Jason Lloyd Evans for Dior
Couture Fashion Week is off to a good start, and it’s off to a flying start. Just a day in the shows and not only Schiaparelli’s animal heads divided the internet, but Maria Grazia Chiuri presented a beautiful collection for Dior inspired by Josephine Baker. In the front row of this seated show Bridgerton star Charithra Chandran, who looked incredibly chic in a sheer dress and blazer.
We caught up with the actress just before she headed to the show, where she talked about her love of fashion and why the team around her is key to her confidence.
Can you tell us about your look?
I’m wearing a structured, knitted blazer with a beautiful gold collar and a sheer skirt with lace up boots, which are definitely my favorite part of the outfit. I’m so excited about how comfortable it is and it fits perfectly, which is very rare – I didn’t need any alterations. I feel like it’s really sophisticated – I saw it in the collection and remember thinking it was really cool, so I’m really glad I got to wear it.
What makes Dior suit your style so well?
Like I said, a lot of other brands require a lot of modification for me. Dior pieces often require the least modification, which is not only practical, but makes them feel like they were made for me. But more important is how the brand embodies femininity and the female form for me. I love how the brand has grown and progressed as notions of femininity have changed. I think he really embodies modern femininity, and that’s very special to me.
How involved are you in the styling process?
Quite involved – I really love fashion and I especially love fashion history so I love being part of the process. At the same time, I think humility is really important. The people I work with, like my stylist Holly White or my hair and makeup team, are all way more skilled than me, so I definitely let them take the lead. I will always have an opinion and share my point of view so it’s a bit like a collaboration and back and forth, but I always rely on their expertise. It would be so stupid of me not to pay attention to what they say.
What kind of outfits make you feel the most confident?
Personally, I love sewing. I’m quite petite and curvy, so a well-fitting garment makes me feel really confident and comfortable in my own skin.
I think I’ve always been like that – as a teenager, I was pretty preppy, I was very influenced by Blair Waldorf. I’m sure everyone my age was. Obviously I’ve moved away from that, but I definitely still have elements of it – the stitching and the clean lines. I definitely lean more towards the artistic nature of fashion.
How did your confidence develop on the red carpet?
I mean, the red carpet is absolutely crazy, and at first I was really scared. It was a new experience, and new experiences tend to be scary. But also, it’s natural to feel embarrassed – I was worried because I wasn’t 6 feet tall and I wasn’t super skinny, but as soon as gratitude kicks in, you remember luck that you have to be able to wear these beautiful things and be at these incredible events. I try to ignore those insecurities and just enjoy the moment, and the more experience you gain and the more you grow as a person, the more confident you become. Now I don’t want to change – I work with what I have and have fun.
What was your most memorable fashion moment?
Growing up, like most kids, I loved all things sparkly – and there was this famous Indian movie star who always wore those super sparkly outfits. I remember watching and begging my dad for something similar. He went to a fabric store and bought a sparkly fabric and had a similar outfit made by a tailor. It was so special!
Most recently I loved the dress I wore to the Dior show last June – it was a dramatic black dress with feathers, lace and tulle, I felt so confident. And then I love the Carolina Herrera dress that I wore at the Bridgerton premiere, it was just perfect for the evening – and I love adopting the theme of the project I’m working on.
What is your ideal prep setup?
This is a team that I know and trust. It’s really nice to be able to have very open and honest conversations with the people around you, to help you feel confident about what you’re going to wear. And of course, I need a lot of Beyoncé songs — I think my glam squad is probably very bored of my prep playlist.
What personal style do you admire?
I have one person I’m obsessed with on Instagram – Amanda Murray. I love her personal style, even though it’s so different from mine, she has such a great knowledge of fashion and its history, and I like to take inspiration from her.
Fashion has a reputation for being frivolous, but why does what we wear matter?
This question is always very interesting to me. Of course, fashion matters, especially these days. Fashion – especially personal style – is about the identity and expression of ourselves and our value system. But at the same time, why does everything have to be so serious? It’s not life or death. I think fashion can just be fun and entertaining. Humans need joy, we need happiness. I would argue that these are actually the most elusive and valuable human experiences – and fashion can bring that to us.