Swapnil Shinde started working on his red carpet creations almost a month before the IIFA 2010 commenced. The designer had to make outfits for six Bollywood celebrities who were to walk the red carpet event (green carpet in case of IIFA), held in Sri Lanka this time around.
Shinde ended up spending a cool Rs 2 lakh for the same. "Since we're talking award function here, the gowns had to be made from nothing but the best materials. The embellishments had to be top class and the look unique," says Shinde on why his expenditure graph went up for only six outfits.
Jewellery brand Amrapali lent ornaments, the price of which ran into several lakhs, to celebrities to flaunt at the IIFA this year. "The turnout was not so great this year, but we had an eclectic mix of personalities like Neha Dhupia, Zeenat Aman, Bipasha Basu and Ila Arun wearing Amrapali designs," says Vandana Sarawgi, working partner, Amrapali, Juhu.
Nothing like Bollywood
Both Shinde and Sarawgi agree that in India, nothing works like a product being spotted on a Bollywood celebrity. "Each time I make something for a celeb to flaunt at a red carpet event, I end up getting several orders from my clients asking for similar versions. A film star flaunting my design sends out a message that the designs are top notch. It's like a stamp of approval and it speaks volumes for my brand," says Shinde, who designed outfits for Mandira Bedi, Mugdha Godse, Vidya Malavade and Shazahn Padamsee, among others for the recently concluded IIFA.
"This time most celebrities opted for the real stuff instead of just silver pieces," reveals Sarawgi, adding that when a celebrity borrows jewellery, he or she has to sign an undertaking, which clearly states that they will be held responsible any loss or damage. So, the celeb has to be prepared to bear the costs!
Manav Gangwani, who designed for almost half of the stars who turned up for the IIFA, says that most of the celebrities get in touch with him directly to discuss red carpet styles. Celebs like Kangana Ranaut, Sophie Chaudhary, Fardeen Khan, Salman Khan, Riya Sen, Raima Sen, Jacqueline Fernandez and the like, flaunted his creations at the event last week. Gangwani refused to divulge the arrangement between the stars and him, but insists that he charges a fee for all his creations. "It all depends on the equation I share with different stars, but I don't think lending clothes will make a difference to my brand," asserts Gangwani.
Vidya’s in Style
Sarawgi recalls a previous awards function when Vidya Balan won an award for her performance in Paa. "She wore a Sabyasachi sari and teamed it with an Amrapali necklace. Pictures of Vidya holding her award were all over for the next couple of days and as a brand, we benefited. This time Zeenat Aman was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the IIFA and she wore Amrapali jewels," says Sarawgi of the brands visibility strategy. The other condition while borrowing expensive jewellery, reveals Sarawgi, is that the pieces have to be returned within a day or two of the event.
Gangwani defends his gown
Gangwani defends one of his designs for Sophie Chaudhary (a fish-tail gown with a see through upper, with strategically placed motifs) that earned a lot of flak from the design circuit. “I don’t mean to put anyone down, but each to his own. Sophie can carry off such outfits, which is why we went ahead with it. But I was expecting extreme reactions — people like Salman (Khan), Anupam Kher and Fardeen (Khan) complimented Sophie, while a few others trashed it. So it’s fine,” concludes Gangwani.