It wasn’t very long ago when Kajol stood proud as a sort of anti-fashion icon. Beloved actress though she was, part of Bollywood’s charmed circles, Kajol didn’t care how she looked and made it very clear she didn’t give a hoot what the fashion critics said.
Today, she’s married, a mother, and a former heroine, but Kajol still gets critics to sit up and take notice. These days, though, it’s mostly in appreciation, not disapproval. And she’s not Bollywood’s only yummy mummy.
On the last season of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, Madhuri Dixit-Nene’s gorgeous saris and fitted gowns were talked about as much as her dancing skills. Be it Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty, Karisma Kapoor, Lara Dutta, Sridevi and Sonali Bendre, they are all stunning: fit, groomed and impeccably clad.
But while the fitness and grooming are entirely the actresses’ own work, they leave their styling to the experts. Meet the stylists who create these red-hot mommas.
Stylist for Kajol
A commerce graduate who believes she was born to design, Triporna Majumder picked up her skills at design workshops and short and long-term art programmes. In 2004, she began work as a film costume assistant.
Seven years later, she was asked by Kajol to take care of her styling for a TV interview and she has been Kajol’s personal stylist ever since. Dressing up the yummy mummy
"Kajol has a childlike enthusiasm for new clothes or beautiful pieces, such as crochet designs," says Majumder. "However, she is not interested in the details of her look. She is a no-fuss dresser."
Most stylists find it hard to encourage older women to work out. Majumder doesn’t have that problem with Kajol, who is very fit. "With Kajol, the challenge lies elsewhere," says the stylist. "The challenge is to successfully emotionally blackmail her to dress up."
Kajol recently wore a Rocky S metallic gown for an award ceremony, which was admired by the fashion police across the media. "She is a little conscious of wearing metallic colours, especially gold, as she feels it doesn’t suit her skin tone. But she was eventually happy with the outcome."
Majumdar also remembers the first time she styled Kajol for a magazine photoshoot, "I made her wear a yellow ballgown. She refused to step out of her vanity van as she thought she looked like a cupcake! But I convinced her and the result was great."
Kajol also has another style secret that always keeps her looking fresh: her hairstyles. "Sangeeta Hegde, her hairstylist, and I pick out youthful hair-dos to suit her face and manage to redefine her look almost every time."
What you can do
Wear clothes besides kurtis, salwar kameezes and pants
. Depending on the body type and age group, mothers should wear ankle length or knee length dresses as they are feminine and make you look younger.
Accessorise your look.
Add a statement neckpiece or a bunch of charm bracelets to enhance your ensemble and always carry a nice handbag.
Invest in a pair of sunglasses
by a good brand as it makes one look stylish and protects eyes from the scorching sun.
Stylist for Karisma Kapoor
NIFT graduate Esha Amiin assisted fashion stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania in 2010, and then went solo in 2012. She styles celebrities and is a fashion consultant for ad campaigns and a panellist with Miss India. She has been Karisma’s personal stylist for about 18 months.
Dressing up the yummy mummy:
“I love that Karisma is always excited to try new looks,” says Amiin. “She doesn’t like repeating looks and her style sense is sophisticated and effortless.”
It’s that sophistication that sets the Bollywood yummy mummy apart: even though she has the figure of an 18-year-old, Karisma always dresses her age. “So if we try something cool, we still keep it mature and sophisticated,” says Amiin.
What you can do
* Wear outfits with open necks as it elongates the look and brings the focus downwards.
* Wear appropriate undergarments.
* Make sure you have a pair of boyfriend jeans. They are a current trend and they go with everything.
Stylist for Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Lara Dutta
It’s been 10 years since Ami Patel first styled celebrities for L’Officiel, the magazine she worked for. The photo shoots were appreciated, and Patel has since become one of Bollywood’s most in-demand stylists.
Of late, she has been Madhuri Dixit-Nene’s personal stylist for about 18 months, and has styled beauty queen-turned-actress Lara Dutta for the reality show, Miss Diva Universe 2014.
"Nowadays, mothers and young actresses are both equally fit," says Patel. "Madhuri is probably fitter than I am [laughs] and has amazing flat abs. She works out regularly and dances.
Lara too has a fabulous figure. When Lara wore a Gaurav Gupta gown for the first photo shoot for Miss Diva Universe 2014, someone said she looked better than the contestants and should enter the international pageant instead!"
There’s only one difference in styling for different age groups, says Patel, and it’s a crucial one: Never dress younger than your age. As long as it’s age-appropriate, go ahead and experiment.
