Tuesday, 1 March 2016

7 Malaysian Indian Fashionistas you should follow on Instagram


If you’re an active social media user who doesn’t live under the proverbial rock, you can’t deny the phenomenon that is Instagram. Admit it: these days when we roll out of bed, we often reach for our phones before our toothbrushes (Is that questionable? Maybe) and although being digitally dependent can have its downsides, stalking on Instagram in the wee morning hours can result in some major style inspirations. 
No one loves Instagram more than a fashionista! Don't you agree?
I would like to think of Instagram as a VIP pass to the latest and best fashion. It is the number one place to catch glimpses of inspirational #desifashion, #ootds and fashion insights!
Not sure if you’re following the right crowd? Then scroll down to find out the 7 Indian Fashionistas in Malaysia who have found their own unique ways to bring personality into their accounts, guaranteed to make you want to explore their Instagram profile more deeply. 

HYACINTHE KAUR
Instagram: Hykaur
                                                      
A woman who wears many hats! A fashion designer, painter, artist and designer in the general arts scene, the 25-year-old from Subang Jaya is no stranger to fashion. Her Instagram account is replete with artful photography of colorful outfits. Known for her notorious blonde hair and innate talent, she is the proud owner of two brand names: Shanti Raiya Fashion House (fashion) and Hykaur (art + Personal).
  1. How would you describe your own personal style?
    My clothing style is very personal; they reflect what I’m feeling at the moment. It’s for women who don’t give a damn. I’m not for the weak-hearted. I draw inspiration from everything around me, be it people, books, films or nature. If I want to be a mermaid, then I shall dress like one ;) I love mixing up my outfit with a touch of Indian detailing.


  1. What sparked your interest in Indian Fashion?
    My Mom! She was a seamstress and designer. That’s how I got my very first exposure in the Indian Fashion world. As a child I would follow her on her business trips to India and be amazed by the fabrics, laces, beads etc. I knew from the very beginning that I would be following the same path.


  1. What are the challenges that Malaysian Indian women face in being fashionable? 
    The only challenge is Themselves! Most Indian women are not confident enough with their own sexuality. They have one common problem: they can never be thin enough, but then again it’s an issue that all women face! “But sexiness is a confidence issue, not a size issue.” My favorite quote from Sabyasachi Mukerji. Nevertheless, I do find that there are more and more Indian women who are coming out of their comfort zones and breaking boundaries in the fashion world.

  1. Who inspires you the most in fashion and why?
    I think it would be Manish Arora who is basically the John Galliano of India. I am extremely inspired by his ability to play around with such a rich color palette that combines traditional Indian work like embroidery, appliqué and beading with Western silhouettes.


  1. What are your plans for the year 2016?
I have a principle in life which is to learn or take up something new each year. Besides that, I would like to take both my brands to an international level or platform.


  1. What would you advice others who aspire to be like you?
    Never stop investing in yourself. Live your life by your own terms.


SIVAGAMI SELVARAJAN
Instagram: Sivagamavalli 
A 25 year-old who hails from Sitiawan, Perak, Sivagami is an Indian Classical Dancer who is known to be bold and attractive on stage. She is also an actress, a part time model and host who is very passionate about life.  She is the founder of a movement on Instagram: #keepcalmandsareeon and despite being busy with dance, she is also pursuing her masters in performing arts.

  1. How would you describe your own personal style?
I live by this quote “style is a way to say who you are without having to speak”. I enjoy designing my own outfits - designing attires that help bring out the best qualities in me and knowing what works on my body. I make peace with my flaws by wearing outfits that epitomizes my self-confidence.
  1. What sparked your interest in Indian Fashion?
I grew up listening to my grandmother speak about courageous women like Lakshmibai-The Rani of Jhansi going to war in saree, explaining tales of Radha and Krishna with pictures that would inspire me to imagine myself wearing the skirts and blouses that Radha wore. Being an Indian classical dancer, I used to watch my grandmother and mother sew costumes using sarees - it’s impossible to separate an Indian classical dancer from her sarees or Indian fashion in general. It was love at first sight and there was no turning back.


