Her last name may be her legacy and her liability, but Shweta Bachchan Nanda, the daughter of iconic Indian actors Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, is not going to let that be her sole defining trait in her life.
Last year, the 45-year-old popular author, columnist and fashion week front row regular turned fashion designer by joining hands with Monisha Jaising for their ready-to-wear collection MXS. Her designer debut happened in her forties — way past the conventional age of starting a new chapter such as this, but evolution is age-proof, believes Nanda.
“Your age can never define who you are,” said Bachchan Nanda in an exclusive email interview with Gulf News tabloid!.
“At any point in your life, no matter what your age, you can find who you’re truly meant to be. I am happy that I am able to do all these things because for me age is really just a number,” she added.
Her creations also reflect this sentiment and famously caters to women of all ages and sizes.
Her season of firsts doesn’t end here. On April 20, the author of ‘Paradise Towers’ and mother of two will roll out her collection — filled with easy, no-frills silhouettes — in Dubai, at the two-day Divalicious fashion exhibit.
While we touched on varied topics, including her own fashion icon and aesthetics, she studiously skipped sticky questions about plagiarism rows in fashion collaborations. Designers including herself and Anushka Sharma have been called out for their design that bore close resemblance to other creations.
Just days after the star-studded MXS label launch, Diet Sabya — a popular Instagram account known for calling out fashion copycats — accused MxS of lifting one of its sweatshirt designs from a lesser-known fashion brand tlroom.
For all else, she was game to play along. Excerpts from our interview with Bachchan Nanda as she gears up for her Middle Eastern fashion exhibit …
You will be showcasing in Dubai for Divalicious for the first time. How has the responses been so far when it comes to such exhibits?
Dubai is such a vibrant city and is becoming the region’s fashion hub therefore it is normal for us to showcase and launch our brand in the city where its fashion industry is growing at a fast pace. It is always exciting for us to showcase in a new country especially [because] our brand is young, and meeting new people in different cities is a great way to connect with people. Moreover, Divalicious is the right platform for us, as it attracts leading brands from across the world and we are confident that our brand will get the right exposure at our participation.
What’s your brand philosophy around your sartorial collaboration with designer Monisha Jaisingh?
MXS is a luxury pret brand which is playful and adventurous and derives its inspiration from quirky elements such as youth, street style, romance and funk. The brand creates clothing that complements any woman’s age or size.
How much of your personality reflects on your designs with Monisha Jaisingh?
Each of us bring our own sensibilities and aesthetic to the brand. Our clothes are a reflection of both of us and I believe this is what makes it special as we both add our touch which shows in our creations.
Your label is being lauded for being inclusive and catering to all sizes. Is this attempt to promote body positivity and ageism?
Our style and designs are versatile, complementing women of all ages and sizes. From a 15-year old girl to a 50-year old woman, anyone can sport of ensembles are look luxe and chic.
Do you believe in less is more or are you more a bling-it-on personality?
This all depends on the day and my personality depends on the mood that I am in.
What’s a day in the life of Shweta Bachchan Nanda and do designers face something akin to a writer’s block?
I believe that it is important to travel and keep your eyes open on what is going around in the industry, and it will keep any block at bay.
As a person who is fashion-forward, do you have any pet peeves when it comes to designing?
Generally, I am easy going and I can’t think of any pet peeves when it comes to designing.
What’s the most overrated and underrated fashion trend according to you, and why?
I think trends are overrated in general. I believe that designers should avoid following any, and to try creating their own style.
Which is your most precious design in your wardrobe?
Everything that I’ve designed with MXS is special to me and gives me great pride.
What are the rules that you follow when it comes to accessorising?
I believe in keeping it minimal. Less is more.
What kind of a fashion moment are we having in India right now?
Indian women are ready to explore and reinvent themselves today. She is open to experimenting with all types of silhouettes which I think is fantastic.
Should India move away from its obsession with couture traditional wedding garments rolled out on fashion weeks and embrace resort wear that’s your signature?
Not at all. Weddings are an intrinsic part of our culture and it is wonderful to celebrate it in traditional ethnic wear. We can always create new couture given that we stick to our culture and what makes us special among other cultures.
What’s your take on ‘sack-the-stylist’ pages and who according to you is the best dressed in Bollywood. Plus, if you could give one fashion advice to the world, what would it be and why?
My mom is the best dressed in Bollywood. Her style is understated and doesn’t run with trends. And if I have to give one advice, it is to be understated and elegant.
Don’t miss it!
What: Divalicious fashion exhibition
When: April 20 and 21
Where: Roda Al Murooj hotelin Downtown Dubai
Time: 9am to 9pm