I don’t look at myself as the best-dressed man in India. I find it very difficult to talk about any qualities related to style that I may possess.
There are several ways to describe good style: chic, design, luxury, method, fashion, panache, elegance, stylishness, bravura, flair, grace, smartness, polish, class, charm, good taste.
If I were to be recognised as one who possesses style, it would be a blend of classic, contemporary and quirky. But, really, as you look at the three options, you discover that they not only represent style but phases in a person’s dress code through different ages — as a child, quirky because you do not know what the heck your parents are dressing you in; 18 to 35, contemporary; beyond 60, classic.
You need to know fashion, to know you have made a faux pas. I cannot claim to know fashion.
I follow a few commandments when it comes to fashion: follow your own style; thou shalt have no other style gods. Ensure that your style is individualistic, so there is no one in the same image or likeness. Thou shalt not kill for fashion, even if you walk into a premiere for a photo op and discover the guy ahead of you is wearing the same tie. Remember the Sabbath; give fashion a break on Sundays.
It is said that your environment shapes your style. My mother, who came from an affluent Sikh family from Faisalabad, now in Pakistan, spent several years in Lahore. The city was considered the epitome of all that was aesthetic and fashionable at that time.
Photograph by Harsh Man Rai