Trust celebrity stylist Leepakshi Ellawadi to put together stylish outfits wherever she goes. From dressing the likes of Kareena Kapoor Khan, Akshay Kumar and Vicky Kaushal to slaying social media with standout images, the costume designer makes a statement at every step. In conversation with Travel+Leisure India & South Asia, the luxury consultant reveals her favorite city for shopping, trendiest city and more. By Ralan Kithan
T+L India: As a costume designer, are you inspired by your travels?
Leepakshi Ellawadi: Yes! I think there is so much in the world to see and so much to draw inspiration from. When you go to a new place, you realize why certain costumes or certain items of clothing came to that region and changed. There is much to learn from the rest of the world. Traveling plays a very important role in my career and life.
T+L India: What is the trendiest city in the world and why?
Leepakshi Ellawadi: Milan. [The] persons [there] are very casual in terms of their fashion style. I think style comes very naturally to them – from the way they wear a simple white shirt and jeans to the right pair of shoes, everything seems very bespoke. They pay attention to the details of their clothing.
men [of Milan] Try on a lot of fashion too, which is very exciting to see! You don’t have to go to a club or bar to see well-dressed people. You see fashion everywhere, even on the street. There is so much to draw inspiration from in Italy; I get a lot of inspiration from Italian fashion. I did an internship for more than a year with a designer in Florence, a men’s suit maker, because I was very fascinated by Italian men’s fashion.
T+L India: In which city do you like to shop?
Leepakshi Ellawadi: In terms of convenience, I think London is the best city for shopping. It gives you enough choice of designers from all over the world. It has the right mix – from couture to ready-to-wear. It’s a city where fashion arrives very quickly. If it is for a customer, then London is the most convenient place to shop. Otherwise, if you leave it to me to look for very eclectic, cool brands, it’s definitely Paris and Milan.
T+L India: You were in Milan recently. What did you like best about the city?
Leepakshi Ellawadi: I’ve been going to Milan for 15 years and I think I love every corner of the city. It’s full of great food and great fashion. Italy is one of my favorite countries and I’m very influenced by its fashion, culture, architecture, art, food…everything!
T+L India: What is your favorite restaurant and your favorite cuisine?
Leepakshi Ellawadi: Italian cuisine is one of my favorites. Mediterranean is my second favorite. I have a few favorite restaurants in Italy and the Middle East.
T+L India: What kind of traveler are you? Relaxed or active explorer?
Leepakshi Ellawadi: I am both. When I know where I’m going, I’m relaxed. And when I explore a new destination, I become an overactive explorer. I make a list of things and places to visit. I research, buy a travel magazine. I travel light. I try to make my trips more exciting by booking seats at the last minute. [By doing so] You might come across a place that you really like. I have traveled alone a lot and it was exciting!
T+L India: Your best travel memory?
Leepakshi Ellawadi: Travel makes me very happy and i was lucky enough to travel a lot. My work also involves a lot of travel. I make sure I take enough breaks in a year to travel and explore the list of places I want to visit.
T+L India: What’s on your travel bucket list?
Leepakshi Ellawadi: I want to go to South America and explore the whole region. Amazon is also on my list.
Related: “All my collections are inspired by travel” – JJ Valaya, Ace Couturier