If you're a movie star, you can bet she'll have her designs on you.

Clothing the best bodies in the business can be a daunting task, but for leading costume designer Neeta Lulla it's all in a day's work.

Her innovative and exquisite creations in Lamhe, Darr, Taal, and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam have always been a rage. The recently released Yaadein and under production Devdas too bear witness to her tailoring talents.

Riding high on the success of her recent fashion show in New York, where she impressed Steven Seagal with her unique line up of Indian and Western apparel, she says, "I find my job creatively very satisfying because your work is seen by larger audiences.

"It demands expertise in various areas because you not only co-ordinate with the artist, director, art director and cinematographer but you also must be aware of what looks good on a person and what would highlight their features against a certain background," she adds.

Here she comments on a fortunate few, who've had the honour of carrying off her creations.


During my long association with her, the most difficult and challenging outfit to create technically was a dress for Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja. It was created for the Dushman dil ka woh mera song.

It weighed over 25 kg and Sridevi wore it continuously for 15 days. We had to mend it every night due to the damage caused by the vigorous dance routine.


Juhi Chawla
Draping Juhi has always been a pleasure. I remember the outfits she wore in Aaina, especially the off-shoulder golden blouse that complimented Juhi so well and which became a fad after the film.

Another challenge was getting her costumes ready overnight for the Ghoonghat ki aad se song for Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke. The cast and crew were leaving for Rajasthan the next morning and I was approached at five in evening. So, all the detailing was done on the fabric. Juhi never looked lovelier.

Despite the hardwork put in, there are certain factors, which are beyond the control of a dress designer. Sometimes when you are not present at a shoot, the artist may decide to wear certain jewellery or make-up that would mar the overall effect.

Also, when a film has been in the making for a long time like Kartavya, the outfits look jaded and dated.


Aishwarya Rai
My favourite piece in Taal is the one Aishwarya wore in the climax song Ishq bina. And in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, I particularly liked the Chand chupa outfit. Subtle colours complement Ash.

I'm designing for her and rest of the cast (except Madhuri Dixit) for Devdas and it has been extremely challenging. I can't reveal too much at this stage, but I have tried to maintain a balance between the period look and contemporary style. The idea is to enhance the beauty of simplicity. Plus, the flavour of Bengal had to be retained.


Kareena Kapoor
The younger stars take a lot of interest in their clothes. Because of greater exposure, they're aware of the fashion trends around the world.

Kareena's outfits in Yaadein are trendy; any young person would love to wear them. In the song Jab dil mile, the costume is quite simple but the colors are stark.

The basic idea is to bring out the character of the star, apart from making her look glamorous. That's how the job of a costume designer differs from that of a fashion designer.


Shilpa Shetty
She has a great body and you can really experiment with such a figure. I worked with her in her earlier films and I am designing her outfits in her forthcoming films too.



Text: Sukanya Verma

Also read:
'Working with stars is a learning process'
Neeta Lulla on Rediff Chat!

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