The beautiful thing about fashion is that it’s a perfect blending of culture and personality that manifest in some of the most creative and aesthetic ensembles. One person who combines these in an eye-catching way is Abigail George Lama, a fashion blogger from a petite state called Sikkim in-between India and China.
Her style is as captivating as her cultural heritage. Compulsive caught up with this creative personality to find out more about her take on style, trends, fashion faux pas and what it takes to be a blogger in her part of the world.
Abby, as her close friends call her, began Agl Style four years ago while she was still a college student and has continued amidst the many other projects she has been involved in. Marketing manager, entrepreneur and fashion designer are just some of the exciting roles she has taken on in recent years together with her younger sister Apphia. But fashion remains her first love.
Why did you start Agl Style?
I started it in my first year of college simply because I love fashion. Fashion gives you instant gratification and I think women’s fashion is empowering. When I’m gloomy I like to dress up, it’s a pick me up! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to monetize the blog yet. This is largely because of the geographical area, it’s very laid back, there are not many PR companies or local brands, so there is not much scope. At the same time, I’ve come to believe that I can’t blame others for my circumstances. I’m going to be giving the blog much more attention but also shifting my focus to incorporate lifestyle and travel.
When did your love for fashion begin?
It started back when I was the only child during the first four years of my life. My mum used to knit for me and make lovely embroidery. I was inclined to pastels and florals because that what my mum dressed me in. People used to call me Pastel Girl. Right now my mum is a self-made designer in Sikkim. She makes ethnic bridal wear.
What was it like growing up in Sikkim?
Sikkim was a kingdom before 1975 then it merged with India. I live in the capital city of about 18000 people. We are a close-knit community. There have been many atrocities against northeasterners because we look different. So many of us have come back from the cities and want to do things on our own. We are a small state but very proactive and progressive. We stand out because of our rawness, genuineness, and purity.
Do you do your own photography?
No. If I’m not in the picture I take it myself, on other occasions I collaborate with creative photographers and family members. I was a perfectionist before. I used to make mood boards to detail how I wanted each shot to look. But it’s hard to micromanage because many things are uncertain here. I’ve learned to be more flexible and spontaneous. Do you come up with each outfit or do you have a stylist? Yes, it’s all my own work. I collaborate with others for make-up. I’m planning to have a new category on the blog where I style other people for events.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I see what’s trending on Pinterest and what resonates with me. I follow classics like Audrey Hepburn of course and I like Mary Kate and Ashley Oslen. There is also a Scandinavian blogger called Pernille whom I like. Also, some French styles interest me. I follow designers more than trends. I live by that saying that goes: Don’t wear what designers want you to wear, wear what they are wearing.
How would you describe your style?
In between French and Scandinavian, I like to keep it clean, but sometimes I take a little risk and wear something unique but it has to look elegant.
Advice for anyone trying to find their own style?
Don’t read magazines and try to imitate them. Watch movies where you can relate to the characters, then dig deeper. If you like what they are wearing, do more research. Also, know your body. It’s about experimenting but also finding balance as well as knowing your shape and size. For any outfit, try to have one focal point and build it from there. It could be anything like shoes or earrings. Start from there and build your outfit around it.
Do you follow fashion rules?
Not really. I think those rules are meant to be broken. It’s also about moderation. Juxtaposing checks with polka dots is ok, you should go for it, but find a balance. It’s all about being comfortable with what you’re wearing.
What are some of the worst fashion mistakes? I used to be critical about some things, for example, my pet hate was when people mixed red and denim, but then it became really trendy because of the nineties vibe. I realized that in the end fashion is an art form and it’s very subjective. It changes according to regions and cultures, so what is considered wrong in one part of the world, could be very popular in another part. So I’ve learned to reserve my comments on so-called mistakes!
Your favorite look for the fall?
I love cashmere, especially for the fall. Any soft sweaters with pants or cream-colored trousers. You can wear them with boots. I like to do my basics and add one strength to the outfits I wear. The trick to sweaters is to wear them without anything inside. V necks look very elegant.
Skinny jeans or wide-legs?
It’s all wide leg right now, even though I’m short, I still wear them with my high heeled boots. Skinny jeans are still in but wide legs are really trending at the moment and fashion is going backward. Jute, hemp and bamboo fabrics are also very popular now and we actually make them here in Sikkim.
What are your plans for the future?
I recently started a clothing line with my sister called WYTE. So far we have done one collection for Spring, which focused on petite sizes to cater to the local demand. I’m planning to expand to regular and plus sizes in the next collection.
– To see WYTE and more, visit Abigail’s Instagram shop, visit here: @wyte.gangtok.