24 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

My fabulous Friday: Leena Singh

The veteran fashion designer and founder of Indian couture label Ashima-Leena lets her love for all things nature take its course on weekends

Shreeja Ravindranathan
10 Oct 2016 | 04:15 pm
  • Source:Supplied


I am a pure vegetarian – from the breads I eat to the cookies I snack on, everything is baked at home. On weekends I wake up to a breakfast of nuts, fruits and a glass of juice.



I work 365 days a year so it’s hard to differentiate weekends from weekdays. But I get to meet a lot of amazing people – celebrities like Sharmila Tagore, Nargis Fakhri, Kapil Dev, Sonam Kapoor… It’s a misconception that celebs are a difficult breed. I’ve had such great experiences with them that we become friends too.



Dressing up so many people leaves no time for me to dress up myself. My dressing style on days off is a lot similar to the Ashima-Leena aesthetic – simple, elegant and sophisticated, nothing funky. So I turn to timeless pieces from my go-to fashion labels – Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Add a dollop of a good moisturiser to that and I’m ready to roll.



Reading has been a passion, but unfortunately I do not get much time for it anymore so I read only when I am travelling. I’m currently reading The Science of The Soul by Osho. It’s about yoga and meditation – my areas of interest!


I’m a very spiritually inclined person so I maintain a routine that allows me to be at one with nature all week long. I get up very early in the morning to meditate. I’m not too fond of the gym so exercise for me is going for a morning walk. My neighbourhood – Gulmohar Park, New Delhi – has lush green gardens that are ideal to take long nature walks in.



If time was not an issue and I could travel anywhere in the world, I would head over to Switzerland, and spend time in the solitude and serenity that the country offers. Life in India is always so rushed and hurried, there’s no time to relax. I’d take my daughter Rhea with me and spend some quality time with her.


I love South Indian food – idlis, vadas, dosa, sambar. I can eat it all day every day. I love to cook as well but work keeps me so busy that I don’t get the time. My favourite place to eat in New Delhi is Dum Pukht at ITC Maurya.


I’m usually a nature lover but when I’m in Dubai, I’m awestruck by its architecture. I discovered the Palazzo Versace Hotel when I was here last month to exhibit our bridal collection Mehrunissa and it’s absolutely beautiful. Its vicinity near the waterfront and the view of the city from the hotel was very calming. And I also always make sure I go souvenir-shopping in the malls for friends when I’m here.



As a rule I don’t have a TV at home… I immerse myself in soothing music. I love old classic Hindi songs, Sufi music, ghazals etc. My latest splurge was on the ticket to a Kathak performance by Shovana Narayan, who is a dear friend.

Shreeja Ravindranathan

Shreeja Ravindranathan

Lifestyle Writer