Bollywood Fashion: Sonam Kapoor’s designer explains her quirky look in Khoobsurat

A royal palace, a prince, and a very propah rani. That’s hardly the right place for a vibrant, quirky, almost boho clothes. But then there’s the movie Khoobsurat and Sonam Kapoor pulling off the most outrageous looks in this high-society setting.

Khoobsurat poster

Sonam Kapoor plays Dr Milli Chakravarty in Khoobsurat, and her hard-to-miss outfits will get your fashion radar beeping. There are quirky colours and prints, perfectly complimenting her candid dialogues. Karuna Laungani, who has designed costumes for Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat , explains how it all came together.

How did you go about creating the look for Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat?

I was inspired by her character Milli- she’s a very unique personality. She doesn’t care what the world thinks of her, and is bit of a tomboy. But she’s also feminine, a bit Indian and modern. Her look is therefore a bit androgynous mixed with prints. She has lots of things running though her mind at a time, which shows on her clothes. So she would probably end up in a pair of mismatched socks!

What did you keep in mind while designing Sonam Kapoor’s look?

The director Shashanka Ghosh’s brief was clear—Milli needed to stand out. The movie is mostly set in a royal palace, so everyone and everything there is very proper. With her kooky persona, the reaction she is mostly likely to elicit from people is: “OMG, what is she wearing?!” But Milli carries off the look and makes it her own. Sonam’s look by itself may not make sense, but with her character’s personality, it all falls together.

Khoobsurat selfie- Sonam Kapoor

So what is Sonam wearing in Khoobsurat?

Since Milli she expresses herself with what she wears, I’ve played around with androgyny that’s mixed with Indian prints. There is also plenty of layering, and mixing of colours and prints. Since she’s eccentric and experimental, she may not wear a typical salwar-kurta. Instead she’ll wear dhoti pants and a Rajsthani patchwork jacket. And she’ll wear boxers with cute onesies as nightwear.

Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat trailer

Where did you source Sonam Kapoor’s costumers from?

The sourcing was too much fun! We got to try a whole range of brands, looks and designers with all sorts of garments and accessories. I sourced a lot from Indian designers like Anupama Dayal, Karishma Shahani, and Pero (for scarves). From high Street, I chose Bhane for basics, and other brands like Vero Moda, Only, Zara and Asos. Her sneakers are from Adidas, worn with Happy Socks.

What about the accessories?

Milli’s accessories are fun, just like her. She wears Adidas sneakers throughout the film, they’re very sporty! You will also see her in jootis (since she’s living in Rajasthan) and her red watch. You would have already seen her maroon oversized spectacle frames in the posters and trailers. When it comes to jewellery, she’s wearing sensible studs (she’s a physiotherapist after all!), and there’s an arm party happening with lots of arm bracelets and arm bands! She probably got them on Friendship Day from her student days.


What is the one trend that you think stands out in the movie?

The Workout Look. Since Milli is a physiotherapist, she needs to wear practical clothes for working out. But she has fun even with her active wear. So she ends up wearing pink or blue tights with a striped sports bra, and interesting bomber jackets with floral prints.

What is the one thing you would to steal from Milli’s wardrobe?

EVERYTHING!! I like prints, colours, Indian textiles, and I love mixing everything up so it’s really difficult to say. But if I had to pick just one thing, I’d choose her sneakers.

Sonam Kapoor Khoobsurat poster

What is your favourite look from Khoobsurat?

It’s already on the poster. It’s a purple and pink cropped sweater with checked pants. Also, I like the dhoti pants with a blouse and blue shrug, with purple aviataors. It’s such a cool Indo-western look.

What advice would you give anyone who wants to take inspiration from Milli?

Think out of the box. You can clash prints and mix them up, or wear a fun tunic or kurta with denim and sneakers. You could try a printed skirt and printed blouse, but make sure they go together. It’s nice to wear Indian-inspired accessories (like silver jewellery) with skirts and shorts or even shirts. Electrical blue skirts would look great with sneakers and Indian kurtas.

