Star Speak is an ongoing series of columns, penned by celebrities we are used to seeing on these pages. This is their space to write about their take on fashion, the fraternity and whatever else catches their fancy.
This week’s column comes from Ashwiny Iyer TiwarI who after over a decade long career in advertising, quit her job with Leo Burnett to pursue film-making. Ms. Tiwari is best known perhaps for the movie, ‘Nil Battey Sannata’. Follow the filmmaker on Twitter here and on Instagram here.
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Thinking Out Aloud
I remember my first frock. A floral one with frills made by my aunt. It took her hardly a week to make this beautiful piece of art. I would call it ‘art’ since anyone who can make something with hand is an artist! As I track all my childhood clothes, I realize it’s mostly made by my mother, aunt or grandmother. There were weekly discussions on what new designs they could learn and what they would try next on me and my cousin. The discarded second-hand magazines like Femina, Savvy which were considered “fashion” and women know-how were saved to make patterns. (The magazines even came with extra supplements during the festive season on ‘how to’ stitch a blouse with a V-neck or a salwar kameez which has kali in it.) They were their own designers and our designers too.
We did not have a point of view even when we were teenagers. Everything they made for us was with love, and we looked our best as we walked wearing a smile on our powdered faces and plaited hair that swayed in step. We were happy. Our mothers were really happy!
No one judged what they wore or what colours suited their shades and tints of skin. No fancy haircuts. No hair colour. No skin treatments or overhauling of the body that needed a reassurance that they needed to look better. The blouses they stitched for themselves (they still do) had a lot of what they felt their personality needed to be. My mother loved puff sleeves. Even today she wears them, her sari a little high. But no one said this is not the way a sari should be worn or her blouse is too tacky! They all wore clothes which suited them. Emphasized their creation and made sure it added to their personality. As I looked through some old photographs of my mother and aunt I saw so much of warmth in an eyes filled with kajal from that green dabba. A faint lipstick or may be just balm or ghee! A glowing skin just like a ray of sunlight passing through the face that cannot match any HD makeup.
No pretense. Just who you are is what you saw!
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari