Sartorial Vision

Sakshi Mehra talks with You & I
Tell us what it’s like to be Sonakshi Sinha’s personal stylist?
Sonakshi and I sit together over the brief prior to any project we work on and put together some references, after doing a bit of research. We discuss the look and bounce ideas off each other, and then I begin the process of putting the look together – coming up with outfit options or getting them customised to something more specific. We then hold fittings and shortlist a couple of outfits, after which I match them with the right accessories and jewellery.We discuss hair and make-up as a team once the look is set, and then we execute it. Sonakshi is all about her team, and loves to hear what everyone feels, so it’s a lot of fun.
How did you begin styling?
I studied apparel manufacturing and design in Mumbai and went on to get another degree in fashion journalism from the London College of Fashion. I wanted to come back and work here, since I understand the Indian market and wanted to be an integral part of this growing industry. After returning from London, I began looking for positions with magazines, which is when styling came up. I was good at it,so I decided to try it out. One thing led to the next, and three years later, here I am.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Seeing how the finished product turns out. When the weeks of hard work culminate in a look you are happy with, it’s a great feeling.
What do you make of India’s fashion scene?
It’s buzzing! We’re still finding our footing and identity, striking the right balance between holding on to what is Indian and adopting what inspires us from the West. But it’s a great time, with many opportunities for young designers, stylists, and bloggers.The downside is that it is a bit cluttered with multiple fashion weeks, some showcasing the same collections from the same designers. I would love to see things evolve and mature in the coming years, and I hope the quality doesn’t get lost in the quantity.
Sakshi Mehra 
Tell us about your personal style.
I like to keep it classic, but with a bit of an edge. I like my looks to seem effortless and be extremely low-maintenance, as I’m not a very patient person. I always leave my hair natural and barely ever get a blow-dry or use any products. I also prefer not to over - accessorise.
Tell us about your association with Pookaari.
Pookaari curates jewellery from amazing accessory designers, and brings it to us in the comfort of our homes. For the extremely busy working woman of today, such as myself, this is a dream come true. I wouldn’t want to go through hundreds of pieces to find one nice pair of earrings. I appreciate someone already doing it for me, bringing the best and most relevant pieces to the fore, kind of like a stylist.
What is the most essential piece in your wardrobe?
This is like asking a mother to choose between her kids! (Laughs) For me, there are four essentials: a black boyfriend blazer, a white shirt, a pair of perfectly fitted blue jeans, and nude heels.
If not a stylist, what would you have become?
I live for fashion, so it would definitely be something in this field. In fact, styling is not the only thing I see myself doing. I still have to write and design the look, and hopefully I’ll teach too, someday.
What advice do you have for our readers?
Fold your jeans a bit to instantly up your cool quotient, and NEVER wear it like a churidar with gathers!
Tell us more about yourself and how you spend your free time.
A stylist barely has time to cultivate hobbies, but I love to travel and try to read whenever I can. I’m obsessed with phone covers and stationery, I’m super-organised, a compulsive listmaker and quite the control freak. I thrive on chaos and do my best work under pressure. I don’t like rules (unless I’ve made them), and I’m quite a rebel.                                                     ..... as told to Niharika