Popular musicians from Hyderabad talk about the thought that goes into their stage attire
Dressed to impress
Style speaks a thousand words before we do, and that’s probably why we’ve always been told that the first impression is the best impression. Making a good impression is even more important for performing artistes like musicians who they need to have an impeccable sense of style when on stage. When you spend your hard-earned money to watch someone entertain your blues away, presentation goes a long way in making that happen — from the setlist, stage set up, attire and more.
Curious to find out what they love to wear and why they dress up the way they do, CE speaks with popular musicians in the city to learn what goes behind the preparation and effort they put into looking presentable as they entertain audiences. They take us through their fashion lane and share what they love to wear while performing live.
Pranati Khanna, singer and artiste from Hyderabad, likes to keep her style light and comfortable. “For me, anything light works — preferably tops and shorts and something that I can jump around with. My signature style as Peekay is bohemian-rugged chic. But as a jazz singer, I dress the opposite. It’s more pants and blouses or dresses and jackets. I’m told I have a signature style and I am supposedly stylish (laughs). I enjoy making a statement with anything I wear on stage. My performances are of high energy and so I need to be comfortable.”
Sravya Kothalanka, better known as Lady SKAvya, is a singer and a painter, whose fashion is all about being versatile. “I’d describe my style as comfortable yet versatile. I prefer casuals. I never go with whatever is the current trend, it is always about rediscovering and reinventing different things I can sport.” Sravya credits her mother for her fashion sense. She shares, “Earlier, my mother was my style expert and now, half of my statement wardrobe is what she left behind. She was the original ‘gangsta fashionista’. If I like a pair of jeans a lot, I can wear them for over a decade. I wear my mother’s jeans from the ‘90s, they’re more than 30 years old.”
Boots, cut shots and tank or crop tops are Sravya’s go-to attire. “Currently, my style statement is the jewellery I design (Wichitralu). Most times I am very subtly dressy and use dark eye makeup. Also, I am more into body decor and modifications — if my whole sleeve was one tattoo, I have around 13 tattoos, which are costlier than my clothes!”
Popular band in the city, Capricio, sometimes turns to designers to get their look right. “Years ago, we never cared about how we dressed to the events we performed at, but as we started getting popular, we began to take this up seriously. We get in touch with designers a week or month in advance if it’s a big event. We have worked with some accomplished designers in the past and recently started work with Swayamwar for some of our outfits. We also worked with brands such as HiLo Design and are more than happy to have others help us out. We usually ask our clients about the kind of audience, theme, set up and occasion, and dress accordingly,” says Sai Teja, the percussionist.
Singer Anjali Sankaran, whom Hyderabadis adore, shares her fashion secret with CE. “When I am on stage, I don’t want to be thinking of what I’m wearing. The idea is definitely to be as comfortable as possible because I move around and occupy all of the stage, however huge it is. That kind of reflects in the clothes that I choose to wear. Many a time, I’m wearing boots and if I’m wearing heels, they are the most comfortable ones. When in Hyderabad, I wore a lot of T-shirt dresses which were more on the casual side. I do curate my look and seek to look effortless.”
When it comes to makeup, Anjali has no fixed type. “I sometimes use heavy or lighter make-up. I avoid restrictive skirts and low-neck tops because I don’t want to be worrying about it.”