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Kangana Ranaut SPUNK & STYLE
FSJ February, 2013

My Top 10
A Fast line on KANGANA’S 10 HANDPICKED LOOKS




The premiere of Talaash – “I love all my different looks. Casual, casual chic, formal, Indian, whatever, I wear it all”

A women’s awards evening –
“I picked this up from Canada, I just love the high waist. Because I have lost so much weight for Krrish 3, I’m showing off my body every time I get the chance”

Balaji bash –
“Ekta said, ‘casual, casual’ more than 20 times and I didn’t know what to wear. So I just wore these shorts to her birthday party”

A fashion event –
“This red dress is from my favourite designer, Dior. I picked it up from Paris when I was there for the shooting of Queen”

Arpita Khan’s b’day –
“The yellow is a Moschino. Got it from Kitsch, my friends Priya and Charu run this store where they stock really good international designers”

A press conference –
“This short Gaultier is a special dress which I bought in New York. It’s actually very loose and shapeless with this little thing to tie up at the waist. And that’s where it gets its shape”




The premiere of English Vinglish – “The short skirt is from Louis Vuitton, also from New York. The top is a Miu Miu from Paris”

Riteish and Genelia’s wedding –
“It’s a Sabyasachi. Designed specially for me by Sabya”

On the green carpet in Canada –
“I rather like this old vintage Hollywood look. Indian designer Rajat Tangri made this for me. I think the nude colour outfit with red lipstick looks very nice”

Sanjay and Maanyata’s Mata ki chowki –
“Sabya again. He has this line, ‘Sabya by Sabyasachi’ where he has clothes for younger people – chudidars, very low necklines, very casual”





SPUNK & STYLE



Ultimately, it’s not just vacuous fashion copy.
KANGANA’s story of guts and gumption doesn’t stop with coming down from Himachal Pradesh unescorted and establishing an unknown Ranaut as a saleable name. 
Her unafraid experiments with look and style – in the clothes she steps out in, in the way she wears her hair, in the roles she picks up – tell another story worth repeating. Pick it all up between the lines


Dizzy with Kangana’s designer shopping?
Now here’s some down-to-earth practicality from the girl who came from nowhere and is now everywhere, her sense of style unfailingly astounding.

“The dresses I pick up from all over are not necessarily high-end red carpet stuff. They are dresses you can repeat”

“The dresses I pick up from all over are not necessarily high-end red carpet stuff. They are dresses you can repeat.  Whenever I spend money on a dress, I make sure I can wear it a couple of times at least, not just that one time. Designers keep sending me clothes but I am a clothes person, so I won’t wear something just because someone sends it to me!” she shares confidently.




Where did this fascinating fashion sense come from? Kangana carries it off with an international flair unseen even in most city-bred girls.

“Fashion has got a lot to do with art, to a certain extent it is an art – how you look at clothes, shapes, sizes are primary concerns”

“I think my sense of style comes from travelling a lot,” she ruminates. “It’s hard for me to understand why these other girls don’t do that.

“I got my passport made only when I was doing Gangster. People my age from big film
families have been travelling all their lives, their parents have exposed them to so much. I have no clue why they haven’t ended up learning”


You know, I got my passport made only when I was doing Gangster. Before that I didn’t have one. People my age from big film families have been travelling all their lives, their parents have exposed them to so much.

“It’s not that people in the mountains don’t have a sense of style. When my grandmother passed away she left for me her silver payals. Each weighing around ½ kg, so heavy, it must have taken months to construct something so ornamental”

I have no clue why they haven’t ended up learning because I think fashion has got a lot to do with art, to a certain extent it is an art – how you look at clothes, shapes, sizes are primary concerns.  It is also important to have some knowledge of art, history, sculpture, even cinema. All this is handy knowledge if you want to experiment with fashion.

“I get a lot of inspiration when I go abroad. When I travel with friends, I go to museums and see how people would dress up in the 16th and 18th centuries. Even when I go to Jaipur or south India, small things like someone wearing jasmine flowers in the hair excites me and I want to try out the same thing.

“So my sense of fashion is not restricted to what I see on the ramp or in fashion magazines. It comes from travelling a lot.”

It’s unbelievable that her fashion sense is so completely acquired because Kangana is not just a mannequin with a pout for designers to hang their clothes on but someone who chameleon-like slips into looks, combining in herself the ease of both international and traditional models.

“It’s not that people in the mountains don’t have a sense of style,” the Himachal product sharply remarks. “If you saw my grandmother, the kind of ornaments they would wear, the colours they used to wear were so inspiring. When my grandmother passed away she left for me her silver payals. Each must weigh around ½ kg, so heavy, and it must have taken months to construct something so ornamental. So it’s not that people back home weren’t stylish. But being from a middle-class family where everybody just wants to be an engineer or a doctor, I never really cared about fashion and style. It was only when I joined the arts, pursued acting, that I found a natural inclination towards fashion.”

Much like her unique fashion sense, Kangana has a native, completely fresh observation on designers. Ask her to name her favourite and before she does that she smartly observes, “Every designer is an artiste. Like actors, every good actor has something different about him. They are all so good at what they do, you can never tell which one is the best, sometimes each of them comes up with an amazing performance. It’s the same with designers.

“If Sabya does only Indian clothes, it’s ok, no?  I mean even Christian Dior does only westerns, so?”

