Anyone who was backstage at the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) will tell you that Aki Narula was the busiest guy around. He was responsible for the styling at 16 shows this season and was a mentor to the Gen Next designers, working with them for three months and offering inputs on fabrics, silhouettes, colours or anything else the youngsters needed. We were about to remark that the styling at this year’s event was impeccable, when we came across Narula, who was taking a break.
“My job has been to edit collections and make the clothes look sharp. And I’ve had a free hand,” he says, pausing numerous times to shout out instructions to his team. Narula was behind the dramatic eye masks and headgear we saw at Vijay Balhara’s show and the ankle-length trousers at Sanjay Hingu’s. He did the drapes for Suhani Pittie and some cool nautical styling for Amalraj Sengupta. But do the designers say anything when he’s hiking up their saris or raising hemlines?
“No, they love it. Bizarre is cool. They just hand over the clothes to me and don’t complain,” smiles the stylist. “There’s no point draping a sari as a sari. So I used colour-blocking, different kinds of drapes and even salwars below saris.”
Dia Mirza, left, along with social activist Rohini Valvatkar displays creations by Vikram Phadnis during the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, India. (AP Photo)