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Fashion
January 30, 2018

Taking Androgynous Notes From Saba Azad

Text by Saumya Sinha. Photographs by Shubham Lodha

Saba Azad throws open her closet as she gives us a lesson in vintage fashion with a contemporary slant

Comfortable and old-school are two words that largely define her individualistic way of dressing. Saba Azad’s expansive collection of clothes includes a mix of pieces passed down from her aunt, jewellery fashioned by her mother, Indian and international labels and self-designed silhouettes that are more timeless than au courant. The Delhi-born-and-raised is a singer, actor, trained classical dancer, choreographer and short film director, with a penchant for cooking and yoga.

She owes her first brush with fashion to her mother, whose distinct sense of style inspired her from an early age. An ardent lover of all things high-waisted, Saba’s style is forever evolving. She points out, “Over the years, it has become more elegant. I have also started appreciating designer wear, which I used to scoff at earlier. And now that I design my own clothes, I know the effort that goes into their creation.” She is a vocal propagator of gender-fluid dressing and strongly believes that unisex clothing is the way forward. She states, “I shop from the kids’ and men’s sections all the time….”

Saba prefers to live in tracksuits, her comfort clothing. Her busy wardrobe is a mix of brands like Stoned Immaculate, Anuj Bhutani, Zara, her own designs and more, and it takes her only a moment to dole out distinct looks by mixing and matching separates in various permutations. She’s an “impatient shopper”, who is also extremely decisive and clear about what she wants. She says, “I don’t even need to try things on — I know my size and have an idea of how a certain outfit will look so if I like something, I pick it up.”

And fashion plays a big part in her work life, especially when singing in front of a live audience. For her music gigs, Saba is likely to be seen in high-waisted shorts and crop tops for she believes, “A live performance is an audio-visual experience, so you have to be visually appealing.” From styles inspired by the mods and rocker subcultures to pyjamas, she’s tried it all on stage. A fan of Mick Jagger, Jimmy Hendrix and Audrey Hepburn’s fashion statements, she claims that she’s “always looking to the past to draw inspiration”.

The fashionista’s most important holiday essential is a comfortable pair of kicks — at the moment she is digging the Swift Run shoes by Adidas. She opts for bright colours for day wear and shifts towards a darker palette for the evenings. Resorting to a pair of high-waisted trousers in a fashion emergency, she’ll also pleasantly surprise you with her love for handloom saris that she claims she can comfortably live in.

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