Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
Preeti Dhata, who's been on the Vogue cover, speaks about the men that turn her on, what the fashion business has taught her, and why it is okay to be a size zero.
How long have you been a model?
About three years. I've done a lot of editorial shoots and occasionally I do fashion commercials as well. I've been part of L'Oreal and Royal Enfield commercials. I also walk the ramp a lot.
What do you enjoy more -- being a fashion model or a commercial model?
I love doing editorial photo shoots a lot. There is a great scope for creativity there. Commercials are fine and while I enjoy walking the ramp, it can get a little tiring sometimes.
So, who are the designers you have worked for?
Oh! That would be a long list, but to name a few: Anand Kabra, Manish Malhotra, Wendell Rodricks...
And who is your favourite?
Without a doubt, Rajesh Pratap Singh! He does a lot of androgynous stuff. I've always been a tomboy and I don't really like a lot of feminine silhouettes. After that would be Anamika Khanna!
What would you say your biggest learnings have been in the three years you've been a model?
For starters, I learnt a lot about fashion! I became more fashion conscious, learnt to accessorise... dress up... heck, I even learnt how to wear makeup!
The industry has also made me more disciplined. I used to be a lazy person but now if I have to be on the sets at a particular time, I am there.
Also, having moved from Delhi to Mumbai for work and staying by myself has made me a stronger and a more independent person.
Another big learning was that fashion is a lot of hard work!
'Size zero is fine as long as you're healthy'
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani
What is your advice to aspiring models?
I'd say be yourself. Don't go out of the way to fit in.
Okay, now a little about yourself -- what kind of food do you like?
Indian, home-cooked food!
Your favourite drink?
Your favourite hangout?
Aurus by Juhu Beach...I like it because it's by a beach!
What kind of music do you like?
Rock-'n'-roll, blues and Pink Floyd.
What is your favourite movie?
I love the Coen Brothers and like their film Barton Fink.
What is your favourite book?
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkin -- it is about how people make up beliefs and things that are not true, and the crazy things they do after that.
Your most favourite accessory?
The things you always carry when you leave home?
Lip gloss, sunscreen, kohl and face wipes.
Your idea of a perfect day?
Being at home on a nice summer day, watching movies, music and hanging out with friends.
Your idea of a perfect date?
That would be by the beach.
What turns you off in a man?
Lack of brains, too many muscles and body odour.
What turns you on in a man?
Brains, nice clothes and nice shoes. I also like it if he is individualistic!
If a guy wants to woo you what should he do?
Nothing much... all he needs to do is take me to a great place with great music!
Are you seeing someone?
Yes I am. His name is Mrinal Dutt and he's an actor (he appears in Virgin Mobile ads).
I definitely don't want to get into movies. I plan to move overseas and explore my options there.
What is it like being a dusky model?
In fashion it is a good time to be dusky. Work comes by easily, unlike earlier. Of course, it doesn't apply to commercial modelling. But I know I don't fit in there, so I am not really so concerned about that.
What do you make of this whole size zero business?
I think it is fine as long as you are healthy.
What size are you?