Shop Talk: Tanya Ghavri
Shopping is an art. While some love the process, it can be a real chore for others. For a lot of women it’s a social experience, and for some, it’s a very personal one. Regardless of how one shops, though, personal style can never be identical for two people. The way they shop, the way they style their purchases, how they decide what they need, how they store them… these are the kind of questions we often have when we think about some of the most fashionable people in the industry.
And that’s why we’ve launched the column SHOP TALK, where we identify industry influencers with a unique sense of style and ask them to spill the beans on how they think about their personal style, where they shop, what they splurge on, and their fashion weaknesses and confessions!
She makes some of our favourite stars look bloody good. Shraddha Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan — you name a major celeb and Tanya Ghavri has styled her. Going beyond her call of duty, Tanya recently hosted the first-ever Dhoom Dhaam Trunk Show, a curated exhibition of bridal couture and accessories. Seen at the event were her celebrity friends like Karisma Kapoor, Nimrat Kaur, and Jacqueline Fernandez.
But her impeccable sartorial sense does not end at her clients — her personal style, too, is fun, fresh and edgy. We get celebrity stylist Tanya Ghavri to spill some of her favourite shopping haunts and personal style secrets.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is very androgynous. I love mixing high-street with vintage buys, but since I’m always on the move, it’s always about comfort for me. The brands I swear by are All Saints, Zara, Intermix, H&M, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler. There are some super-talented Indian designers I love too, like Nimish Shah, Natasha J, etc.
Tell us about your earliest memory of fashion and shopping. Who was your style inspiration growing up, and why?
My earliest memories of fashion would have to be the movies! I have always been such a movie buff, whether it was Bollywood or the really fun Hollywood movies — like Clueless. What an amazing fashion film and inspiration!
How did your choice of work inform and influence your style in the early years?
I was clear from the very beginning that it was all about how I made my clients feel when I styled them. It’s not about me — I have always been a casual dresser and will continue to be. My job has always required me to be on-the-go, so I dress accordingly.
Thrifting and vintage shopping — is this something you do a lot of?
I love vintage shopping. Paris, London and New York are great for vintage finds — What Comes Around Goes Around is a store I love for vintage clothing. But Los Angeles, according to me, has the best vintage finds.
Tell us about some favourite thrifted/vintage pieces you’ve found over the years.
There is a Dolce & Gabbana suit from the 80s I picked up in New York that I absolutely love, and a Christian Lacroix vintage skirt suit I will never get over! It’s got these vintage gold buttons they don’t even make anymore — just so gorgeous. I have so many vintage finds that I’ll need pages to jot it all down!
Do you do a lot of thrift/vintage shopping online? If yes, what are your go-to sites?
I don’t thrift shop online — like Carrie Bradshaw said in Sex & The City, shopping is my cardio!
Do you like shopping to be a social thing with friends or is it something you like to do alone?
Shopping is great when it’s with friends who are like-minded and have similar tastes. I love shopping with Pernia (Qureshi), Rhea (Kapoor), Sonam (Kapoor) and Shehla (Khan) — it’s always so much fun and we really bring the house down!
Your favourite Indian and international online shopping stores?
Internationally, I love Luisa Via Roma, Net-A-Porter, Shopbop, and Matches Fashion. In India, Bhane, Koovs, and Pernias Pop Up Shop are my favourites.
Your favourite high-street brands?
My favourite high-street brands are All Saints, Intermix, H&M, and Zara.
Do you like shopping for them online or in store?
High-street online shopping is great from Asos, Shopbop, Free People and All Saints — the price points are affordable and the curation is really young and fun. I enjoy both online and in-store shopping — they both have their own charm.
What are the items of clothing you prefer to invest in?
I love investing in classic pieces — nude shoes, Spanx, a little black dress, a great ethnic Anamika Khanna piece, a tailored white shirt, a great pair of pants that can go from day to night. I love classics because you can mix and match them, and they can be worn for years on end. Also, I think a few vintage classics are a must too, like a classic Chanel tweed jacket.
If you look inside your closet — what are the items you have the most of?
My closet is full of blacks and whites, mostly blacks, because you can’t go wrong with it. I love the idea of classic blacks because my taste is very Parisian — I love Paris, so easy and chic, and my wardrobe largely reflects that.
How often do you shop?
I shop all the time, pretty much on a daily basis, but not for myself — it’s mostly for the celebrities I work with.
The thrill of the hunt — is that something you enjoy, or are you the sort of person who knows exactly what you want and where to get it from?
When I’m shopping for myself, it’s always the thrill of the hunt — you never know what you’ll find. But when I’m shopping for my clients, it’s pretty straightforward because I know what I need, so I don’t waste time.
Do you set aside a budget for shopping for yourself every month?
Wow… I hate budgets! So no, I don’t set budgets for myself!
Do you have any default outfits — pieces you keep going back to over and over again?
I have way too many default outfits — I love my playsuits as they’re easy to slip into, especially in a city like Bombay. My black Maje pants and a white shirt, my little black dress from Marc Jacobs, and easy summer dresses are a few others! I’m a comfort dresser.
Are you a high heels or flats kinda woman?
I love wearing high heels if I’m out and about. I love Zara, Topshop, Gucci, Aquazurra and Charlotte Olympia for shoes.
Pants or skirts?
Pants, for sure. I’m an andro girl — I love everything androgynous.
What is the size of your closet? And how do you store your clothes?
My closet is mostly a lot of racks — it’s a room full of racks and clothes — as I prefer to keep my clothes open and breathing. That is, until the day I have an envious walk-in!
Do you plan your Fashion Week wardrobe/outfits? What is your thought process when selecting outfits?
I hardly attend Fashion Week unless it’s a friend’s show because I’m always at shoots. I’m more a behind-the-scenes kind of girl, but when I do go, I never really plan my looks. I always mix-and-match interesting pieces from my wardrobe and put them together with a statement accessory.
Do you tend to wear a lot of Indian designer brands?
Yes, I do. A few of my favourites are Nimish Shah, Dev R Nil, Anamika Khanna, and Sabyasachi. I love the easy chic feel on brands like Bodice and Péro.
Do you get things tailored to fit or prefer to buy off the racks?
I prefer to buy things off the rack that fit me well; I very rarely wear custom pieces. But if and when I do need to fit anything to my size, I go to my very trusted masterji who has been working with me for years — he is amazing.
How do you plan your daily outfits? Is there a method to the madness?
My daily look consists either an easy-to-slip-on summer dress when I’m in Bombay or then a pair of pants with a shirt and Oxfords. When it’s particularly hot, it’s a mul shirt, shorts, and a pair of Tods flats.
What was your most recent purchase?
My most recent purchase was online on Net-A-Porter, it was a pair of Fendi shoes! It was an evil spend but great fun!