetry. Originally from Lucknow, lives & works in Delhi. Likes Marilyn Manson, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Dastik, Gareth Pugh, Ricardo Tisci, Like A Flower In The Rain by Bukowski, Ghalib. Would like to date Adele. Can have conversations with himself for days… it weird, talking to yourself?
Not at all.

It was a Sunday yesterday. What did you do?
I did not go to the gym.

Other than making clothes and modelling, is there anything else you’d like to do?
Yes. I want to fly. I want to act in theatre. I want to hold seminars in schools and colleges and talk about random subjects for hours. I want to write, sing, entertain people, make people laugh…

How often do you go back to Lucknow and how is it like?
Once a year. In Lucknow, life is simple, there is more air to breathe, and more time to think. But in Delhi, you miss on a lot in just a blink.

Photographed at Hyatt, Bombay during Lakme Fashion Week in August last year.

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.

Stephen Lotha

April 3, 2013

fashion street style delhi india

fashion street style delhi india

Stephen Lotha. 29. Fashion stylist for Cosmopolitan India. Belongs to the Lotha tribe. Grew up in Dimapur. Lives in Delhi. Likes Guo Pei, Kris Van Assche, Sonia RykielThe Way we Wore, ACNE, Lana Del Rey, Keane, As Good As It Gets, Jessica Chastain…

Are you an optimist? Very much. I could’ve been a good pessimist but then I wouldn’t be happy.

How important is fashion to you?
I enjoy fashion. It makes me happy. I don’t mind people forming opinions about me because of what I wear. I care a lot about what I put on my back. I feel naked in denim and t-shirts alone. I feel the world is my prom and I need to dress up.

You studied English Literature at Loyola. How was it? And how did you get into fashion?
It made me speak better English. My feminist professor adored me. Nice people…that city. However, studying there was just to make my mom happy with a college degree. Fresh out of college I wanted to be independent so I took a job at a call center. Worked there for 3 years. Then one day Carol wanted me to style her portfolio. I helped her. A make-up artist called Chandni Singh liked my work and helped in spreading the word. It moved from there.

What’s the best and worst thing about Dimapur?
I like the fact that alcohol is cheap there. Also, the fashion for sure…the flea markets, and the quality pork. Worst: Well the roads are only meant for cows.

How often do you go back? Any favourite hangouts?  I go back once in a year or two. Hang out mostly at cousins’ places or occasionally at some bars. I love Dimapur but I could live without going back ever.

What do you think of fashion in Dimapur?
Fashion is ‘the all’ for Dimapurians. We thrive on it. Ask anyone. It’s fashion before food and air. I used to love it before people became richer. Now it’s a little vulgar with everybody acting too uptight and dropping brand names.

stephen lotha street style dimapur

You told me you grew up dreaming about making clothes..
Yes. Since I was 9ish. I used to sketch gowns and shoes all over my books and mom used to thrash me. Once mom collected all my sketches in a huge bag and handed it to my principal. I got 10 blows on my back. My grades were not too good either. She wanted me to do/become something else.

How was your childhood like?
Adventurous, really. I saw things that I wasn’t supposed to see. It wasn’t all gas balloons and butterflies, and hence it made me search for wonderful things beyond. The television was a box of magic and it made me giddy(not that we owned one). Back then I felt I should be on tv and make people love me.

Things like?
Mom and I used to live in a house made for poultry. Two years. We would lie in bed and see the stars from the holes in the roof. It was fascinating..but not during the rains.
I stayed in an orphanage for a year. Mom was poor. The place gave me free food and stay but made all of us work like crazy. I used to pull a cart carrying pig feed up to like 5 kilometres in Dimapur. I was 9. I know what is embarrassment, shame, what it feels like to be hungry, broke, and hopeless.

Any happy memories?
Well maybe the sundays when we were served meat for dinner. And mom visiting me once in a while. I used to cry when she’d leave.

What keeps you going?
Comic books. Strawberry ice-cream. My dreams of living in an Andy Warhol inspired house one day and a lot of money to buy good stuff pushes me. And on a trying day, a sincere prayer.

Photographed in Delhi & Dimapur.

