The Wardrobe Chronicles with Monica Gupta, Akshita M Bhanj Deo, Monica Shah, Radha Jetley and Sonam Pall

“Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends,” said Fashion Designer Kate Spade and we cannot agree more! A woman’s first love is her wardrobe; it not just reflects her style but also speaks about her personality and inner self. Be it accessories, jewellery, clothes or makeup, every possession in a closet has a story to tell. Celebrating this spirit of fashion and style, we bring to you ten inspiring women and their wardrobe chronicles. Take a look!     – Srivalli

Monica Gupta
With a keen interest in fashion, Monica Gupta the founder of Tried & Treasure, an online retail portal for pre-owned luxury says, “Today luxury is not just for the elite but for all men and women who understand it and want access to it. Through my work, I try to make it affordable and accessible to them.” Monica loves to splurge on classics such as Hermès Birkin, Chanel bags, and watches. If given a wish, she would like to raid Olivia Palermo’s wardrobe. Speaking about a fashion era, Monica states, “I would love to go back to the ’50s when the silhouettes were uber-feminine and elegant.” In everyday life, the proud founder likes to strike a balance between classic, modern, and feminine look and finds comfort in jeans, t-shirts, and maxi dresses paired with a comfortable pair of shoes and statement bag.

The Attico Heels Current favourite as they bring a pop of colour to my outfits!

Hermès Birkin Bag I love the fact that it’s timeless and versatile. This has been a companion to many of my outfits.

Zimmerman Dress Nothing can make me feel so feminine, but this dress. It has been a partner in building beautiful memories.

Bvlgari Serpenti Watch My husband gifted it to me on Valentine’s Day - works as a great accessory as well as a watch.

Grlfrnd Denim Jacket This one is a dearest possession because I’ve personalised it myself.

Akshita M Bhanj Deo
Akshita M Bhanj Deo is the youngest daughter of Praveen Chandra Bhanj Deo, the 47th ruler of the Bhanja dynasty. Formed in the erstwhile princely state of Mayurbhanj in 697AD, it is now a part of Odisha. The 27-year-old is currently one of the Directors of the 200-year-old Belgadia Palace homestay in Mayurbhanj, Odisha, and also a model represented by Kay Savino Yhome. Akshita likes to splurge on sneakers, jeans, and vintage chiffon sarees while her go-to look includes Bell Bottom jeans and a crisp white shirt. Speaking of her favourite fashion era, she says, “I would go back to the early 18th century India for the influence of Mughal textiles on the south Asian subcontinent (especially their use of richly decorated fabrics such as muslin, silk, brocade, and velvet) and early 20th century for the Indo European dressing which was popularised by women such as their Highnesses Sucharu and Suniti Devi of the Brahmo Samaj.”

NOMH Multani Hemp Shirt Jacket This Rajasthani printed piece is one of my most treasured items as it is from the brand NOMH, which makes sustainable gender-fluid clothing with hemp material and reminds me of my mother’s roots in Jaisalmer.

Maharani Saheba Collection- Diva’ni Vintage Kurta set This collection is close to my heart as it was an homage to the women of the royal family of Mayurbhanj and recreates the style of the royal women of the east in the 20th century.

Carolina Herrera Ball Skirt An abstract print with neon lines on it, this was my sister’s gift to me for my 21st birthday when the theme for my party was Mary Antoinette.

Japanese Bomber Jacket from Topshop This was my 17th birthday gift to myself when I was in high school in UWC, Singapore and is hands down my most worn item from my closet and quite possibly my first splurge!

Zuhair Murad ivory silk cape gown I wore this gown with gold embroidery to the Le BAL Des Debutantes in Paris in 2013. Besides, the cape with a 4 ft train was the highlight of the statement piece.

Monica Shah
Monica Shah is a co-founder of JADE, a couture label and the Chanakya School of Craft – a non-profit school for women from under privileged backgrounds, which offers education in Indian arts and crafts as well as holistic development. If granted a wish, Monica wants to raid Michelle Obama’s wardrobe. “She’s powerful, elegant, experimental,  and iconic,” she says. This inspiring woman loves to splurge on artisanal and handcrafted pieces as they’re rare and you can’t replicate them. Defining her style as global and contemporary with Indian roots, Monica says her go-to style is a JADE silk or organza blouse with a pair of denim and Indian accessories. When asked about her favourite fashion era, she added, “I would want to travel back in the time of the Rajput era. I love the way the women dressed. They were mighty in their aura and exquisite in beauty. Their culture and dressing have a timeless appeal.”

