The sartorial mastermind behind many Bollywood red carpet looks, Ami Patel knows fashion like the back of her hand.
From fashion portfolios, magazine covers, TV shoots to styling some of the best-known celebrity faces in India, she has it all in her kitty.
Former fashion director of L’Officiel India and creative director of Harpers Bazaar, Ami gives us a glimpse into her fashion diary.
1. How did it all begin, your foray into celebrity fashion styling?
I was a fashion editor for some magazine, was thinking of getting into celebrity styling, although I haven’t done anything about it. I was in London for a shoot and I was shopping at Accessorize on Oxford Street, and I happened to bump into Priyanka Chopra, who was trying on a Red hat, and after we got talking. She was shooting for Don 2 at that time and was on a break in London. Eventually she told me that she was looking for a stylist. And that’s how it all began.
2. How do you think the perception towards fashion has evolved in India, over the years?
The scene is actually very evolving, it is changing all the time. Maybe seven years ago, people started to think that it was important to have a stylist to shop looks for them, to work on something, and get them new looks with clothes. It’s not like contact one designer and wear something.
There’s this awareness among people that they need to look good. They need a stylist because it’s important to have somebody who can put looks together for them. It started like this and over time, more and more people started to develop their own identities, and create their own style with the help of a stylist, instead of just borrowing looks.
3. Do you think fashion in India exists beyond Bollywood?
Yes, absolutely. Why would you think Bollywood defines India’s fashion? The youth population of India is so big. You go to the any of these colleges, you see the youth having their own style and you would see the different sections of the society. Forget beyond Bollywood, India is so huge and diverse that even if you go to a village, you would see fashion does exist.
There are so many different embroideries, different fabrics, it’s just so very unique and so beautiful. I would say all the way from a village to high societies to Bollywood, from college students to people in towns, fashion in India is always there. It’s just that it is different to different people and that’s the beauty of it. It’s just as unique and diverse the country is.
Like language, every state has its own fashion. India is absolutely fashionable and its absolutely beyond Bollywood. Bollywood definitely is a very important part of setting fashion trends and showcasing designer clothes, but yes, there’s a lot more.
4. What is the secret behind the creative process? How do the looks come to you?
Creativity is honestly not something which you can quantify. There are thoughts and ideas passing by, they just exist. You’ll have to tune in and catch them up. Ideas exist all over, but you need to be able to tune them into a certain direction to let a creative thought take shape.
I’ve been extremely fascinated by the creative process. Creativity is something that I’ve always been crazy about. It exists in every form, but for me to explore it and put it into fashion in a way to get it right is challenging, fun and rewarding the same time.
5. What are the challenges of working with celebrities?
I don’t think there are any challenges. I think there are only the up-sides. When you work with a celebrity, your work definitely gets far more visibility than working with anybody else. So, I would say that working with a celebrity is not a challenge, but a privilege.
6. Who’s your favorite celebrity to work with?
I love all the celebrities that I’ve worked with. It’s like asking a mother to tell her favorite child. (laughs)
7. How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is very basic. After putting together so many looks for so many people, it is very difficult for me to actually think of something for myself. I just need comfort, so classics are something I would always fall back on.
8. What is the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
It would be, all my Sarees. My grandfather was actually into sarees. Some of the Benarasi Sarees that he passed on to my mother are my most treasured pieces.
9. What would be the one fashion tip you would give our readers?
Be yourself in your own dressing, don’t try and copy trends in order to be something that you are not. Your fashion should project who you are rather than take you away from who you are.
Stay tuned for more on Ami Patel and her collaboration with LIVA fluid fashion!
Image Courtesy: myntra.com