Ladies of Lune: Butool Jamal

Ladies of Lune: Butool Jamal

At Lune, we were curious to know what words writers live by and in lieu of this notion we spoke to Butool Jamal, the Fashion Feature’s Editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and she was every bit as inspiring as you’d expect. Full of instant hugs and effervescent energy, we poked around her sun-drenched home in.

Mumbai and sat down with her over a steaming cup of coffee as she spilt the beans on matters of love, introspection and how she feels about publishing in
the 21st century.

What is your dream project as a writer? To write a fully-commissioned travelogue. 

What advice would you give for writers itching for a change?
Travel. Nothing shifts or gives you new perspective like moving out of familiarity. And I don’t mean you must take a trip round the world. Find a monument in your neighbourhood, a site in your town or city, go on a day-trip. Moving physically is

At Lune, we were curious to know what words writers live by and in lieu of this notion we spoke to Butool Jamal, the Fashion Feature’s Editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and she was every bit as inspiring as you’d expect.

Full of instant hugs and effervescent energy, we poked around her sun-drenched home in Mumbai and sat down with her over a steaming cup of coffee as she chatted about everything from her cats to the side-effects of a biriyani overdose and, how she feels about publishing in the 21st century.

- What is your dream project as a writer?

To write a fully-commissioned travelogue.

 - What advice would you give for writers itching for a change?

Travel. Nothing shifts or gives you new perspective like moving out of familiarity. And I don’t mean you must take a trip round the world. Find a monument in your neighbourhood, a site in your town or city, go on a day-trip. Moving physically is moving within.   

- Some adjectives often used to describe you? How do these adjectives play out in your choices and the way you carry yourself?
Young. And while the years feel like they’ve inched away much too fast, I hope this will always be the adjective that defines me. Not for appearances, but for openness of heart and mind to new things.

  1. What is love?

I’m just summarising what’s been written by other, far more proficient writers. But love to me is the desire to bring joy to someone other than yourself. It’s when you want to make someone laugh out loud or be with them at their most vulnerable or ridiculous. You feel like you’ve been lifted up rather pulled under by the weight of the world.

  1. Your take on the current state of inclusivity and diversity in fashion?

It’s something that needs to be addressed and I think that a lot of people and brands are working towards that. Fashion has a big cultural impact and when people see the industry consistently trying to make a change (I hope) it creates some sort of slow shift in their own thinking.

- Sun sign: Capricorn

- Day job: Fashion features editor at Harper’s Bazaar

- If you didn't have your day job, what would you do: Something that involved more movement, like dance. Or maybe learn calligraphy. 

- City you presently live in: Between Bangalore and Bombay.

 Your current favourites...

- Beauty products: The Benetint Lip and Cheek Tint and Jo Malone’s Tuberose Angelica.

- Self-care rituals: Waking up early and savouring my morning tea. Time with my friends and partner.

- Instagram handles: For news @TheCut, @Guardian and @feministflowercrown. Beautiful things @ArtsofHindostan and animals @joelsartore. Fashion @Diet_prada and @manrepeller. Food porn @bonappetit and @Archana.pidathala. To laugh @Swineryy. 

- Podcasts: I recently listened to some episodes of The Seen and Unseen by Amit Varma. Also @dressed podcast for stories about the history of fashion.

 - Films: Anything with Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name or The King. I also just watched Booksmart which was hilarious.

- A recipe: Lemon pasta from Bon Appetit. I’m also a masterful tea time snack maker.

- Websites: T Magazine, NY Times. I also subscribe to @broadsheet_in.

- Haunt in the city: My own home in whichever city I’m in. I also love walking around tiny streets of Bandra or by the seaside in Bombay.

 - What jewellery style naturally suits you? I love vintage style Indian silver or burnished gold jewellery.

- First thought or word that comes to your mind when you think about Lune? Dreamy.

 Opinions / Musings about the following...

 - The future is… A little bit scary right now. It’s tough to stay optimistic when you don’t even know if the air you are breathing or the food you are eating is good for you.

- On being able to think ahead… I wish I could do it better.

- On how you came up to being a writer It wasn’t really a plan. I loved magazines and I always admired the work of journalists like Suzy Menkes or Cathy Horyn or historians like Valerie Steele. This seemed like the natural path to follow.

 - How does writing and introspection help to heal or process your thoughts and emotions? A lot of the time it’s just the way that writing helps clarify what’s in your mind or trace back where a certain feeling is coming from. I can be a bit reticent so taking time out to write or introspect is crucial to help me find that clarity. There’s also nothing like the feeling of being immersed in something so completely that you can tune out the world.

 - What are you reading lately? I just finished Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and I’m beginning Aatish Taseer’s Stranger to History. 

 - What do you find the most rewarding about your work you do? The platform that a magazine provides to talk about the things that you think are important—whether it’s sustainability or even an inspiring story.

