Our Editor-In-Chief, Kamna Malik on what inspired the November 2020 issue
"A lot has changed at our end but one thing remains constant—our endeavour to bring you authentic stories, relatable fashion and responsible content."
It’s been 8 months since all our lives turned upside down. It’s also been 8 months since we last printed an ELLE India issue. A lot has changed at our end but one thing remains constant—our endeavour to bring you authentic stories, relatable fashion and responsible content.
That, I believe, is also the need of the hour.
Although I might be new to the world of fashion (certainly not to creativity and design), I’ve always been deeply glued in to how things have been stirring; feeling amused on some days and shocked on others. I always perceived the fashion industry to be this enormous fortress that is heavily guarded by its gatekeepers who allow in only a select few. And I always wondered, why?
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Isn’t fashion supposed to be a medium of self-expression, a form to try something new and creative? Why does it have to be a status symbol, something accessible to only a few? Even though there have been some positive shifts in the last few years and, admittedly, a lot more acceptance, I believe it has a long way to go before we can laud it as “meant for all”. With the industry going through a metamorphosis, the question that everyone has is–What does the future hold?
Where is the Indian fashion industry going from here?
While I hope there is a cultural shift–a new narrative, a new definition, a new vocabulary–how will fashion change in terms of sustainability, fashion shows, diversity & inclusivity? 20+ fashion insiders like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anamika Khanna, Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Malhotra, Gaurav Gupta, Ruchika Sachdeva and many others share their thoughts on how fashion will transform into a more friendly, thoughtful and welcoming environment in our very special feature called The Big Picture on page 42.
The winds of change have begun to blow and in keeping with that momentum I want to highlight this month’s stories that are moving the conversation forward on diversity and inclusion. We have Nina Davuluri, the first Indian American and South Asian to win the Miss America title, raising her voice against colourism with her #SeeMyComplexion campaign and emphasising the fashion industry’s contribution to ending discrimination. We also have four fantastic creatives–Porus Vimadalal, Anjali Lama, Priyanka Paul and Durga Gawde–sharing their fashion vocabulary aimed at successfully bending gender norms.
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Kiara Advani, who fronts our November issue, is also someone who I feel has ferociously broken & bent rules in her own way. Whether it was by playing Megha, who is unapologetic about her sexual needs in Lust Stories at the start of her career, or recently as Nanki where she gives a nuanced restrained performance as a #MeToo victim who battles anxiety, self-loathing and internalised misogyny. There is a certain relatability juxtaposed with star appeal that I think makes her ‘different.’ What struck me the most when I met her is that fierce conviction of knowing exactly what she wants. Yet there exists an endearing childlike curiosity where she is keen to learn and absorb everything like a sponge.
As we move towards the end of a tough year, I hope that each of us has little more hope, little more gratitude and little more compassion. As a fashion and beauty magazine and digital content platform, I look forward to making ELLE a transformative, inclusive and open community; one where all of us can together drive the change that we wish to see. Wishing you light, happiness and love.