“All my clients have always been very open to experimenting, which works out great for me,” remarks celebrity stylist Aastha Sharma, who has styled celebs such as Kajol, Disha Patani, Rakul Preet and, of course, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. However, she confesses that each new client comes with a fresh set of challenges, but she takes them in her stride and works at re-inventing and offering something new. In an interaction with indianexpress.com, the person behind so many head-turning looks, talks about her equation with her clients, what it takes to be a celeb stylist and her Myntra Insider Masterclass.
You style Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, one of the most beautiful women in the world. How is the experience?
Aishwarya is a global icon and I have been working with her for seven years now. It is always a pleasure to collaborate with her, bouncing off exciting ideas while exploring new and interesting styles. Every client poses a challenge in the initial phase and it took me a while to re-invent and discover relevant ideas that go with her strong personality and style. It’s been a process but when you are working as a stylist, it is always exciting and challenging to do something new. With Aishwarya, that is something we have always tried to do — whether it is for red carpets or editorial photoshoots.
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This stunner 💙 @rakulpreet for an event in Chennai in: Outfit: @hemantandnandita Jewels: @confluenceofficial Shoes: @louboutinworld @prpundit Makeup: @im__sal Hair: @ashisbogi Styled by: @wardrobist @reannmoradian @iammanisha #stylefile #wardrobist #teamwardrobist #rakulpreetsingh #summertime
How would you describe Aishwarya’s personal style? What are her fashion preferences?
Aishwarya’s personal style is very effortless. She’s extremely comfortable in smart casuals. She doesn’t over-style herself. She is so beautiful that she looks stunning even in jeans and tees.
What are the things you keep in mind when styling her?
It has to be a good fit that complements her body type. We try to keep the colours vibrant but not to the extent that they overpower her skin tone. There is nothing, in particular, she likes or dislikes as she keeps an open mind. She loves Indian wear and also adores exquisite western gowns. We constantly experiment with a range of styles and designs to ensure every look is different and new. Most importantly, it should be event appropriate and bring out her personality.
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Celebrating 20 years with Longines in Rome and launching #dolcevita @aishwaryaraibachchan_arb last evening in Outfit: @nedrettaciroglu Watch: #dolcevita by @longines Make up @charlottewillermakeup Hair @stephanelancien Shot by @filippofortis Special thanks you @chadders83 💫 Styled by @wardrobist @reannmoradian #stylefile #wardrobist #teamwardrobist #longines #dolcevita
Is Aishwarya open to experimenting with her looks?
If you see the range of outfits Aishwarya has managed to pull off every year, it is easy to conclude she is open to experimentation. Her outfits at the Cannes film festival are always something to look out for every year. She has gone from a large ball-gown in 2017 to an almost two-feet long gown in 2018 and followed that with a foil gown a year later. She is somebody who carries off each of these gracefully.
You also style Kajol, Rakul Preet, Disha Patani, among other celebs. Who do you have most fun collaborating with, and why?
They are all extremely lovely. When it comes to Disha, it is always about being fun and different, which can highlight her stunning face and body. Kajol is elegant and brings a delightfully pleasant vibe to the table. We have been working together for over three years now and she diligently takes inputs from stylists. Rakul is fresh, fun and vibrant. She is very hard-working and patient, which gives me the opportunity to experiment with a variety of different looks.
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💛💛💛 @kajol for #devi promotions in Outfit: @punitbalanaofficial Jewellery: @amrapalijewels Make up: @melanie_dsouza_makeup Hair: @sangeetahairartist Shot by: @sambhavvoraphotographer Styled by: @wardrobist @iammanisha #styelfile #wardrobist #teamwardrobist #kajol #kajoldevgan #devi
What is it that goes behind styling a celebrity?
A lot of factors are considered when styling a celebrity. Firstly, it is important to have a thorough understanding of their personality and fashion preferences, to help us add fashion elements to make their styles trendy and relevant. Keeping in mind their comfort levels and the public persona they like to portray are also key in curating designs. We also need to be updated on current brands and their collections. Finally, we do a round of fittings where we analyse what works and if there is a need for edits. For photoshoots, we work with other teams such as the photographer and make-up artist to design the right outfit that not only complements the celebrity but also brings out the vibe a magazine is looking for. There are a whole set of challenges for an event, ensuring all the make-up and accessories are in place. We also carry a back-up of relevant equipment, etc.
Which has been your personal favourite styling moment; any regrets too?
There are so many, but if I had to choose, it would be all my moments at Cannes. Nearly half my year goes into planning that three-day event. I always come out satisfied with the opportunity to do some amazing red carpet looks.
Tell us about your Myntra styling masterclass
When Myntra first contacted me about the masterclass, I was really excited. Myntra’s vast reach is educating so many people on what stylists do and the challenges we face on a daily basis. I hope it helps aspiring stylists and those who are passionate about fashion and keeping up with the latest trends. In my Masterclass, I spoke about street fashion, which has grown over the last few years. I encourage people to experiment and mix-match different elements they would find in their wardrobes. I am eagerly looking forward to conducting more Masterclass sessions.
How would you describe Kajol’s personal style? How easygoing is she to collaborate with?
She is among the most fun people to work with. I have done a film with her and her positive energy and humour often throw people around her into fits of laughter. Her fashion style is perhaps best described as effortlessly stylish. However, if she is going to a public event or a red carpet, she is extremely open to trying out different things. Her easy-going nature makes my job a whole lot easier and it has always been a pleasure styling her outfits.
How open are Indian celebrities when it comes to experimenting with their looks?
It is amazing to see how times have changed over the last few years. Everybody is so aware as access to information is always available on the internet and social media platforms. A lot more people are keeping up with the latest trends and the different designers. Celebrities are no different, they are really open to experimenting due to the huge variety of options available to them.
Any celebrity you wish to style?
Natalie Portman and Jennifer Lopez. They are just stunning. I have admired Jennifer Lopez for the longest time. She has been a fashion icon and I would love to see her in an Indian outfit like a beautiful sari. Natalie Portman, because I love her body type.
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