  1. Where do you think the Indian Fashion Industry is headed?
Thanks to the internet and social media platforms; style and ideas have become more accessible. As a result of many aspiring fashion bloggers speaking about fashion and style, the Indian fashion industry is embracing an evolution; creating new pathways for indo western clothing. Hopefully, this will be a fantastic way for it to go global! In fact you can already see the essence of Indian fashion in some of the mainstream brands like H&M; Indian tribal textile/ prints, septum rings (popular among native Americans) and in India, Tibet & Nepal.


  1. Who inspires you the most in fashion and why?
    I often find those who rebel against the current trend very very attractive. They stick to what suits them best and lead the scene instead of jumping into the bandwagon of following the latest trends.  It’s nice to keep yourself updated with what’s trending but it’s nicer to interpret them in your own way; unique to yourself.  These are the women who are very comfortable being themselves in whatever attire they choose to wear.
    To name a few inspirations: Sushmita Sen, Nanditadas, Aishwarya Rai, Vyjayanthimala & Rukmini Devi (Indian classical dancers), Sofia Vergara (she rocks her bell bottoms like no other) and Deepika Padukone.

  1. What are the challenges that Malaysian Indian women face in being fashionable?
Not given the freedom to dress and be who they want to be which then leads to suppressive and regressive thinking. While most of us are trying to break the barriers to promote progressive thinking via contemporary designs and styling, some are still not too keen to allow this to happen by using religion and tradition as an argument.


  1. What are your plans for the year 2016?
"I think fearless is having fears but jumping anyway" Taylor Swift. Always believe in yourself and live fearlessly.

YASMIN NADIAH
Instagram: Yasminnadiah



Classic with a touch of grace is exactly how I would describe the next fashionista. She is an engineer by profession, actor by passion and a fashionista at heart! Yasmin keeps it minimal and clean with a smart blend of bold colors with contemporary designs to create color block outfits. Her aim is to inspire college-aged women and young professionals to increase their style with confidence, build a capsule wardrobe on budget and revamp their wardrobe with simple DIYs that infuse ethic Indian fashion.

  1. What sparked your interest in Indian Fashion?
As I am an Indian myself, I grew up in a culture where lush, vibrant colors, rich textile and hand embroidery are ways of life and so it’s not surprising that I developed an early interest in Indian fashion.
  1. Name one fashion item you can’t live without.
My Gold – Illuminator Casio watch. I never ever leave home without it.
 
  1. What are the challenges that Malaysian Indian women face in being fashionable?
Probably gender discrimination. Although we have grown so much out of it, it still happens among Indians in Malaysia.  As a boy or man growing up in an Indian family, they will be allowed and accepted in everything they do and it’s totally opposite for girls and women.


  1. Describe an unforgettable moment in your life.
Throughout life I have had many memorable events. The memorable times in my life vary from being the worst times in my life and some being the best, either way they have become milestones that will be remembered forever. Representing Malaysia in a taekwondo competition would be an unforgettable moment for me, as I was truly happy to see my parents and coaches feeling so proud of me.


  1. What would you advice others who aspire to be like you?
    I appreciate everything I have learned along my way but things take time. A beautiful garden is not created overnight; it needs time to grow. The right attitude, confidence and style are the keys to success. I urge everyone to trust their instincts and follow their passion.
HARSHINI SUKUMARAN
Instagram: Harshiniii
Harshini, who goes by her Instagram name ‘Harsh’, started off as a dancer at the age of 6 in the Temple of Fine Arts, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. She has always been drawn towards the arts and has never shied away from the public or a large crowd. Harshini describes her personal style as Indo-Western. “I like the balance of being rooted to my culture while at the same time pulling it off with a touch of western.” Currently she is a freelance designer, makeup artist, performing artist and dance instructor at the Temple of Fine Arts and runs her own fashion line - Kaal Ratri.

