VP, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, IHCL
As a 20-year management trainee with the Taj Group, Lalvani was a bit of a rebel. The dress code then was strictly saris, which had to be pleated and pinned very carefully, but Lalvani was the
first to wear his pallu down. Although she was reprimanded on several occasions, she quickly started a trend in the business: wearing a sari as a dress. Now, after more than two decades in business communications, she says she can run a marathon in the drape. After moving from the hotel to a corporate office, her work clothes expanded to include Massimo Dutti dresses and Neemrana kurtas with palazzos. âFrom a young age, I have felt that fashion depends on your state of mind,â says Lalvani. âIf you feel good about what you wear, it is reflected in your looks, your mood and your job. You can wear a simple dress or a cotton saree, but if you wear it with flair you will be the best dressed person in the room. Lalvani looks at street style for fashion inspiration. It could be a young college student dressed in androgynous clothes or an older lady who looks exquisite in a hand-woven saree. Her favorite designers are Ritu Kumar, Savio Jon, Manish Malhotra, and Anushka Khanna, but she also enjoys collecting pieces such as tribal jewelry, street market finds, and local designer clothes from her travels.
MVP Wardrobe: “A pretty dress. I’ll add some earrings, a clutch and a darker shade of lipstick for the evening.
VP, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, THE OBEROI GROUP
For Sehgal, who has been with the Oberoi Group for over 15 years, less is more when it comes to style and care. âNo amount of makeup can make you look as good as a solid skincare routine and drinking 15 glasses of water a day will,â she says. âMy clothing choices aren’t daring at all, but I’m addicted to fitness and train four or five times a week. It helps me look and feel great. Sehgal’s sari collection spans the length and breadth of the country and includes cotton dhakas from Calcutta, chikankari georgettes from Lucknow, silks from southern Chennai, tanchois from Benares and woven chanderis from Madhya. Pradesh. She also inherited the pastel-toned French muslin from her mother that she often wears. âAs a young professional, I used to wear pantsuits in the office, but the hospitality industry introduced me to sarees. The garment gave me confidence as I grew in my career and is now a staple in my wardrobe. On weekends and on her travels, you’ll find her in dresses and jeans, while her celebratory staple is a pre-sewn Mandira Wirk saree.
MVP Wardrobe: âA chiffon saree. I will add a single piece of jewelry at night, either earrings, a necklace or a bracelet. “
FORMER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT – GLOBAL SALES AND MARKETING, IHCL
âI am proud of our Indian cultural heritage and you will find this feeling reflected in my wardrobe,â says Basu. âI used to be a shopaholic on my travels, so I managed to get a sari in every state in India except Manipur. Basu started wearing sarees at the age of 13, and his extensive collection has been completed by figures like Sabyasachi and Tarun Tahiliani. âI love supporting women entrepreneurs and am a regular at the annual Paramparik and Khazana exhibitions,â she says. “Knowing the designer immediately makes the sari even more special to me.” Before the pandemic, when work-related travel was a given, she consciously incorporated Indian craftsmanship, such as a Raw Mango jacket paired with tailored pants, into her look. Out of service, you will find it in the athleisure or Anokhi caftans. A game changer was to ditch high heels and embrace Amritsari’s juttis, which she says are stylish but above all comfortable.
MVP Wardrobe: âA dark colored Benarasi, Kanjeevaram or ikat sari yarn. I wear big tribal jewelry to put it on later.
SENIOR SECTOR DIRECTOR, MARKETING, SOUTH ASIA, MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL INC
Kapadia spent her twenties buried in academia and didn’t really pay attention to styling or grooming. It wasn’t until she started working with the Marriott Group, traveling for work, and making herself known by meeting people from all over the world, that she realized the importance of presenting herself well. âI grew up in a middle class family, so my resources and exposure were limited,â she says. âMy transformation after I started working was like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. But I want to stress that looking presentable takes effort, not necessarily wealth. Instead of drab suits, Kapadia pairs skirts with jumpsuits and jackets, dresses with on-trend accessories, and isn’t afraid of bright colors like reds and olive greens.
She loves a hybrid saree or a statement dress for events and makes sure to have her hair and makeup done professionally for the celebrations. His favorite labels include Gavin Miguel, Arpita Mehta, Nikhil Thampi, Dior and Armani. 2020 brought her back to her roots and Kapadia decided to buy only what she needed and use more of what she already has. âBefore, I constantly wanted to acquire new clothes and accessories, but the pandemic taught me minimalism. I have developed an appreciation for sustainable living. “
MVP Wardrobe: âA body with a structured skirt. I give up the jacket and add a silk scarf.
