Wardrobe secrets from Rashmi Mohapatra

This week, The City Express explores the style journey of the lady, who is known for promoting Odisha's handloom through Raas Design Studio.
Rashmi Mohapatra
Rashmi Mohapatra

This week, The City Express explores the style journey of the lady, who is known for promoting Odisha's handloom through Raas Design Studio. Yes, we bring you a peep into the wardrobe of Rashmi Mohapatra.

Q: Style transcends the clothing that one puts on. It's definition changes with the individual. What's yours by the way?

A: I don't believe in fashion trends. I believe in style or fashion that is comfortable and suits my personality. Style is an expression for identity. Having said so, I also believe in keeping myself fashion forward. Thus, I follow what's trending in fashion. I keep a tab on the colours that are 'in' for the season. But, I am not the blind follower. Customization and alterations are always on my cards.

Q: We all follow some thumb-rules for dressing ourselves up. What are your norms?

A: I dress according to the occasion. If I am going to an informal place, I opt for a casual look. I will mostly pair a kurti with a leggings or team a tunic with jeans or stick to the basic white t-shirt and denim combination. For formal outings, I love wearing sarees.

Q: The City Express has often spotted you wearing beautiful sarees. Share your saree secrets with us.

A: I have an antique collection of sarees borrowed from my mother. These were handwoven in Odisha. But, nowadays you will not get one of these items that can match the craftsmanship. I wear handloom sarees. I keep collecting sarees from various states. I have stayed in Gujarat for long. So, I have an exclusive collection of Bandhani, sarees with Kutch embroidery. I also have lovely Paithani sarees of Maharastra, Banarasis and sarees with Chikankari work of Lucknow.

Q: If you delve into a wardrobe, you will definitely come across an interesting story. What's your story?

A: I have a rare Bandhani saree. The black and magenta colour sari doesn't have the typical Bandhani border. There is no border, except for a broad golden 'pallu' for contrast. This 25-year-old saree has an interesting story linked with it. I was desperately looking for a mono-coloured Bandhani saree, unlike the usual multi-coloured ones. Such pieces are only worn by Rabaris of Gujrat, who are nomads and migrate to other cities to work as domestic help. One lady from the tribe was working at my place. One day, she came to work wearing a similar pattern dupatta with a backless choli and lehenga. Taking inspiration from what she was wearing, my husband got it sourced by a Gurjari designer. It was a birthday gift and I kept it intact till today.

Q: Have you committed any fashion mistake in the past?

A: Not just once, I committed several mistakes in styling. I was young. I used to get carried away with the latest trend. In the process, I ended up wearing wrong colours that didn't go well with my complexion. Sometimes, I also picked up jewellery pieces which weren't looking great on my body. But, now I am more experienced and cautious about my choices.

Honest confessions

Pick for a date night: I will definitely not wear a saree. I will pick a black dress or a gown.

Skincare for Summer: I apply turmeric paste on my face everyday. Thereafter, I rinse my face with a mix of milk and olive oil.

Fitness routine: I spend an hour in the gym. I have dedicated separate days for yoga, aerobics and weight exercises.

Most expensive item: I have Louis Vuitton's bags worth Rs 2.5 lakh. I also have designer sarees by Ritu Kumar and Manish Malhotra worth Rs 1 lakh each.

Favourite shopping destination: It has to be Phoneix Mall in Mumbai. I visit Ritu Kumar and Zara stores, besides other labels.

Travel essentials: Moisturizers, lip stick, bags, shoes and clothes, of course!

Make-up must-haves: I love mac lipsticks. I love wearing the red shade. I prefer minimal eye make-up. So, a Kajal is a regular item.

Jewellery basics: I try to keep it minimal. I wear tiny diamond tops. For parties, I love flaunting big jhumkas and keep the neck naked.

Fetish for: I am crazy about shoes. I have 250 to 300 pairs, collected from various countries.

Fastest pick: A Guess watch bought from the airport while I was in Prague.

Style tip: I want the young fashionistas to experiment with sarees. Try draping it in an unconventional manner. Accessorize your saree with a belt to accentuate with your figure. You can also wear it like a dhoti and a crop top.

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