A Toast to Fashion - Iffat Khan and Nagu Reddy talk with You & I

Childhood friends with a common interest in fashion, Iffat and Nagu came together two years ago to launch Toasted Couture. Ideally meant to be a toast to fashion, the online editorial platform features everything related to fashion for men, women, and children. The duo is now hosting a fashion carnival – Top Stitch – on November 5th at N Banyan, to present some of the up-and-coming designers they’ve featured, all under one roof in Hyderabad. Read on to find out what’s in store at the carnival.   

Tell us all about Top Stitch and what to expect from the event.
Iffat: Toasted Couture is an online fashion editorial platform that was started two years ago by Nagu and I. We’ve used it to feature over 150 designers, both established and up-and-coming, from across the country. Top Stitch is a fashion carnival through which we’re bringing these designers to showcase their collections under one roof, in Hyderabad. Our main idea was to curate a carnival that can change the way people shop, because Hyderabad has many exhibitions and everyone’s bored of the shopping scene now. Top Stitch is a fun fête concept where the entire family can come to spend their Sunday in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. There will be loads of shopping, not just for women but also for men and kids. Apart from this there’s food, drinks, and music – with DJ Ajay playing through the day as well as bands like Threeory and Capricio presenting some soulful renditions.

The aim here is to showcase fresh talent who haven’t showcased their work in Hyderabad before, at affordable price points. Top Stitch will have something for everyone.  
Nagu: We’ve been doing this online platform for the last two years, and over time we realised that there’s a demand for these budding designers in Hyderabad. So we wanted to bring these up-and-coming designers from outside the city to present their work here. It’s quite different from the regular exhibitions that Hyderabadis are used to. There will be cool music, with a vibe that is lively and fresh.

Who are some of the designers and labels that will be showcasing their work?
I & N: We will have 42 carefully selected designers and design labels showcasing at the carnival. These include Nupur Kanoi, Aditi Somani,
Dhora India, Neha Vaswani, Valliyan by Nitya Arora, Son of a Noble Snob, Tuni Tales, Aarti Vijay Gupta, Mishru, Notch Above, Label Ishana, and Aman Bedi.

How did you select the designers?
N: It was based on our personal style. If we think we can wear their clothes, then we take them on.

What are some of your favourites?
I: Aditi Somani, Antar-Agni, and Mishru are my favourites from the designers who’re showcasing at Top Stitch. Apart from these, I love the works of Anushree Reddy and Jayanti Reddy.
N: Dhora’s jewellery is very funky yet wearable. Saakshaand Kinni caught my attention too. Their stuff is very floral and fresh. Son of a Noble Snob has very cool stuff for men.

How did Toasted Couture come into existence?
I: Nagu and I have been childhood friends and we’ve shared a passion for fashion, ever since our college days. Even after Nagu moved to America, our conversations mostly revolved around fashion. So we decided to turn this passion into something more serious, and hence began Toasted Couture. As a fashion editorial we work on interviews with designers, trend stories, celebrity spotting, etc. It’s a two-man army run by just Nagu and I.

N: It’s always been at the back of our heads since we love fashion and good clothes. We always notice people’s way of dressing and style, so we decided to start writing about it. Toasted Couture is like a style directory, and unlike most blogs and editorials, we don’t just feature womenswear; in fact, one day a week we only write about men and feature menswear designers.

Who is your favourite designer?
I: Anamika Khanna
N: I don’t have any personal favourites. I like different things from different designers. It all depends on my mood.

What’s your personal style like?
I: Easy, comfortable, and classic. Nothing over the top.
N: I like something that’s easy and fuss-free. Before I moved to the US. I used to wear a lot of bling things, but after moving there my taste has sobered down. Now that I’ve moved back I’m trying to change it back.

Statement accessories or classic pieces?
I: Accessories are meant to make a statement.
N: Classic pieces that make a subtle statement.

What’s your favourite accessory?
I: Bags! I like any bag that’s well-made.
N: My bag. My current favourites are Valentino and Gucci.

What’s it like to be working with your friend?
I: Awesome...it’s the best thing in the world! It doesn’t feel like we’re working.
N: I love it. Of course we do fight and argue, but it’s a lot of fun. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

What do you do when you’re not working?
I: Currently we’re working 24/7. But when I do get the time I love reading. We’re also both moms, so spending time with our kids is what we do when we have free time.
N: We’ve barely had a breather in the last couple of months. We’ve been working constantly. But like Iffat said, when we do get the time we spend it with our kids.    --- as told to Niharika