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#RSQStyleSpotlight: Tanya Gupta & Krishen Riyat Unravel The Codes Of Gen Z Style

Tanya Gupta & Krishen Riyat

With our jeans skinny, hair side-parted, and shoes the good old loafers – we are proud Millennials. And while the fashion battle between Millennials and Gen Z seems never-ending, there’s no denying that Gen Z currently has far more impact on fashion and culture. Having had a digital age upbringing, many of the Gen Z fashionistas tend to have style fixations with varied social media-generated core aesthetics (like cottagecore, Wednesday-core, coastal grandma and more) – even though, the relationship between the greater Gen Z style community and the fashion industry champions all the essential elements i.e. inclusivity, sustainability, gender neutrality, and ethical practices. And that is what makes Gen Z’s style approach so distinctively fascinating.

From Tik-Tok viral style genres to streetwear, from Y2K redux to retro reinvention, there is really no one way to define Gen Z’s identity-centered sense of style. And with 2023’s first #RSqStyleSpotlight, we are putting the spotlight on Gen Z style with Tanya Gupta, a maximalist vintage-loving fashion creative and Krishen Riyat, a true Gen Z hypebeast. In an email conversation with RSq Junior Editor – Karishma Gulyani, Tanya and Krishen together reveal the codes of Gen Z aesthetics with a glimpse of their signature brand of ‘Gen Z style’.


rsq style spotlight gen z style tanya gupta

Runway Square: How would you define your style?
Tanya Gupta: I think my style has really become my own post-lockdown, before that I was just blindly following trends. Now I think my style is more about what I want to communicate, and I feel like I get better at it with each passing day. And I like to communicate in a way that’s as abstract as possible.
Though my style also depends on the kind of art or energy I am consuming at the time – for the most part, it’s hugely vintage-inspired. I love the late 80s and early 90s as I feel people truly had very distinctive styles in that era. Also, I pay huge attention to detail and often find myself including elements from these fashion eras.

RSQ: What’s your signature outfit recipe? And has social media helped define it?
TG: My signature outfit recipe would be any kind of tee + any kind of skirt + a blazer – with this combination I can make a dozen of outfits without anyone noticing.
And yes, social media has played a bit of a role in defining it because I love saving images of my favourite outfits worn by my favourite style icons, and when I go and find common denominators – these three pieces would be it.

RSQ: Which are the Indian and global designers and brands that you connect with the most?
TG: Globally, there are Schiaparelli and Mugler. And in India, it would be Sabyasachi and Karan Torani. One thing I love about all of them is how distinctive their aesthetic is and how detail-focused they are. And that you can really tell from their clothes the stories they are trying to tell, and I love and appreciate designers who can make something happen like that with clothes.

RSQ: And what’s your biggest style fixation? 
TG: It would be jewellery. I think you can wear anything in the world if you have the jewellery that goes with your personal style. It’s a great way to add dimension to the outfit and you can seriously have so much fun with it.

RSQ: Being a Gen Z style connoisseur and content creator in 2022, have you had to master the balance between dressing up for yourself and Instagram?
TG: I had to. When I started out, I was blindly following trends to make space for myself on the internet and to feel like I am a part of it. Until I realised it wasn’t taking me anywhere and wasn’t providing any value to the people that follow me for my work. Then I took a shift and started experimenting and people loved that. Now, I can say I’ve found some ground, but that is also ever-evolving.

RSQ: From clothes to makeup, the colour play seems definite when it comes to your looks. What is the most offbeat colour combination that you have put together?
TG: It would be cobalt blue with brown. It is also my favourite colour combination at the moment. I’ve tried it with clothes and makeup, and I love how it turned out both times.

RSQ: Neutral tones & OTT accessories or bright and bold hues & subtle accessories – What’s your preferred pairing for a stand-out look? 
TG: It would definitely be neutral tones & OTT accessories for me. I consider clothes as my canvas and accessories are like colours through which I make that canvas mine and have fun with it.  

RSQ: If you had to give RSq readers a few tips on defining their style and identity, what would those be?
TG: One thing that has helped me define my style is going out in the open and experimenting. You will never know what you truly love or hate in fashion if you don’t experiment. Also, I think inspiration plays a huge part in defining your style, so save pictures of different outfits and makeup looks you want to try. And then, confidence is literally what can change an outfit completely. Also, now that fashion is so abstract and different for everyone, you can easily pull anything off – if you have the confidence for it.

Images Courtesy: Tanya Gupta


rsq style spotlight gen z style Krishen Riyat

RSQ: How would you define your style?
Krishen Riyat: Well, the easiest answer would be that I wear a lot of elevated basics and simple silhouettes with one piece that is maybe in a stronger silhouette or colour. And with the lines between streetwear and formal wear being so blurred now, I think my style is somewhere in the middle there.

RSQ: What’s your signature outfit recipe? And has social media helped define it?
KR: Yeah, social media for sure has helped. I have been posting on Instagram for about two years now, and that’s really encouraged me to try different brands and silhouettes over time. And that’s helped me find what works for my body. So, if I had to pick just one outfit for the rest of my life, it would be some straight-fit denim, a nice t-shirt, a cropped sweatshirt or a hoodie and yes, some white sneakers.

RSQ: Which are the designers and/or brands that you connect with the most?
KR: Internationally, I have been a big fan of 1017 ALYX 9SM. They do a lot of leather designs and a mix of streetwear and formal wear. And I have tried a few of their pieces before, and nothing has made me feel as good as their design and silhouettes. Another brand that I connect with is Berluti. I think what they do with leather is as fun as beautiful. And from ombre jackets to leather shoes – everything is top-notch. And I am really striving to get one of the Berluti pieces in my wardrobe.

RSQ: And what’s your style fixation?
KR: For me, something that I can never get out of my mind (and wardrobe!) is denim – from the fabric to the many silhouette variations, from trucker jackets to bootcut jeans, and more.

RSQ: Being a content creator in 2022, have you had to master the balance between dressing up for yourself and Instagram?
KR: See, whatever I post on Instagram is always something I would enjoy and wear on an everyday basis. But even if I’m really not dressing for the gram, it’s always on my mind that I can probably make some sort of content out of it, in case I’m going out here or there.

RSQ: And with streetwear values continuously evolving, what are the street elements or values that continue to be essential for you?
KR: With the current uprise of streetwear in India, the wide-fit silhouettes have taken the centre stage with comfort at its core. I think streetwear has always been about comfort. And as streetwear continues to evolve with different style categories, the comfort element would continue to be there – regardless of trending genres or silhouettes.

RSQ: We spotted quite a few cult sneakers in your looks. So, what are the sneakers that are a must in your wardrobe? And what’s that one must-have sneaker to cop right now?
KR: I enjoy sneakers! And, for me, the must-have sneakers would be plain white sneakers. I like to stick to my Nike Air Force 1 as they are super comfortable and versatile. From the gym to walks and work – you can wear them anywhere and everywhere. And then another wardrobe must-have is a pair of Vans.
So, the one sneaker that has been on my mind for a while is Nike Ambush (Sonic Colourway). And even though I don’t wear a lot of colours, I feel that’s one sneaker that I can really dress up and style well with my streetwear/formal wear hybrid wardrobe.

RSQ: If you had to give RSq readers a few tips on defining their style and identity, what would those be?
KR: So, my only suggestion would be to experiment continuously. Yes, it’s as cliched as it’s important. But the more silhouettes, colours, or just types of clothes you try and wear, you will be able to find what you are most comfortable and confident in. And that’s what you should stick to, until your next style evolution.

Images Courtesy: Krishen Riyat

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