Off The Rack: From Dressing Rocky Randhawa To The Ambanis, Eka Lakhani’s Eye For Fashion Is Unparalleled

Eka Lakhani

For the trained (and untrained) eye, the Versace and Dior sightings on Rocky Randhawa’s washboard abs in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani are unanimously synonymous with the eccentricities of his character – loud, flashy and uninhibited. Acquainted with masterfully tapping into the makings of a reel character sartorially, Eka Lakhani’s tryst with styling has given us style gems both on, and off-screen.

Dunki, O Kadhal Kanmani, Lust Stories, and the list is rather extensive. She’s also taken up celebrity styling and divides her time between a star-studded roster of clients like the Ambanis, Ranveer Singh, Sara Tendulkar, Ibrahim Ali Khan and Karan Johar. Infatuated with weaving a narrative and continually honing her craft, Eka Lakhani’s itch to strive for greater things is what lends her credibility and heightens her appeal in this cutthroat industry.

As a part of our ongoing series ‘Off The Rack,’ we had a chance to catch up with her and discuss all things movies, personal style and her dream to style Harry Styles one day.


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ELLE: Tell us about your styling journey, from the beginning.

Eka Lakhani: My costume design journey began back in 2008 when I was assisting Sabyasachi for Mani Ratnam’s Raavan. After that, I got my break as a costume designer for Urmi (a Malayalam film) by Santosh Sivan. I never thought of being a stylist purely because I enjoyed being a part of the cinematic process.

I am someone who loves storytelling, and being a part of a narrative was really important to me. I always thought styling didn’t offer this. It was much later when Karan Johar and Ranveer Singh gave me a chance to style them, I realised they love narrating a story through the outfits they wear. This was when my turn towards styling happened, and it’s been a great journey so far, balancing both the roles of a costume designer and a stylist.


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ELLE: Three core skills to make it as a stylist in India.

Eka Lakhani: First is understanding: You need to understand who your client is, what they stand for, and what they want to portray through their looks. Once you understand this and style them accordingly, you have achieved what you have set out to do.

The second would be patience. It’s not an easy road, it takes time for you to get your desired gig or client. You have to continue believing in your craft and working hard. Be patient and do good work and you will make it.

Third is your response to the letter F: Don’t take ‘F’ as failure; every time you think you’ve failed to deliver, take the ‘F’ as F=feedback. Let negative feedback teach you something; convert negatives into positives. This is what I feel a stylist requires.


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ELLE: What was your ‘I made it’ moment that really set things in motion for you professionally?

Eka Lakhani: I don’t think there was one particular moment where I felt I made it; I am somebody who enjoys and celebrates every little success. The first time I got an internship or when I got my independent film, I felt I made it. The first time I got a compliment from Mani Sir when he patted my back, I felt I made it.

The first time I got an award, I felt I made it. When I landed a job on a Karan Johar movie as a costume designer, or when I styled Shah Rukh Khan for Dunki, or when I became Ranveer’s personal stylist, I thought I’ve made it. So, I feel at every given phase of your life, whatever the biggest achievement is at that time, is when you’ve made it. You push forward and you look for something else, you set another goal and you move towards that!


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ELLE: A Hollywood celebrity you’d love to style and why.

Eka Lakhani: A Hollywood celebrity I admire is Harry Styles. I love his style; I love how he enjoys fashion. I love how he makes a statement that’s still very much his own. He owns every look and he’s often someone I look up to for inspiration.

ELLE: How would you describe your personal style?

Eka Lakhani: My personal style is exactly the opposite of what I showcase to my clients. I don’t experiment too much with myself, and I love being comfortable in whatever I’m wearing, I’m easy. Making a statement out of comfort is something I look forward to.


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ELLE: Take us through some exciting projects you’re currently working on / are looking forward to being a part of, in the near future.

Eka Lakhani: I’m currently working on a Mani Ratnam film, titled ‘Thug Life.’ That’s all I can actually say about it now. I’m extremely excited, and let’s see where the journey takes us.

ELLE: Three songs you have on repeat.

Eka Lakhani: Currently, I’m hooked on: Chor by Justh, Dil Hai Chota Sa by AR Rahman, and Flowers by Miley.

Also Read: Off The Rack: Sukriti Grover On Being Bollywood’s Numero Uno Stylist, Future Plans And More

- Digital Fashion Writer


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