Natasha Ramachandran

March 26, 2013

Natasha Ramachandran fashion model india street style

Natasha Ramachandran fashion model india street style

Natasha Ramachandran. 22. Fashion model. Half Tamil/half Bengali. Likes oversized clothes, Haider Ackermann, Di Caprio, Thom Yorke, & The Black Keys. Has been listening to Alt-J’s Fitzpleasure on repeat. Has a thing for Bradley Cooper. Wanted to be a journalist as a kid. Has a degree in fashion design from NIFT. Thinks she’s a loud person.

Has been in Bombay for about 8 months. Likes the pace of Bombay. Hangs out mostly at The Bagel Shop.

Is signed up with Next Models, London.

Photographed at Lakme Fashion Week in Bombay.

Rupfukhoyi Rhakho

February 6, 2013

street style kohima nagaland fashion
Rupfukhoyi Rhakho. 20 years old. Sociology student and a fashion model.

Tell me something about yourself. 
I’m majoring in Sociology and I like poetry. I started modelling at the age of 18 in 2010. My first show ever was winning Mr. Fresher(CSUK) at college. I was also one of the finalists and winner of Mr. Personality at Mr. Northeast 2012 held in Kohima.

How do you describe yourself?
I am compassionate and easy going. I also have good intuition.

People you admire.
I have always admired Maria Sharapova ever since I was a little boy. She is tall. And pretty.
Also Aung San Suu Kyi— the Burmese opposition leader. She is a very strong woman and an inspiration to me.

Favourite Naga designers.
Rosou Rhi(based in Kohima). Rensali Tungoe(based in Dimapur).

Favourite place in Nagaland. 
Dimapur, for its night life. It’s dusty and warm but it’s adjustable. I like late night strolls at the railway station there.

Most watched channel on television.
Star Sports.

Magazines you read.
People. The Eclectic(it’s a northeast based magazine).

A song you’re listening to on repeat.
Marc Anthony’s “Love is All.” I recently got single and it’s kind of hard. This song makes me more sad..but also brings peace.

Where do you mostly shop from?
I don’t shop much. I love Viliethie Complex in Kohima because it’s easy and affordable. The jacket I’m wearing in the photo was bought by my sister. I did some alteration to it.

Where do you hang out in Kohima?
No particular places. I like going for car rides with friends. We usually hang out at IG stadium. It’s really quiet and pleasant there.

Is there anything you don’t like about Kohima?
We are developing and we will change, but for now, what I don’t like  is the lack of civic sense among the young people. Most people chew betel nut and tobacco and spit on the road. Also, they throw the plastic wrap without caring. I wish everybody cared a little more about sanitation.

Future plans.
I plan to join an aviation academy and work as a flight steward. Maybe I’ll freelance as a model too. At some point later in life, I also want to teach sociology.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
These are the last few lines from “If” by Rudyard Kipling — a poem I love.

Photographed near Kohima local ground in December ’12.

Butool Jamal

November 24, 2012

butool jamal street style india

Butool Jamal. Fashion features writer, ELLE India. Can read faster than the speed of light, wishes to be a melancholic character from a Murakami novel, and is overly dependent on IMDB.

How was your childhood like?
I grew up in many different cities – Bombay, Madras, London, Delhi – my parents shifted base almost every three years because my father is a hotelier. We always came back to Bombay though somehow. I used to hate moving but now I actually feel restless after a couple of years in the same place, like it’s time to move on!

How did you get involved in fashion?
I studied history in college but even then I was involved in fashion societies or I did costumes for theatre productions. When I came to Bombay I knew I wanted to get into fashion somehow. I interned at Vogue for three months, then ELLE, and fortunately they let me stick around!

Describe your work at ELLE as a fashion features writer?
The great thing about working at ELLE is that you get to do so much more than what your regular job description would require. While I write and edit text for the fashion-related pages – designer interviews, fashion news, shoots – I also get to write about other things like film, art, or music, and interview/meet interesting(sometimes crazy) people.

What’s the best thing about Bombay?
That even at 3a.m. there’s somebody on the road.

