They’ve been responsible for wardrobe overhauls and complete style changes in several women across the world. Now, as the India leg of their show, Trinny and Susannah’s Makeover Mission India gets set to go on air on TLC this Friday, we caught up with the fashionable duo for some handy fashion advice.
What are the most common problems you noticed among Indian women?
Susannah (S): If there’s one problem Indian women face, it’s a bit of a tummy and broad hips. But that’s not too hard to deal with. We have something we call magic knickers, which we asked them to wear, and they immediately looked like they’d been working out and dieting for months.
Trinny (T): On our first show, we had a just-married woman who had put on a bit of weight. She was a yo-yo dieter, and faced a lot of pressure to be a certain size. We told her she needed to dress so that she could love her body. She had a lot of black clothes and tented dresses, which women tend to use to hide their tummies. We put her in a fitted gold dress and she looked great.
S: The trick is to show off your form just underneath your breasts, because everyone is fairly small there. Clothes glide over your tummy that way.
What did you think of Indian women’s fashion sense?
T: We found Mumbai like New York and Delhi more like Paris. In Delhi, we were interviewed by a woman who looked very chic and classy. Mumbai is more fashionable. But while there are great stores to shop at, women do need advice on what to buy there. If you follow fashion blindly, you’ll be wearing skinny jeans even though boot-cuts are better suited for you.
S: Women here who aren’t in saris are very simply dressed. In their traditional wear, they are very feminine, but casually, they are polar opposites. We tried to fuse the two.
Have you used clothes by Indian designers on the show?
S: We borrowed some classic saris from Sabyasachi. Ritu Kumar had great fusion wear. Creations by some young designers like Nida Mahmood are also nice. I took back some saris and wore one to Elton John’s ball, which is the smartest party of the year. I felt like the belle of the ball.
T: I love Indian jewellery. I’ve bought so much that I’m planning to sell some back home. We weren’t brought up with the mechanics of tying a sari, but we love it. On the show, we had a hip-hop dancer with orange hair and mad trainers. She found it very difficult to go from that look to a traditional one. We found her a neon yellow sari, so she still felt really cool.
What’s the trick to repeating clothes without making them look the same?
S: Treat your wardrobe like a shop. Forget how you had worn something and start afresh. Team clothes with different accessories and experiment. I add a petticoat under a dress, or a panel of a different colour, and it transforms.
T: I’m wearing a kaftan as a dress right now, but I can tuck it into a skirt or a pair of jeans as well.
How often should one change their hairstyle and make-up?
S: Every five years. You need a new hairstylist who will look at you objectively and suggest something fresh.
T: It’s the same with make-up. We meet women in their fifties, who are still doing their make-up the way they did it in their twenties. A woman’s make-up actually depicts the era in which she felt most beautiful. It’s like sniffing the vintage of a wine. You need to change certain things when you grow older and your face changes.