Dress code: Comfort casual

Interview with Mallika Menon, Creative Director Highway On My Plate, NDTV Good Times

As the Creative Director of a food-travel show Mallika Menon has a job that many dream of. However, a job that has you deal with unpredictable conditions in various parts of the country, involves “running around all the time” is not the kind of profile that allows for fashionable choices in work wear. It is probably one of the main reasons Mallika loves it. “I would never be able to work at a place that dictates what I should be wearing everyday,” she says.

Black layered tulle skirt

Black vintage tulle skirt

Comfort dictates Mallika’s every fashion choice. Recently while shooting a season of the TV show in the hills, jeans, sneakers and sweatshirts was her uniform of choice. She still uses the sweatshirt from her first year of college at St Stephens, New Delhi. “It gets softer as it gets older and I love that,” she grins. Since living in New Delhi makes weather appropriate clothing a compulsion, cotton is her fabric of choice for the sweltering summers. Anokhi, Fab India and Cottons is the troika of brands that comprises all her work wear for the season.

Able to carry off ethnic and western wear with equal ease, in winter, the salwar gives way to denim, the kurta to shirts, jumpers and coats and the dupatta is traded in for scarves. “I really enjoy shopping for winter clothes,” she says. And it is probably the only time she ventures inside malls. Her summer footwear of jutis, Aldo flats and her favourite North Face flip-flops is exchanged for boots. Yes, she wears North Face flip flops with salwar kameez. “They are the most comfortable,” she laughs. Adidas, North Face or Puma accessories provide that signature sporty touch to her every day looks. 

Purchased in 2011

Purchased in 2011

The only time she gave up her Fab India staples was while studying documentary film making at Berkely, in sunny California. But jeans and tees were still her favourites (and of course, the university sweatshirts). From Banana Republic and Abercrombie and Fitch to H&M and Urban Outfitters she probably owns T-Shirts from every brand that makes them. “The only time I wore pants was when I was interning in New York and had no choice but to dress formally,” she says.

Number of times worn: 1

Number of times worn: 1

And in Berkely is where she bought this tulle skirt from a vintage store for a 80’s themed Halloween party. That was the first and last time she wore the skirt. “I have a couple of dresses and skirts that I wear on rare occasions, mostly when I am going out,” she says.  Although she purged a major part of her wardrobe while moving back home from Berkely, she didn’t let go of this skirt. But she is happy to give it away to Fuffabulous, and for someone who loves vintage finds to be able to put it use again.

DSC_4649-1

The tulle skirt is perfect for a UK size 8-10 and can be dressed up with a white shirt and heels or down with a tee and neon accessories. 

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location: Worli seaface; Styling: Rachana Nakra and Radhika Dhawan; Accessories: Radhika Dhawan; Photographs: Karan Nevatia (karan1981@outlook.com)

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