  1. Name one fashion item you can’t live without?
    I have to say I have two fashion items I can’t live without. Though for me they’re more than fashion items as they have significant meanings behind them-my Bhindi/Pottu and my Mukuthi/nose ring.

  1. Where do you think the Indian fashion industry is headed?
    Indian fashion is definitely evolving according to the times. There are many designers who are very innovative and contemporary with their ideas. Online shopping has become the trend. I think it’s just the beginning, not just for Indians but Indian fashion will be a trend that will be followed and adopted by many non-Indians as well. I am already seeing this happening now.


  1. Who inspires you the most in fashion and why?
    To be honest anyone who is not afraid of their roots and carry themselves with confidence in whatever they are dressed in inspires me because I believe that, attitude and confidence are such a great compliment to one’s attire.


  1. Describe an unforgettable moment in your life.
    The most unforgettable moment in my life is when my dream of going to Milan, Italy came true. It was a wonderful experience that words can’t do justice. I never would have dreamt of being in the room where Gianni Versace did his work and his house, the courtyard where he conducted his runway shows was surreal. I had the opportunity to visit and learn from many known artist/designers and talented individuals. Every day was a learning process both for life and fashion and I can’t wait to relive those moments.

  1. What would you advice others who aspire to be like you?
    My advice would be to find your own identity and really believe in it. Listen to your self and have a winning mindset and at the same time be humble and have the right attitude. Never base your work on how others see you but instead strive to be strongly known for your personality.


AHILA SHANMUGAM
Instagram: Ahila_THR

Ahila has amassed more than 32.7K Instagram followers since she started her career as a radio DJ with THRaaga and became the host of Astro Vaanavil's Aatam 100 vagai in the very same year. Being born and raised in a small town called Kluang, Johor, Ahila ensured that her dreams were always big. A graduate from Lim Kok Wing University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication, Ahila was the host on the TV programme 360degree (Astro Vanavil) and currently she is managing her roles as a radio DJ and a TV host on the programme Vizhutugal (Astro Vinmeen).


  1. How would you describe your own personal style?
I strongly believe that everyone can carry any look as long they feel comfortable with it. I'm a cotton & Kanjeevaram saree freak. I love to go for unique designs and colors. I try to incorporate the contemporary with elements of old school. For example, if my accessories have a touch of 80's to them then my makeup and hairdo will be modern and vice versa. As for footwear, I'm not very keen about heels. Mostly, I try to go with my pumps or sandals.
  1. What sparked your interest in Indian Fashion?
The most special feature about Indian fashion is that it suits every skin, color and body shape. When worn right, it not only helps to camouflage one's minuses but also makes them stand out. For example, women who are slightly on the plum side can look slimmer if their saree is tied in the right way. Indian fashion to me is classic and will never be out of fashion. I even find it perfect for office wear.


  1. Name one fashion item you can’t live without.
In terms of my wardrobe I can't live without my cotton sarees. When it comes to my makeup items, it’s my eyeliner - my life saver. 


  1. Where do you think the Indian Fashion Industry is headed?
The Indian fashion industry is definitely soaring high right now. Especially among Malaysian Indian women. I can see so much difference now than I did a few years back. Young girls especially, are bolder in choosing unique designs and colors. They are conscious about picking the right accessories and footwear and are willing to mix and match which was not the case few years back. I find that they are presenting themselves very well these days. 


  1. Describe an unforgettable moment in your life.
The most unforgettable moment for me was attending THR Raaga's audition and getting a call saying that I was chosen. I knew things were about to change from that moment on wards and it has been so far. That is one memory I'll always treasure. It has made me the Ahila I am today.


