For every Bollywood celeb, who make fashionable style statements, there’s an outstanding stylist constantly working on upping their style game. Meet one such celebrity stylist — Sanjana Batra, who is responsible for glamming up actors like Parineeti Chopra, Huma Qureshi, Shilpa Shetty and more.
YOU HAVE STYLED A LOT OF BOLLYWOOD CELEBS. HOW DO YOU WORK ON PUTTING TOGETHER A PARTICULAR LOOK FOR A CELEB?
My approaches are quite organic and simple. I just do it according to their personality, their body types, their public persona, their personal taste, and references. We just work around that. Unless the celebrity is going through a makeover, I stick to what the people identify him/ her with.
FROM WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
Most of my inspiration is found online via social media because we are constantly being updated about the trends through it, and visually also we’re getting to experience something new. It’s great to see how people around the world are dressing up. Additionally, travelling is another source of inspiration, as you get to see different cultures, lifestyles by observing the street styles.
WHAT DOES STYLE MEAN TO YOU?
For me, style is what comes naturally to you. It isn’t something that you have to think about. It’s not contrived; it’s not something you put together. It’s a part of you, an extension of yourself.
HOW DID YOU THINK OF CHOOSING THIS AS A PROFESSION?
I was working with an ad production house and was trying to figure out what I exactly I want to do. There I was entrusted to do the styling for the projects. That’s when I realised that it’s a proper job and I started enjoying it. Consequently, I realised that I have a flair for it. I did that for about 2 years and thought of starting something of my own and even considered assisting other people. Thankfully, celebrity styling was gaining momentum at that time and I decided to give it a shot. That’s how the opportunity came my way.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACE ON THE WORK FRONT?
The only challenge, which is consistent for all the stylists who work in Bollywood, is that we are constantly running against time. There are tight deadlines, most of the things are done at the last minute. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the job. My job might be weird, chaotic and stressful, but I miss it the most when it isn’t there. Also, the best work comes out with chaos.
SOMETIMES, OLDER ACTORS ARE OFTEN AGE SHAMMED FOR THEIR STYLE CHOICES, IS THERE SOMETHING LIKE ‘DRESSING UP YOUR AGE’?
Of course, it’s important to dress appropriately. I think a lot of people do it with ease. For instance, I style Shilpa Shetty who possibly has the best body in the business and whatever she wears is so chic and effortless. But, she is still very aware; If I ever give her options which appear younger, she denies them straight away.
*As published in HT City & HT Cafe on 7 March, 2017
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