Bollywood’s top fashion stylists reveal star secrets | brunch$feature | Hindustan Times
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Bollywood’s top fashion stylists reveal star secrets

Who is Bollywood’s worst dressed? Who needs a makeover? Who is the most difficult to drape? Bollywood’s top stylists give you the scoop

brunch Updated: Aug 27, 2017 10:12 IST
Farhad J. Dadyburjor
(From left) Top Bollywood stylists Aastha Sharma, Akshay Tyagi, Sanjana Batra, and Kazim and Priyanka
(From left) Top Bollywood stylists Aastha Sharma, Akshay Tyagi, Sanjana Batra, and Kazim and Priyanka(Subi Samuel)

1. Akshay Tyagi- Dresses Arjun Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Mahesh Babu, Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan

Irrfan Khan and Sidharth Malhotra. (Irrfan Khan wears a suit and shirt from Dior, tie from Ermenegildo Zegna, and shoes from Louboutin. Sidharth Malhotra wears a kurta from Bundi and trousers by Mayyur Girotra) (Getty images)

Having trained as a designer in Canada and taken part in fashion weeks there, Akshay says: “Since I was 10, I’ve been designing bits of women’s wear. So how I ended up becoming a menswear stylist, even I don’t know.”

When he landed up in Mumbai in 2011, “broke, jobless and on my parent’s couch,” he joined Style Cell (started by style supremo Anaita Shroff Adajania) and assisted on Hrithik Roshan’s styling for Krrish 3 (2013) and Bang Bang (2015). Has he ever been at the receiving end of a star’s temper tantrums? “Nobody screams at you. You just don’t get any more calls.”

Most challenging star to dress...

Arjun Kapoor, because he’s not a standard size and skinny fits are in right now. But I found the problem areas and made sure he looked the best.

Best dressed in the industry...

For actual personal style, I’d say Rahul Khanna.

Style blunder...

The Bang Bang trailer launch.

One Indian designer you love...

I love Shantanu and Nikhil. A newer designer I swear by is Sahil Aneja.

Career highlight...

Irrfan Khan for Inferno film promotions in Italy. I think I changed the way he was portrayed in terms of style – he looked cool and confident in a Dior suit and Louboutin shoes.

Someone in need of a makeover...

Aamir Khan. Because he’s not working with his body proportions right.

Would love to style someday...

Amitabh Bachchan. He’s always so well dressed!

Fashion inspiration...

I love Hussein Chalayan, Comme des Garçons and Issey Miyake.

Weirdest request...

To buy their underwear. I’ve bought it. And trust me, they don’t stuff their underwear when they wear it!

2. Kazim and Priyanka: They style Aditya Roy Kapur, Emraan Hashmi, Imran Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput, Tiger Shroff

(From left) Sushant Singh Rajput wears a suit, shirt and tie from Turnbull & Asser. Aditya Roy Kapur wears a jacket by Anuj Madaan, knit and jeans by Roberto Cavalli and shoes from Officine Creative. Emraan Hashmi wears a suit from Andrea Pompilio, shirt from Zegna and shoes from Tods.Ranbir Kapoor wears a jacket, knit and trousers from Tom Ford and shoes from Yves Saint Laurent. Imran Khan wears a jacket from Corneliani, shirt and trousers from Ermenegildo Zegna, tie from Tom Ford and shoes from Herring. (Getty images)

“Fashion was an obsession. We discussed every season’s looks since we were 16 years old, right down to the last stitch,” says this husband-wife duo. “There was a lot of costume dressing. No one was coming strictly from the fashion point of view and no one was getting the fundamentals right.” Specialising strictly in menswear, they go under the name of Vainglorious. Why such a lofty name? “Because men hold back when it comes to fashion and this would give them carte blanche to just go for it!”

Most challenging star to dress...

We had been forewarned that Imran Khan despises the idea of a stylist and always finds them to be incompetent. He’s a stickler for detail; he looks at every stitch and button. And a big complaint from his wife Avantika, was that even when he’s dressed casually, you’ll never know he’s dressed casually. That’s something we’ve managed to get out of the way. He’s a quality snob and we love that about him.

