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“Even today I hate shopping,” says Twinkle (seen here in a Topshop jacket, Arrogant Cat top, J. Brand jeans and shoes by Kurt Geiger). “What I like is walking endlessly on roads (in other countries) as I can’t do it in India. I walk into stores, browse and then buy. For me, that is more fun than trying clothes.”

Twinkle Khanna talks about her rocky journey towards finding her own style, hijacking mom Dimple’s outfits, and embarking on shopping adventures with son Aarav BY SANDIPAN DALAL 48

October 22, 2010 PEOPLE

Photographs by DABBOO RATNANI


PEOPLE October 22, 2010


Her favourite fashion purchase of 2010? “A beautiful white Yves Saint Laurent dress, which I had bought in New York,” says Twinkle (here in an Abu JaniSandeep Khosla sari with heirloom ruby and diamond bangles given by Dimple).

y day, former actress and entrepreneur T w i n k l e Khanna often walks around her Mumbai office in her signature kurta, jeans and funky hairbands. By night, as the wife of superstar Akshay Kumar, she comfortably poses on the red carpet in Herve Leger, Missoni and D&G. For those who have witnessed Twinkle’s dress sense in her growing years, the transformation is unimaginable. Looking back, Twinkle counts the clothes in her wardrobe — two pairs of denims and a couple of white shirts — and recollects with humour, “I had been the despair of my mother most of my life.” Born to superstar parents Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna, who

dictated fashion trends in the ’70s, Twinkle didn’t care about dressing up. “I didn’t want to be told (how to dress) and if anyone said anything, I would do the opposite,” she says. Things got worse after she made her Bollywood debut with Barsaat in 1995. The constant pressure to look perfect made her commit a few fashion crimes. “I never really paid much attention. I didn’t understand the way my body functions or my body structure. I made the mistake of wearing ruffles. I never wore high heels, and nobody looks good without heels,” she says, listing the errors. All that changed once she turned 30. Suddenly, Twinkle flawlessly managed to channel a mix of classic and sophisticated with off-beat — and even functioned perfectly in heels. “It was while doing design, décor and interiors that I developed a sense of fashion,” says People’s 2010 Best Dressed List honoree. Last month, as Twinkle prepared for the People photo shoot, she

painstakingly pulled out the best outfits from her wardrobe and excitedly matched them with statement accessories. “I really don’t think that style is just about the clothes you wear; it’s about the way you live and your sense of aesthetics,” says Twinkle while teaming up an Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla sari with a pair of ruby and diamond bangles her mother gave her. Although mother Dimple has been a great influence, it is eightyear-old son Aarav, who now dictates her looks. Born to superstar parents, were you conscious of your appearance?

No. From my childhood to most of my 20s, I rebelled against dressing up. I remember I had once gone to meet my father at his office in track pants and he had said, ‘What are you wearing?’ I said, ‘I don’t care. I have just come from the gym,’ and he said, ‘People (here) don’t know that and you have to be well dressed.’ I must have been 22-23 then. Who dressed you up?

No one. My sister (Rinke) and I had




Growing up, Twinkle reveals that mom Dimple (right with her daughter and sonin-law Akshay Kumar) has “sobbed” when she used to refuse to go out shopping. But today, says Twinkle, she is told by people, ‘Your daughter is so well put together’. While Dimple no longer worries about her daughter’s clothes, she contributes to Twinkle’s look by gifting her stylish accessories. “The last thing she sent me was a beautiful ruby parrot brooch and a necklace, and I loved it,” says Twinkle. She describes sister Rinke (inset) as “the more stylish one and someone who loves fashion”. Both the sisters follow the same essing,” fashion rule: “No over-the-top dressing,” e but their personal styles are quite gs different. “I wear more fitted things and she wears more flowing things.” They like shopping together on holidays. “Our last holiday together was in London in June. I didn’t shop much. I just followed her around,” she says.

PEOPLE October 22, 2010



identical outfits, of course in different sizes. I was a giant (laughs). But it was my mum who picked up the dresses for us.

