Harper's Bazaar June 2018 - Page 28

the E ditor THIS IS U S MY MOTHER LOVED TO DRESS US ALIKE. Way back when polyester was the rage. As were tiny waistcoats and bell bottoms. Think three sisters with waist- length braids in pink pantsuits. In spite of that horrible visual, I know that this weird habit was the reason my sisters and I fell in love with fashion. My mother was the most stylish woman I know. She wore military-inspired shirtdresses accessorised with gold hoops and cork-heeled wedge sandals. She added a trench coat to her sari in winter. And one New Year’s Eve, she wore a chainmail jumpsuit. Trust me, that was high fashion. But I learned what style was the day she converted that outfit into a midi halter dress and wore it again for next year’s December 31 st party. This is a story I have repeated over and over again, but for me it was my defining moment. It was no surprise, though, my mother had this unique sense of confidence. Style is learned, and she imbibed it from her mother. My grandmother had her shoes custom-made in Chinatown in Kolkata. And her saris specially woven in Benaras and Dhaka. And when she wasn’t whipping up Patiala salwars on her sewing machine, she also had our summer dresses embroidered by nuns. She altered her clothes to fit my mother and my mother repurposed them for us. We grew up surrounded by fabric and patterns and the conversation never strayed far from how clothes should be worn. We would sit in their dressing rooms on elegantly-appointed tables with three-way mirrors as we shared the stories of our lives. My sisters and I don’t look similar and yet we are identical. We wear our history as a cohesive memory. The clothes we borrowed and the clothes we didn’t. If you see us together, you see our family. The sisterhood of style is what we explore in this issue. It is a dialogue that is even more relevant today as women find their similarities across borders and cultures. We all step out with a special self-assurance because we are learning to share our personal histories through fashion, through engagement. Through storytelling. Look at the evolution of Kangana Ranaut. Feisty, outspoken, a perpetual rule-breaker, her debut in Cannes was spectacular because she owned her style. From old-world charm to rock-’n’-roll, Bazaar was her exclusive style partner for this special appearance. Of course, it helped that we had a special collaboration with Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Not only did he dress her, he spoke to her, intimately, one on one, with heart. Read the interview, see the images. And you wil l find that style is a shared secret. n AVAILABLE ON AMAZON SCAN TO BUY A mindful selection of 50 inspiring women leaders who have carved their own path in a competitive world, this is our book of inspiration. The first in a series of celebrations leading up to our 10 th year in India, Bazaar brings you stories of grit, ambition, and spirit. AGGARWAL. F rom