"And now, I'm just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time." - Lady Gaga
India is characterised by diverse cultures, religions, languages and people. Though in recent times there have been many attempts to strangle this very diversity, but each voice of dissent is met by an equal number of people standing up for unity, justice and individuality. Perhaps the most unique revolution is taking place in the fashion industry, where designers, stylists, models, make up artists, fashion icons and people on the street have independently and collectively put India on the global map as a fashion trendsetter. Eco-friendly clothes, socially inclusive trends, non-conformist styles have helped transcend boundaries.
Young people are appearing on the fashion horizon with their individuality and quirky sensibilities and through this, they are asserting their identities, choices and preferences that are away from the mainstream. Get ready for a visual feast!
Image source: wsj.com
A transgender model who is taking the fashion world by storm. Originally from Nepal, she shot to fame when she walked for Lakme Fashion Week. At ease in designer clothes, her style is unique, chic and clean. She wears flattering fitted gowns, dresses and proudly flaunts her body in sexy bikinis. Changing mindsets of people are reflected in the acceptance of her identity. Catch her at the YOU-NIQUE Myntra gig on 10th April, 2017 from 9am to 12pm.
Image source: instagram/karunaezara
Karuna Ezara Parikh
Karuna began as a print journalist and worked as a travel show host for a while. Her sense of dressing is heavily inspired by what one may call the ‘hippie’ look. But she manages to blend in wonderfully modish western outfits with make-up and accessories that have a strong Indian feel - bindis and junk jewelry. Her style is ethereal, feminine, unorthodox. Her tattooed body adds that extra bit of quirk to her style.
Find a great sweater here.
Justine Rae Mellocastro is the black sheep that led the way. An open and proud bisexual, Justine began as a salon hairstylist and has now reached new heights of success. Unique in her fearless stance, which she embodies in her clothes as well. Eccentric haircuts and yin and yang hairdos is her signature style. She grabbed the limelight by bringing the undercut back, well before Shahid Kapoor. An interesting twist to the tomboy look!
A courageous trans-woman and a graceful dancer, her look is just as bold. Ultra-feminine is her way of standing out. Her story and body language add character to her style. Vibrant colors, sequined dresses, embroidered traditional wear, fitted clothes and uncompromising bling are her favorites – on and off the dance floor.
“Fashion has no gender norms” is the motto 23 year old stylist Zeeshan Ali lives by. His skills are unmatched as he turns make-up into art. Busting the myth that make-up is for women, Zeeshan has developed a style he can call his own. Painting celestial and unseen patterns on his face, playing with colour and texture, shaping the eyebrows and putting every feature to good use. With strong feminine influences and majestic costumes, he looks like a magical mythological goddess on psychedelics.
Image source: sbcltr.in.
Find a great jacket here.
A post-punk, new wave all girls band from Arunachal Pradesh and they are C.O.O.L! After making a name for themselves in music, they are now breaking new ground with their definitive style. Inspired heavily by the underground feminist punk movement, their look is printed tees under loose shirts, ripped jeans, denim shorts and skirts teamed with eclectic and weird hairstyles in funky colors - making them appear both high school girl and hot young woman at the same time. Our version of the Spice Girls with more sisterhood power.
Image source: musicaloud.com.
Find a great blazer here.
‘Madboy’ Imaad does justice to his stage name with his crazy afro. His hairdo is as funky and natural as his music, and has a certain type of woman drooling all over him. Fido Dido meets Raastafarian - cute. His easygoing attitude is reflected in his attire - simple tees, lounge pants and occasionally suspenders and ties thrown in with open buttoned shirts, to ensure the otherwise formal accessories don’t take away from his cool quotient.
Image source: topsyone.com.
Find a great skirt here.
Meghna Nayak’s fashion journey began with a simple step - no wastage. To put life into her thoughts, she began designing clothes by upcycling her mother’s old saris and other traditional wear. Re-imagining indigenous fabrics like Gingham, soft silk, tangail into beautiful kurtis, skirts, tunics, silhouettes and dresses with modern designs. Her vibe is traditional, comfy, boho and elegant all at once. Not to foget, eco-friendly.
Image source: pinterest.com
Ayushman Mitra aka Bobo is an artist who found a unique way of protest. He designs crop tops, kaftans, dresses and shirts for both men and women set in prints developed from his paintings. The patterns are colorful and abstract like lip-locking men, which has become symbolic to his label. His designs speak out against section 377, social taboos, moral policing and more. Some may consider the flamboyant and vibrant prints politically incorrect. But then, little isn’t in today’s heavily censored society.
Image source: imstagram/kayaancontractor
Kayaan Contractor’s love for fashion was cultivated at a young age watching international models and fashion icons. Her personal style is both novel and androgynous. Ill-fitted clothes, awkwardly teamed ripped boyfriend jeans with tucked in tees and chunky accessories. Even coupling knitwear with cotton skirts and quirky footwear. Luxury clothing is given an interesting twist making it both pop and haute couture.
Image source: deccanchronicle.com
Hard as it may be to believe, the Government actually inspired Sharmila’s journey. Her inspiration came from the Kerala Government’s policy of ‘no discrimination’. She started designing vivid and colorful traditional saris dedicated to and celebrating the spirit of transgender women. The face of her creations are transgender models Maya and Gowri. Mostly seen in conventional South Indian saris in cotton silks, Kanchipuram silks with elaborate solid borders in rich earthy colors interspersed with splashes of gold. Sharmila’s clothes are gorgeous. But her uniqueness lies in unleashing a fashion trend that is socially inclusive.
Image source: instagram/divarose21
Kajee Karan has been places, and by places we mean names like Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Elle. Known for his eclectic though clean style, he is a fashion stylist and make-up artist who straddles both in a complimentary way. What makes him unique is his zero care for gender boundaries. His style is best described as vintage with heavy undertones of drag. It is feminine, ethereal and suited to both sexes equally. Using oodles of concealer on gender stereotypes and social beauty norms, changing and morphing them to create something beautifully daring.
Image source: bighairloudmouth.com
Nilu Yuleena Thapa
Nilu has an eye for detail and manages to pull otherwise incongruent hairstyles and costumes together with great panache. She began as an everyday blogger documenting her personal life and style through her travels. Heavily influenced by the cultures of the places she visits, Nilu has a penchant for hairdos and is seen changing her hair color pretty often. This oddball has a unique and individualistic style with a strong boho-chic vibe.
Check out the Myntra Big Fashion Gig from 8th to the 10th of April, 2017.
Cover photo credit: instagram/zeesh.ali