Neha Kapil: Forgotten Bollywood Gems and Feminism
Preview of Cover Feature Neha Kapil's interview in Retrograde 1.2, Made to Destroy
Neha Kapil (@itsnehalicious) is one of our favorite visual artists and fashion designers at the moment. She is an extremely talented American based artist with an Indian heritage, and she focuses on incorporating beautiful vintage Indian bollywood/mythological artwork with modern feminist imagery in her visual artwork. She is incredibly bold and poignant in her work, fearlessly breaking down norms through her makeup artistry, artwork, and fashion designs. We asked her a few questions to get to know her better – here’s what she said:
Retrograde Collective (RC): What are your main influences and inspiration as a visual artist and fashion designer?
Neha: My biggest inspirations come from my Indian heritage and feminism. I feel extremely lucky to come from a part of the world with such a rich, vibrant culture and ancient history. It's hard not to feel inspired by all the diversity and art of our people. I'm also an old soul at heart, so I love all things vintage. Whether it's old Bollywood movies, women in history, mythology, folktales, or outdated fashion trends, I live for all the long lost, forgotten gems.
RC: How does your style aim to destroy conventional fashion norms, especially as an Indian?
Neha: One thing I pride myself in is not being one to follow trends. In fact, I think trends are meant to be broken and norms are supposed to be challenged if you want to change the world. For me, style is all about creating a balance between being one of a kind and using everything that defines you to inspire & educate. Being Indian-American I'm in a unique position where I grew up exposed to the power of Western fashion, but I also understand the generations of immensely intricate, traditional Indian textiles and handiwork that are created with an incomparable amount of detail no mainstream designers can match. When I create looks I try to compose a unique blend of fusion elements that overwhelms you in as many ways as I can. If I can rock a bindi & mang tikka with my high waisted jeans and perspex heels in a way that strikes you, then I'm doing my job of earning your respect for both the creativity and the culture. Being an over-the-top, brown diva is something I hope people will always say "only she can pull that off."
Check out Neha at @itsnehalicious and nehakapilart.com.