Favourite book.
This list could be endless but Tender is the Night by Scott Fitzgerald or The 13 and a 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers(who doesn’t want to read about an intellectual bear adopted by mini pirates?)

Worst vice.
I’m very slow and I refuse to be rushed.

Favourite sound.
A cat purring like an engine.

Favourite websites.
Flavorwire,, and fashion blogs – The Sartorialist, Park & Cube, Lahlah is Here.

Favourite labels.
Pero by Aneeth Arora, The Bungalow by Mathieu Gugumus.

Something that only you can do and nobody else you know can?
Read faster than the speed of light. Or just very fast.

Worst fashion secret.
Most of my wardrobe is borrowed/second hand from my two aunts.

Photographed in Bombay during Lakme Fashion Week in August ’12.

Priya Kishore

November 9, 2012

priya kishore street style delhi

“I flew last night, over skyscrapers, over fields, and landed in a forest clearing. The rest is rather hazy. Usually the memory of dreams elude me; they vanish when I wake.” – Priya Kishore, founder of Bombay Electric.

A film you recommend?
Sans Soleil. It’s about nothing and everything. You’ll love it..

Photographed in Delhi during Wills India Fashion Week.


November 7, 2012
meera ganapathi street fashion mumbai
Meera Ganapathi. 26. Can’t focus on anything for long, likes Punjabi music, one half of Two Material Girls, and is currently suppressing an urge to sing. Photographed earlier this year in May in Bandra.
What are the names of your cats?
Norman Francis and the other one is yet to be christened. Right now we’re going by, ‘Aye! Noooo!’
What are you listening to now?
Keep you by Class Actress and  Thrift shop by Macklemore.

Films you have watched the most number of times?
City of Lost Children, Edward Scissorhands, Napoleon Dynamite, and predictably Amelie.
How would you describe your work?
Material Girls is where I take out all my creative frustration. My needle pierces cloth with very righteous creative anger. “You won’t let me do this advertising???? Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!”

What’s your favourite book?
The Great Gatsby. It’s set in my favourite time period, when minds were open, fashion was incredible, music was deeply romantic….

your worst vice?
I can’t focus on anything for too long. It’s frustrating. Like, I have no less than seven tabs open at any point on Chrome. Or if I’m watching a movie, I’m simultaneously googling the plot. Or I have to read two books at once; one when I’m bored and one when I need to sleep.

… your favourite sound?
Like every unhealthy Indian I respect a good oily sizzle in the pan; a very comforting sound. Second most favourite sound would be teeth gnashing. On a separate note, ‘gnashing’ is such a great word.

…your favourite website? People who run this site might know me personally. They have articles on all off-beat, weird things I’m usually interested in. Like, “Strangely Beautiful Photos Of Fake Cakes and Bodies Of Water.”

…your favourite label?
I’m not loyal to any labels. I like a healthy mix of street shopping and travel shopping. And I look terrible in over fancy clothes, like a priss ball.

…your worst fashion secret?
There are too many Bata school shoes in my house that I use way too often and way too shamelessly.

…a secret you’re tired of keeping?
For some reason I really, really, like Punjabi music. It’s very odd.

…best thing about NH7 Weekender?
Seun Kuti and Manganiyar Seduction.

…worst thing about NH7 Weekender?
The boob grope(at the security check).

What’s the best thing about where you’re now?
Mumbai is so awful, polluted, crowded, and shitty, but one week in Bangalore and I crave Mumbai. I can’t tell why, but I guess that is the best part.

Mickael Inayatealy

October 24, 2012

street style india

“I was born and raised in Madagascar — spent seven years of my childhood there before leaving for Paris. My mother tongues are French & Gujarati even though I barely speak Gujarati now. I speak fluent English and Italian & have basics in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Hindi.

My favourite films are: Slumdog Millionaire, Rang De Basanti, Okuribito, The Japanese Wife, Farewell My Concubine, 99 francs… I like realistic films which deal with society and its problems. Last interesting films I watched: The Dirty Picture and a Japanese mystery drama called The Suicide Club which talks about the danger and excess of pop culture.

