From airports to industry dos, Alia Bhatt lets her T-shirts do the talking — “I speak fluent sarcasm.” “Buggin’ out.” “No hard feelings.” She pairs them with distressed jeans or smart short-suits, even long, feminine skirts. Meanwhile, her on-screen looks have sparked trends. Who can forget the shimmery pink lehenga from Student of The Year, the blue high-low hemline dress from Shandaar or the white crop top paired with metallic pleated skirt from Dear Zindagi?
The 24-year-old actor is a style icon in her own right, thanks to her casual vibe that can easily be emulated. Speaking along the sidelines of the Amazon India Fashion Week, where she was the showstopper for Maybelline, Alia says her mantra is simple: “Style, clothing, make-up, hair, everything you do must go with your personality. It’s about how you feel, not about what you want people to think of you.”
Which is why she loves working with her stylist Ami Patel. “She’s very creative. Even if I’m going to a party, sometimes, I don’t want to look like a butterfly; I’ll want to be a bit more edgy. I’ll say something like ‘I want to look like I don’t want to be here’. Then we fool around with the idea, and come up with a look that I end up loving,” she says.
When it comes to high street brands, she prefers free-spirited clothing with fun prints. “Pull&Bear’s collection is very much in tune with my personality. So are Stradivarius and Alekai. Anya Hindmarch has some brilliant bags. For a high-street-meets-boutique look, I opt for Zadig & Voltaire Basically, I like to mix it up,” she adds with a laugh. Interestingly, while Alia is a bag person, she isn’t hung up on luxury brands. “I wouldn’t go for luxury brands unless it’s a pair of boots or a coat. It’s the same with shoes.”
With the holiday season coming up, Alia can’t wait to head to a seaside destination. “Beach fashion is the best; you don’t have to dress up at all. What I love about it is that you can wear a pair of chappals and still look fashionable. I leave my hair open for those salty beach waves and my skin is bare except for sunscreen and moisturiser.” She recounts a recent one-day trip to Marbella, for which she “packed the tiniest suitcase possible. Some shorts, a bikini and three throwovers. Done.”
Maldives: It’s brilliant and is topping my list right now. It is secluded and no matter where you stay, it feels like the entire island belongs to you. It’s one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been to. I usually take a holiday to disconnect, so it’s perfect to be away from the worries, stress and work. I’m also someone who loves the experiences that a holiday brings, and Maldives is very rich in that respect. Diving, snorkelling, take a boat and stay out at sea for the day or go dolphin watching.
Our pick: Resort Cheval Blanc Randheli – start your trip in a seaplane and enjoy expansive views of the ocean from your private deck. ₹1 lakh upwards per night.
Cancun: This Mexican destination is more of a party centric beach; American students were there for spring break and there were a whole bunch of frat parties going on when we went. While that’s really not my scene, it’s interesting to see people from different walks of life come together and go crazy. What I loved most was that the water was very clear and had a really good temperature — it wasn’t too cold!
Our pick: Le Blanc Spa Resort – The adults-only all inclusive hotel features a spa, golf course, infinity pools and haute cuisine. ₹23,000 upwards per night
Goa: I don’t go to Goa as often as I’d like, but it’s great for a quick getaway. The last time I was there, I was shooting a film, but I still managed to enjoy the scenic beauty and the beaches.
Our pick: W Goa – One of the newest hotels around, it’s family friendly (they have a kids club), is smoke free and there is in-house shopping. ₹15,200 upwards per night.
Ami Patel breaks it down
Clothing: Easy wraps and coverups, boho dresses over a swimsuit, from Hemant and Nandita. Shorts are a staple, from Pull & Bear, which is a go-to young brand.
Ankle-length, slightly oversized strappy dresses from Flame – Martino Caramia.
Footwear: Tan leather sandals and flip flops, from any brand.
Accessories: Just sunglasses! Alia loves collecting them; be it luxe or high street, for her, it’s more about the style. For the beach, reflectors in quirky designs are great.
Make-up: Alia has great skin, so just a touch of Avene sunscreen and some lip gloss.
Bags: Backpacks. She has a lovely range, that’s bright, fun and young. It’s also perfect for an airport look.