“I have spent most of my childhood years in my favourite two pairs of jeans,” says Twinkle, who teams a Moschino skirt-suit with Just Cavalli heels and a Bottega Veneta clutch here.

Did you have any trademark style while growing up?

I was a tomboy and I have spent most of my childhood years in my favourite two pairs of jeans. I wore jeans and white shirts most of the time and my mother (Dimple) would cry at the sight of them. Every time she said, ‘Come on, let’s go shopping,’ I just said, ‘No’. I really didn’t care; clothes were not important. Any fashion rules that you had to follow?

We had bizarre fashion rules in our house. We were not allowed to wear shorts and we wore them under our dresses because we wanted to. We were not allowed to oil our hair. To think of it, wearing shorts and oiling our hair were secret indulgences that we enjoyed when our father was away.

I started to listen to my mother and (follow) her rules only when I turned 30” —TWINKLE

Did you like to be told what to wear on most occasions?

Never, and I had been the despair of my mother most of my life. From a very young age we were in the spotlight and everything was done the way it was supposed to be. So I spent most of my life saying that I don’t want to do what is conventional. Even when my sister was getting married, just before the mehendi ceremony, my mum said, ‘Can you not wear jeans and kurta and wear a full salwar kameez? And look appropriate’. This ‘look appropriate’ is something that I never took to well. So, how I have evolved from there is something I have no clue about. What elements of style did you


October 22, 2010 PEOPLE

pick from your parents, if any?

I think I have (picked) most of it from my mom. Looking at her, I don’t think that style is just about the clothes you wear. It’s about the way you live and your aesthetic sense. Even today I rob all her Indian clothes — both saris and salwar kameez. (But) as a child I did the opposite of everything

she told me to do. I started to listen to her and (follow) her rules only when I turned 30. Once you started preparing for a movie career, who helped you with your looks?

I shudder thinking of the clothes I had worn at that time. My mum tried for a bit, and then whoever was the


FINISH THE LOOK Taking a sneak peek into Twinkle’s best accessories



It jazzes up even the th simplest things — be it th a white shirt or w a dress. Every d woman needs wo one. on

A bright clutch always adds a pop of colour. In fact, a simple dress can go from day to evening if you add a shocking pink clutch.

VINTAGE HAIR COMB The golden hair comb symbolizes quirky. When you wear it, it brightens up your day and it’s functional too.

LOUIS VUITTON SUNGLASSES ES Apart from protecting your eyes from the sun, it’s a necessary accessory to look cool. Even if you are dressed simply or in a bad mood, a pair of sunglasses makes you look glamorous.

film’s costume designer worked on my other clothes. It wasn’t like how it is today. I just shot my films and then attended a premiere or two. I didn’t worry about dressing up and people didn’t even register any brands then. How did your aunt the late Simple Kapadia (actress and costume designer) influence your style?

She did help me a lot with dressing up for movies, especially in the latter half of my career. In fact, some of my favourite things are what she has given me. The last thing that she gave me, and I carry it all the time, is a silver Pauric Sweeney bag. I would take things from her and not my mom. She used to say, ‘You use it, and if you use it, I will be happy’.


You do a few asanas and breathing exercises and it leaves you glowing.

you think dressed best? yo

the treadmill for miles and nothing was happening. Today, I do yoga and I potter about my garden and I seem to be fitter than I was when I was much younger. Did the body issues add to your troubles?

All the issues were always in my head. One is so unsure of oneself while growing up that one magnifies the flaws and minimises the assets. And that’s what I did, whereas today I do the opposite. What was the most hurtful thing ever said about your style?

You have always been frank about your struggle to look perfect on screen.

What can be more hurtful than the fact that if one of my movies/ songs is being shown on TV, I make my entire family turn it off because I think I look terrible.

I remember running frantically on

Of your contemporaries, who do

October 22, 2010 PEOPLE


Al of us were badly dressed. I can’t All think of one actress who would be th well-dressed by today’s standards. How did things get better?

