Born Stylish!

Pria Kataaria Puri talks with You & I
Known for her eclectic style, fashion designer Pria Kataaria Puri has taken her fervour for fashion to the next level by hosting a unique talk show titled Born Stylish, airing on Colors Infinity and VH1. In this candid conversation, Pria tells us all about the show and her personal style.
How did Born Stylish come about?
It’s my debut show and I’ve learnt so many new things. Although I’ve had plans to launch my own perfume line, a restaurant, and a salon, hosting a television show was never on the cards! The show’s producers had launched a company called Ra Luxury and they wanted to do something with fashion. When they came up with this concept, they were looking for someone who knew the field well, and that’s when they saw billboards of a jewellery line I was endorsing. When they approached me with the concept, I was instantly elated. The idea of meeting and speaking to fellow designers and celebrities excited me. Although I had no experience in the field, my producers were quite confident that I could carry it off.
Soon Viacom18 bought the show and the entire team came together. Everything – right from designing and building the set to selecting the designers, and celebrities to interview – was quite a tough task, but the learning experience was worth all that.
What is the show all about?
There is a huge gap between fashion and the common man. Taking note of this, the producers decided to bridge the gap by creating a show that is not just the run-of-the-mill talk sort, but a more fun and light-hearted conversation that focuses on fashion and style.
Style is all about expressing your individuality. It’s about how you acquire style, make it unique, and in turn inspire others. The international part of the show is so interesting because the designers speak about fashion in India and how it inspires them. The show features interviews with some renowned designers of luxury labels – Salvatore Ferragamo, Fendi, Baldinini, Ermenegildo Zegna, Jean Paul Gaultier, and others.
Who are the celebrities you’ve interviewed so far?
Akshay Kumar, Anil Kapoor, Malaika Arora Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Lisa Haydon, and Fawad Khan, to name a few.
What made you choose them?
What’s unique about the show is that each episode has a theme and we choose our guests based on this theme. For instance, the age myth was broken with Anil Kapoor and the show followed a polished panache theme. With Akshay Kumar it was the alpha male, Fawad Khan was dapper and debonair, Sonakshi represented the edgy exotic, Malaika was the sultry siren, Lisa was boho chic, and so on.
What are some of the topics you cover on the show?
When I used to give interviews, people often asked me what inspired me to become a designer. But nobody ever asked how my style journey began, or what early fashion influences inspired me. Style is often acquired during your growing-up years – inspired by movie stars and family, or even random strangers. Then it’s altered to suit your personality. I realised that nobody, in any chat show, has asked these celebrities what inspired their style, so we decided to do that. It’s interesting to learn about their style inspirations and how they altered these to suit Bollywood and their films. And each of their styles has evolved along with their respective careers; here they speak about what influenced the change.
Do you have a favourite episode so far?
They were all great fun, more so because they’re all my friends too! But if I had to pick one it would probably be the show with Akshay Kumar. He’s so relaxed, fun to be with, and has a great sense of humour. It was really easy and comfortable shooting with him. But like I said, every episode is different, and they were all great fun to shoot.
Fashion designer or TV show host, which role do you prefer?
I’ve only just begun this journey so it’s hard to choose; but my loyalties lie with designing. However, this show too is all about fashion, so in a way it’s correlated with my role as a designer.
So tell us… were you born stylish?
Everybody is born stylish – some of us learn how to represent our style at a very young age, whereas others take a bit more time. Some people who have a natural flair for style go on to become inspirations for others too. I grew up in Delhi and San Francisco, so I had good exposure to fashion, and style came quite easily and naturally to me. I was always said to be uber-stylish. While growing up, many of my friends often joked about how they became friends with me to borrow my clothes (laughs). Wherever I go I notice people’s style and take a picture of what interests me, and pin it on my mood board.   -- as told to Niharika