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Off The Rack: Stylist to Bollywood Stars Sheefa Gilani on Her Dream Design, Styling Journey and More

Off The Rack: Stylist to Bollywood Stars Sheefa Gilani on Her Dream Design, Styling Journey and More


A leading fashion force with a pulse on the sartorial playground of Bollywood – that’s how I would describe the creative genius of Sheikh Gilani. Having styled numerous stars for red carpets and high-stakes engagements, the avid traveler and fashion icon in her own right, has managed to bring her passions together and serves as an inspiration to many.

She gained popularity after working with Manushi Chillar when she was crowned Miss World, and her subsequent journey has since remained in the books. Currently in charge of Alaya F and Mrunal Thakur's wardrobe alongside the former Miss World, it's safe to say that this is just the beginning for Sheefa Gilani. Here's our chat with the acclaimed stylist where she explains her journey, the stars she'd like to work with in the future and the songs she's rehearsing.

ELLE: Tell us about your style journey from the beginning.

Sheikh Gilani: Well, I would let you imagine that fashion was crawling out of my bones, but then I would be lying. So here is the reality of it all. Very few people know my roots. I come from a small town in Maharashtra called Yavatmal. When I was a child, my father always made sure that I believed that a proper education could take me to different places, which is why I spent much of my young life in boarding schools. I was a young teenager when I discovered that making clothes was a career, and so by the age of 12, I knew exactly what I was going to become: a fashion designer.

However, as the years passed and I moved from city to country, the doors of media opened, and the communication and style fascinated me. I cannot deny that the London College of Fashion gave me much more than the experiences I needed to learn, understand and grow both creatively and professionally. That’s when I got my first opportunity to work as a stylist. It started as a minor assignment for the Miss India organization and was an opportunity to manage the reigning queen's wardrobe. The Miss World title came back that year and I truly established my roots in Bombay as a stylist.

ELLE: Basic skills to succeed as a stylist in India.

Sheikh Gilani: Confidence in what you bring to the table. You are nothing without your team. Finally, trust.

ELLE: What was the moment when you managed to really shake things up for yourself professionally?

Sheikh Gilani: Every victory is a triumph for me. And I have miles to go before I sleep.

ELLE: A Hollywood celebrity you would like to style and why.

Sheikh Gilani: Currently I'm obsessed with Sydney Sweeney, so I'd say her. I love the mix of femininity and sex appeal that she brings so confidently.

ELLE: How would you describe your style?

Sheikh Gilani: Easy. Effortless vintage!

ELLE: Tell us about some exciting projects you are currently working on or looking forward to participating in in the near future.

Sheikh Gilani: I love research-based projects, so I'm working on a passion project to make my 12-year-old proud. I would like to say that summer is entirely mine.

ELLE: Three songs that you rehearse.

Sheikh Gilani: No body, no crime by Taylor Swift ft. HAIM

The sun has risen by Sofi Tukker and John Summit

Are you angry? by Tanmaya Bhatnagar

Read also:Fashion masterminds Rimple and Harpreet Narula bring SLB's vision to life for Heeramandi




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