‘Your personal style says a lot about you’ - Tanya Ghavri, stylist to the stars

September 21, 2018

Tanya Ghavri, stylist to the stars believes that 'less is more' when it comes to dressing well. Here’s an exclusive interview…

When it comes to the business of making sartorial choices for the stars, Mumbai-based celebrity stylist, Tanya Ghavri is at the top of her game.

Whether she works at enhancing Katrina Kaif’s sparkling beauty or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s inimitable elegance or Shraddha Kapoor’s girl-next-door charm, the celebrity stylist is known for her impeccable ideas. She has also entered the wedding styling arena and recently she curated an exhibition of designer bridal wear called Dhoom Dhaam Weddings that was held in Delhi and Mumbai.

Over the last few years, Tanya has built up an impressive reputation for her work and she is reportedly on the speed dial of many prominent celebrities. Her client portfolio includes names like Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Freida Pinto, Nargis Fakhri, and Jacqueline Fernandez, among others. Besides styling the industry’s best-known fashionistas, Tanya has also employed her style skills to television, film, and commercials for several popular brands.

Edited excerpts of an interview with YS Weekender

How did you get into the business of fashion styling?

I studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design, New York, and then came back to India to join the Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) University in Mumbai. I also did an internship in Vogue as I knew that I wanted to pursue styling. Later, I worked with stylist and fashion entrepreneur, Pernia Qureshi in two films, Aisha and Thank You. After those movies, there was no looking back. I went on to style many other Bollywood stars for many events.

Among the celebrities, who are you closest to?

I would say Sonam Kapoor as she gives me a lot of creative liberty. Working with her is exhilarating and exciting.

Tanya Ghavri has been stylist to Bollywood stars like Sonam Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor

When does a celebrity call for a stylist?

A celebrity usually asks for a stylist for special occasions, like premieres, red carpet events, parties and advertising campaigns. I usually plan the styling, going by the nature of the event and keeping the body type of the client in mind.

As a stylist, what would you say are the five garments every woman must have in her wardrobe?

I would say that every woman must have a pair of nude heels. Secondly, she should possess shape wear like Spanx and a black boyfriend blazer. The final touch is a tan handbag, as it goes with every outfit and a pair of good quality aviators in a colour you like. I love the black ones.

What kind of clothes should a man have in his wardrobe?

A man should own a good pair of chinos and crisp white shirts. A blazer is a must that can be worn during the day and through the night. A really cool pair of linen pants are a must as well as a well-tailored black suit.

What should a woman wear to a party and to work?

For a party, nothing looks as beautiful as a saree, especially a traditional one. I remember styling Sonam and we made her wear a beautiful Christian Lacroix jacket with a saree. It was gorgeous. A cocktail dress is also a good option for a party.

For work, I would say that a pair of white pants and a white shirt looks good. Skirts should be knee high for work. Traditional clothes are also beautiful.

What is the first thing you notice about a woman fashion-wise?

Her shoes.

Why do think everyone need a stylist at some time or the other?

If you don’t know what you’re looking for or what suits you, it can be an overwhelming task. Beyond that, a stylist can give you guidance on your body type, an ideal silhouette, colours, patterns, etc. There is a lot more to wearing flattering clothing than just choosing clothes in the right size. A stylist can help you understand all of it.

How can you make an impact when you walk into a room?

Always wear one accessory or an item of clothing that will make a statement. It could be a neck piece or a handbag that is very special. But it is important to always stay true to your personality. Everyone has a certain sense of what they like and what suits them. But they also need to keep up with what is going on in the world. They need to keep trying new things and keep their minds open.

Where do you find inspiration as a stylist?

As I travel I see a lot of different cultures, colours, styles and silhouettes. I am inspired by all these things. I also like to check out how men and women wear certain clothes in different ways.

As a stylist, what would you say is the secret to looking good?

I would always say – less is more. This is the real secret. Often, we feel that we need to put on a lot of things, add too much colour or too many accessories to our outfits. But, just one or two things will do.

What does fashion mean to you?

I believe fashion is ‘self-expression’. Your personal style says a lot about you.

And finally, can you tell us about your personal style?

Sometimes, I’m obsessed with the 60s and all I want to wear are A-line skirts and pointed boots, but the next week I’m obsessing over Grandad-style blazers and loafers or chunky shoes. My style is always changing depending upon what I feel most comfortable in but I love clothes that are Parisian-inspired and vintage-influenced.

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