SRK was more enthusiastic than me to sport the kohl-eye look for Raees - Stylist Sheetal Sharma

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Costume designer Sheetal Sharma, who has styled Shah Rukh Khan for Raees, spilled the beans on how he styled the actor for the film, where the brief given to him was to make the superstar look organic yet menacing! In a chit-chat with Pinkvilla, Sheetal gave us the breakdown of Khan's look and how he himself was keen to sport the kajal for his role. 

Excerpts from the chat:

SRK is known for his romantic image and larger than life persona. How did you maintain a balance between that image and the requirement of the role in terms of his look?

Since the beginning, the brief given to us about his character was - it needs to be organic. This is the synopsis which was given to me by the film's director Rahul Dholakia. He said as we all know that SRK has this larger than the life image, but he wanted Khan to look more intense. Rahul's idea was to make SRK look as gritty and menacing as possible. So that's how we started our research and trials.We went to Shah Rukh because even for him, this look was very new as he had to be in a completely different space and the idea was that people should be really scared after looking him! 

Shah Rukh is playing the role of a bootlegger in the film. What was the thought behind the kohl-rimmed eyes and spectacles avatar?

The first time when we were having a look discussion in the Excel office. We all were quite conscious. Towards the end, we suggested that we can try the kohl-look for his eyes. And SRK found that suggestion more interesting that the other 50 pages of our presentation! SRK said, " Why have you kept it towards the end? " He said it's something basic, so go and ask the makeup guy to get a kajal pencil. And I was like SRK's eyes are so expressive and here I was thinking frames on it and now kohl on it, and I didn't want him to get uncomfortable with it. People love him for his expressions and his eyes speak more than anything.

I was very hesitant to pitch it, but he loved this idea the most.  SRK then called his makeup artist Viraj and insisted that let's try on this look! And by the end of the meeting, SRK was like, 'You give me this kajal look and make me wear whatever you want me to, but I want to wear this kajal!' Interestingly, Khan insisted that I should not get the branded kajal but 'get me that green colour ka jo chota sa dibbi milta hai medical stores, jo maayein apne bachon ko lagati hai!' I was surprised that he is even aware of that green kajal ki dabbi exists! 

How did you zero down on the pathani look for SRK, considering actors like to look sculpted and wear fitted outfits?

You guys have just seen one look in the teaser, but in fact, he has three different looks in the film. He starts with a casual small town boy then how he becomes to what he is. You will see the growth of his character and look as you see the film. Not just patahni suits, you will also see him wearing jeans and shirts. Only post interval you will see him wearing those pathani suits. 

Interestingly, pathani suits were the last thing we tried on him during trials and he was like, ' main yehi chahta tha ki aisa elemnet ho jisme this guy looks very basic, from a small town. I don't want something to stand out.' Shah Rukh was not keen to wear Bollywood-inspired look, he said he has done that a lot. Khan said that in Om Shanti Om he was shown more like a superstar but he wants Raees look to be based on the rural space. Also, Raul belongs to Gujarat. He helped us with 20-30 old albums, to help us derive the right look for the characters from that era. So this is the story behind the pathani idea. 

Set up in 1980s, how did you shape up Nawazuddin Sidduqui and Mahira Khan's look for the film?

Mahira is shown as a very strong support to Raees. We didn't want a glamororus look for Mahira. Her look is also very organic, we opted for light, printed kurtas. Even the picture of Mahira in red anarkali, that look is designed for the song only.  Mahira was a little conscious that she was wearing such simple clothes but then we showed her the entire research as to how her look is designed. I think she is one of the most amazing actors in future we will get to see. She is nothing like what people have seen in the Bollywood so far!



Mahira was very open to all the ideas we pitched to her. Also, the best part was, she said, 'Don't compromise even if it's my debut. She tried on different sarees to the worst looking stuff we picked from the streets in roadside markets of Kurla or weekly markets. And she used to be like, 'Oh the fabric doesn't hurt much, so let me try this on as it's supposed to be that kind of character.' 

For Nawaz, you will only see him in the police uniform only once or twice in the film max. I have already styled him for Miss Lovely before, so I knew what would look good on him. Even Nawaz didn't want a conventional look for his character as a cop. He will be seen as someone with a strong personality and his clothes will reflect that. 

Sunny Leone is dancing to the tunes of Laila O Laila in the film. Tell us about her look.

The first brief was - our team had no idea which actress will dance to this song. The song is an important turning point in the film. And then Sunny Leone came in and she is an essential part of the narrative. The only thing Farhan (Akhtar) told me to make it look classy and not like a regular item song. And Farhan's brief was like, 'Make Zeenat Aman Now, in today' time!' 

How different was it to style for Raees from films like Katti Batti and Airlift? 

I think Katti Batti was the only glamorous Bollywood drama I did. And that too, Kangana Ranaut, who is like this mother of style! 

My other films have been like D-Day, Miss Lovely and then, Bobby Jasoos. I like to style films with a realistic and generic setup. So, Raees was in my comfort zone. 

And lastly, pick your most memorable look from Raees - the entire film!

Ask anybody in the entire crew and they would say the black patahni suit. I remember the day Shah Rukh walked out wearing that from his vanity van, people stopped working on the sets and started staring at him. The moment of Bhai walking on the sets was literally like this one strong guy taking over.

Raees is slated for a January 25, 2017 release. 

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He is GORGEOUS! *_*

I'm eager to see Mahira's style, she is soo beautiful.

SRK looking damn good and hot in this avatar well done guys

Isn't it traditional for Muslim men to wear Kohl? Even in traditional dance performances, Hindu men wear kohl.

Can't wait for Raees

Killer look...the film looks so promising. And what a great interview!


Usually men when wears kohl they look girlish but SRK carry it so manly. Very very very hot I must say.

He is one actor who makes bad looks so desirable and yummy. Even when doing bad deeds you still want him! Such a rare thing no other actor has.

He looks dangerous but damn HOT!!

It looks terrific. He pulls is off so perfectly and sexy tbh.

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