A little over 20 years ago, then supermodel Mehr Jesia spotted a face at a hotel in Kolkata that she instantly knew would click in the world of glitz and glamour. That face was of Bipasha Basu, who heeded Jesia’s advice to become a model. Today, she is a Bollywood actress, supermodel and fashion icon. Whether she’s wearing a nearly-there sheer bikini, a peplum skirt or an embellished Kanjivaram sari, the 40-year-old actress can still make heads turn.
Teaming up with her friends from the industry — Malaika Arora and Sussanne Khan, Bipasha went on to become one of the three faces of The Label Life, an e-commerce site that puts together closely edited signature collections of inspired pieces — both for the modern woman’s home, as well as herwardrobe.
More recently, the three ladies collaborated with AXN, and also used one of their most popular shows, Madam Secretary, as their muse, to put together a special Power Dressing Edit. Excerpts from a chat with the multi-faceted actor:
The Power Dressing Edit, we hear, was inspired by the show Madam Secretary. We are intrigued. Tell us more….
Madam Secretary is a show on AXN about a former CIA analyst and political science professor turned Secretary of State. We have used the outfits worn by Tea Leoni on the show as inspiration, to curate a special line of clothes for the modern woman to wear at work.
The Label Life and AXN cater to and portray respectfully, the modern woman —
so, the two brands coming together to bring forth something like this made perfect sense. In this edit, expect to find impeccably styled separates like tailored tops, smart bottoms, and comfy long-day-friendly jumpsuits that take you from desk-to-dinner effortlessly.
Your thoughts on current power dressing trends?
I feel, it’s great. So many women work in different fields, especially corporates, that Power Dressing as a trend is much required. We all need stylish, yet very comfortable styles that see us through back-to-back meetings, long brainstorms, board meets and even take us to that team dinner after work!
Does office wear need to necessarily be Westernised
Not at all! Formal wear can be the classic bottoms and shirts and dresses. Or they can be comfortable flared pants with a long kurta for manic Mondays. A sari is timeless and would ace every work space with utmost grace and elegance.
How would you recommend that working women elevate their everyday style to make more of an impact? What’s your personal style?
Everyday style always needs to marry form with function. By that, I mean, instead of going with any below-the-knee dress, opt for one in a shift silhouette that not only falls well, but can be cinched for definition with a belt you already own. For me, it’s the classic white-shirt-and-denims look I love the most.
Growing up, did you have any role models with respect to fashion?
Absolutely! Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and Sheetal Mallar were my fashion role models while growing up in the ’90s.
Something you’d wear at home, and not be caught outside in?
I don’t believe I have anything like that. I love my outfits to always be versatile, so I can style them in many ways. For example, I love satin sleep shirts, but I also wear them outside the house with a cinching belt and gilded sliders.
You’re working on Aadat, a film with your husband. Tell us a bit about the dynamics there. How is it like working with him?
Oh, it’s great. When we signed the film, both Karan and I decided that on set we were
nothing more than two professional actors working. We didn’t want our personal dynamic getting in the way at all.