August 20, 2017 by aliya
Hashtag No Filter/ Style Study: Kadambari
“I am all about casual and convenience with a side of preppy. I want my style to be unique and have a personality. I’d wear a cheetah print t-shirt with blue jeans and cat eyes and flats; the ambition is to look in the mirror and say – Hey I look cool today.” Kadambari states playfully when asked about her personal style.
Kadambari grew up in the concrete jungle known as Gurgaon and is now based in the erstwhile Garden City of India, Bangalore. “Bangalore is not that green anymore. Do you know that they have cut 80% of the vegetation? Earlier there were canopies everywhere, with a large part of the city blanketed by them, and just the right amount of sunlight peeping through. Now you get directives to stay indoors to save yourself from the sun.” Kadambari tells about the city she now calls her home.
“Whilst walking down the streets of Bangalore I have encountered rural women wearing colorful sarees, and I have always wondered how they make all the green, yellow and blue mish mashed into one work, whilst I have never been able to. India has a very rich and colorful textile heritage and I really appreciate it, but only from a distance. It doesn’t influence my sense of style.” Kadambari retorts when asked how she feels about Indian fashion.
The place where we live very interestingly affects the way we dress up – style never exists in isolation. “When I lived in Gurgaon, I used to wear a noodle strap spaghetti with denim shorts. It is the uniform of every other G-town girl. I also used to shop at high street and pick up whatever I liked. However, once I moved to Bangalore, things changed. I could no longer wear shorts since the place is a bit more conservative. So, I started experimenting with colorful Pyjamas. I have also become much more diligent when it comes to shopping since I am on a budget. Earlier I used to buy whatever I liked; now I think and introspect – is it really worth it? Less has become more for me.”
Kadambari’s philosophy of less is more isn’t limited to fashion; it encompasses consumption in general. During the two hours we spent shooting and chatting, she threw a tip or two around on how one can be kind and practice sustainability in their life, “I believe in making one change at a time. Frankly, it’s not convenient and practical to embrace veganism in India. I consume dairy and meat but on a very small scale and I try to make-up in other departments of my life. Like I never buy leather or fur products and go for cruelty-free makeup. It’s like making big changes with small steps.”
Kadambari is a part of the Katori cut generation and oddly her earliest memory of being obsessed with a fashion item is associated with it, “When I was small my father would get me ready in the morning. I was given a Katori cut by him, because, well it was low maintenance. I had these two purple and green tees which I’d put on my head, like a nun, and act as if I had the thickest green and purple locks anyone possessed in the history of mankind. ”
It’s fascinating and encroaching to know how an artist creates art. What inspires them? What is the process they go through? Is the process too exhausting? Is the process similar to how they style themselves? Kadambari isn’t secretive about how she creates the beautiful imagery and products you see on her Instagram feed, “When I create an artwork, I usually start with collecting memories from my day or things I see on the internet. I scroll through Tumblr and I pick up things. It could be a potted plant, a pair of sunglasses or the way hands are positioned in a picture, so it is anything that fascinates me. I extract small bits of inspiration and see where it goes.”
In a world of obsessive selfies, Instagram updates and margaritas by the poolside, Kadambari has managed to keep her cool (read: mystery). You don’t know what’s up with her on a daily basis, but you do know what she’s creating on a deemed-suitable-by-her-to-put-on-Instagram basis, “I can’t say I’m an avid fan of any of the content being put forward in that sphere at this moment (in context of creativity, aesthetic and exclusivity) – everything is sponsored. I prefer following art blogs instead of fashion blogs.”
How many times have you double tapped on someone’s picture on Instagram and thought that you’d someday step out of your comfort zone and have fig date cake with them? Well, I did. When Aalok and I decided to reach out to people for chronicling Street Style of India, sans trends that seem to sweep the fashion industry vis a vis people and the current crop of fashion influencers and the ones who are being influenced, Kadambari was a natural choice and now you know why.
Look 1- Jeans and Tee: This is my uniform. I can wear it to run errands in the day and transform it into a party night outfit with a red lipstick and heels.
Look 2- Slip dress over blouse: This is what I’d wear if I lived in Milan. Imagine a cute bicycle with flowers in the basket and me peddling through the city.
Look 3- Ivory blouse with linen pants: My mother can rely on me to look semi-elegant. This is what I’d wear to make my mother proud.
Find Kadambari on Instagram.com/kiraissar (clickable link)