Al aka The Bedroom Scientist is a fashion writer for Elle India, having previously worked for Vogue India. And he’s always impeccably dressed usually with a bonus cheeky smile! MissMalini hearts his take on the many moods of Mumbai, one fashionista at a time. xoxo

Al Walling
Al Walling

A tireless coquette, a carefree Indophile and a world-wise sophisticate, all on a bohemian projectile.

That’s what sums up fashion in this chaotic hydra-headed metropolis.

From Bandra belles who breeze by in aviators and gauzy sundresses to sirens down South in garb off gargantuan closets; celluloid-stricken suburban damsels higher up north to Midtown girls with a penchant for high street and glossies, it is a city with many legit stylidentities. One look is never enough. Look harder, it ain’t tough.

Keeping that in mind, here are nine faces from one multi-faceted place. Individuals with their own unique approach, deconstructing style in this mad, mad schiZOne.

The Many Faces of Style in Mumbai
The Many Faces of Style in Mumbai

One. Ulteriorialists.

Ulteriorialist : Shuns adherence to mainstream channels. Believes in working the merde out of what you wear, not the other way around. Under-think, don’t over-think to look like a lady because you can’t spell madam without putting mad in it.

Bombay angle : In a city with no dearth of creative professionals, it’s the throw-on-what-you-love-and-throw-fuss-under-the-rug look that never fails to impress the tide.

Epitomised by : Bandana Tewari and Little Shilpa (partners in crime)

Bandana Tiwari
Bandana Tiwari (photo credit | Al Walling)
Little Shilpa
Little Shilpa (photo credit | Al Walling)

Two: Revivalists

Revivalist : Old is bold. To modernise heritage wear, to play with vintage pieces and to upgrade hitherto conventional garments with an element of fun and relevance. To revive is to revisit and revamp ; to be a revivalist is to rev up that machine.

Bombay angle : Decrepit Art Deco buildings co-exist with demonic glass and steel structures. Gateway of India versus Gateway drugs. Bombay versus Mumbai. In this battle between present and past, the future of contemporary Indian wear works beautifully well with smartly mixed collision of eras.

Epitomised by : Designers Haseena Jethmalani and Payal Khandwala.

Haseena Jethmalani
Haseena Jethmalani (photo credit | Al Walling)
Payal Khandwala
Payal Khandwala (photo credit | Al Walling)

Three. Wham, Glam, Thank you Ma’ams.

WGTMs : Where impact is key, and the car is snazzy. No holds barred sexitude with a generous dollop of all things premium. It’s about living for the moment, and the moment shall never be non-flashbulb-ready.

Bombay angle : Let’s not forget Bollywood, but fixate on the evolution of style in tinseltown. Re-write Stevie Wonder’s classic to Styled, Heeled, Delivered for that’s the status quo. WGTMs are the faces of this shiny new spirit.  And they don’t call it Maximum City for nothing.

Epitomised by : Roohi Jaikishan, Prerna Goel and Natasha Poonawala.

Roohi Jaikishan
Roohi Jaikishan (photo credit | Al Walling)
Prerna Goel
Prerna Goel (photo courtesy | Vikram Bawa)
Natasha Poonawala
Natasha Poonawala (photo credit | Al Walling)

Four : Curators.

Curator : A veritable sponge of global influences tailored down to local finesse. Indicool at its best where dressing down is how you dress up.  The sartorial Sartres ; wardrobe is always thoughtfully curated.

Bombay angle : Being ‘Glocal’ is the mode of transport in a place brimming with nationalities coming, going and go-go dancing.  The city is a true smorgasbord of identities – and the global chic meets India look is all but celebrated.

Epitomised by : Maithili Ahluwalia (Bungalow 8) and Priya Kishore (Bombay Electric)

Maithili Ahluwalia
Maithili Ahluwalia (photo credit | personal collection)
Priya Kishore
Priya Kishore (photo credit | Anushka Nadia Menon)

Twitter: @Al_Walling