I walked into a party once and found myself deeply embroiled in a controversy, two minutes into a conversation with a man. "You're a fashion person, you should know. More the skin, sexier the outfit.", I was told. But precisely because of the fact that I came from the fashion industry could I say with the utmost confidence (sexy confidence, if I might add) that being sexy, since time immemorial has had to do with so much more than skin. I like to lead with example. Not my own at this point, but Courtney Love to me, is the epitome of all sexy ironies. Unruly hair, peter pan collars, slip dresses with ripped stockings, even Mary Janes and somehow I also find fascinators in the weird mix. That, on paper does not spell sexy but when you throw in Courtney's rock-n-roll persona into that mix, it's a yelping winner. 2013 saw Hedi Slimane's YSL campaign headlined by Love and her contemporaries, and was it sexy or what.
A white over-sized shirt is sexy. So is a leather (or pleather if you may) miniskirt, a la 60s. Bare skin is sexy. But so are oversized clothes. A fresh blow dry is sexy but so is the sweat and elbow grease of a work out.
I have been begging to understand why should the two ideas be mutually exclusive anyway. But the good side that surfaces through these comparisons is that while the world might claim that fashion is for the superficial, fashion has through ages redefined sexiness in various terms of its own; be it conservative, nerdy, hot or basic. In an industry where I am finally at peace with being more than just clothes and shoes, I find heaving respite in the company of people like myself. Aien or AJ as she is fondly known of Fashion & I has been one of my favourite indian fashion bloggers for a long time now. We have been friends for a while now but fashion's self proclaimed Olsen Twins for even longer. We have been intrigued on numerous occasions by what we find stylish or even sexy in terms of our sartorial representation. Oversized coats, bralettes and corsets and wide legged pants were the common denominators. We thought about what defined sexy as sexy is. Should it not be just anything that transcends your body and brings out your soul? Wearing your soul in the form of your fashion statement is sexy to me. Channeling your art and creativity to give it a voice in the form of a statement, day in and day out while being completely truthful to yourself is sexy. Patti Smith is sexy to me. Fashion can be very sexy and if you scratch beneath the surface, you just might like it.
Styled and modelled by: Aien Jamir and yours truly
Photography by: Saumya and Shiva of The Open Art Project
Location c/o: Parallel
Make up and hair by: Awon R Vashum