Woman to know
Nidhi Sunil made headlines earlier this week as the newest global ambassador for L’Oréal Paris. This lawyer-turned-model in her 30s from Kerala is a familiar face for her campaigns and fashion magazine covers. But it is her work to promote diversity and as spokesperson for The Invisible Girl Project, a non profit that tackles gendercide in India, that makes her a great voice on this platform. “Beauty really is about perspective,” Sunil, who has spoken out against colourism, told New York-based Paper magazine last year. “I grew up in a country where I constantly felt ugly, and then when I moved to America, every time I walk into a room people would look at me with these big googly eyes, like I’m this crazy, weird beautiful alien that walked into a room, so it is literally just a mindset.” As the first Indian ambassador at L’Oréal who is not a Bollywood actor, she is all set to drive the narrative for women. More power to her.
Surreal like Garg
Raw Mango’s Spring 2021 collection, Other, seems to be the start of a journey with silhouettes in vivid, acidic colours. The campaign, where designer Sanjay Garg explores ‘a foreign sense of other’ is strange and peculiar and most welcome. Garg says he was introduced to several things during lockdown, from “surrealism to unnatural or irrational juxtaposition” and that he had fun putting together this collection. He also recommends Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 controversial gem, The Holy Mountain. Other is online at rawmango.com with oversized silk jackets, wide silk pants, saris, blouses etc. ₹9,800 onwards.
Vanessa Redgrave’s fashion film
There has been enough talk about fashion film fatigue, with digital shows being the norm. But a lesson on fashion films can come from London-based Roksanda Ilinčić. The Serbian designer’s three-minute video at London Fashion Week certainly made fashion writers sit up and take note. Titled Friday in February, the Autumn/Winter 2021 production stars actor Vanessa Redgrave, 84, her daughter and granddaughter. Shot on an iPhone with Redgrave reciting Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73, it offers a fine vehicle for Roksanda’s billowing vermillion and sienna gowns.
Casual comfort wins
A year after Birkenstock launched at the Delhi airport, the German footwear brand has an address in Bengaluru. This is reportedly its largest retail store in the world, with over 320 styles and a floor dedicated to Birkenstock Kids. The success of the classic sandal during the pandemic has also resulted in collaborations with Valentino and Proenza Schouler (launched earlier this week at ₹19,990 onwards).
Playing hot or cool
Japanese clothing group, Uniqlo, recently surpassed Spain’s Inditex (Zara) to become the world’s most valuable clothing retailer. Not surprising since the brand has been aggressively wooing a diverse group of influencers – writers, artists, dancers, sportspeople – across the world. While the HeatTech collection has been keeping Texans and New Yorkers warm during snowstorms, in India the sweat-wicking AIRism line makes the cut. The new lounge edit with yoga leggings, tees and pyjamas, come just in time for summer. Also, the cult-status AIRism masks (₹590 for three) are back in stock online.