TEJUS& WINI CHOWDUHRY POORNA PATEL
As the FIRST DAUGHTERS of POLITICS, these career-savvy, über-chic women show Bazaar what being in the SPOTLIGHT is all about TEXT BY PRIYA KUMARI RANA PHOTOGRAPHS BY AMIT SHARMA
The lean and model-esque Tejuswini Chowdhury strides into The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi, for the shoot, armed with a black patent-leather Louis Vuitton bag, dressed in a faux-fur jacket, black tights, and Aigner boots. Daughter of the redoubtable ex-union Minister for Health, Tourism, and Women & Child Development Renuka Chowdhury, the stunning 25-year-old, with her short crop of hair, is more Soho than boho, and looks like she’s just stepped off the ramp from New York Fashion Week. Unsurprisingly, she’s modelled in India (though she won’t call herself a model), and was the surprise showstopper for Lecoanet Hemant a few years ago, when she appeared with her head shorn. After studying film at Indiana University in the US, Tejuswini is raring to get into feature film-making with her sister. “We’re both passionate about women’s issues, and want to create a genre of cinema quite like what’s coming now with The Dirty Picture, which is woman-centric,” she says. “We need to put out powerful images of women for young girls to look at, here where female foeticide is through the roof.”
Obviously influenced by her mother’s work, how does Tejuswini deal with being in the spotlight? “It’s a pain in the butt, no doubt. But there’re so many benefits. My mother’s changed so many women’s lives; I see how they show their devotion to her. So I’m like, oh man, it’s okay, you can write what you want; I don’t care,” she says in her soft American twang. She’s gone through her party phases, and where she used to drag her friends out and say, “We have to dance!” Today, she prefers quiet dinners with friends.
Currently living with her parents in Hyderabad, Tejuswini describes her personal style as edgy: “I wear whatever makes me feel powerful, from feminine, delicate power, to a more gangsta power,” she laughs. Dressed head-to-toe in black, one of her favourite colours, she says it’s something her businessman father often disapproves of: “‘Why do you like this mournful colour?’ he asks, but I like how it makes me feel invisible.” She loves to shop at Chanel boutiques, and vintage stores. New York is a top shopping destination, but she prefers the UK for Selfridges, and high-street finds.
In her closet, you’d find “a lot of shiny materials, patent leather, and sequin stuff, and a lot of dresses”, since she enjoys putting on a single piece and “being done with it”. She prefers bags by Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Dior, and ballerinas and shoes by Tod’s, Armani, Versace, and Louboutin. For Indian clothes, she only wears saris, and particularly likes Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani. She also goes for Indo-western outfits by designers like Kamaal Dixit and Vijay Lakshmi.
This jet-setter inherited her flair for fashion from her mother, who was a model before she got into politics. “I learned how to do eye makeup by watching her. She’s always welldressed, even if she’s ill.” Poised to make the shift to Mumbai for her first film project, it’s certain that this young woman will go far.
THIS PAGE: Jacket and pants, Giorgio Armani. Sandals, ` 73,500 (approx),
Christian Louboutin. Earrings, Valentino. OPPOSITE PAGE: From top: Dress, Fendi. Earrings, ` 29,150 (approx), D&G. Bag, ` 71,500 (approx),
Stella Mccartney. Dress, Lecoanet Hemant. Earrings,
` 6,520, Swarovski. Fashion editor: Carol Singh