From growing up in India to becoming a renowned and celebrated artist world-wide, Radhika Gupta-Buckley has always been transcending conventional boundaries. Her journey, from a successful legal career to a transformative artist, showcases a unique fusion of personal style and artistry that challenges the norm. Radhika has done a number of showcases, including a prestigious appearance at Art Basel in Miami (Dec 2022). Most recently she was one of the several artists chosen to showcase her work at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery “Where The Wild Roses Grow” exhibition in Schloss Görne, Germany. However much of her artistic expression extends beyond the canvas. Her art is deeply rooted in her Indian heritage which she aims to infuse in all aspects of her life, including her personal style.
Radhika’s personal style and artwork become dual channels of self-expression. She describes her style as a fearless commitment to her identity, resulting in bold, exaggerated silhouettes and vibrant colors. She says, “I like a bit of madness; that’s what elevates a usual outfit into magic, I love dressing texturally, and just like my artwork, I love experimenting with different styles.”
“In terms of fashion, I love the 70’s- bell bottoms. floral prints, maxi dresses, and of course, a heavy dose of Bollywood opulence,” Radhika shares. After growing up in India, studying in the UK, and working in the Hague before moving to New York, She has developed a very individualistic style language that encapsulates the complex mix of her different life experiences.
One outfit, in particular, holds a special place in her heart. “I studied Law at Oxford and practiced at the Supreme Court of India and the UN,” Gupta-Buckley said, “Consequently, I’ve developed a deep affinity for the power suit.” The oversized two-piece suit, exuding strength with sharp shoulders, imparts a profound sense of purpose and confidence while adding a subtle allure. “Beyond my penchant for androgynous attire, I also embrace a distinctly feminine style,” Gupta-Buckley said. Radhika often couples her masculine attire with unexpected elements, like a lace bra or vibrant pink heels and a bold red lip, transcending the conventional, injecting femininity and a sense of creative rebellion, which reflects her artistic process.
The vivid colors and rich cultural tapestry of her upbringing in India deeply influence Radhika’s creative work. “Coming from India, colour and pattern were integral parts of daily life. I grew up seeing my mom adorned in fabulous silk sarees and boldly patterned fabrics as she went about her everyday routine”. This emphasis on dressing up and the pervasive sense of ‘Joie de vivre’ have imprinted themselves on Radhika’s artistic identity.
Gold, with its earthly yet ethereal quality, serves as her ultimate neutral, a constant presence in her attire and her art. Radhika’s connection to gold is rooted in her experiences growing up in India, where this precious metal holds cultural and symbolic significance. It’s a colour that transports her back to the enchanting magic of her homeland. “Much like my paintings, which typically feature a generous sprinkling of gold, you’ll always find a touch of it in my attire. It could manifest as a head-to-toe ensemble, like a shimmering Johanna Ortiz gold sequin dress for a special occasion, or a cherished traditional gold necklace handed down from my great-grandmother, elegantly paired with a simple black or white dress”.
Fashion choices directly influence her artistic approach and emotions conveyed in her artwork. Radhika sees a profound connection between the two, saying, “Life, for me, is a tapestry of colors and prints that interweave seamlessly.” Her art often mirrors the vibrant colors of her outfits, and captivating prints from her fashion choices find their way into her art unexpectedly.
Elsa Schiaparelli, a self-taught designer known for her creative vision, holds a special place in Radhika’s heart. “I deeply admire her surrealistic inclinations and unwavering boldness. Also, she was a self-taught designer, which has always resonated with me as a self-taught artist myself”. For Radhika, Elsa’s boundless creativity and groundbreaking vision formed a perfect union of art and fashion.
Comfort, as well, is paramount for Radhika, especially during long hours of creating art. As a new mom, functionality and style are equally important in her clothing choices. “I’ve invested in pieces from The Row, Khaite, or Nilli Lotton, which are classic and timeless, and I’ll add just a bit of whimsical with some embroidered flats from or a chunky statement cuff from India. The perfect mix of New York and New Delhi,” she shares.
For Radhika, fashion is a potent form of self-expression and self-care. Her clothing choices reflect her state of mind and creatively articulate her inner self. Her fashion choices defy norms, echoing the fearless and individualistic spirit that defines her artistic identity. As she aptly puts it, “Fashion is such a powerful way of self-expression and self-care.”
In the tapestry of Radhika Gupta-Buckley’s life, India’s vibrant culture, colors, and traditions are woven into the fabric of her art and fashion. Her emerging fashion style is a testament to the enduring influence of one’s roots and the power of creativity to bridge cultures and challenge norms in the bustling heart of New York City.