The Circle


Kassia Karr, Co-founder of Dear

Talks to us about her work with Dear and growing into her personal style.

Kassia wears sari by Abraham & Thakore and ear jackets by Dvibhumi

Q What do you do?

A. I currently run a multidisciplinary studio in Delhi called Dear. Our primary focus is on filmmaking – we do a mix of commercial and documentary work. Mostly branded content and documentaries, which we try as much as we can to pursue when we have time.

Q What have some of your favourite projects been?

A. For personal projects, we have this one short documentary series called The Billion. Over the years we’ve read about different stories of ordinary people who have a really unique hobby or pursuit. So then we go visit them and do a short film about the things they do. There’s a guy that builds wacky cars in Hyderabad, a guy who does vegetable carving, a guy in west Bengal who’s a traditional painter but had really risqué or taboo subject material. Stuff like that – little quirky stories. It’s fun for us because we get to travel and meet interesting people.

Q Tell us about your experience dealing with clients.

A. We’ve been really lucky and have been able to work with some really good clients. It’s ended up being a lot of people in the fashion and culture space – so ongoing work with Indelust, some work with Bhane, and Blue Tokai, the coffee company. Right now we’re doing something for Amrapali. We’re pretty young, it’s still growing. We’re not looking to take on things we’d have to compromise on, for us it’s more about the quality than the scale.

Q What’s your personal style?

A. On the whole, very, very minimal. That’s happened within the last two years or so. I used to be very into a retro, ‘50s, cat-eye, rockabilly hair sort of thing for a long time in college. I think that was a very sort of maximal style. Coming from that, it got to a point where I thought, I just want things to be simple. I want my closet to be full of things I can easily mix and match, and I don’t have to fuss with too much. But at the same time I like things that aren’t very conventional looking, so it’s not just straightforward basics – I like to invest in pieces which are a little unusual or eye-catching in some way.

Q Do you wear saris often? Can you tell us about a memorable sari you’ve worn?

A. I used to wear them quite a bit when I first came to India about 8 years ago, and I was studying in south India for a year. At that time I wore Indian clothing pretty much every single day – a mix between salwaar kameez and saris. I think living in Delhi it’s now dwindled down to just occasions. If there’s a project where I have to go to a rural area, I feel more comfortable wearing Indian clothing. I have a really early sari memory. When I was growing up, my mom had a friend who had visited India, and she gave her a sari as a gift. I had it in what was essentially my dress-up box for years, and I never knew how to tie it, but I’d always kind of wrap it around – and it was beautiful, with silk embroidery, light and drapey. I wish I still had it. It’s interesting that I owned it before I ever came to India. I’ve not been too experimental when I wear saris, mostly because of the context in which I wear them. If I were to wear one on a casual occasion, I like Anavila’s linen saris – it’s a very elegant, everyday fabric. I wouldn’t dress it up too much with any jewelry or anything, just let the sari stand on its own.

Q Tell us about what you wore today.

A. I think what appealed to me most with the Abraham & Thakore sari and the Bodice blouse was the fabrics. Mashru feels beautiful and wears very nicely. And I love that colour – deep, midnight blue. I would wear it to a nice evening concert performance – it sounds a little cheesy, but something like that. It’s almost a cocktail sari, in a way. I could wear the pink sari to a gallery opening. [laughs] You could wear the blouse with jeans. I love this whole Bodice collection, but this piece in particular is very utilitarian, and it works for a lot of different scenarios.