At a time when top notch designers update their insta accounts every few hours and have their PRs going on an overdrive everytime a celeb sports their outfits, this man comes across as a refreshing change. Mumbai-based designer Vikram Phadnis is ironically low key for a man with the most high profile friends in the country. His coterie includes names like Tanya and Arvind Dubash, Yash and Avanti Birla, Shweta Bachchan Nanda, Kaajal Anand to name a few. “To each his own. Today is the era of social media and I think it’s fine for designers to upload pictures as they are catering to a new age demand. But, it’s just not me. I really don’t have that kind of inclination,” he softly states.
When Vikram directed his debut Marathi film Hrudayantar, he got Bollywood hunk Hrithik Roshan to shoot for a guest appearance. “I always wanted to direct a film. I had written the story two years ago, and I got two powerful performers. It was showcased at the Melbourne Film Festival last year. Hrithik played himself in the film and the movie has been received well,” he says in a telephonic chat enroute to Dubai. The designer will be in Bengaluru on February 15 for an exhibition, and will also participate in a Fashion Week on February 17. Ask him how fashion-conscious Bengalureans are and he promptly responds. “Each city has its own intrinsic style and one should never compare,” says Vikram who loves dining at the Karavalli while in town. “The food in Bengaluru is simply amazing and I enjoy eating anywhere here,” he adds.
And to think that Vikram’s journey began as a choreographer, who then gravitated to designing, thereafter. He has designed outfits for Bollywood’s brightest, be it Salman Khan or Priyanka Chopra. “He saw potential in me almost 22 years ago. In fact, it is thanks to him that I even took my first flight ever. There are so many more talented designers and I am privileged that he supported me so much,” says the self-effacing man who is already working on his second film, which will be a Bollywood movie. “I’m currently working on the script,” is all he says.
The designer, who has completed 27 years in the fashion business, had a grand celebration two years ago. In 2016, his besties threw a fabulous red carpet bash for him which saw the almost reclusive Gauri Khan make an appearance as did Natasha Poonawala. But the icing on the cake was when Big B happily volunteered to walk down the ramp for him. We heard he almost said no in panic. “I was so nervous that I blurted out that it was okay, he just had to attend the show. But Mr Bachchan, who wanted to gift me something special, made my day by walking down the ramp for me,” recounts Vikram who has designed for four of Big B’s films.