Daughter of former Indian cricketer, Karsan Ghavri, Tanya Ghavri’s scoring in another field – style and glamour. After a stint at the Parsons School of Design in New York in 2003, she began her on-the-job training, assisting stylist Pernia Qureshi on the hi-glam film Aisha (2009). Even as she continues styling for films, she’s a personal stylist for several celebrities including Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Freida Pinto. To their stunning silhouettes, Tanya adds her style. To their beauty, she lends soul. The co-founder of The Dhoom Dhaam Weddings, a fashion event company, for Tanya creating drama out of drapes is a 24-hour job… Excerpts
When did you realise you wanted to get into the fashion business?
I went to study at Parsons School of Design in New York when I was 17. A year into the course, I realised that the fashion industry is where I belong. I was passionate about learning more about it and working in this industry.
How has it been so far?
It’s been an exciting, enriching and a huge learning curve for me. I’ve met amazing teachers and people along the way. I’ve travelled the world intensely, thanks to my work. I’m glad I’ve found my calling so early in life. I’m excited about what I want to accomplish in the future, personally and professionally.
How different is editorial styling from red carpet and party attire?
It’s as different as a gown from a short dress. Editorial styling has a completely different language, location and concept when compared to styling for red carpets and promotions. You can create a story and a specific mood in editorial styling. It’s like a dream or a make-believe world. What you are creating is imaginary. But for red carpets and promotions, you have to stay true to the celebrity you’re styling for.
Which outrageous runway look would you like to incorporate in everyday wear?
Runway styling is always outrageous in terms of accessories – be it headgears, shoes, collars, bags and jewellery. But I’d love the idea of using outrageous collars in an everyday look. Maybe, I’d keep the rest of the look simple and let the collar do all the talking. It would be the statement piece in my look.
Share some style hacks to flatter different body types…
Understand your body type first. Educate yourself on that first and foremost. If you have an hourglass body, enjoy your curves and own them. If you’re someone with a small waist always accentuate that. Be proud of the tiny waist and the curvy top and bottom. I love an hourglass body. Look at Marilyn Monroe for some style inspiration, if you will. A pear-shaped body is one that is big at the bottom, which is like a lot of Indian women. So accentuate the top half of your body with wide necks and beautiful blouses. Maybe, even with a plunging neckline. Don’t experiment too much with the bottom half. Do not wear light colours at the bottom. Always stick with darker tones.
A straight body, which most teenage girls have, is one that has no curves. It’s more athletic or just rectangular. It’s then important to enjoy prints and stripes. They make you look fuller. So learn to experiment and don’t be afraid to try trends. Last but not the least is the apple-shaped body. For them polo or high necks is a big no-no. Also, big prints on top will only make you look bigger.
A celebrity easiest to work with…
The most experimental celebrity…
Trends you love to work with
As a stylist, I’m always dabbling in trends but one that I truly love is the androgynous.
Trends you don’t like…
Dungarees. I’ll always avoid them no matter what.
How often do you use your personal style while putting together a look for someone?
It’s always part of all my looks in some way or the other.
Pick a look done by some other stylist, which you like…
God that’s such a tough one. It would be the looks styled by Elizabeth Stewart over the years. So many iconic looks, especially those done on Cate Blanchett at the Oscars and the Cannes Film Festival.
Some favourite looks from your style files…
It would be Kareena Kapoor Khan at a media event when I styled her in a Dev R Nil saree with a Christian Lacroix vintage jacket and Amrapali silver neckpiece. Also, the two times I styled Freida Pinto for the Vanity Fair post-Oscar party. And Katrina Kaif in the Jean Paul Gaultier gown for Filmfare Glamour & Style Award, which she wore for an award function.
A look that you regret doing…
A long time ago when I first styled Parineeti Chopra, I guess I didn’t do justice to her. I do regret that look.
If you were to style a global celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be?
Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and Olivia Palermo and the late Audrey Hepburn.