The Circle


Vandana Verma, Brand Consultant

Talks to us about editing a magazine, living a balanced life and wearing shoes you can dance in

From Paris Fashion Week to your closet: monochrome with intricate detail by Rahul Mishra

Q Tell us about your work with Motherland. How do you come up with an issue theme? Do you have any issues or stories you’re especially proud of?

A. Motherland is a quarterly magazine that I edit. Every issue has a theme, and focuses solely on that theme, choosing to delve deeper, or approach it from multiple aspects. V Sunil, the magazine’s creative director, and I come up with the themes together, immediately after which the issue note pings into the inboxes of all our contributors. Working on Motherland has been extraordinary in many ways: getting to play with print and the tactile pleasure of the printed page in this digitally-led time, working with photo wizards like Bharat Sikka (another of the magazine’s creative directors), or sending people shooting around Bandra to shoot aunties in frocks… it’s been a real ride.One of my favourite pieces from the magazine’s archives is this piece on India’s original low-budget horror specialists (, but our Military and Bandra issues are also way up there in my highlights reel.

Q What’s it like working for W+K? Do you know how the idea for Motherland came about?

A. W+K is super. Both Sunil and Mohit (Jayal), who lead the agency, are complete forces of nature, so working with them has been incredible. Plus W+K (and this is true of the agency globally as well as here in Delhi) have always had a strong focus on, and commitment to, popular culture – and that was really the original impetus behind the magazine’s launch in August 2010 (we’re now 15 issues in).

Q Can you tell us about Tonic, your upcoming website? Are you working on any other new projects?

A. Tonic ( is my new pet project. The aim is for it to become a destination for a busy urban audience aspiring to lead more balanced lives, but who, with jobs and partners and social lives, cannot dedicate all their time to that pursuit. It springs from a place that I now find myself, where I’m looking to invest in how I feel, but without deprivation. I’m envisioning a fresh, online home for recommendations, reviews… everything from top organic produce, and the Ayurvedic massages that leaves you smelling like a pickle jar, to lovely yoga studios that take you away from city grit, and all the other bits in between. Wellness, without the neuroses. I’m also going to be working with the lovely folk at Good Earth on a couple of new projects about which I could not be more excited.

Q What are your favourite magazines? Do you have any recommendations for us?

A. Boat, Brownbook, The Gourmand, Lucky Peach and Elle (OF COURSE).

Q How would you characterize your evening or night out style?

A. High hemlines, red lips, shoes I can dance in.

Q If you wanted to experiment with an outfit/look outside of your regular style, what would it be?

A. I’d love to do that sort of slouchy, easy “borrowed from boyfriend” thing, but with my height (short) and general build (diminutive) it ends up being more “borrowed from hobo”, with a side of “give it back”.

Q What was your favourite among the clothes you tried on today?

A. The work on that Rahul Mishra dress is gorgeous, and I’ve got my eye on that sari blouse with the back detail.