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Oprah asked for traditional sari: Tarun Tahiliani (With Image)

She usually sports the corporate look with a skirt and coat, but international talk show host Oprah Winfrey created a stir in a Tarun Tahiliani orange and golden Kanjeevaram sari on her maiden visit to India. The veteran designer

Thursday, January 19, 2012 | 4:49:33 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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oprah winfrey

She usually sports the corporate look with a skirt and coat, but international talk show host Oprah Winfrey created a stir in a Tarun Tahiliani orange and golden Kanjeevaram sari on her maiden visit to India. The veteran designer says she insisted on a traditional outfit.

"We were requested for some styles, so I picked some images of outfits which I thought would suit her and then they (her team) chose what she would like to wear. It was pretty simply done," Tahilaini told IANS.

"When I began to select images for Oprah, the first thing I thought was that a vibrant colour would suit her perfectly, so I decided that a bright orange or bright pink would look great. She was also looking for something that was a bit more traditional and something that was very Indian, so I immediately thought of Kanjeevaram," he added.

The designer, who has a celebrity clientele comprising Shilpa Shetty, Malaika Arora Khan, Neha Dhupia, Lisa Haydon and Minissha Lamba, admits Winfrey completely justified the look.

"I think she looked radiant in the outfit. The colour really suited her and she really made a point! Since we made her a pre-constructed drape sari, she was also super comfortable. Even the blouse was a structured corset one," Tahiliani said.

Tahiliani, who has been in the business of fashion since he was 23, is one of the very few designers who gave the six-yard wonder a modern avtaar, by blending it with western techniques.

His saris are popular in India as well as in the global market.

Winfrey, who is here to shoot her new show "Oprah's Next Chapter", is not the only international celebrity to have worn a Tahiliani creation. Pop star Lady Gaga, who was here during the F1 after-party in India, performed wearing a sari-inspired gown, also designed by Tahiliani.

"I loved what Lady Gaga did to the concept saree. She took one of my designs, which was a modern version of the sari, and she made adjustments to it to make it 'more New York', as she said in her concert. I think the modifications she made suited her style and her personality and made quite an impression on the stage." the 49-year-old said.

The designer doesn't find any major difference between designing attires for Bollywood or Hollywood.

"It's not really about Hollywood or Bollywood per se. It's more about the individual I'm designing for and what suits them. So I design something for someone based on a variety of things like what is in sync with their personal style, what suits their skin tone or their height."

"So, for Oprah, as I said earlier, we thought vibrant colours and traditional weaves would do well, whereas I think Lady Gaga looked stunning in ivory," he explained.

India is gradually emerging as a global fashion hub with many international designers extensively creating India-inspired collections.

At the ongoing Milan Fashion Week, designer Frankie Morello showcased a collection where models were seen wearing silk lungis accessorised with bindis on their foreheads.

n December last year, one of French fashion designer Chanel's collection was dominated by Nehru jackets and he had models don the Indian jewellery piece, maang-tika, on their foreheads.

To this trend, Tahiliani said: "India inspiration is everywhere, from Chanel catwalks to Frankie Morello."


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