South stylists: Top designers are seeing the growing market in the South Film industry
When you see an actor slipping into their finest evening attire, the credit goes to his or her stylist. There are masterful stylists down South who have upped the fashion game like never before.
Fashion has exploded tremendously in our country in the past few years. Indian actors and their stylists are leaving no stone unturned to bring out the best when it comes to fashion. South actors have become way more experimental and are seen pushing the envelope almost every time, be it at the movie promotions or during award shows. When you see an actor slipping into their finest evening attire, the credit goes to his or her stylist. There are masterful stylists down South who have upped the fashion game like never before. Celebrated stylist Harmann Kaur, who styles some of the cream crowd from the South Indian film industry, had stated how there is immense pressure every time.
"I started as a personal stylist to Allu Arjun and there was immense pressure initially since he was known for his fashion choices. For me to live up to that, and continuing to maintain that image for the actor was extremely challenging. But hard work has paid off and every look that I have created for him in the last few years, was a hit."
She also added saying that because of pages like Sabya Diet, we do a lot of research and homework. "The day I end up being on Diet Sabya, it will be the last day of my styling career or I might just take a long break," Harmann, who is a personal stylist to Allu Arjun stated in an exclusive conversation to Pinkvilla.
Harmann agrees that stylists have got a place of their own and more due to actors and their presence on social media. "Instagram and other platforms have helped to gain more visibility. Others get to know like who is behind so and so actor's style quotient."
Hyderabad-based stylist Ashwin Mawle is known for styling many biggies for their movies in the Tollywood industry. He has 50 films to his credit and is the man behind Mahesh Babu‘s rockstar look in Nenokkadine or Kajal Aggarwal's 70 costumes in Darling. Speaking about how stylists down South have gained the much-needed importance and visibility of the Bollywood centric designers, he says, "There was a time when our film industry was divided into various parts like our language and religion. But today, everybody is making a Pan-India film and there is now nothing called Tollywood, Kollywood or Bollywood. Hence, the designers are seeing the growing market in the South, also the visibility and how these actors are styled here. After being styled, they see the pictures and the publicity of the outfit, which is created by the team bring more visibility through. I would say the stylists are at the forefront but there are actors also who carry the outfit so well. For Niharika's wedding that I worked for, there were so many outfits that were sourced. Manish Malhotra gave out the entire reception outfit to Niharika (Konidela) and Chaitanya JV because he knew the potential of this marriage...he knows the visibility this marriage would bring. At that time, when I was sourcing the outfits and when the whole designers' fraternity got to know, I got calls from so many designers asking why aren't you using our outfit or we can customize if you want anything special."
He continues, "Not just for the event, they are also willing to give clothes for the shoots, films. I have used Manish, Gaurav Gupta, Abu Jani and Sandeep Ghosla for the movies and they are happily willing to give out. Before it was a different scenario. I thankfully started styling much later for the celebs and movies after a lot of them got rejected by the designers then."
Ashwin also added saying that how it is ok for any designer to say 'no' to a stylist for sourcing outfits. "If you are amazingly segmented designer and sourcing request comes and if it doesn't meet their standard or isn't upto the mark, I think it is ok to reject. It is their choice! Maybe, they want to cater to a certain market. If a certain designer says 'no I can't lend you my piece', it is ok but there is a way to put it across. It is not about South Vs Bollywood but they see the entire profile of the actor before giving out the outfit. It is totally their right!"