By Sujala Newar
One of the ways we source true vintage is through the procurement of private collections. These collections are essentially pieces contributed by an individual or family to give an extended life to their prized possessions. Sourcing this way helps us precisely date the clothes so we know the year and sometimes even the place of purchase. Through TLV, we want to give a platform to people who want to breathe new life into the clothes they’ve long held dear. After detailed quality checks and many conversations with the contributor, we want to share not only clothing pieces, but also the stories they tell.
We speak to the contributor of our latest collection, Mrs. Hutokshi Bharucha about her style, the pieces in this collection and how she's kept them in a near perfect condition all these years.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your relationship with clothes and fashion.
My full name is Hutokshi Bharucha but everyone calls me Honey or Hannah. I grew up constantly moving houses with my parents and two sisters as our dad was in the Army and we were always relocating. My sisters and I became each other’s best friends as we were never able to stay in contact with the ones from school. I respect my clothes and store them well, hence so many have stayed in such prime condition till date. That, and the quality of clothes in the past was far superior. I also purchased a lot more before than I do today.
2. How would you describe your style in the '70s and '80s?
My style is always understated and elegant with a great love for prints. Comfort is also a huge criteria for me, it has to feel good when worn.
3. Where did your get your fashion inspirations from and who were your fashion icons?
My mother, travel and different cultures inspired me a lot. My fashion icons were Audrey Hepburn, Julia Roberts and my mother.
4. Were these clothes bought on your travels abroad?
Yes. We would do one international trip every years and most of these clothes were bought during these travels.
5. Your favourite shopping destinations in the 70s and 80s?
Mostly in Paris it was Galeries Lafayette and in London I’d love going into a John Lewis or finding a unique boutique store on a high street.
6. Having lived through a time when people preferred getting clothes stitched by a tailor to when fast fashion has caught up to speed, how do you feel in about the recent upsurge of preference for old styles?
I used to sometimes design my own clothes with a wonderful woman named Lydia on Hill Road in Bandra so I’ve always love this slow process. I do not relate much with the fast fashion method. I would still prefer getting something made custom for me today.
7. How did having your father in the army and moving around the country influence your style?
We had to be brought up with a sense of discipline so my mother was very particular about dressing us well and proper and getting our outfits specifically designed.
8. Any special memories attached to to these pieces?
Yes, I wore the brown floral dress on a romantic date with my husband when we were in Paris.
9. Was there any piece in the collection you had a hard time parting with?
Yes, the purple silk shirt. It feels like a dream when worn.
Mrs. Bharucha's clothing is a representative of an era gone by and yet the pieces are still so relevant in todays time, demonstrating that while trends come and go, style is truly timeless.