The Telegraph
Monday , January 7 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nayanika’s style class
Nayanika Chatterjee

Many a model will swear by her grooming tips, especially those who trained under her for Sananda Tilottama and Sananda Srimati. Nayanika Chatterjee is set to hold grooming workshops from January 8-11 at 40A Creative Studio (40A Ballygunge Place, near 6 Ballygunge Place), 4.30pm-7.30pm. To register, you could drop in at the studio or call 40047178/9830543077

A t2 chat on what’s on offer…

Why a workshop suddenly?

It came about suddenly… over the holidays when Sudeshna (Chatterjee, proprietor of 40A Creative Studio and Nayanika’s sister-in-law) had come visiting me in Delhi. It is a new concept in Calcutta. The city needs a lot of grooming.... I will be only grooming girls and I am looking at all age groups.

What do you think Calcutta is lagging in?

People here don’t think grooming is important. Why would you think it is unintellectual? When I say that you should be well-groomed, I am not trying to make you a socialite or a supermodel. I am trying to make you comfortable with what you have… your body, your face and present what you have in the best manner. People in Calcutta wear tussore and silk to summer weddings. Why? Because it looks expensive! You can dress up a simple sari with jewellery. Wear a chiffon or a taant or you could even wear Dhakai.

More than anything, it is about making people comfortable about who they are. I have learnt it the hard way. ‘Your parents are so fair, what happened to you?’ people would ask me. I know because my parents helped me be comfortable with myself, which I think is a very important part of grooming. I am very happy that I was born like this. I have been able to understand that it is okay. It is really okay. My father used to try and explain to me that foreigners die for this colour! After some time, it did not matter to me. My parents let me grow and be.

“Nayanika knows what she does. She is sensitive and patient. She makes a great teacher. This is our first grooming workshop. We have more ideas,” said Sudeshna Chatterjee (right), the daughter of late Rabindrasangeet exponent Suchitra Mitra, who runs her design label Firaangi Desi at 40A Creative Studio. Pictures: Anindya Shankar Ray

So, you are saying grooming has to start at home?

At your home and from inside. You must be confident. See, there are certain things that are changeable. What you cannot change are your features. Learn to look at the better part of it. I might be thin but I don’t have a perfect body, so I wear clothes that underplay the problem areas. My waist is small, so I wear clothes that enhance my waist. Cover your flaws cleverly. That’s what you do with everything else in life. To know how to look presentable or to be able to wear the right clothes and not be in a dilemma — that is a big battle won.

What will you focus on at the workshop?

I am going to teach them how to do their make-up and how to utilise their features. If you have nice eyes or lips, highlight that. I will also talk about what colours suit you. If you are going for lunch, then what kind of a look should you go for or if you are going to a party, then what kind of a look should you sport. When you actually know your implements and know where to apply, then you can just take a look at a magazine and try it. I will talk about clothes. A lot of people don’t know what suits them. I want to teach them about postures too… how to sit and stand. I have seen people in saris sitting with their legs apart! I will teach them a basic walk. I also want to teach formal table settings. If you were to do a formal dinner, you should know how to lay a table. People don’t know the difference between red and white wine glasses.... Most importantly, I will tell them to look at themselves.