Coronation Street's Bhavna Limbachia: 'I own over 70 handbags'


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From left to right, Bhavna wears:

The star’s favourite outfit is the pair of Zara “toddler chic” dungarees she teams here with a Retro Rehab T-shirt

Bhavna looks stunning in a black embroidered jumpsuit from Glamorous, which she teams with Mango heels

This gorgeous embroidered dress is by Missguided

Bhavna, 33, plays nurse Rana Nazir in ITV’s Coronation Street and has also appeared in Casualty and Doctors.

Ironically, she was initially put off acting by her school careers adviser and studied costume design before going on to design and sell her own vintage clothes and jewellery.

She put this on hold when she landed the role of Alia Khan in Citizen Khan in 2012 after training at the Manchester School of Acting in the evenings.

Bhavna lives in Manchester.

How would you describe your style? Timeless and understated. 

Which colours and shapes suit you best? Dark brown, bottle green and navy are my autumn and winter favourites, with brighter jewel tones in summer. I’m also a fan of geometric patterns. I suit fitted shapes but I like an oversized coat or cardigan over skinny jeans.

What is your favourite fashion era? The Roaring 20s for the flapper dresses and geometric shapes, but I love all eras. When I had my own jewellery business I’d scour flea markets and antique fairs for bits of old jewellery and I’d upcycle it, refashioning it into rings, bracelets and pendants. I’m from a creative background. 

What do you think of Rana’s style? When she’s not wearing her nurse’s uniform she dresses raunchily – she uses her sexuality to get what she wants and wears quite revealing clothes. For Rana it’s all about the bodycon dresses, big hair and full-on make-up. I wouldn’t wear most of her wardrobe but playing her has made me a bit more daring. 

Which are your favourite high-street brands? Number one is Zara, because the clothes are so beautifully tailored and finished for the price. I also like Mango and Asos. The next-day-delivery button is lethal.

Who is your favourite designer? Oscar de la Renta, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang.

Do you have a style icon? Victoria Beckham, as she’s chic and sophisticated and really understands fashion. She knows how to design for all types of shape.

What is your best beauty secret? Almond oil with vitamin E oil mixed in makes a really good body moisturiser. It keeps your skin hydrated for 24 hours.

Are you a hoarder or do you clear out your wardrobe each season? I’m a massive hoarder. I ran out of wardrobe space a long time ago and have to store things at my mum’s house, my friend’s house – even my cousin’s storage unit.

S MAG

From left to right clockwise: 

This lama coat was a gift. She teams a Boohoo Aztec- print coat with a vintage brooch

This D&G bag is her most expensive buy, while the clutch, at 50p from a charity shop, is her cheapest. The 1920s vintage clip is her best-loved piece of jewellery

Among the actress’s shoes are these beige peep-toe and black suede Mango heels, Miss KG red suede courts and a vintage-inspired Ruby Shoo design

I’m a fan of geometric patterns,” says Bhavna. Her diamond skirt is by Glamorous, the paisley is Forever 21 and her studded mini is Red or Dead

Bhavna buys bags for their shape. Her blue box is a Koko, the pink one is from Miss KG, her purple clutch is from H&M, the black purse is by Love Forever, her gold bag is a Ben de Lisi and the bronze rib is from French Connection

Are you a fan of vintage? Yes, it’s a big part of my life. Clothes and accessories were so well made in the past. I have a massive collection of vintage handbags and shoes. I buy a lot of shoes and boots from Absolutely Vintage in London.

How many shoes and handbags do you own? Over 70 pairs of shoes and over 70 handbags. 

What is your best piece of fashion advice? Wear one statement at a time, whether it’s a bag, belt or hat. Keep the rest simple.

What is your current favourite outfit? My Zara denim dungarees. One of the make-up artists at work says they are very “toddler chic” and I wear them with pixie boots and a T-shirt or slouchy jumper. Plus my AllSaints leather jacket.

Is there an “old favourite” you turn to in a wardrobe crisis? A cropped Benetton black wool jacket I bought in Macy’s, New York, 12 years ago. It is sophisticated and timeless.

How much do you spend on clothes each month? It varies – £300 to £400 usually, but very occasionally up to a grand.

What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe? And best bargain? Two of my handbags. A Dolce & Gabbana handbag that cost £1,300 is the most expensive, while my best bargain is a tan leather clutch envelope bag I bought in a charity shop for 50p. 

Bhavna LimbachiaITV

Coronation Street: Rana and Kate were caught out in a previous episode

What is the oldest item in your wardrobe? Apart from vintage pieces, the oldest thing I wear is a black racer-back jumpsuit from New Look.

Who would you like to make your wedding dress? If I had all the money in the world it would be Vera Wang.

Do you have a favourite LBD? A short, simple flowy style from H&M with spaghetti strips and a geometric cut out at the waist. 

What is your favourite piece of jewellery? A 1920s vintage brooch you can wear as a brooch or a hair clip. It unclips into two separate pieces. I’m saving it to wear on my wedding day. 

Have you ever made a fashion faux pas? When I was at university, Jennifer Lopez was doing her Jenny From The Block look. I emulated it with a friend. We wore baggy combat trousers, fluorescent-pink vest tops, fluorescent wristbands and heeled ankle boots. What were we thinking? 

What would you save from a burning house? I’d be wearing my AllSaints leather jacket, as I pretty much live in it, so I’d grab my mum’s wedding sari which she handed down to me.

Photographed at Manchester’s five-star The Lowry Hotel. See thelowryhotel.com or call 0161 827 4000.

For Coronation Street programme information, go to itv.com/coronationstreet. 



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