Ever wondered who styles your favourite Bollywood stars? Radhika Mehra did too before she started her celebrated journey as a stylist to the crème de la crème of B-town. And she kickstarted her foray with none other than the legendary Manish Malhotra.
Talking about how she fell in love with Manish’s work, Radhika shares, “Being starry-eyed since childhood, I was always in awe of the way Karisma Kapoor was styled in all her films in the 90s and early 2000s and was curious to know how can I get my hands on the clothes she wore. That somewhere kind of started my love with fashion and unknowingly styling. I started digging up to get all the information I could and got to know that the one who styled her in every one of those films turned out to be Manish Malhotra. I absolutely fell in love with everything he did thereafter. His ideas, choice of colours and styling, I was mesmerised by it all.”
With mentor Manish Malhotra | Pic: Instagram/radhikamehra
Radhika feels blessed to have learnt from the man himself. “My association with Manish was a dream come true. Ever since I can remember, I was a fan. As a little girl, all I wished was to work with him someday, and when that journey started, it was full circle for me. Project after project, I just kept realising what made him was his hard work, dedication and love for what he did. I just considered myself fortunate to be able to learn and grasp every day that I worked with him for seven years,” she gushes.
Kajol | Pic: Instagram/radhikamehra
Kajol has been her muse since years, “What I love most about working with Kajol is that she’s fearless and lets me expand my perspective when it comes to styling her. The results have always come out beautiful. Also, with Kajol, it never feels like a day at work. We’ve had the best times. There’s lots of laughing, lots of food and lots of love involved when you’re around her,” Radhika explains.
Shefali Shah | Pic: Instagram/radhikamehra
Radhika recently styled Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari for the much-talked web series Human. “My approach was absolutely contrary to conventional. I wanted to break the norms of our perception of how doctors or the women in Bhopal dress —breaking the stereotype basically. When I read the script, I was mentally chalking out their worlds and designing all these characters, and they had nothing to do with what Shefali or Kirti had done in the past. I was fortunate to work with directors like Vipul A. Shah and Mozez Singh. They had a tremendous understanding and clarity of these characters and their layers,” she says.
Kirti Kulhari | Pic: Instagram/radhikamehra
Radhika had to style all the characters as per their nature and characteristics. “Each character was specifically style sketched to depict their entire personality in a glimpse. Gauri Nath’s elegant, evil, disturbed traces, or Saira Sabharwal’s spirited, contemporary, vulnerable vibes, Mangu’s intense slumdog vibe, Roma Ma’s protective yet delusionally grey portrayal; all was amplified and distinctively ensembled. It was very experimental, but I couldn’t go for something without a risk as that’s how these characters were written,” she elaborates.
With muse Kajol during a shoot | Pic: Instagram/radhikamehra
Radhika has many interesting projects lined up in her kitty. “I recently worked on Runway 34, which is being directed by Ajay Devgn where I styled Aakanksha Singh, Angira Dhar, Vasuki Punj and others. Currently, I’m working on a film with Kajol, which is being directed by Revathy, where I’m styling the entire cast. I am also working on Bholaa, which is produced by Ajay. It is the Hindi remake of Kaithi,” she concludes.