Off The Rack: Leepakshi Ellawadi On Styling Bollywood Biggies And Carving Her Own Niche

Leepakshi Ellawadi

Not a lot of people get to credit the legendary Amitabh Bachchan for propelling their career to greater heights, except maybe a selected few. The chosen ones, you could say. Celebrity stylist Leepakshi Ellawadi’s stance on Big B being her lucky charm is a fashion fairy tale of sorts, she started styling him for advertisements more than a decade ago and now her celebrity roster is decked with the finest of Bollywood royalty.

The LCF alumna has proved her mettle by styling stars for multiple movies, media engagements and is a fashion icon of sorts, in her own right. Preity Zinta’s stunning saris at Cannes this year, that was all Leepakshi Ellawadi’s magic. We delve further into her discerning eye for all things style, her journey and things she prioritises when it comes to the styling game in this country.

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

Leepakshi Ellawadi: My styling journey has been quite exciting, I started as a costume stylist, I graduated from LCF and started styling for ads and I think I also was really lucky to start styling Mr. Bachchan for his ads and personal styling. I actually started from a film and then I continued working for his personal wardrobe. That’s how it started, it started, about 16 years ago for me.

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

Leepakshi Ellawadi: Firstly, always keep your eyes open to new and upcoming designers because I think they’re very keen to work with you. And also be more flexible.

Secondly, I think you have to be resourceful and very open to last-minute innovation. You have to constantly innovate, especially when you work with girls. Their bodies change on a daily basis, I would say. So you need to be quick on your feet, think through things. Sometimes the brief changes, or the weather changes, you need to be super quick with your little hacks.

And thirdly, I would say that one needs to be on the top of one’s trend game, mixing what the trend is, with the bodies that you work with. These are what I would say are the three top things that I think, a stylist should have.

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

Leepakshi Ellawadi: Well, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had this ‘I made it’ moment. I’ve had some, you know, goals or goalposts that I had on my mind, but I keep moving them as I go forward in my journey. It’s been 16 years. I think I’m very proud of a few moments. But then I also always feel I could do better.

ELLE: How would you describe your personal style?

Leepakshi Ellawadi: I think if I had to define it in colours, it would be only black and white. I would say chic, understated, a mix of trends, touch of grunge, but mostly super chic. If I could buy everything from one store for my personal wardrobe, that would be Ralph Lauren.

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

Leepakshi Ellawadi: I’m working on many exciting projects because they’re so diverse in nature. I’m working with Rajkumar Rao and Tripti Dimri on a comedy drama. At the same time, I’m working with Diana Penty and Tamanna Bhatia on a Dharma project, which is super chic, super uptown, more like a city beat of two girls who are trying to make it, you know, in a more male-dominant industry by making beer. Plus, I’m styling multiple other celebs at the same time for their events, which are quite diverse in nature.


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A post shared by Preity G Zinta (@realpz)

ELLE: Songs you have on repeat.

Leepakshi Ellawadi: I can buy myself flowers by Miley Cyrus and Love never felt so good by MJ.

Also Read: Alia Bhatt On Navigating Motherhood, Launching A Children’s Book And Collaborating With Famed Writers

- Digital Fashion Writer


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