December is always a special time of the year—this one, even more so, as we clock in 20 years on Indian newsstands. So how do you commemorate two decades’ worth of cutting-edge fashion and inspiring stories that have kept women all over the country entertained, informed and stylish as ever? With five covers, of course—and five extraordinary personalities behind them: Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Virat Kohli, PV Sindhu and M.I.A. blurred the lines between their respective fields and came together to mark the occasion like never before.
“To celebrate 20 years of India’s original fashion magazine, we wanted to spotlight five superstar achievers who together define our world in this ever-changing moment,” says ELLE Editor Aishwarya Subramanyam. “Here’s our mission statement: our five covers celebrate the trailblazers. Those who defy their critics, bare their fears, make their own rules, turn pressure into performance, speak truth to power. The Mavericks. The Originals.”
Getting together five powerhouses wasn’t simple, but for our 20th anniversary, nothing less would do. “It would have been easy to throw in confetti, sparkles and bling to celebrate this milestone. But we chose the classic route. Quality trumps volume, as we opt for a slightly minimalistic vibe; letting our contemporary interpretation of today’s classics do the talking,” says ELLE’s Fashion Director Malini Banerji.
Thankfully, Deepika’s unrelenting confidence took care of half the job, making sure that everything she touched flattered her. “With the New Year staring us in the face, we gave into the celebratory mood with a regal red Bibhu Mohapatra gown with dragonfly detailing,” explains Malini. “Her luminous glow and super-toned figure meant that it took us just 20 minutes to finalise the outfits. She owns whatever she wears and her elegance can only be described as effortless.”
While Deepika is no stranger to the spotlight, Olympic medallist PV Sindhu came as a surprise package. “She may not belong to the modelling fraternity, but it’s hard to tell: her enthusiasm for fashion is infectious. She is game for everything, and takes a keen interest in everything she’s wearing. She’s a photographer’s dream,” says Malini.
Flip through the gallery to check out our special anniversary covers.
On the cover: Silk and twill dress, Bibhu Mohapatra. Gold, brass, palladium and pink-gold earrings, brass and metal earrings with gold finish; both Louis Vuitton.
Photograph: Prasad Naik. Styling: Malini Banerji. Art Direction: Reshma Rajiwdekar. Hair: Gabriel Georgiou/ Anima Creative Management. Make-Up: Anil Chinnappa.
Denim shirt, Levi’s. Velvet and faux fur jacket, Huemn.
Photograph: Abhay Singh. Styling: Pasham Alwani. Hair And Make-Up: Darshan Yewalekar.
Silk and stainless-steel waistcoat, jacket, trousers; all Rajesh Pratap Singh.
Photograph: Bikramjit Bose. Styling: Malini Banerji. Hair And Make-Up: Sachin Dakoji.
Silk top, pants; both Raw Mango.
Photograph: Colston Julian. Styling: Nidhi Jacob. Hair And Make-Up: Elton Fernandez. Hair: Marcelo Pedrozo/ Toabh Talent Management. Make-Up: Sonam Chandna.
Knit jumper, Hermès. Cotton-blend trench coat, Burberry.
Photograph: Colston Julian. Styling: Pasham Alwani. Hair And Make-Up: Appeni George.