I listen to eclectic music, all depending on my mood. I like “New French Wave” for their lyrics, a smattering of pop and RnB, electro. My favourites right now are:’ Pony Pony Run Run’ and ‘Something a La Mode’. I also like Bollywood music for its celebratory vibe.

I have been in Bombay for six months. I like Bombay for its energy, for its people who are open to new experiences, and for its multiculturalism. It feels like home now.”

Photographed in Colaba in Oct 2011. Conversation from April 2012.

Dolly Haorambam

September 25, 2012

street style bangalore

bangalore street style

Dolly Haorambam. 22 year old. Born in Imphal, brought up in Assam. Doesn’t know how to lie. Likes The Pixies and cutting her own hair.

You went back home(Guwahati) recently. Has it changed a lot?
The culture has changed drastically in the last decade since Guwahati has been a connecting city to the other parts of Northeast. Nobody used to dress up much before. Actually, nobody really dresses up that much even now. There was a time when girls used to feel uneasy walking down on the streets in jeans and t-shirts. These days you would find teenagers who follow trends and go to pubs. Besides that from what I have observed there are minor subcultures influenced by metal music, hip hop, and Bollywood.

Is it the usual ‘modernization’ — more malls, more cars, more food joints..or something else?
Everything of everything. It’s one of the fastest developing cities in the country.

Do you like staying there?
No. I am home most of the time. I have a few close friends whom I meet occasionally. There’s nothing much for me to do there except for staring out of the window and looking at hills, clouds, and crows. Oh there are lots of crows!

Things you like about the city?
The riverside and the way to my old school. We used to cross the river Brahmaputra everyday. I guess I miss the bus rides, and yeah, the ferries.

..things you dont like?
A lot of things. The crowd. The weather. The dust storms. The floods. Oh I miss the thunderstorms.

If you go to Guwahati just go to the riverside if you like that kind of stuff. The river is so big, it looks like a sea. New year picnics by the riverside are very popular. Other than that, please have momos at the Momo Ghar. They are cheap and huge. It’s one of the oldest shops where I used to hog everyday after school. Along with the momos, they serve chicken soup with pepper on it.

dolly's room wall

What got you to study fashion as a subject? Anybody at home in the same field? 
I always felt I was drawn towards fashion and clothes. I used to sketch and stitch tiny clothes for barbies when I was small. But then I don’t know why I wasted two years doing engineering coaching, probably because everybody else around me was doing the same. Then I applied at NIFT just for fun and got through. That’s when I started taking it seriously again.

No. Nobody in my family really understands fashion. I guess I come from an orthodox middle class family and they still have this big notion that what I do is tailoring.

Now that you’ve graduated and have a job…they’re cool with it?  
Yes they are glad that I got a job. My parents are fine with me working under Bahl because they apparently checked online and saw he is Karan Johar’s friend.

Describe working at Varun Bahl?
I am learning a lot about Indian couture even though I feel a little disconnected at times. I am more minimal. But I am getting to know more about myself so I consider it as an important experience nevertheless.

What was your graduating collection about?
I worked upon the concept of the change from solid to liquid to gas. The three states of matter. Creating forms, yet keeping it wearable to an extent. It was a big challenge to make it wearable when all I could do was forms.

dolly haorambam dc

How did you start blogging? 
My first blog was when I was in eight grade. I used to write random essays and poetry on science, life, and humour. Something that I often termed as ‘irrelevant art’. Then moved on to photography and finally fashion. I had around 7 blogs, out of which only three survived. One of them is AlphaBetaGaga. I prefer taking self photographs. I can never be comfortable when somebody else is taking a photograph of me. I feel like the ground is gonna crumble.

How do you decide what to post on your blog? What’s the purpose of it?
It’s usually random. Depends on my mood and time. I feel I should stick to things that I am good at. I am not good with wearing pretty clothes or street photography, which is why I mostly end up doing something that probably just evokes a certain state of mind. If I am moving around streets, I end up clicking shadows and silhouettes rather than portraits of somebody on the streets. I don’t have a specific genre but I guess it’s just individualistic.

