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Aki Narula’s guide to mismatched dressing

Aki Narula’s guide to mismatched dressing
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First Published: Thu, Jul 02 2009. 08 38 PM IST

Colour decoded: Aki Narula will style Kareena Kapoor next in Rensil D’Silva’s film, tentatively titled Qurbaan; Piet Mondrian’s paintings, such as Boogie Woogie (left), influenced the trend of colour
Colour decoded: Aki Narula will style Kareena Kapoor next in Rensil D’Silva’s film, tentatively titled Qurbaan; Piet Mondrian’s paintings, such as Boogie Woogie (left), influenced the trend of colour
Updated: Thu, Jul 02 2009. 08 38 PM IST
What are you wearing right now,” asks Aki Narula over the phone when I ask him about Kareena Kapoor’s many-colours-in-one-ensemble look in Kambakkht Ishq.
Beige just-under-the-knee shorts with a brown frock-shirt, no jewellery, a black bag and gold slip-ons, I reply.
Colour decoded: Aki Narula will style Kareena Kapoor next in Rensil D’Silva’s film, tentatively titled Qurbaan; Piet Mondrian’s paintings, such as Boogie Woogie (left), influenced the trend of colour blocking.
“Next time, ditch that brown shirt. Go for an orange tee and if that is too much for you, drape an orange scarf around your neck or maybe on the handle of your bag. Wear a single piece of jewellery, such as a bright green bracelet, that will stand out. Avoid gold slip-ons. Go with heels in a colour like orange or green,” he rattles off, giving me a Kambakkht Ishq makeover.
This mismatched look, according to Narula, is part of the colour-blocking technique which is used to introduce different colour palettes in one ensemble. “It’s like what the Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian, used to do with his paintings in the late 1930s and mid-1940s,” he explains.
Narula says he decided to go with this look because the film is set entirely in Los Angeles. “We were not going to shoot a song or two there. The characters were supposed to be living there and that’s why Kareena’s look had to be chic, smart and very LA-mod, without the over-the-top bling factor.”
Miss match: For Kapoor’s look, Narula used bright colours and a mix of silhouettes.
That Kapoor had to wear dresses was a given because she plays a surgeon who moonlights as a “leg” supermodel to pay off her student loan.
Narula chose to shop in Milan because he wanted to dig out clothes from vintage shops and quirky designer stores rather than just pick dresses from known designer labels. “Canary yellow, acid green, fuchsia, vintage English prints, gingham checks, floral prints were all supposed to be the hot trends for Spring/Summer 2009. I was not going to get dresses in these colours and patterns in May 2008 at any of the designer stores when I started work on Kambakkht Ishq, which is why shopping at small unknown stores in Milan made sense.”
Narula picked out 50 dresses and then went about collecting shoes and bags to complete the look for each dress. “We did not alter the shape of dresses to fit Kareena. The idea was to use all kinds of silhouettes—from trapeze and balloon to draped. I did not want too much jewellery, so we have concentrated only on bracelets and avoided necklaces and chunky earrings.”
Kambakkht Ishq released in theatres on Friday.
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How to get Kareena’s look
You can create this look by mismatching colours, patterns, textures, fabrics, silhouettes but don’t do everything at once. If you are wearing a solid-coloured dress, make sure your handbag has a gingham pattern.
To be a mismatch dresser, you have to be unpredictable. Get out of the mindset of clubbing “safe” colours such as blue with white, black with gold or silver and then wearing matching accessories in the same colour. Wear canary yellow with aubergine or acid green with red. Also, this look can be worn for both casual and formal occasions.
Three colours in one ensemble at one go should be the target. Make sure the really bold colour is no more than a splash in your ensemble. Don’t make it the dominant colour. Wear red or parrot green heels with blue denims, carry a fuchsia plastic bag with a white ‘ganji’, or a red clutch (not a big hobo bag) with a bright yellow dress.
If you want to mix patterns, go for the English vintage wallpaper look with gingham checks. Combine stripes with polka dots or floral prints with checks or asymmetrical geometrical designs. These patterns are hot right now.
Colour clash: Mismatch shoes with bracelets of contrasting shades.
Avoid bling. Remember mixing either gold or silver with black is not part of the mismatched look. Think colour, a sudden burst of it in your ensemble. So a canary yellow or a neon green bag or shoes or belt with a black dress works, but gold hoops or sandals are boring.
If you are keen to experiment with silhouettes, opt for a balloon skirt with a spandex T-shirt or a ‘ganji’-like top. Make sure both are in different patterns as well. For Kareena’s look, we mixed lots of chiffon, spandex and stretch-satin to create a variance in silhouettes. One of the outfits used was a bright yellow, baby-doll dress with a pink spandex neckline. We gave her a red clutch to complete the look. A huge red bag would have killed the outfit.
A common mistake that people make while putting together the mismatched look is overdosing on colourful jewellery. Let one piece be the highlight. In Kambakkht Ishq’, the only jewellery Kareena wears are cuffs. We picked chunky bangles, oxidized silver cuffs, tribal wooden bracelets.
Think out of the box and try to wear an accessory differently. In Milan, I got three corsages, usually worn on the wrist, which I used as anklets for Kareena.
Men, too, can try this look. With black jeans and shirt, go for an acid yellow or green belt instead of a boring brown or black. Wear dirty green Converse shoes instead of sports shoes in white or black.
As told to Seema Chowdhry
seema.c@livemint.com
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First Published: Thu, Jul 02 2009. 08 38 PM IST
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