She is among the first Indian designers to showcase resort-wear collections every year at fashion weeks across the country. Yet she could not participate in the first Resort Fashion Week held recently in Goa. Her newest passion kept her busy. In January, Malini Ramani is all set to open an interior design store in Goa, and says she is better at collecting and designing artefacts than clothes. We asked Ramani, a true Goaphile, what she would wear to an all-day-long party at the beach or a yacht this season. Edited excerpts from the interview:
What should one pack to take along to Goa at this time of the year?
It’s really hot during the day in Goa, so definitely take thin cotton clothes. Jeans is a no-no. Just easy-breezy things—linen pyjamas, shorts, skirts and shirt dresses…those are some of my favourites, and shirt dresses. Outfits in jersey are great too. Avoid any nylon-polyester stuff. I love jumpsuits, and tend to wear them at least three times a week when I am in Goa. The ones that I like are made from jersey. Even for an evening out, I like jumpsuits but these are usually made from a different fabric, like lycra, and maybe have a more flowing style, like harem pants.
Under wraps: Ramani says she wears jumpsuits to a day and night do
I always carry at least two pashmina shawls with me. I carry either a pashmina or a jacket when I am out at night.
Shorts are great for Goa. I hate the Bermuda length of shorts for girls; they are unflattering. I love little denim shorts. If you are the kind who likes to wear shorts for night dos too, then get ones with sequins or some gold work.
Stick to loose silhouettes for the day because it is often sticky and muggy. Definitely no stilettos for Goa. If you are a heels person and like wearing them, then buy wedge heels. I wear my chappals just about anywhere, all the time. Walk confidently and you won’t look like a rag in them. Avoid closed shoes or pumps.
Which colours work and what should be left out?
White for the day is my favourite, but I also wear bright colours. Indians are lucky that they look good in colours anyway. In the evening, people love wearing black but in Goa you never know which way your night is going to go. For different set-ups—restaurants, yacht parties, on the beach—how does your style vary?
You can wear anything for restaurants because people walk in from the beaches. Nobody goes back all the way to their homes or hotels to change. If you are invited to a party to someone’s villa, then maybe you should carry a dressy jacket to throw over your jumpsuit or shirt dress. I don’t bother changing or dressing for even house parties. But if I know I have to be out all day and then at night too, I tend to wear a jumpsuit. I will carry a jacket, mostly in jersey material, because the weather suddenly turns in Goa, so it makes sense to carry something with you always.
The newly launched wedge heels by Ramani at Bata, Rs 999
If you are just lounging around in your hotel, then go for a kaftan. If you are likely to spend the day shopping and not really around the beach, then wear pyjamas with a T-shirt.
What about handbags?
I always carry sling bags or a leather bag with a long strap. Do not carry a clutch around because it definitely does not go with Goa and it’s easy to lose.
The Bombabe dress is a bestseller at her Goa store
If you are going to a fancy party, like if you have an invite for Vijay Mallya’s party or have to go to Nilaya, then dress up. Wear what you are comfortable in—anything from gypsy skirts to kaftans. Even a sari might work; it depends on your personal style.
How do you dress up a bikini when you are not on the beach?
Wraps are great. I do something called the “magic wrap” which can be worn in six different ways. You can wear these on the beach, at a restaurant, anywhere, with a bikini underneath.
A kaftan dress
What other accessories are a must for beach destinations?
I always take my straw hats. During the day they work best. The scarf is for the night, but don’t use it to cover your hair. You get good hats at Accessorize. I don’t like bandanas because they don’t suit me. As for jewellery, I like to wear cuffs mostly, and bangles. It’s fun to wear a neck piece, but only if it’s not too heavy or metallic. The neck piece must not make one feel hot and sticky. I like flowers in my hair, mostly hibiscus. Big sunglasses and aviators are on my list too.