She’s timeless as diamonds.
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
When Mittall Chirag Shah swanned down the staircase of her beautiful penthouse flat to meet me, I admit that one word came to mind: aspirational. Dressed in a chic, mint-green workout outfit that showed off her defined abs, I would never have guessed that the mother-of-two had kids that were exiting their teenage years, or that she was also balancing the family jewellery business and their household, on top of travelling the world for work.
“I live to eat, not eat to live,” she reveals with a laugh. “It’s my biggest weakness, which is why I have made sure to work on my body and wellbeing. I ended up developing a lifelong passion for fitness and especially yoga.” As she walks me through her different looks, she talks about the other loves in her life, including her family, art, poetry, and cooking. “I’m especially passionate about poetry,” she tells me. “In my free time, I love sitting down and writing my thoughts or poems. I also love cooking and innovating a simple dish; giving it a new taste and look.”
The creativity running through her veins can clearly be seen in her eye for detail and mixing and matching outfits and jewellery, but she reveals that it also served her well in business. “I was brought up in a diamond family,” she recalls. “But merely having knowledge was never enough. I learnt the whole diamond course and after marriage, I attempted to pursue it. Because art has always been my biggest passion, alongside cooking, I wanted to incorporate my designs one way or another. Due to my strong suit in business, I elevated my designs and realised there was a demand for my products, and at the same time, my husband had started his diamond trading business. Because of this, my dream as a small-town girl, of having people see my vision, came true.”
Nevertheless, she reveals that she took a step back from business for a while to pursue her true love: her family. “Working alongside my husband, I realised that I wanted to prioritise my duty as a mother instead of my passions for the time being,” she says, with no regrets. But this hasn’t stopped her from creating art wherever she goes, not the least in her timeless sense of style. “I push to present myself in a sophisticated but chic manner,” she says when I ask about how she’d describe her fashion sense. “I like to dabble with different trends and colour themes. I’m very particular with what I wear, which has inspired not only my dressing but also my personality. I’ve never tried to fit in because I was born to stand out!” she concludes with a laugh. But despite this, she prefers comfort at heart: “My biggest priority is always comfort; what will not only look good but sustain me for the whole day through my busy schedule.”
Because of this, she doesn’t prioritise luxury brands, but what helps to represent her best self. “Travelling has also been a big factor in my style,” she says. “By visiting different countries, I get access to different outfits and accessories. This has inspired me to design my outfits through the lens of different cultures and trends. Although I regularly carry brands in my outfit, my wardrobe consists of a variety of small businesses that I love to wear due to their unique style. I feel as if my creativity has increased over the years, and I enjoy reflecting that through my outfits.” As a jewellery designer, however her jewellery comes from her own creative mind: “I’m frantic about jewellery. I personally customise each and every piece of mine. If you ask me, I’ve always preferred a heart-shaped diamond,” she says, with a cheeky grin at her doting husband.
As for fashion advice? “Don’t try to fit in. Usually people feel safer or less judged if they show themselves the way that everyone else does, but I’ve created my own style by wearing what I want to wear, with no regard to what someone else would think. Be your authentic self.”
Who would you say was your Bollywood style icon, and why?
Shilpa Shetty because I feel like I can relate to the way she dresses. I also look to Sushmita Sen because she represents women’s empowerment. A quote from her that has really stuck with me is:
Hum kisi se khusiya mangey
Yesh humey manzoor nahi
Mangi hui khushiyo se
Kiska bhala hota hain
Jitna apni takdir main likha hain
Woh jaroor ada hota hain.
Basically, we may ask for happiness, but whatever is written in our destiny will be given to us, no more and no less.
Fit for a Queen
Proving that keeping fit is indeed worth it, Mittall is ready to take the gym by storm in her mint-green work-out outfit: “Fitness is my passion. I wake up at sunrise so I can do two hours of yoga a day, and an outfit like this makes sure that I can be comfortable while I work out.”
East Meets West
Mittall shines in a sweeping black Indo-western evening gown from a local Indian designer replete with coloured sequins. Mittall also wears jewellery that she herself designed: “I was walking through a market, and this woman was working on this, and I liked it so much I told her I’d pick it up. I really liked the sequins – they’re different from most Western gowns, and the colours bring life to the whole gown.”
Flirting with Tradition
Chic and eye-catching in a lehenga and drape designed by Simran Fashion from Chandigar, Mittall designed the jewellery that she’s wearing, except for the polki which is from India. The belt is from Sabyasachi: “I asked Simran to customise it for me with colours I chose: I love these colours because you can club it in with anything, and it looks very trendy. These days we don’t want heavy work, just good styling and cut, and drapes.”
Rhapsody in Blue
Mittall is resplendent in a sapphire-blue sari from a designer shop in Mumbai, with jewellery designed by her and made by her own jewellery house: “When I bought it seven years ago, this ruffle styling was only done by Gaurav Gupta but I wanted to be ahead of the game. It’s modern, and ahead of its time.”