Barely a year ago, a google search for "fashion bloggers in India" would've yielded less than a page of worthy links. Today, the same search can make you tumble into a rabbit-hole so deep you'll probably end up crashing your web browser. They're everywhere — online, taking pictures of people on the street, at fashion weeks, in newspapers and magazines even.
"We might be far from days when big designers invite bloggers to front-row views of their collection, like Marc Jacobs did with 13-year-old Tavi at New York Fashion Week two years ago, but we're getting there," says Sonu Bohra of Fashion Bombay, one of India's first fashion blogs to receive attention and appreciation. "Internationally, blogs have made fashion accessible and less elite. We need a similar trend in India, where 'style' is seen to be under the exclusive patronage of page 3." says stylist Rin Jajo.While the older breed of fashion bloggers relied heavily on posting stylised outfit photos, details of loot on trips abroad, putting together look-books from international collections — and let's not forget, cribbing about ASOS, H&M, Target and American Apparel not being in India — the new crop has more to contribute to the evolution of style in India. If you're wondering where there is real style in the country, look out on the streets. And if it's too inconvenient to peek out of your chauffeur-driven car, it would serve you well to look these blogs up and get a fashion education.
Name: Lesley Leboni
Web Address: www.lazymanxcat.blogspot.com
Blogging since: May 2009
Profile: When not studying or blogging, Lesley likes to read, is obsessed with her Lomo camera, animal prints, Angry Birds, Japanese designers and fancies herself to be a cat. She also likes to read and was at one point entirely obsessed with the US secret service because of a book she read. An Arts and Aesthetics masters student at JNU, Lesley finds inspiration in most unconventional things and looks back at her teenage years with a rather mature sense of regret, uncommon in people in their early twenties. She thinks fashion made her "shallow" and made her stop blogging for a while till she remembered what she loves about fashion: that it is art mixed with movement and context. Her personal style is edgy, ardoit, a little vintage and at times a little futuristic.
Name: Imsu Pathshla
Web Address: www.theaili.com
Blogging since: May 2010
Profile: Twenty-year-old Delhi student Imsu Pathshla is obsessed with ASOS and mostly burns whatever she's cooking because she's either too busy shopping online or tweeting. Growing up in Kohima, Imsu had "a dreamy, sunny childhood. I wouldn't mind growing up again," she says. On her blog, Imsu has possibly the most jaw-droppingly magnificent collection of shoes seen on Indian fashion sites. A slightly irregular blogger, Imsu thinks it's a time-consuming activity and sometimes has no-blogging phases during christmas or holidays. She loves shopping at H&M and thinks brands are important so much so that on occasion where she's wearing something label-less, she makes sure to mention, " It doesn't happen very often."
Name: Sonu Bohra & Jasleen Kaur
Web Address: www.fashionbombay.com
Blogging since: September 2009
Profile: "When Jasleen and I started Fashion Bombay in 2008, we were just two friends who shared a love for fashion," says Sonu Bohra. "But now there's something out there for all fashion needs." Sonu and Jasleen — stylists, writers and Vogue bloggers when they're not strutting their stuff around South Bombay — have created a global sense of experimentation within their style. The two routinely do "looks", play around with colour, structure and texture closely watching international trends. Possibly one of the oldest blogs to build a brand for itself, they routinely announce
sponsored giveaways and review collections.
Name: Ruhi & Faiza Sheikh
Web Address: www.republicofchic.com
Blogging since: December 2009
Profile: Bangalore sisters Ruhi and Faiza Sheikh thought "it would be fun to track the evolution of their style" when they started Republic of Chic. "We've been creating lookbooks, posting outfits, following international trends and even selling hand-picked merchandise through the website since 2009," she says. "We don't do reviews, however," Faiza points out. "We like to interpret international and Indian runways and offer tips for placing them in an Indian context," says Ruhi. The two have also started an online shop from where they retail certain items they consider must-haves but might not be available in India.
Name: Anushka Hajela
web Address: www.bombaybubble.com
Blogging since: November 2010
Profile: Anushka Hajela, 22, is "majorly" obsessed with "leopard print, sequins, chiffon, ridiculously high heels and big accessories." Although she mostly posts outfit-pictures (a popular template for Indian fashion bloggers), she occasionally writes brand, collection and store reviews as well as compiles lookbooks on her blog. There are two things Anushka considers her signatures: Red Lips and a "bisou bisou" (frech for "Kiss Kiss") sign off. Have you spent a lot of time in France, we ask her? "No, not really. But I love the language and the culture." Her ultra-glam sense of style might well be contrasted with the uber-chic Bandra hipster lot, but she believes it also makes her "stand out from the crowd" citing Rachel Zoe and Anna Wintour as her inspirations.
Web Address: www.wearabout.wordpress.com
Blogging since: February 2010
Profile: For 27-year-old photographer Manou, his fashion blog Wearabout was entirely adventitious. "When I was volunteering in Dharamshala in mid-2009, I started taking a lot of pictures of what people are wearing on the street. My blog was initially meant to be a photo diary to record that," He says. Manou finds style inspiration in everyday attire and ordinary people. "Fashion can only be contextualised — and only becomes 'art' — when it uses the mundane and pours new meaning or structure over it." Manou was recently enlisted by Burberry to shoot a range of individuals wearing their classic trench coat in Delhi and Mumbai for their event titled "The Art of the Trench" at the WLIFW. For his blog, he regularly interviews stylists, designers, bloggers and whoever else he thinks is doing "avant-garde" work in the field of fashion.