A luxury advisor, fashion lover and curator of all things ritzy and distinguished, luxurista Pooja Advani shares her pearls of wisdom on the season’s go-to trends and more to watch out for.
Luxury to me is: “All about timelessness, quality, the way something makes you feel, and how it enhances and elevates your everyday life. What it definitely is not about is just a price point.”
My professional space: “I’m a lover of all things fashion, with a keen appreciation for luxe accessories. I’m the founder of Luxiste, a digital space where I create content, share my style ideas and obsessions and, hopefully, inspire others to fall in love with fashion, too. ‘Luxiste’ is my term for someone who distinguishes on the basis of luxury. I also have a personalised luxury shopping advisory service that curates all things fashion and lifestyle for discerning shoppers — a one-stop shop for luxury gifting, sourcing and wardrobe editing needs.”
Three tips on buying bespoke luxury items: “Understanding the craft behind luxury items is vital when investing in expensive things. It’s the skilled and exquisite craftsmanship behind a piece that assures you of its quality and longevity. Invest in classic luxury clothing that can be styled in a myriad ways and are timeless basics. Statement and trendy accessories can be seasonal indulgences. It’s also imperative to be aligned with the brand’s values and be mindful of what they stand for. Today, more than ever, top quality must be associated with responsible sustainability.”
Three fashion must-haves for women: “A good watch, a classic bag that goes from day to night, and a pair of chic sunglasses.”
Three tips to bear in mind while selecting gifts: “To ensure thoughtful and meaningful gifts, keep the recipient in mind. Always give something you are excited to present and would love to receive yourself. Packaging is as important as what’s inside.”
My most luxe experience: “I’ve been blessed with luxe experiences that money can’t buy. My first — and hence most special — of those was back when I was the beauty editor at a magazine. The Estée Lauder Companies was just launching their brands in India and had organised a press trip to New York. From touring their labs, to meeting and consulting with their top skin experts and being hosted by Aerin Lauder at her beautiful home, with makeup done by the brand in my hotel suite and a chauffeur waiting to take me to the dinner… It was one of my most memorable trips.”
The most lavish travel destination: “I visited Courchevel in France for the first time this year. It’s jumped to the top of my list for a luxurious getaway. The Maldives is another one high up on the list.”
My favourite fashion brands: “Locally, I’m currently in love with Rahul Mishra’s clothes, which are like works of art. Tarun Tahiliani is the one designer whose creations I’ve worn most over the years. Manish Malhotra is always special and was my choice for my wedding. The international brands in Mumbai like Hermès, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci are my favourites, as there’s no substitute to having shopping assistants who always have your back!
When I travel, I love Saint Laurent, Prada, Loewe and Celine for classics and Balenciaga for its edgier pieces. I also wear a lot of contemporary designers like The Attico, Jacquemus and Area, and shoes from Amina Muaddi, Mach & Mach and Paris Texas.”
Must-have statement pieces that go from AM to PM: “A silk slip dress that you can pair with a blazer or denim jacket during the day and take off for an evening out. Leather pants that take you effortlessly from day to night. A blazer dress put together for a day of meetings and is still chic enough for the evening. A statement jewellery piece.”
Three tips to ace the luxe party look: “When I think of a luxe party look, I think it’s all about metallics, crystals and feathers. However, always balance the outfit, accessories and makeup. Coco Chanel’s advice, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory,” is a good rule of thumb when you’re in the ‘more is more’ mode. I love using a glitter eyeliner to glam up a party look.”
Hotels that embody luxury to me: “The Ritz in London, Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives and the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz are super luxurious.”
My style icons: “Olivia Palermo, Blake Lively and Anne Hathaway, to name a few.”
My personal style: “Is versatile and largely dependent on my mood and the occasion, but it’s always elegant and chic. I believe in wearing clothes and not letting the clothes wear me. I love statement accessories and am obsessed with shoes!”
The most stylish item in my closet: “Has to be my most sentimental and meaningful piece — a diamond bracelet handed down over generations.”
Best winter buys: “YSL’s double-breasted velvet jacket, Chanel boots and a colourful Loewe striped sweater.”
The most luxurious restaurants I’ve visited: “I enjoy a trendy, stylish vibe at restaurants. A few of my favorites are Girafe and Gigi in Paris, Nammos in Dubai and Casa Cipriani in New York.”
Favourite shopping destinations: “The four fashion capitals have the best of the best. I love New York for basics and effortless clothing pieces, Paris and Milan for accessories, and London for everything in between. However, while I love to discover new brands in stores, online shopping is my go-to indulgence. Also love how Ounass in the UAE has a two-hour delivery time!”
Interview: Nayare Ali; Photos: Ryan Martis; Creative Director: Avantikka Kilachand; Fashion Editor: Sonam Poladia; Junior Stylist: Anushree Sardesai; Makeup: Priya Todarwal; Hair: Sarita Poojari; Location Courtesy: Koishii At The St. Regis Mumbai
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s December 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!