Neha Dhupia: I’d look like a fool in a bodycon dress – Soon-to-be-mommy Neha Dhupia has mastered maternity style like the fashion pro that she is. With a clever play of volumes, a push on layering and mixing of prints — she’s proved that there’s no excuse for bad style even when you are pregnant. Fashion is something which comes to Neha quite naturally since she’s always been an eclectic dresser — toying with new shapes and silhouettes and putting the up-and-coming labels on the map. Be it her voluminous looks in Chola or her fit-and-flare Payal Singhal avatars — she’s been a bold dresser, giving that fun spin to every look — at times with an accessory or statement jewellery. Here she talks about her personal style and constant flirtation with relaxed fits. Over to her…
How do you interpret your maternity style? Did you ask designers to customise pieces for you specifically for this period?
I try. I have been fitting into everything. I anyway sport pieces which ‘look like bedsheets and curtains’ according to my friend Karan Johar. He asks, ‘Which bedsheet or curtain are you wearing today?’ I am pretty much going from medium to large sizes. I haven’t asked anyone to customise anything for me. If this is a dress which is like a wraparound, I’d just open it and make a jacket out of it. This is a simple outfit, which has a flare at the bottom that works out for me as well.
You’ve always put the spotlight on the anti-fit wave in fashion with your dressing. Do you think the bodycon style is dated?
I don’t avoid bodycon. Firstly, I look like a fool when I wear such a dress. And secondly, you need to have a certain kind of figure and be banging hot to rock this silhouette. The type of body I have and the clothes I wear are totally okay. I need to be comfortable in the way I dress. My comfort makes me feel more confident. More importantly, I’m a huge fan of sustainable fabrics. Give me a gorgeous georgette or the best cotton in the world and I’d pick the latter.
What’s your take on the un-gender movement in fashion?
It’s okay for a woman to wear clothes from a men’s section. I’d say for males to actually wear clothes from women’s section, they need to have a different kind of a personality and if they can carry it off, then why not!
Who are your favourite designers?
COS, & other stories, H&M, ZARA, Marks & Spencer, McQueen and Philip Lim 3.1. I like Vivienne Westwood and Zimmermann, too. Among designer brands, I admire Lovebirds, Pero, Payal Singhal and Anamika Khanna.
How often do you shop?
Hardly because now I am not travelling. If I had to spend that kind of money, I’d invest in a bag or shoes. I don’t spend that much on my clothes. I’d rather wear an accessory, maybe a pair of sunglasses and jazz it up with high-street clothing because I think it’s cool.
Are you a shoe girl or a bag babe?
That’s a tough one. I have a fetish for both shoes and bags (smiles).
Do you have a penchant for any accessories brand?
I like Alexander McQueen. Right now, Gucci has done some cool stuff with accessories.
Which style icons do you admire?
Olivia Palermo, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton. In India, Kangana Ranaut dresses well. I like Anushka Sharma’s style as well — it’s not OTT.
What’s your take on the mix-and-match fusion phenomenon in fashion?
It’s in the right direction and what’s great is we can mix and match Indian fabrics with western silhouettes. There’s a lot we can do and we have a long way to go. Having said that, I’d like to add that we don’t know how to keep it simple, clean and chic. Even though we know how to keep it on point and on trend. There’s a certain joy in simplicity. Coco Chanel had said, ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.’ We need to simplify our dressing a little more.
Which city, according to you, is the fashion capital of the world?
Paris. Korea has an incredible street style as well.
Why does India have no street style?
People here are more worried about getting to work and not about what they’re wearing. The kind of people who actually follow it sit in air-conditioned car and dress to inculcate street style. There’s no place to follow them.
How would you compare Mumbai and Delhi’s style scenes?
I have my biases towards Mumbai because I live here. Delhi has a tendency of going a little over the top and I am not that person. If I had to wear a black jersey bodycon, I’d do it with sneakers and not stilettos. If you sport sneakers in the capital at night, people are like, ‘Why are you in your trainers?’
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