10 Stylish Peeps Pick Their Favourite Indigenous Wardrobe Staple

Carrying forward our endeavour to support Indian designers and crafts in the current crisis, we asked 10 super-stylish peeps, known for their compelling sartorial choices, to dig into their troves and show us their all-time favourite indigenous pieces. 

Monica Dogra 

Monica Dogra, 
 musician and actress
: “One of my favourite pieces to wear is this 
10-year-old tunic from Label Ritu Kumar. I had been invited to a party for Ritu Kumar at the time, and she had asked me to go to the showroom and pick whatever I wanted to wear. It was my first time experiencing someone being so generous, and to be rewarded for attending a party! I tend to wear mini dresses all the time, but I love this particular piece. I’ve actually just rediscovered it, and I’m wearing it a lot now. It has a bandhani panel that can be buttoned into a high-neck, or opened up into a V-neck ruffle. I usually team this tunic with biker shorts underneath, as it’s super-short—not that I mind it, though. My other all-time favourite brands are Nor Black Nor White, Payal Singhal, Kanika Goyal, and Dhruv Kapoor. For festive Indianwear, I love Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee.”

Nikita Jaisinghani

Nikita Jaisinghani, 
 Celebrity Stylist: “I have a long list of favourite Indian designers, like Dhruv Kapoor, Bloni, Nought One by Abhishek Paatni, and Jaywalking. One of my favourite pieces is this dress by Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika. I had seen it on their Instagram page and immediately decided to make it mine. I was attracted to the colour, the print, and the dramatic shoulders. The best part is that even though it has so much going on, it’s still very wearable. It’s a very recent pick so I haven’t really had the chance to wear it much, but I’ve done numerous trials of how I’d like to style it in multiple ways... I am so ready to wear it with my Alexander Wang boots when travelling next, with messy hair and minimal make-up. Another way that I’m ready to take it for a spin is with my metallic-green Attico sandals, with super-sleek hair.”

Masoom Minawala

Masoom Minawala, 
 Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger: “I’m all about expression, and this dress by Rahul Mishra expresses who I am perfectly! It’s light and fun, while maintaining an element of sophistication. It makes a gentle (but strong!) statement, which stood out for me and sealed the deal. It is the kind of piece you save for special occasions. That said, it can be worn for a day or night outing, depending on how you accessorise it. As you can see in this shot, I have styled the look with strappy, golden heels, and a dark, emerald green bag—both bring out the intricacies in the dress, while also adding a very classic, evening vibe. I’d also style it with wedges and a sling bag, for a daytime brunch. India is blessed with an abundance of talented designers. Among them, I consider Anamika Khanna and, of course, Rahul Mishra, as extremely-gifted designers.”

Aparna Badlani

Aparna Badlani, Co-owner - Atosa: “I have a huge list of Indian favourites! Some among them are Savio Jon, Amit Aggarwal, Nupur Kanoi, Priyadarshini Rao, Payal Singhal, Kallol Datta, Antar Agni, and Bodhi Tree. I had bought this dress by Savio at least 13 or 14 years ago, to wear to the opening of my first store, Zoya...so there is some serious sentimental-value attached to it. But I am also a huge fan of the designer and his work! I have worn it multiple times over the years—just the way it is, or with a belt, for a cinched waist. The dress in itself is so impactful, it does not need much styling. Also, personally, I like the outfit to be the hero, so I like to keep my make-up subtle, like here, with soft eyes and nude lips or perhaps, just a dash of colour. I am big on accessories, and feel you can uplift any outfit with a nice piece of jewellery. Here, I’ve worn a shredded, distressed leather neckpiece by Scarlet Sage.”

Scherezade Shroff, Youtuber: “Some of my favourite Indian designers are Gaurav Gupta, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rara Avis by Sonal Verma, Kanika Goyal, and Dhruv Kapoor. One of my all-time favourite pieces is this metallic jacket by Dhruv Kapoor, which I’ve had for a couple of years now. I don’t own too many metallic pieces, but this is one of those really cool picks that you can both dress up or down. It can really amp up casualwear, like it’s done for my look in this photograph. I normally like to wear it with jeans and sneakers for a relaxed day out. I’ve worn it for night-outs, too, with a crop top and high-waist trousers. In fact, I even wore it to the Cosmo Blogger Awards last year!”

