I’ve always struggled with my body. I was a super-skinny baby and child till the age of five, then a few years in primary school at St Michael’s changed all that. After school, the familiar tinkle of a bell rung by an old Indian uncle peddling his devilishly delicious curry puffs from the back of his bicycle put paid to all those bones of mine. The bones padded up very nicely, fuelled by my growing appetite (four curry puffs!) and two bottles of ice-cold fizzy Fanta Grape daily.
I lost a lot of weight when I went to school in London, UK, but when I started working in publishing, and indulged in lovely press lunches and meals, I started to feel the uncomfortable pull of too-stretched waistbands. AGAIN. My yo-yo relationship with weight and food, coupled with a seafood allergy and an aversion to red meat, has made me rather picky with food. So devoting this issue to all shapes and sizes, and celebrating the body beautiful is rather an achievement for me.
Working in fashion gives one a rather distorted view of what is healthy and attractive. Where many men see buxom busts and full butts as attractive on a woman, I have been schooled and trained to see wispy, thin ankles and delicate ruler-straight collarbones as beautiful. So when our cover star Priyanka Chopra Jonas said, “There’s this thing called sample size and I don’t know who that size is for”, it certainly struck a chord with me. So many of my lady friends have complained about not wanting to buy certain designers because they are a size or two bigger in that brand. It took time for me to appreciate a woman’s natural figure. Today, I love the fact that Chopra Jonas embraces her curves, though she is well aware it’s not always celebrated—“We see some amazing representations of beautiful women who are full and curvaceous. But again, it’s not ‘normal’, and it’s just a pat on the back when someone does it.” Read her candid story on page 50, where she delves into inclusivity and her de facto role as cultural ambassador for all things Indian.
This issue also celebrates all the wonderful brands and looks for the spring/summer season. From Carine Roitfeld’s “Some Say Love” fashion spread (page 173) where the minimal and clean ’90s aesthetic is celebrated on the world’s best models, to the eclectic and bohemian vibe of the printed and colourful looks in “Joie de Vivre” on page 192, it’s truly a season for everyone. Read Lisa Armstrong’s “Summary of the Season” on page 134, where she talks at length about the trends, from reimagined classics to safari-inspired glamour, and “the designers who, with tiny incremental tweaks, have refurbished the classic into the classic nouveau”.
Everything from the ’40s to the ’70s are massive trends this season, which begs the question: Why all this nostalgia? Well, to be honest, we all clamour for happier times and when there’s so much uncertainty in the world, when we’re faced with a global epidemic, it’s nice to escape to a world of magical fashion and joyous beauty. Finally, a season when I can embrace my own curves and flaws because every shape, size, age and form is celebrated in fashion. Curry puffs, anyone?
PHOTOGRAPHY: ASHLEY MAK