Home / Mint-lounge / Features /  Akshara Haasan’s closet

A light-eyed 23-year-old in ripped jeans, a basic black top, her hair styled almost like an art installation, and piercingly candid, the younger daughter of actors Kamal Haasan and Sarika, Akshara Haasan, plays the female lead in R. Balki’s film Shamitabh, which released on Friday.

Paired with actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush, it is a dream debut. A trained dancer and a former assistant director on films, Haasan’s yin-yang instincts get mirrored in her androgynous dressing style. She is easy-going and fuss-free. Her candour extends from her conversation to her closet; there is no self-inflicted pressure to be best dressed—Haasan is a lively girl open to being open. She tells us how she creates her own style, her fascination for caps, and why the late Michael Jackson is her fashion hero. Edited excerpts:

How would you define your fashion persona?

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Are you a fashion hoarder, a trendy person, or do you believe in classics?

I rarely go shopping. I only pick things up if I spot something I really like or if it’s reasonable, or if I find something when I am travelling. Every few months I look at the pieces in my wardrobe and I ask what I was thinking when I bought that! Then I dig around and usually find something I like.

But I would say I am for the classics. I admire Audrey Hepburn’s style. You could say I am old-school with a modern outlook on fashion. Even if something is out of fashion, I might still keep it.

What are your wardrobe favourites?

Her all-time favourite is her GAP sweatshirt
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Her all-time favourite is her GAP sweatshirt

The black dress you wore to the trailer launch of ‘Shamitabh’ was quite sexy. Is that your style too?

I am quite a coy person. Sexy is not a part of my character! It had been a while since I wore an outfit like that short black dress. My first thought was, how would I sit in this? I do love wearing dresses but I am more of a jeans-T-shirt-shorts kind of person. With me it’s mostly a case of what you see is what you get. But sometimes it does feel nice to dress up and look pretty.

Your hair has a structured cut and feel. Was this especially for ‘Shamitabh’?

I have always been experimental with my hair—cutting it short, growing it long, colouring it purple, etc. A year ago my hair was fairly long (below the shoulder) when Balki sir asked if I would agree to cutting my hair for the film. He wanted something funky, so we discussed styles and I went ahead and got this cut for Shamitabh. I think it looks really good.

How do you put together a look when you are rushed and tired?

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Is there anything you would like to imbibe from the styles of your mom and dad?

I find everything about my father stylish. He carries off a veshti (dhoti) and sattai (shirt) as stylishly as he does a suit. He looks classic, amazing, and killer in a suit. My mother looks gorgeous in a sari, and in everything actually. I can just keep looking at how elegant, beautiful and comfortable she is in a sari. Both my parents carry themselves with their individual styles, which encourages me to do the same—not over the top, but just right.

Do you ever fuse the Tamilian traditional wardrobe with Western wear?

I like each style individually and do not feel the need to fuse styles—at least so far. If the style is Western, let it be so. If it is Indian, let it be so. Each has its own beauty.

Besides Audrey Hepburn, do you have any other style icons?

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What is your opinion of the style sense of your peers in Bollywood?

There is a lot of originality and individuality now. Among my peers I think Alia Bhatt looks casual and comfortable and knows what she can carry off. If I like something my contemporaries are wearing, I would surely ask them where they got it. Our generation knows who they are and are confident being themselves.

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