Too short, too dark, too fat…too thin. Please de-bunk all this junk. Stereotyping of beauty has been normalised to such an extent that now we have become oblivious to trite comments. Being a part of the fashion industry, we see so many talented women being generalised and rejected on the drop of the hat. And from the societal point of view, at a juxtaposition of marriage, I hear of stories, and face them too, of how insignificant physical features become a deal breaker. When I look at a friend, crying after being rejected by a male chauvinist egostard, I can only think of how lucky any man would be to have her as his wife because she’s right in what actually matters in life. These points are redundant in the fashion and beauty industry - yes - but what is beauty?
Beauty is a smile that you can’t forget, beauty is the silver hair reeking of wisdom. Beauty is beyond big eyes or your body size. Beauty is anything that is simple, truthful and nice. Because beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
“Nazar nazar ki baat hai… warna nazaarei mei baat kuch bhi nahi”
BlabberCat, in association with Ommyra, presents 10 gorgeous ladies across Kolkata wearing various labels from the Camac Street multi-designer store. These women don't find themselves inadequate just because they don’t meet a certain stereotype.
You’ve heard her voice on the Radio so many times and now you get to see the beautiful face that owns the voice. Well here you go, meet Nilanjana Banerjee wearing a white, frill summer maxi with a desi twist of elephant emblem (above); and a pistachio peplum top and dhoti with a solo embroidery (below(. She loves her beauty spot and doesn’t understand why people forcefully get it removed. The retro phase of Hollywood and Bollywood has witnessed beauty icons artificially creating beauty spots and it’s still considered lucky to have this added feature.
The first question every Indian mother will ask… how will you look in short hair with Indian clothes. And Harshika Tantia gave the final answer to this question - nothing less than stunning! Harshika is a well-known photographer in Kolkata and has done way to many shoots for us as well. But today we asked her to be in front of the camera. Contrary to her formal office wear style, we dressed her in colours of the Indian summer. We styled a cream lehenga skirt with bright handloom kurta and dupata first then with a trendy crop top and cape. Both reccomended for mehendi and day functions.
Hair dye is so overrated. All your life you’ve had black hair and now don’t you want a little change. Manjira Majumdar, a Media Professor doesn’t need to look like one. She still looks glamorous and forgive me for using this word but oh-so-sexy. Innocent skin and shining eyes we loved watching her fuse fashion and wisdom. And her gentle personality seems best subtle and English colours. We styled ma'am in flare on top of flare with a handloom touch perfect for work-to-fun look.
Swati Pasari is an artist and sculptor, beautiful and usually the shorter one in the crowd. But you’ll hardly notice that because she also has the most contagious and dazzling smile you’ll ever see. We styled her in two contrasting looks, handloom and an evening gown. The blue comfortable handloom for her soul and the razzle-dazzle for the socialite life. We found Swati carry of earthy and vibrant colours, both with ease.
Skinny shaming is as bad as fat shaming. “You don’t eat anything or what?” Yes she does. “Are you anorexic?” No she’s not, please check the definition before saying that, do we go around asking people if they have depression, night blindness, diabetes etc? At 25 Mehek Singh Siddiq weighs lesser than most people her age but that’s how her metabolism works. She leads a normal healthy life and faces no issue. She’s beautiful and how! We first styled her in a dhoti jacket look that goes with party and ritual events. Keeping the same top we also got in the original gemotric pattern neon green, purple and beige cocktail evening skirt.
Healthy is the most polite word used to describe a girl who’s on the fatter side. But Sonam Osatwal flicks her long admirable hair and laughs wondering what’s wrong with being healthy? Hypnotising eyes and a soulful smile makes Sonam’s positive vibes radiate from a distance. A fashion designer in the making, watch out for this baby doll. We styled her in blue to compliment her eyes and then we made her wear something more traditional with a dash of bright pink. We found these to electric colours to do best justice on her. Contrary to the what everyone believes, wear black to look thin. No thank you.
Nerd is the new sexy. A lot of people are wearing glasses even if they don’t have power in their eyes. Srijita Ray Burman, a PR executive, shows how it’s done in this denim fusion Indian, kurta and dupatta. She doesn't understand why does one need to take the pain of wearing contacts for long hours, especially during family functions. Glowing in her sensual self, Srijita really stands out in a crowd.
“Woa, how tall are you? Like 6 feet?” This a a very common question/remark Drishleen Sethi faces. A stylist and now a foodpreneur stands the tallest in every situation and doesn’t need to hunch down. She has faced men getting awkward about being shorter than her but that doesn’t bother her at all. Often people question her decision of being a stylist instead of a model, but the thing is she doesn't want to become a model, and no she's not a basketball player. She wants to step up the fashion and food game in the city as an entrepreneur. We styled the stylist in a printed long jacket that adds volume to any plain outfit and the pockets just add functionality in a formal way.
Middle - of the most charming - age
Meet Ommyra owner and fashionpreneur Seema Agarwal. She has been in the fashion industry since 30 years and still gives anyone a run for their money. Usually traditional but sometimes fun and trendy, Seema Agarwal never lets her busy schedule make do with a thoughtful outfit. We styled her in summer cotton blue on blue cords with a funky scarf.
And thats me, Astha Modi the average Indian face you’ve been showing so much love to in all my blog posts. Not too tall, not too skinny, not too fair, not too dark, just average and happy. Im wearing an olive green flattering ankle-length kurta with rust gold embroidery subtly scattered around the shoulder and chest. My personal style is very simple and comfortable but also that stands out for all the right reasons.
Photography by Daniell Valimont
Makeup and Hair by Sujoy and Nabo
Wardrobe by Ommyra Labels (27B, Camac Street)