“But yes, there are some who I think are extraordinary. I think Sabya is extraordinary. If he does only Indian clothes, it’s ok, no? I mean even Christian Dior does only westerns, so? In fact I think it’s good that Sabya limits himself to Indian clothes because he is an Indian, right?

“The west,” she says wisely, “has taken over the whole fashion scene and all over the globe everybody wants to look western. But we must not ignore our own culture, our heritage, the beauty of our fabrics. The world goes crazy over our culture. Two seasons ago, Louis Vuitton launched a whole collection of lehengas and cholis, there was also a winter collection of ghagris. It was spectacular.

“When I wear a Stella it feels like  something I had specially ordered for myself, yeah, customised for me”

“So, yes, I find Sabya exceptional, Stella McCartney is also very good. I am naming designers I can relate to, am very comfortable wearing their clothes. When I wear a Stella it feels like something I had specially ordered for myself, yeah, customised for me. I find Rohit Bal very good, Dior is also one of my fave brands, I shop a lot from there, mostly in Paris. When I’m not travelling, I have friends and I can order it.

“I shot for Queen in Paris for 25 days and I was prepared to shop a lot. Surprisingly I ended up not liking anything there, nothing at all”

“Now we have a lot of international brands available right here. I’m okay with picking up clothes abroad or here. But I’m not a compulsive shopaholic. eg I shot for Queen in Paris for 25 days and then we were supposed to go to Holland. So I was prepared to shop a lot in Paris but surprisingly I ended up not liking anything there, nothing at all. I was disappointed because I didn’t buy much.

“If I don’t connect with a dress I won’t buy it. To my surprise, in a tiny place like Amsterdam which is about as big as Bandra, I ended up shopping like crazy”

 If I don’t connect with a dress I won’t buy it. And then to my surprise, in a tiny place like Amsterdam which is about as big as Bandra, I ended up shopping like crazy. I found so many good things there. So I can never predict where I will end up shopping.”

There’s a copy of Harper’s Bazaar on Kangana’s coffee table at home and once again, the photographs (these were shot by Prasad Naik) have an international appeal that not many Hindi film actresses carry off with such panache.

“Maybe my looks have something to do with the mountains I come from, so close to China”

“My own analysis is that earlier many actresses were south Indian, so they had a really Indian appeal. Maybe my looks have something to do with the mountains I come from, so close to China. My skin is also much paler than that of other people here,” she strives to explain why she looks the way she does.

But it isn’t about the pale skin, the bone structure. It has to do with the way she carries herself in those clothes, that’s what’s surprisingly international about her fashion sense.

“I hated to be just in my curly hair. I love to do up my hair, kabhi make a bun, kabhi leave it open, even if I don’t look as good as I do in my curly hair”

“Yes, it can be global, true,” she takes the compliment in her stride. And continues, “In the beginning it was quite a nuisance that nobody would recognise me on the red carpet. They’d ask, kaun hai, and then spot my publicist or my sister and say, oh, that must be Kangana. I used to get quite disappointed. At the same time I just hated to be eternally in my curly hair. I love to do up my hair, kabhi make a bun, kabhi leave it open, even if I don’t look as good as I do in my curly hair. People would say, you look so good in your curly hair, why do you keep changing it? But I can’t be looking the same all the time. If I had long hair, I’d cut it just to look different. I’m always game to do something different, keep pushing my stylists ki kuch karte hain.

“I very happily lose my identity. People get stuck in one look. Once some of these actresses get launched, they look the same down the years, they don’t even change their hair length forget about changing any style. We agree you look your best in it but that doesn’t mean you don’t move from there, that you get frozen in time. I cannot be like that.

“My role in Revolver Rani is that of a very ugly woman. Other girls who were approached for it just ran away. For them the idea of losing their identity was frightening, for me it was amazing!”


“I like being different and I try out a new look each time with all my heart. Bahut shauq se karti hoon. I like doing it, others don’t. It’s not that they can’t, they are afraid to try something different.
“Like this film Revolver Rani that I am doing is about a woman in her 40s, a politician, from the jungles. The role is that of a very ugly woman, so there’s prosthetics involved.

“They initially wanted Irrfan Khan to play the role that I’m now doing in Revolver Rani. Yes, they wanted Irrfan Khan to play a woman’s role!”

But I liked the script, I liked the role and I’m enjoying the process of being somebody else. The other girls who were approached for it just ran away, they never looked back. For them the idea of losing their identity was frightening, for me it was amazing. I loved the idea. In fact,” she discloses a nugget of inside information, “they initially wanted Irrfan Khan to play the role that I’m now doing. Yes, they wanted Irrfan Khan to play a woman’s role!”

COMING UP FOR KANGANA

*    Radhika Rao & Vinay Sapru’s I Love NY
     with Sunny Deol
*    Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout At Wadala
*    Vikas Bahl’s Queen
*    Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish 3

Making up for an unfruitful 2012? 
“It’s an unpredictable business we’re in,” she says wryly. “To my surprise and yours, I must tell you that 2012 has been the most amazing year of my career so far. My first film, Gangster, came in 2006, and in these six years I have never felt as successful as I did in 2012. All my films flopped, there were no great releases, yet I’ve been filming for the biggest projects all year and I signed more than seven new films in 2012. I completed Wadala, Krrish, nearly finished Queen. All this happened in 2012. I have signed Revolver Rani, there’s also Nikita Pai, a Sherlock Holmes-Indiana Jones kind of film coming up. As an actor I have never felt more satisfied than I am feeling right now.”

– Bharathi S Pradhan

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