Twelve years in advertising, and signing off as a Creative Director with Publicis Capital, Runjhun is now exploring a whole new dimension of kid’s styling with her venture – Catch Them Young. She asks, “If we instil a sense of styling and expression at an early age, wouldn’t there be more creative and stylish people and a happier world around us?” Yes, indeed!
Meet this camera-shy artist, for whom creativity in any form — from designing her clothes, drawing, and writing, to cooking — is a way to express herself. Everything about Runjhun and around her is aesthetically designed – her home has a nice rustic, industrial feel, and her clothes that she largely designs herself have minimalistic, earthy charm. So, as Runjhun warmed up for the cameras, her beautiful cats sauntered in and out for the camera. Runjhun rues, “ I love animals. We humans have so much to learn from them. Specially cats!”
Runjhun is a free spirited being “I get excited by the infinite possibilities of creating something, be it a dress or something else. But, having said that, I like to keep my work simple and as natural as possible.”
Ask her what inspires her the most and pat comes the reply – “Japan.” Sharing enthusiastically, Runjhun says, “Right from their (Japan’s) history, culture, art, food, cinema language to fashion and more, I am in awe of how aesthetically evolved they are in everything. Everything in Japan is touched by design, beauty, Zen and it excites me very much. She adds, “I love how they inculcate the philosophy of doing everything with awareness. There is so much simplicity and beauty in it.”
Rich textiles, fabrics, texture, colours, cuts and styles also fascinate Runjhun. “I tend to pick wardrobe items that bring out thought, hard work, and creativity of the artist /designer /creator in a non-fussy way. And I extend my personality through what I wear”.
Runjhun – the kid’s stylist
WM: What made you transition into kid’s styling?
RJ: I believe it empowers a child and makes them more confident, when he or she is involved in choosing their wardrobe. Involving them requires understanding their tastes and reasons behind their choices. Further, in India, this segment is fairly new and it has endless creative possibilities. And, this makes kids’ styling challenging, fun and creative.
WM: How do you imbibe your inspiration in kids’ styling?
RJ: I love the process of merging one’s originality with fashion amidst so many permutations and combinations, while bringing simplicity and beauty in it – this is what really inspires me.
WM: How do you bring out a child’s personality through style?
RJ: Many factors come into play, when it comes to understanding a child’s personality. This includes, their parents, background and personal likes and dislikes. I connect all these things together, and work towards retaining the child’s personality and up his or her style quotient.
WM: Any celebrity kid you’d love to style?
RJ: I would love to style Grace Vanderwaal, a twelve year old uber talented singer and Ukulele player who was discovered on America’s Got Talent. Another celebrity kid I would love to style is Harshaali Malhotra. I would also love to be a part of Junior Idol in India, and help the young participants find their most stylish expressions through their musical journey.
Runjhun – thecreative and free-spirited being
WM: How would you define your personal style?
RJ: It’s mild, understated and free-spirited.
WM: What are the elements we will always find in your wardrobe?
RJ : You will always find a black T shirt, easy flowing Japanese inspired pants, a comfort shawl or a scarf.
WM: Which is your favourite colour?
RJ: I love black. It’s so versatile and one can do so much with it.
WM: What accessories are you fond of?
RJ : My staple accessories would include my nose pin and long lashes with mascara.
WM: What kind of bags do you like?
RJ: I love my Japanese bag – Randoseru! It’s the traditional Japanese school bag –only mine’s brown leather.
Another bag I am fond of is from Matt & Nat. I like it for its shape, design and colour. I also have some potli/purses gifted by my mother. She got these made exclusively by karigars and they have some impeccable detailing.
WM: How about shoes?
RJ: I love shoes that have a language of their own, and yet are understated.
I like handcrafted shoes and I always keep them nicely packed.
WM: One thing we will never see you wearing?
RJ: I will never be found wearing peddle-pushers and a salwar kameez with white lace. They’re not at all flattering and are in fact, tacky.
WM: Do you have something that you can never get rid of from your wardrobe?
RJ: I am usually fond of de-cluttering and keeping my space simple. But there are these pieces I can’t get rid of that have memories attached to them. I still have a green shawl, which I bought with my mum and the first ever dress that my husband gifted me when we were dating. For me, these are understated pieces of love in my wardrobe.
WM: Do you have upcycled stuff in your wardrobe?
RJ :I am deeply inspired by my mum and her taste in Indian clothes. She is simply the best in understanding Indian fabrics. So when I go home, I always pick up something she no longer wears and up cycle it into a new piece for myself. I have kalamkari dresses, brocade skirts and ikat tops up cycled from my mum’s clothes.
WM: Which are your favourite fashion designers?
RJ: I love the collections by Yohji Yamamoto, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham.
WM: What’s your take on organic clothing for kids?
RJ : It’s a great idea – It’s sustainable living, comfortable on skin and simplified.
Last, but not the least. Styling tips by Runjhun
WM: Any tip for parents who look forward to style their kids?
RJ : One thing I would like to suggest is parents must have fun while experimenting with kids’ hairstyles and encourage them to try new things. If the hair is sorted, it’s easier to carry off most looks.
WM: Any don’ts for the parents?
RJ : Please stay away from itchy synthetic fabric.