How to dress an Angry Indian Goddess: an interview with AIG stylist Manisha Garg

Manisha featured image

After watching Angry Indian Goddesses and falling head over heels for each character’s individual style, we caught up with Manisha Garg, who boasts the unique title of Stylist to Goddesses.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been working as a fashion consultant and stylist in Bollywood for four years. Before AIG, I had styled for the films Hate Story 2 and Creature.

How was your experience working with Pan Nalin and all the Goddesses?

Working with AIG team was an amazing learning experience — I consider Ashima Belapurkar, the Head Designer for the film, to be a personal mentor. It was a great opportunity for me and a blessing.

All the film’s characters were so different, and their clothes seemed really thoughtfully picked out. How did you come up their signature styles?

What really helped me figure out styles for each of the characters in AIG was the unique approach the director Pan Nalin too. Before we started shooting, he told us in detail his vision of each character, which was very close to their actual self. This helped Ashima and I created styles that got in sync with the requirement for each Goddess.

From Su (Sandhya Mridul’s)’s single mother / business executive to Nargis (Tannishtha Chatterjee’s) organic activist avatar, all seven looks were different but realistic: every one is likely to know a woman who personifies one of these characters. I think it really helped that we were made to meet the characters through Pan’s visceral vision of them.

Which character’s sartorial style did you most identify with?

I definitely felt a personal link to Frieda (Sarah-Jane Dias) in that the way Frieda’s costumes are done explains so much about my personal style. She is seen in the most comfortable clothes throughout. Even when she has to step out, she would just throw a cotton shirt on and be good. I believe in the simplicity that surrounded her through out the film: be it her effortlessly done house to her costumes/make-up. I love how calmly she handles the bull that enters into her                   house.

Which of the goddesses was most challenging to style? And why?

For me, Nargis – the Goddesses who makes the final entry in the film – was the toughest look to crack. Our brief from Pan was that she (Nargis) was an amalgamation of an social activist, feminist, and intellectual. We knew her sexual orientation because of the film’s plot.

After a lot of research, we decided she’d be most comfortable in rugged cotton clothes in earthy tones. We added the head wrap for colour, but also because they, along with the ethic oxidised metal jewellery, gave the character a warrior-like feel, which is how Pan saw Nargis I think.

nargis

Did any of the girls use their own clothes?

Many of the Goddesses used their own clothes in the film to add a personal touch. The headgear that Frieda wears in the club is Sarah’s, Mad’s (Anushka Manchanda) black leather jacket. Su’s business suit and the bikini underneath were Sandhya’s own — an outfit that I thought succinctly personified the modern urban Indian woman who works hard and isn’t afraid to party harder!

Did you source from any designers for the film? 

As we were to keep the looks natural and authentic, we went about looking for stuff that merges well with the persona of each character and ended up in your ready-to-wear casual clothing stores and boutiques. We used very little designer clothing in the movie, because we wanted to characters to look like every woman, rather than decked-up movie versions of real people. We used a lot of Goa based designers: Asmita Marvah, Manvi, and Frieda’s wedding dress was from Verma D’ Mello.

DSC_0442

What is your signature style? What do you wear on a daily basis?

 My style follows my mood. There are times when  I can’t get over the rich Indian textiles and adorn a lot of traditional elements to periods when the free-spirited, bohemian looks inspire me.It totally depends upon my state of mind and how I am feeling. Style for me is fashion that one could connect to personally.

Any future projects we should watch out for?

I’m working on two films that are coming up: Parched and Beyond The Known World, which is also directed by Pan Nalin.

Angry Indian Goddesses is “female buddy film” with a twist in the tale. If you’ve not watched the movie already, we suggest you do. To stay updated on the film’s international release, follow its Facebook page.
Avantika Mehta
Written by

Editor, Pyjama People

Avantika Mehta used to be a lawyer, resident Blue Frog party freak and proud wearer of harem pants curated from Kasol. Then she became a writer and it all went downhill. Famous Scottish journalists have been known to call her ‘a volatile woman.’

Twitter @bitingfriends / Instagram: @bitingfriends

3 Comments

  • Manisha Garg

    Thank You for this lovely interview.

    • Jalene

      Wow! Great to find a post knkiocng my socks off!

  • Starleigh

    Short, sweet, to the point, FRalcexE-tEy as information should be!

LEAVE A COMMENT