"Madhuri enjoys experimenting, changing the silhouette and trying new looks and styles," says Patel. "Of course, since she has so many years of experience she knows what suits her."
Ami picks Madhuri’s clothes based on the event or for the commercial shoot she is involved in, and chooses between Indian or western wear accordingly.
"Recently we decided to do something different for the Maggi commercial. In the ad, she wakes up her family members and then does a workout dance routine. So we decided to show her fit body in leotards, a tank top and sport shoes. I had fun changing her style and she looked lovely.
What you can do
try a blouse with sweetheart necklinerather that a high neck as it has slimming effect.
The empire-waist styleis the best way to hide leftover pregnancy weight on your stomach. You can wear this style in dresses, tunics and kurtas.
* Just because your stilettos are not best for pushing a pram at an airport or for school duty, you don’t have to wear dowdy shoes and flats. You can
opt for cool sneakers, chic flats and wedges to make a fashionable impression.
Stylist for Tara Sharma Saluja
Sanjana Batra hasn’t formally studied design. But in 2011, while working with an ad film production house (owned by Tara Sharma
Saluja’s husband, Roopak Saluja), she found herself doing several styling jobs.
Two years later she became fashion editor for the production house’s fashion website and then branched out as a celebrity stylist, working with young actresses like Alia Bhatt. In 2014, Tara approached Batra for the third season of
The Tara Sharma Show.
Dressing up the yummy mummy:
“Tara is a very simple and hassle-free person and so is her style sense,” says Batra. “Her style had to be fun and fashionable. So we chose styles that are not too young but have fun and vibrant prints.”
Apart from dressing her for the parenting show, Batra plans Tara’s looks for other occasions too. “Motherhood and age aren’t considerations when it comes to styling for Tara. I stick to silhouettes that are fashionable and attention-worthy, but without a shock factor.”
* Every woman should invest in classic pieces for the wardrobe. A well-fitted pair of jeans, a classic white shirt, a white chikan kurta, a well-fitted blazer, classic sheath dresses for the evening, maxis and shift dresses for the day are a must-have.
* Accessories go a long way in completing a look. It could be a stylish tote, a pair of sunglasses or a nice watch.
Stylist for Sonali Bendre
Shreya Anand began her career as an assistant stylist at Channel [V] in 2001. Over the years, she has worked on ad films and photo shoots. After a summer course at Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design in London, she began styling celebrities in 2008.
Designer Sandeep Khosla recommended her to Sonali Bendre when the former actress, married with two children, returned to the spotlight in 2008 as a judge on Indian Idol.
Anand’s style philosophy is simple, “My aim is to ensure that whoever I work with is happy with the look I give them. Only if they are happy, will the outfit look great.”
Dressing up the yummy mummy:
“What’s nice about Sonali is that she has accepted her post-pregnancy body and knows she can’t wear the kind of clothes she used to wear earlier,” says Anand, who is in charge of Sonali’s wardrobe for most shows and events, except for the actress’s role in the TV show Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh.
“Sonali’s personal style sense is elegant, classy and dignified so I try to incorporate her personal style as much as possible with the brief that the producers of shows give me.” For example, for the show Mission Sapne, Anand combined the star mom’s favourite handloom saris with contemporary blouses.
“Sonali does have a slight edge, though,” says Anand. “There’s a biker babe hidden in her which comes out once in a while. So for one of the shows she judged, I gave her a biker jacket and leather pants. People were surprised, but loved her look.”
She is very involved in her own styling, says Anand. “She was the one who wanted statement neck pieces for India’s Got Talent. So we got stones from around the world that my karigars set for her.”
What you can do
* Always add a pretty scarf or a nice pair of earrings, funky neckpiece or coloured bangles to liven up the look.
* If you don’t have the body, discard the ultra-skinny jeans and invest in a good pair of regular fit denim. Jeans, a tank top with a printed scarf, jooties or Kolhapuri chappals, a hobo bag with tousled hair in a loose pony is a great chic, casual look.
* Experiment with your hairdo. Try a new haircut to change your look.
Client: Sonali Bendre (for the show
Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yehand TV events)
“Sonali’s character is a modern-day woman who transforms from a politician’s wife to an independent woman,” says Gajria. “Her clothes had to depict that. So at the start of the show, she wore pastel cotton sarIs, a mangalsutra and a watch.
Later, separated from her husband and working, her character wore kurtis and fun accessories like customised Kolhapuri chappals in light green, embellished with corals etc, and a stylish scarf.”
From HT Brunch, February 15
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