Your Life: Ridhima Makhija

The co-founder of Artinmywardrobe, which specialises in handcrafted luxury apparel and accessories, is passionate about slow fashion and its artisanal value. She chats to us about her life, style icons and the new resort collection launching this month.

By Leigh Herringer
Ridhima Makhija, co-founder of Artinmywardrobe, is passionate about the heritage and tradition behind her clothing lines

To me, luxury is the wholesome experience of the sweet and deliberately slow pursuits of my heart’s desires for coveted pieces and experiences. It’s taking time to savour not only the tangible aspects of the purchase but also the intangible – the journey of when, where, and how is at the very centre of my understanding of luxury.

A day in my life usually consists of Zoom calls with my team and managing client orders and queries. I always make time to meditate – this brings a sense of calm for the next part of the day, which is dotted with school runs, extracurriculars, content creation and decompressing with a workout and family time.

My essential travel items are a paperback book, Avène Thermal Spring Water spray and a pocket-sized journal to pen any ideas.

My most treasured possession is a long fabric border from my great-grandmother’s wardrobe that is hand embroidered in gold. My grandmother inherited this piece, which in time was passed on to my mother and then me. I had it sewn into one of my outfits for my pre-wedding celebrations. The piece is very delicate now, so I plan to have it restored and framed.

My style icons are Patricia Field from her Sex and the City era, fashion designer Law Roach and my mother.

Three items I’d like to add to my wardrobe this summer: The Sonya Dress from our collection, Craft Core (I’m always the last to get my share!); The Loewe Puzzle Bag and a dramatic hat made by milliner Crystal Birch.

The Sonya Dress from Artinmywardrobe’s new resort collection, Summer Faire
The iconic Loewe Puzzle Bag

My Watch: A vintage Longines that my father-in-law lovingly passed on to me, even though my husband asked for it first!

My Sunglasses: I still have my Chanel sunglasses that I bought with my first salary from LK Bennett in London, but I wear classic Fendi tortoiseshell frames.

The Chanel sunglasses Ridhima bought with her first salary while working at LK Bennett in London

My Sneakers: Gucci GG embossed white sneakers.

An everyday favourite – Gucci GG embossed leather sneakers

The beauty products I can’t live without are Juliette Has a Gun by Romano Ricci; Christophe Robin hair products and an eye kohl pencil I get back home in India.

Juliette has a gun by Romano Ricci is Ridhima’s signature scent

The best gift I recently received: A close friend had a local artist recreate a beautiful memory of my son and our fur baby from a photograph onto a canvas. She gave it to me on my birthday this year and I will treasure it for life.

My greatest inspiration comes from the writings of Japanese philosopher Dr Daisaku Ikeda.

The place that means a lot to me is Bora Bora, French Polynesia. I was at a strict all-girls boarding school in India and our access to the outside world was limited. Anytime someone smuggled in a copy of Vogue, the queue to get your hands on the fashion gospel was a mile long. I remember reading about these beautiful islands and putting them on my bucket list. Fifteen years later, the dream came true. I still say hello in Tahitian sometimes, Ia Ora Na (pronounced as yo-rah-nah).

On holiday in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

To relax and unwind, I read: I’ve just finished The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese – one of the best books I have read. I also practise Buddhist chanting daily.

My guilty pleasure is fabric-buying sprees. The ones we use at Artinmywardrobe have high artisanal value and even if we don’t have a design in mind or the sourcing season has closed, if a fabric catches my eye, we will buy it.

Artinmywardrobe’s Raie Dress is completely block printed and tailored by hand. (Model – Kyla Jade Goode)

Favourite restaurant: Busaba, a Thai restaurant at St Christopher’s Place in London. I worked close by at LK Bennett’s head office. St Christopher’s Place is dotted with beautiful fashion and lifestyle boutiques that had to be taken advantage of during lunch hour!

I collect bookmarks and letters; I have almost every letter written to me at boarding school.

In my fridge, you’ll always find Kimchi; a friend got me hooked and now I eat it with every meal.

The best advice I’ve been given: Do what you love, not what you are told to love.

Artinmywardrobe’s new resort capsule collection, Summer Faire, will be available at the Glenshiel Fair in Westcliff, Johannesburg from 26 – 29 October.
Shop online at www.artinmywardrobe.com or @artinmywardrobe.

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