Metrolife: Neeta Lulla sees talent in youngsters

Being in the industry for last three decades, designer Neeta Lulla has created a name for herself in the fashion world. Today, her name is synonymous with exquisite bridal and Indian wear. 

From dressing up some of the gorgeous stars of Bollywood to working as a costume designer in more than 300 films, Neeta is definitely the most sought-after designers in the industry today.
The celebrated designer, who was in the city as a chief guest for Arvind Runway, recently spoke to Surupasree Sarmmah about her design philosophy, her relationship with the Bollywood industry and more. 

Your designs are always on par with global trends and reflect Indian traditional aesthetics... 

Ever since I entered into fashion and during my education, I was intrigued by a lot of historic inspiration. The Edwardian Era, the magnanimity of the Renaissance Era and the India fabrics and colours too. My philosophy always had the nuances of the Edwardian era in terms of the silhouettes, kind of fabrics I use like lace, the sensuality and wispiness of the era, everything reflects in my designs. Having said that, everything still is Indian at heart. I incorporate all these Western silhouettes into Indian wear like an off-shoulder blouse with a lehenga and jackets with saris etc. Everything that I see around me inspires me.    

What is the best thing about the Indian fashion industry?

The best thing about this industry is the progressive attitude. In today’s time, especially because we are a young country. It is good to see how people from tier II and tier III cities are also becoming fashion conscious and are making themselves aware about fashion.  

Any young designers you are particularly a fan of?

Everybody is doing a fantastic job, be it my daughter Nishka, Nikhil Thampi or Payal Singhal and many other designers. It is great to see them creating a niche for themselves and moving forward.   

Your relationship with the Bollywood industry has been a special one. Who is your muse?

It is like asking a mother, who is your favourite child and that is a very difficult question. I can’t name one, predominantly because of the fact that, I have worked with them for more than a decade. Sridevi, Aishwarya, Juhi Chawla, Sushmita Sen, Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta -- over the years, I have worked closely with them and created relationships that are close to my heart. 

What do you think of an event like Arvind Runway’s hunt for young designers’?

This is a fantastic initiative that Arvind has taken. This not only to help them find new talent but Arvind, as a brand has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Their vision is strong and focused on creating excellence. This is also an opportunity to find a platter of talent and working on excelling in what they are looking for in their products.

How important is it to have or find new talent in the present fashion circuit?

I have been a professor of fashion for the last 26 years, so I very much emphasis on the fact that one needs to focus on getting the right talent. Everyone is talented and creative but having the right technical knowledge combined with talent is what makes one excellent in what they do. Youngsters today are talented but somewhere the focus is more on styling and designing and inspiration from bigger designers they see around them. With today’s fashion infrastructure there is work for everybody in the industry, one only needs to know their expertise and get into that field.

An advice that you would like to give young designers...

Education and the foundation is the most important thing because today, the industry is not just about glamour but a lot more.

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