Tina Tahiliani

Tina Tahiliani, Executive director - Ensemble: “I am wearing Aikeyah by Isha Dhingra. Ecru and black have always been two of my favourite colours. And I really relate to the draped and layered fabric. I especially love the way this piece falls and feels on my skin...along with its chic black and white contrast detailing and the subtle buttons. I tend towards well-shaped outfits, so, sometimes, I wear it with a belt, over ankle-length pants; other times, as a dress, just as it is. It is so subtle that it allows your accessories to stand out. And depending on how you style it, you can wear it to dinner parties, or to work for meetings, or any other relatively relaxed outings. My favourite part about it is that it’s versatile as well as perennial and evergreen...you can wear it for years, till it falls apart!”

Siddharth Batra

Siddharth Batra, 
Digital Creator
: “This kurta by Antar Agni has been in my wardrobe for several months now, and I call it my closet’s Indianwear mogul! Also, possibly the most Olympic-level sartorial piece I own...it’s had quite a run already. I first wore it for a Diwali party in 2019 (with sneakers), then to an intimate wedding function (with relaxed, linen trousers and kilt loafers), multiple times for my at-home, just-feeling-myself fashion trials, and recently, for a video on my Instagram handle (with a leather skirt). The fit is relaxed, it’s draped in a very urban, neo-Indian manner, and goes with almost everything in my wardrobe, including my neon bucket hat! Because my style is very distinctly street, this piece had me at its subtlety of drama (such an Antar Agni forte). I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed wearing anything, as much as I enjoy this one.”

Kalyani Saha Chawla

Kalyani Saha Chawla, Founder - Rezon Silverware
: “My dear friend Rohit Bal gifted me this cape on my birthday two years ago, and it’s among the most-coveted pieces in my wardrobe now. It features silk quilting and stunning zardozi embroidery, and has this striped, multi-coloured lining inside, which is what luxury is all about...only you know it’s there! Also, it’s light as a feather, which makes it easy to travel with. And it doesn’t crush! For the Cosmo shoot, I’m wearing it with a pair of dhoti culottes by James Ferreira and a T-shirt. But I’ve also worn it with skirts, jumpsuits, dresses, jeans, even saris. People have stopped me in restaurants and on the streets of Paris to ask where I bought it from. It made me so proud to say it’s by an Indian designer and is made in India!”

Sukriti Grover

Sukriti Grover, Celebrity Stylist: “For me, there’s nothing like wearing a homegrown label! Some of my favourite Indian designers include Flirtatious, Manish Arora, Abraham & Thakore, Dhruv Kapoor, Ritika Sachdeva, and Raw Mango. The piece I’ve worn for the photograph is by Flirtatious, from their gymwear collection. It’s one of the very few labels that customise athleisurewear in India, which works very well for my petite structure. The vibrant print on it, and the great quality of spandex, put it right up there on my list. I wear it fairly often, because it fits me perfectly! It’s extremely functional, so is great to work out in, but I’ve worn it casually during the day, too, to hang out with friends.”

Sumaya Dalmia

Sumaya Dalmia, Celebrity Trainer and 
founder - SUMAYA: ‘My love for saris is eternal! When not in sweatpants, saris are almost always my next go-to. The ensemble I’ve worn here is by Varun Bahl. He is one of my favourite Indian designers, and I love this sari for its simplicity and grace. I lean towards tone-on-tone a lot, and nothing beats white. This piece is the perfect example of how different drapes and elements can come together to make a simple white sari look so much more striking. It is seven years old, and I’ve always worn it mostly the same way. It stands out most when styled the traditional way, complete with a low bun, red flowers, and winged liner to add an old-world charm to it. The roses also lend a hint of colour. Some of my other favourite Indian designers are Rahul Mishra, Rohit Bal, and Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna.”