She is a blogger, photographer and stylist, all fused into one. An epitome of coherent multi-tasking, a paragon of finesse peppered with just the right amount of intellect, Nupur Singh’s work is beguiling in all true senses. With a glorious career in photography, fashion and the culinary sphere, her eye for aesthetics and style has only translated into something progressive while also being quite rooted. From catalogue designs for Kenzo, food photography for noteworthy brands like The Sassy Spoon and Pali Village Cafe or even a humble photo walk through the rustic, winding lanes of Chor Bazaar, she has done it all, with a colossal amount of passion and expertise. Nupur’s major areas of work are food and fashion, and one can, without any doubt say that she has buoyantly bagged the best of both worlds. Fooshion and Haute Foodure are two of the most interesting concepts Nupur has worked on, the former being a food and fashion e-zine and the latter, a high fashion editorial shoot, where she has tailored visuals in an increasingly ultra-modern way, a way in which food marries fashion to produce an outcome which is as enchanting as enchanting could be. Nupur, a mystic of sorts, talks about her adoration for all things tasteful in a hearty rendezvous with WODROB Magazine.
Can you briefly take us through your career journey?
I was always an academic scholar with a keen interest in art. A few years later, NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) happened where I joined the Fashion Communication department and it became mandatory for all the students to buy a DSLR. Then there was no stopping! I used to carry my Canon 60D everywhere I went, and especially when I went out to eat. Food photography happened gradually – from phone clicks to DSLR pictures to professional shoots. And I eventually developed a knack for food styling as well. Instagram was a new rage then and what better platform to showcase my work, I thought. Since then, there have been endless collaborations, photo shoots and internships. The latest milestone is working with Conde Nast Traveller India as a Photo-Intern.
You essentially work in four spheres: graphic designing, photography, food blogging and culinary arts. How do you manage to be in sync with all of them?
Photography is something that comes to me naturally. It’s a part of my everyday life, an element of my personality. So, it finds its own way! Food is another thing that I am highly passionate about. It literally has the power to alter my emotions and thoughts. Now it’s natural human tendency to do what makes you happy. Hence, I pursue it – food blogging and styling. I don’t think of these as extra efforts, either. Coming to graphic designing, I’d like to credit my college for helping me keep in touch with the subject.
What is style according to you?
It is whatever I feel comfortable in – physically and mentally.
When was it that you realised your personal style?
When I first joined NIFT, I was slightly intimidated by all the glamour & glitz around me. Initially, I tried – not very hard, but I tried – to fit in, give an additional thought to my clothing, go out of my way and wing my eyeliner a little longer, and the like.
But I soon realised how futile these efforts were. For me, style is not something planned. It has to be effortless. Hence, I started sporting a few basics – denim, t-shirts, shirts, joggers – almost all in neutral colours. I did not care what people thought of my straight-out-of-bed look; all that mattered to me was my comfort.
Can you define your personal style? How important is it in today’s age to have the same?
Casual, comfort and chic define my personal style. Design courses can be really taxing; what with freelance photography and blogging, there’s just a lot of running around.
Whether you’re in college or out on the field, your attire must provide freedom of movement, and most importantly, comfort. There’s no point rocking a body-con leather skirt if it doesn’t allow you to pick up the pen you just dropped from your work desk.
I also happen to mix & match a lot of my outfits and do the unexpected. Indo-Western fusion has to the best of its kind for me, whether in fashion or food.
Where do you draw your style inspiration from?
I quite adore Team LAOB (@loveandotherbugs on Instagram). They usually deviate from the mainstream idea of fashion and surprise us each time with their genius experiments. They can make anything look glamorous! Their photo shoots have always oozed sophistication and drama.
In India today, we speak tonnes about expression and individualism. But in terms of fashion and style, do you think we are being individualistic enough?
Indians, I feel, have a sense of insecurity when it comes to fashion. We either have absolute traditionalists or the ones who are beyond smitten by the trends of the West. Even today, a lot of people try to imitate the Western fashion culture, without analysing if it’s really their personal style or not. However, I see that this scenario has begun to gradually change from the past 2 years. With the increasing availability of international fashion houses & brands, consciousness about Indian textiles & handicrafts, the presence of fashion bloggers & influencers, and of course the popularity of style portals like WODROB for instance, the mentality of Indians towards fashion has taken a turn. We are yet to find our individualism, but we are certainly on our way!
Do food blogging and photography demand a certain kind of dressing ritual? How do you usually dress to work?
Since I am interning at a place with proper 9-5 requirements, I dress up in smart casuals. But when I’m shooting, I always wear a pair of joggers with a loose tee and pulled back hair.
A photographer’s job can be demanding – travelling, bending & shooting from different angles, exposure to the sun and heat, and a lot of physical exertion in general. Hence, when it comes to clothing, comfort is the key!
Are you a brand-centric person? If yes, which are your ultimate go-to brands?
I wouldn’t call myself that. I have pieces in my wardrobe ranging from Vero Moda to Colaba Causeway, Allen Solly to ‘stolen boyfriend clothes’. I am not big on shopping either; I just pick up whatever catches my eye. But if I have to name my go-to brand, it would be Zara – nobody does Fast Fashion better than them, and Jack & Jones – I love shopping from men’s clothing sections.
You have quite a strong Instagram following, 64.4k followers to be precise. What really goes into having that kind of an audience?
Honestly, the following never bothered me much. At the end of the day, when I look at my Instagram feed, it should seem aesthetically pleasing to me. I do not plan posts unless I decide to upload a series and dedicate the next 3-6 posts completely to the same.
What are your views on androgyny? Have you practised it at any point?
Androgynous fashion to me is not just a trend, it’s an expression; an effort to blur lines between gender differences. Having said that, I also feel that it’s quite fashionable! There are endless possibilities to explore.
Yes, I have been practising it for a few years. I have at least one piece of borrowed clothing from every good male friend of mine, including my dad. And when I realised that my ‘borrowing’ actually meant ‘keeping it forever’, I even started shopping from the men’s clothing sections.
Is there any fashion advice you would like to share with our readers?
Just do your thing. Forget the rules. Apples and Pears are just fruits, not the definition of your body type. Dress however you want to. And don’t forget to carry it off with confidence.
WM placed a few hypothetical questions in front of Nupur and here are her responses:
What would you wear if you were to attend a one-of-its-kind seminar by Nigella Lawson at the Taj?A printed cotton skirt I got stitched from a local tailor, which happens to be a Puneri Sari fabric. I would pair it with a military green shirt from H&M with a pair of tan brown kitten heels and a few rusty golden accessories.
What would you wear if you were to go on an adventurous expedition on the outskirts of the city?Joggers. T-shirt. Sport shoes.
What would you wear on a brunch date with girl friends?Olive green joggers paired with a classic white shirt from Globus, matching Zara sneakers, the Forever 21 choker, an ethnic necklace I bought from a local exhibition and an oxidised silver kada I picked from a local art fair.
What would your attire be like if you were to attend one of the most famous music festival?A white fringed crop top from Koovs, paired with Vintage Mom Jeans from Zara, white Zara sneakers, gunmetal silver bands from Westside, a black leather jacket from Only and silver jhumkas.