I developed a sense of fashion while doing design, décor and interiors. I was an assistant to an interior designer when I was 15. (Then) I apprenticed with a famous architect before branching out on my own. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to continue in films because it wasn’t work I loved. Also, yoga helped me balance my life. I started yoga about eight years ago when I had hurt my back badly with Aarav. But I discovered it did a world of good to every other aspect of life too. How much time do you spend coordinating clothes before making a public appearance with Akshay?

I oversee his wardrobe but it doesn’t take much. I mostly edit stuff out Photographs by CHANDRAKANT KUMAR/PEOPLE

BEST DRESSED 2010 The star, who teams the dress and belt with Giuseppe Zanotti slingbacks, says, “My standard night look is a fitted dress, high heels and open hair.”

rather than add. He likes slightly brighter things so I will edit some of the stuff that he wants to wear. He likes me in dresses and he is particular about what I wear. I think we had to go for the Stardust Awards and I was wearing this pouffy outfit and he said, ‘Wear a bandage dress instead’. Is he happy being styled by you?

He is very happy. He is a guy who takes chances and has fun with fashion. I don’t know that many men who wear a pink shirt and look good in it, or carry yellow loafers well. But it is Aarav who accompanies you when you are out shopping.

Aarav comes with me sometimes. His attention to stylish clothes is something that he has inherited from my side of the family. Since he was three months old, he has been coming with me to my sites and heard words like design, proportion, structure and aesthetics and seen how we balance colours. And because of that he has a strong sense of dressing. I can’t go out with him for dinner wearing jeans and I have to wear dresses. Do you take suggestions from your sister Rinke who has studied fashion and worked at FTV?

She has always been the stylish one. In fact, I call her whenever I need help. I remember I was in Los Angeles and I had to go to a meeting in Las Vegas. I had a leopard print handbag and I couldn’t take that to a business meeting. I called her and she told me to go to Jimmy Choo and pick a specific bag and pair of shoes. She knew everything sitting at home. I email her pictures of the things I like before buying them. Your best dressed movie star?

My husband and Sonam Kapoor.


He picked this vintage dress.

Someone once said that ‘a good looking man is a woman’s best accessory’. Will you agree?

I would say yes but he is a lot more expensive than my handbag (laughs). Finally, what will be your dressing advice to young women?

Do not imitate a look or style of another individual. Know your body well, just maximise your assets and w don’t worry about the rest.


October 22, 2010 PEOPLE

IMAGES IN: Top Ten- Twinkle khanna, DESIGNED BY: Anita, FOR CORRECTION: Sept 23; 7:00 pm



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In a Notte by Marchesa dress teamed with a Lulu Guinness Lips clutch and Kurt Geiger shoes at the HDIL India Couture Week in Mumbai in October 2009.

In a Herve Leger bandage dress teamed with Gina peep-toes at the launch of her collection Villa Tara in Mumbai in April.

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October 22, 2010 PEOPLE

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In a Chris Benz dress with shoes by Marni and clutch by Bottega Veneta at a Triumph event in Mumbai in December 2009.

In a white Zara shirt, J Brand jeans, Gina shoes and a Hermes clutch at the premiere of Paa in Mumbai in December 2009.


a standout stand neckpiece or a brooch, Twinkle believes access accessories can make or break an outfit. “You can have a really simple dress but it can look stunning with th the right accessory.” And the bolder they are, the better bet she likes them. “I have this bangle with spikes all over it and I love that. I like statement pieces,” says say the star wife, who admits to owning more access accessories than clothes. On her must-have list for every g girl? A hair accessory, sunglasses, statement jjewellery, ewelle clutch and stilettos.

PEOPLE October 22, 2010


Best Dressed - Twinkle Khanna  
Best Dressed - Twinkle Khanna  

PEOPLE October 22, 2010HairbySATYAforKROMAKAY;Make-upbySUBHASHVAGAL BEST DRESSED 2010 “Even today I hate shopping,” says Twinkle (seen here...