All you need is the right attitude, and should know your style constraints. Of course, good taste in putting things together really helps. Most importantly, think about your personal style and what works for you and your body.

What was it like working with Sonam Kapoor, a fashion icon?

Sonam is an actor first, then a fashion icon. For her, it was getting into the skin of the character above anything else. She was very sporting and I loved how she could make every look work. She kind of inspires you to push the edge and try to do better. So when I would hesitate, she would say, “Come on, add another layer to this look”, and voila! It would look great.

Khoobsurat releases September 19 in cinemas across India.

WIFW AW 2013: B&W to be around next season too?

WIFW AW 2013: B&W to be around next season too?

Maybe we should hold on to our black and white prints end of this season, ladies. For black-and-white promises to be around next season, according to Anupama Dayal and Masaba Gupta among others.

(Below: Looks from Anupamaa by Anupama Dayal)

Anupamaa WIFW AW 2013 Anupamaa WIFW AW 2013

Islamic and Mughal art inspired Anupama Day’s zigzag and checkerboard prints on sharara-like trousers, jamas and angarakhas creating a flowy effect; while Masaba Gupta’s watercolour prints were true to the Satya Paul DNA.

(Below: Look from Masaba for Satya Paul)

Masaba Gupta for Satya Paul WIFW AW 2013

Are you wearing black and white yet?

WIFW A/W 2012: Day 1 highlights

WIFW A/W 2012: Day 1 highlights

Here’s a look at what happened on Day 1 of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2012.

All kinds of cocktail dresses

There were gorgeous metallic finish dresses at S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil, while slinky satins with drapes and lower doses of bling made up James Ferreira’s collection.

Below: S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil, James Ferreira

S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil at WIFW AW 2012

James Ferreira at WIFW AW 2012

Prints of the day

I enjoyed the rippled reed, lotus and lotus leaf print on moss and leaf greens at Anand Kabra, while Anupama Dayal did not surprise with her choice of florals and geometrics (among her faves going by earlier collections).

Below: Anand Kabra, Anupama Dayal

Anand Kabra at WIFW AW 2012

Anuapama Dayal at WIFW AW 2012

The best prints of the day were the tie-and-dye (Indian and geometric) dresses at James Ferreira.

Below: James Ferreira

James Ferreira at WIFW AW 2012

James Ferreira at WIFW AW 2012

White, black and shades of nude

It’s amazing how white, black and nude appear different to each designer. For Vineet Bahl, a black canvas was the starting point, later moving on to earthier hues. (Below: Vineet Bahl)

Vineet Bahl at WIFW AW 2012

At S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil, the final set of garments were nude dresses with white embroidery, and they were gorgeous. And Anju Modi began with ivory and cream, and ended with black.

(Below: S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil, Anju Modi)

S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil at WIFW AW 2012

Anju Modi at WIFW AW 2012

International influences

Sixteenth century Spanish toreros (matadors) provided inspiration to Preeti Chandra. The toreros wore elaborately decorated ‘Traje de Luces’ or ‘suits of light’. She transformed the toreros’ Trajes de Luces (suits of light) into feminine forms with dabka and intricate embroideries on silks. (Below: Preeti Chandra)

Preeti Chandra at WIFW AW 2012

Preeti Chandra at WIFW AW 2012

Meanwhile, Vineet Bahl used vintage Romanian shawls and antique Sardinian embroideries on 1960s silhouettes for the world traveller. The Indian touch came with neon accents with kantha work and stone work on brocade. (Below: Vineet Bahl)

Vineet Bahl at WIFW AW 2012

Anju Modi explored the diversity of cultures and their similarity with inspiration from Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan touching the Kutch border. The free flowing silhouettes were the hallmark of the collection, with ‘sarabara’ or loose trousers worn by Scythians transformed into cowl trousers. Hand-woven fabrics (raw silk melding with textured cotton) brought an earthy edge to the collection. (Below: Anju Modi)

Anju Modi at WIFW AW 2012

Anju Modi at WIFW AW 2012

Accessories of the day

Footwear grabbed the spotlight with sexy stilettos for the glam party girl at S&N by Shantanu-Nikhil and summery, girly shoes at Anupama Dayal. Meanwhile, the dangling earrings at Preeti Chandra reminded me of the 1980s and Spanish country women.

