Designer and stylist Komal Shahani, who has worked on major Bollywood projects in the past, talks about her latest project Welcome 2 Karachi that has just hit the theatres.
What was the brief given to you for Welcome 2 Karachi?
“Keep it real” that’s what my director Ashish R. Mohan told me. And he left it completely to me after that. Did the actors give any inputs regarding their looks? We had two Pakistani actors in the cast. I did take tips from them about the cuts and specifics of Balochi salwars.
Tell us a little about your research.
I began by devising a look book for each character in the film, taking a leaf from the fashion trends in Pakistan as seen in their newspapers and magazines. I also looked on the Internet for more Taliban costume references. Getting the details right was crucial. I had sourced embroidered leather Baloch jutis, mirror work Muslim caps, headscarves and turbans. Costumes were sourced from London, Turkey and Dubai. We also did a lot of research on the uniforms of the armed forces and security personel in the US and Pakistan. Work went into creating authentic looking badges, ranks insignia and other accessories. The Navy Seal uniforms featured you see in the film are authentic.
You have worked with Akshay Kumar several times. Could you share any interesting experience?
There are so many fun ones. My favourite one is from the Boss days when I had done the look series in a day in Thailand. It was my biggest challenge to manage something completely different and live up to expectations.
Who is the best dressed in Bollywood and who you’d like to give a new look?
The best dressed would certainly be Sonam Kapoor. She puts in a lot of effort in her makeup and outfits. I love her style. Akshay Kumar is amazingly turned out all the time. Some one I would like to give a new look to would be Shraddha Kapoor.