For HELLO! India’s Style Issue, OTT star Vijay Varma talks about his style obsessions, fashion icons, and so much more...
On being HELLO!’s Most Stylish OTT Darling: I feel honoured and pretty cool about being on this list. It’s always good to be accepted and acknowledged by people who know fashion. So it’s made me feel a little more special.
My personal style: My sense of style usually corresponds with my mood or where I’m heading. There are times I want to dress up to feel great and times I want to dress down to feel at ease. But I don’t subscribe to any trends as such. My idea of style is being true and authentic to who I am and expressing myself through what I wear.
Style motto: I haven’t really thought about fashion or style to know much about what I’m saying (laughs). Though I’d say do and be what you feel like instead of subscribing to someone else’s opinion or idea of who you are.
Being stylish VS being fashionable: Style has little to do with fashion, whereas fashion has a lot to do with style. Style is fairly timeless, wherein you can be stylish without being fashionable. But fashion belongs to a certain time. It’s encapsulated within the culture and geography of a time frame. Bell bottoms and low-waist jeans, for instance.
Work is worship: There are a few things about my job that drive and inspire me. Being an actor is primarily about being in touch with yourself and your emotions, understanding life and being able to depict it at the drop of a hat. It’s also a constant state of analysis and observation. There’s a need for self-observation, too, wherein you’re given a script, a character, or a scene and have to teleport yourself to that place, person or era. It takes you back to your childhood because that’s what kids do. It’s like getting in touch with your innocent self all over again.
My style icons: I associate style with one’s personality. Someone wearing trendy outfits is not my idea of a style icon. It’s someone who’s carved out an image of themselves. So much so that they’re recognisable just by their silhouette or shadow. That’s their style. Like with Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, or even Eminem. They have such a unique presence about themselves, almost like a trademark, which I find very fascinating.
Favourite designers: I really haven’t studied them a lot to know all that much. There are some sweatshirts and tuxedos by some brands that I love to wear, but I can’t really pick one!
The most stylish item in my closet: This one’s difficult. There are a lot of things I love to wear, but I don’t know whether they can be deemed stylish. But if I had to pick one, I’d say it’s the apron I picked up from a street-side store in Italy. I’m a big Michelangelo and Renaissance fan. The apron has the torso of David’s sculpture on it. So when I wear it, it looks like I have David’s torso. It’s pretty hot.
I’m happiest wearing: There’s a short story by Premchand that describes how a young man, who was feeling under the weather, had to attend an official event. But on putting on a suit for the occasion, he realised he was feeling much better. I believe any man who tries on a two- or three-piece suit can feel great instantly.
I look best in: My jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets. Basically all my usual street wear.
Current fashion obsession: It has actually been an ongoing affair for a while now. I have an obsession with sneakers. I tend to buy a lot of them, though I think I went a little easy this year. They continue to grab my attention. I’m also exploring a lot of newer brands for cool street wear as well as designer street wear. Though if I had to say currently, I would say I have my eyes on winter collections, with colder weather just around the corner. We’ll be shooting in cooler climes soon, so I’m already thinking of what I should be getting for winter and am obsessively looking at good winter fashion.
Items I tend to overuse: Once again, those would be my sneakers!
A trend I find overrated: People are trying a lot of silly things with sunglasses of various shapes and sizes. They’re just trying to push the boundaries in ways that aren’t attractive in the slightest to me.
Must-haves in a man’s wardrobe: Every man should definitely own a hat and know how to pull one off. Plus, a tie. He must know how to pick the right kind of tie and wear it perfectly. If you’re into accessories, definitely explore these.
Photos: Ryan Martis; Fashion Editor: Sonam Poladia; Junior Stylist: Anushree Sardesai; Makeup: Sama Rajan; Hair: Rohit Bhatkar; Location Courtesy: JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s November 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!