(Below: S&N by Shantanu-Nikhil, Anupama Dayal, Preeti Chandra)

Shoes at S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil at WIFW AW 2012

Anupama Dayal at WIFW AW 2012

Preeti Chandra earrings at WIFW AW 2012

Makeup of the day

There were rosy pink cheeks at Anju Modi and painted lower lashes on Vineet Bahl and Preeti Chandra.

Anju Modi makeup at WIFW AW 2012

Preeti Chandra at WIFW AW 2012

(Below: Anju Modi, Preeti Chandra)

Customary Bollywood appearance of the day:

Dia Mirza and Sameera Reddy at S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil.

S&N Drape by Shantanu-Nikhil at WIFW AW 2012

Chic Poll: Most boring wedding trend

It’s the summer wedding season, and it’s time to bring out the pancake, doll up a bit, wear an outrageously weighty sari or lehenga and wear heavy jewellery.

Below: From Anupama Dayal’s Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2010 collection

Anupama Dayal LFW W/F 2010

The last few weddings I attended, I took mental note of fashion faux pas and what women were wearing. Not surprisingly, a handful of notable trends emerged, but those were outshone by styles that almost everyone was wearing. It was like those women were clones of each other.

So which ethnic wear/ wedding trend are you most bored of? Some trends that make my boring fashion list:

  • Brocade (on sari blouses, kurtas, sleeves, everything!)
  • Zardosi
  • Velvet bodice with brocade sleeves (a la Sabyasachi)
  • Anarkali kurtas

As one woman whispered to her friend, “Sabyasachi is the new Westside.” We couldn’t agree more!

So which wedding trend bores you the most? Answer our poll or leave a comment below!

Chic trends: The long and short of summer wear (part 1)

As the mercury rises every summer, so do the hemlines. But summer of 2011 will be different, for hemlines are going higher even as they go lower… so say hullo to floor-skimming hemlines and long summery dresses and skirts.

But it’s important not to mix up summery dresses with evening gowns and stay in style without looking like an aunty. Speaking Chic’s guide to keeping it long this summer:

Wear it bright

We loved the colour palette at Anupama Dayal’s show at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011. The long dresses and skirts in bright pinks and oranges were perfect for a relaxed holiday.

Below: From Anupama Dayal’s Summer/Resort 2011 collection.

Anupama Dayal LFW S/R 2011

Wear it printed

Nothing speaks chic summer outfit more than a flirty floral dress. Don a long flowery dress and team with easy flip-flops and a beach bag.

Other prints to try: tie-and-dye and batik.

Below: Dress from Zara.

Zara long floral dress

Bare a bit

Long dresses are great for those who don’t have legs like Tyra Banks. But why hide it all? Choose the best-toned area: shoulders, back, collarbones, neck, or arms and pick dresses that highlight your strengths.

Below: Dress from Mango.

Mango long dress

Speaking Chic tip: Dress for your type

Loose and flowy long dresses aren’t for everyone. You may end up adding unsightly weight where you don’t want to see any extra pounds. So try on a few slim-fit dresses and choose the one that suits you the most.

Tomorrow: The long and short of summer wear (part 2)

WIFW A/W 2011: How to wear Day 4 trends

Speaking Chic put some of the outfits and trends from the fourth day of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2011 through our magnifying glass and came up with some key advice for these select pieces and trends:

White for winter

Sonia Sarin’s all-white collection, with shiny bandanas.

Sonia Sarin at WIFW A/W 2011

Speaking Chic says: White is the (non)colour for all seasons, except the prolonged monsoon.

How should you wear this?: As it is, or white teamed with almost any colour is just as nice!

Florals for winter

Anupamaa by Anupama Dayal had a Mughalflower-inspired collection.

Anupama Dayal at WIFW A/W 2011

Speaking Chic says: Last season, winter florals made an appearance on and off the ramp. Anupama Dayal’s floral collection seems to have a strong summer link (though this is from her Autumn/Winter collection).

