Rhea Pillai knows the real art of living
Art of Living and hi-fashion may be two ends of the spectrum, but former model and Bollywood hunk Sanjay Dutt's wife Rhea Pillai loves to court both with equal fervour. Comfortable and down to earth, UK-born and Mumbai-bred Pillai is known for being a pillar of support to her husband during the TADA case.
But there's more to the lissome beauty than just that, she has an eye for all that is aesthetic. "I've watched almost six shows at the LIFW, and I loved Ranna Gill for her flowing white skirts with silver coins, Manish Arora's hot pink drain pipe trousers and Rohit Bal's superb finish. Delhi is truly the fashion address of the country, and some of the best designers from there are ruling Mumbai," says Pillai.
Pillai's wardrobe has a bit of everything, from hardcore Indian, to fusion and funky western. "I love Armani for his classic cuts at times, and then also like Manish Arora's madness and Roberto Cavalli's play of colours. So fashion for me is self-expression, it reflects how I'm feeling on a particular day," says Pillai.
Denim remains her hot favourite, and dressed in the fabric, she talks about the Rohit Bal show with men wearing sindoor. "What I appreciate about Bal is his lack of inhibitions and the ability to be himself. I love his sense of style and the way he plays to the gallery."
Personally, Pillai also buys tops and trousers from Oak Tree and Nandita Mehtani's Ananya, Sabina Singh and Seema Khan (all in Mumbai), as they are very wearable and offer matching accessories. "This gives you the option to have a bit of fun with what you wear. But sometimes I'm also very quiet in my dressing," she adds.
Though she is very fashion-conscious, Pillai (who hates to talk about her personal life and dodged all questions on Dutt) has also been giving lessons in Art of Living for the last four years in Mumbai as well as the USA. "It's changed my life and given me enormous peace and tranquillity. And I enjoy this more than my modelling days, which I started at the age of 17," says Pillai.
But Pillai believes she has never been away from the arclights. She was the spokesperson for Chopard and Piaget, and recently she did a one-minute documentary on non-violence that was screened at Cannes. "Titled War or Peace, it was an effort to spread the message of peace, not just at home but also between nations. Now I believe it has been selected, out of 1,400 films, to be screened at Hollywood soon," informs Pillai. Life for Pillai has been quite a mission, from being a perfect wife to a messenger of peace!