My Style: Navaz Batliwalla

Portrait of blogger Navaz Batliwalla, founder of Disney Roller Girl

Photo: Courtesy of Navaz Batliwalla

Who taught you what you know about style?

Pop stars. Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, The Clash. I love the little details they employed in their looks, the styling as opposed to the individual items they wore. I really love focusing on the minor elements — the depth of a turn-up or the way a sweatshirt is tied around someone's waist. Certain stylists like Ray Petri and Caroline Baker influenced me later, during the androgynous late 80s and 90s.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Wearing clothes that don't fit is one of the worst things you can do, especially as things shrink or stretch or you don't realise that your shape has changed over time.

Do you believe in role models?

For fashion? Not really. I tend to steal little bits of people's style and apply them to myself, but that might be Robert Rauschenberg's casual way with a sweatshirt or the way someone on a blog has tied their scarf. I wouldn't slavishly copy one person's style — what would be the point?

What are your favourite fabrics?

Cashmere, denim, wool. I like utilitarian fabrics or luxury — nothing in between!

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

I wouldn't wear an outfit with all the accessories in matching colours but that said, I think it's quite sweet on a teenager. I'm not a fan of dark socks with a light shoe.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

I love those bourgeois women of a certain age from Paris.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

90% conservative, 10% bold.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

I have to wear clothes that are warm and comfortable — I have a fear of being cold! I wear a lot of denim and casual clothes but I'm trying really hard to mix in more smart things. I do love classic luxury items, like Hermès bags and watches (who doesn't!), Church's shoes, cashmere sweaters… so I try to have a balance between something easy and comfortable, plus something a bit posher to elevate it.

Celebrities and style...

Don't necessarily have anything to do with each other. There are very few celebrities who have a truly unique sense of style. I think genuinely creative people — artists, designers — put themselves together in the most inventive ways.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Levi's t-shirts. The LVC ones are really nicely cut with loose proportions. They just have a pocket, no branding or unnecessary details.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I check the weather the night before, check my diary so I know what I'm dressing for and try to have it planned in my head so I can have an extra 15 minutes in bed. Living in London is a bit of a pain fashion-wise most of the time — you always have to dress for the possibility of rain!

Your biggest regret is...

I really wish I'd gotten my hands on one of those Carven collars from last season. They sold out in about 2 seconds. Ditto for the Stephen Sprouse Louis Vuitton wallet. Other than that, I don't do regrets.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

Proportion, proportion, proportion!

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I'm very focused and targeted and I like to shop quickly and alone. And I don't shop online; I like the element of surprise you get from going in shops and discovering things. My only ritualistic thing is getting home and trying whatever it is on with the entire contents of my wardrobe. That’s the fun bit!

We will never see you wearing...

Anything obviously sexy. Thigh high splits, plunging cleavage, push up bras, stripper heels, Hervé Léger, all leave me cold.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

Paul Simonon — I have a book of Bob Gruen pictures of The Clash and it never fails to inspire.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her hair. Hair is very important as a style signifier.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

Jean Seberg meets Alice Temple on the cover of i-D. That kind of tomboy look was big in London in the 80s and it always stayed with me.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

If you care about style, it's quite possible to be comfortable and stylish — just look at Jane Birkin.

The best word of advice you have ever heard?

No one will be looking at you!

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