I prefer taking photographs in rooms, in front of a blank wall, or under the clouds, or something that runs around a concept or a certain idea. It doesn’t really serve any purpose for anybody. I do it because I enjoy it and if somebody appreciates it, it makes me happy.

dolly haorambam

dolly haorambam

What do you do when you feel uninspired?
I take pictures or probably watch something interesting, Talk to people whom I can relate to or post on my blog. Or maybe cook a nice meal and treat myself. Or go out and listen to people gossiping and amuse myself. I force myself to be happy. Anything that can drift my mind. I get tired of sitting sad. I prefer keeping myself busy.

Where do you mostly shop from?
Flea markets. Chor Bazaar(in Delhi) or Sarojini or I stitch clothes myself. I feel Chor Bazaar is a men’s clothes paradise. It’s a sunday market near Chandni Chowk. Starts around 5 in the morning. It’s got really cool stuffs. You get shirts and trousers for 50 bucks. I wear mostly men’s shirts so it’s a paradise for me. I got this collarless houndstooth overcoat from there for 50 bucks. SN stuffs are mostly worn by everybody on the streets so I don’t really pick up much from there until I find something really interesting.

Books. music. Films.
Photography by Air is what I listen to everyday. Suedehead by The Smiths. Life of Pi. Catcher in the Rye. Wuthering Heights because it takes me back to the past. Amelie. Submarine. Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Favourite blogs?
The cutting classLesly’s, and yours(laughs).

dolly haorambam

What keeps you going?
I just feel the need to be important. Anything that makes me happy about myself. It sounds so narcissistic. But then that’s the thing that inspires me. The need to do something in life; I dont feel like wasting it.

Is wearing a black Zara shirt, self-stitched drape, Bodice trouser, & school shoes. Floral top is from Imphal–a gift from a friend/trousers from Chor Bazaar. Wall photo is from her apartment in Bangalore. Two photos of the other girl(Rhea) are of her graduating collection.

I photographed Dolly in her apartment and out on the street in HSR layout, Bangalore earlier this year in May.

Angelique Raina

September 22, 2012

angelique raina street style delhi

Childhood. The memories I have of my childhood are filled with my being primped like a doll, exploring serene landscapes, and playing with fascinating objects and ornaments.

My early years were spent in Cannes with my Grandmother, who made me her personal project. If I wasn’t being told how to sit, eat, and dress properly, I’d wander down to the beach in front of our house to chase our Saint Bernard Watson around. When we moved to London the closest tube station to home was Knightsbridge. Everyday, on the way to school, my mother and I were guided there by all the beautiful stores that lined Sloane Street.

What did you study? My mother made reading a daily routine activity. So when I moved back to Delhi and began choosing my subjects for high school, my first choice was English Literature. I took a special shining to plays and novels; acting them out was even better.
Later, whilst I was at the LSE studying Government(Politics), I realized that I had a deep interest in political philosophy and the big human, society and power questions.

How did you get involved in fashion? I’ve always been involved in fashion, in my head at least. My first internship at 16, courtesy Feroze, really solidified it as a potential career choice. I worked at The Production House coordinating shows for fashion week. It was an absolutely magical experience. I’ve always been told my brother (my confidant) to do what I love; that coupled with being guided by Pernia, working in the industry became a reality for me.

Interests. Likes. I need to confess, I genuinely believe I have an addiction to knowledge and unending rss feeds; it worries me a little. Otherwise, my main interest is in the work I do(research and strategy for brands).  I love good conversations, meeting new people and spending time with friends, preferably with yummy food in reach or with a drink in hand and my feet on the dance floor.

I very much adore minimal house/electro music. Nicolas Jaar and Maya Jane Coles are currently on replay. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, was the last film I watched and loved. A close friend of mine, Shivanee, compiles the best must watch/read lists so I’m currently going through those.

Describe yourself? As a person I believe I am composed of my values and interests. As they evolve, so do I.

Angelique Raina…just got back from Ladakh and loves Saturdays. She works as a fashion Consultant & lives in New Delhi. Wearing a Burberry coat in this photo. Photographed in Delhi in October 11.

