You may recognise 26-year-old Rahi Chadda from your Instagram feed — gracing magazine covers, posing in fresh-off-the-runway looks on the streets of London, and just living what appears to be his best life. Though don’t peg him as just another millennial influencer, model, and fashion week regular. This Londoner with impeccable taste (and complexion) is the founder of Panache & Marina Skin Clinic, is a beauty entrepreneur first.
Though we won’t lie, it’s his flair for wearing traffic-stopping prints as easily as tailored blazers that have caught our eye. Here, we quizzed him about his double tap-worthy personal style.
How would you describe your approach to fashion and style?
It really depends on my mood and the occasion. I prioritise comfort and necessity for my everyday looks. It’s getting chilly in London now, so I’m obsessed with oversized turtle necks, woollen coats, and scarves.
How has this idea evolved?
My style sensibility has changed and evolved with time and my experience in fashion. There are some looks I would have never thought of wearing but would consider now, and vice versa. There are also times when I browse through some of my earlier looks and wonder what I was thinking!
What sort of aesthetic do you bend towards?
I prefer wearing more nudes, autumnal tones, and khaki shades now. I’m also over statement pieces — I’d rather incorporate more colour blocking into my repertoire instead of prints. Being comfortable in what you wear is of paramount importance to me, so I give those heavy jackets a pass.
Three style rules that have worked for you?
- Investing in versatile pieces that I can wear all year round
- Keeping accessories to a minimum
- Not shying away from colour
Brands that you know you can depend on
I love Gucci. Their vibe and aesthetic are always evolving. From monogrammed blazers to woollen jumpers and corduroy trousers, they have you covered. Among Indian designers, I enjoy wearing Nikhil Thampi and Gaurav Gupta. They both have their distinctive silhouettes and unique mindset toward fashion, which I love.
What were your go-to fashion pieces when you were growing up?
I’ve been quite influenced by iconic silhouettes from different eras. I remember a phase where I was obsessed with oversized jumpers and plaid shirts. Then it moved on to edgy looks comprising of leather jackets and boots with slim-fit denims. Now, blazers and wide-leg high-waisted trousers have made a comeback in my wardrobe.
What is your advice for someone looking to discover their style?
It’s a process of trial and error. Take the time out to go shopping, try on various pieces, and see what feels and looks good on you. I am all for anything that makes me feel empowered. Have the confidence to also wear pieces that would normally be outside of your comfort zone.
What are the building blocks of a good wardrobe?
A good pair of denims, a fitted blazer, shirts in white and black, Oxford shoes, a winter jacket, and comfy loungewear.
Sustainability is a big topic of conversation these days. Is there an approach you have adopted towards this?
I am a lot more conscious of introducing sustainability into my lifestyle now. Even when it comes to working with and promoting brands, I make an effort to ensure I’m not promoting plastic. I enjoy working with brands with an eco-friendly approach that puts the planet above profit.
Stores and e-commerce sites you shop from?
I’m not much of an online shopper. But I do shop skincare online, from websites such as Space NK.
Your favourite pieces in your wardrobe?
My shoes! And the collection of runway pieces that I’ve invested in over the years. Some of these include a red Dior embroidered jacket, an orange suit from Riccardo Tisci’s first collection for Burberry, Alexander McQueen’s flower blazer, and a Louis Vuitton silver vest, among others. My Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla and Falguni Shane Peacock buys are also very special to me.
Do you think style and fashion play a larger role in today’s world?
It’s subjective depending on how much fashion means to you. But I think how you style yourself is important as it’s one of the first things people notice about you. It feels good to make that effort. I get that one can’t always be looking like a perfect 10, but as long as you wear what you do with confidence and a smile, you’re good to go.
All images: Courtesy Rahi Chadda