Gauri Kitchlu Nayar
MANAGING PARTNER, TWAIN COMMUNICATIONS
Kitchlu Nayar started his PR career in Manhattan, then returned to India to manage communications for the Oberoi Group. With the move, naturally, came an evolution in his style. At 26, in a ruthless gesture, she requested a meeting with the president of the PRS group Oberoi to tell him that she was not comfortable wearing a saree to work every day. When he saw her dressed in a formal suit, he simply smiled, said alright, and offered her a cup of coffee. Now, at the head of her communications store, she has more flexibility. “I’m tall and thin, so I could technically
pack a lot of things, but I choose to stick with sophisticated silhouettes, âshe says. âI love dresses because they are easy to style. I’m honestly more comfortable being lightly overdressed than poorly dressed. She loves big, bold accessories like Isharya cuffs and Christian Louboutin shoes. A fun fact about her wardrobe? When she got pregnant, her husband bought her a flat version of every shoe she owned so that she could be comfortable while still being stylish. His favorite labels include Studio Verandah, Hemant & Nandita and Payal Singhal alongside international brands like Saloni, Mary Katrantzou, Self-Portrait and DVF.
MVP Wardrobe: âA tight dress adorned with diamonds. I exchange the bag and the shoes just before going out.
DIRECTOR, MASSIVE RESTAURANTS
âI was only 24 when I founded Massive, the catering group that includes BO-TAI, Switch and Swan, and I wore exclusively suits rather than semi-formal clothes to make people take me seriously. Â», Explains Kalra. âA well-cut piece immediately gives authority and demands attention. I usually accessorize it with a brooch or a pearl necklace. âA pointy suit is always Kalra’s choice for work-related events. Even off duty, she pays attention to styling and grooming – she would never be seen in pajamas or athletics. She sticks to leggings. , sweaters and sneakers on busy days, but won’t hesitate to wear a full dress when the occasion calls for it. “The most important thing is to dress appropriately for your age and shape”, she said. “I love the neutral toned clothes from Chanel, Rahul Mishra and Self-Portrait, with diamond jewelry, Judith Leiber bags and Christian Louboutin heels.”
MVP Wardrobe: “It’s hard to choose one, but I would say my wedding ring, which I wear all the time, whether it’s in the office or at a party.”
Helme attended a cooking school in Ireland and was taught by celebrity chef Darina Allen, known for her rigorous training as much as for her eclectic style which often includes shiny Converse sneakers and poppy-shaped earrings in vegetable form. Inspired by the power her mentor commanded, Helme also morphed into a sneakerhead. She enjoys shopping at Vegnonveg in India and often caps her entire outfit around a pair of cool shoes. âI started out in public relations for food brands,
so I wore suits and skirts in that corporate environment, âshe says. âBut now I’m more laid back. You will find me multitasking in the kitchen in SÃ©zane jeans and COS shirts. I like the quality fabrics, the straight lines and the bright colors. Helme prefers to buy sustainable fashion brands and leans towards Bodice for that reason. Her favorite item of clothing is a personalized coat from the brand. âI have lived in India for nine years and am very comfortable wearing sarees for parties,â she says. âMy favorites are from Nicobar, PÃ©ro or Anamika Khanna. These are now my go-to clothes for weddings all over the world.
MVP Wardrobe: âA full-bodied jacket with Olivia Dar earrings.
Looking good has always given Seth an extra level of confidence. A graduate of the Ecole HÃ´teliÃ¨re de Lausanne, who attached great importance to personal grooming, being perfectly presented was deeply rooted in her. âEspecially at work, my style gives me composure. You’ll always find me in some version of an LBD for meetings and events with clients, âshe says. âThere are days when I change my blouse four times before I leave the house and my husband says, ‘It’s just work’. But when I’m feeling pretty or wearing a color that I love, my mood and day are just better. Over the years, Seth’s style has evolved to incorporate comfort, and like many of us, workout gear has been a big part of his most recent purchases. Her fashion choices are largely classic: dresses, shirts, scarves and sweaters in black, gray and white tones. But from time to time, she likes to surprise. For these occasions, she will wear an electric blue skirt by Payal Khandwala or a fringed sari dress from 431-88 by Shweta Kapur.
MVP Wardrobe: âNude high heels, a black tank top and skinny jeans.