EXCLUSIVE: Sheefa Gilani chats about styling Manushi Chhillar for a fabulous debut in Cannes and more

Celebrity stylist Sheefa Gilani took us through the details of how both their Cannes debuts had it all - fashion and fun!

Updated on Jun 05, 2023  |  02:44 PM IST |  372K
Manushi Chhillar, celebrity style, Bollywood, Cannes, fashion
EXCLUSIVE: Sheefa Gilani chats about styling Manushi Chhillar for a fabulous debut in Cannes and more

Until next year, Festival de Cannes! Cannot help but reflect on celebrities who made it to the French Riviera as frequent goers and some who marked their debuts. And as such, celebrity stylist Sheefa Gilani surely knew the value of it and her approach towards working on looks for Manushi Chhillar went beyond merely styling and getting done for the day. Each outfit on its own was phenomenally full of details and très chic. 

So it should come as no surprise that we landed upon an interview with Gilani about how she and Manushi showcased looks after looks throughout their gala fashion, food and photo session tour. Read on to know about the intricacies that were taken into account to make the stylist and Bollywood actress’  'first' work for Cannes a forever-exciting chronicle.

Sheefa Gilani shares details about Manushi’s outfits, Crochets as a Summer outfit and more

Sheefa goes to Cannes, can you tell us about every bit of your experience? 

Everything happened in a flash. One moment, we were blasting brands with emails, and the next, we were scurrying to reach our flight on time. I'm not saying I haven't been in a tenuous situation like this before, but let's just say... this was different! 

After landing in Nice, I was freaking out because I didn't have 'The Dress', and the red carpet was in a few hours. It was both Manushi Chillar's and my first time, and she was CALM. She trusted the process and knew we would eventually figure it out, and we did! Well, it just so happened that ‘The Dress’ was waiting at the (Martinez) hotel for us. Because I already had it. Sometimes, in an attempt to challenge yourself, you miss out on the things around you, and that was ME! Cut to... Manushi on the red carpet, she was every bit of a dream. Her brief to me was clear from the start. She wanted to be in harmony with her femininity, and her pictures radiate just that.


When was the first time you styled Manushi Chhillar? Tell us about her look. 

Our relationship has grown stronger over the past six years. The first time I styled her was for Color's mini-format show, Miss India. We aimed to create a minimal yet chic look - shorts and a tank top paired with some gold jewelry. Considering it was summer and we were in Rajasthan, you can imagine the heat already. 

What were a couple of themes you stuck with to put together looks for Manushi? 

We followed Manushi's core themes for Cannes - feminine, classic, fairytale fashion. The Fovari design was a perfect fit for the brief. The Sophia Webster shoes and the necklace further added to the overall elegance of the look.

EXCLUSIVE: Sheefa Gilani chats about styling Manushi Chhillar for a fabulous debut in Cannes and more

With the looks of her gowns, strapless seems to have had a soft spot. Was this a coincidence or an orchestrated theme? 

As much as I'd like to say that we were well-prepared for every aspect of this, no, we weren't! Over the past six years, both Manushi and I have reached a sweet spot where we know what truly works. Also, because of the short timeframe, we were clear. We would pick outfits that checked all our boxes.

EXCLUSIVE: Sheefa Gilani chats about styling Manushi Chhillar for a fabulous debut in Cannes and more

Can you elaborate on one of your favorite behind-the-scenes experiences with Manushi at Cannes? 

I still get butterflies in my stomach when I think of the moment she tried on the white gown after an exhausting few hours around town. She said, "Sheefs! This is the one." That's when I realized that sometimes you just have to trust yourself and follow your intuition. I'm grateful to have a client who is equally supportive of the work I bring to the table. 

Tell us about the accessories you played with to complete her looks. 

I love playing with accessories! The Renu Oberoi emerald collar she wore on the carpet was something I had my eye on from the moment I selected it from the lookbook. It was a statement piece and it fit in perfectly with our vibe. The Sophia Webster shoes were the best last-minute addition. Manushi is a shoe fanatic, and I pulled them out from her collection. She wasn't so sure, but I was confident about them. For some of the other looks, we kept the accessories bold. The gold hand stack had my full approval, and the Rosantica bag from Aispi had my whole heart. 


Crochets too stylishly took over the scene. Tell us about how Crochet outfits can be all the fun in Summer. 

I am a big fan of knits, and they definitely have a lot of character when worn correctly. I dressed her in two crochet dresses over six days, each with its own unique feel. Crochet is light, breathable, and can be a fun choice to wear as either a dress or a cover-up this summer. 

Tell us about how you styled Manushi's look on her haircut day which you referred to as a holiday? 

MC and I decided to stay back post her Cannes duties and commitments. Outside of work, she is a friend but sometimes I get my stylist hat on and even end up dressing my friends. Going for a self-care day was her idea, and so a salon seemed like an apt space. Day-off’s style had to be minimal and the pictures are proof.

You've made 'Happy memories' with Manushi. Describe two that you hold extremely close to your heart. 

She and I are fans of the book 'The Gifts of Imperfection' by Brené Brown. In the book, the author talks about wholehearted living, and this little holiday was just that. We lived in the moment. Watching the ocean and the setting sun while eating our favorite ice cream on the beach. The ride on the carousel will be another special memory. We felt like kids, and I fell in love with life all over again! 

We're all ears to know about how you styled yourself in Cannes. From leather jackets to boots and more, how much black is too much? 

I love black. I live, eat, and breathe black. Having spent a considerable amount of time in London, my inclination to always dress myself in outerwear comes from there. I'm also a fan of how Kate Moss dressed in the 90s with ease, and I'm always trying to emulate different ways of styling pieces effortlessly from my wardrobe.

EXCLUSIVE: Sheefa Gilani chats about styling Manushi Chhillar for a fabulous debut in Cannes and more

Do you love Manushi's outfits? Let us know in the comments section. 

ALSO READ: Cannes 2023: Manushi Chhillar's Gauri & Nainika printed gown is fabulously flower-powered

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About The Author

A fashion writer by day and a makeup inspiration by the night, Manjusha is also an ardent animal lover.



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