EXCLUSIVE: Preity Zinta didn’t want to wear anything over the top at Cannes, stylist Leepakshi Ellawadi spills beans

Leepakshi Ellawadi in an exclusive interview with Pinkvilla shared her insights on stylist Preity Zinta for Cannes 2024, and working with Kareena Kapoor and Tamannaah Bhatia.

Updated on May 28, 2024  |  07:35 PM IST |  65.2K
Leepakshi Ellawadi styled Preity Zinta for Cannes
Leepakshi Ellawadi styled Preity Zinta for Cannes ( PC: Preity Zinta)

Stylists play a crucial role in the world of fashion, especially for actors in the film industry. They carefully curate outfits that align with celebs, push their boundaries, experiment with trends, and keep a keen eye for detail. There are several stylists in the fashion industry; one name, among many, that shines is Leepakshi Ellawadi. 

She is known for styling many biggies like Shubhman Gill, Malaika Arora and Tamannaah Bhatia. Her most recent work is styling Preity Zinta for Cannes.

In an exclusive interview with Pinkvilla, Leepakshi spills beans on styling Preity Zinta for Cannes 2024 and more.

EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

PV: Styling for red carpet events is no small feat. Can you spill the beans on BTS and everything that went behind styling Preity Zinta for her Cannes red carpet?

LE: BTS is utter chaos, whatever personality we are styling because you are running against time and bringing in samples from different parts of the globe…it is always tough as you are always manoeuvring with the team about the samples. We all work with a mood board and we also look at celebrities that what kind of sense of style they have, what they are going with and which elements we can add and also what relevant trends we can work with so BTS is absolutely chaos from fittings to delays but in the end, you have to deliver your best.

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PV. Did Preity Zinta have any particular advice/choice for her Cannes 2024 look?

Preity Zinta at Cannes 2024

LE: I think Preity’s brief to me was that the spotlight is on India at Cannes and she’s going back after 17 years. Preity has always been someone who has carried herself in a certain sense of style that she has always sported and she is not someone who is carried away by trends and tries too hard to follow some sort of a trend. She is absolutely open to newer choices. Her only request was that when she was delivering the award that she wanted to be an Indian designer and she’s very keen to do something she hadn’t worn before and let’s create a story behind what we are wearing, nothing over the top but walking in an Indian saree like she always does.

PV. How do you ensure celebs’ unique personalities and preferences shine with your styling?

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LE: So, the way to ensure that a celebrity's unique personal style and preferences are kept in mind, is to understand their fashion likes and dislikes. One always gravitates towards what they always believe in their head is the right choice and what the understanding of their body is. 

So, if you have a good relationship and you have worked with that celeb before it always helps to build that trust and what you need to understand is how they want to be perceived on the red-carpet look. And if you have a good relationship with them then you can convince them for something which aligns with their style and is also the right vibe for the event.

 You also have to stay updated with the latest trends and what can adapt them to the body fit, what their body shape looks like to enhance their look without overshadowing their individuality. I think these are a few things that can really ensure with a little bit of attention to detail that an outfit does not overshadow the personality of the artist.

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PV. How would you describe Tamannaah and Malaika Arora’s personal style since you have been working closely with them

Malaika Arora styled by Leepakshi Ellawadi

LE: I’m absolutely in love with Malaika and her sense of style. For the past 10 years that I have been looking, I really think she is an amazing person, she is a fashionista for me and I think I say that she is a lovely person because it just builds a sort of trust and it eases working with somebody who is so fashionable. That’s why I think that when you are an easier person to work with, it helps you to create something new and you can give inputs to the artist and if they are open to it, they can also try very well.

Tamanaah Bhatia styled by Leepakshi Ellawadi

For Tamannaah I would say that she is like a dream to work with because she is so willing and a stylist's muse that she would try everything and even after 12 or 18 hours of shooting she would give you an equal amount of enthusiasm when you are doing fittings with her.  I’m really lucky to work with such people who trust my taste and with Tamannaah we do try and experiment and even if sometimes the outfit doesn’t look great and we say let’s try and let’s see, she is more than willing to bend backwards and make things happen. 

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PV. Can you tell us about a particular look you created for any of the celebrities that you are especially proud of, and what made it stand out?

Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan styled by Leepakshi Ellawadi

LE: One look that I’m absolutely proud of is one we did for Kareena in 2022 for Karan Johar’s bling party. I had put a look together from Paco Rabban for Kareena and the theme was bling… it was a sheer metallic dress which not many people were wearing at that time but it was understated at a place where everybody looked like a shiny disco ball because that was the theme.

We paired it with strappy Gucci heels, 630 CM heels, and she kept her make-up very simple with kohl in her eyes which balanced the outfit. We kind of put sheer bodysuit underneath and it was one of my favourite looks I created in the past as she looked so sexy and at the same time it was not too loud which is my style and she was gleaming under the light and Saif was in a white tuxedo and I really think as a couple they had the spotlight on them that evening.

PV. You have styled current Cricket heartthrob Shubman Gill as well. How would you describe his personal style statement and ability to pull off a look?

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LE: I think Shubman is a very cool guy who is doing very well in her career. He’s got eyeballs and he’s got the attention of brands, so right now he has a lot of attention from the fashion scene as well. So, what I have noticed is that he is extremely experimental and he is still figuring out his personal sense of style but that’s how you start and open yourself to different kinds of fashion.

Right now, his style is very hip as he follows a lot of Korean artists and singers from the West… I would say that he’s also quite fun and he likes to play around with his fashion style… also his favourite brands are Amiri, off white and Balenciaga. That is his personal sense of style that he gravitates towards.

When it comes to style and innovation, Leepakshi Ellawadi shines like a star in the game of creativity and perfection. 

ALSO READ: Neena Gupta writes her own fashion rules as she styles cycling shorts and white shirt with traditional jewelery

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About The Author
Sargun Chabbra
Sargun Chabbra
Content Writer

A Fashion Communication graduate from NIFT who adores movies, fashion, and scrumptious food. With two years of experience, she

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Credits: Leepakshi Ellawadi
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