“If there’s one thing that surprises most people who meet me, it’s how tiny I am!” says Aditi Rao Hydari. It’s hard to believe the stunning actress because a few minutes prior to our interaction backstage, Hydari had closed the show for designer Anju Modi and had commanded the vast space with her timeless elegance and graceful glide down the runway.
The actress was a part of Modi’s showcase ‘The Road Less Travelled’ at India Couture Week, where the designer had created an immersive experience for her audience to take in the collection that was inspired by her many travels across the country.
“One of the things that I love about (Modi) is her knowledge of textiles and Indian karigari techniques and handicrafts. I love that her clothes are really traditional but they have a youthfulness to them. They’re very feminine and they don’t weigh you down and that’s what I love about her clothes a lot!”
Perhaps it’s the fact that she looks the part of a royal palace dweller or the fact that she has actually descended from a line of royals, you can often spot her being a part of period dramas that have her wearing gorgeous and intricate ensembles. When asked about which movie she wants to be a part of, purely based on its costume design, the actress promptly replies “All Sanjay Leela Bhansali films and all Mani Ratnam films! Always!”
Hydari describes her style as “effortless” and stresses the importance of keeping the basics covered if you want to mirror her style as well. “Great jeans, for me, that’s really important,” she says, listing down the wardrobe staples everyone should have in their arsenal, “I love saris and Indian clothes, so a well-fitted blouse is a must. You should have one blouse that you can mix and match with anything to get you out of a sticky situation last minute. For me, these two are very, very important.” And before we could move on to the next question, she pipes in, “A strapless bra too!”
As she sits serenely amidst the chaos backstage during fashion week (only those who have witnessed it first-hand can attest to the amazement one can feel at Hydari’s zen-like state at this moment), she concludes our conversation by revealing her unwinding ritual post a runway show. “I throw off my heels! I hate wearing heels. But I’m a tiny person so I have to wear heels otherwise the clothes don’t fit me!”