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Fashion
March 12, 2015

Bollywood Style Awards 2015: Khoobsurat

Text by Priyanka Monga. Photographed by Rohan Shrestha. Styling by Shirin Salwan

Verve reconstructs popular looks from the chosen movies with up-and-coming actor Shibani Dandekar

Youth Cult
Karuna Laungani for Sonam Kapoor

If there’s one thing actor Sonam Kapoor can never fumble with, it’s her sense of fashion. For the first time when she looked incongruous as Dr Mili Chakravarty dressed in the most whimsical attire, she still managed to win hearts. Or shall we say that was the plan to portray an effervescent physiotherapist who marches to her own beat and prefers the unconventional route to style, eschewing sophisticated for uncoordinated and fun garb. Stylist Karuna Laungani who brought Kapoor’s character to life says, “The look was based on her character in the script as the makers of the movie had a clear vision as to how they see Mili in Khoobsurat.”

Given a mammoth task to let go fashion rules and yet create an aesthetic appeal with mismatched colours and prints, Laungani started work from scratch and pushed her fashion skills further to team separates she wouldn’t have ever imagined could be coordinated. She was given the freedom and encouragement by director Shashanka Ghosh and producer Rhea Kapoor to unfollow the norms of style and create a look that Laungani terms as ‘happy accidental’ for the character who is invited to a royal abode to treat a wheelchair-bound noble but falls for the well-mannered, snotty prince in the process of treating his father – the Maharaja. Laungani explains, “It was the character sketch that brought together the royal misfit look for Mili. She’s someone who would wear mismatched socks in the morning not because it’s cool but she just woke up and pulled them out by mistake. She loves to dress up in her own way but she is a physiotherapist, so the clothes were a mix of sporty, functional and tomboyish. At the same time her feminine identity was kept alive, so instead of blue jeans and a white shirt, bright trousers with a quirk-print shirt worked.” Laungani got into the skin of the character Mili, who does what she pleases and hence following trends is not her calling. Rather, she bends the rules to suit her attire – teaming a kurta shirt with traditionally embroidered waistcoat, utility denims and sneakers.

Laungani finished framing Mili’s look further by keeping in mind her upbringing of a Delhi-based middle-class family and mixed Indian silhouettes with a sporty vibe in bright colours and bold prints to add Rajasthani flair. She scouted for clothes from high street fashion brands such as Mango, Asos, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Bhane and Indian designers Péro by Aneeth Arora, Anupamaa Dayal and Karishma Shahani.

Laungani felt challenged at every point during the making of the movie. She says, “Styling for a movie is a different ball game altogether. Here you have to think like the character and put yourself in his/her shoes. You also have to work closely with the art team to see their colour combinations and keep in mind various details such as the set and location. It’s exciting to see a character come to life and to be able to see your vision translate on the silver screen.”

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