Shefalee Vasudev’s Powder Room

Journalist Shefalee Vasudev came to her first book via stints with Cosmopolitan, The Asian Age, anchoring and scripting a Hindi news feature show for DD News, then as founding editor of Marie Claire. It wasn’t long before she realised that where fashion reporting was concerned, all the focus was on trends, products, parties and fashion weeks. No one was writing about fashion as a sociological subject to make sense of our times. Powder Room is an earnest attempt to fill that vacuum. Excerpts from an interview

How did this book come about? Was it something you wanted to do or were you approached by a publishing house with the idea?

Powder Room was an evolving idea. I had made numerous and frequent observations about the polarities and the inside workings of the fashion industry, as also about the spending behaviour of those who could barely afford fashion but wanted, above everything, to be fashionable. During one such chat, Chiki Sarkar, who formerly headed Random House, said there was a book in there. A book contract was signed with Random House and then, of course, the narrative went down other alleys.

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