Heels Forever

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Daring, creative and uber talented, she is India’s hottest stylist. Known to eclipse the red carpet with her work,
she has made a mark in the world of fashion and movies. Pernia Qureshi has propelled from a celebrity stylist to a successful entrepreneur who has recently published her first book. The author of ‘Be Stylish’ and owner of a flourishing shopping website, she started her career with enviable jobs in some of New York’s famous fashion magazines. She even interned with names such as Ann Caruso, Tarun Tahiliani and J.J Valaya, before she decided to venture out on her own. With a passion for dance, Pernia is a trained Kuchipudi dancer and still pursues her art by performing at dance shows. Shweta Bhatia had a tete-a-tete with this multifaceted talent

Do you remember that moment when you first decided that, ‘I want to be in fashion. This is what I’m going to do’?
It was not a ‘eureka’ moment for me, it was more of a slow and steady realization that I wanted to seriously pursue a career in fashion. I always was greatly drawn to this industry, and loved it immensely, so looking back, it feels like a very natural transition for me to get into fashion.

You’ve worked as an assistant stylist for Ann Caruso and been a contributing editor for fashion magazines in New York. What made you move back to India?
I always wanted to come back to my homeland and work here. I feel Indian fashion industry has great potential and I wanted to invest in that potential and take Indian fashion global.

What, according to you, was the turning point in your career?
Styling the Bollywood film, Aisha was a turning point in my career, not only because that was my biggest venture into Bollywood, but also because during the shoot I got the idea for starting my own online store.

What does ‘style’ mean to you?
Style for me is about self-expression. Style is the way in which you tell people who you are without speaking.

How did your shopping website come about?
We have a treasure of great designers, but sadly they are not available to an international audience thus I wanted to construct a platform where Indian designers could be made available to a larger audience. I wanted to bring Indian designers to the world.

Stylist, entrepreneur and now author, ‘Be Stylish’ is your first book. What made you venture into writing?
I always wanted to pen-down a style guide for women who are interested in fashion and want help to figure out what works best for them. The pieces just fell into place with Random House approaching me with the idea for a style guide for Indian women.

Not many people know that you are also a professional Kuchipudi dancer. Do you still find time to practice your art?
Yes, I practice everyday. Dancing is a form of therapy for me, helps me compose and calm myself.

Your soirees are famous in the Delhi’s social circuit. Do you spend a lot of time planning and styling up the event as well?
I feel the best way to kill soirees is to over plan and over think. I give attention to details and try and plan out most things, but I don’t over think it, and spend too much time on it. I also try to stay relaxed, as a nervous hostess will transfer the nervous energy to the entire event.

What is a normal day like in the life of Pernia Qureshi?
My normal days are incredibly boring and consist of me getting up early and doing my morning yoga, after which I spend my time going through emails and working. I go to office and get back home around five or six, after which I usually practice Kuchipudi. I unwind at night with a good book before bed.

What are your five must-haves in any wardrobe?
Black heels, a good leather handbag, a wellfitted jacket, a quaint jewellery piece that is your go-to accessory, and any wardrobe is incomplete without a good perfume.

If Pernia doesn’t feel like dressing up, then what does she wear?
I usually like chilling out in my T-republic t-shirt and black pants or jeans.

What was the very first luxury item you invested in?
A Lady Dior handbag.

What’s next in the world of Pernia Qureshi?
I have a few projects lined up that I am very interested about and hopefully they will develop soon and I will love to talk about them at that time.

RAPID FIRE WITH PERNIA QURESHI:

Favourite designers?
Masaba, Atsu, Nikhil Thampi

Best dressed celebrity?
Sonam Kapoor

Pernia doesn’t leave the house without?
My phone

In your bag, we will find?
My phone, my perfume, a go-to accessory piece and red lipstick.

Favourite perfume?
Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier

One jewellery item that you cherish greatly?
I absolutely cherish a pearl necklace I inherited from my grandmother.

Favourite makeup brand?
Dior.

Heels or flats?
Heels forever!

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