When and where does your love for fashion and styling come from?
As a teenager, the Miss India and Miss World contests fascinated me a lot. I loved how they represented their respective country’s culture through fashion and clothing. Then, after growing up, I knew I wanted to pursue fashion design and styling. I started drawing at an early age. Then I decided to join NIFT. I failed the entrance four times because I was really good in practice but couldn’t pass the theory. As I came from a Gujarati background, English was a major language barrier for me. Then I finally entered NIFT, Gujarat. After my course I moved to Mumbai in 2001 and that’s how I started my journey and I think my main love for fashion is because I love art and aesthetics.
You have been the personal stylist for some popular actors. Who has it been an absolute pleasure to work with so far?
For me, it’s not about popular actors, it’s the love for my craft that makes me happy to try new things and do everyone’s hair. An absolute fun delight has always been Sunny Leone. I have been with him for 10 years. I first saw her on Bigg Boss and I think I came forward at that time to work with her because I felt I could really outdo her personality by styling her. And she’s really fun to work with and makes her team and everyone around her feel very comfortable working with her.
You seem to share a special bond with Sunny. How would you describe her as a person?
To me, Sunny is as sunny and bright as the name suggests. She’s a fantastic human being and a sister to me. Having her in my life has given me an extended family. Her children love me and so do I. My bond with her and the family is unbreakable so much that I can go offline for a decade and the day I find her, we’ll be back where we started.
Tell us about Sunny’s personality and fashion sense?
I think she has great fashion sense and we are always on the same page. Moreover, she can carry everything perfectly and gracefully. He’s a real sport to work with and never shy away from experimenting with new looks and outfits. I find her to be really fun, bubbly, cute and goofy. Haha! She loves colors and so do I!
You also styled Govinda. He is one of the most eccentric and expressive actors when it comes to style and fashion. How was your experience working with him?
Govinda is, as they say, A STAR! Just like we saw on the big screen, he’s the same in real life. He was and always will be the #1 hero. I think Govinda defines bling, colors and happiness through her clothes. As a person, he is very warm, down to earth and a lovely being. He treats me like a member of his family and it is always a joy to meet him.
Katrina is an industry actress who pulls off Western and Indian outfits with equal grace. Would you accept? What is this thing that sets her apart from the others?
Yes, I completely agree! There is an Indian charm, perhaps an ancestral oriental connection. It makes her look like a perfect Indian beauty, when obviously she was raised in the west and her personality, the dresses immediately justify it.
Other than those you’ve worked with, is there anyone whose style and fashion sense interests you?
I think Alia Bhatt has a chic and cute fashion sense at the same time. Whatever she’s wearing, she looks really classy! I think her outfits are as stylish as her smile. Her style defines her confidence.
Apart from the regular fashion releases, there are maternity wardrobes that are becoming very popular in India…
Absolutely! Not just celebrities, everyone is now doing their maternity shoots and following different maternity looks. I think this is a time to be fully appreciated and felt. And fashion helps maintain that joy of carrying a child.
What are your hopes with Sonam Kapoor on this?
I really have the impression that she is a fashionista! She’s never afraid to experiment with new looks and something different. She doesn’t care even if she is trolled or liked. I really liked the recent maternity photoshoot she did. She looked absolutely gorgeous!
What do you think is the hardest part of a celebrity’s style?
It is certainly not an easy job. Everything must be perfect and synchronized. You cannot miss any detail. If you love and have a passion for fashion and art, you can definitely do this.
Is there a lost fashion trend that you would like to revive?
I think cool headwear would be nice and they add that punch factor to the outfit.
You have been in this industry for over 20 years now. How do you view your journey so far?
I was very lucky to have the opportunity to work with who’s who in the industry, starting with Dev Anand all the way to Nora Fatehi. Nothing to say, no regrets.
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