How should you wear this?: Only in deeper colours for winter.


Koga by Jenjum and Jasleen’s shiny surfaces were mixed with colours like greens, reds, oranges and blues.

Koga by Jenjum and Jasleen at WIFW A/W 2011

Speaking Chic says: Over the last few seasons, fashion has taken a subdued approach to bling. But they’re still perfect for partying and glam nights out.

How should you wear this?: Only one shiny garment at a time, please!

Tailored formals

Atsu Sekhose showcased a largely formal wear collection with tailoring, along with detailing like ruffles and sequins.

Atsu by Atsu Sekhose at WIFW A/W 2011

Speaking Chic says: Fine tailoring, colours like purple, maroon, teal, midnight blue and black make for great formal wear. The bling factor is right for the night.

How should you wear this?: Any way you like—formals are never out of style.

Wooden fashion

Alpana and Neeraj used wood-finished mouldable materials to create striated and blistered wood textures. It was twisted, bolted, shredded and interlaced to form the structures and corsets, often getting a 3D look.

Alpana-Neeraj at WIFW A/W 2011

Speaking Chic says: This out-of-the-box approach to fashion gets a thumbs-up from us, though we hope this gets more wearable in the retail version.

How should you wear this?: A bit more fabric and a bit less wood would be more wearable.

Wire and cables

My Village by Rimzim Dadu incorporated metal and plastic fibres for a futuristic look.

My VIllage by Rimzim Dadu at WIFW A/W 2011

Speaking Chic says: If you appreciate Rimzim Dadu’s technique and creativity, then this outfit will make you feel special, powerful and unique.

How should you wear this?: With truckloads of attitude.

Fluid fabrics

Gaurav Gupta used satins and lycra-based jerseys to create fluid and drapey silhouettes.

Gaurav Gupta at WIFW A/W 2011

Speaking Chic says: Drapes got a different twist in the ace designer’s garments, ranging from messy ruffles to a zippered bodice. Super-like!

How should you wear this?: In a draping style that suits your body type.

LFW: Highlights of Day 4

The fourth day of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 was a mixed bag—with fun fashion and some disappointments.

Floral fiesta

It was mid-March, and the mercury was rising in Mumbai, even as the fashion was getting summery. We saw the eternal summer favourite floral prints taking to the ramp. Purvi Doshi presented great summer florals while Cantabil designs got an edgier twist. And at Anupamaa Dayal the bright florals were mixed and matched with colour and print blocks on saris, kaftans and dresses, creating a very sunny atmosphere in the main show area.

(Below left to right:  Purvi Doshi, Cantabil styled by Rocky S, Anupamaa Dayal).

Purvi Doshi at LFW S/R 2011 Cantabil styled by Rocky S LFW S/R 2011 Anupamaa Dayal at LFW S/R 2011

Funky prints ruled

Like we noted above, florals got a fun twist. But that was just one of the prints we saw on the ramp. Sabah Khan’s rickshaw-inspired prints were kitschy yet wearable. And the inimitable Kallol Dutta got cheeky with a print inspired by leading fashion journalist Sathya Saran (she’s ex-editor of Femina). Take a look.

(Below left to right: Sabah Khan, Kallol Dutta)

Sabah Khan at LFW S/R 2011 Kallol Dutta at LFW S/R 2011

More fun stuff for guys

So it turns out that Indian guys will have an amazing range of clothes to choose from this summer. While Day 2 of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2011 had some good clothes for guys, the Cantabil and Sanjay Hingu collections on Day 4 added to their list of summer sartorial choices.

Sanjay Hingu presented a pastel colour palette for men, focussing on soft blue suits, jackets and trousers, with Rocky S styling the Cantabil men in pastel-coloured suits. One-button suits were another common link. Meanwhile Cantabil had a vibrant colour range for polo tshirts, and it was fun to see the guys in bright-coloured bermudas and trousers.

