“A ‘Covered-Up’ Woman, with All Her Power and Confidence, is So Sexy”

Actor Chitrangda Singh on her love for ’80s fashion, choosing comfort over sky-high stilettos, and urging the young generation to care more about the country.

The Word. Magazine caught up with actor Chitrangda Singh at the launch of Nine West, a New York-based footwear and accessories brand in India.

The Word: How would you define your style?
Chitrangda Singh: “I am guilty of not experimenting with my style. I gravitate towards vintage silhouettes. I like a clean aesthetic…pieces that are classic and well-fitted. They are not exactly sexy, but they are sensous—that’s the kind of vibe that I usually stick with. So, to answer, your question, I would define my style as vintage or classic.”

TW.: Growing up, who influenced your style?
CS: “My father was in the army and, growing up, I observed how everyone was very well turned out. Their clothes were understated, but everyone looked elegant. I suppose that influenced my style.

I also greatly admired Princess Diana. I remember I used to make collages with her photographs from international magazines—whatever I could get my hands on back then. She always looked stunning in whatever she wore, and that impacted my sartorial sensibilities as well.”

TW.: Many people consider fashion an armour. Is there a silhouette you feel empowered in?
CS: “Power dressing certainly holds some magic. I love padded shoulders, pantsuits with double-breasted blazers, and structured silhouettes…I find these styles extremely sexy.

A ‘covered-up’ woman—so to speak—with all her power and confidence is so sexy. There is something so appealing when you don’t see the obvious…and that combination of femininity with power and confidence is amazing.”

TW.: Power dressing adds strength to the personality…tell us what gives you strength when you are having a bad day.
CS: “What gives me strength during difficult times is a good workout.”

TW.: Would you pick style over comfort, or vice versa?
CS: “For me, style is now about being myself while being comfortable. So comfort is a priority for me now. When you’re comfortable in an outfit, your personality shines through.
And the same goes for shoes as well. If you had asked me this question 10 years ago, I would pick really high-heeled, [Christian] Louboutin pointy shoes—and they’re very uncomfortable! So there has definitely been a switch there.”

TW.: Do you think shoes play an important in making or breaking a look?
CS: “I believe shoes are an investment that one needs to make. You could wear a drab pair of jeans with a white T-shirt, but if you have a great pair of shoes to go with it, you can walk into any room and still look well put together.”

TW.: What kind of shoes do you prefer?
CS: “In terms of colour, I like a good pop of colour, like a bright pink or blood red.

TW.: Do you have a funny shoe story for us?
CS: “A long time ago, I wore a gown for an award show, which I paired with block heels. You know the ones with a chunky platform that are a complete fashion sin on the red carpet, especially with a gown? And I was trying to hide them under my gown, and I was photographed with the shoe showing and it’s easily the worst fashion mistake I have made.”

TW. What is the one trend from your younger days that you wish comes back in style?
CS: “I love ’80s fashion! The big hair, baggy jeans, padded shoulders…all of which is trending right now. And then there was Madonna, whose edgy style influenced many.

I remember Kim Cattrall used to wear mesh tops with a striking, neon bra underneath—I hope that comes back in style. I enjoy that kind of raw street-style vibe.”

TW.: What is the best advice you have ever received?
CS: “It wasn’t advice directed at me, but, I remember during a discussion, one of my father’s friends said, ‘Children, today, don’t do what they do for the right reason’. And that stayed with me. What he meant was, we don’t pick a profession because of our talent or because it is our calling… For instance, I became an actor because of my love for cinema, not because I wanted to be famous. Because if you love what you do, you will wake up every day with enthusiasm wanting to do it well.”

TW.: Tell us about our favourite styles from Nine West’s latest collection.
CS: “I don’t follow trends, comfort is my top priority. I like details, textures, and embellishments that make a shoe look interesting, and Nine West has a great range. I also love a pop of colour, like bright pink or blood red. And the shoe needs to be well-crafted…the minute you slip your foot in, you can tell if it is a well-made shoe or not.”

TW.: Lastly, what would you like to use your voice for?
CS: “It is disappointing that many young people today think it is okay to not give a damn. I feel like everyone needs to have an opinion, not just for ourselves, but also our country and society. It is an important part of our lives, and one can no longer just look away. I wish—and it is important—they have a voice, an opinion, and a mind of their own.”

Actor Chitrangda Singh at the launch of Nine West in India
Actor Chitrangda Singh with Deepika Deepti, Head of Marketing, Bata India

The Word. also caught up with Deepika Deepti, Head of Marketing, Bata India, at the launch of Nine West. 

Here’s the excerpt from the conversation:

The Word.: Tell us what sets Nine West apart?
Deepika Deepti: “Nine West’s partnership with Bata is poised to revolutionise the Indian footwear market. Inspired by the modern woman, the collection is undoubtedly bold and sexy. And given the range of options, the brand empowers women to take on the world in style by bringing latest runway styles to the shelves.”

TW.: What are the key styles to look for at Nine West this summer?
DD: “The options are endless! From studded flats for everyday glam to floral kitten heels for brunch dates and sexy stilettoes for when you want to make a statement, Nine West has it all. My personal favourite is the bold pink studded pair of heels paired with a statement monogram tote that can carry my entire world.”

TW.: What is your vision for the brand?
DD: “From one’s morning coffee to evening cocktails, we want to be the partner in style for the empowered, dynamic women of today. We will continue to bring styles that are both iconic and on-trend, ensuring you have everything reflecting the new-age fashion!”