Spotlight On: Sonam Kapoor

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Fashion runs in the veins of Sonam Kapoor. The reigning queen of Bollywood beauty and one of the finest actresses in India, she the daughter of the legendary actor of the late 1900s, Anil Kapoor. Her sister, Rhea Kapoor is a world-class fashion designer and often dresses Sonam for premieres and events.

She recently appeared in PadMan [2018], a film adaptation of the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, an Indian social activist who introduced the low-cost sanitary pad to India, allowing women in underdeveloped and rural areas access to safe and clean sanitary items for the first time. The film was immediately banned in Pakistan due to the fact that menstruation is still considered a taboo. Kapoor’s decision to draw attention to a topic still regarded as shameful within India is a huge step forwards in female empowerment and equality, teaching young women throughout the country that it is okay to talk about this natural part of their life, rather than a keep it a secret. While promoting the PadMan, she appeared in both Western and Indian attire, not simply a flippant sartorial decision; her blending of Western and Indian fashion lends itself to magazine and social media coverage in both cultures, helping to spread the film’s message of progression and education far and wide.

Sonam Kapoor is one of the few actresses to successfully bring Western fashion into India. She is a fan of big brands- from Manolo Blahnik to Versace to Yves Saint Laurent. Her love of these names is the reason for her frequent trips to Dubai, the hub of brands and A-class fashion designers. Her synthesis of Western and traditional Indian is a fashion statement in itself. Who else can sport a pleated denim saree made out of recycled jeans with huge earrings and a bun or carry off a Western couture gown with traditional Indian jhumkas so well? Kapoor defies the notion of being solely Indian or Western, instead blending the two effortlessly together. It is Kapoor’s signature blend of India and Western that has allowed her to be such an inspiration in the fashion world; young girls far and wide can see elements of cutting edge Indian design, a sadly overlooked corner of the fashion industry, yet find traces of the familiar tropes of Western couture in her style.

Kapoor has been awarded several accolades for her statement style, including the HT MOST Stylish Award. She has even launched her own line of clothes, “RheSon” (Rhea and Sonam), a cheap but chic platform to set trends within the wider Indian public. She even has her own app available to both Android and Apple users called “Sonam Kapoor”, where she engages and interacts with her fans from all over the world.

Appearing on the cover of famous fashion magazines, including Vogue, Film Fare, and Brides Today In, Sonam is often dressed in extravagant Ralph and Russo gowns and creations from the likes of Roberto Cavalli, Dior and Stella McCartney. Yet Kapoor is also often seen wearing designs from Atelier Zahra from Dubai, which is amongst her favourite brands.

When it comes to the traditional suits and sarees, she often combines Payal Khandwala and Anju Modi’s collections with Sabyasachi or Tarun Tahiliani, India’s most prestigious traditional wear designers, who now have annual exhibitions all over the world. In this way, Sonam not only brings current Western trends to India, but gives the rest of the world a masterclass in traditional Indian fashion.

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