KISS – Keep it simple and stylish: Archana’s style mantra
Style is a celebration of individuality. It’s not just about the clothes, accessories, being on top of fashion trends or wearing the latest. Style is about what is unique to you and how you project yourself. It expresses how you perceive and feel yourself in relation to the world around you. Many would say that it’s an expression of who you are; even who you want to be.
We spoke to VJ, model and TV presenter Archana Vijaya, simply known as VJ Archana to many of us. We gleaned that for her, style comes from rich experiences, taking new challenges and knowing oneself. ‘Wear what looks good on you and not what everyone else wears or wants. Style is an extension of you!’ she says.
Here are some excerpts from an interview with her where she shares her spontaneous journey from modelling to TV and to hosting IPL7. You’ll see what we mean when we say that style is an essence that comes from hard-work, experience and enjoying your role in the world. The next time you sulk about that dress or accessory that doesn’t work on you – Remember, they’re made for you; you’re not made for them!
Lenskart: From winning Get Gorgeous Season 1 to hosting IPL to being recently featured on the cover of tech magazine, “Stuff”, how satisfying has your journey been so far?
Archana Vijaya: It has been an extremely satisfying journey. I have been a part of a gamut of things such as modeling, TV shows and now, hosting IPL. It’s really gratifying to get all the love and appreciation that I do. Even though I never thought through my career path, to begin with, things fell in place and it still baffles me sometimes.
When I took part in Get Gorgeous Season One, my mother thought that I’d just be gone for six months and that’s it. But then, I went on to win the show and Channel [V] wanted me to be the face of their channel. Soon after that the Rome fashion week happened. It all fell into place.
LK: You have keen knowledge about the intricacies of cricket. Have you always been a big cricket fan?
AV: I have been into sports since childhood. I used to play basketball in school. I was a regular swimmer back in Kolkata. Cricket…yes, Dad used to watch a lot of cricket. And I used to follow the game as a fan. All that did come in handy when I began doing a lot of cricket/entertainment related work. When Neo Cricket became a huge success, I did more work around the sport and found that I enjoyed it. I also learnt along the way.
LK: How different is hosting IPL from VJ-ing or hosting music and corporate shows?
AV: I get to experience something different with everything I do. And that is stimulating. When I am a showstopper for a ramp walk, it gives me a rush to be doing that. When I am hosting IPL, I get to meet different people, interact with them and that is a different feeling from say, posing for a magazine cover. I thrive on this variety and spontaneity. All of this keeps me from getting bored. All these experiences offer me something to learn and enrich me.
LK: From Cricket Tadka Maarke to Tour Diary, you have been successfully hosting a string of TV shows. Any plans on continuing with the trend, considering that you have already crafted a niche in “cricketainment”, as they call it?
AV: Well, if such an opportunity comes my way, I would be glad to do it. I have become a bit more selective though. So, it really depends on the kind of opportunity and whether I can fit it into my schedule.
LK: Yours is a perfect example of a successful glamorous journey anyone could imagine. But there, obviously, is a lot of hard work and determination that has gone behind it all. What are your thoughts on that?
AV: I would just say that there’s no easy route in life. If you are looking for an easy route, you’d probably just be a flash in the pan. If you are looking for a long-term career, sincerity is the only thing that can get you there. I strictly believe that you just have to give it your best.
For the last one month, I haven’t met my family or friends. So yes, hard work is essential, there’s no shying away from that. But I think the key is to enjoy your work and not get bogged down by it. Keep it simple. Have fun with what you are doing. And you should be fine.
LK: You are always so impeccably dressed. Would you like to share any fashion advice with us?
AV: As I just said, keep it simple. That’s my mantra for dressing up too. KISS – Keep It Simple and Sexy. I do not like clutter in my life or in my clothes. You should wear what suits you, use nice tailored fabrics. Flaunt what should be flaunted.
It’s a good idea to follow your favourite celebrities and style icons but not blindly because what suits them may not suit your body type. Embrace your body type and wear what looks good on you not what everyone else wears or wants. Your style should be an extension of the person that you are.
LK: When you are out and about, you would need to protect your eyes. Is there any favourite style and brand of eyewear that you prefer?
AV: I have over 20 pairs of shades, from Tom Ford to Gucci… Currently, I have my eyes set on these limited edition Dita sunglasses. It’s an American brand that is manufactured in Japan. It’s really expensive so I probably need to save up.
I think it’s really important to buy nice, UV protected lenses. Cheap lenses can be really harmful as protection from the sun is absolutely essential for your eyes. That’s a tip I’d like to give.
Coming back to myself, I like big sunglasses a lot!
LK: Have there been any movie offers that have come your way? And would you consider becoming an actor?
AV: Throughout my career! I have got movie offers coming my way many times, yes. I was never interested in acting. When I first came to Mumbai, it was never on my mind to become an actor.
I got so busy with – being a VJ, modelling, Neo Cricket and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa – all of this that I could never pause and think about getting into the movie industry. But yes, I would like to experience the shooting of a film. I would like to learn about what happens when a film is shot. I would like to do it for the experience of learning new things. To just know what it’s like and how is it different from shooting a TV show or modelling.