Ace designer Rohit Bal readies film stars for red carpets and magazine shoots. He knows many celebrities on a personal level but stays away from working as a costume designer in films because he "can't follow the schedule" and feels his clothes are "way too expensive for movies".
"I do a lot of clothes for film stars for red carpets and other events such as magazine shoots. Also, on a personal level, they love my shows, but I stay away from films because I can't follow the schedule," Bal told IANS in an exclusive interview.
Another reason that keeps him away from films is that he feels his clothes "are very expensive for films. There are designers who manage to do clothes that look beautiful onscreen, but actually they are not when you feel or touch them. I can't do that. I wish I could do designs, but I can't."
He added: "I have incredible friends in Bollywood; so for me Bollywood films are no, but Bollywood people yes."
So far, Bal, one of the country's top designers, has made clothes for megastar Amitabh Bachchan for the fifth and sixth editions of quiz show "Kaun Banega Crorepati" and also created a special outfit for Arjun Rampal for his maiden appearance at the 65th edition of Cannes International Film Festival red carpet.
International names like Naomi Campbell and Uma Thurman too have endorsed his designs.
He may not like the role of a costume designer, but Bal has nothing against filmdom.
"I have nothing against Bollywood and the individuals associated with the industry, but in totality I just find it (movie styling) very stressful. Bollywood stars are very stressful and I personally can't deal with their tantrums," said Bal, who graduated from St. Stephen's college with a first class in history honours.
The designer also avoids inviting Bollywood celebrities to walk the ramp for his shows as he believes their presence "overshadows" the charm of the designs.
He may have taken a baby step into the fashion industry by joining his brother's export firm before launching his debut menswear line in 1990, but his creativity made him one of the most sought after designers.
Known for mixing traditional and modern themes in his creations, Bal has showcased his designs at global platforms in New York, Paris, and Singapore.
The one who designs for films are labelled as costume designers in Hollywood and they mainly stick to film projects. But Bal says there is no clear demarcation between a costume and a mainstream designer in India.
"Costume designers in Hollywood are not mainstream designers, they are costume designers. However in India, a Bollywood designer is also a mainstream designer. So, this is a unique and positive thing because you are mixing two different cultures.
"It is incredible for the growth of the industry because Bollywood by far has the strongest influence on the fashion industry and vice versa," he said.
"Bollywood is in sensible hands... Now you have mainstream designers also doing costumes for films," he added.
(Nivedita can be contacted at email@example.com)