Dishing out movies replete with glamour and panache comes naturally for film producer, and stylist Rhea Kapoor. In a tête-à-tête with us, she tells us all about fashion, travels, and sustainability. By Bayar Jain
Conventional runway shows are a thing of the past, courtesy the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2019. For its 15th edition, a new face of fashion revealed itself. During the three-city tour, three themes — Craft, Blend and Identity — worked in sync to create a universe of pride. Many celebrated designers showcased their work, each inspired by different walks of life. Among the multiple stylists who displayed their crafts was Anamika Khanna, an Indian designer who skillfully blends traditional Indian textiles and techniques with Western silhouette and tailoring. After years of tasteful patterns, she turned her gaze towards fellow stylist and film producer, Rhea Kapoor — the muse for the collection — for inspiration. In a conversation with us at the preview of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2019, Kapoor talks about this collaboration, fashion, and being a woman traveller.
1. What’s your take on the 2019 Blenders Pride Fashion Tour theme?
My take on the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour theme — which is craft — is that it is so important. I see a lot of young assistants, upcoming designers and stylists who are not aware of the tools that they have to express themselves in terms of India’s traditions.
2. You’re the muse for Anamika Khanna’s collection this year. Tell us the story behind this collaboration.
I think that Anamika and I have worked together for so many years that our styles have become sort of symbiotic. I think we feed off each other, which is the reason that — in a lot of ways — she is my muse as well.
3. Where do you usually travel to for your design inspirations, and why?
I usually travel to New York for my design inspirations or sometimes places I’ve never been before. New York, especially, because that was the first time I lived without my family. It gave me a sense of freedom and a sense of ‘anything can happen’. It gave me the space to make mistakes and express myself, so whenever I go back there, I go back to that part of myself.
4. What’s your take on sustainable fashion, and do you see a rise in consumer awareness regarding the same?
I love vintage fashion and this idea of wearing fashion again and again. I believe that fashion is about reinvention as well. It’s about reinventing yourself, or reinventing a garment. I think, clothes aren’t meant to be consumed and then discarded. Clothes and fashion is about who you are, and not about what the trends are. People need to be aware of the fact that there is a lot of work and thought that goes into these things. ‘To consume only when we love something, and not because it looks good on somebody else’ — that’s the core thought. Also, one needs to be aware of the environment and what all goes into creating a garment, a pair of shoes, or a bag.
To be very honest, I should be more aware about what labels are sustainable and what are not. I see clothes every day of my life, and I’m very picky about what I buy and consume. I re-wear a lot of my clothes. I don’t waste much when it comes to fashion.
5. When it comes to Indian styles and patterns which one is your favourite?
My favourite would be Chikankari because it’s beautiful, classic and feminine. I just love the way it looks!
6. Milan, London, New York and Paris are considered the fashion capitals of the world. Which, apart from these four, would you include in the list and why?
I would add Tokyo, Stockholm, and Los Angeles for being the denim capital. Maybe even Melbourne because some of the most exciting designers are coming out of Australia right now.
7. What, in your opinion, is going to be the biggest fashion trend in 2020?
I think the biggest fashion trend in 2020 is going to be minimalism, and minimalism structure. I’m really excited for it because it’s a big part of how I like to dress.
8. Your top three places around the world for retail therapy?
New York, Los Angeles, and Milan.
9. Being a woman, have you faced any hardships while travelling?
I haven’t really faced any hardships while travelling, I think. I come from a place of privilege, so I know it’s easier for me to travel than a lot of other girls. But, of course, I’m nervous while travelling alone. Boys don’t have to be aware of being in the elevator with four men; they don’t have to be aware about who’s following them, and who’s watching them. A lot of the times if I’m stuck in a seat between two guys and if they behave badly or are a little drunk, I brush it off. These are the kind of things you have to be aware of, especially when you’re travelling alone. I have faced these things, especially when I was younger. But, I’ve been blessed to be able to travel on my terms.
10. What would you say to girls out there who would like to travel the world, but are afraid to do so?
I would say go out there and travel the world! Your life is only so short, and there’s a huge world out there. Where we come from is only a small part of it. There’s so many things to see, and so many things to get inspired by. If you don’t want to go alone for the first time, grab a friend, and someone you trust. Go for a meal alone, go for a day alone, and start like that. You’ll build your confidence. You’ll learn how to take care of yourself. Anything can happen, whether you’re with 10 people or alone. Just know how to be cautious, and still be adventurous. We’re smart, you know! We know self-preservation, we know how to take care of ourselves. But, it doesn’t mean we should rob ourselves of any experiences.
Related: Designer Anamika Khanna Talks About Her Designs, Travels & More!