Star Stylist In Conversation with Niharika Khan

Abraxas Lifestyle recently sat down with stylist Niharika Khan where she talked about style, bridal trends and more…



What is the difference between style and fashion?

Style is understanding and putting something together, whereas fashion is trying to predict a trend that’s going to happen. For me it’s like taking what’s here and making it beautiful, making it better. I’m not trying to create something that’s not there, or to know what’s coming; I can’t predict that. I can do only what this is, and I can make it ugly or I can make it beautiful, because I understand how it is meant to be.

What styling tips would you give to women of 30, 40 and 50 years of age?

I don’t see people from an age perspective. You don’t think of someone as an age, I think you think of them as a personality type. Age for me is timeless. If Aamir Khan needs to look 17, he needs to look 17. And I need to make him look 17. Take Anushka for example, in Bombay Velvet. I needed to make her look like she was 16 years old. And I did. I did a little moustache on her upper lip and made her look like it. I need to cross over the age, so age is never an issue for me. But it’s a personality type, a body type. Like I needed Vidya to look fat in The Dirty Picture and I needed here to have the folds falling outside. Make the pants tighter so that she looked fatter than she was. So for me, I don’t give style tips based on one’s age. I give tips based on body type. If this is my body type, how do I change it? If somebody’s short, I need to know how to make them look taller. Or I need to know how to make someone
too tall look shorter. So it’s all about the body type.

So what kind of style tips would you give a short woman?

If I’m going to make a short woman wear a kurta, I’d give her a longer kurta so that the illusion of length would make her look taller.

What about make-up?

As far as make-up is concerned, dark lipstick is very in right now; everyone is wearing that one dark lipstick. So for bridal makeup you need to work that in. I think that whole smoky eye trend is gone. You’re still doing doe eyes and that one lipstick. So those are the general universal trends that are working.

What are the bridal trends this season?

Well I think we’re back to lehengas being the top choice of silhouette.

Is red in or out?

Red is still in for a wedding and I don’t think it’ll ever go out; I’ve said that before. But people are adding yellow to their lehenga. So it’s really interesting; those are the colour trends. When it comes to trends for silhouettes, we are all going back to the lehenga. So I think that’s it. That’s colours and silhouettes and we are doing multiple occasions. Your reception lehenga is becoming as fancy as your wedding lehenga.

How do you generally style yourself?

Styling myself would be really casual, comfortable and not over the top. I’m not into embroidery or bling; I love colour. So I can put 13 colours in one outfit and I’m fine with it. But no bling, and embroidery is something that has to be subtle or it has to be self on self.

How would you style a bride?

A bride for me is typical, beautiful and well put together. If I had to choose to give someone something, it would always be quirky. There’s always something that’s different to what you would like. I would change a colour. I would give them a different tone. Because that is something I would typically suggest to people.

From where do draw inspiration?

I draw inspiration from everywhere. Inspiration comes from people, from places, from clothes, from what people are wearing, etc. Inspiration can also mean what not to do. I look at something and I’m like “That definitely cannot be done”. So it goes both ways.

In your opinion, what are some essentials that every woman needs?

That’s a really tough one. I would definitely say a really comfortable pair of sandals as well as a pair of running shoes. I always think of footwear more than anything else. You have to have a well-fitting pair of jeans. You need to have one really beautiful dress, preferably a little black dress. There has to be that one sexy outfit that you have – whatever that translates as sexy for you. And working out. For me it’s really essential to be able to work out wherever I go.

What do you like to wear for a party?

I don’t dress differently. My thing is not about the thought behind it. Whatever you have, you make do with. So I think that’s the essentials. My evening wardrobe consists only of what I’m comfortable in at that point of time; it’s all dependent on your mood and time and what you have.

Do you have any advice for the upcoming stylists?

You have to work really hard. It’s not a glamorous field at all – it might seem to be but it’s definitely not. Also, you have to be interested in it. You will never be able to last in this job if you are not interested in it. It just won’t work; you have to be interested in it. I don’t care if you’ve studied it or not, I can teach you what you need to know, but you have to have that interest. And it needs to be something that keeps on growing. It’s a growing interest; it can’t be something that you can leave, because then you’ll stop working.

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