  1. What would you advice others who aspire to be like you?
Be truthful to your work. Give all you can for the salary that you are getting paid. If you keep doing the right thing, everything will just fall into place accordingly. Be happy, enjoy life.  We only live once.
HARMINI ASOKUMAR
Instagram: Harminiasokumar
There is only one word to describe this fashionista’s style, Colourful! Her Instagram lives up to her bright reputation with photos of vivid, radiating and exotic clothing. She is an artrepreneur, goal digger and dreamer at Deeper Than Fashion as well as a blogger. Harmini is also convinced she was born from a rainbow spectrum of light, peace, love and stardust.
  1.  How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style would be boho chic with a touch of Indian fusion. Think comfortable, flowy and colourful. There's nothing more important to me than comfort. I'm very much a harem pants and tank top sort of person on a day to day basis. I do however love taking risks and going all out with colours and accessories. I love trying new styles and coming up with new designs that suit my personality. 


  1. What sparked your interest in Indian Fashion?
Being Indian myself, I grew up with so much culture and colours and that on its own infused itself into my personal style and sense of fashion. I try to keep it contemporary and relevant as much as I love traditional wear too. 


  1. Name one fashion item you can’t live without.
I can't live without my black tank top! I love how it is so easy to wear and can go from basic to dressy with just little details added upon. 


  1. Where do you think the Indian Fashion Industry is headed?
In general, the Indian Fashion Industry is making waves (especially the industry in India itself where the designers really have ample resources). Big designer brands like Chanel have been known to be influenced by the Indian culture and ideas. More so now with a wave of 'bohemian fashion', as they incorporate a lot of Indian accessories and style such as septum rings, the bindi, henna and so on.  


  1. What are the challenges that Malaysian Indian women face in being fashionable?
More often than not, there's a preconceived notion that as an Indian woman, you need to act, behave and be a certain way. Personally I've been lucky because the people around me understand who I am as an individual so there's not been any backlash. I think most of the challenges are internal for each individual and they should strive to overcome them. 

6. What would you advice others who aspire to be like you? 
They should always aspire to be themselves and continue to work on being better versions of themselves. It's always key to know who you are as an individual, and how your personality is. Style comes hand in hand with that.

ROOVAA LI JUAN
Instagram: R.o.o.v.a.a
Bright, bold and beautiful is what I would describe this shy fashionista from Perak. With a classic demeanor that perfectly translates onto her #ootd pictures, Roova’s Instagram account is hard to miss. Coming from a mixed parentage background, she was able to experience both sides of the culture closely. She grew up being fascinated with the Indian Culture and it’s colours.

  1. How would you describe your own personal style?
Well, I think it’s a little bit of everything but to be specific my style can range from super simple to avant-garde but it’s always flamboyant. I’m a strong believer that you can never go wrong with classic!I really like the idea of being one of a kind and therefore I always try to add my own touch on every outfit I wear. I like bright, bold colours.
  1. What sparked your interest in Indian Fashion?
I would say it is my extreme love towards saree and classical Indian accessories! I am an Indian Classical (Baratahanatyam) dancer. I love everything that is classical and I have always been designing beautiful sarees and jewelries since young. I would say that the olden days Tamil cinema, especially black and white movies have thought me a lot on classical dressing sense. They have always appeared so classy yet so modern!
  1. Name one fashion item you can’t live without.
Accessories! (Hope that counts as one!) haha. I love earrings, necklaces, bangles and bindis!


  1. Who inspires you the most in fashion and why?
My mother was definitely my fashion icon as a child! She has her own way of dressing up and it is always unique.
If you’re looking at International designers, Chanel have always inspired me with their way of keeping fashion simple yet full of elegance.
  1. Describe an unforgettable moment in your life.
To visit Paris, the city of love was really a dream come true!
 

6 comments:

Balan R S said...

Well done Roova ! Great write up n keep it ip

Aruna Sukumar said...

Thank you so much :)

silshila said...

very well written :)

Aruna Sukumar said...

Thank you :D

Miss Macaroon said...

A great insight on the topic:)

Aruna Sukumar said...

Thank you so much sweets :D Means a lot to me