Jewel in the Crown - Shilpa Reddy

Shilpa Reddy is the type of model and fashion designer who doesn’t need fashionable outfits to stand out – she shines even in a plain salwar-kurta! Through her eponymous fashion label and stylish designs, she shows us that although fashion is unique to every individual, the underlying sentiment can be common. Always making heads turn with her wellmaintained figure and striking features, this stunner nails every look she goes for – Western or Indian – and our Cover photo more than proves it!

As always, you’ve completely rocked this issue’s Cover shoot. We gotta ask: how do you manage to look so ravishing and always nail your photoshoots?
(Laughs)Thank you! A camera doesn’t lie… when you own what you wear and are extremely comfortable in your skin, it captures it all!

Tell us about your lifestyle and beauty routines.
Beauty begins from the inside. When you treat your body with respect and take care of it as if it’s a temple, it shows. I keep my gut very clean; I bring about 40% of raw food into my diet, drink enough water to hydrate myself for the kinds of activities that are important in my life, and I rest enough, at the right time. I also train my body, meditate, and do various yoga kriyas. And externally, I do what everyone does: cleanse, tone, apply serums, moisturisers with SPF, hydrating masks, and a good night moisturiser.

You seem like someone who believes in minimalism. Do you bring in your own beliefs and personal style to your designs as well?
I feel that whatever you wear should enhance your personality or express who you are, but never overshadow. I’m big on aesthetics. I enjoy our traditional Indian aesthetics and find immense value and reverence towards them. My clothes are very light and comfortable. The embroideries are subtle and delicate and the colours are easy on the eye. In that sense, yes, my designs reflect my personal aesthetics.

Both fashion and styling come naturally to you. Can you share some tips on how to come out of our homes looking chic every day!
Keep it simple. If fashion and styling come naturally to you, then you can experiment. But if you want to come out of your home looking chic, I’d say limit your choices. Wear solid colours because they always tend to look sophisticated and well put together, and go with well-fitted clothes that accentuate your body type. Invest in simple accessories like chains and bracelets and two or three shades of well-fitted jeans. A few simple white kurtas and woven dupattas are best to flaunt some gorgeous Indian weaves.

Tell us about some of your best buys during Akshay Tritiya. What’s your favourite?
I really don’t buy at the time that you’re supposed to buy; I buy when I come across a beautiful piece! I love South Indian temple jewellery. All my best pieces are from this style of jewellery. I love the craft, the artisans, and the craftsmanship they demonstrate. To me, they’re great pieces of art and are my all-time favourites!

How can one choose the right jewellery?
Buy something that will stay with you forever. Invest in classics and in handmade jewellers because, very soon, you might not find many skilled artisans left. And the handmade craft might be replaced by machines! In short, collect pieces that illustrate our culture our heritage and the craftsmanship of our exceptionally talented artisans. 

So how are you spending your time during this lockdown?
Just being, living, and experiencing life, as it’s worth celebrating. This life is just beautiful whether you’re working or staying home. And I have so much to do at home! I’m doing all that I wanted to do but could not do when I was working, and managing my businesses and other social commitments.

What’s the first thing you’ll do after the lockdown is lifted?
Honestly, I really didn’t think about it. But since you asked, perhaps I’ll take a long drive with my son and get him some ice cream? Also, catch up with my friends and laugh my heart out? (Laughs)    – as told to Sumana; Photographer: Dinaker Pamu; Jewellery: Tara Sri by Tibarumal Gems and Jewels; Outfit: Kankatala Sarees; Saree Draping: Mridula Maloo; Shoot Direction: Devanshi Maloo; Hair and Makeup: @gotomirrors