 - How does your social media use factor into your practise of writing? Beautiful writing isn’t limited by medium. There are people who write beautifully on social media and it’s always a delight to read what they have to say.

 - From your experience in publishing, what do you think is the future of print? I don’t think print will disappear completely. It will perhaps become more of a novelty or experience, something that people seek out for a particular connection or sense of reality. Almost like travelling to the countryside.

 - What is your dream project as a writer? Something historical – either a story based on real events or something about fashion that involves travelling and research.

- What advice would you give for writers itching for a change? Follow the itchy feet.

- What would be your multi-hyphenate? Writer, tea sommelier, cat lady. 

 - Some adjectives often used to describe you? How do these adjectives play out in your choices and the way you carry yourself?

Patient, calm, and practical would be some adjectives. While I understand where they come from, I do try and sometimes push myself to contradict them.

moving within.   

Some adjectives often used to describe you? How do these adjectives play out in your choices and the way you carry yourself?
Young. And while the years feel like they’ve inched away much too fast, I hope this will always be the adjective that defines me. Not for appearances, but for openness of heart and mind to new things.

What is love?
I’m just summarising what’s been written by other, far more proficient writers. But love to me is the desire to bring joy to someone other than yourself. It’s when you want to make someone laugh out loud or be with them at their most vulnerable or ridiculous. You feel like you’ve been lifted up rather pulled under by the weight of the world.

Your take on the current state of inclusivity and diversity in fashion? 
It’s something that needs to be addressed and I think that a lot of people and brands are working towards that. Fashion has a big cultural impact and when people see the industry consistently trying to make a change (I hope) it creates some sort of slow shift in their own thinking.

 

Sun sign: Capricorn

Day job: Fashion features editor at Harper’s Bazaar

If you didn't have your day job, what would you do: Something that involved more movement, like dance. Or maybe learn calligraphy.

City you presently live in: Between Bangalore and Bombay.

Your current favourites...

Beauty products: The Benetint Lip and Cheek Tint and Jo Malone’s Tuberose Angelica.

Self-care rituals: Waking up early and savouring my morning tea. Time with my friends and partner.

Instagram handles: For news @TheCut, @Guardian and @feministflowercrown. Beautiful things @ArtsofHindostan and animals @joelsartore. Fashion @Diet_prada and @manrepeller. Food porn @bonappetit and @Archana.pidathala. To laugh @Swineryy.

Podcasts: I recently listened to some episodes of The Seen and Unseen by Amit Varma. Also @dressed podcast for stories about the history of fashion.

Films: Anything with Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name or The King. I also just watched Booksmart which was hilarious.

A recipe: Lemon pasta from Bon Appetit. I’m also a masterful tea time snack maker.

Websites: T Magazine, NY Times. I also subscribe to @broadsheet_in.

Haunt in the city: My own home in whichever city I’m in. I also love walking around tiny streets of Bandra or by the seaside in Bombay. 

What jewellery style naturally suits you? I love vintage style Indian silver or burnished gold jewellery. 

First thought or word that comes to your mind when you think about Lune? Dreamy.

Opinions / Musings about the following...

The future is… A little bit scary right now. It’s tough to stay optimistic when you don’t even know if the air you are breathing or the food you are eating is good for you.

On being able to think ahead… I wish I could do it better.

On how you came up to being a writer
It wasn’t really a plan. I loved magazines and I always admired the work of journalists like Suzy Menkes or Cathy Horyn or historians like Valerie Steele. This seemed like the natural path to follow.

How does writing and introspection help to heal or process your thoughts and emotions?
A lot of the time it’s just the way that writing helps clarify what’s in your mind or trace back where a certain feeling is coming from. I can be a bit reticent so taking time out to write or introspect is crucial to help me find that clarity. There’s also nothing like the feeling of being immersed in something so completely that you can tune out the world. 


What are you reading lately? I just finished Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and I’m beginning Aatish Taseer’s Stranger to History.

What do you find the most rewarding about your work you do? The platform that a magazine provides to talk about the things that you think are important—whether it’s sustainability or even an inspiring story. 

How does your social media use factor into your practise of writing? Beautiful writing isn’t limited by medium. There are people who write beautifully on social media and it’s always a delight to read what they have to say.

From your experience in publishing, what do you think is the future of print? 
I don’t think print will disappear completely. It will perhaps become more of a novelty or experience, something that people seek out for a particular connection or sense of reality. Almost like travelling to the countryside.

What is your dream project as a writer?
Something historical – either a story based on real events or something about fashion that involves travelling and research.

What advice would you give for writers itching for a change? Follow the itchy feet.

What would be your multi-hyphenate? Writer, tea sommelier, cat lady. 

Some adjectives often used to describe you? How do these adjectives play out in your choices and the way you carry yourself? Patient, calm, and practical would be some adjectives. While I understand where they come from, I do try and sometimes push myself to contradict them. 

 


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