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Going places

For a Delhi born and bred designer,Mandira Wirk is surprisingly effusive about Mumbai. “It was when I decided to venture into the Mumbai scene that my career really took off.

Written by Pooja Pillai |
April 25, 2010 11:16:06 pm

Delhi may be home,but for designer Mandira Wirk,Mumbai is what spells success

For a Delhi born and bred designer,Mandira Wirk is surprisingly effusive about Mumbai. “It was when I decided to venture into the Mumbai scene that my career really took off. I would love to move here and work,because Mumbaiites are very welcoming and open to new people and ideas,” she says. In fact,Wirk is currently scouting for retail space to set up a store here. “I had almost finalised one location in Juhu,the last time I was here,but it was whisked off from right under my nose,” she rues.

The designer was in the city to shoot for a leading fashion magazine’s next issue on ageless beauty. “I’ll be featured in the 30-plus age group,” reveals the petite designer,as she stands framed against the large window in her room at the Grand Hyatt,Mumbai. She’s posing for our photographer in a chic grey top and a classic multi-strand necklace,and gently chafes him for giving her enough practice for next day’s shoot.

Wirk debuted on the Mumbai fashion scene in 2008 with a ramp show at the Lakme Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2009,but already she’s a hit with the city’s glitterati. Celebrities who’ve been spotted wearing her signature draped creations include Priyanka Chopra,Malaika Arora Khan,Anushka Sharma,Gul Panag,and Deepika Padukone. She eagerly reveals that she also styled Chopra for the NDTV Greenathon,and will be designing gowns for the Miss America pageant later this year. Apart from these,she is designing a gown for outgoing Miss India Pooja Chopra,for the upcoming Miss India contest. It’s clear that she’s pleased as punch about where her career’s headed.

Wirk is styling Bollywood actor Minissha Lamba for an upcoming movie. “The contract forbids me from giving details at this point,” she smiles. The Delhi-based designer continues,“I’m in talks with a lot of producers for film styling. It’s something I’m very keen on,because you have to keep so much in mind—the script,the location,the lights. It’s a huge challenge and I love it,” she says.

Bollywood styling is not an easy field to break into,a fact that she readily admits to. She’s well aware of the cut-throat competition and her fledgling status. Besides that,having celebrities walk in your clothes also has its downside. “I won’t take any names,but some people can simply kill a lovely dress by wearing too many or the wrong accessories,” she confides. That is another con of not living in Mumbai,she says. “Because I live in Delhi,I can’t rush down here to help with the look every time a celebrity decides to wear my clothes.”

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