EXCLUSIVE: This week’s designer Neeta Lulla on common mistakes, bridal make, must haves in pants and more

As a designer whose journey began back in 1988, Neeta Lulla has come a long way. The designer, who prefers the term ‘costume technician’ over ‘costume designer’, reinvented the bridal lehenga by giving it not one but 2 dupattas to give the bride a more generous look. Since then, her journey has only evolved and taken her places.

“There’s not a material I have not worked with. I used fur back in 1990!” she tells when we curiously ask her what she would like to experiment with. However, it only makes sense as her journey completes almost 4 decades! As a field that is always changing and evolving, we want to know how couture has changed for her. “What has become very big is the aspect of embroidery and styling. The impact of cuts and techniques on garments that are true to the style has become secondary,” she says after a thoughtful pause. What has remained constant, however, “is the grandeur of the over-the-top technique.”


Mouni Roy i en Neeta Lulla lehenga

As someone who has managed to stay relevant for almost 4 decades, set trends with dupattas, made the saree go from 6 and 9 yards to a full 15 yards, we want to understand the key to staying relevant and keeping up to date with it changing nature of her industry. “Keeping an open mind and understanding where consumer psychology is headed,” is the key, she says. “It is also important to keep in mind the aspect of the heritage and culture of your own country and to combine foreign decoration with the aesthetics of your country to give it a global appeal,” said Lulla, who has worked on films such as Tahalivii, Devdas, Manikarnika, Panipat and more.


Genelia Deskhmukh in a Neeta Lulla saree

When we ask her what her most memorable film has been so far, the esdesigner refuses to pick just one. “I can not name just one who has not given me a challenge or an ambition to work beyond the sensitivity of my own genre. I have been able to create new looks for films that are constantly evolving and taking you away from the real world. you feel like you’re in a dream, “says the designer, who is just enjoying his journey.


Samantha in a Neeta Lulla creation

When we get to the place where we could use her expertise most right now that we’re in the middle of the wedding season, we want to know from the designer what she thinks are some common mistakes brides make. The biggest one she tells us is: “Trying different colors and techniques without having a couture consultation. This sometimes does not work in terms of carrying capacity. We generally tend to pick up jewelry after the outfit, but it is important “for a bride to pick up an outfit after the jewelry and create her bridal look around it. Choosing an outfit first is like picking furniture first without choosing a house,” she explains in simpler terms.

And from the top of her head before we pack up, we are eager to know what she thinks are the most important pieces a bride should have in her pants. Aa n elegant and comfortable shoes, a medium-sized bag for everyday use as well as a smaller, smarter bag for larger occasions, a pair of well-cut blouses in neutral colors that can be reused with various sarees, a tunic top or jacket that can be coordinated with sarees or trousers, well-fitting tops and flared trousers that can again be worn both formally and casually, “acknowledges the designer who has created outfits for Samantha and Dev Mohan’s next film shoot in Hyderabad.

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