Fact: the needle on the Indian street style compass points duly North-East. Always ahead of the curve and — in many cases — defying it, the citizens of the Seven Sisters have a way of establishing their superiority in the fashion food chain that's frustrating effortless. The most dutiful chronicler of said magic is Manou, India's best-known street style photographer. In these exclusive photos from his recent travels around Aizawl, Manou attempts to decode its style cheat sheet.
"The woven Mizo Puan (the Mizo traditional skirt) is the most unique element of style in Aizawl," he explains, adding, "It's a beautiful textile and has a distinct identity of its own. I also find it interesting when it's combined with tailored fitted blouses (highlighted with embroidery and lace), usually worn at community events like Sunday Mass or Weddings."
What's interesting is that this penchant for blending the traditional with the hyper-trendy isn't limited to the millenial generation alone — it's not uncommon to see older women pairing their Mizo Puan with trendy block heels and leather sling bags.
As for what the rest of India can take away from this impeccably dressed population, Manou is fairly clear. "They conduct themselves with poise and confidence, which makes their style intrinsically effortless. They experiment with new fashion while still maintaining the integrity of their traditional ways of dressing."
Manou X Aizawl: Street style favourites