You can’t scroll through Instagram and not stumble upon stylish celebrities these days. Bollywood films may have evolved over the years, but it's the fashion in B-town that has grown leaps and bounds. Actors are always exquisitely dressed for all occasions.
Mumbai-based celebrity stylist, Amandeep Kaur knows how to make celebrities shine on and off-screen, and is currently outfitting the newest heartthrob – Vicky Kaushal.
Kaur follows an “androgynous” style mantra. She describes the new-age profession of a celebrity styling as “putting the best pieces together in an effective way, that appeases the person who’s wearing it.”
Unlike fashion design that is primarily designing garments, fashion communication is everything that sells fashion to customers. Be it visual merchandising, fashion journalism, branding, marketing, graphics...
Talking about the process of styling Vicky Kaushal, she shared some interesting insights about her job and what it takes to create a style statement.
When I was styling Vicky for Raazi promotions, we used a lot of linen and cotton; we kept his looks really subtle, earthy and formal because he was playing an army officer. So he had to look crisp and serious, yet stylish.
While in Manmarziyaan his role is so flamboyant, wild and crazy - I was given a bit of a free hand. However, I still had to keep in mind Vicky Kaushal's personality while styling him for promotions - his likes and dislikes, and also how should he be perceived by the audience.
What was your favorite part of styling Kaushal during Manmarziyaan?
I absolutely loved styling him for the Manmarziyaan concerts. That was really fun!
I could go bold, wacky and over-the-top because he was performing on stage. The energy at the concerts was so infectious with people roaring and singing along; you see the person who you work so closely with performing live and connecting with the audience.
Being part of that energy is my favorite part!
Lesser known fact is that celebrities don’t necessarily own all the clothes they wear. What’s the process of styling and sourcing items from designers or brands?
Designers create samples that are rotated in the press for celebrities for editorial shoots etc. They send us a look-book of their collection, we then select and call for the products. Once the project ends, we send them back.
In the case of brands, we either pick them straight off the stands or select from samples if they have any. Again, one we’re done we dry-clean the pieces and return them.
Unlike film promotions where styling an actor becomes an extension of the character they play, how does the brief differ for events or photo-shoots?
There are a lot of factors to be considered for each. For a photo-shoot, the visual is very important, even if it doesn’t fit perfectly. As long as it looks visually great, we can do minor tweaks with alterations. As opposed to an event where the celebrity has to live in the outfits – they have to walk and breath in it – so they have to be comfortable at all times.
The location also plays a huge role for events because the materials can be selected as per the weather. Another factor is the audience – if it’s a red carpet event and the brief is to make a star “shine,” then the celebrity needs to look formal, sharp… If it’s a meeting with few people, then you can tone it down and keep it simple.
It’s very rare to find any two celebrities wearing the same outfit or even repeat outfits. Is it something stylists consciously take care of?
Yeah! That is a huge task and thanks to the world of social media we're all well informed. We have access to everyone. I tend to follow celebs, stylists, brands, designers and publications – a major part of my work is to keep a tab on social media to keep track of who’s doing what. I especially have to keep in mind the competitors so the styles don’t clash.
I don’t mind repeating outfits. I think it’s a very eco-friendly way of looking at fashion.
Every actor and actress now is "fashionable" thanks to stylists, which has also invented terms like "airport looks" and "gym look." Is that also a part of your work?
Thankfully it hasn’t become part of my work yet! I don’t think Vicky is that vain.
Again, it’s a lot to do with the personality of the actor. But I do understand when actors are constantly chased by paparazzi, they really have to worry about what they put on their backs.
What has been your most challenging project till date?
Oh, I have a very interesting story! It was in August of last year  and I had to shoot with Priyanka Chopra for Cosmopolitan anniversary cover; as a Fashion Editor it was my job to get her on-board. I was chasing her team for almost a year... we finally scheduled it in the U.S. However, few days before the shoot we were informed that she won't be able to do the cover because she was called in for a last minute shoot for Quantico.
Two months later she came to Mumbai for a very brief trip and gave us a slot of three hours.
I used to live in Delhi back then, so I flew in to Mumbai specially for the shoot and it was raining cats and dogs... It was declared a Bombay-bandh and I was stranded at the airport for five hours.
I was worried and stressed, my team was also really discouraged, but I knew I had to make it work. I just called PC's manager and asked to just get her on the set the next day... The next morning we woke up and it was a clear sky! It was still Bombay-bandh so the roads were clear… everyone got on the shoot on time along with PC. And instead of three hour, she ended up giving us six-seven hours because she was really enjoying herself.
Kaur loves a unisex sense of styling – a pair of ripped jeans with a bomber jacket and slogans.
Be it on the bra strap or strap of the side-sling purse, arms of the sweatshirt or just straight in-your-face shirts or back of the jacket – slogans are doing the rounds everywhere
... And her muse definitely pulls it off with a bright smile!
Besides Kaushal, she has also styled Taapsee Pannu, Angira Dhar, Richa Chaddha, Kalki Koechlin.
Featured Image Source: The Peacock Magazine Photographed by Sanjeev Kumar