The Indian SCENE: What words would you best use to describe your style?
Sunita Dass: Colorful, eclectic and creative.
IS: What do you want your style to say about who you are?
SD: I feel that fashion should not be overly precious or cost prohibitive, so I always try to find reasonably-priced, yet well-made items that can stand the test of time. Fashion is a means of expressing oneself and I’d like to show people that you can have great style and vision at any price point.
IS: What is your favorite piece in your closet?
SD: I actually have two favorite items of clothing in my closet. The first is a beautiful printed bubble skirt that my mom made for me in the 1980’s. She is an amazing seamstress and sewed many clothes for me and my sister over the years. I will always cherish the pieces of clothing that she so painstakingly made with such love and care. The second item is a pair of sandals that my dad bought me. He was never a big fan of shopping, but he went out of his comfort zone one year and carefully picked a lovely pair of shoes for me to wear. I will always remember that kind gesture!
IS: What is one thing you never leave home without?
SD: Lipstick! I adore the art of makeup and feel incomplete without a dramatic swath of my signature coral lipstick. It adds a finishing touch to my look and gives me the confidence to take on the day.
IS: Who is your style icon — Bollywood and Hollywood — and why?
SD: I have always admired Audrey Hepburn, both as a humanitarian and as a fashion icon. She had such a distinctive and timeless fashion sense and she could take the most simple garment and turn it into a statement piece coveted by women around the world! As far as Bollywood fashionistas, I’m a fan of Sonam Kapoor. She’s unabashed in her clothing choices and she can rock both classic saris and edgy punk inspired looks with equal ease and confidence.
IS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
SD: The adage “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” by Henry Ford really resonated with me when I read it as a young girl. It highlights the importance of perception and a positive attitude when undertaking any challenge or endeavor in life. Optimism is an attribute that inexorably correlates with life satisfaction and self-esteem and I think that it’s a quality that we can all try to cultivate in our day to day lives for the betterment of ourselves and our world as a whole.
IS: Who inspires you, and why?
SD: My mom is my greatest inspiration. She is the epitome of selflessness and benevolence and her kindness infuses all aspects of her life. I have always marveled at her ability to make friends wherever she goes and her talent of being able to whip up a sumptuous feast at a moment’s notice! She has always been available to support me and my sister through the travails and challenges of life and her wise words have served us well. She’s one of those people who is very good at whatever she puts her mind to and I hope to be just like her when I grow up!
IS: What advice would you give to someone trying to find their passion?
SD: I think, that to find your passion, you need to sit down in introspection and ask yourself what it is that makes your heart truly sing; what is it that you could happily do for hours, without compensation or recognition? In my case, I’ve always had an affinity towards writing and the creative arts (photography, drawing, fashion design, etc.) and those passions are what organically led me to creating my lifestyle blog. Blogging affords me a forum where I can share my creativity and love for the written word. I think that we all have an underlying drive to express ourselves in some manner; the tricky part is discovering “how” to do that. As Pablo Picasso so astutely said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
IS: What in Indian culture do you hope is passed to future generations?
SD: Our Indian culture is so artistically rich and I hope to pass on the love of sculpture, painting, poetry, writing, dancing and the fabric arts to the future generations of Indian-Americans. Indian artisans are some of the most talented in the world and their distinctive and complex techniques have been passed down from generation to generation. I hope that, through education and support, these artists can continue to thrive and share their masterpieces with the whole world.
Favorite book: The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein.
Favorite movie: “A Room with a View”
Favorite vacation spot: Egypt. It’s an impossibly beautiful and mystical country with such a rich history and culture, the kindest inhabitants and the most delicious food!