James Lalthanzuala

September 13, 2012

James Lalthanzuala street style delhi

“I’ve always had a keen and meticulous eye which inhibits me to settle for anything ordinary at work, in society, and in my personal lifestyle – both past and current. Although I feel I’m too imperfect to call myself a perfectionist, let me describe myself as “a dictator of style” mostly but not limited to fashion.

I grew up in Aizawl, Mizoram. I studied fashion styling at Mod’art International in Delhi . I’m 25 years old.

In Aizawl, the weather is pleasant all throughout the year. People are very warm and affectionate. They are straightforward, hard-working, honest people with high standards of integrity.

Adaptation of latest trends both in fashion and lifestyle, especially from the west, is very quick in Aizawl. Fashion is not just limited to clothes; it extends to all aspects of life, be it the house, the car, the bike, gadgets, etc. When it comes to fashion and an extravagant lifestyle, Aizawl has a thing or two to teach the others.

I usually go back home for Christmas/New Year and sometimes in summer to get away from the heat.

I’ve been living in Delhi for 6 years. I dont have a particular shopping place, I shop anywhere — mostly at street markets like Sarojini, Lajpat Nagar etc… I love Delhi because you see different people from all over the country living here, making it a city of mixed cultures. What I dislike about Delhi is: hot weather, chaotic traffic, and corrupt auto drivers.”

James Lalthanzuala street style delhi

Photographed at Wills India Fashion Week in Delhi this February. He is wearing thrifted clothes.

Rashmi Alevoor

March 10, 2012
street style india rashmi alevoor
street style india rashmi alevoor
27 years old…grew up in Pune but really grew up in Boston and Mumbai. Graduated in Economics. Likes to learn something new everyday…

What did you learn today? 
Well, I’ve been learning Spanish everyday. But I don’t mean you necessarily need to make that much of a commitment. I just learned how to cook Mexican Lime Chicken this evening.
And yesterday?  
Yesterday, I learned where the expression “Indian Giver” comes from. It’s fun to learn a little thing everyday – makes life wondrous.

Do you travel? Where all have you been?
I’m FULL of wanderlust. I have a special place in my heart for the north of India. My father is in the Merchant Navy and so I’ve also been lucky enough to tag along with him as a child to places like Australia, Korea, Japan. I studied in Boston more recently so I’ve done a bit of travelling in the U.S. I just got back this morning (3 AM) from the U.K. where I visited wonderful places like York, Runswick Bay, Whitby, the Lake District among the more obvious choices like Newcastle and London. I have a penchant for the offbeat.

How was NH7
I loved the atmosphere. It’s the closest event we (in India) have to a real music festival. I also like that folk artists finally have a voice in Indian popular culture. I was SO surprised to hear that King Creosote would be performing in Pune. Incidentally, I saw him perform with Jon Hopkins in Leeds on the 19th of February. I got to be on the guest list because we chatted while he was in Pune for NH7.

Who are your favourite artistes/bands?
The National. The Tallest Man on Earth. Bon Iver. Andrew Bird. Beirut. King Creosote. Sigur Ros. And many, many, many more.

Five films you suggest everybody must watch?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Amelie. Annie Hall. Life is Beautiful. The Artist.

..and five must-read books?
Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Animal Farm by George Orwell. Any book by Jane Austen. Atlas Shrugged. The Catcher in the Rye.

In life, what do you feel strongly about?
Music, honesty, respect for EVERYONE, nature, travel and exploration, awareness of the world we live in, reading, and most importantly LOVE (I’m a goofball.)

“Awareness of the world we live in.” Elaborate?
I guess what I mean by that is to keep your eyes and ears open. Read every chance you get – know what’s happening across the world.  Know a little about everything – politics, music, art, fashion. I guess what I’m suggesting is for people to have a healthy appetite and lust for life.

What does “being in love” mean to you?
This is a big question. Being in love is the most wonderful thing there is to experience in the world. I can only speak from personal experience of course, but for me, love is when you want to be better for someone else. When they inspire you to be your best. When you start getting very excited about the future. And when you want to fill the present with a lot of their presence.


I met Rashmi briefly two years ago, on a semi-drunken night, post some show at LFW. She’d quit as a copywriter and was looking for work. I met her again this time in November at NH7 in Pune. We kind of recognized each other.