Gaurav Bhatia has a keen eye — be it at work, as managing director of Sotheby’s India, curating his wardrobe, or this article (perfecting every quote and photograph). The former marketing director of Moët Hennessy India often sums up style as ‘great conversation’, but it is never that simple. After all, the man who gave up a trip to the Bahamas to buy his first painting would be as single-minded when it comes to his other passion. A true gentleman, with a love of double-cuffed white shirts and an enviable collection of jamavars, the Mumbai ‘boy’ deconstructs his classic tastes.
1. Your style.
I would like to think elegant. I like beautiful things, but am really quite nonchalant.
2. What inspires it?
3. What do you look for?
Quality, comfort and tradition. I enjoy fashion’s nod to heritage with a forward thinking savoir faire.
4. Where do you shop?
In Europe, usually in the summer, between mid-morning Camparis. Rome, Florence, Berlin and Jaipur have artisanal brands. Barney’s in New York has been a one-stop-shop since I lived in the city in my 20s.
5. Where do you get your shirts and suits tailored?
The Italians cut great shirts and suits. Shibumi in Florence has impeccable tailoring. Sartoria Rossi in Rome, Charvet in Paris and Anderson & Sheppard in London are great. I don’t usually buy ready-made.
6. Your outfit today.
A very English blue suit by Anderson & Sheppard, a white cotton shirt, monogrammed, with French cuffs by Charvet. My tie is from Battistoni and cufflinks from Gem Palace. It’s more industrious than it sounds.
7. Any shoe fetishes?
Buying at Berluti, over macchiatos. Their Cognac Oxfords are like sculpture. Fratelli Rossetti makes very comfortable shoes. I just bought a pair of Wedgwood blue suede tasselled loafers from them.
8. Your watch and jewellery?
I’ve worn a vintage Rolex oyster perpetual for years. Patek Philippe is elegant. I don’t wear jewellery, just a simple gold wedding band. I recently bought a turquoise ring from Pomellato. It reminds me of Portofino and the ocean.
9. Your go-to eyewear brand?
Cutler & Gross in London. I also like the quirky styles at Lafont in Paris. For shades, Persol is classic.
10. Love for details…
The pocket square adds humour to any jacket. I wear simple linen ones from Simonnot-Godard in the summer and pure pashmina ones in the winter. I like a touch of India with whatever I wear.
11. You smell of?
My day fragrance is E Marinella’s signature EDT — light and fresh for the Indian summer. Santa Maria Novella’s Acqua di Sicilia is for evenings; it evokes late summer in a Sicilian orange orchard. For a night out, it’s Mr. Marvellous by Byredo.
12. Your Indian pick?
Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla’s chikan kurtas with pure mul Aligarhi pyjamas. For special occasions, I have Art Deco emerald-and-diamond buttons. Rathore cuts a mean bandhgala and I think wearing khadi is cool.
13. Your off-duty signature?
I’m a wanderluster at heart, so it’s mul block printed shirts from Jaipur, Seven jeans and kolhapuris in juicy summer colours. People have stopped me on the streets in Tuscany to ask me where my kolhapuris were from!
14. Bags and luggage?
I travel with a vintage Louis Vuitton keep-all that I inherited. I think it’s cool. Tumi has great luggage. Rue De Verneuil makes the perfect weekend tote. My work bag is a beaten leather aged tote from some shop in Naples I can’t remember.
15. When jet-setting?
Long sleeved tees from James Perse, jeans, an overcoat by Loro Piana, and a pashmina stole. Janavi does great cashmere wraps for flights. I hate air plane blankets.
16. Fashion indulgence…
Shawls. I can never have enough. I collect jamavars and pure pashminas with gentle sozni embroidery. They remind me of Mughal miniatures. I hoard cashmere sweaters from Brunello Cucinelli and Loro Piana.
17. Most stylish places?
Museums and art galleries. And gourmet food stores — I love shopping for cheese, Champagne and caviar. I love Africa and renaissance towns of Cortona, Pienza and Montepulciano. Villa di Piazzano has so much style.
18. Who do you think has style?
My sons. They are eleven and seven. Maybe it’s the travel. I like to think it’s in their genes. Their mother is very stylish.
19. Great style is…
Collecting art, how you make a martini, fresh mogras in summer, truffle hunting in the San Miniato hills, Spaghetti Sundays at home and racing vintage Ferraris. That’s style to me.
20. Your best accessory?
Good manners. I think that’s real style.
The first in a series that takes you inside the wardrobes of some of India’s best dressed.