(Below left to right: Sanjay Hingu, Cantabil styled by Rocky S)

Sanjay Hingu at LFW S/R 2011 Cantabil by Rocky S at LFW S/R 2011

Lots of chic vacation wear

When I go on holiday this year, maybe I’ll ditch the convenient jeans-and-tee combo, and look at options for a relaxed chic look. In international fashion markets, this is often called resort wear, and I think it’s a great idea for the hot Indian summer, irrespective of whether you’re going on vacation or not.

I loved Anupamaa Dayal’s colourful printed kaftans in pinks and oranges, and Pria Kataria Puri evoked a Marrakesh atmosphere with exotic prints, mirror work and crystal-embellished kaftans, maxis and tunics that you could wear to a party.

(Below left to right: Anupamaa Dayal, Pria Kataria Puri)

Anupamaa Dayal at LFW S/R 2011 Pria Kataria Puri at LFW S/R 2011

Been there, seen that

At a show titled The Future of Fashion, what would you expect? Futuristic design, oodles of creativity, refreshing styles, right? Unfortunately, at this DHL-inspired show designers Atsu Sekhose and Kallol Dutta presented clothes that were mostly insipid and well, not futuristic or mindboggling at all. As a fashion watcher later told me, “What future of fashion? The show was more about the past of fashion.” LOL. (Take a peek and decide for yourself).

(Below left to right: Atsu, Kallol Dutta)

Atsu Sekhose at LFW S/R 2011 Kallol Dutta at LFW S/R 2011

Wedding Fashion: Saris dipped in gold

Gold is everywhere this season… around your neck, on your ring finger and wrist, and of course, it’s on our clothes. Designers can’t bring enough gold to their lehengas and saris, and we don’t mind, because this time it isn’t OTT.

At Lakme Fashion Week, Anupama Dayal’s collection, which made plenty of good use of Indian embroideries and embellishments in the form of zardosi, gota and brocade.

How to wear gold in your wedding outfit:

  • Wear a sari, lehenga or kurta with gold metallic embellishments.
  • Tone down the bling with a broad gold border on your dupatta or sari.
  • Wear a gold blouse or choli with your lehenga or sari.
  • Don’t forget the gold jewellery!

Anupama Dayal kurta with gold embroidery LFW  Anupama Dayal sari in gold LFW  

Related posts:

Wedding picks: Top sari and lehenga trends

LFW: Anupama Dayal’s Mughal revival

It’s never easy breaking out of your comfort zone, but there comes a moment when a creative person decides to pushes away all boundaries and steps into unfamiliar territory. For Delhi designer Anupama Dayal, that realisation dawned at a Singapore museum, while viewing Mughal jewellery. “Looking at our own jewellery from the past, I was inspired to design Indian clothes,” she says.  (We also think it’s partially to do with the great potential in the designer bridal wear market).

Naming her collection the Bronze Begum (sort of a celebration of the Indian skin tone), Anupama presented a collection of saris, lehengas and anarkalis for the Indian bride. She allowed herself a wide colour palette, using orange and red, azure blues, deep greens and shocking pinks. But the common thread of her collection was the predominance of gold. Gold was everywhere—from the zardosi and gota work, to the luxurious brocades, and of course, the jewellery. She combined the traditional crafts with metallic embellishments and pearl embroidery.

Anupama Dayal LFW Orange sari  Embroidery Anupama Dayal at LFW

The fabrics were rich and luxurious—chiffons, georgettes, jacquards and nets. She often used unconventional colour combinations—blue with orange and pink, tangerine with gold, green with gold, warm yellow with red. In a couple of outfits, Anupama draped two contrasting dupattas for an eye-catching effect.

What stood out most from the collection was the use of heavily decorated dupattas and traditional Anarkali jewellery, especially the hair ornaments and nose rings.

Anupama Dayal two dupattas LFW  Model in green kurta with hair ornament at Anupama Dayal

After the show, Anupama said she would make every customer promise that she would make the most of her outfit by wearing it or individual garments at least five times. But I have a feeling the customer would want to wear it at least fifty times. It will be a precious treasure from the past.

Will you wear a Bronze Begum outfit to a wedding this season? Tell us!