Silver accessories from Kutch I got these from Kutch. These are pieces traditionally worn by the women of Kutch. I fell in love with their stories and these pieces, and they’ll always hold a special place in my heart!

Off White Tunic We made this during JADE’s tenth-anniversary celebrations. That will always be a special time for me. This off-white tunic features elaborate and intricate pearl work with floral motifs.

Yellow While Tunic This piece too was from JADE’s 10th anniversary; this lovely tunic will always be a reminder of that time. It is linen on linen work that features JADE’s original patchwork, wherein we’ve made the traditional Indian art of patchworking and given it our unique spin!

Handcrafted Maroon Dupatta I love looking for handcrafted, highly artistic things when I am travelling. Especially fabrics and garments! I picked it from one of my travels. I feel so happy every time I look at this treasured find!

JADE Off-White Dupatta A combination of mukaish and pearl work this JADE original is very dear to me. I think this is the fruit of one of our many endeavours in bringing together contemporary approaches and traditional techniques.

Radha Jetley
As someone who grew up in five different countries, Radha Jetley has always been inclined to find common links between cultures. After several years of working in media and lifestyle, this inspiring woman recently launched a discussion platform for spiritual and philosophical notions from around the globe, known as @beyondtheobvious. official. With a love for belts and costume jewellery, she defines her style as experimental, colourful, accented and offbeat. High-wasted pants (Harem or Dhoti style mostly) and maxi dresses are some of her trusted possessions and Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Princess Diana, and Nicole Ritchie are some of the names whose closet she would like to raid. When asked about a fashion era she would want to travel back to, Radha said, “Definitely the ’80s. Perhaps because I am an 80s child, but I feel nothing personified glamour like that particular era. That is hands-down, my definition of glamour and indulgence.”

Over-Sized Sun Hat I feel like it was made for me. Picked up from a flower market in Bangkok, the hat is silly, glamorous, and just a little too much.

Sistine Chapel gold enamel earrings from Valliyan It was love at first sight, and the spiritual significance just made them my go-to. Not to forget they go with everything.

Diamond Frame sunglasses from Gucci Every memory with these is amazing. I think they make some sort of point every time I wear them.

Slate Feline Travel Bag from Shivan & Narresh This bag truly is extraordinary. The perfect travel companion, we refer to it as ‘Creature.’

Versace Men’s Scroll-Print Leather Belt I just love the era in fashion it personifies. Plus I’m crazy about the black and white with gold combination visually.

Sonam Pall
“I  am someone who’s always experimenting in terms of style. I evolve with fashion and love to try new trends, rather than sticking to one particular type,” says the co-founder of ‘The S&S Trunk Show - an eight-year-old fashion and lifestyle exhibition working to provide a platform to emerging designers and curate shopping experience for buyers. Sonam loves splurging on a great pair of jeans and accessories, and in the winters she prefers to spend on some beautiful and comfortable jackets. Adding to it, she said, “I feel investing in undergarments is a must; it gives you a sense of confidence.” Her go-to look includes a plain-black fitted tee, smart pair of shoes and good jeans paired with charms and a nice handbag. Speaking about her favourite fashion era, Sonam said, “The era I would like to go back to, is the late 40s and early 50s when Christian Dior came up with a new feminine look that emphasised on the hour-glass-shape.”

Outhouse Earrings These cuties amp up any of my outfits. They’re statement, lightweight and have the right amount of bling.

Frank Muller watch A gift from my husband, this Frank Muller watch is young yet timeless. It adds a tinge of elegance to any outfit I wear; it’s something I wear every day - on non-isolation days that is!

Gucci backless loafers These have been my travel companion for the last two years. These shiny beauties have taken me from day to night, malls to bars, and have walked the streets of many memorable cities around the world.

Louboutin Stilettos For all those nights I don’t remember, but with people I’ll never forget! These have been my partner in crime for all those endless parties, Indian weddings, and a lot more!

Chanel Handbag My outfit is incomplete without an iconic handbag and this one is hands down my favourite. It’s classic, functional, versatile and very feminine. I wear it the most!