Malvika Sitlani talks to us on walking the ramp of Lakme Fashion Week 2023 postpartum

Smrithi Mohan
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Malvika Sitlani

We're all queens and each day we are reminded of it because of fashion creators like Malvika Sitlani who walked the ramp of Lakme Fashion Week 2023 5 months postpartum.

It was a wonderful year for fashion with designers going all out on the kind of stories they had to share through their couture. Giving fashion their own twist were celebrities who donned these designs adding to the radiancy of each piece. Many digital creators who have become the face of fashion on social media were also part of this year’s celebration. Malvika Sitlani was a part of the Lakme Fashion Week 2023 fanfare as she opened the show for Guapa and its latest collection.

The creator who is also a new mom was back enjoying the limelight as she displayed the swimwear collection that Guapa had to share with the world with its ready-for-the-beach looks and summer vibes. Malvika, who is known to be a model before becoming a full-time content creator, had the chance to be back on the ramp and she had a lot of emotions to share. We had a conversation with the star herself to learn about her experience of wearing a beautiful collection postpartum, fashion week and so much more.

Also Read: In conversation with Sejal Kumar about bringing her fierce self for Tasva at Lakme Fashion Week X FDCI 2023

Here’s what she had to share!

This is your first time opening a show at LFW, not to forget that it’s 5 months postpartum. What was your LFW experience like this year compared to 2016? 

"I stopped pursuing modelling in 2016 because I started my YouTube career, and it is super special for many, many things because I had never opened a show in my modelling time as well. I was just one of the models, of course, but opening a show for a brand after so many years and being a mom for five months combined, makes it so special. It's a swimwear brand so it can get very intimidating for a new mom to step out in public in a one piece, having that baby belly and still walking without any filters, without any shapewear. I cannot hide behind anything, nor do I want to. So I think the feeling of just stepping on there just empowered me.

When I stepped on the runway, it just all came back to me about why I did this in the first place. I think it makes it even more special now because I am doing it for a purpose. So many moms wrote to me as well, saying thank you so much for actually doing this and making it OK so that we can wear a one piece as swimwear too because you could clearly see my post belly a little bit, and I feel like I have never seen my body that way ever before. Keeping all of that in mind, this was a very special show for me, and it holds a very special place in my heart in general. And the experience was incredible. Like the rush was chaotic behind. I forgot how chaotic it can be outside because I was so sheltered at home all this time with my baby. But yes this will always hold a very special place in my heart, and make it extra special because of the five-month postpartum just showing up on the runway in the public eye."

Tell us a bit about Guapa and the collection that you walked for!

"It was full of prints and colours, and the collection depicted comfort and fun. That's what Reby wanted to speak about. And I think the point that I wore was so fun. Firstly, I stayed away from colour and print, and the fact that the designer chose to put me in colour and print was so bold, and I felt really good as well. With the bomber jacket on top, she made sure that I was comfortable and made sure I wore sneakers. The collection is all about you. You can wear your heels and look fancy, but you can also wear your sneakers and look casual.

So I really like what Guapa was going for. I know she said herself that everybody's doing prints and everybody's doing bold colours, but she felt like this spoke to her brand the most, so she stuck with it. And I personally think Reby, the designer of Guapa, has a very bold personality but is also very kind like she will fight for what she wants. And I feel like she did that this season with her collection, and it was such a fun collection. Everybody that I met said the Guapa show was so much fun to watch and it reminded us of a vacation, which is exactly what she wanted to depict with her collection. So yeah, it was full of music and fun."

Creators have been walking the ramp and opening for designers as well. What place do you think creators hold in events like LFW and how do they impact the fashion industry?

"I truly believe that content creators are not here to take on the jobs of models, and I really think that models do a fantastic job of displaying the garments so beautifully, and we are just there for brand awareness. I believe that designers pick us to walk for their brands, whether it's opening, putting us in the middle, or closing the show for more brand awareness because of our loyal following. If there is a whole niche audience that has never heard of a brand, they get to know about it via content creators. And I think that's why the designer wanted me to walk for their show and also, of course, embody that mamas can also wear their swimwear and wear it comfortably, and you can show off your body.

So that's a whole other piece that I can bring to the table considering I am a mom and I have such a loyal audience. So I feel like brands are just trying to target a wider audience by picking influencers and creators to walk for their brand. I don't think we will ever be able to replace runway models and we don't even want to.  They do their job fantastically, and they are literally who we go to watch, like these beautiful models wearing the garments so beautifully, right?"

What was your favourite show so far?

"Besides my own show, I went for Falguni Shane and 43-188. I think 43-188 was such a stellar collection. It was something that was new for me to see metallic sarees; it was very fluid sarees that I'd not seen before. For someone like me, I'm very basic, but I think doing something like that would be so experimental for my portfolio. So, when I sat and watched 43-188, I literally pictured myself walking in these garments or wearing them to events and actually experimenting with my fashion. If a brand can do that for me, I think it's worth watching because I think it's a mix of something new. But it also keeps you very warm; it's like a pantsuit or a saree, but it's not.

It's not completely out there, but it just gives a little bit of a twist with the material, the fabric, and the texture that they're using, which I think I'm open to experimenting with. So I think 43-188 really took me by surprise, and Falguni and Shane know how to put on a show. I think having the whole band on stage captivated like no other and wearing a sweatshirt on a golden slit skirt is something that I would never do. But now I can see why they do it. So I think Falguni and Shane also just came out with such beautiful comfortable wear while also being super designers and fancy. So these two shows were my favourites."

Malvika Sitlani

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