photography VINAY DHALLA | creative director ALISHA C SANGHERA
editor MUNEETA GILL | hair & makeup BEAUTY BOX BY K&B
Sandy Kaur Gill is a quadruple threat. The t-shirt designer, model, teacher and stylist to Superwoman, Lilly Singh, likes to be known as the Sandy Lion. And like any lioness, she’s fierce and fabulous and determined to push forward to reach her goals.
How would you describe your personal style?
Emotional. I use fashion and style to really reflect how I feel and evoke emotion and ideas. I use myself as a canvas and paint it daily as I please. I enjoy wearing bold fabrics, prints and colours and really love to work with shape and unique trends, retaining important elements such as comfort, creativity and confidence.
How did you first get interested in styling?
I was always that girl who would show up to events and parties wearing something crazy and everyone always asked questions about my looks. Then my friends Sheena, Nandini and Lilly (Superwoman) convinced me to start posting these looks online via Instagram. My friends totally deserve the credit for convincing me to make the move towards blogging and styling. My friends also gave me the opportunity to style them for events and performances, which helped me develop relationships and experience in the field. Helping people feel good about themselves and in some cases making life more convenient for them is a wonderful feeling.
“I use fashion and style to really reflect how I feel and evoke emotion and ideas.”
How is the fashion scene in Toronto compared to other cities?
We have so many talented people in the city doing beautiful things, but they are afraid to make it a full-time gig. It can be considered a non-reliable and non-traditional career path. For many people their creative side gets pushed to the back. We see a lot more fashion designers, clothing lines, and other forms of art being born out of Toronto.
What has been your most memorable moment?
I have so many. Many have to do with the wonderful Lilly Singh and being able to style her for the Teen Choice, People Magazine, and the MTV Movie Awards. Launching my Hip Hop Tee was also huge.
How does your South Asian heritage influence and inspire you?
Creatively I have been very interested in bringing elements of the South Asian culture into my styling and fashion choices in a subtle way. I am intrigued by the bold colours, textiles and prints that are seen in the South Asian culture and love to see them fused with western culture. Politically I have been influenced by South Asian culture because I have found that through fashion or any form of art really, we can bring social and political issues to light and break down stereotypes through our actions.
What is the craziest thing in your closet?
The craziest thing in my closet is probably all of the skeletons. JOKE. Clothing wise I would say a bunch of my Dad’s sweaters.
“…through fashion or any form of art really, we can bring social and political issues to light and can break down stereotypes through our actions.”
How has your Mom inspired you?
She has shown me that endurance and prioritizing are two key things that will help you achieve your goals. When she came to Canada she had to face some horrible things. Some of them are completely un-relatable. It is difficult to even imagine someone having to go through them. But she persevered and was determined to make it through. She always tells me that your experiences build you and help you grow as an individual. I can see clearly that her endurance has shaped her as an individual. Going through all of those unpleasant experiences has made her the strongest woman I know.
In the same way, I feel like the difficult things I have experienced have made me stronger and more prepared. My mother has taught me the beauty of prioritizing. Her only priority ever was her four daughters. Whatever she had to do to give us an amazing life, she did. Whether that meant working when she was sick or working nights or living in horrible conditions, she did it. Her priority was to create a life for her kids that was unlike hers.
If you could style anyone, anywhere who would it be?
My dream would be to style a Kanye West music video.
I’d want to be a full-time stylist between LA and Toronto. I’d also want to financially care for my parents and allow them to live a completely stress free life. That way my dad can finally enjoy a beach vacation and never have to drive a taxi again.