Updated: July 11, 2020 12:21:54 pm
A few scrolls down Sukriti Grover’s Instagram profile throw up glamorous pictures of Bollywood fashionistas like Kriti Sanon, Tamannaah Bhatia, Shruti Haasan and Radhika Madan. For the uninitiated, Grover is the person behind the dazzling looks of these celebrities that leave us in total awe and set major fashion goals. So when we caught up with the celebrity stylist, she told us about her equation with celeb divas, masks as a fashion trend, and tips to keep in mind when styling a celebrity.
Read on to know more:
What is the best thing about being a celebrity stylist?
As a celebrity stylist, you work with several different personalities and fashion tastes. Knowing your audience is a key component for success, and the foundation is truly understanding what’s going on in the biz. I spend a lot of time on the computer researching different looks, making appointments, gathering all the pieces for a look. The best stylists are also great at planning beforehand, anticipating needs and hiccups, and staying on top of what’s going on in the fashion and styling world. Bollywood, after all, never sleeps and neither do the stars’ styling needs, thus I love the rush that is involved.
Who was your first celebrity client? And how has your journey been since then?
My first celeb client was Katrina Kaif, and it has been eight years since then. There has been no looking back.
Who do you have most fun collaborating with, and why?
Kriti Sanon, because she has this positive and vivacious energy and carries everything with great panache.
Out of all your celeb clients, who is very particular about their looks, and who is more easygoing?
Clothes definitely do maketh a celebrity. Especially in India, celebrity wardrobes are a big deal, because their fashion choices are avidly followed by millions. While styling both men and women in the industry, I have come to realise that men definitely are more picky about their looks and even more about the fits. Among women, Kriti Sanon is definitely a delight to dress because she has impeccable style and grace with which she carries all kinds of outfits. Her wardrobe is a heady mix of Indian and Western attire, and she is the only one who carries herself stylishly in the most basic street style. She definitely is the most easygoing and relaxed.
Curating a celeb look is team effort with stylists, hair and makeup artists and others working together. But with social distancing, how do you think it is going to affect your work?
Your vision is extremely important, but the key is to also let others be the part of the process. All the parties involved are visual artists, and the best way to communicate ideas is by creating a mood board. We share it with others prior to the photoshoot or event so everyone can be on the same page. Since everything is backend work and can be done online, it isn’t affected badly by the pandemic, but of course it depends on how efficiently team members execute it.
The pandemic has also given birth to a new fashion trend: face masks. How would you incorporate this in your celebrity looks?
The use of face masks seemed to be rising even before the pandemic. Future and his daughter wore matching gem-studded ones to the 2017 BET awards as a promo for his performance of Mask Off. Over the last three years several brands like Off White, Fendi, Palm Angels and others have also offered designer masks. Just like sunglasses and hats evolved from sun protection to fashion accessories, masks may do the same; and this is a trend we should encourage at the moment because celebrities have the potential to influence the masses. My goal would be to style trendy masks but as a utility item, so wearing masks can be carried forward as a cool accessory to wear.
Which has been your most favourite look that you have conceptualised, and one you feel could have been done better?
One of my most favourite looks was with Kriti Sanon for IIFA Awards 2018 in Bangkok. She was in an eye-catching silver shimmer ballgown from Mark Bumgarner which we accessorised with a pair of shiny Nitya Arora hoop earrings and a bold embellished ring from Outhouse. Instead of pulling the hair back in a classy bun, we decided to do a messy ponytail to keep it young and fun, and the whole look was beautiful. But I don’t think I regret any of the looks I have done. Yes, some trends are fads that die an early death, for example, leopard prints.
As a stylist, what are the things you keep in mind while styling a celeb?
Few things one should keep in mind while styling a celebrity are:
* To understand their best and favourite features and how to play them up.
* To know their body shape and the styles that look best on them. It’s all about proportion.
* To know the value of undergarments and how they can best flatter the body shape and style.
* To be sure about what image you want to project of the celebrity and what makes them feel the most confident. This helps me find their own personal style.
* Tailoring of outfits is incredibly important.
* I look to iconic references in film and pop culture to inspire me.
* Spend a lot of screen time researching and keeping a tab on the latest trends.
* Have a tailor on speed dial.
How challenging is it to keep each look different from the last one?
A celebrity stylist has to have a deep understanding of the star’s sartorial sensibilities, be in-the-know of what’s trending, and be able to translate it into something individualistic. With there being a considerable rise in events in the last five years, one has to constantly work on fresh looks. I go through briefing sessions with clients and my team, to creating mood boards/ideas for the look, juggling to source from Indian and international brands, and several fitting sessions to lock the right look for the right event.
How has the lockdown experience been for you personally?
The lockdown has taught me to evolve, upgrade and be resilient to change and overcome the challenges. Not everyone is lucky to see another day nor will we get a chance like this to be at home with people we love. Life and its chapters will grow but we need to adapt to positive and lateral thinking.
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