Bollywood Backstage: Talking Celeb Styling With Rhea Kapoor

Hear from the top stylists of India about what it takes to make your favourite celebrities look stylish. 

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Video Editor: Ashish Maccune
Cameraperson: Sanjoy Deb
Asst. Cameraperson: Gautam Sharma

If you thought being a celebrity is tough, then you have no idea what a celebrity stylist goes through. Over the past few years, celebrity styling has picked up as a big offshoot of the fashion industry. It’s a full-time job and a pretty difficult one to pull off. But how did it all start? The Quint spoke to Rhea Kapoor, Anisha Jain, who have styled the likes of Sonam, Shahid and Parineeti, about starting the trend in India.

“I think that what people need to understand about becoming a stylist is that, it seems to be a trend nowadays – everyone wants to be a stylist – but the thing about the stylist is that you are providing a service. It has nothing to do with you and you cannot have an ego. What you need to do is bring all the information. You need to know more than anyone else. You need to have collective knowledge. It doesn’t mean that you cannot have an opinion or a creative expression, it just means that you need to take another person into consideration. I think that some people are better with that, creating a collective vision. Sonam has dressed up for every occasion all her life even when there was no camera on her. We started this whole thing because we love clothes. We love fashion. We love expression. Everyone else has overreacted and made it a thing. But for us, it was a very intimate, playing dress-up, very personal thing and it’ll always be like that. Because if it changes it’s not going to be fun anymore.”
Rhea Kapoor, Celebrity Stylist

What’s Styling All About?

Anisha Jain has been styling Shahid Kapoor for the past three years now. Her association with him started when she was approached by his manager in an SOS situation and she had to come up with an outfit for him in a matter of a few hours.

“It usually starts with them getting in touch. It’s either the celebrity themselves or the manager getting in touch telling us what the event is. If it’s not an event, then maybe a magazine cover. If it’s a magazine cover then we get a mood board and that’s basically how it starts. Not every celebrity is inherently stylish. It doesn’t come naturally to everybody.”
Anisha Jain, Stylist

From the girl-next-door to power dressing, Parineeti Chopra’s style has seen quite a change over the past few years and Sanjana Batra is the one behind it.

“Fitting is actually a very crucial stage because what you might have ideated what you might think will work, many a time like a last-minute change is what is required or a little tweaking based on who you’re styling. Now styling is no longer just confined to just being styled for events, appearances, promotions. There’s a lot more personal styling involved.”
Sanjana Batra, Stylist

From Award Functions to Gym Sightings, Everything Comes for Free

You’d think that celebrities are only styled for promotions, appearances or award functions. But the truth is that the business of styling has fashion has picked up to an extent that these days even what your favourite stars wear to the gym is styled and sourced.

“Everything is sourced. A lot of times I pick up things that I like when I am traveling just as part of my inventory. A brand that isn’t available here or doesn’t have a presence here so in that case, I shop while I am overseas. Or if I like something for someone, I pick it for them. If I feel that this will really work on say Shilpa for example, then I’ll pick it up in her size.”
Sanjana Batra, Stylist

Cannes, Oh My God!

We know that Aishwarya Rai makes head turn whenever she enters a room and Aastha has often been the reason for it. She has been styling Aishwarya for the past six years now.

“I was in touch with her manager and just one day she just gave me a call and there was some event. I think it was for Kalyan jewellers. I gave her this yellow Gaurav Gupta outfit. And then the Cannes happened. It was mutually decided that I am going to do some looks for her and it’s been six years after that. Cannes year after can get monotonous. So you need to have that freshness. Usually, it’s an international outfit so either the designer flies in or they send it to us for fittings. That huge blue Micheal Cinco gown, we had to do a few fittings because the gown was very challenging and it was only someone like Aishwarya who could carry it off because there has to be planning for how you are going to walk out from the hotel in that kind of an outfit, how you are going to walk the stairs down or up.”
Aastha Sharma, Stylist

Watch the video to find out more.

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