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beyond borders

Shelly Sarkar


Melbourne-based fashion stylist Shelly Sarkar has a penchant for pared-back style and strong silhouettes. Exploring shape and light with Bhaane’s iridescent Shikandhi dress and Shinjuku jacket she gives us a lesson in understated cool


Tell us about your explorations in the fashion world.


I studied fashion design and have a masters degree in English literature. This led me to the world of fashion marketing and styling. I worked with a number of e-commerce portals in India before moving to Australia. My biggest career milestone was my time as a fashion stylist for Vogue India. 



How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is based on menswear-inspired classic pieces. I like investing in new season accessories to keep those timeless clothes looking modern and relevant. Sometimes I fall in love with a trendy piece and buy it, I would then wear it forever so it becomes my classic. 


What are some forever pieces everyone should own?

My advice is to first know what you like to wear on repeat. Make a note of it. Those are your classics, your base layers so get them in really good quality material. Then move on to trends, the base remains the same and you play with new accessories and trendy pieces. For me a pair of white jeans is a must-have that I like styling with slouchy blazers or tailored shirts



What's a styling trick that lends an outfit an instant air of cool?

Working your antonyms together. Like wearing a suit with elevated flip flops or styling a boho dress with chunky sneakers.



How has minimalism in style influenced minimalism in choice for you?

Less has always been more for me. 

Given that I am a mom of two, I enjoy having a tiny wardrobe because it needs low maintenance.

Limited clothing options allow me to get more creative, to own fewer things that I am bound to choose more thoughtfully.