Ok so this was long pending. If you’ve been following our social media platforms, I’ve been sharing more than just a few glimpses of my recent tête–à–tête with Fab Alley, the ultimate online Indian fashion destination for fashion-forward, indie-chic girls. The lovely people over at the Alley proposed to take a peek into my not-so-extensive wardrobe for the second installment of their fresh new series called “In Her Closet”, while I listened with rapt attention. Obviously the excitement instantly got me digging out my most cherished possessions from all corners of my closet followed by a little daydreaming about how I’d style the pieces for the shoot.
My jittery enthusiasm doubled up on meeting the equally thrilled Apurva Saxena (the energy force behind the series) along with (the supremely talented photog) Faizan Patel on the day of the shoot, which by the way was a bucket load of fun! Apurva, who has done a sublime job of putting everything together perfectly for the feature has been kind enough to send me all the lovely images shot by Faizan, including the ones that didn’t make it to the feature story. I’ve been meaning to share them here along with the interview for the longest time, so here goes!
P.S. – A hefty thank you to the team once again for choosing to feature me. You guys have done a nifty job and I’m loving every bit of it!
“Here at The Alley, we encounter and work with scores of fashionable girls. So, it is rare to actually meet someone who can blow our socks off when it comes to pure, unadulterated style. And, this is exactly what happened when we met Surbhi Sethi, founder of the ground-breaking HeadTilt blog. We met her for the second installment of our In Her Closet series at Imperfecto (in HKV) and let’s just say it would be a gross injustice to call her merely “fashionable”. Possessing an aesthetic that can’t be developed or evolved, which you either have or you don’t (and she obviously does in spades), she walked us through her wondrous closet. Our voyeur side feels a bit short-changed because we only got a tantalizing glimpse in to her massive closet (she’s in the middle of shifting houses and couldn’t shoot there), but even that brief glimpse left us a little bit in awe of her keen eye and innate style. As far as places go, Imperfecto, with its quirky, artisanal vibe and delectable Med spread was the perfect backdrop for Surbhi’s vibrant, ethno-western wardrobe.
Laden with shopping bags brimming over with some of her favourite things, she greeted us at Imperfecto with her charming smile and animated demeanor. She then played dress-up (and boy is she gorgeous) for the shoot, letting her hair loose and talking us through her closet over heady sangrias and mezzo. When it comes to fashion, Surbhi’s taste really runs the gamut (we suppose we could learn a thing or two, seeing as we seem to reach for the same dark denim and silk shirt combo every day). From one-of-a-kind heirloom jewelry to flea-market finds; from lady-like silhouettes to oversized numbers, this girl’s got all her sartorial bases covered. Then again, when we’re surprised even after we’ve seen HeadTilt, it’s safe to say Surbhi really knows her stuff.”
– Apurva Saxena
Thanks again Apurva for your kindest words. I am truly, truly humbled.
Following is an excerpt from the interview taken by Apurva. Hop over to the Fab Alley blog for the extended version of the same.
When did you first realize that you wanted to start a style blog?
I’ve been an internet being for as long as I can remember. In fact I find it almost therapeutic to just sit and browse for long hours, satiating my hunger for all things headtilt-ing. After-being swept away with over-the-top art, design and fashion sightings around the web, I wanted to push the boundaries of creative expression with a platform to expose my daily inspiration. So right after finishing grad school, I took my younger sister and HeadTilt‘s writer Kriti’s suggestion and resolved to procreate a fashion and lifestyle blog.
How else are you involved in fashion? Where does “fashion” integrate itself into your daily life?
Fashion is clearly an integral part of my life, especially right now. It is also the focus area of my blog. Though I don’t exactly come from a fashion background, I always find myself gravitating towards it. Even as a furniture and lighting designer (in the making), most of my inspiration comes from sartorial elements, may it be the shapes, the colors, the prints or even the production techniques. I am also working as a creative consultant with a friend of mine for her upcoming collection of ethno-modern pieces, which has been a fab learning experience in itself. It is an everyday thing for me I’d say. Looking good makes me feel good.
What is your own personal style?
Ever-evolving. Mood-based. Experimental.
I may not have found my exact style yet but I love to color outside the lines. Here’s a bit of what I’m loving at the moment.
East meets West + Opposites attract – Anything to do with contrasting elements really makes me tick. Think boy meets girl, leather and lace etc. Also I’m a huge fan of all things Indian, from the silhouettes, the crafts, the weaves to the jewelry styles, which is why I often find myself incorporating elements of that into my daily style. “No matter how slick your outfit is, there’s always a piece of Indian jewellery that meets the mood.” – Vogue India. So we are talking statement jadau and gold jewelry with sharp, tailored and sometimes even androgynous silhouettes. Or something like mojaris and kohlapuris with short flowy summer dresses perhaps or say a quirky printed sari over a pair of jeans? I’m all game!
You have a knack for finding amazing jewelry. What should girls look out for while jewelry shopping?
Why, thank you!
I am not very crazy about arm candy or any other form of layering when it comes to jewelry. I’d say less is more so stick to pieces with a strong personality. Look out for pieces with interesting details. Its all about the details for me, may it be the aesthetics or construction details. Gilded golds and glam gunmetals are really on trend so go invest in some. And last but not the least; our country is a massive resource for sublime, handcrafted pieces with an ethnic twist. I’m always on the look-out for those especially while travelling to smaller towns around.
What are your 4 prized possessions, as far as your closet is concerned; and why?
All my jewelry pieces really, from the trendy style steals bought online to the more statement-y designer pieces and intricate fine jewelry inherited from my mom and grandma. Anything with a dash of Indian-ness is relatively closer to my heart. I recently bought these antique-looking silver haath phools from an age old jewelry store located in the narrowest lane of the most replete looking bazaar in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, to wear to a friend’s wedding. Very fun, I tell you! Especially the bargaining bit.
My very first Ted Baker dress, bought in Singapore for my graduation ceremony after saving up for 3 months straight. It was also my very first LBD and I was highly insistent that it has to have a peplum, which was my newest sartorial discovery at the time. And when I finally went to pick up the dress I discovered it was actually available at a flat 50% off! I thought it was the happiest day of my life. And so to celebrate, I used the remaining sum of money to buy a pair of heels and a clutch to go with it!
Old stuff from my mom’s wardrobe, especially from the time she got married. I mean, who doesn’t like to raid their mom’s wardrobe, right?
Amongst the many beautiful salwar kameez sets and saris resting in my Punjabi mother’s wardrobe, I’m especially fond of her collection of beautiful hand embroidered dupattas. From the silk phulkari ones to the zari embroidered chiffons in bright bold hues, they are some of my highly prized possessions.
Dad’s brazen gold khadi-silk blazer. He wore this for his wedding reception and since it is two sizes too small for him now, it has found a happy place in my massive wardrobe of over-sized clothing. What can I say- trust in things that don’t fit! I absolutely love layering it over shirts, blousons and dresses, tightly cinched at the waist with a sleek belt.
Outfit 1: Embroidered crop top, Ridhi Mehra | Retro style midi skirt, Nitya Bajaj | Nude kitten heels, Vanilla Moon | Kundan and pearl earrings, Ogaan
Outfit 2: Cerulean vintage style shift dress, Les Parisiennes | Scarf Necklace, Forever 21 | Belt, Forever 21
Outfit 3: Black peplum dress, Ted Baker | Chain link belt, Mango | Oxblood kitten heels, Charles and Keith
Outfit 4: Over-sized white shirt, Zara | Floral necklace worn as headpiece, Dang | Pearl-embellished pants, H&M | Suede peeptoes, Zara
(All images courtesy of Fab Alley)