Best dressed in the industry...

It would be a toss-up between Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan.

Style blunder...

We were dressing a client for a function in Dubai. We had done the fittings real quick and just as he reached the venue, he told us the trouser’s hem had opened up. Luckily, we had arranged a back-up.

One Indian designer you’ll love...

Antar-Agni. His clothes are not contrived. And they use natural fibres. We can’t tell you how many designers send us stuff that has 40 per cent polyester!!!

Career highlight...

Ranbir Kapoor’s look on Koffee With Karan. A white Tom Ford jacket, black turtleneck, and trousers. That jacket was 100 per cent cashmere...we loved it so much we kept molesting it.

Someone in need of a makeover...

Ayushmann Khurrana. We would dress him in fewer colours! He’s an understated actor, his clothes should be too.

Would love to style...

Virat Kohli. He has the right kind of body and would look great in formals.

Fashion inspiration...

We are obsessed with David Bowie.

Weirdest request...

I was once asked by a star to go to the gym with him, to feel better about my emaciated body. I’m still not ready to forgive him.

3. Aastha Sharma: She dresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Esha Gupta, Huma Qureshi, Pooja Hegde, Saif Ali Khan, Sonakshi Sinha

(From left) Pooja Hegde wears a jacket from Deme by Gabriella. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wears a gown by Elie Saab and jewellery from Boucheron. Esha Gupta wears a dress from Lulu and Sky. (Getty images)

She was about to drop out of her marketing and merchandising course when her teacher told her she had more options with fashion than she knew. An internship at Channel [V] later, she was in love with styling. “The whole process intrigued me,” says Aastha, who worked at Harper’s Bazaar and then started a company. Do stars have a real personal style? “Each actor comes with their own style and as a stylist, you mould them in a more fashionable way.”

Most challenging star to dress...

It would be Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. She had such a refined personal style that it was a challenge to better it.

Best dressed in the industry...

I like what Sonam Kapoor does. Also, Kangana Ranaut.

Style blunder...

I was dressing Jacqueline Fernandez in a dress that had lots of buttons. On the red carpet, they started to come undone. Luckily, Sonam came to her rescue.

One Indian designer you love...

Sabyasachi

Career highlight...

At the Cannes Film Festival, we did some great looks on Aishwarya and it was very well received.

Someone in need of a makeover...

Vidya Balan. She has a beautiful body and she should celebrate that.

Would love to style...

Alia Bhatt

Fashion inspiration...

Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Julia Roberts.

Weirdest request...

A lot of actors only want to wear international designers, which is very weird.

4. Sanjana Batra: She dresses Huma Qureshi, Parineeti Chopra, Prachi Desai, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Tamannaah Bhatia

(From left) Parineeti Chopra wears an outfit from H&M.Tamannaah Bhatia wears an ensemble from Raw Mango and jewellery from Amrapali. Shilpa Shetty wears a dress from Yolan Cris. Huma Qureshi wears a gown from Christos Costarellos (Getty images)

“Styling is a new-age profession in India that people are still grasping,” says Sanjana, who got into it by accident. “Now people are experimenting and listening to their stylist, often they can have set ideas of what is glamorous, so that crossover from fashion to Bollywood is a little tricky.”

Most challenging star to dress...

Asin. She’s sweet but she was not open to experimenting.

Best dressed in the industry...

Sonam Kapoor

Style blunder...

I styled Shilpa Shetty and minutes before she was supposed to change, the tailor on set ripped the outfit!

One Indian designer you love...

Anamika Khanna for sure!

Career highlight...

I styled Prachi Desai last year for promotions of Azhar.

Someone in need of a makeover...

Madhuri Dixit Nene

You’d love to style...

Anushka Sharma

Fashion inspiration...

Sienna Miller

Weirdest request...

At a style workshop, a guy came with his wife and ask me to recommend something for her skin problem.

From HT Brunch, August 27, 2017

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