Contrary to the way things might have come off on the show, I actually think it’s important to sometimes stand back and give other people a chance to style for Markus and Indrani. We work together as a team, not just on set, but around the clock. The end result is the product of all of that creative tension and synergy. On the other hand, I know it’s important to maintain a certain amount of perspective so you don’t become creatively stagnant or overly self-referential. Working with other people on different kinds of projects is also very important and helps keep us centered artistically. And hopefully we can all bring that energy back to the team.
I sometimes forget how much respect Markus and Indrani have for me in this regard, and I think it showed in their desire to come out and support me during the Thuy fashion show I styled, even though they were in the midst of preparing for a shoot for Cosmopolitan. This part of our relationship might not get as much attention from the cameras, but we really want to see each other evolve and succeed as individuals.
We also get a chance to understand each other better when we see each other from a new perspective. That’s part of the reason why I was so excited to travel to Indrani’s home in India and see where she grew up. The other reason, which wasn’t mentioned on the show, is that I actually spent part of my childhood growing up in a boarding school in northern India. So although I’d never been to Calcutta before, in some ways it felt like coming home for me too.
India is a very personal and spiritual place for me. There’s a lot going on, there are people everywhere and the climate can be really hard on you if you're not prepared. So while I could understand why this might be a shock for Markus, the environment really resonated with me, and I saw a lot of potential for our shoot.
Indrani’s family’s palace was breathtaking. Emerging from the vines and jungle you could see countless layers of history stacked on top of each other. The place had a mysterious and enchanting ambiance, which I knew would come through even though we were working with a small crew and limited resources. Even though Indrani had been away from modeling for some time, I knew that her relationship with this place would shine through if I could make her feel comfortable and at ease.