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Designs on direction

Kirti Mehta talks to those rich, famous and talented designers who balance multiple careers to contain their creativity.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2008 21:21 IST
Kirti Mehta

If you were rich and famous already — and also richly and famously talented — would one career be enough to contain all your creativity? <b1>

Tom Ford, designer extraordinaire and now clothier to James Bond, is turning his elegant hand to film direction with A Single Man, starring A-listers Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.

Our own designers Vikram Phadnis, Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee also want to sit in the director’s chair.

Their story
Brilliant as these people are in their own fields, do they have it in them for these alternative professions? The film fraternity supports the designers’ decision. Harry Baweja, the maker of Love Story 2050, is confident about the transition from designing to directing.

“Making a movie is about telling a story. When designers showcase their collections, they also have a story behind it, and they narrate it through their garments.” Filmmaker Vipul Shah of Namastey London and Singh is Kinng fame gives example of actors and technicians like actor Aamir Khan and choreographer Farah Khan who are now successful directors.

He says, “Anybody who has a vision and can tell a story can become a good director. So designers, too, stand a fair chance.” Award-winning director Madhur Bhandarkar votes for them as well. “Definitely, designers can be good directors,” says Bhandarkar, “as they are well-equipped in the creative aspect. They understand the technicalities.”

Also, filmmakers point out, most designers are friendly with stars, which makes for a good working relationship. The actresses who have worked with the designers as their muse, vouch for their creative ability. “Directors are creators of a film and designers are creators of garments. So I think every good designer has the creative ability to direct a film,” says Mugdha Godse of Fashion fame.

With such close association with them, she actually knows what kind of movie they will make, “Manish Malhotra’s movie will be grand and stylish; Vikram Phadnis’ movie will have blingy stuff; while Sabyasachi’s movie will have a good mix of traditional and contemporary themes.”