The California Cool Style Has Landed on Indian Shores and How

The SoCal look is being worn by Indian celebrities and youngsters increasingly.

Published
Lifestyle
3 min read


Esha Gupta (L), Parineeti Chopra (M) and Alia Bhatt (R). (Photos: Yogen Shah)

Individualistic cities around the world are characterised by their distinct sense of style – while New York has been known to make its women dress in the suave city-girl look, Parisians are much hailed for their avant-garde style.

But away from these high-powered, stiff collared fashion cities, one city, still hung up on the sweet spell of its bohemian history, dresses in a chic and carefree manner.

While this state may not be so competitive about its sartorial stature as its East Coast cousins – it still produces an effortless style that is best known as California cool.

And now, this trademark SoCal look has landed on Indian shores, and how.

Shruti Hassan (L), Huma Qureshi (M) and Radhika Apte (R). (Photos: Yogen Shah)
Shruti Hassan (L), Huma Qureshi (M) and Radhika Apte (R). (Photos: Yogen Shah)

One glance at these paparazzi clicked photos and you will understand why. Flowy maxis, dresses paired with denim jackets and ripped jeans – the Indian celebrity is increasingly adopting a carefully constructed “carefree” look, typical of LA style.

Esha Gupta (L), Alia Bhatt (M) and Deepika Padukone (R). (Photos: Yogen Shah)
Esha Gupta (L), Alia Bhatt (M) and Deepika Padukone (R). (Photos: Yogen Shah)

Celebrities’ Instagram accounts these days are inundated with photos of themselves in accessible high-street fashion, representative of the laid-back 1970s Cali vibe.

Younger actors like Shradha Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are using their style as a way to connect more with their loyal fan base – young girls aged 16-25.

Actor Shradha Kapoor. (Photos: Yogen Shah)
Actor Shradha Kapoor. (Photos: Yogen Shah)

And guess what? This effortless fashion is being exported from the Golden State to the whole wide world. The LA-based affordable brand Forever 21 is its most loyal ambassador and has made so many Indian women converts. The laid-back ease of this region is also seen in H&M’s new collection, Canyon Cool. As also in many indie labels.

(Minimal Indian detailing + contemporary cuts by Rashmi Varma at Bombay Electric; dresses by Bhane)
(Minimal Indian detailing + contemporary cuts by Rashmi Varma at Bombay Electric; dresses by Bhane)

Perhaps the rise of a new type of Indian celebrity, and its portrayal on social media as “one of us”, teamed with the simultaneous surge in the demand of high-fashion clothing, has led to the rise of a relaxed aesthetic, which is best typified by the style of this region, owing to its rebellious streak (this was the birthplace of the Beat Generation and the hippie culture) and its warm climate.

While one can’t pinpoint exactly what would have led to the rise of this aesthetic style in India, we can sure thank this sartorial influence from the West Coast as a welcome change from the rigid style establishment prevalent for many decades.

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