Who can ever forget the larger than life ornate costumes from Jodhaa Akbar or the Sridevi’s pastel hues in Lamhe? Winner of prestigious awards for costume design and styling, having worked in over three hundred films over a rewarding career spanning 26 years, we caught up with the epitome of style and grace, the woman behind the changing face of the nation’s fashion - Neeta Lulla; an inspirer, mentor and style guru for fashionable women today.
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Q. Tell us a bit about The Whistling Woods Neeta Lulla School of Fashion.
Neeta: “The school is a joint venture between Subhash Ghai and myself. I’ve been teaching since 7 years and love it. Educating students about the current happenings in the industry, I felt that we could make a difference to the students, as I knew what they required. I decided to get into this venture and it’s been about 9 months already. It teaches people the business of fashion and bridges the gap between the learning in school and the varied careers available in the industry.”

Q. What’s more beneficial - a formal education or learning from experience?
Neeta: “You do learn from experience but you need to know what you want to do before you get into it. As a professional, you hire people so they can add value and they need to apply their education to the jobs they want. That’s how we create a pool of fashion in the nation.”

Q. What was the first item of clothing you ever designed?
Neeta: “I started off as a fashion choreographer and moved on to become a stylist and then a designer. The first item of clothing I designed was a dance costume for a movie starring Kimi Katkar.”

Q. What do you personally enjoy more - designing or styling?
Neeta: “It’s hard to say as they both go hand in hand. As a designer, I visualise how my clothes would look like once they’re on. I enjoy both, equally.”

Q. What’s your personal style statement?
Neeta: “I swear by power dressing. You’ll catch me in blue jeans and a white tee at work. I like my clothes to be fuss free. I’m partial to neutral shades and don’t wear too much colour.”

Q. What is in your purse that comes in handy as a quick style or beauty fix?
Neeta: My compact and lipstick.

Q. Which Gen Next designers should India watch out for?
Neeta: Nishka Lulla, of course. Nikhil Thampi is great too.

Q.Your advice to budding designers?
Neeta: Fashion is a fast paced field. What’s important is that you get solid training before you get into it and find something you love to do. Sound education and dedication will go a long way.

Q.Tell us key trends to look out for this season.
Neeta: Linear cuts, stripes and checks are definitely back. Colours are getting more varied and vivid. Jewel tones are still reigning big. The traditional salwaar kurta is getting a modern twist and the look is getting more easy and relaxed.

To view the designer’s collection, visit Neeta Lulla’s store at:

# 6, RNA Classic, SV Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai, Maharashtra,, S V Rd, Santacruz West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400054.