What made you start designing and styling for films?
I was doing my designing course in Loyola College, Chennai, around five years back. After seeing my designs at a couple of events, director Bharathiraja offered me to work as a costume designer for his film, Kangalal Kaidhu Sei. My aim was to become a fashion designer but I just couldn’t reject this offer. That’s when I started designing for films. In fact, I’ve also worked on several commercials and it’s been a great learning experience.
How is it to work in the film industry?
Though my family is into the film business, I can’t take work for granted. Everybody gets treated equally on the sets. For costume designers, there is always a limited budget and timeline and one needs to work within that. You need to constantly prove yourself to be able to sustain in the industry. Since this is a business that involves working with stars, man management is an important trait.
The concept of employing a designer is relatively new in Kollywood. What is your take on this changing phase?
There is a need in the industry for designers and stylists right now, especially with the newer crop of stars. People working in the industry are quite educated and aware of what they want. People have the tendency to cash in on the fashion and trends created through movies.
Be it a movie set in a rural backdrop, or a commercial film, directors need the help of designers to give the actors the right look. The competition is high and so are the demands.
Actor Ajith Kumar’s look in his upcoming film, Mankatha is being talked about. How did you go about styling him?
Venkat Prabhu (director) took me through the entire script and we decided to give him a completely new look for Mankatha. Even before I could start work on the film, I got several mails from his fans requesting me to give him stylised outfits and looks. Keeping that in mind, I decided upon the salt-and-pepper look.
He wears different outfits through the film but I must say that he’s carried each of those looks very well. At times, even Prabhu and I would be stunned at the final result. In fact, even Trisha’s look in the film is rather stylish.
Who, according to you, is the most stylish actor of Kollywood?
It would be Suriya. From his first film to the way he looks now and the manner in which he has groomed himself is astounding. Even Vikram for that matter has groomed himself really well. Amongst the female actors, Illeana is one actor who can carry any outfit perfectly.